2016

Let’s be honest: 2016 didn’t really go well for anybody (I even misspelt ‘really’ in the first draft of that sentence). That extended to this blog, where my lull at the end of 2015 never really went away into the new year. I completed my annual tradition posts of the Year in Pictures and my anniversary post, and then din’t publish any new material for over six weeks, only just getting Early Morning, Richmond Park out before the end of February. That post was shot in December 2014, during my annual recharge break, and somewhat annoyingly (and perhaps tantalisingly), the post was great – although I didn’t get many pictures of the deer I’d gone there to photograph, I got some misty winter sunrise shots I’m very proud of.

1/400, f/8, ISO 250, 24mm
1/400, f/8, ISO 250, 24mm

Another month passed before my next post, which was itself a bit delayed – a grab-bag of shots from my trip to Dorset in June 2015 which due to its nature of being a real assortment of images took a while to write. Like Early Morning, Richmond Park, I’m pleased with the quality of the images in Random Dorset, despite how long it took me to get it written, and the fact that it was probably only published at that time as filler because I had no more recent material to post.

1/250, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm
1/250, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm

I admit it: in 2016 I ran out of ideas. I didn’t shoot a lot, and when I did, I struggled to concentrate on editing the pictures, and writing up the results. A great example is Keyhaven Marshes, my next post of the year which came a whole five months after Random Dorset. At the start of the year, Holly and I resolved to go on more walks, the idea being to get out more, get some fresh air, and let me take more photographs. It didn’t last – we went on three walks, all in May, and then failed to go on any others.

The first walk was to Keyhaven Marshes, picked because it was on the edge of the New Forest, somewhere we’d not been to much before, and because it’s a nature reserve and so there would hopefully be wildlife to photograph. The latter turned out to be accurate, and I got a decent bunch of images of birds doing various things. Despite all this, it took three months to edit and write the post.

1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm

The Marshes post restarted this site, albeit briefly. Following it, I posted once a week for a couple of weeks, and then got a few more posts out every couple of weeks. Next was Lumiere London, again a post that had taken a while to publish as the photographs were taken back in February. This post had a lot of successful night photography in it, which always both enjoyable and a challenge, and is the most recent photowalk I’ve been on with longtime collaborator and friend Catherine.

1/60, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm
1/60, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm

The next week’s both was even older, featuring an assortment of images from my 2013 holiday to Cornwall. I had originally intended, when I started writing this post, to have it follow straight after Random Dorset which was published in March. I eventually completed it in early September. I was still pleased with the quality of the images, but it was a bit weird looking at photos I took over three years previously, trying to recall the circumstances of the shots in question, and having learnt a fair amount (probably) since I took them.

1/125, f/3.5, ISO 100, 20mm
1/125, f/3.5, ISO 100, 20mm

Next came the second of our three walks from May, a long old wander around Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. There was lots of new stuff in here, as I took some nice long exposures of the rocks, despite fighting constantly with an unsteady tripod not really up to dealing with the high winds we faced up there. This walk was great because it was us going somewhere we’d been before (Swanage) but then going and visiting a part of it Holly had never seen and I hadn’t seen in perhaps twenty years.

1/2000, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm
1/2000, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm

I closed out September with an Instagram post, which although I love them I only usually put out as filler. A problem I now face is that I have a rule that says I must have a number of posts between releases of Instagram posts, and I only just about put out that number in all of 2016, so I’m building up a surplus of great shots. The next Instagram post will be number #24, and hopefully we’ll be seeing that sooner rather than later.

Next followed another lull before the final post of the year, one that only took almost exactly a month from shooting to posting and came out just before Christmas. We visited Oslo in November, and for the first time in ages I had that desire to take pictures of nearly everything. I was able to experiment with editing as well, using Analog Efex Pro to get some interesting, cross-processing-esque results that I rather liked.

1/200, f/4, ISO 100, 105mm
1/200, f/4, ISO 100, 105mm

And… that was it. Only ten posts in the whole of 2016 – far, far short of my target of one every two weeks I set some time ago. I probably shot even less, meaning I turned to shots from 2015 and earlier I’d not released before to even achieve ten posts.

I am determined things will not be that bad next year. I don’t know yet what my targets are, whether once a fortnight will backfire or not work and if I should target something more reasonable. I do, admittedly, have a few sets taken in 2016 that haven’t seen the light of day which will be seen in 2017 as I try to get back the lost routine of shooting, posting and editing regularly.

If you’re still here, thanks for sticking around, and I hope you have a lovely 2017.

Rob

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