Well that was another year that has just flashed by! It has been quite a hectic year with long working hours and trying to squeeze some photography time in. I've decided to do a review of what I think were my highlights of 2019 and add a few of my favourite images.
I always start the year off with a couple of classic car shows (I'm a bit of a petrol-head!). One of the shows I was particularly interested in was at Bicester Heritage centre. It is on the site of an old RAF base were they still fly gliders and vintage planes such as Tiger Moths etc. The site is basically how it was then with old style buildings which make great backdrops for classic cars.
1959 Cadillac at Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire.
During the first couple of months we had some chilly days which made for some atmospheric wildlife shots. As some of you may have guessed I spend quite some time around London especially Bushy & Richmond Parks. Great photographic locations all year round.
Fallow deer in Bushy Park, London.
My local reserves of RSPB Otmoor & Farmoor reservoir were frequented several times over the year. These places can be a bit hit and miss so I tend to watch out for wildlife sightings before I visit.
Hares are quite common at RSPB Otmoor, Oxon.
Mrs Kingfisher at Shrike Meadow, Farmoor, Oxon.
Red Kite. I never tire of seeing these birds float about in the Oxfordshire skies.
I've always had an interest in motorsport and I have been visiting Santa Pod Raceway since the mid 1980's. This is the home of quarter mile drag racing were the top cars can reach over 300 mph in less than 4 seconds!! During 2019 I visited the venue seven times! In 2020 I am hoping to obtain a track-side pass so I can get closer to these machines. I'm really looking forward to this. Fingers crossed.
Top Fuel cars at Santa Pod Raceway
Classic hot rod at Santa Pod Raceway, Bedfordshire.
For a few years now I had been planning to visit RSPB Bempton Cliffs on the Yorkshire coast. It is worth keeping an eye on the weather when visiting Bempton as sea mist can be a nightmare. Thousands of seabirds breed here in Spring/Summer such as gannets, gulls and Atlantic puffins. You never know where to point your lens! I had a great time there and hope to visit in 2020 but this time incorporate a boat trip to watch the gannets feeding and diving into the sea. Can't wait.
Gannets at Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire.
Atlantic Puffin. RSPB Bempton Cliffs.
A mecca for wildlife is the Norfolk coast especially during the Spring and Autumn migrations. I made a visit at the end of October during the Autumn migration. My main reason was to see the Grey seals along the coast line. I spent a day at Horsey Gap on the East Norfolk coast and I couldn't believe how many seals there were. I arrived early in the seal breeding season but I was informed that there will be thousands more arriving on the beaches to give birth to seal pups! Well worth a visit.
Grey seal newborn with mum. Horsey Gap, Norfolk.
The last couple of months were very dismal weather wise. Rain and more rain. It was a struggle to get motivated to go out sometimes. Sometimes it does pay off to venture out in dire weather conditions. It doesn't have much effect on wildlife, they are used to it unlike us wimpy humans!
The deer rut wasn't as good as expected and a lot more people are visiting do to social media sites etc. This time of year the deer are all full of testosterone and if you get in their way you better be able to run fast! I've witnessed people in 'their face' with mobile phones and chasing the deer round the parks. I'm looking to try new wilder venues next season.
Bellowing Red deer stag during the annual deer rut, Bushy Park.
During 2019 I didn't do much people photography. Only one outing to the Didcot railway centre to see the Ragged Victorians. An award winning team of re-enactors who dress up like they did in 1850's England.
'Street Urchin' from the Ragged Victorians, Didcot Railway, Oxon.
That comes to the end of my brief review of the past year. As for 2020 I have plans to visit the West coast of Scotland to see the Sea eagles, otters and other Scottish wildlife that cares to jump in front of my lens! Hopefully a visit (Feb/March) to Norfolk/Suffolk. Bempton Cliffs is another definite.
My 2020 photography starts off on the 1st Jan with a car show at Brooklands museum, Surrey and another one on the 5th at Bicester. If you happen to see me about come over and say hello. I don't bite unless your stood in front of the car I'm photographing!
That leaves me to say Happy New Year and all the best for 2020. Thank you all for your support over the past year. Your comments and feed back are much appreciated.