2023 Recap

No end of year sunset, so here’s one from Brighton in the summer

Time for my second annual recap.

In my recap of 2022, I said that “my number one resolution, though, is to stop buying camera gear and really understand the gear I do have.”

That’s a resolution that aged like milk left outside in a heatwave.

I’ve been chasing that elusive thing, the perfect camera. It doesn’t exist, of course. The camera that has given me the best image quality, in my very subjective opinion, is lacking in other key areas. The camera with the best autofocus and control layout gives me pictures that aren’t quite as good, but I’m more likely to get the shot in the first place. So it comes down to priorities, and they have to be based on what I shoot.

I’ve built on my event photography in 2023, getting involved with the Leigh Folk Festival as an official volunteer and becoming a sort of de-facto “official” photographer for the Leigh Art Trail. Some of my photos of the artists were published in the local paper, and it’s always a buzz to see your work in print.

Evening Echo, July 11th

My involvement with the Art Trail led on to other opportunities as I got to know some of the artists, and now I’m a fairly regular attendee of local art events and craft fairs. Hopefully the artists don’t roll their eyes and think “oh no, it’s him again” when I turn up with my camera around my neck!

Some of the opportunities have been unexpected. I shot the elephants for Herd in the City, and was delighted when the organisers used my photos for the auction catalogue and invited me to the actual auction.

The Herd auction in full swing!

With that in mind, my gear choice should be clear. I need to be able to get the shots I want without too much faffing about (technical term!) with settings. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone’s eyes glaze over as you fiddle around with the camera before taking their picture.

Although the year has been dominated by shooting events, I haven’t entirely stopped doing other types of photography. The monthly outings with a local photography group have led to some wildlife opportunities, and I’ve even managed a few landscape shots.

I’ve also ventured a bit further afield for days out, and even took out an English Heritage membership, which makes me feel old but is, in fact, no more expensive than a Netflix subscription and does a better job of getting me out of the house.

Framlingham Castle in Suffolk

Not many of those shots made it onto the site, as I’d rather neglected the galleries. I’ve gone through a process of updating some of them now, but there’s still work to do. I also need to get better with my workflow, both in terms of organising and editing my photos.

The one style of shooting that I haven’t done enough of this year is street photography. I did have a couple of good sessions, one in Cambridge and one in Brighton. Some places are better than others, and towns that attract a lot of tourists are always easier. Once again, my plans for next year must include London.

On the streets of Brighton

So once again, I’ll make the same basic resolution as last year. Pick a set of camera gear, stick with it, and master it.