Photo Projects

My Pictures of the Year

Kate at Kate Takes 5 has set a great listography for this week – Our Top 5 Photos of 2011.

I’ve just finished writing my post about my favourite blog posts of the year, so this one fits neatly by its side.

I’ve used quite small pictures here – if the technology works, they should each be clickable through to their original post.

I started taking photographs this year because photography’s one of Mike’s hobbies and I was one of those people who’d be going along to various events and days out and spending most of my time shuffling from foot to foot while he was crouched down in a bed of nettles or wading through a stream and getting his second best trainers soaked through in pursuit of a perfect picture.

The 365 Project saved me from all of that, I found my own kind of fun with photography and I never go anywhere now without a printout of my 365 list in my handbag.  There’s a new challenge for 2012 (the themes are listed on my 366 page – just click here), and I’m looking forward to taking part again.  I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who fancies a bit of fun and a bit of a treasure hunt.


The award for comedy has to go to my ‘Plastics’ picture. This was one of my very early 365 pictures, and demonstrates that I knew absolutely nothing about photography.

I only know a little bit more than nothing now, but the 365 is kind of like the X-Factor. It is, as they say, all about the journey.

Even just sort of being able to come at something from the right sort of angle marks a huge step along my journey.

I’m still not too good with shadows, though.




It was around about this time that we took ourselves off to spend a day at Chatsworth on a Photography Made Simple course as part of Mike’s birthday treat. I did a basics session and Mike did something more advanced about landscapes. For anyone wanting to learn about photography (whatever your level), I’d definitely give them a try – they run courses all over the country and are well worth the money.


A few weeks later, when I was really into the swing of the project, we went up to Bamburgh for a few days. I was stupidly excited at the sight of these stone blocks, right there on the beach as if they were there just for me to picture. I think this was the first time I had the great joy of finding something unexpected that was perfect for one of the themes.

I took a few pictures of these, and Mike taught me some things about crouching and bending to take things from good angles instead of expecting every picture to be takeable from the exact height of my head.

The sand was a great help for this as it wasn’t so hard for my poor aching bones as some of the firmer surfaces I’ve photographed from since.


Although some pictures, like the dice on the beach, were magically easy to come by, others weren’t so simple.

My attempts to get the ‘Overcast’ theme ticked off became a standing joke after a while – northern weather is surely characterised by being overcast, but everytime we set out with me happening to mention that we might just manage to photograph it that day, the sky would miraculously brighten and the chance would slip away.

I got one eventually, at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on top of a blustery Yorkshire hill. I think it’s about as overcast as I could have captured.

Mike insisted it was just a bit cloudy.


I have to have a food one in here, and while we’re in Yorkshire there’s nothing really more fitting than a Knickerbocker Glory in the Harbour Bar at Scarborough.

I’m not sure whether there’s anywhere else left in the world that would do this sort of thing with quite the same old-fashioned detailing. From the yellow stools set up at the 1950s style bar to the deliciously syrupy peaches crammed into the sundae glass with absolutely no breathing space between them and the ice cream, this has to be one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten all year.




And my final picture – a set of pictures – is from Scarborough too. I didn’t take these for the 365; I wanted to put a few of them up and write about why I enjoy dodging the waves (and watching others do the same).

Scarborough’s always one of my favourite days out, and having the camera along with me added to the entertainment of trying not to get too wet.



Thanks, Kate, for this Listography (and for all the others we’ve had this year). I’ve loved having a new look through my blog to find the pictures that I most enjoyed.

And thanks, too, to all the 365-ers who’ve been so encouraging and supportive. If you want to see all of the themes in the 2011 365 (I managed about 130 of them all together), do click on my 365 page here.

21 thoughts on “My Pictures of the Year

  1. Thanks for sharing your photography journey. I’m new to it too and I too can see the progression in my work when I look back. Here’s to another year of learning and growing. Happy new year!

    1. I’ve really enjoyed taking pictures this year – it always feels wonderfully creative.

      I love the pictures on your site too. Here’s to another year of great photos!

  2. Love these photos and your story of how and why you took them. Been thinking of doing the 366 project myself, would be nice to have a list of photos from the year to look back on. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Happy new year

    1. Thanks, Rebecca. Doing the 365 project has been great fun throughout, and it’s lovely now to have a whole set of photographs that I would probably have never taken otherwise. I’m definitely up for the new one this year.

      Having the themes to work to has been great for me, too. I think I’d end up a bit stumped if I had to come up with my own ideas every day.

  3. Love your photos. Such a great mix.

    Wish I’d discovered the 365 challenge while I was on mat leave last year. Would never be able to fit it in this year, but hope to still be able to get round to taking lots of photos.

    1. Thanks, Emma

      The 365 / 366 thing is great fun, but it does take up a fair bit of time (and covering all the themes is never far from my mind wherever we go).

      I’ve always taken lots of pictures – sometimes, it feels a bit daft to be the one with a camera everywhere, but I don’t think I’ve ever taken a picture and regretted it.

      Looks like you have a pretty special subject there to take pictures of this year!

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