Lots of bloggers are looking back at the year and showing their best images, favourite new books, new gear or a bit of all of these. I want to do something like this and I will concentrate on the things I did or did not do well and wished could have been better.
Images. Here a few images that I like on first browsing of my library. Some surprised me. None of the Japan images are here as they stand alone. Funny thing. Most are taken with my "lesser" lenses, the 75-300 and 45mm.
My favourite image by someone else;
Purchases made this year were few and came mostly in response to an illness that put me in ICU for a week. I awoke from my malaise to a photo magazine my mother had left for me (even she said it was an odd choice from her to me). It reminded me that photography never really changes, only the fashions and implementation. Something I had forgotten when working in a camera shop. The things that were important are still important.
Coming out inspired, all guns blazing, I planned to add the panasonic 42.5 and 12mm f1.2's and Olympus 300 F4 (with the 75mm making the "perfect" 4 until a "superior" 14-20mm comes along making 5) and a new Canon Pro 1000 printer , but the pricing put me back on my haunches ($8500 au). Instead I added the excellent and more practical 40-150 f2.8 and Pen F and learned to re appreciate my other gear (and my own philosophy!). I also stuck with my Pixma 9000 mk2, determined to use it until it dies naturally.
The new gear took a bit of getting used to, but now I am hooked.
This year gone was the year of maturity in the brands that matter most to me. The XT2/10, A7 mk2 series and Pen F/EM1 mk2 have all reached levels not hoped for even a year or two ago and have shown in even greater contrast how slowly the big SLR brands are adapting. Finally, SLR's really hold no lure (Nikons sales figures and staff redundancy plans are a worrying sign for the SLR reliant brands).
I would have loved to travel more, but twice in a year will have to do. I can control however how much I get around my own beautiful home state.
I have discovered a couple of bags that I like.
Temba Switch (7, 8 or 10?), ZLYC and the Crumpler Flock of Horror. The Timbuk2 bags always call, but too many design choices. Some non-camera bags also started to work for me. A Tokyo Porter, Filson field bag and a leather satchel all came right. What I purchased though was a Domke F802 (review coming). The first bag I have purchased with practicality only in mind (yeah, sure).
Always, the one that got away. The Wotan Safari.
I tried DXO, Pro-1 and Dark table. Went back to the one that works for me, Lightroom, but discovered some new tricks in the process. I now keep my files as RAW not DNG though, just in case I change later.