I spent a couple of days at my parents' house in late January, and wandered down to the Chess Valley on a couple of mornings. The English landscape can be so stunning and serene, and looks particularly lovely covered in frost (something we're missing right now!).
|The wonderful Chess Valley near Chenies|
|Hoar frost on rose hips on an incredible January morning in the Chess Valley|
I went to Iceland a little earlier than usual this year, in mid-February - to see if it would be any different from late March. It wasn't really - quite a bit of snow, some dreadful weather de-railing a few plans, but a far more sociable sunrise time (so much more sleep). I had some pretty good weather and northern lights, and all in all it was a successful trip. The kind people at Tiffen had given me a few filters to try out, which is always nice.
|A patch of sun lights up a tourist on Jökulsárlón Beach|
|Iceberg still-life on Jökulsárlón Beach|
|When the sun comes out over Jökulsárlón lagoon it can be quite spectacular|
|Northern Lights over Hali, south-east Iceland|
|A beautiful, peaceful morning at Jökulsárlón Beach|
|My favourite tree in Iceland. Yes, I have a favourite tree...|
|Icelandic horses are just so pretty!|
|Another moody scene in Iceland, taken near Hvalnes with my Tiffen Apex 10-stop filter|
|Teddy bear face in the ice at Hvalnes beach|
|Imposing mountains at Hvalnes in rather nasty weather, using the Apex filter again|
|Waves falling over the rocks at Hvalnes Beach on a horrid day|
|Seaweed on Hvalnes Beach|
|Using the Apex 10-stop filter again over the dunes at Stokksnes|
|One of my favourite shots of the year - water trails over pebbles at Stokksnes (made National Geographic Photo of the Day on their website!)|
|Waves at Jökulsárlón Beach; another favourite|
|There are reindeer in south-east Iceland. Funny looking chaps. The 100-400mm lens I hired helped to get a little closer|
|Sunrise at Reynisfjara beach. It was so cold I actually thought my fingers were going to fall off when I got back to the car|
In March we revisited Bruges and its surrounds. Some nice beer, a lovely cycle along the canal to Damme again and some more nice beer.
|Trees reflected in the canal near Damme - just love those canals and cycling along them|
|Tasty beer at De Garre in Bruges|
|Canal at dusk in Bruges|
|Delicious sugar pancakes at Damme in the sunshine overlooking the canal. Nom nom nom...|
|A woman cycles along the cobbled streets of Bruges - pretty timeless shot!|
No travel, but played around with a few macro shots of fruit and smoke, before heading out to the countryside to capture the bluebells.
|A macro shot of a slice of lime, backlit|
|My first attempt at photographing incense smoke|
|A carpet of bluebells in Philipshill Woods, near Chorleywood, where I grew up - how did I miss that in my childhood?|
I made another trip to the bluebells of Philipshill Woods for a photoshoot with my friend Alli and her baby Stella.
|Stella in the bluebells of Philipshill Woods|
|Bluebell blur and new leaves in Philipshill Woods, Chorleywood|
The other highlight of the month was getting my first ever magazine cover printed! It was for the Beverage Journal (a booze-industry publication in Maryland, US), via a brief on Imagebrief. Here's a screenshot:
|My first-ever magazine cover. Hopefully more next year!|
We took at last-minute trip to Japan, in the rainy season, just before I started a new (proper) job. We'd been before together, and it was a wonderful trip back there, enjoying many of the local beers, as well as the incredible sights and sites. The weather was generally dreadful, but fortunately there's loads to do (and eat, and drink) even when it's raining and grey.
|Miyajima, near Hiroshima, helped to stave off the jetlag|
|On a miserable day, but still striking - Kinkaku-ji temple, Kyoto (the crowds are behind me - it's a lot less peaceful than it looks here)|
|The big bamboo walk at Arashiyama, Kyoto - not quite as impressive in the flesh with hundreds of other people|
|My favourite temple complex in Kyoto - Fushimi-Inari - worth heading up the hill and waiting until the crowds die out|
|The "snow monkeys" at Jigokudani, near Nagano - so human!|
|The "snow monkeys" at Jigokudani, near Nagano - good time to see the babies|
|The "snow monkeys" at Jigokudani, near Nagano - just chillin' out in the hot spring, even in summer|
|Difficult to visit (you have to be up very very early) but worth the effort - the tuna market at Tsukiji in Tokyo|
|Frozen tuna whisked off on a cart at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo|
|Salarymen on their way home in Tokyo. I thought Londoners were a hard-drinking lot - appears the Japanese are too|
|The view from our room at the Park Hyatt, Tokyo (a one-night splurge) - probably the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in (er, definitely)|
|Shibuya crossing, Tokyo - didn't get the best vantage point - a reason to return...|
|Buildings and trees, near the Imperial palace in Tokyo - loved the juxtaposition|
I started my new job at the beginning of July, so from then on the photography took a back seat. I occasionally take my 5Diii to work in the City with me, but not very often.
|I love the mish-mash of old and new in the City of London. In 2016 I plan to do a bit more on my "mish-mash" project|
|Who says you can't take photos in harsh light? Sometimes I think it works...|
No trips, but a couple of photo-shoots in the City, again.
|I do love the Lloyds Building. It's rather over-shadowed by its neighbours now...|
|Guys with pints and the Shard on a lovely summer's night (English salarymen...)|
|Not my favourite new building, at all, but actually can look quite good from certain angles: the Walkie Talkie|
|The City of London skyline has become a bit of a strange mish-mash of old and new and weird|
The highlight of September was probably the blood moon (lunar eclipse) - another one! The previous year was a bit of a disaster, but I was a little better prepared for this one (it was also much easier, taking the shot from my front path). I played around with the results and made lots of silly patterns (I still think they're quite cool).
|Totality of the lunar eclipse, taken from my front path on a luckily clear night in London|
|The stages of the lunar eclipse, patched together. I went back to bed before the moon returned|
We had a weekend in the Peak District at the beginning of October to celebrate out wedding anniversary, but the weather and light was terrible, so no highlights there! I did a few more shoots in London, including a 'sunset' at Richmond Park (awful flat light too) and a time-lapse day for Trigger Trap again (global this time - have a look here - some of the clips along the River Thames are mine!).
|A little kissing action in Richmond Park (I saw more action, but who wants to see deer having sex!)|
At the end of the month I returned to my beloved Iceland for another 10-day trip.
|Steamy river at Nesjavellir, in the Golden Circle area of Iceland (brilliant road to get there!)|
|A serene scene at the southern end of Þingvallavatn|
|My favourite rocks in Iceland. Yes, as well as a favourite mountain and tree I have favourite rocks in Iceland too.|
The rest of my Iceland trip. And there were some magical moments, most of them on Jökulsárlón beach.
|Photo time at Jökulsárlón lagoon at sunset|
|Sunrise at Jökulsárlón Beach, my favourite place in the world|
|Sunrise at Jökulsárlón Beach (I love the wave patterns in this shot!)|
|Sunrise at Jökulsárlón Beach|
|A patch of sun over the icebergs in Jökulsárlón lagoon|
|A touch of northern lights over Jökulsárlón lagoon|
|A lovely sunrise over the loveliest of beaches - Jökulsárlón|
|Another of my year's real favourites - the pebbles on Jökulsárlón beach and their shadows - out of this world!|
|Pink iceberg in the morning light of Jökulsárlón beach|
|Pretty damned impressive northern lights show at Hali|
|Sunrise on my favourite beach, Jökulsárlón|
|Trees between Jökulsárlón lagoon and Höfn|
|Even in crappy weather Iceland is still stunning|
|Stokksnes looks better in amazing light, but it's still pretty impressive|
|Another of the year's real favourites - I took a few hundred shots of the yellow cabin at Stafafell and joined them together to get some awesome star trail shots. The northern lights came out to play too.|
|A wet day that may have permanently left my Canon 5Diii with water damage. It was gorgeous though and beat sitting in the cabin (again)...|
|I just LOVE driving in Iceland!|
|Finally a patch of decent light at Stokksnes... just before I have to leave|
|Always so moody at Vík beach|
|Great light driving near Hali|
|Visible rain (my favourite kind of rain) in the distance, over Reynisfjara beach (it soon came and hit me so I dashed back to the car - didn't want to damage my 60D too...)|
|Another of the year's favourite shots - the wrecked DC3 near Vík, with Pétursey in the distance bathed in light|
|Essence of Skógafoss|
|I love this waterfall - Urriðafoss|
At the end of the month we headed to Hay-on-Wye to celebrate Thanksgiving with some American friends. Rubbish weather - again! - but we did have the occasional glimpse of loveliness...
|The view from our cottage near Hay-on-Wye - not too shabby (when the sun came out)|
|A glimpse of distant sun again in the Brecon Beacons|
The photography in December was predominantly about my 30 day photo challenge, which like last year wasn't brilliant as I was quite lacking in inspiration. One subject keeps coming up again and again - my lovely cocker spaniel, Henry.
|Henry looking adorable, as usual (I'm biased)|