The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

2010 in photographs

Last year I did a post 2009 in Photographs, and the general consensus was I should do it again. Well 12 months have now passed...

It's not easy to pick only one image from each month, and the chances are if I'd done this tomorrow or yesterday, different ones might have been chosen. But in the end I think they do create a snapshot of my year.

As always, you can click on the images for larger versions.

January - Winter Sunset Through the Trees

We had a lot of snow back in January, and accessing this place turned out to be trickier than anticipated. The 3 mile winding back road had not been ploughed, salted or gritted and I was just driving on compacted snow. The concept of winter tyres doesn't exist in Scotland, so it was a small miracle I did not end up in ditch. However, the winter sun setting through the trees with long shadows over the mostly frozen river was a stunningly beautiful sight.

February - Sea Fishing in the Mist

It was cold and misty down at Rascarrel Bay. Just into the distance I saw a couple of fishermen on the rocks. The sea was as still as I've ever seen it and it was difficult to tell where it ended, and the mist began.

March - Michelle

Most of March was spent running about taking photos of whoever would let me. I had been asked if I would like to have an exhibition of my portrait photography at the Mill on the Fleet in May. I'd said yes, then realised I didn't have enough of the kind of photos I wanted to display. This one of Michelle is still one of my favourites, and a version of it appeared on the cover of Prole Magazine back in early December.

April - Self Portrait

Realising it was highly unlikely I would sell any of the photos I would be exhibiting, it was important I use the opportunity to promote my photography business. This required a leaflet to be designed and printed to be handed out to anyone who strolled within distance. I'd been playing with magnifying glasses and reading glasses, enjoying the way they distort light, and I thought this photo made me look a bit interesting.

May - Rooftop Sunset

Remember the volcanic ash cloud that disrupted flights across Northern Europe for weeks? One of the side effects was some glorious sunsets for several weeks. This was taken from our bedroom window with my new Canon 7D - a real, grown up camera.

June - Cytisus Scoparius Andreanus (Broom)

I discovered the wonders on a 50mm f1/8 prime lens. Basically, it allows you to take photos with a shallow depth of field. And what that means is only a small bit of the image will be in focus and the rest will become increasingly blurred. Used right and the background blur becomes as much a feature of the photograph as the main subject. I had hours of fun in the garden with the flowers and shrubs.

July - Burning the Wickerman

The highlight of The Wickerman Festival is the burning of a 30 foot high willow sculpture. These are created by a friend, Trevor Leat, which meant I was able to get unprecendented access to photograph both the building and burning of the Wickerman. It's a seriously impressive construction (and destruction).

August - Flying Teenager

My son, Rogan, has been getting into Free Running, which involves lots of running, jumping and attempts at acrobatics. Fortunately for me as a parent, it doesn't require heavy investment in clothes or machinery. It also offers up the chance to have a go at action photography.

September - Maggie's New Studio

In September my wife, mixed media and textile artist Maggie Ayres, managed to get hold of a workspace in a building converted into studios and workshops aimed specifically at artists, in the nearby town of Kirkcudbright. With white walls and 2 south-facing Georgian windows, the light is wonderful. An additional bonus was it meant she no longer needed her space at home, so I now have that room for my own photography studio.

October - Limestone Pavement

During the kids' half-term we managed to get away for a much needed break to Yorkshire for a week. Up in the Yorkshire Dales there is an area where the limestone erodes in such a way as to create regular cracks and fissures, causing it to look like ancient man-made paving. Known as Limestone Pavements, they really are quite amazing.

November - The Sex Pistols Experience

As well as seeing them live, Rogan and I got backstage access to The Sex Pistols Experience at their gig in Bathgate back in November. A tribute band, their sense of theatre is superb as they swear at each other and goad the audience. It gave me a real taste for band photography, and it's something I'd like to develop over time.

December - Winter Landscapes

Up until this year, we hadn't had a great deal of snow in this part of Scotland over the past decade. Occasionally we'd get a flurry, but it would all be gone the following day. Scottish winters, for the most part, are grey, wet and miserable affairs. But topping and tailing 2010 we have had the most wonderful white winter landscapes across Galloway. I know the snow causes disruption but when the sun comes out it fills me with a childlike awe and wonder.

I quite enjoyed putting this post together. Perhaps I'll do it again next year.


Anonymous said...

Love May & June! August looks fun! I enjoy these recap posts of yours :)

The Unbearable Banishment said...

It's a bearded desk calendar! Well done, esp the self portrait. Was the subject cooperative?

Anna van Schurman said...

Stunning as always. This is probably not the question you were anticipating, but in your self portrait are your eyelashes unretouched? Or did you fiddle in Photoshop while going for a Clockwork Orange effect?

V said...

How time passes...a lovely and beautiful reminder.

erika said...

This is brilliant! I loved it! You should definitely do it again next year.

Cindy said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this! Love the self-portrait. You're a true artist!

Sayre said...

I love your yearly retrospective. All the photos are excellent but my gut favorite is of Maggie's new studio with the kids. I really love that one.

Eryl said...

These a wonderful, I especially love the one of Rogan jumping: such energy. For someone whose primary focus is portraits you take a mean landscape. And the dust-cloud sunset it spectacular.

Jayne said...

Each of the photos hold their own beauty & it really is difficult for me to pick a 'favourite'.....but I will anyway! I think you've captured the energy of Rogan jumping at the absolute most perfect moment!
Great set of photos :-)

Mr London Street said...

These are superb. The rooftop scene at sunset is probably my favourite.

Carrie said...

These are great! It's impressive, especially considering the wide range of subject matter you're dealing with. Hats off. :)

I especially love the self portrait and first photo of the sunset through the trees.

Rachel Fox said...

A great selection. I love the way you photograph people - Meg always stands out but I like the flying teenager (and the old chap with glasses too!).

Lynne said...

I love it. Beautiful photos. You really make me want to do it with some of my photos, like you said it would be hard to choose just 12.

Anonymous said...

What a treat for the New year! Thank you! Happy New Year to You!

Pat said...

You absolutely MUST make this an annual event. It's a delight and don't you feel proud of what you have achieved? You should!
I haven't go a favourite this year - I love then all.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I want to be sea fishing in the mist even though I KNOW it's freezing.

I agree, the one with Michelle is really good. Passion unfiltered.

May looks like Van Gogh's been there.

Looking at your photos, I can feel the creative spirit in me stirring again.

C in DC said...

Beautiful! You truly have talent.

The Lassie & Laddie said...

Oh, I just love your pictures! Is there any chance that you have your pictures of Scotland and general landscape pictures listed for sale somewhere?

Kim Ayres said...

Diamonds - thank you :)

UB - that particular subject is a complete pain in the arse who thinks he always knows better. A total nightmare to work with...

Anna VS - I do have naturally quite long eyelashes. It's something I think my wife both loves about me and is intensely jealous of

V - thank you :)

Erika - if we get to the 5th of January 2012 and there's no "2011 in Photographs" post, then you are authorised to send me a strict reminder :)

Cindy - thank you :)

Sayre - it's such a lovely light in that studio that I tried convincing Maggie she should stay with her room in the house and let me have the new studio. But she wasn't having any of it

Eryl - I take landscapes when I don't have people to photograph. Sometimes I get lucky, but my miss rate is much higher

Jayne - thank you :)

Mr London Street - thank you - I think sunsets and sunrises stir something primal in us. We never tire of seeing streaks of gold and red in the sky :)

Carrie - thank you :)

Rachel - the old chap with glasses is a bit of a grumpy sod. You probably wouldn't like him if you met him...

Lynne - Let me know if you do choose 12 of your own, I'd like to see what you select :)

Starrlife - thank you - and a Happy New year to you and yours too :)

Pat - 2 years running makes it a tradition, so I daresay I'll do it again next year :)

Guyana Gal - do you take photos too?

C in CD - thank you :)

Lassie & Laddie - if you look on my sidebar and click on the RedBubble widget thing, that will take you to a place where I have quite a few landscape images for sale in a variety of formats :)

angryparsnip said...

I enjoyed looking at what you picked out for the twelve months.
I printed out a photo book for Christmas gifts this year and I had twenty two pages to pick for and it was hard.

I am partial to the January Month in any calendar because it is my Birthday month besides being the First of the New Year and I must say your photo for January does not disappoint !

cheers, parsnip

Larry, aka The Kid and The Old Goat said...


Beautiful presentation. You should do this as an annual treat to your readers.

My favorite was September of your wife's studio. I guess it is partly because of my fondness for the paintings of Edward Hopper.


TalesNTypos said...

Kim, Rogan is beautiful. Awww.

As for that May rooftop/sunset, it's so inviting.I wouldn't mind sitting atop one of those rooftops, like a cat, or perhaps a witch with a broomstick. It looks warm. I miss warmth a bit. :)

Anyway, do forgive my nonsense. Great photos.

Ron said...

Spectacular Kim. I never cease to be amazed at your eye for composition, color and content. That was pure pleasure taking a tour through your photographic exhibition of your last year in Scotland. If I had to chose the best, it would be The Burning of the Wickham Man. Thank you for sharing.

Mary Witzl said...

What a great, eclectic, totally different bunch of photos! My favorite is the one of the frozen river, though I wouldn't have relished driving down there myself.

Guyana-Gyal said...

No, but I did a course in photography when I was at uni. [I studied Communications with Language and Lit].

Lynne said...

Kim, I went back and looked at the last year of photos on my photo blog ( and picked the best 12. You said you wanted to know if I did. Tell me what you think.

Hindsfeet said...

January's picture was my favorite then and still is love *love.

Charlie said...

Like some others here, I can't choose a favorite—I like every one of them. They would make a wonderful calendar, but since there's no theme (12 syrupy kittens or a dozen quotes from Willie's Macbeth), you might have to call it "Photographic Impressions by a Long-eyelashed Grouch".

Perhaps that might be too highbrow for Prole magazine.

Carole said...

Wow, love those photos. January is so breathtaking. Is there a chance you could do this monthly? Picture of the week?

Kim Ayres said...

Parsnip - thank you :)

Larry - That's 2 years running I've done this, so I daresay it will probably become an annual event :)

Adila - it's a few degrees below zero again tonight. I know what you mean about missing the warmth :)

Ron - thank you :)

Mary - I'm just really glad I didn't end up with the car in a ditch - it was extremely foolish to drive up there in those conditions and I'll not be doing it again

Guyana-Gal - time to get the camera out again and start posting pics on your blog then :)

Lynne - a fun bunch of photos - I left a comment :)

Hindsfeet - thank you :)

Charlie - oddly enough, filling my blog pages with photos of cute kittens has never occured to me :)

Carole - well there's an idea. Not sure of weekly as there are some weeks I don't get a decent photo, but perhaps monthly. I'll give it some thought. Give me a prod at the end of January :)

Siddhartha Joshi said...

Superb images, and each story is special too. A good read!

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you Siddhartha. And apologies for the late reply - no idea why I've only just noticed this!

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