Best Photos 2010

Once again its that time of year when I look back and reflect on my photography throughout the year. I’ve put them into a gallery on pbase here:

I’ve only managed to pick just under 80 this year which isnt a great sign dispite having some great opportunites. This year we’ve been underwater in Grand Cayman Island and the North Red Sea (Egypt). Around the UK we’ve tripped to Dorset , Essex and been out in London down by the Eye at night. I tried my hand at photographing Shirleys Garden (for which she won Silver in the local council garden awards). And as per normal I’ve been playing with macro around the house and garden. The one thing I’ve really enjoyed this year is getting to grips with my iphone 4, although I think it makes me lazy because I dont want to lug my huge DSLR out now but more creative because I take more photos than I used to. That being said cheated this year and added a new category – top 10 iphone photos.

I had to go back in time to read this post I wrote over a year ago about choosing your best photos because I did a post as recently as September for my favourite shots of the year so I wanted this post to reflect my best (if at all possible).

Top 10 photos:

#- In Cayman at the sandbar we found this shell and I love how it brings colour against the bland sand

#- I got to help with Alex when he was playing with his off camera strobe inside the Ghannis D wreck in the Red Sea and enjoyed it so much I got one of my very own made. I’m looking forward to trying this technique out more next year.

#- I think Sally here (Sally the Sailfin) was a highlight of our Cayman trip, we didnt get to do much macro but all my personal favs were macro as they usually are 😉

#- I found this little tiny crab under the boat in a tiny piece of dead looking coral. One of his brothers actually atached himself to my lanyard (which was resting on the seabed) and ended up back on the dive deck. I rescued him though and put him back in the sea.

#- Mike & I dont often see sharks so to see this grey reef shark in Cayman was a treat for us. I had a 60mm lens on because the sharks dont come too close. I like the graphic almost pencil drawn feel to my post processing of this one.

#- Cardinal fish males brood their fertilized eggs in their mouths to protect them while they incubate. It was facinating watching him, every moment or so he would open his mouth to allow fresh water to oxygenate the eggs.

#- Stingray sandbar was my fav dive in Cayman and it isnt even a dive. Its a hold breath & sink sort of affair in waist high water 🙂

#- Secretary blennys are just too cute. They hole up in the coral and peek out.

#- When we go to the Red Sea I love the anthias, they bring so much colour to the reef and look great orange against blue

#- In Cayman there were some little caves with glass fish in them that would swirl around in the beams of sunlight coming though the ceilings.

Top 10 iphone photos:

Alexs leaving do (panorama stitched on the iphone):

Dorset fields on a summers day:

Cheddar Gorge:

Butterflies in my nans garden:

Q models some excellent 3D specs in the car:

my first snowman:

C & Q in leaky hamster balls:

Nans flowers:

Dorset mobile phone HDR (before HDR was on the iphone4 automatically):

Snowy garden:

Honorable Mentions:

land photos: click them for larger versions:

#- Theres a famous quote (I forget who by but you can google it) about painting with light. Thats what attracts me to the london eye photo. And I enjoyed testing out HDR at the henge

#- this year I really enjoyed playing with the macro lens in the garden

#- ever wondered what its like to live in a dandelion? Or to see a toadstool upclose?


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:

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 🙂

Best Photos 2008?

What a year 2008 was, and fashionably late (as usual) I’ve finally got around to selecting my fav photos taken in 2008.

Here’s the gallery (39 pics) but I’ve refined it down to ten. Probably not the best technically but I enjoyed taking them and they are favs for a variety of reasons.

top ten:
#10: Elastic band from my macro mystery series. I loved doing this series. The challenge was to find a new mystery to photograph everyday and to upload the answer to the previous days mystery.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘macro mystery’ gallery.

#9: Also from my macro mystery series, 13 inches.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘macro mystery’ gallery.

#8: Plastic Flower, from my swimming pool sessions with Martin Edge. This was the first time I’d used an SLR underwater (Martin lent me his for this session) and the first time I’d dived in a swimming pool. I like seeing something so obviously fake made beautiful just by adding water.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Swimming Pool’ gallery.

#7: Schooling Jacks & diver, taken in Bali. I wasn’t all that happy with the photos from Bali as a whole, I’d not been practicing with my camera before we went away and I think it showed in the images I got my the trip. I did like this one however, who can resist swirly fish and a diver in the background 😉

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Bali underwater’ gallery.

#6: Blue, from my Venice carnival photos. This photo seems to get the most hits on my Venice gallery and was one of my favs from the trip.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Venice Carnival’ gallery.

#5: Panoramic view from the Empire State building in New York, I loved New York so much more than I thought I would! I stitched together 11 massive RAW files and almost broke my boyfriends new pc (oops). Best when viewed at the larger size (I didnt even try and upload the massive original), even he was impressed.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Panoramas’ gallery and click here to see the rest of my ‘New York’ gallery.

#4: Nemo! I’ve found you! Again! You can’t usually go into tropical waters without passing these little guys, usually very cross with you for being there so close to their homes but darn it if they are not just so cute in photos!

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Cebu, Philippines’ gallery.

#3: This very obliging octopus sat for his portrait in Egypt on our trip to the brothers. I love his texture.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘brothers liveaboard’ gallery.

#2: Tassled hawkfish kissing? Well, maybe just snuggled up together for a few seconds to peer at me. Its unusual for these guys to sit like this together, they seemed to like me though because they both kept coming back to the same branch. Unfortunately this bush was at about 26m so I had to make 3 or 4 dives to catch this one.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Cebu, Philippines’ gallery.

and finally #1: Scad fish, taken in Egypt. The first time I’ve tried to take schooling fish with a macro lens. I love the blue and silver colours and the burst of bubbles behind all their grumpy little faces.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘brothers liveaboard’ gallery.

I hope you enjoyed my top 10 🙂