Here in NZ its a few hours to go before 2015 is ended. It has been an eventful year for me in several ways. I got the opportunity to visit Hamilton Island for a work conference in Feb and it was a tiny tropical island up near Great Barrier Reef and as you can see from the above image, incredible turquoise sea and blue skies and white puffy clouds. I climbed Passage Peak 900+m which took me over 3 hrs round trip but was worth the experience 🙂
In April my long awaited trip to Tasmania finally happened – 12 days and 2000km of driving all over the island, seeing wonderful scenery, eating great food and meeting lovely people. I would recommend it to anyone, but especially photographers.
In July the local council ran a Light Show in the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch for school holiday fun – it was bloody freezing but they did such a good job I went on both Sat and Sun evenings!
I also made time to tour the city and capture the great graffiti art that had been commissioned to decorate the many walls the city has with most of the buildings in the CBD demolished due to earthquake damage – The Dancer was 3 stories high, and visible several blocks away – a firm favourite for anyone with a camera 🙂
In August I made the 7 hour drive to Te Anau to visit one of my best friends. The fact she lives in some of the most beautiful scenery in the country was no hardship at all. We had two days of rain and two days of lovely sunshine and this shot of Lake Pukaki was taken on the way home, and is my favourite image of the trip.
In June I completed the last paper for my Project Management course and started my year long research project in July with the aim of graduating June 2016. Another A+ result for that paper which was a relief. Due to the intense study I did not do a lot of photography beyond what has been featured here, and in fact am sadly behind in editing many of these events, especially the Tasmania images.
Of course the thing that had the most impact on my year was signing up for the Photoshop Artistry course in Jan and then the Advanced AWAKE course in July. Learning how to use Photoshop and learning exciting new creative techniques was a revelation and I dived in the deep end head first and have not regretted either the cost or the time. It has changed my world, changed my approach to art and changed how I see myself as an artist.
Some of my favourite Photo Art images using these new skills
This rose was originally a mistake with my camera setting and was so underexposed it was nearly black, but with a delicate touch in Lightroom and adding a couple of texture layers to even out the tones and brighten the center, this dark moody image was revealed.
The original image was shot several years ago but the background was very distracting and messy. I discovered Jai Johnson of The Daily Texture and her unique approach to replacing messy backgrounds with beautiful artist ones that she creates with paint and then finishes off in PS. This image also featured in an edition of the Photo Artistic Life Magazine – my first published piece!
This is probably my favourite image of the year, shot at a Vintage railway and then edited with a Jai J background and Topaz Impressions make this painterly look. Doing the extraction of the steam engine and the steam was an exercise in patience and learning but the outcome was worth it.
Finally in Dec 2015 I got the medical establishment to take me seriously and had a much wanted and needed surgery, which I am steadily recovering from, ready to bounce into 2016 better than ever, hopefully 🙂
I didn’t think I would have much to put in this round up post, but looking back it was a year full of events and surprises. A *lot* of learning and mental effort and personal growth happened this year, long may it continue! Via this blog I also met many new and delightful people which was an unexpected treat too 🙂
Click on any image to view larger size
Sending best wishes to all my readers, I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year celebration.
See you in 2016!