So, 2019 is coming to an end. This decade is nearly over. My first full year in business done. It has been an interesting year. A lot of learning has been done of myself and of my business but I will continue to learn and push myself.
Next year is going to be different in a lot of ways. My Wife and I are expecting baby number two. I will looking to add a second job into my life as well. I am also adding new packages and trialing different, unique approaches on your normal packages I already offer to keep eyes peeled.
So my top 5 images of 2019. I would also love your feedback on if you feel different to what you have seen.
Number 5: Now this piece was a spur of the moment rush to catch this southerly storm rolling into Christchurch. I took this from the entrance to Laka Roto Kohatu behind the airport. Weather had been warm but as soon as this hit, the temperature plummeted many degrees. I think I read it was about 20'c in 4 hours. Add to that the gale force wind that hit with a huge blow, I was struggling to stand. Even once sat in the car, the car swayed. I had to be quick setting up for this as it was coming in fast! When I took this, I was using full manual mode so I had to fiddle with settings quickly to get the right exposure and depth of field. Thinking back, I could probably have used AV Mode but I am still happy the way it has turned out. It was a big experience feeling the force of this weather event hit - which I have gone on to experience again a few months ago now.
Number 4: Right now, this is probably one of my best composite images I have created. I don't create many as they are fairly time consuming (this took a good 2-3 hours of playing) and you need the right images for each piece but this fitted so well together. The top image of the Milky Way was taken from Motueka. Towards the left side, you can see the Galactic Kiwi which I didn't even realise I had captured until I got home and started going through them. The landscape is of Lyttleton Harbour during a sunrise earlier in the year. This certainly isn't perfect but for my first major attempt, I am happy with it. The water reflection was also a layer of the sky flipped horizontal to mirror the sky. I am looking forward to creating more but only if I have the correct images.
Coming in at Number 3: Christchurch sunset. You cannot beat them sometimes. If you live in Christchurch, you will certainly know this spot. This is the Bridge of Remembrance within the CBD. An image I captured only a few weeks ago but that doesn't stop it reaching my top 5 images of the year. I hadn't done much street photography and wanted to give it another go by going around during sunset and see what I could find. This was pretty much all I got. It is better to get one great shot than several average shots.
I needed to be quick getting this shot as by time I got to this spot, it was already close to being down and the colour fading. I switched into the AV Mode (Aperture Priority) and it to F/8 and exposed for the sky knowing I could bring out the shadow easier than the highlights. It was good timing that someone was walking through the arch at the same time to add perspective to the image. Could have been my number 2 but the top two are really special for me.
Top two now: Cape Foulwind. This little gem doesn't get much coverage and I don't know why. Happy to have captured this panoramic view of the bay. There is a 3km walk from the lighthouse around to the point centre of the image and you go down the cliff to a seal colony. I didn't venture down to the colony as I wanted to get back to this spot for sunset. Being on the West Coast it would have been rude not to do a sunset shoot.
This panoramic image is made up of 5 or 6 long exposed images stitched together in Lightroom. I wasn't 100% if this method would work with them being long exposure shots and matching them all up. The water wasn't as smooth as I had imagine but it was enough. I had taken this in November. Another image from not long ago I fell in love with. The light here was stunning with soft tones. You wouldn't guess from the shot but it was fairly windy at this location. Cape Foulwind is known to be a wind breaker for Westport and I could feel how much it does block!
Right, number one. This has been something I have tried and tried to capture but everytime the event came around, my wife was working so I had my daughter - unable to venture out. Other times, it was cloudy. Typical! I nearly missed this night as well as I was in after hours with my daughter. We was just leaving around 20.30 and my Facebook started going crazy. It was happening again. My wife wasn't at work this time. This was my chance. An actual chance. The skies were clear. I just needed to race home and collect my camera (luckily the batteries were charged!). I flicked a quick message over Instagram to see if anyone else was heading out. I was home and heading back out by 21.15 roughly. After heading up the Port Hills to find a spot, a friend and myself found a location that had a couple of other photographers there. Here, I met with another photographer I had talked to a lot via Instagram. Small place in a large city! This is my number one image of the year because it was something I had been dying to capture for years....
The Australias Aurora. She is such a thing of beauty. Not something you can see with the naked eye except at times it looked like a light cloud on the horizon. I was so stoked when I saw the colours on my first image. I even managed a time-lapse which is on my Facebook. A night I was super SUPER stoked about. Even though it was very cold (almost 0'c) and close to midnight!
So there it is. My top 5 images of the year. I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have taking them!!
|| Steve Sims Photography ||
|| Christchurch Portrait & Landscape Photographer ||