I checked my 2014 review before I created this post, and back then I wrote ”I was very productive last year but I can’t help but feel that I have allowed quantity to take over quality”. Funny – I was going to say the exactly same thing about 2015. Oh well.
I did two big trips in 2015, Greenland in May and Scotland in November. They were good trips but the biggest lesson I learned is to finally bring down my expectations on a realistic level, because you can never, ever, expect to take the best pictures of your life just because you travel to a far-away place. There’s no magic happening during the travel and you don’t become a better photographer when you touch down on foreign soil. So the next time I travel (two big trips planned for 2016), I will remember that I’m on vacation and enjoy that, and if good pictures happen then that’s a bonus.
Looks like every year, at least one of my monthly selection is from a zoo. January 2015 was pretty lousy (the whole winter was lousy!) so landscape photography just wasn’t happening, but the zoo worked out fine.
Hard to believe that it’s February, right? The picture is from Hornslandet, the first outing with my new Sony A7 camera. Love that camera, and the 16-35/4 lens!
It was the best aurora display I had ever seen. I think there would have been a better one in October, but we had too much clouds to fully appreciate it – I saw it was green all over the sky, but not the details. But this one show in March, there were no clouds. Just amazing.
Since Iceland, I’ve gotten more into seascape photography. I’m actually starting to get the hang of it now, so the next time I’m in Iceland, I hope I can avoid the kind of helplessness that struck me on our first morning on the black beach. I haven’t been that lost since I got my first SLR!
I fulfilled a long-time dream to travel to Greenland and one of the highlights on that trip was going out on a boat among the huge icebergs. And the helicopter ride, of course! But my favourite is this iceberg with a bit of blue sky (there wasn’t very much of that happening otherwise).
In the beginning I said I did two good trips, but now when I came to June I realised that it’s not true – I did three. This is from Gotska Sandön, I shouldn’t play it down just because I didn’t need a passport to get there. In many ways, Gotska Sandön was a more foreign place to me that Greenland was! It’s a place I definitely want to visit again, I was hoping to do it already next summer but another trip came up so Gotska Sandön has to wait until 2017.
Summer 2015 was just as lousy as winter 2015. The whole year was completely messed up, weather-wise. The snow just didn’t want to melt, so the summer season got seriously delayed. I actually had a landscape picture chosen as my photo of the month, until I started writing this and looked the pictures again. The original pick wasn’t that special really, so now I decided to go with the red-throated diver instead. I spent a lot of time by the lake, watching and photographing these birds, and it’s those moments that I cherish the most.
Summer finally arrived in August, which is normally the month when autumn starts. We had some really warm days and after a while, the blue skies became a bit annoying – I like to shoot them occasionally, but the novelty soon wears off! With what all the snow in the mountains, I had put off all my planned overnight hikes but in August I finally got to do one, to Sylarna. Which is another place I have to visit again. My favourite picture of the month is this one from Livsäterån though, it’s one of those rare pictures where I’ve actually managed to make my concept work out in reality. Or maybe we could call this for proof of concept because it’s not 100% like I want it to be, but I came up with the concept too late in the year so the sun was in the wrong place in the sky which reduced my options to this single one spot and no second chance. Next year I’ll be prepared!
With the seasons completely out of sync, the autumn colours were not so spectacular in 2015. I mean yes, we had colours, which is always a nice thing, but it seemed like every birch had a different schedule. Even at the end of September, not all birches were yellow yet – on a normal year, the leaves will have fallen by the end of September! My favourite picture is from Silverfallet, where I struggled a lot with the winds but where the weather also brought me a rainbow and I’ll never say no to that!
We got the first snow in October, which is pretty normal, but unfortunately that was just about all the snow there was. When the leaves finally fell, it left us a naked landscape which I found myself enjoying a lot, even if it was tough to photograph it. The pick of the month is from one of the many hikes this summer and autumn that I did on Ånnfjället, and I’m not done with the mountain yet – it really is one of the most photogenic mountains in the region. And easy to get to!
Scotland (Isle of Skye in particular) turned out to be a much more exciting place than I thought. I’ve always known that they have mountains, but the character of these mountains took me by surprise. My favourite picture is from the unforgettable day by a mirror calm lake, it is probably not the best picture I took on the trip but since none of the other pictures are so spectacular either, I choose once again to go with the feeling. My only regret is that I didn’t spend more time on looking at the landscape and less time on trying to shoot it.
Winter has finally arrived, but it’s not a winter that we’re all familiar with it. First it snows, then it’s cold, then it’s warm and it rains, and then everything freezes again. Rinse and repeat. With all the trails and roads covered in ice, it’s difficult to anywhere, and without any fluffy snow in sight, it’s not that pretty anyway. Choosing the picture of the month was easy, I only had four pictures to choose from! We got these nice aurora one night, and it was only partly ruined by clouds. I learned that there are no good aurora shooting spots within walking distance from home, so the next time we get aurora (which are not completely ruined by clouds), I need to drive somewhere. Luckily I know a place.