I occasionally follow Jim Goldstein on Google+, and a couple of weeks ago he put out a call for people to have a look through the photos they took in 2013 and send him a link, so he could compile a list. For no particular reason that I could see; perhaps he just likes lists. Which is totally cool.
I didn’t see his post until right before the deadline, so I quickly tagged some photos on Flickr and sent them through. As corny as it sounds it was really fun to do: look at back at the photos I’m really pleased about from the last year and thinking about which ones I like.
I’ve been taking photos on and off for a long time now, since high school, but I’ve only really taken it seriously the last 12-18 months, where I’ve been working to systematically improve my skills: find photos I like by other people and try to analyse why I like them, as well as focusing on my own photos that I think really work, in order to continuously improve. It’s something I really enjoy; some creative exercise after thinking logically all day at work. In November I went so far as to set myself up a portfolio site, which you should totally check out. And/or hire me, if you like my work. :)
So, the photos.
I’ve been practicing Parkour for about 18 months now, and I made a decision in early-2013 to train more seriously. It’s crazy fun, and thanks to the regular training I feel like I’ve progressed a lot over the last 12 months. In October I went across to Canberra for the Australian Parkour Association‘s National Gathering weekend, which was a crazy amount of fun. Met some amazing people, saw some amazing Parkour, got some sweet photos.
The photo above was taken during a morning “nature training” at a river near the Canberra CBD. It’s hard for me to say what I like about it – to me, the composition is kinda boring – but I feel it just works well, with the expressions and the purple glasses reflecting the shirt. Probably my favorite of the bunch.
This photo was taken on a trip to Russia in February. Moscow had a couple of days of heavy snow, and we were wandering around gawking like Australian tourists. The street was classically European, and I wanted to get a photo of the street and the snow, but the snow was blowing towards me so I couldn’t take photos easily without getting snow/water on my lens. So I saw this lady walking towards me, cleaned my lens and as she passed turned around and popped off this shot.
I’m proud to say that I took out the “best print” and “best black and white” awards with this photo at the Perth Royal Show, my first real foray into photography competitions. I didn’t know what to expect, and the standard was ridiculously high, so it was a real honor to see my photo up there with the others.
This is another Parkour one, this time taken in Perth. This laneway has been developed by the local council and it’s quite a nice space – they have these white concrete seats dotted around and some trendy artwork on the wall. It’s also fantastic for practicing strides :)
This is me playing with off-camera flash to make pretty shadows, while Tiago does some ridiculous-big jumps. Some technical issues here – the aperture is too wide, so Grant’s hand on the left is out of focus – but I figure it works nonetheless.
Here’s another one from Russia in February. My brother and I rode motorbikes for about 1600km through Siberia to raise money for charity – check out our blog – and this is a photo of Geordie, who we convoyed with for most of the trip. Geordie was generally much more efficient than us in the mornings, and would generally have to wait by his bike for us slowcoaches to get our gear sorted.
In October I went back to the South Fremantle Power Station for the first time in about five years. I’m not all that good at photos of sunsets, so I typically avoid them, but this one worked out really nicely. Wonky windows, abandoned buildings, shadowy people, pretty colours. Ticking all the boxes for me.
Here’s another power station photo. We were exploring the tunnels underneath the old building, and on an impulse I asked a friend to point his torch at the roof and took this. I really like it – the dust particles in the torch beam. Shadowy people. No pretty colours, but you can’t have everything.
On the final night of Parkour National Gathering in Canberra, a group of us went to someone’s hotel for drinks. His hotel had a tennis court on the roof, as you do, and so we pulled some chairs around and sat out there until pretty late. The tennis court had a big net framework enclosing it, to stop people hitting balls over the side, and so I figured I would test our my new remote flash and climb on top of the netting to grab some photos looking straight down.
…and finally, another photo from Parkour National Gathering in October. There was some serious skill on display, and I was lucky to get this photo of Sam Carter from Melbourne. I took something like 3000 photos all weekend, of which 90% were rubbish: capturing people in exactly the right body position is really tough, with your options being god-like timing on the shutter or just taking hundreds of photos. I opted for the latter :)
So this was 2013 in photos for me. Check out my Flickr for the latest, and here’s hoping 2014 gets even better!