Our youngest is studying the stone age at primary school at the moment. And it was suggested that over the half term holiday pupils should visit somewhere with a link to Britain’s stone age past. Given that our son had already made a Stonehenge cake it was obvious what we had to do.
A Swift blast up the A303 later and we were at the new Stonehenge Visitor’s Centre. And very nice it is too. It’s small – a shop, a ticket office and an informative but brief exhibition hall – but still worth a visit.
The ticket includes a short bus ride to the henge itself. This bus journey features a voiceover telling passengers about the archaeological features visible during the journey. And then onto Stonehenge itself, along with hundreds of other people from all over the globe.
The stones are a magnificent site. But on a bitterly cold and wet day such as this we couldn’t help but wonder what the many visitors from foreign climes made of the henge. We had only travelled an hour or so. If I’d been on vacation in London from China I might have felt the journey was a bit much for a pile of stones.
There was no lack of significance for me though. As this visit allowed me to fulfil a lifelong ambition. Yes I listened to Spinal Tap’s epic song Stonehenge on my phone while at Stonehenge. At what volume? Well what do you think?
It might have been blowing a gale, but it was also lovely and sunny at Westbay in Dorset yesterday. The day before the town had been very quiet, with rain driving visitors away. But the winter sun brought out plenty of visitors yesterday despite the cold and wind. I decided to head over with my camera. I travelled light for this one, just my Fujifilm X-T1 with the 27mm f/2.8 and 14mm f/2.8 prime lenses.
Oh the horror, Twitter was down for over an hour this morning. I sat and watched the birds in the garden. It’s a beautiful sunny and frosty winter morning. Plenty of birds in the garden looking for something to eat. So I filled up the bird feeder and eventually we had some traffic.
This is a heavily cropped image from a 55-200mm lens. I am going to have to buy some lottery tickets so I can get the newly announced Fujifilm 100-400mm.
2015 wasn’t a year where I was very prolific. I didn’t venture far from home with my camera so you’ll notice plenty of shots from the same local area. The year has been interesting in photographic terms in that I feel I’m finally developing a style – or at least have a better idea of the style that I’m working towards. The black and white shots at West Bay and the moody colour shots of the village of Broadwindsor are examples of that. At the very least it was a year I finally started getting past gear and working towards better photography even if I didn’t always achieve that.
This is my favourite photo I took in 2015. In reality it is two of my favourite photos I took this year. They were taken in January. However it’s only taken until December for me to realise they’d work well stitched together. And now this is my photo of the year. And if proof were needed that gear isn’t everything this was the product of my Canon Powershot S120 compact camera.
What of the rest? I’ve never been very interested in portrait photography for its own ends. Yes I take lots of people photos – but these are family shots taken to document our children growing up. But I’m finally beginning to appreciate a beautiful portrait and I think 2016 will be the year I explore the art myself. Part of the catalyst for this change is watching the videos of Damien Lovegrove, a photographer whose work I absolutely love. So expect to see more portraits when I return for a similar post next year.
While I don’t think it’s been a vintage year, here are my favourite photos of 2015.
Another July, another Yeovilton Air Day and this year I took the family along. As ever it was a tricky day for spectators and photographers as the flight line has everyone looking up into the sun. It was lovely to see the Vulcan fly one last time before her retirement at the end of the 2015 airshow season. The highlight of this year’s show for me was the Sea Vixen, it’s such an amazing looking fighter – fast jets tend not to be that pretty anymore.
This is just a small selection of my photos from Yeovilton Air Day 2015, you can find more in this album on my Flickr page.