2015 Countdown #20-16
We’re at another year’s end and this year I thought I’d do something a little different. I reviewed the images we have released online and decided to rank them based on their popularity and visibility. All of these images have personal value of some sort otherwise I would not have put them online in the first place, but some were shot with specifically with sharing in mind. Over and above this, they all have a back story which is either about the shoot itself, about the discussion it generated, or perhaps even controversies in landscape photography! There are many images which are personal favourites that don’t make this list (among the many which do!)but I’ll reserve a blog post dedicated to these images later in the countdown.
Photographically, it has been a great year for us. We have had very little time to do any local shooting and so nearly all of our images have arisen from three trips. The first was a 5 day trip without the kids to Karijini National Park in April. The second was a very tiring road trip to the Victorian Alps in June. And finally, we took a two week holiday to New Zealand in September during which we actually had good health instead of suffering from the various child care associated infections rife during spring.
Marianne has been on extended maternity leave which has allowed some time at home to get organised in terms of updating our site for content. As a result we’ve been able to establish stronger relationships with several print companies and australian photography magazine in particular. We’ve also released a few ebooks and the first batch of instructional videos in a planned series (albeit a very long term plan). We tried a calendar skype session which was successful but not sustainable due to time pressures from work and family.
On the social media front, there’s been more of an emphasis on instagram given our rather borked facebook account and its ghost followers. On the real life social front, we met a great many present and future famous photographers of the FOCUS group when invited as a judge for their awards in Sydney. We also managed to obtain a new Nisi filter system to try out and review (see previous blog post). Next year will probably be a quieter year photographically as Marianne returns to work and I’ll be struggling to get periods of leave with the new hospital opening.
Now, let’s get to the images and associated points of discussion!! Social media says………
#20 : The Bloody Nuns
This image was was taken from the Wakefield Falls runoff looking east at the Nuns Veil range in Mount Cook National Park. It’s a vertorama image , a format I’ve been meaning to do more of. That streak of red was very short lived before thick cloud obscured any light happening above. It’s interesting to note that I had posted a vertical frame of this scene after the light had passed for a more pure monochromatic feel. Although not controversial as such, I feel that we’re often going against the norm by showing more than just one image from each shoot. I feel that our style of interaction with social media has always been more of a conversation starter rather than a punchy speech conclusion. I don’t mind the world seeing that not every shot that is recorded on our sensors is a winner. If images show a certain fallibility , then it’s all good for others to learn from our mistakes! This image would rank very highly on my personal favourites from the year.
#19 : Mount Feathertop
This image was taken at the start of the snow season at Mount Hotham after we were taking shelter for the first 24 hours of trip. Prior to this trip, we had invested in a 24-70F2.8 II lens and its quality was so amazing that I had been actively looking to take more images with it rather than the traditional wider focal lengths offered by the 16-35 range. This image also has some ‘light bleed’ and some vertical stretching above the midline. With any post processing effect, I would be hoping that these were not that obvious, particularly for photographers who know this scene and its lighting possibilities. Personally, I kinda like this scene but if it somehow ended up escaping from my backup hard drives, I would not be shattered!
#18: Lake Heron
Marianne took this image after snowy conditions had prevailed for the previous 24 hours. We were staying across the lake at Lake Heron Station which is a beautiful location at the northern end of the lake. Only 12 hours earlier, this exact location was covered with snow and ice but for some reason I chose an alternative location to shoot that dawn. Sometimes, being spoiled for choice leads to the most indecision! Personally, another one of those shots we like enough to share but don’t absolutely love.
#17: Oxer Lookout
This image was taken overlooking the junction of Karijini’s main gorges with Weano Gorge directly under the pillar of stones I was sitting on. A recent discussion on one of our images made me reflect upon the question of ‘why is the person in the selfie?’. Is it for scale, impact, giving a sense of peril or adventure? I guess you could say all of that but the most important reason for is fun. After I’ve taken my intended shots, I’ll do a couple of selfies just for fun, personal memories and for posting on social media. I have another set of exploring the night selfies which are more about appreciation and humility in nature. This one would not go up on our site as a print for sale ! In fact, I’m not sure why this image was so popular lol.
#16: Tasman Lake
This image was taken on our arrival to the Mount Cook region in September. There were some even more amazing clouds looking behind this scene down the mouth of the Tasman River but the composition was pretty much all about the light for that image. During our trips, it’s also nice to meet up with fellow travelers or local photographers . On this evening I met Chris Carter, a UK photographer who had been travelling the country since early 2015. This shot is one of my favourites from the recent trip.
Stay tuned for the next post : #11-15