RIP 2016 & Hello 2017

A look back at last year and looking forward to the next 12 months

Well that was a tough 12 months, thank god it’s over.

2016 for me was possibly, no definitely, the worst year I could imagine having. On a personal level it started in the worst way and never really recovered! In my real life job I had the first year as far as I can remember where I really found it hard. But on the positive side I came out of the year with my health and still in a job so I can’t complain too much. 2016 also gave me a revitalised view and focus on my biggest passion, Photography.

Through a very dark period at the beginning of the year I turned to photography as a distraction and escape from real life, and as a landscape photographer the escape and solitude thankfully comes relatively easily. I decided early on, in the year to throw myself feet first into developing my abilities and trying to progress, with the ultimate goal being the best I could be.

So I’d made a decision, not something that comes easy to me, but where do I start? Well, the only place any student can start find a teacher or two! I started to look at workshops where I could learn from some truly inspirational photographers and if I could pick up just one or 2 tips from each my photography would quickly start to improve.

However bad 2016 was it did give me the opportunity to spend time with and learn from, in my view, some of the bestsellers photographers in their fields.

Mark Littlejohn Mark’s Website – Mark had the pleasure of hosting a very sickly me for a day in January, he took me to some spots in the Lake District I had never been before despite being a relative regular prior. I can’t recommend enough spending some time with Mark if you can, as an award-winning landscape photographer he has a wealth of advice and experience which anyone can learn from.

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Paul Sanders Paul’s Website – I was able to spend the day with Paul in Wales during July learning long exposure photography from one of the best in the business, the conditions we had were not the best and the midges made standing still waiting for exposures testing to say the least! That said I learnt a lot about a type of photography I had previously considered fairly straight forward, I was very wrong!

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Mart Hart Matt’s Website – Matt is a leading Street Photographer in the UK, so what was a Landscape enthusiast doing taking a street workshop!? Well, other than the fact Matt’s workshops are always entertaining and really informative, learning other techniques and disciplines which push you out of your comfort zone is really good for developing your creativity and how you see the works. Also in my view street photography has a lot of cross over with landscape (possibly the subject of a future post!).

Greg Whitton & Lee Acaster Greg’s Website & Lee’s Website – In october I managed to squeeze onto a workshop with Greg and Lee, I picked up a place due to a cancellation, exploring Snodownia. As part of a small group Greg and Lee spent a lot of time with each of us sharing the experience and knowledge. This workshop gave me some guidance which i will be concentrating on more in 2017, but more to come on that later. A huge thank you to Greg for the time he gave looking over my images and the advice he gave. This workshop and many other run by Greg will happen in 2017, my advice do think just sign up you wont regret it.

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Matt Hart & Paul Sanders – Matt and Paul again had the unfortunate pleasure of trying to teach me in November on a week-long workshop in Glencoe, run by Fujiholics. Quite honestly one of the best weeks of my life, what more could you ask for? Amazing landscapes, great company, plenty of Jaffa Cakes and a fair amount of Ale & Single Malt. No steak and Ale Pie though. On the proviso that Matt lets me I will be attending again this winter to try to better the images I got, if you can try to come along.

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A Special mention also to all the great people I met on each of the workshops I attended who made each of the trips all the more enjoyable.

Along the way on each of the workshops attended I have learnt something new about myself and my photography. I won’t bore you with the finer details but these things will definitely form part of my photography growth moving into 2017.

Well that was 2016 in a nutshell, so what does 2017 hold in store. well I have a few resolutions and goals which I want to work toward but the two keys words are Develop and Grow, both in myself and as a photographer.

 These are a few of my resolutions

  • Get out more – I am hoping to get away for a weekend at least once a month, camping, exploring and taking photos.
  • Print, Print, Print – I’m soon going to be investing in a home printer,  wise man once said you can’t truly judge your work until you see it in print.
  • Intimate Landscapes and Abstract – I really want to develop my photography to see the smaller detail in the landscapes I am in rather than trying to cram every detail in the image.
  • Finally, well you just read it! – I want to use this blog to document the next year and beyond, write down so thoughts and hopefully help and inspire fellow enthusiasts out there.

That’s all for now, hope you read to this point and weren’t disappointed. Please check back next week for another post.

Cheers

Jon