A look back at 2015. A review of my favourite images taken throughout 2015.

From a photographic and creative aspect 2015 was a 'funny old year'. Personally it had periods in the doldrums but it also had some very definite high points. The defining message that 2015 left with me with was to be selfish and to create images that make me 'happy' - after all I may be the only one looking at them anyway. Photography is not a vocation - it is a passion and as such I should not be unsettled by the eclectic nature of my images. The following images are in chronological order and are those that gave me the greatest pleasure and satisfaction in creating.

A very cold start to the year saw temperatures well below freezing in rural Derbyshire. It took several hours to get the camera (and myself! back up to room temperature afterwards. To be able to see so many stars in the night sky served to remind me how small we are on a cosmic scale. For me it was reinforced by the inclusion of the Orion constellation which I had photographed the the previous year whilst on the opposite side of the world in Australia (see the link below).
Despite the assertion that the non-vocational status of my photography affords me the luxury of being eclectic I keep finding myself drawn to the simple geometry and beauty of curves and arches.
The world is so full of colour yet black and white has started to feature more prominently in my photographs. This is because I want to create 'simpler' images which are in themselves perhaps a search for a simpler life.
Sometimes though nature has worked so hard it just has to be colour.
I am also partial to symmetry and patterns both natural and man made.
I can appreciate that this type of image is not to everyone's taste but I really enjoy the creative process in making what I refer to as 'shaky' images. The very nature of the image making process means that you do not know exactly what you will get but with practice the potential of a scene becomes easier to interpret. This is an example of doing what makes me happy. There will certainly be more shakiness in 2016.
A recurring theme - rust. There is real beauty in the 'Art of Oxidation"
I love the coast and living on an island means we have a lot of it. This is from the north east of England (Northumberland) and shows the forces of nature as a sculpture.
A man sat silently with his thoughts. After I took the photograph we exchanged a respectful nod of the head and I left him to his thoughts.
Very often I know the title I will give an image immediately. If you grew up in the late 60s and early 70s you may remember the TV series called 'The Time Tunnel'.

Late September saw a trip to Washington and New York. Modern airline baggage allowances are not favourable to photographers and some serious decisions had to be made regarding the allocation of weight to clothes after the camera equipment had been packed.

They certainly 'do' monuments well in Washington DC.
The architecture inside the Library of Congress is stunning and is one of the most impressive buildings I have ever been in. The only drawback is being told repeatedly that the British burnt down the original library in 1814.
Iconic and probably cliched but part of the ‘doing what makes me happy’ means I can say “so what?" I can live with these as holiday 'snaps'.
I cannot pinpoint why but this is perhaps my favourite image of 2015. It is black and white and has lots of curves.
Although the photograph was not taken in 2015 the subject (my uncle) sadly was. A full life lived with spirit and adventure. “I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I’ve lost.” ― Nan Goldin
Back to simplicity. An attempt to portray autumn in a different way.
Autumn put on a fantastic show this year.
However autumn does not always have to shout about its beauty.
In November I spent two idyllic days in Snowdonia where the conditions and autumn colours produced perhaps one of my most productive photographic spells - I was beyond 'happy' I was ecstatic
One day one Welsh Llyn and three different images.
Autumn mist over Llyn Gwynant. I sat for ages drinking hot tea watching the mist flow in and out of the valley - a beautiful start to the day.
A return trip in 2016 will hopefully see me return to this section of the Afon Glaslyn
Thank you for passing by and as Henri Cartier-Bresson said “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
Created By
Mike Barber

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