2017 – Best 12 Photographs of the Year

This is a retrospective blog looking back on the last 12 months. I’ve gone through the years work and picked out my personal favourite pictures which tell the story of 2017.

Portrait of shopkeeper, Medina, Fes el Bali, Fes, Morocco, North Africa

Portrait of shopkeeper, Medina, Fes el Bali, Fes, Morocco, North Africa | Nikon D810 with Nikon 50mm, 1/250th at f/1.8 and ISO 400.

The year began in Morocco, we began in Tangier and finished in the ancient city of Fes, where this portrait of a shopkeeper was taken. My girlfriend Carolina had been buying a ridiculous quantity of paprika from him, and I asked for a portrait after their transaction. We spent a couple of days happily shopping and taking pictures around the maze-like old town of Fes.

Landscape near Hpa-an at dawn, Kayin State. Myanmar, Asia

Landscape near Hpa-an at dawn, Kayin State. Myanmar, Asia | Nikon D810 with Nikon 80-400mm, 1/60th at f/8 and ISO 64.

Later in January I spent 3 weeks in Myanmar aka Burma. It was a tranquil and productive trip, during 3 weeks I got a huge amount of material shot. This was before the Rohingya crisis came to the world’s attention.

The image above was shot in the little visited south east of the country; Hpa-an province, a beautiful landscape of karst mountains and cave temples. On this morning as the early sunlight spread across the scene a farmer was bringing his livestock out to pasture – he couldn’t have timed it any better!

Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland | Nikon D810 with Nikon 24mm PC, 30 seconds at f/11 and ISO 64.

February was a busy month for commercial assignments but I took advantage of one job to spend some time exploring and shooting County Antrim in Northern Ireland. I’d wanted to shoot The Giant’s Causeway since art college, where I had come across a picture of this location by Tom Mackie. On this cold February afternoon I got some colours in the twilight sky, this picture was made by shooting 3 images then merging them together in post production to create the panoramic.

View of Sasso Barisano at night, Matera, Basilicata, Italy, Europe

View of Sasso Barisano at night, Matera, Basilicata, Italy | Nikon D810 with Nikon 24mm PC, 5 seconds at f/8 and ISO 100.

For Easter we visited Italy in an 8 day trip taking in Naples, Pompei, Amalfi Coast and Puglia region before flying back from Bari. This was taken in the historical old city of Matera as twilight fell. It had been a cold and overcast day but the moody skies were ideal for this picture, justifying hanging around, and carrying the tripod there.

Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia & Hercegovina

Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia & Hercegovina| Nikon D810 with Nikon 80-400mm, 0.8 seconds at f/11 and ISO 40.

May saw me in the Balkans. I planned a trip with my cousin flying into Sarajevo in Bosnia and continuing overland through Croatia, Montenegro before ending in Albania. The Kravice Waterfalls are a famous landmark in Bosnia & Hercegovina, and I was lucky enough to find this gentleman fishing at the foot of the falls.

Dawn in The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Dawn in The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro| Nikon D810 with Nikon 80-400mm, 1/20th at f/11 and ISO 31.

The Bay of Kotor was one of my highlights of the Balkan trip, we stayed for 4 nights and could have happily stayed longer. The village seen across the water in the image above is called Perast; an ideal place to stay if you ever wanted to get away from it all and write a novel, whilst having superb Mediterranean cuisine available in the lake-side restaurants.

I got up early for this frame, hoping to find clear reflections in the water and mist lingering above the Bay. It wasn’t quite as good as I hoped but this one came out well, guess I’ll have to return in the winter to get those kind of conditions.

Portrait of Schkure Gummnorte, The Accursed Mountains, Theth, Albania

Portrait of Schkure, The Accursed Mountains, Theth, Albania | Nikon D810 with Nikon 24-700mm, 1/320th at f/2.8 and ISO 100.

Albania followed Montenegro, we travelled north to visit The Accursed Mountains, mainly because of their name. I met Schkure near the village of Theth and wanted to capture an environmental portrait that would show both person and location context.

Facade of building, Riga, Latvia, Baltic States, Europe

Facade of building, Riga, Latvia, Baltic States | Nikon D810 with Nikon 45mm PC, 1/125th at f/11 and ISO 100.

I spent most of the summer in London, it is a time when I’m most happy being at home so never tend to travel much, however I did get to the Baltic cities of Tallinn (Estonia) and Riga (Latvia) in August.

Reflections on Building at dusk, London, UK

Reflections on Building at dusk, London, UK | Nikon D810 with Nikon 80-400mm, 1/13th at f/9 and ISO 100.

Late October, Autumn is always a productive for me shooting in the UK, whether in London or if I have time to travel further.  This is a building you can see from the northern end of London Bridge, I’ve used it for these reflection previously when working on a timelapse sequence of London. As the colours developed in the western skies I noticed all of the tourists and commuters pointing their camera-phones directly at the sunset.

The assumption is always that the best sunset picture is where the sun has just gone down, but it is often not the case, here I turned 90 degrees to aim my long lens (80-400mm zoom) at these magnificent reflections of the October sunset.

Autumn colours in Epping Forest last week - its a wonderful time of year for a walk in the woods.

Autumn colours in Epping Forest, London. | Nikon D810 with Nikon 19mm PC, 1/6th at f/16 and ISO 64.

The Autumn colours usually peak late October to early November, and you don’t have to leave London to find some stunning scenery. Epping forest is on the north eastern outskirts of the city, but just within the m25. The forest has become a local favourite of mine, more so now I live in East London. For this picture I used a Nikon 19mm PC lens and stitched together 3 frames, shifted vertically. No filters were used but I did balance the contrast levels in post production, bringing back some shadow and highlight detail.

Dome of Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Valletta, Malta

Dome of Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Valletta, Malta | Nikon D810 with Nikon 80-400mm, 1/1000th at f/5.6 and ISO 100.

At the end of November I went out to Malta on assignment, the brief was to shoot the 2018 Capital of Culture, and Malta’s capital: Valletta, documenting its architecture, night-life, food and streets. This is taken from the hotel rooftop, which provided a unique vantage point over the medieval old town of Valletta.

Sunset skies over London.  | Nikon D810 with Nikon 80-400mm, 1/60th at f/7.1 and ISO 200.

The year culminates with this image taken from my apartment block rooftop on 11th December 2017. Sitting in my office I could see the potential for a great sunset developing as a stormy sky cleared up through the afternoon. When I got to the rooftop I wasn’t disappointed, the beautiful twilight sky was spread across the horizon over the city. Here you can see the iconic shape of The Shard on the left, and the Square Mile of London on the right.

Which was your favourite? Leave a comment below…

 

2 thoughts on “2017 – Best 12 Photographs of the Year

  1. I love all of them but the one in Kayin State is my favourite. I love the colours and the farmer and his cows. As always, brilliant photography from an amazing photographer.

    Like

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