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.