Top 10 pics of the year…

I’ve trawled through a lot of images to select my favourite 10 shots of the year.

Each picture has a story, of course. I’ll give you a brief rundown of that story.

There are so many other pics that I love that didn’t make this list – but ultimately my choices are idiosyncratic – as you’ll no doubt attest.

So here we go –

aboriginal stockman

I took this shot on a sheep property about 150kms out of Longreach. His name is Keith Saffy, and he’s an aboriginal stockman. One of the best. And an absolute gem of a man. The shot was taken just as the sun was going down – last light. His face shows his life of pain, of strength and stoicism, and ultimately of compassion and dignity. I felt it was a privilege to have met him.

Camera: Fujifilm X-E2; Lens: Fujinon 18-55mm; focal length: 64mm [35mm equiv] 1/55th – f4 – ISO 1250

Pieter with hatThis shot was also taken out of Longreach, in Central Queensland. Pieter de Vries was my Director of Photography on the film I was shooting. He wanted me to take a shot of him doing a Ninja style throw of his hat. The wind was howling at about 50km an hour, and I took this shot totally instinctively. The hat was traveling in the wind at about 100mph! I love the shot because of the composition – for me, it’s perfectly balanced, and Pieter’s expression is suitably mischievous. By the way, this shot hasn’t been cropped. It’s the full frame.

Camera: Sony a7r; Lens: Zeiss 35mm; Focal length: 35mm; Exposure: 1/3000th – f8 – ISO 400)

India boy This shot was taken from the back of a car driving from Bombay airport to the hotel. We were stopped at traffic lights and the boy was begging for money. I love this shot because for me it expresses the joy and exuberance, the colour and energy of India. Perhaps my favourite shot of the year.

Camera: Sony a7s; Lens: Zeiss 24-70mm; Focal length: 70mm; Exposure: 1/100th – f5.6 – ISO 2500

Croc with ducks

This shot was taken at the Mudgee Show earlier this year. It was a game in Sideshow Alley. I love this shot because it’s so surreal. and I love the colours.

Camera: Fujifilm X-E2; Lens: Fujinon 18-55mm; Focal length: 51mm [35mm equiv]; Exposure: 1/100th – f5.6 – ISO 400

priest in assisiThis shot was taken out front of the Basilica in Assisi, Italy. It was taken at last light. I love the striations – the bandings on the ground, contrasted with the vertical columns of the archways behind. And I love the posture of the monk, with hands behind, striding out. This was a shot that was quickly taken. I saw the monk approaching, I quickly positioned myself to get the best angle emphasising the background, and I only had a chance to take one shot, so I had to make sure that I got his stride correct. It was a tricky shot.

Camera: Sony a7s; Lens: Zeiss 24-70mm; Focal length: 24mm; Exposure: 1/200th – f5.6 – ISO 320

Roys MotelThis photo was taken somewhere in the Mojave Desert, in California. It was on a highway that is rarely traveled, and I remember I was a bit anxious because there was a stretch of about 100mls without a town. If we broke down then we’d be in trouble, Hollywood style. To me the shot epitomises all those B-Grade road movies I grew up with.

Camera: Fujfilm X-E2; Lens: Fujinon 18-55mm; Focal length: 36mm [35mm equiv]; Exposure: 1/1400 – f8 – ISO 400

dallas skylineThis shot was taken on a freeway in Dallas. I was driving at the time, and took the shot with one hand holding the wheel, the other holding the camera. I’m amazed that it’s as well composed as it is, given that. The shot is about 2-3 stops overexposed, and that’s one of the things I like about it – because for me it represent the Cosmic Rays that inhabit the place. What makes the shot is the red car. Without the red car the shot would be nothing.

Camera: Sony RX100 Mk3; Lens: Zeiss 24-70mm [35mm equiv]; Focal length: 24mm [35mm equiv]; Exposure: 1/2000th – f3.5 – ISO 1250

eye behind barsThis again was taken in Dallas, in downtown. The eye is a sculpture, and a local landmark. The shot for me is surreal – and I like the juxtaposition of white and dark, curves and horizontals. I find it an arresting photo.

Camera: Sony RX100 Mk3; Lens: Zeiss 24-70mm [35mm equiv]; Focal length: 61mm [35mm equiv]; Exposure: 1/125 – f8 – ISO 160

Santa Semana dudesThis shot was taken while I was walking the Camino Portuguese – just before Easter, the period they call Semana Santa. The shot was taken about 75kms from Santiago de Compostela, in a small town that was preparing for the Semana Santa celebrations. The shot has sinister connotations though because of the visual reference to the Ku Klux Klan.

Camera: Fujifilm X-T1; Lens: Fujinon 18-55mm; Focal length: 27mm [35mm equiv]; Exposure: 1/90th – f6.4 – ISO 400

Sadhu on Rishikesh bridgeThis shot was taken at Rishikesh, a Hindu holy town on the banks of the Ganges in India. I saw the sadhu coming towards me, and I stopped him and positioned him so that he was exactly symmetrical between the sides of the bridge, and then I squatted lower so that I had the sunburst coming just over his head. I made sure that the tin he was holding was in shot. Again this is a shot that wasn’t cropped. What you see is the full frame.

Camera: Sony a7s; Lens: Zeiss: 24-70mm; Focal length: 24mm; Exposure: 1/500th – f5.6 – ISO 160

And here is a shot that I would have included, except that I shot it on December 29th 2013, two days before the start of the year –

LaundromatThis shot was taken late at night in Longreach, Central Queensland. I took several shots, trying to get the composition right – trying to get the Coke machine inside in shot, and yet still maintain the symmetry. It was also a tricky exposure – making sure that the background was darkened, to keep the eye drawn to the inside of the Laundromat. Again this shot wasn’t altered in post production – the cropping and exposure is what I captured on the day – or night.

Camera: Nikon D3200; Lens: Nikkor 17-55 f2.8; Focal length: 25mm [35mm equiv]; Exposure: 1/50th – f2.8 – ISO 1600

3 thoughts on “Top 10 pics of the year…

  1. My favourite: red car on the freeway. Actually the almost esoteric buildings in the background; other worldly! Love it all. Thanks, Bill & merry Christmas. Hugs, Britta


    • That’s very high praise – thank you Steve.. Of course I’m nowhere near in the class of our mutual hero, Steve McCurry – but I try.

      By the way, big hug for Christmas mate. Bill


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