2015: Me and My Fuji The learning curve is more of a histogram

Looking back through a years worth of images is a fascinating task. Some that you once thought utterly captivating you now lament the poor composition; others you were not so sure about now ignite the imagination. So it was with me as I looked back over what has been a good year from a photographic point of view. No, I'm not winning any awards, but that is never the point. I am beginning to see some images now that give me more than just a sense of the time and place. They (well, some, at any rate) also give a sense of the emotion of the moment. Not quite as well as I would like, yet, but beginning to. And that is perhaps what makes it exciting - I know there is so much more to learn and so much farther to go. The journey is going to be fun!

A small portal in the bowels of Cutty Sark. The just distinguishable outline of a telephone box outside hints at the location, while also being a rather unusual sight from a ships port-hole!

Once again I've been fortunate enough to do a fair bit of travelling this year, and although a lot of the trips have been quite short I have rarely been without my trusty Fuji X-T1. We've grown quite accustomed to each other now and the results are beginning to show.

One early visit was to Queen's house in Greenwich. A much photographed location, so I tried to find some unique vantage points and views that juxtaposed the historic and the modern that is so apparent in London.

The Old naval hospital with the financial district in the background. A view almost directly opposite the one portrayed by Italian master Canaletto in his "Greenwich hospital from the North bank of the Thames".


One of my favourite views of London, as seen from outside the Royal Observatory. So many elements here - the metallic glint of the ultra-modern financial district, the classic architecture and symmetry of the Queens house and clock towers of the Naval hospital, and even a cross made by the paths in the foreground reminiscent of the English flag.

The tulip stairs in the Queens House
The British Museum. A cliché shot, perhaps, but the dynamic range and field of view here is not as easy to capture as it looks!
Buddha Amitabha statue, British museum
Marvellous Madrid! Yes it was raining, but that didn't dampen the spirit.

A quiet little secluded outcrop near Nash point in South Wales. I won't give away the exact location - half the joy is finding it for yourself! But sitting there alone listening to the waves crashing onto the beach and watching the sun hit the rock face is just bliss. The nearby lighthouse is well worth a visit too.

Some sheep eagerly await their lunch on the Glenridding fells. After the recent battering of incessant rain, it is so nice to remember that Lakeland can sometimes look like this too!

The wreck of the Helvetia on Rhossilli beach in Gower, with the Wurms head in the background.

Craig goch dam, Elan valley. One of Wales' lesser known gems, this place.

Garage ddu reservoir and pump house, Elan valley.

Red kite during the daily feeding session at Gigrin farm (don't miss it!)
I had a couple of hours to kill while the wife gave an exam in Carmarthen, so I drove around the shire aimlessly for a while and came across this little fellow. Had to wait about 15 minutes before he finally looked in my direction, like a naughty little school child caught playing in the mud!
Golden banks of the Derwent reservoir in the Peak district

Clyne Gardens, Swansea

Clyne in bloom occurs through late Spring - easily the best time to visit.

Skomer Island, Wales

Puffins are some of the most enigmatic birds you will ever come across, and Skomer is one of the best places to see them up close!
Wooden bridge, Lucerne


5 second exposure during a funicular ride down Niesen, near Kandersteg. The abstract nature of the image just worked for me, even viewing it on the cameras LCD.
A roadside view during a drive along the gorgeous Flüelapass
A resident of the butterfly enclosure at Longleat

Every year involves a trip back home of course, and this year was special - mainly because of my grandmothers birthday celebration, involving a live Kathakali performance. Being able to watch these artists ready themselves behind the scenes is fascinating. The metamorphosis is both physical and spiritual, and although the end-result is spectacular, I chose an image half-way through the process as I thought it best captured that transformative process. Still human, but becoming something more...

The process - a Kathakali artist transcends

2015 also brought a significant change - a move to the north east after five memorable years in Swansea. Our initial six months was to be in Carlisle, and moving to within forty minutes of the heart of the Lake district can't be that bad for a landscape photographer!

An old cottage in Dalston village, just outside Carlisle
Interior, Notre Dame basilica, Montreal
Left: a misty path on Mount Royal; Right: Classic bicycles in the uber cool Fitz & Folwell store (check them out for bike and walking tours in Montreal)
A whirlwind trip to Prague, but the city still made quite an impression.

Then came the rain, and the floods. Walking around Carlisle the following day was quite sobering, but then I saw this tree outside the Cathedral, shining like a gentle ray of hope. I only had my iPhone with me, but sometimes any camera will do.

Ashness landing stage, Derwentwater. Half submerged by the rising water level.

A much anticipated and extremely exciting new bit of (very old) kit. I eagerly look forward to this new acquaintance in 2016!

My "new" 1952 Rolleiflex MX-EVS Automat
'Standing firm', Bala lake

A trip to Snowdonia capped off the year, and what a way to see it out. Snowdonia is spectacular in any season, any weather, and this winter was no exception. This is one place I hope to go back again, and again... I'll leave you with the images, because after all that is what it's all about.

'Russet lane', the start of the Minffordd path to Cadair Idris
A stream by the Minffordd path with Mynydd Moel in the distance
At the foot of the Glyderau
The Ogwen valley and Llyn Ogwen, guarded by Carnedd Dafydd (left) and mighty Tryfan (right)
What interests me in this composition is the way the small rock formations and waterfall in the foreground almost exactly mirror Tryfan and the western edge of the Glyder range. Art often imitates nature, but sometimes Nature herself can't resist!
The Snowdon horseshoe, including Gallt y Wenallt and Bwlch y Moch, from the east
Have a happy, hearty, healthy 2016 everyone!
All photos copyright Arjun K Nambiar 2015

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