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Yorkshire based Professional Landscape and Wildlife Photographer

Obligatory Top Ten Images of the Year…

Posted on 03/01/19

I thought I would start my 2019 blogs with a favourite images of 2018 post.

I always I find this a tricky thing to do as I photograph across a few different subjects and I take a lot of pictures. I also decided not to use images from Abisko at the beginning of the year otherwise it was just going to get too complicated. The images are in the order I took them and although there is one which I think stands out more than the other I haven't tried to rank them.

1st up was this female cuckoo with a drinker moth caterpillar in her beak. I took this shot with a friend Mark Hughes who does a lot guiding for bird photography and his site can be found HERE.

I've only seen a few cuckoo's in my life and this was the first time I'd seen a female (not the brown on her chest). The fact she had a drinker moth caterpillar was an added bonus!

Female Cuckoo

One two day spell in May provided me with the opportunity to get the next two images. Warm humid days with clear cold nights and no wind. This leads to heavy dews and perfect light on a morning to photograph dragonflies. As it's early in the season for dragonflies the most common species by far the four spotted chaser which both of these are. Both images are taken with the dragonflies at the pond and in their natural state ie not sprayed! Both images are stacked (ie multiple images stacked together and blended to increase the amount of the image in focus) and are backlit naturally by the sun.

Below is the whole dragonfly.

4 Spot Chaser

2nd dragonfly is a subsection of the insect to create a natural abstract which to me looked a little like a stained glass window. This image was highly commended in the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018. The other image that was highly commended didn't actually make my top ten.

Stained Glass Window

Peek a Boo

I have done variations of this image previously but for some reason I think this one has turned out better than my previous attempts. Even early on a morning the damselflies although too cold to fly will try to hide behind the grasses. Of course with those amazing eyes they can't really hide.

Peek a Boo

I have taken a lot of autumn images and also winter images but this is the 1st time I've managed to get autumn and winter in one frame. In the image there are the beautiful autumn colours in Abisko National Park and then snow coming down mount Nuolja.

When Autumn Meets Winter

Whilst working for Lights over Lapland this Autumn I was asked by one client to give him a secret word when it would look like a good time to try and get an engagement shot with aurora. The below is the result. I love the emotion of the image and the fact you can see the ring.

The Engagement

One day me Nivi and Jan headed down to lake Torneträsk and it was a beautiful cloudy day but still. Therefore providing beautiful reflections. I got Nivi to do a yoga pose which to me just added that extra touch to the image and finished it off.

Yoga by the Lake

The below image is a complete stumble upon as I drove down the only main road in the area. I saw the moon setting whilst driving. Pulled into the first place I could, jumped out, grabed my camera and literally had to change the settings as I ran round the van. I love moon shots and I think the chance encounter of the people in the shot again just finish it off.

Moon Set

This image was taken during the polar night ie the sun doesn't come above the horizon for around two months. Still in this time we can have some amazing skies like the red lenticular clouds below. This was a complex image as the ice in the foreground was very close to the camera so I had to stack multiple images to get everything in focus.

Ice and Lenticular Clouds

In December I went for a hike with my friend Chris up Nuolja mountain during a temperature inversion. As we got higher up the mountain we hiked above the clouds with an amazing view of Lapporten with hoarfrost on the trees and bushes it looked amazing. I just hoped the below image did it justice!

Lapporten Above the Clouds

So that was my top ten for 2018. I hope everyone gets some great photography in for 2019!

Any feedback welcome and I'd be intrigued as to which of these images they think are the strongest?

All the best,

  • I think your selection is perfect and each image has its own special story. My favourites from your selection are the Peek a Boo, that’s just such a great shot. And I absolutely love the one with the moon. It makes it feel so close yet so far away. Keep them coming!

    Nadine - 03 January, 2019
  • Hi Oliver,
    Lovely selection!!
    My favorites?
    I love your landscapes and wildlife, so mine would be the pink polar night with Lapporten and the moon. 3RD choice would be the cuckoo. But the stories behind the shots are just as good as the shots themselves.
    Looking forward to what your eye finds this year.

    Linda Liebers - 03 January, 2019
  • Terrific as usual Oliver!

    Zuleika Henry - 03 January, 2019
  • Hi Oliver. Great blog as usual always a pleasure to read, for me images 1 & 9,

    Thanks Peter

    Peter West - 04 January, 2019
  • For me, its the last shot with Laporten and the inversion and heavy frost. Very powerful.
    A great collection with something for everyone!

    Glen Pierson - 04 January, 2019
  • Hi Oliver!  The two pictures I like best is the one with the moon, and, of coarse, the fly with that amazing aquamarine and turquoise eyes and the raindrops. Have a great year.

    Dorothea - 04 January, 2019
  • superb images especially liking that cuckoo and the Abisko in autumn.
    Best wishes for 2019.

    Mr geraint evans - 07 January, 2019
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