The Photographs of 2007

I've gathered together my favourite twelve photographs of 2007, one from each month. I had a couple of bumper months this year, from which I could have chosen several great shots (April, August and October in particular), but these are my pick of the months.

January

Weather Front


Weather Front


I shot this on a cold, early sunset last January. I remember the feeling I had when I left the house that day: "I am going out to make photographs no matter what the weather". I feel the same right now!

February

Elizabeth "Beth" Emma Speirs


Elizabeth Emma Speirs


If there's one story from 2007, it was Beth's birth. What else can you want, except to be grateful that she arrived safely, is healthy and is beautiful?

March

Totality


Totality


I got lucky with the eclipse this year. Not only was the night clear and dry, but I was able to set up my tripod at the office window and shoot the moon with my camera tethered to my Mac Pro. Instant review on a 30" display is wonderful!

April

James Nachtwey


James Nachtwey


The highlight of April was to attend the VII seminar at the Royal Geographical Society in London. I've appreciated James Nachtwey's work for a long time and it was great to hear him speak and I got really lucky with this photograph.

May

Single Sail


Single Sail


May was a bumper month for photography, and the evening I shot Single Sail was a bumper evening. I have several fantastic shots from that day, including Riding out the Day and Golf at Sunset.

June

Taking in the Dawn, 2nd Edition


Taking in the Dawn, 2nd Edition


One of the joys of shooting in RAW is that you can go back later and re-interpret your photographs in the light of newer technology. I recently reprocessed this image in Adobe Camera RAW which produced much better results than Aperture did on this image. I liked the shot before, and I like it even better now.

This was taken at about 8am the day after I arrived in San Francisco for WWDC 2007. I always try to take advantage of the body clock differential to get up early and shoot in the first couple of days on the west coast.

July

April the Engine Driver


April the Engine Driver


We took a holiday to Oban in the summer and took a trip on the Isle of Mull railway, a miniature railway that runs a mile or so on the island. The driver was very kind to April and invited her to 'help' him turn the locomotive at the far end of the line. I've always liked this shot for the feeling of 'being there' that it gives due to the wide angle lens.

August

Starbucks, on Apple's dime


Starbucks, on Apple's dime


August saw the opening of Scotland's first Apple Store in Glasgow. We were there, of course, and the pictures that came out of it were pretty fun. This one has always been my favourite from the day, but another was famously picked up by Fake Steve Jobs and remains my most-viewed picture of all time on Flickr.

September

Flyover


Flyover


September brought the QE2 and the Red Arrows to Greenock. I was delighted with many of the photographs I made that day, but this one has always been the stand-out image for me, combining the two elements of that day's celebrations.

October

Time Travel


Time Travel


I quickly grabbed this photograph on the Heathrow Express platform. I've shot that area before and never thought I had it quite right. This one, though, practically went straight to Flickr's front page when I posted it. I still don't think it's as good as I could have done, but it's pretty darn good and makes a great print.

November

Smiling with Gums


Smiling with Gums


November is the month to practice flash photography indoors, and I produced several portraits of April and Beth that I really love. This is just one of a dozen from the same day that I could have posted.

December

The Hopes and Fears


The Hopes and Fears


I'm obsessed with macro shots of eyes. This is one I shot just before Christmas and one of the first photos I posted that had been seriously worked on in Photoshop. When I tell people that I worked it in Photoshop, everyone has thus far immediately assumed that I used Photoshop to overlay the eye reflection. Not so! That part is all real. All I did in Photoshop was desaturate the skin and enhance the saturation in the iris.

Equipment

I added a few new toys to the camera bag this year: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS and the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS, a Canon 580 EX II flash and a set of Pocket Wizards. I feel pretty lucky to be able to assemble such a great kit without being a pro photographer (I say "lucky" to be modest, but the truth is I worked pretty darn hard to pay for it). Since I completed that lens lineup, I haven't really been interested in adding to it. I find myself mostly using the EF-S 10-22mm and the EF 70-200mm f/4L lenses the most and, surprisingly to me, the 85mm has probably had the least use.

Right now, the only change I would even contemplate making to my kit would be to add another body (probably whatever replaces the 5D) and sell the 10-22mm lens to acquire a similar lens to suit a full-frame sensor camera. The EF 16-35mm f/2.8L would be a dream to own, but the EF 17-40mm f/4L is probably closer to reality.

That, of course, is all entirely dependent on FlickrExport 3 being a wild success. Enough with the holidays and the blogging - I must get back to that! Public beta soon!

Have a great New Year!