This post is not borne of an original thought, it is inspired by an article from a photographer whom I greatly respect; their favourite photos of 2016. It’s rare I publish anything which is a genuine product of original creativity.
However, I maybe a copycat, but there is a slight twist on the theme; rather than just last year, it comprises thirteen images produced since the first day I took up a camera as a travel blogger. Besides, I may have struggled to find thirteen good images taken in 2016.
These photographs aren’t necessarily the highest quality images ever captured, but they have significance to me as a travelling photographer. This is not always clear to the reader, although there is usually a narrative explaining their context, this is limited.
The full story however, is only known to me, while the location maybe evident, the emotions behind the image are not. Therefore, these are not necessarily the best photos, but the ones which have a special connection, where there is a story possibly not previously revealed.
Additionally, it is gratifying to look through past photographs and observe a steady progression, the gradual improvement in my craft.
Anyway enough waffle, let’s look at the photos, I hope you also enjoy them.
This took place on one of my first media trips to Costa Brava in Catalonia, Spain. There are few things more exhilarating than a hot-air balloon flight. Even to this day, despite repeating the experiences it is one of my fondest travel moments. This shot, when our sister balloon came into view above the long extinct volcanoes of La Garrotxa as an amazingly colourful sunrise materialised before our eyes will long remain with me.
I promise this post isn’t all about sunrises and sunsets! However, we do all love watching the sunset, so expect a few and this shot over the Jabal Akhdar mountains of Oman, with the distinctive architecture of the region is one of the best.
There is an untold story here; I captured this gentleman on the first day in Havana. The following day however, while sitting outside a coffee shop he offered me another opportunity, which I declined. His reaction was somewhat startling, whipping out an old copy of National Geographic magazine, where he featured on the cover. He informed me quite forcefully that he was a superstar’ and I should want his picture…… he’s right, I did!
However, it remains one of my favourite portraits.
Encounters with iconic wildlife like polar bears is always exciting, getting up close to these magnificent creatures in Manitoba was a lifetime ambition achieved. This image of an inquisitive bear which visited our compound regularly is my favourite from a memorable trip where I witnessed the northern lights for the first time too.
Talking of the dancing northern lights, they are on most peoples bucket list, but photographing them can be a bit of a challenge, so obtaining one acceptable image can be satisfying. This shot over the Vesturhorn was on the very last evening of a eleven day trip, chasing the lights, only seeing them on that final night.
I’m getting the hang of this flowing narrative lark! Iceland, is one of my favourite destinations, one which I never tire of visiting, so could have chosen any one of several photographs from the “Land of Fire and Ice”. Discovering small ice bergs on the black sand beach of Jökulsárlón ice lagoon is an abiding memory from recent visits.
Gorillas, may seem the more obvious choice for a favourite photo from Rwanda and I certainly have some among those. However, the “Land of a Thousand Hills” has an extremely sad, recent history, that they have risen above this and are now a safe, united and well adjusted nation seems a good reason to dance.
Travelling out to the isolated island of St Helena in the south Atlantic on the RMS I stayed in a cabin named Turks Cap. There was a picture on the wall of this notable landmark of the island. Obviously, I viewed it everyday during the five day journey, promising myself I’d capture a better image of Turks Cap.
Did I achieve my aim? You’ll only know if travel on the RMS St Helena and compare the two pictures, but I’m pretty happy with the results.
It’s no surprise the highlight of visiting Komodo Island was seeing the dragons, slightly surprising this image made the cut then? After a short, but tasking trek to the high point of Padar Island our intrepid group of early evening trekkers were treated to this view. Just reward for an afternoon relaxing on the nearby Pink Beach!
I was once informed by somebody on twitter that this is one of my best images …… who am I to argue with a social media critic?
Memories of staying at Num Ti Jah Lodge on the shores of Bow Lake at the gateway to the Icefields Parkway are some of the most memorable of my six week traverse of Canada. A perfect evening in the Canadian Rockies, my favourite mountain range in a equally favoured destination.
If there was a beauty pageantry for residents of central Kalimantan in Borneo, this lovely lady would surely walk away with the title. Just look into those soulful eyes and try to imagine what she is thinking. She was waiting for us with her two youngsters as soon as we landed, and it wasn’t just a highlight of this trip, but a lifetime highlight.
This image of a lone fisherman poling his small boat towards a stilted fishing hut known as a Pelada in the shallow waters of Messolonghi Lagoon, western Greece is hanging on my wall in the lounge. Enough said!
So there they are, a personal selection of my favourite images. Have I missed your favourite? If so let us know which you feel is missing.