Best Photos 2012

As in previous years it is time to review and select my best/favourite photos of 2012. I always really enjoy looking back over all the posts and pictures I’ve made throughout the year and reflecting upon how fortunate I am to go to such great places and have such supportive people in my life. With no further ado, and in no particular order, here are this years top ten (click each for larger version on pbase)….

‘Taj Mahal’ Cenote with Eleo. While we were in Mexico we popped down the coast to see the amazing underwater caves called “Cenotes”. When the sun shines through the holes in the jungle surface these caves are simply magical. I did several blog posts on them because each of them have different characteristics.

Cardinal and friends. I liked this one because even though its taken in the ocean it gives an aquarium vibe. Diving on a tropical reef is so often like being on the inside of a giant aquarium I like that when I capture it in my photos. I got quite a lot I was please with from Bali.

Operatic Nemo. This little guy looked like he was singing an aria for me (in deep baritone). I also love him because he won me the end of trip competition in Bali.

Fish are friends not food. The amazing thing about whalesharks is what they eat. The largest fish in the sea eats the smallest thing, plankton. I liked this photo above the other more traditional mouth open whaleshark feeding shots because of the little remora fish swimming for all his worth to try and get out of the whalesharks mouth. Remora fish usually hook onto other sea creatures for a free ride so this scene amused me even though the little fish is in no danger.

London Triangles. This year I started a new photography degree course (and a new blog to go with it). I’ve had great fun trying to bend the exercises into my photographic areas of interest. This one was from an exercise on triangles and patterns. Its taken looking up into a building on the south bank.

Singapore skyline. We stopped over in Singapore for a few nights on our way to Cambodia and I indulged in my joy of panoramas with this one at night take from Marina Bay.

Duomo. We went on a city break with a friend of ours to Florence. Its long been on my ‘must see’ list of places to go and it didn’t disappoint. As with many beautiful cities, florence has been photographed millions of times. I really liked this view of the Duomo in the early morning. Its one of the only times to get near it when there are no people but as you can see there are still cars zipping by. For me it infuses old and new.

Contrasts Assignment. I had a lot of fun creating the lighting for this assignment with some desk lamps and tracing paper. You can see the whole assignment here.

Decorator crab. This little crab knows a thing or two about camouflage. He’s actually got live corals living on his shell to enable him to blend in more easily with the reef. I found him while searching for triangles for my second assignment.

Giant spotty fish. I like this whaleshark photo as it shows off his spots. As tradition dictated we could only refer to them as ‘giant spotty fish’ until we’d seen one in case we jinxed the trip.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Since choosing just ten is very hard its became tradition for me to briefly mention the spill over … (click for larger):

I hope you enjoyed reviewing my images of the year with me. If you’d like to see more I’ve put my fav 100 of 2012 here. Merry Christmas & Happy new year everyone!

I’m back…

…from Grand Cayman, Alex Mustard’s underwater photoworkshop.

Had a great time with Rays & Sharks & Earthquakes. Will tell you all about it with a review once I have more photos to display.

(c) Michael Toye

Best Photos 2009

Well again I’ve really enjoyed the agonizing process of choosing my top photos from the year. I’ve picked 100 photos and put them in a gallery here:

http://www.pbase.com/suzy_walker/best2009

This year I found many photos to choose from that I liked so I must be getting better at this photography malarkey (I hope you agree).  Again, we had a great year photo-opportunity-wise, we went to Raja Ampat (Indonesia) & the Red Sea (Egypt). We had some murder mayhem at the start of the year and We wandered around London experimenting with IR (failed) and HDR (better) techniques. The now closed Shunt Lounge at London Bridge provided some fun challenges too. And of course it wouldn’t be a photography year for me without playing with a bit of macro in the flat.

I tried to be good this year and only pick the best (and not just favourite – see my blog post here about choosing) but I think I failed and just chose what I liked most anyway ;)

So here are my top ten of 2009 (click them to see them larger):

#10 Angel in HDR. OK, we just moved out of London last week… I’ll admit it, I’m going to miss Angel. Probably not one of my best photos of the year but I wanted to mark the passing into our new life in 2010…

#9 Snapper explosion from Red Sea. See the full trip gallery here.

#8 James’ Mysterious device. See the full series here.

#7 Little fishy. Also from the red sea. These little guys are very quick but very graceful. I wanted to get a photo that showed that and I think this does.

#6 Mike & Suzy fish. Tiny glass fish blown into a glass fish bowl. Amazing item from Italy and I found it difficult to light.

#5 Fish tails. I loved the pattern they made. I’d have liked to get more in but the school was not really big enough.

#4 Leaf reflection. The Raja Ampat Mangroves were by far & away my fav experience this year! See the full gallery here

#3 Teeny Tiny bobtail squid. See Raja Ampat (not Mangroves) Underwater gallery here. This was a challenge & a 1/2! Night dive. Heavy lens & torch I could hardly hold up. Bobtail squid I could hardly see he was so small! Those white rocks in the photo are grains of sand & shell.

#2 Nemo. You know I cannot resist! I like the yellow he was on …

#1 360 degrees of paradise! Bit of a dodgy handheld panorama but it came out well …. click it to see a much larger size:

EDIT: a few people contacted me wanting to know why this wasnt on the list… so I thought I’d add it here as an honorable mention…

Color of the Year 2010 Turquoise

As you may know I’m a big fan of Mark Graf’s blog:  “Graf Nature Photography | Notes from the woods” .

Every year he does a Pantone Colour Of The Year post (I loved his Mimosa post last year). Well this year the colour is turquoise. A colour dear to my heart as an underwater photographer. Check out his post here. We all need a bit of tropical cheer in this snowy weather so here is a few turquoise images from me :)




New facebook fan page

If you are over on facebook why not stop by my page and become a fan?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzy-Walker-Photography/142248119589

These are some of the new photos I’ve uploaded:

North Red Sea 2009

I wanted to tell you a little about our recent trip to Egypt (as promised).

As usual, click on the images to see them at a larger size.

This is our second trip with Alex Mustard this year (our 1st was Raja Ampat in Feb) but this one was a full on photo-workshop.

We Flew to Egypt on Monarch (groan) into Sharm El Sheikh, luckily we didnt have to stay there, our liveaboard was waiting for us at the Military port. MV Whirlwind of the Tony Backhurst fleet was a very comfortable boat.

Alex runs this workshop trip ever year at this time to try and see the huge schools of snapper (& other large fish) that come to spawn in the area on these weeks. It was a little daunting as these fish are HUGE and because of the properties of the fisheye lens I was using I had to get very close to them! Also, strangely for this time of year the visibility wasn’t that great. Usually in the Red Sea the water is gin clear and you feel like you can see for miles. In amongst these snappers I feel like I was in a snow flurry so I am surprised I actually got any good photos of them.

We also head over to Tiran Island for a bit (since we weren’t having as much luck as usual with the Snapper). This trip was primarily a wide-angle trip but those who know me know I don’t go on any underwater jaunt without my trust 60mm macro lens. I tried to “go-wide” with that too this time to shoot some fish portraits but I couldn’t resist the odd tiny macro fish or occasional abstract.

We also saw a rather large amount of shipwrecks (this is the North Red Sea after all) including the Ghiannis D, Thistlegorm & Yolanda.

This was actually a treat (even though I’m not fussed about wrecks usually) because Mike has never seen the Thistlegorm & I’ve not been back since I first learnt to dive. I enjoyed seeing all the Motorbikes, trucks & things but I was still really spooked by the wellies. It was nice on the Ghiannis D too since we had Mr Alex (Magic Filters) Mustard himself with us to give us guidance on how to use them effectively. I still dont think I got the hang of it properly but it was good fun to try something new.

One of the things I really like about going on photo workshops in a group is you tend to meet really nice people. Everyone helps everyone else out. Julian ended up giving a load of us a Lightroom tutorial or two (and also taking me under his wing for my 1st snapper experience) so many thanks to him. Also, I’d like to thank Robin for being an excellent model & stand in buddy. And many thanks of course go to Alex for giving us such a great trip.

The only thing I was disappointed in (apart from getting really sick on the last day when we stayed in Sharm) was the poor moray eel I found who had a giant hook in his mouth :( C’mon people this is supposed to be a protected marine area! I guess the usually vigilant Egyptian authorities must have missed this one (or else he swam into the area from outside).

my full underwater gallery can be found here. Mikes above water gallery can be found here.

Ta Phrom Temple – Cambodia

Thought I’d have another go at trying to post process my film scans from Cambodia (from 2002). I took this with a (free gift) panoramic film camera,  just a basic point and shoot (one step up from a disposable). In retrospect I cannot believe I went to such amazing places with such a rubbish camera!

click on the image to see a larger version (which looks better).