It's time to review the year's photography and think about my favourite photos.
This year I'm cheating a bit and I'm putting together a "general" photography set and also another set of polo photos. Partly because I've taken a lot of photos and partly because it's just such hard work trying to cut thousands of images down into just ten or twelve.
I'm going to start with this shot from St Paul's Cathedral. It's one of very few film photographs I've had published recently. This one was used by St Paul's for the January image in their 2016 desk calendar. I was shooting film because on the way there, someone stole my digital camera.
It would be difficult for me to go through the year without spending at least some time on Cliveden Reach, the stretch of Thames between Boulters Lock and Cookham. This year's offering is a mute swan seeing off another swan that had strayed into its territory.
After a few days in Venice, I came home with a lot of photos. It's difficult to go there and not be drawn into just wandering around and snapping away rather than going after some planned images. There's so much to see and always, so little time. I had bough a new 10-stop neutral density filter and a small travel tripod before going on this trip, so I did force myself into taking a few deliberate shots, but nowhere near as many as I'd have liked.
In May we spent a weekend in Worcester, and a very nice place it is too. I managed to pursuade Karen to come with me to New Road to see the cricket. We stayed there for only an hour, but in that time the sun came out for just a moment and gave me a chance to see one of the iconic sights of English cricket.
In June I spent an afternoon at the British Wildlife Centre enjoying one of their photographer's visits. again, there were lots of photos but, the hedgehog stood out. As it happens, she was sent round this tree two or three times to get the right shot. I was delighted.
In September I spent a day shooting the cross country at Burghley Horse Trials, as an accredited photographer I could go pretty much anywhere I wanted. Accreditation came with one drawback, we had to be on site at around 06:30 and had to negotiate an early breakfast at our hotel.
Burghley was an early start, but it wasn't the only time I was up befor the sun this year. These last four images are in the "worth getting up for" category. The first shot is from the Sky Garden looking towards Docklands and was from a morning I spent helping Dave Burt and the London Instagram group.
This is dawn looking towards ancient Asine in Greece. The Greeks set sail from the next bay along when they went to war with Troy.
To get this shot I was up just after 04:00 and drove for a couple of hours to get to Dungeness for the sunrise.
My last shot is from closer to home and only involved a 30 minute walk (carrying camera gear). From one particular spot between Maidenhead and Cookham Dean, the sun rises from more-or-less directly behind Windsor Castle on perhaps one of two days during late November (and again in early January). I've photographed this scene several times now (and been unable to see it several times too), but still haven't got exactly the shot I want.
So I get up early and keep trying.
Getting up early isn't an infalable way to get great photos despite what all the photo blogs tell you. I had a very early start in Windsor Great Park tring to photograph the deer in rut. The light was awful. After some hours I headed home to get on with some writing work. My mid day, the light was perfect.