Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012 - My Photography Highlights

As 2012 comes to a close, it's time for me to wrap-up the year and summarise my photography highlights.  With so many things going on outside photography for me in the last 12 months, it was always going to be tricky to fit much photography in, but I'm pleased to have still had some successes:

  • Highly commended in the British Wildlife Photography Awards
  • Photographing three endemic species in Ethiopia - the Ethiopian Wolf, the Gelada Baboon, and the Walia Ibex 
  • Some Olympics London 2012 photographs
  • A shot or two of the Northern Lights
  • Earning £281.03 from microstock sales, including some timelapse footage for the first time 
  • Seeing waxwings for the first time
  • Helping reunite someone with their camera

BWPA Awards - Highly Commended

It was a pleasant surprise to hear that I'd been Highly Commended in the British Wildlife Photography Awards.  As well as featuring in their exhibition which was hosted at the Mall Galleries, London, my image also features in their great book:

My image is available to buy in a variety of sizes/formats from Photobox:


My honeymoon was in Ethiopia this year and I was lucky enough to get some shots of some pretty rare animals, including the Ethiopian Wolf:


It's not everyday that the Olympics come to ones home city, so I was delighted to have some success in the ticket applications and got to see a variety of events.  As a normal punter in the stands, I was never going to get great images, but I still have terrific memories of the most amazing spectacle.  Some images are available to see in my recent posting.

Northern Lights

More details and photographs here, but pleased to have made the most of tricky conditions:


Microstock sales

For 2012, I had earnings of £281.03, which as you'll see from the chart below, with one agency, Shutterstock, being the most significant part:

I didn't have much time to take/upload many images this year, but the Shard in London, is starting to sell OK:

My latest images for sale at Shutterstock:

... but my most popular images are the usual suspects:

My most popular images for sale at Shutterstock:

My first sold piece of timelapse imagery can be seen here.


Finally, very happy to have seen Waxwings for the first time, on the penultimate day of the year!



I have no firm plans for photography for 2013, but it would be great if I could include the following modest ambitions:

  • Photograph a (live) badger
  • Earn £300 from microstock
  • Explore wildlife video
  • Refrain from spending (much) more money on equipment (Canon did very well out of me this year!)

Happy New Year and thanks for taking the time to read this.  Feel free to leave a comment, follow me on Twitter (@UK_Richard), or 'like' my Facebook page.

Finland / Lapland

Just before Christmas, we were lucky enough to spend a week in Northern Finland, in the resort of Levi.  Not many people would have chosen Northern Finland as an obvious place to go skiing/boarding, but with a chance to also see the Northern Lights, it was worth a pop!  And in fact, it was a terrific holiday - a catered chalet, virtually deserted pistes, adventures on snowmobiles, driving ice karts and husky sledding!

It certainly wasn't a photography break (I even read a fiction book!), but there were some opportunities to take the camera out...

Northern Lights

Despite it allegedly being a spectacular year for the Northern Lights, this isn't that useful if it's cloudy (it almost always is in Finland in December!), or if Auroral activity is low (this was a great site to check activity).  However, near the centre of Levi was a frozen lake, which was a 5 minute trudge to get away from some of the light pollution to maximise the chances of seeing anything.

I spent 4 nights on the frozen lake, with durations ranging from 30 minutes, to nearly 4 hours.  It's virtually impossible to describe how cold -25°C is, with a wind chill as low as -31°C, but suffice to say with 7 layers on my top half, a balaclava, two hats and a hood, three bottom layers and three paris of socks, I was still very cold!

Whilst waiting for the Northern Lights, I helped pass the time by taking a series of photos of the cloud formations, which I've made into a short time-lapse video:


Eventually, when the clouds did disappear, on the Northern horizon, there was a bit of a show, which was great.  Not the 'over the head' displays which can be seen sometimes, but at least there was something!  And I was very grateful for my new Canon 16-35 f/2.8 L II, which not only performed amazingly in the cold conditions, but also gave me a wide enough angle!

And here's an example of the Northern Lights, but severely impacted by light pollution (I'm pretty sure the vertical lights were floodlights from nearby buildings.)

Finally, there's no daylight as such in Northern Finland during the Winter, but you do get some amazing light none-the-less...

And cute huskies!

And even reindeer!

And is that Santa and a couple of elves on the ski-lift...?