My Top 10 Photos for 2011
It is a tradition for me to look back on my year in photography each January. I find it a great exercise in seeing where I’ve been, what I’ve achieved and discover any strengths I may have been neglecting. It’s also a good chance to show off my work a little :) It’s always a challenge to distil a year’s work into just ten (plus two) photos, but I really do feel I’m left with the very best of my work. I hope you’ll enjoy looking at and reading about these photos as much as I did taking them.
January 16 – Sunset on Broken Pier
When I saw this gorgeous sunset, I wanted to try and create a slightly surreal photo from the scene. I used a deliberately long exposure to turn the waves into a misty appearance, and in processing I exaggerated the saturation. It's the first time I've had a vision for a heavily creatively processed photo when I actually took it, and was happy that it turned out as well as I imagined.
January 22 – Celina as Hikaru
I did a cosplay photo shoot with my good friends Annie, Sefie and Celina, and this shot came out of that. Cosplaying characters from Magic Knight Rayearth (link), we shot in the Dandenong forests around sunset. As the sun turned golden, it shone through a gap in the trees and provided this divine light as Celina spun to bring more life to her cloak. See more photos from this shoot.
February 27 – Siami as Luka
I really enjoyed this photo shoot with Siami and her friend Bonnie, taken with a small audience of friends. This shoot was a new look for both of the girls, and I think they looked very beautiful. They were dressed as Luka and Miku from the Vocaloid song Magnet. You can see more photos from this shoot. Incidentally, this is the third year in a row that Siami has been in my top 10 posts :)
March 3 – Nathan G
My brother-in-law Nathan is an extremely talented and successful DJ, producer and recording artist. On occasion I’ve done shoots with him which he has been to use as promo images. A photo from this shoot was used as the cover for his latest album Glow. This was my favourite photo from the shoot however. This shot was taken at home with a folding backdrop and a couple of small flashes. It just goes to show that professional photos are in just about anyone’s reach.
March 22 – St Columbar Falls River Panorama
Naomi and I returned to a favourite destination, Tasmania, to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. While there we paid a visit to the St Columbar Falls. The walk was a bit long and steep, but the falls were amazing (and very wet!) as was the incredibly lush and green forest along the river that flowed from them. I took this spherical panorama there. View the full interactive panorama here. See more photos from our trip to Tasmania.
June 3 – Blacklight Celina
I tried to push myself a bit more creatively this year, and one of the ways I did that was to collaborate with my extremely talented friend and beauty blogger Celina. I’ve had the idea to do a UV/blacklight shoot for a while, and I knew Celina would have the make-up expertise to create a cool look with it. This photo (taken with macro extension rings) is my favourite result of the collaboration. I also created a short video from the shoot. Have a look at more photos from the shoot.
July 30 – Naomi
Surprisingly, taking a great photo of my beautiful wife has been a challenge for me. I think it’s because I don’t think any photo I’ve taken has been able to capture the true beauty I see in her with my own eyes. This year I finally was able to do it. This photo means a lot to me, and I’m very happy to have been able to take it. Good friend and previous three-time top 10 feature Annie provided her skills with Naomi’s make up.
July 30 – Sagittarius Overhead
This photo is proof of how easy night sky photography can be. I was away on a photography trip shooting friends last weekend, and we were hoping for clear skies to do some stargazing. It was cloudy for most of the weekend but we got one good break of half an hour or so. While chatting to my excited friends explaining the night sky to them, I snapped a few photos, only half paying attention. After processing, I realised that the photo was actually very striking. I’m thrilled with the result.
October 14 – Reclining Min
What happens when you go to an uninhabited island with 30 strangers and their cameras and one model? Photographic magic. I joined a Facebook photographer’s group called Snappy Shutters this year, and Naomi and I decided to attend a four day photographic retreat they organised. We had an absolutely fantastic time, made many new friends and took lots of great photos. If you had the opportunity to shoot a gorgeous model on the beach in front of a spectacular sunset, how could it not be in your top 10 photos for the year? Model: Minnie Sha. Have a look at more of my photos from the trip.
December 19 – Splashed Mai
I’ve wanted to do a photo shoot with splashing water for a very long time, and when I won a voucher for a free day’s shooting in a studio with a wet area (at the Snappy Shutters retreat), it gave me the perfect opportunity. Originally planned as an art nude shoot, the scope expanded to include swimsuits and a drum kit! See more photos from the shoot (more pics are still to come). The photo I have chosen as my last top 10 photo is of Mai, taken during her art nude session at the shoot (but not showing anything in this particular photo). Mai is a very free spirited person and he modelling style is very spontaneous and adventurous. I loved this pose, her expression, the dynamic element added by the torrent of water and the flawless make up as applied by my ever talented friend Annie.
It’s always incredibly difficult to cull down all of my photos to just ten best, so traditionally I’ve included two ‘honourable mentions’ in my posts; photos that didn’t quite make the cut but I couldn’t leave out entirely.
July 23 – Queen of Blades
Good friend Sefie (aka Diana) is not just a great cosplayer and amazing make up artist, but she is also a gamer. She has long had the idea of recreating the Brood War cover artwork featuring Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades. It was my honour to be asked to help her with the photography. We had a lot of fun at the shoot, which was done in parallel with another shoot with Celina. You can see more photos here, and an awesome behind the scenes video made by Celina’s partner Toby here.
December 19 – Gorgeous Gin
Finally, another photo to come out of the “Splash” shoot. I don’t think too much needs to be said about this photo, it speaks for itself. A beautiful girl, lovely make up (Again by Annie), cool dramatic lighting, splashing water and a sexy pose. I couldn’t leave this photo out of the list :) More photos from the shoot.
If you enjoyed these photos, you may like to see my previous top ten photo collections: