My Year in Review

Dec
19

What a year this has been, it’s been a busy one and I have a feeling next year will be even busier.

I started the year eager to get back to blogging, but as the weeks went by I found myself blogging less and less before months had gone by with no new posts. Maybe next year I'll do a little better. 

Starting 2012 off I went to Autosport International at the NEC where I took photos of loads of cars and watched a live event. Just a couple of weeks later I drove down the motorway through snow and thick fog to get to Warwick Castle for my fourth visit. This was the first time I’d ever seen the castle in snow so made a nice change to my pictures, but it was also an opportunity to test out my new tripod and thick coat ready for Iceland. The castle was pretty empty as most people were staying off the roads.


Warwick Castle in the Snow

In February I then went to Iceland for a very hectic few days with very little sleep. Upon arrival it started snowing and by the time I got up the next day the place was thick with snow. I did note they handle it far better than in the UK and they just carried on as if it wasn’t there. The snow did make the first day’s photography a little awkward, but it was still fun and they do get a decent amount of it. The second day brightened up and I even got my first opportunity to photograph the Northern Lights, though they weren’t as impressive as I’d hoped. The landscapes in Iceland were pretty amazing; on one of the glaciers (which I’d climbed under earlier) there was a moment when I stopped walking yet carried along sliding stood upright along what seemed to be a flat surface. It seemed comical at the time. I did of course write a book for this trip and published a photo album and video to the usual places.

Me at Mýrdalsjökull Glacier
Me on the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier

The following weekend I went to a Rugby game for the first time ever, and then went to a second one in December. Both were opportunities to try taking sports related photographs. One of the stewards though would not let me use my big lens at the first game, though no one objected at the second game. The second game was also the day of the work Christmas party.

The Forbidden City - Shishi
The Forbidden City - Shishi

In April I went to China for two weeks, travelling around the Eastern parts of the country to see the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas, and sailing down both the Yangtze and Li rivers. I will admit it wasn’t the best of the trips I’d done - I think having been to the Galapagos Islands set my expectations too high for future trips. Saying this though, I did enjoy it and there were many good moments. It’s not every day you get to run along the Great Wall of China carrying your camera equipment!

Bombe
Bombe machine at Bletchley Park

In May I went to Truckfest for the first time, I wasn’t that keen on it though so unsure if I’ll go again - but I'll leave that until next year to decide. Most things should be tried at least once. The following weekend I went to Bletchley Park, the home of the enigma machines, and also stopped by the museum of Computing next door. The weekend after that was then spent down in Poole, though I didn’t really bother with many photos this time - most of the ones I did take were taken around the Durlston Country Park area that had just been refurbished after a National Lottery grant.

Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) on the RSPB Bempton Cliffs
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) on the RSPB Bempton Cliffs

It was then over a month before any more trips as I then spent a week in Yorkshire seeing sights such as Bempton Cliffs, Scarborough, York and a number of National Trust properties.

In September I went to the Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, and whilst there also went round the Tower of London before flying up to Scotland for the best part of a week. In Scotland I hired a car and travelled around the country visiting many sights along the way.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

As the year drew to a close the most unexpected news was announced by Lucasfilm - the sale of the company to Disney and the release date for Star Wars Episode 7, the first in a new series of films. I'm still a little mixed about this as it could mean that they'll be ruined further, though maybe taking them away from George Lucas is the best way to preserve them.

So to cut a long story short it's been a busy year and I look forward to 2013 hoping it will be as fun. I hope everyone reading this has a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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