I like photography. No, I love photography and some of my most treasured moments come from just being somewhere with my camera and seeing what I can do.
I don’t let myself pretend I’m a pro; I have a Panasonic Lumix LX5 which is a fantastic digital camera, but is no DSLR or professional piece of kit. However, this year I have been exceedingly lucky to experience a lot of the world and take a lot of photos. At last count, the holiday photo folder on my hard drive had over 12,000 images.
So, here are my favourite images of the year!
Oh, New York! There are so many images I could have chosen; up the top of the Empire State building where a few of my students got all emotional – we pretty much had the viewing point to ourselves and the views were breathtaking. But this one seems to capture a sense of the city…
A close second comes this, which I loved from the second I took it.
The South Bank is my favourite part of London, and crossing the Golden Jubilee Bridge at dusk always feels special. The lights of the South Bank, the Oxo Tower, City and St. Pauls’ all vying for your attention. And that’s just one vista.But I love you, so you get two.
Jordan was a magnificent place to visit. Due to the trouble brewing in Syria, we spent more time in Jordan and curtailed some of our trip to Syria. Getting to see Petra was a real experience I’ll never forget, but it’s Wadi Rum that stays with me. The silence…sort of hurts the ears so used to noise. Seeing the vast desert, which is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful parts of desert anywhere, is often breathtaking. Going with a guide who knows the place like no other…wonderful. For £65, I got one of the best 24 hour periods I’ll ever experience.
This was the desert at 8am. I was sure my camera was playing up…but the desert actually did look like it had gone 3D. Beautiful.
As we sat at Queen Alia airport, my friend came up to me looking glum…the British Government had emailed all tourists saying we definitely shouldn’t go to Syria as we’d be fools to do so. The email contained all sorts of information, such as the list of what we should have to hand if we end up in some dire situation.
Clearly, Syria was fantastic. The people were brilliant, the food sublime and the sights were beautiful. As desperately sad as the situation is now, I am very glad I went and soon as I can, I’ll be back. In this shot, we were at the Dead Cities and I was overcome by the lushness of the land, the colour of the soil and the spectacular sky.
My love affair with all things Swedish continues with my third trip in 5 years. I expect another will happen before long…there is something that fascinates me about Scandinavia and won’t let go. Gothenburg is blessed with an archipelago, and my chosen picture comes from that.
I’ve been to Paris twice and liked it, but I didn’t get France until this year when I visited Lyon, the Ardeche and Marseille. I’d always wanted to go to Marseille; the African vibe, the concrete architecture, the fantastic Vieux Port…I thought it’d be great. I was not let down. I was very sad to leave, so I played a new game called “guess the posh English guy getting on the flight”.
After realising I was too obsessed with foreign travel, I decided to do something about it, so I went to Norfolk. I was led to Norfolk when I searched for the best beach walks in the country and Holkham Beach kept cropping up. It was spectacular; and the image below shows the beach when a wind whips the sand up into a frenzy
I like Copenhagen a lot, though it came with such high expectations I was left a bit disappointed. That said, I’d be more than happy to have the chance to visit again or work there. It has a really good atmosphere, and being close to the water is always a great pleasure.
My adventures to Northern Europe continue with a jaunt to Oslo to see an old friend. Oslo is a fantastic city and the waterfront area is wonderful to walk around. This picture may not be perfectly composed, but I love the setting sun on the right edge and the red balloons giving a burst of colour on the left hand side.
As I’ve already written about here the Oslo-Bergen railway line will change your life. It was a phenomenal sight in October so I can only imagine how spectacular it looks in the depths of winter.
Back in England in December, a friend and I decided to use some free train tickets to go to Brighton. And why not visit a seaside town when it’s raining? It led to this atmospheric picture. I stood by the sea for about an hour, enjoying hearing the waves come in until a creepy man and his dog approached.