This year I will be mostly... taking a photo every day, and posting it up here for you all to see and comment on if you feel inclined (please do). It's not an original idea, I stole it off a friend and many other people are doing the same as I speak, but I thought it seemed like a great idea to get used to my new toy, my Canon Eos 500D with Tamron 18-250mm Macro lens - my first digital SLR.

A lot of sites online talk about 'project 365' where people are encouraged to take a photo every day, but while their take on it is to create a personal history of the photographer, I wanted to make it a bit more abstract, more about the world around me. So this isn't meant to be a photo diary of my life, I am striving for each photo to be 'good' because of its artistic and technical merit, not because it's personal to me. Having said that personal subject matter will inevitably creep in as inspiration, but that's allowed, the book I'm reading claim that "every picture we take is merely a self-portrait of our inner psyche"!

I had a think of a couple of ideas for themes and settled on 'moods'. Then I was hit by indecision as to what to do if I take a photo I like and want to upload as my daily snap, but it doesn't fit the theme. So I have decided that the theme is just for inspiration rather than as a criteria, the photos can be of anything. That way I get the most flexibility of what to upload, and still have a muse.

While I'll be taking photos every day, I'll only upload them every few days, so keep checking back. I'm not anticipating the photos to be groundbreaking (at least not to start with!), the whole point is to improve so I won't be great initially. But I'll still try my best which will hopefully keep it interesting. Please feel free to add whatever comments you like (hopefully constructive!) as that will help me as much as the process of actually taking a photo a day, I will endeavour to reply to them all.

For my trip reports blog see

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sunday 1st January 2012

At the start of 2011, I set myself the challenge of taking a photo every day, and I succeeded! I was quite strict with myself, and tried as much as possible to take each photo during that day. A couple of times the photos were taken just after midnight, and a couple of times I forgot altogether but always had a photo of something even if it was a mobile phone photo of a broken banjo pick never destined for public viewing, which I'd use instead of taking something better a day late.

I really enjoyed this project and got a lot of satisfaction from it as well as learning lots. The aim was to ensure that I kept my photography varied instead of using my new camera to take the same kind of photos again and again, and it certainly fulfilled this. I found interest in fields I would never have otherwise known about, such as insect macrophotography. I was so pleased with my photography I set up a company and have had an ehibition and produced 2012 calendars for which I've had great feedback.

Having said this, I am not going to continue the photo-a-day into a new year as it was really time intensive, and many of my other interests suffered as a result. Also towards autumn I felt that my it was hindering me rather than helping... the things I wanted to photograph required more time to prepare for and plan, and I didn't have time to concentrate on. Nevertheless, it was never boring and some evenings at home when I didn't have any ideas and thought I'd exhausted what my house has to offer I still came up with something unexpected that I was proud of, this being the example that sticks in my head. Now though I look forward to having time to built on the areas that now interest me. Rest assued that even without daily blog updates I am still very much enthused by my photography and will still be working on ideas, keep your eye on my website for updates.

I've added a 'popular' posts widget on the right hand side so that you can see a taster of what I managed to produce. Underneath that is the tag list which is useful for browsing and searching, followed by the archive.

Thanks to all my followers for their support, and anyone who has added comments. I'll leave you with a bonus photo from New Year's Day (just), of the firework celebration in Zillertal, Austria. At almost exactly the stroke of midnight fireworks erupted all the way along the valley and up the hillside, and lasted for about half an hour, brilliant!

42mm, 30s, f/22, ISO 100

Saturday 31st January 2012

Last photo of the year! This is the view from my hotel room balcony. I liked the descending strip of cloud and the various colours of the lights across the town and in the air. The church from yesterday can be seen in the centre of the left half of the photo. Click to enlarge.

18mm, 20s, f/10, ISO 200

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Friday 30th December 2011

While travelling between our hotel in Schlitters and the resort at Kaltenbach on the train, we noticed that every town had a church of very similar design. Up close, they were more individual, this one (in Schlitters) sporting a full height mural. This web page gives some more information, saying it's "the parish church of Schlitters, dedicated to St. Martinus. Constructed in 1740 AD in Baroque style, the interior primarily strikes due to wall and ceiling paintings by Josef Anton Mayr". I like this photo because of the angles, and because I got all the settings and composition as I wanted it first go, just the one snap. Which is a good thing too, as it was snowing on the lens!

18mm, 30s, f/13, ISO 200

Our reason for being in the town was to enjoy some local fireworks. Apparently Austrians quite often celebrate the New Year locally on the 30th before their big celebration on the 31st, and the fireworks were pretty spectacular.

18mm, 10s, f/22, ISO 100

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Thursday 29th December 2011

Please excuse the poor quality - unfortunately the settings for this photo were completely wrong - a small depth of field and a massively fast shutter speed - but I had the camera on settings ready for quick snaps out of the window. I didn't expect this super array of sun beams (a moment of two later they had been firing upwards through a gap in the clouds). This is the sunrise, over a church in Switzerland or France (not quite sure where we were at this point), taken out of the window of a moving coach.

270mm, 1/1600s, f/6.3, ISO 800

Wednesday 28th December 2011

Driving onto an empty carriage of the channel tunnel train in a coach felt like driving into something from a sci-fi film. Unfortunately by the time I'd realised I could take a photo that didn't contain a whole lot of motoin blur from the moving coach, there wasn't much of the carriage left, but maybe you'll still see what I mean. I did correct the white balance in Photoshop but I've put it back to show a bit of the orange glow since that's how it looked in reality.

200mm, 1/25s, f/6.3, ISO 1600

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tuesday 27th December 2011

This is my cousin Rob, and his youngest daughter Maisie. I love this photo, it's something a bit different and I think it conveys a nice sense of motion, an instance where the built in flash works really well.

I'm going on holiday to Austria tomorrow, I'll be taking my final few photos while I'm away, and I shall upload them once I'm back.

18mm, 1/15s, f/5.6, ISO 400

Monday 26th December 2011

Boxing Day, and my brother and his wife came round for another lovely meal, and this time it was time to cut the cake. All except the blue-hatted snowmen were made by hand by my mum.

270mm, 1/30s, f/6.3, ISO 400

Sunday 25th December 2011

Christmas Day, and into the final week of my blog! I'm at my parents for a few days over Christmas, yesterday evening on my arrival I was treated to a BBQ, and today the indulgence continued with Dad-made cocktails. This one is an Amaretto Martini, and very nice it was too. The flash also helped me to create a fairly black background without the aid of a studio setup.

85mm, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 400

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Friday, 23 December 2011

Thursday 22nd December 2011

Home grown parsnips, all ready for Christmas dinner! I'm quite proud of these, the ones on top are a little straggly but the ones on the bottom are good, strong, shapely parsnips, not as thick as the ones you get in the shops but they smell amazing.

42mm, 1/13s, f/5, ISO 400

Thursday, 22 December 2011