The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

2009 in Photographs

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I noticed a photographer friend of mine had created a 12 month gallery on Facebook of pics he was pleased with across 2009.

"Damn fine idea," I thought. "Definitely worth stealing for my blog."

Consequently I've spent most of the day rummaging through the files on my computer to pick out photos from each month. But rather than just being a random collection of images, once I'd chosen the ones I wanted, I noticed many of them did in fact reflect aspects of this past year quite well. Indeed, some of these you may well have seen before on this blog.

So without further ado, and with apologies to Australian Kate who only has dial-up internet access, here is my pick of the pics, 2009.

Click on any of them to view a larger version

January - Burns Light Festival

Friend and willow sculptor, Trevor Leat, was commissioned to create a giant figure of Tam O'Shanter as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations of the birth of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Floating on the River Nith in Dumfries, this was the moment the flares went off and the figure was set on fire.

February - A Walk on the Beach

Out for a walk on the beach with Meg in her stripey, woolly hat, how could I not take a photo of that beautiful, smiling face?

March - The Willow Harvester

Trevor again, this time harvesting willow for other sculptures. I went our with him on a cold winter morning to do a photo shoot and knew when I took this one, it was something special. I entered it into a competition and actually won quite a decent camera with it.

April - Three on a Hill

Some people don't seem to like wind turbines. Personally I think they look a great deal nicer than nuclear or fossil-fuel fired power stations.

May - Blue Poppy

I noticed a couple of blue poppies in the garden and was captivated by the intensity of the colour

June - Caught in the Act

This quartet of singers were doing a fund raiser for Broughton House in Kirkcudbright and needed some photos for the poster. It was a fun shoot and we played with several different ideas. This one, however, I love. I asked them to all look dead serious and the result was, when looking at this photo you get the feeling you have stumbled into something you really shouldn't have and in a matter of moments the guards will be called and your body will be disposed of. You can see a larger selection of images from this shoot on my photography website here - Broughton House Quartet

July -Vertical Stripes

At the Galloway Children's Fayre, Rogan was selling cakes from his stall. Not being allowed to eat the stock I wandered off with my camera and found a Storyteller friend of mine. John is a man of many talents, one of which is being able to stay upright on a unicycle.

August - Bea Last

I was doing a photoshoot with artist Bea Last who was sitting up against one of the only clear areas of wall in her studio while I was taking some head shots. I pulled back with the camera and saw this composition. With the figure in the middle of the image, and the revealing of the reflected light on the left, I would never have considered setting up such a scene, and yet somehow it worked. And once we did selective colour on the paintings, the tubes and the paint splatters on the skirting board, Bea was delighted with the outcome, as was I.You can see more photos from this shoot on my photography website here: Bea Last

September - The Lost Wedding

Our favourite Kitchen Bitch, Eryl, is one of my favourite people to photograph. Not only does she have a wonderful bone structure, she's also game for trying out different ideas. I can't remember exactly where this idea came from now, but we ended up in a burned out old hotel she knew of, with her wearing a wedding dress she'd got from a charity shop. We did a whole series of photos, and this was one of my favourites. For those who were following the crisis before Christmas, she is now back home recovering from her operation and is on the mend

October - Swan in the Mist at Sunrise

After dropping my son off early in the morning to go on a school trip, I became aware that the combination of sunrise and fog might make for some good shots down at the local loch, so grabbed my camera. This image has probably received more oohs and aahs from different people than any other I've taken.

November - Floods

Torrential rains, rivers and lochs bursting their banks, and floods in general are not much fun if you are directly affected by them. However, they can be a dream for photographers. This lorry was trapped as the dip just behind the rise it's parked on was also flooded and just as deep as the one in front. The driver must have been there for a least 36 hours until the waters receded enough.

December - Balmaghie Church

This one was actually taken on Christmas Day. I was heading up to Crossmichael to pick up friends who were having Christmas Dinner with us, when I decided to take a slight detour to look at Loch Ken, which I knew would be frozen. But I wasn't expecting to have my breath taken away by the beauty of the church across the water in the sparkly, snowy landscape. Fortunately I had my camera with me.

January 2010 - Bonus Pic

On New Year's Day the kids and I went for a walk down to Rascarrel. If you click on the image for the larger version, do take a look at the tree  in the top right corner. It looks like it's been a victim of a topiary enthusiast, but it's completely natural, shaped purely by the wind and the weather.

If I remember, I might make this an annual blog event.
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60 comments

Coralee said...

Oh Bearded One. ..your keen eye is delightful. ..thanks for "stealing" the idea and sharing.

St Jude said...

Lovely photos. Oh and if you don't remember to do it again, we will remind you. ;0}

Gitta said...

Really beautiful pictures! Can't wait to see what this year will bring.

Tri Mommy said...

Amazingly beautiful. Thank you!

Pat said...

All the best ideas are stolen. You must make this at least an annual event. So glad to hear an update on Eryl. I was delving in my archives today and found one of her inspiring comments.

Midnitefyrfly said...

wow!

Whitney Lee said...

These are all gorgeous (as I'm sure you know). What's interesting is that you don't stick with only one subject (portraiture, nature photography, landscapes, etc) but tackle them all. Even better, your talent is not at all limited to one type of photography.
Thank you for sharing the fruits of your labor.

Freakazojd said...

Goodness! I am excited and inspired just looking at your work. Keep on, keep on. I can't wait to see where you'll go and what your eye/camera will see next.
A bountiful, healthy and hopefully happy new year to you and the family.
Love
K

KC said...

Amazing pictures. Wow!

Tiffin said...

Kim, just beautiful. My two faves are Meg (what a sweet face) and the willow harvester. The scenes are breathtaking though.
Tui

Suz said...

Wonderful photos. You have a great eye for detail and composition. I envy that. I can appreciate it but I can't do it. Oh well.

hope said...

You'd BETTER do this again! What a wonderful way to start a week. They're all beautiful but I swear the one of Meg stole my heart. :)

Is it okay if I "steal" the last one and us it on my desktop at home?

Kim Ayres said...

Coralee - thank you :) It also got me out of struggling to think of an idea for a blog post for a couple of days...

St Jude - write it in your diary - ah, but they only go up to December don't they...

Gitta - thank you. Living in Scotland I'll probably have to learn how to take lots of photos in the rain

Tri Mommy - thank you :)

Pat - Eryl writes wonderful blog posts and lovely comments. I do hope she returns to blogging soon

Midnitefyrfly - thank you :)

Whitney Lee - portraits are my passion; landscapes are my mystery. I struggle massively to take decent landscape photos, but I'm always trying. Of course I only put up the ones that work, but my hit rate is tiny.

Freakazojd - I thought you'd deserted the blogging world completely - thank you for taking the time to de-lurk and comment! And a very wonderful new year to you and your family too :)

KC - thank you :)

Tiffin - it's always nice to know people's favourites, especially as they vary so much :)

Suz - practice, practice, practice. Since I won this camera back at the beginning of April, I've taken over 11,000 photos with it. If you took 11,000 photos in 9 months, bought magazines and continually looked up tutorials on the Internet, you would improve.

The question is not whether you are capable, only whether you have the passion for it, to keep going even when you don't feel you're getting anywhere :)

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - missed you in the ether there. Of course you can use it on your desktop. Just remember to point anyone who's interested to my photography website and tell them they're getting a bargin if they want to buy my services :)

mapstew said...

Fantastic work Kim.

And by the way, I think wind turbines are beautiful!

:¬)

pilgrimchick said...

Those really are fantastic--and what a great idea to take stock of your year that way.

Jennifer said...

My favorites: February & May

Jayne Martin said...

I love "The Lost Wedding". It's so Dickens...

Sayre said...

You've got a wonderful eye, Kim! I love all your pictures, but I must say my all time favorites are your portraits of Meg. There is something so real and yet so other-worldly about them - not to mention that she is just beautiful.

angryparsnip said...

I read your blog but rarely comment as you have lots of followers... but I just had to comment today. Wonderful photos and I love the Christmas Church shot and the bonus photo was Fabulous.
My Japanese son does a "my favorite end of year photos" on his blog. It is always so interesting to see which ones the photographer like the best as apposed to which one the viewer enjoys.
Cheers, parsnip

Katie Roberts said...

Kim, you added great joy to my day!

It took FOREVER to seep through the tiny aperture at a trickling speed that is my internet connection.... but SO nice to be thought of. Thanks Kim :O} Glad you think of us out here in the stone age (even if it is just me left on the old wire and tin can!)

Nice pics btw (you could make a living out of them - In case you never thought of it before. hehe :)

Rachel Fox said...

An exhibtion of a post. I love the way the gravestones stand out so in December.
But all the others are gorgeous too...Meg, unicycling...where to stop?
x

the broken down barman said...

Stunnin pictures, auld beardy, stunning. amazing what you can do with an auld shoe box and a pin hole eh? cant believe its nearly a year since they burnt that willow dude. I remember dancin away to the dangelberries with ma hipflask raised high, what an evenin that was. magic

bonequinhoda bic said...

Some excellent photos you have here. I hope you Have a new great creative beginning in 2010 !

Jacqui said...

A fabulous collection of photos, it can't have been easy to choose from 11,000+, I have difficulty selecting a favourite from just the 12 posted - but I think the Lost Wedding just gets it.

Michelle said...

wow:) what an excellent blog!! i really enjoyed the photographs AND the read... thanks.

Someday..... said...

You are so amazingly talented! I really liked each and every one - but I will say I have a favorite. The willow harvestor is just so vivid, and there is a story there....
Do keep up with your photography - you inspire me and give me ideas -
I appreciate your sharing!!
Shannon

Jennifer said...

Wow these are some seriously beautiful photos... I definitely ooohhhed and aaahhhed over the swan one myself, and then chuckled when I read the caption. Great job!

Brenda Grolle said...

Hello, I'm new to your blog. Beautiful photos, please do make this an annual event!

Charlie said...

1. A walk on the beach
2. The willow harvester
3. The lost wedding

It's a tough call because I like all thirteen, but these are my top three.

I better get out of here before I change my mind.

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Do this monthly! Or weekly! Your talent continues to impress me, mate.

Carole said...

Sweet!

Stella said...

Amazing!

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Gorgeous - each one in a different way. Sweet Meg! She's squeezey.

Helen said...

Hey Bearded One - what a damn fine idea - glad you stole it! Love all the photos! Meg is gorgeous, John is a man after my own heart, wind turbines are amazing, and that tree looks like something out of Dr. Seuss.

Eryl Shields said...

Wow indeed! That church is spectacular.

talesNtypos said...

Meg indeed has a lovely smile.
Trevor has a gorgeous behind.
Will come back to scrutinize the rest later. :)

Happy new year!

Library girl said...

Kim, you capture the 'story' of the moment so well. Thank you for sharing those stories with the blogosphere! (Thanks for the hugs too!)

Gillian said...

Kim, come and be a guest blogger on my wee blog. Pwetty pleeeeez. Email me at info@redpepa.za.net

Kim Ayres said...

Mapstew - I've always loved the look of wind turbines, and never understood the animosity towards them

Pilgrimchick - thank you :)

Jennifer - One thing I've discovered over the years is if I stick up a photo of my daughter I can guarantee an major increase in the amount of comments on a post :)

Jayne - at some point I'll get round to putting up the complete series somewhere

Sayre - see my reply to Jennifer above :)

Angry Parsnip - mind you, everyone loves a poll. Perhaps I should have done a vote on them :)

Katie - I've always been impressed with your patience to allow this blog to download! And wouldn't it be nice if I could actually make a living out of them...

Rachel - hopefully there's something for everyone as the selection is pretty varied :)

BD Barman - I know, a year already!

Bonequinhoda - thank you, and you :)

Jacqui - well, a good 10,900 of them were crap or repetitive...

Michelle - thank you, and welcome to my ramblings :)

Someday - thank you for your kind words :)

Jennifer - I got pic of the week on one photo site with that one, altough I've also had criticisms that it looks too much like a greetings card :)

Brenda - welcome to my ramblings. Do I take it from that request tht you intend to stick around for a year?

Charlie - Meg wins the day again :)

FLG - the way my life is shifting, this blog will probably start turning steadily more into a photo blog as time goes on

Carole - so lovely of you to come out of hibernation to comment! Thank you :)

Stella - thank you :)

Lisa - she is, and her older sister just bought her a t-shirt that says "I Love Hugs"

Helen - do you ride a unicycle then? I demand photographic evidence!

Eryl - so pleased you're well enough to visit and type :)

talesNtypos - I'll be sure to pass on your sentiments to Trevor :) Happy New Year to you too!

Library Girl - thank you for your kind words :)

Gillian - have sent you an email :)

P said...

Hi Kim
Have you heard about Sang?

Kim Ayres said...

P - no. What's happened?

P said...

shit, Sang has died. Heart attack apparently. I'm sad and shocked, absolutely crazy.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=logo#/pages/Sang-Lee/137768993813?ref=ts

Kim Ayres said...

Fuck

P said...

those were exactly my words once I realised it were true. I first read about it in Luz's blog and I thought it was a joke, I can't quite believe it.

P said...

here's a tribute page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sang-Yoon-Lee-Tribute-Page/238196071414?ref=mf

Brenda Grolle said...

You bet you're stuck with me! :)

Falak said...

There's nothing much left for me to say after all the praise you've recieved from others. But all the same i'd like to say WOW!

I think you should make a calendar out of these photographs.

jackonius said...

I love the July one - the one with your friend on a unicycle. Simply awesome!

Kim Ayres said...

Falak - thank you :) Maybe I'll do a calendar next year

Jackonius - it's quite inspiring, isn't it? :)

Anna van Schurman said...

Lots of great stuff, but I think December may be my favorite. Nice job! I look forward to next year's review.

Danielle said...

Every year I compile all the best photos I've taken over the year and design a very cool album online. However, after seeing your genius, my photos look pretty much like crap! I have a lot of work to do to reach your standard, but hey, it's a goal! :) PS ... I love the blue poppy ... I've never seen one before, and your photo is very cool!

Kim Ayres said...

Anna -thank you :)

Danielle - I'd love to see your online album - can you post me a link? And I don't believe for a moment your photos are crap.

Danielle said...

Unfortunately the site I did last years one on had some major "updating" in the last few months and quite inconveniently lost all my work :( And I've yet to start 2009 ......

Kim Ayres said...

You could always start up your own blog and post a few :)

cat said...

Oh your photographs are just stunning. I am so glad I found you through Gillian. Will visit again.

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you Cat - welcome to my ramblings :)

Hummy said...

i love the December one :)

Michelle said...

I love "Caught in the Act." It's so freaky and I laugh every time I look at it.

Kim Ayres said...

Hummy and Michelle - thank you :)

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