Having bought a DSLR camera late in the previous year, I thought it would be interesting to pull out one photo from each month in 2014. This was a difficult task, like judging the goal of the season competition on Match Of The Day. However, the decision is made. Here is my year, one picture for each month.
This was before I had started my attempts to conquer all of the dials and settings on the camera, so still in Auto mode. I was keen to get out and about regularly to justify the outlay! It was a very cold, crisp night so I didn’t wander far. This is from about thirty yards from the front door to our building, looking towards the bridge. I just liked the colours.
In February, we were lucky enough to go to Tenerife for the second time in three months. The difference was that I had been on the dial and setting conquering course so the camera was out of Auto. Not a massive step to some but a bit scary. I certainly had a few ‘what the hell happened there’ moments when things didn’t turn out as I envisaged Here I was trying to capture the soft light against the orange wall from our hotel balcony at the Villa Cortes. Today I would probably be tempted to tweak in Photoshop but, at the time, didn’t know how!
Ruth was now getting used to me having to stop on street corners like a puppy (not quite – I was taking pictures not peeing on lampposts). This was on the way back to the train station in Saltaire after a day walking the canal, wandering around Salts Mill and drinking tea.It is very rare to get this kind of shot without cars parked everywhere. By now, I could have attempted removal of the van with Photoshop but decided I quite liked it.
The first signs of Spring took us to Golden Acre Park in Leeds. The sun shone for what seemed like the first time in months. Lots of close up pictures of blossom, squirrels and ducks but I thought this was the most interesting. I admit the strange angle was added later.
By May I felt I had taken shots of most bits of Leeds but, the big advantage of living in the city centre is that things are constantly changing. The iconic Yorkshire Post building on Wellington Street was being demolished. I always find scenes like this fascinating as it gives you a glimpse behind closed doors, quite often into the past. My main memory of being inside this building was attending Spanish lessons in the early nineties – strange.
Now the sun was out! This was the weekend of the Food Festival and Leeds was gearing up for the Tour De France. After a few drinks and snacks in Millennium Square we headed towards home and a few more out drinks and snacks at the Engine House. This is looking back towards the courtyard at the Midnight Bell with Candle House in the background.
Picking one shot from July was particularly difficult with lots of long, sunny days out with the camera. In the end it had to be something from the most memorable of these, the Grand Depart of the Tour De France. We were in position early, at the bottom of the Headrow – outside the Lloyds branch. We stood for around four hours, much of it in the rain but, just before start time, the sun came out and the atmosphere was terrific. Mark Cavendish smiled for the camera but Chris Froome looked a bit scared of falling off – wisely as it turned out!
We enjoyed a fantastic week away in the northern Lake District. It felt like we had the place to ourselves when you consider the choking traffic just a few miles south around Windermere. This is taken from the top of the lane that leads down to the car park at Loweswater, with Buttermere just visible behind the trees.
I had one of those moments when I wasn’t sure what button I had pressed, but all my shots on this morning were black and white! I didn’t notice until I got home but I think they still work. This is standing on top of one of the locks, looking towards Harrogate Road with our old apartment just out of shot behind the trees. Another great summer’s day that I seemed to have all to myself.
We called into Livin Italy for a drink and the only seats were right next to the deli. It felt like torture – everything looked fantastic. As we were out for the night I didn’t have the camera with me but the iPhone did a pretty good job. I love the colours in this almost as much as the porchetta (bottom left).
One of my favourite spots has always been Otley Chevin. I have been up there a couple of times with the camera during the year but never quite done the stunning views justice. I was walking back to the car when I saw the restored wall. I got a few shots before the downpour started!
Three weeks in Florida was the perfect way to round off 2014. Anna Maria is a tiny island off the west coast of Florida. It is narrow enough to walk to whichever coast has the best light at the time. This was taken just as the sun rose above the horizon. The fishing boat had been out all night and chose the exact moment to come into shot. The Grouper was near perfect at lunchtime as well.by