Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2012 Review

Well it is a tad delayed for which I apologise however here is a quick summary of the past year. 2012 was without a doubt the most successful and enjoyable year for my photography and I have enjoyed numerous wildlife encounters and competition success.

The year got off to a slow start but by spring I had a number of photographic projects running simultaneously. I followed a local Great Crested Grebe and managed some nice shots by shooting with the reeds as a reflected background:

I also got to work on a Kingfisher project. I did not have as much time with the birds as I perhaps would have liked, which limited the experimentation stage of the project, however this is something I am keen to work on next summer...

2012 was the year for me to photograph a variety of different wildlife  in order to discover which I found the most interesting; this led me to photograph some absolutely wonderful species...

I was particularly captivated by Firecrests, a rare species which I am lucky enough to have breeding 10 minutes away from my home!

Over my June half term I went on a family holiday to France. Despite not being a holiday dedicated to photograph, I was still able to photograph an array of new and exciting species, some of which would simply not have been possible back here in the UK...

With 8 weeks off during the summer holidays, I returned once again to some local projects. The results were mixed (as is so often the way with wildlife photography) but I achieved some of my best photographs at this time, one of which won a major international competition. Winning RHS International Junior Garden Photographer of the Year was without a doubt one of the highlights of my year. It resulted in my photograph appearing in 'The Telegraph' and 'The Independent'! Below is the winning photograph, and a previously unseen shot of these birds' nest site (of course during this project the birds were not disturbed by myself or by the camera)!

You may have noticed I usually focus almost exclusively on photographing birds, however this year I also took up macro photography. It was a bit of an experiment and a huge learning curve, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I began with simply reversing my kit lens, but found the depth of field far too restrictive, especially with invertebrates that were constantly on the move. This led to me purchasing a dedicated macro lens at the end of this year so the macro photography will hopefully continue and improve in 2013!

Furthermore I enjoyed ventures to Norfolk (allowing me to get close portraits of Bearded Reedlings - a favourite bird of mine!) and to Shropshire/Mid Wales, allowing me to photograph Red Kites well for the first time; both are areas I will be returning too in 2013!

As if all of the above was not good enough, the end of 2012 was perhaps the best. Once again Waxwings invaded (see my previous blog post for photographs) and I enjoyed trips to photograph rare and exciting species, two of which are below:

The year ended with another photo competition win which can also be found on my previous blog post.

Well, if you have made it this far, you have done well. Sorry it is so long, but 2012 has been a great year for me. I am not quite sure what I will be up to in 2013, but with my GCSEs in June, I am unlikely to have as much time to do photography related things as I would like. I have 4-5 'mini projects' I will be working on, including Kingfishers, Firecrests, Little Owls and the other 2 I will keep quiet for now! Thank you very much for reading and please stop back soon for some wader photographs!

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