Last year I did my first ‘year in review’ blog and it’s quite a nice reflection and sum up of a year, so I have decided to write one for 2014.
After failing my first year of A Levels, the first half of 2014 was devoted to study as I was taking two and half A Levels in the summer. It was tough and it meant I didn’t get out with the camera for months which I probably shouldn’t have done as I became very fidgety and my trichotillomania developed. Looking at my archives, I went out twice in six months which included a trip to Hove in East Sussex to photograph a very chilled Grey Phalarope with Josie Hewitt and Alex Berryman, and also a trip to the London Wetland Centre with Josh Burch and Mark Turner.
The day I finished my last exam, I headed to my local woodlands and ended up spending five hours walking around as I had discovered some very approachable kestrels. Blog to more photos
I also visited Richmond Park with several photographers on a Young Wildlife Photographers UK (YWPUK) meet up with Freya Coursey, Jack Barton and Gideon Knight where I managed to photograph my first kingfisher!
The week after I headed off to the Farne Islands with seven other young photographers, who were Rebecca Diez, Max Thompson, Kyle Moore, Harry Read, Alex, Josie and Josh (mentioned previously). The trip consisted of puffins, fish and chips, an awful, unnecessary amount of cider and a dead gannet! The trip was fantastic, even if we only got a couple of trips on the islands.
When I returned from Northumberland, I spent a few more days with the kestrels and then headed off to Cyprus. This was an unplanned trip due to some issues with my parents’ villa. I had a couple of weeks in the sun and I'm not much of a birder, but seeing this Bonelli's eagle fly over was awesome!
Back in the UK, I headed up to the RSPCA East Winch centre as part of my prize from the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards. I had a tour around the centre with Andrew Forsyth a judge and former chief photographer for the RSPCA.
I also made an underwater GoPro video with the seals on Youtube
On the 6th August, I left the UK for an astonishing four week trip round Australia. On our way to Australia, we visited Dubai and Singapore, both incredible cities. I won’t include many photos as I’m still in the process of writing detailed blogs on each of the places I visited. However, I will include my favourite photo from the trip.
And a Green turtle I snorkeled with on the Great Barrier Reef.
After three weeks travelling with my family in Australia, I was meant to depart with my granddad for two weeks in New Zealand. However due to health reasons my Granddad had to book the first fight home and instead of coming home myself, I ended up staying in Melbourne with family friends.
When I returned from Australia, my gap year officially began. Over the autumn I concentrated on my university application and began planing my travels for 2015. I visited Richmond Park and photographed the stags during the start of the rut.
In October, I went on Pro wildlife Photographer Danny Green’s seal trip in Lincolnshire with young photographer, Amy Wilton. The trip was part of my prize winning the RSPCA YPA 2013 and it was a great weekend. The first day was pretty atrocious due to the weather conditions but the second day was lovely and sunny!
I also have continued to photograph the kestrels at my local woodlands and also overwintering cormorants and my Coonhound, Ashley.
In November and December, I visited Hyde Park several times to photograph the tame birds that’ll feed straight from your hand. These were part of the YWPUK meet ups and I was also joined by Sam Aron, Josh Roston, Arnie Monteith, Ben Warwick, Gideon, Max and Amy.
This year I didn’t concentrate on entering competitions at all and only ended up entering three of which I managed a commended in the RSPCA YPA 2014 with an image titled, ‘My Coonhound’.
The RSPCA awards are always a delight to attend as there are so many young photographers I know. Below is an image of Chris Packham and all the members of the YWPUK who attended the awards ceremony.
I spent my Christmas break in Lancashire where I also got the chance to photograph Red Squirrels, Whooper swans at Marin Mere and Ash on the beach.
Two days before the New Year, I visited fellow young photographer Gideon Knight's local park where he has been working with some friendly Grey wagtails.
The start of the year with A Levels was frustrating but I have the grades now to study zoology and am still awaiting responses from a couple of universities before I make the decision of where I’d like to study. 2015 will be an exciting year as I have several trips booked and a couple still in the planning process!
Thanks for reading,
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