Highlights: 2021 – The year in review😀
This year has been another odd one, the start was pretty hard. As we went into another lockdown at the start of January, I tested positive with COVID-19, then came the 10 day isolation period. It was tough to get over it and I wouldn’t say I have got fully over it yet, nearly a year later I’m still struggling to taste and smell properly. During this time, I got my website up to date after it failed in late December last year. This included a complete rebuild from where it was before. so here is a little bit about the year, the highlights and some photos along the way.
The first few months of the year we were restricted from going out as much, so my photography was focused around being around the local area and in and around my home. I undertook a photography project called the 50/50 from the 4th of January for 50 days. It was a project I wanted to complete since I was at university. I will explain a little more later on.
In March I went back to part time working, preparing to reopen all of the hotels with whole new menus, point of sale, and with that came food photography at all of the hotels to prepare our websites and social media for reopening in May. During this time I also started to get out a bit more, but mostly focused on going to the local woodlands and forests to gain more experience of woodland photography. My aim was to capture the bluebells and heather this year. As I had missed it because of lockdowns in 2020. I was lucky enough to take that chance in May in a few local locations.
As we went into the summer I was back to work full time, and my photography went back to the weekend pursuit, barring a week off in September where I was able to explore the local area and go on some long walks around our heaths and forests with camera in hand. I took photos at my friends wedding and that was good to experience. I also started to go towards the coast again, after a little bit of a hiatus. A conscience decision as I have found the coast has become too familiar in some respects. It called for more woodland and heath based visits as it had tickled my fancy earlier in the year.
Autumn came a little later this year, but it didn’t disappoint by visiting one of my favourite spots I have visited more times this year than I ever have allowed me to capture the russet browns and the copper oranges of autumn as the world started to look to hibernation for the winter.
Winter called for less trips out because of a number of storms that hit the country, with my photography mainly on the weekends. I decided I would only go out a few times, as well having a COVID booster that knocked me back for a few days. I planned a few trips out in December after writing and planning most of this, so those will be included in my December highlights in January.
Through the first part of the year, I undertook the a challenge using just a 50mm lens for 50 days. It was quite an interesting project, I wanted to complete back when I was at University. It gave me to the chance to work with the limitation of having a single prime lens to capture my everyday life. I wrote a set of blogs to go with them, and I was able to focus my creativity during a very interesting period in my life. It is something I would consider doing again possibly, but with a different view to capture more of my everyday life.
Although it has been an odd year, I’ve still been photographing as much as I can. Here a few of the favourites from each month of the year.
The Gallery Box
So I have been lucky enough to exhibit more than once this year at The Gallery Box in Beach Street in Felixstowe. It was a good lesson in preparing my work for exhibition. The last time I had exhibited work was for my degree show in 2015. I was able to take the opportunity in August after the original plan for February was scarpered by a lockdown. The theme in the summer was fittingly Sun, Sea and Sand, as a photographer my work is primarily focused on the sun and also on getting to the coast I certain was able to fit my work into the theme. I was invited back by Victoria in December to participate in the theme of Joy. It’s also become a little outlet for some of my work, as I have been selling my calendar from there and also I have some cards and postcards available to purchase as well.
Top 5 Images
So I always do it, as a way of capturing my favourites and the highlights from the year, I have pick my top 5 images. Here they are, if you have any favourites do let me know.
Phantoms, Pin Mill
Pin Mill, a place I have visited frequently and I seemed to always come back disappointed, until this trip. Previously the conditions, the tides and the location have all been against against me and what I had planned. I had always wanted to get down to visit the wrecks, while the tides were higher. I spent my first few moments setting up for a long exposure and took my shot to get the composition correct and then went for it. It ended up being a 3 minute exposure. This image was alsochosen in the ‘Lee filters your view’collection for August 2021.
Eulogize, Blaxhall Heath
The heather being in bloom is one of the things I wanted to capture, having visited so many places in the previous year, I thought I should find a location closer to home. I chose to scout this place on another trip to the adjacent forest and as I walked around I knew it would be a great place to capture the sunrise, with the heather in bloom. As we arrived, the sky was pretty bleak, but there was an ounce of a chance the mist could appear.
Luckily it did! The mist rolled in as we walked into the heathland engulfing the heather and giving me a lot of opportunity to capture the atmosphere it brings with it. The atmosphere was the one thing I wanted to have along with the heather.
This shot was about three or four weeks and a couple of years in the making. The location in questions is one of the best places to see bluebells in bloom. I had been trying to get there for a couple of weeks, and every time I visited the car park was too full. I had also tried the same sort of images a few of years ago, but didn’t have the same ability I do now with a camera to capture what I was seeing. The carpet of purples surrounding the old ancient trees, the light and the conditions all came together and I was in my element as the sun rose through a small gap in the trees on the edge of the woodland.
The location in question is one I’ve visited, with family members over the years and also felt it was special. Because of the way it has given some magical moments. This woodland has a herd of deer, that live on the grounds and on a number of occasions I have been greeted with the deer as I have walked into the woodland, its even more magical when the world is still asleep and there is no other soul around.
I have chosen not to disclose the exact location, to keep the place in good shape for years to come. It’s an ancient woodland and the bluebells thrive, but they don’t survive very well when they are not treated properly.
Times Like These, Aldeburgh
I shot this on a trip out for work. One of the jobs I was doing was to produce a video for an event. To start the video I chose to capture the sunrise on the coast. Two of the hotels I work for are in Aldeburgh, I felt it would be good to capture the sunrise to represent their location.
One morning in September I took myself off to the beach at Aldeburgh to capture the sunrise about The Shell. I have been a few times and never really been lucky enough to capture the right conditions in Aldeburgh. On this occasion I was in the right place at the right time.
Burnt Sienna, Suffolk
I took this shot in November, I stopped off on my way back from catching the sunrise on the Suffolk coast. I went towards one of my favourite woodlands and knew it would be filled with autumn colours, there was this gorgeous morning light just breaking through the edges of thetree line. It didn’t disappoint, the beech trees
at this point in the year are perfect as they start to have this rusty orange glow as they start to shed their leaves.
A great trip in and amongst the trees made perfect by the stillness of the air. It’s very interesting to see the world change, for it to start to move from the colours of summer into those of autumn.
Something I have been working on has been my food photography, as I work for hotels and restaurants its been the perfect place to capture more and more great food being produced in Suffolk.
It’s also great to have learnt what works and what doesn’t, mostly using natural light and the beautifully plated food from some very talented chefs I have been able to capture some of the different food that is offered on the menus. With the support from my colleagues we have been able to start to create and really understand the way the best ways to capture the food we have on offer. It’s something we will continue to develop as we’ll take more photos.Have a flick through and see some of my favourites.
Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed my little walk through the last year. It’s has been a busy year full of different opportunities. Here is to 2022, I look forward to sharing my photography over the coming year. Happy New Year!