I think 2018 has been a great year for my photography outside of my commissioned work. I’ve evolved my colour grading quite a bit, and I think — even through sheer practice and time spent on photography — my skills have improved.
That’s one of the reasons why I love photography so much: There’s always room to improve. There’s always a new skill to learn, a new technique to try, a new project to take on.
Isn’t that all a bit cool?
I’ve decided to keep this list to my “passion project” photography — as in, not any commissioned wedding or portrait work. I may make a separate list for that.
Anyway, without further any more waffling, here are my top 10 images of 2018.
Liverpool Cathedral — Jan 2018
I’m going to do this list chronologically for a few reasons. One, because I think it’s quite interesting to see how my editing style evolved over the year, and two, because I’m having a hard time picking a favourite.
This was right back at the start of the year, on a very cold January day. I was out in Liverpool testing the Olympus 8mm fisheye, which is an absolute beast by the way. I smuggled in my gorillapod — they’re a bit iffy about full-sized tripods inside — and sat cross-legged on the floor of the cathedral. I waited for the clearest moment to take the photos. This is a 5 shot HDR composite.
I love the brickwork, and how the HDR has pulled out all the shadow details.
2. Glowing Arch — Sicily — March 2018
This was during my peak “orange and teal” phase. I think it actually works quite well in this instance.
I love this photo because at any other time of day you wouldn’t even look twice. But with the light making everything glow, it suddenly becomes special. I love the shadows, and the red glow around the archway.
3. Sicily Streets — March 2018
This was the happiest of accidents.
I was power-walking up this hill, trying to get to the top to get a sunset shot of the town below. I completely mis-timed it (a stop off at a bar half way up might have been to blame) and I lost light.
But then, instead of looking down to the town, I decided to look up. The last of the sunset hit this stunning building at the top of the hiil, and the cool car in front of it adds an interesting subject to the frame. It’s interesting because the architecture is timeless, but the car makes it a modern image.
I love the contrast between the shadows and the light, the saturated warm tones and the desaturated cool tones.
4. Valletta Bay — Malta — May 2018
Valletta bay at sunset was wonderful. We got the ferry over the bay, and found a nice secluded set on the docks by the water. Prime position to watch a spectacular sunset. Of course I couldn’t resist getting Mavis in the air (Mavis is my Mavic Pro, in case you were wondering).
I love the composition, although I wish I could have chanced getting my drone a little bit closer to the city to make the thirds of the image even more pronounced. I love the almost black water, then the old architecture, then the sky. Super cool.
5. Light Walking — Malta — May 2018
this building captivated me the moment I saw it. The texture on the exterior is bonkers, and I loved the lines. I walked about a bit to try and find my favourite angle and this was it.
Then it was just a matter of time, waiting for the right subject to cross my path. I love the guy’s walk. So determined! I wish he were maybe a bit closer to camera? But on the whole I love this image, and I think the subject adds to it for sure.
6. Circles and Shadows — London — June 2018
This was my first visit to the iconic British museum. I went to see the Rosetta Stone (!) and the Egyptian section, and ended up falling in love with the building just as much as the exibits.
This image really works well with my newer, more desaturated colours. I love the shadows on the wall, and how it compliments the glass roof.
7. Summer Bike Rides — London — June 2018
There I was, minding my own business, walking past Buckingham Palace, and I thought, ooo, those trees make a lovely leading line. Then, very happily, a biker whizzed by, heading in just the right angle to elevate the shot.
I like that your eye falls on the biker, then follows the line down through the trees as they get tighter.
Thanks, random bike man!
8. Castle In The Sea — Ischia — October 2018
The second drone shot from my lovely Mavis. Castle Aragonese is the most beautiful place ever. The photos never do it justice — it’s absolutely huge! — what a magical place.
I actually remembered my Mavic has portrait mode for this shot, which worked very well. The composition is solid and I like that there aren’t many drone shots of this place so it’s quite a unique angle. I mean, I think this image is on the list because of the place more than the photo, but I do love it.
9. Inside the Castle — Ischia — October 2018
At the top of Castle Aragonese. What a place! I think the 4:3 ratio really kicked butt for this composition, as the archway was really wide. I love the outside details, the hills, the greens, juxtaposed against the lovely warm bricks.
I think the time of day really made this image sing. It wasn’t quite sunset, but close enough to make the bricks glow. I also like the shadow on the floor. It helps draw your eye into the scene and I don’t think it would have been as good without it.
10. Reflections In The Mist — Merseyside — December 2018
I’ve always wanted to try taking photographs in the mist. The atmosphere it creates is so unique. And I finally have! But the thing I love the most about this image is it’s so close to my home. Sometimes I get caught up in travelling to all these exotic places, when really photography can be great anywhere in the world.
Even your own backyard.
I love the wintery colours and the reflection was perfect. Which was very lucky as a whole horde of swans went past shortly after this and ruined the whole thing.
So there we go! My favourite photos of 2018! Which one did you like the best? Let me know in the comments section.
And, to wrap up, while I’m feeling all nostalgic about 2018, I’ll end on a gallery of personal photos. Lots of lovely memories.