So here it is… merry Christmas

©Neil Turner, 2013.

©Neil Turner, 2013.

Well today is my last day at the coal face until the new year (unless there’s interesting work and money on offer). Thinking back on the way work has been in 2013, it’s been a funny old year – but I could say that about any one of the last six or seven. Yet again I don’t have any pictures worth entering into competitions but that doesn’t mean that I’m not proud of a lot of the pictures I’ve taken and it certainly doesn’t mean that I haven’t had a lot of fun in the process. There are a few 2014 pictures already in my on-line and hard copy portfolios and my corporate book has had a pretty good year.

I’ve been sticking pictures onto EyeEm and enjoying the work of others on the same platform. I’ve even started to repost some of those images on my Facebook page which is slowly getting more ‘likes’.

Apart from shooting pictures my year has had a lot of great teaching moments and I’m looking forward to returning to the chalk face for one day a week between the new year and Easter.

Blogging has been rewarding and I’ve written a few posts that have been seen by thousands right around the world as well as a few more that only myself and a few regular readers have seen. The highlight of my blogging year was when I wrote about “Photographer B” – a post that was shared and tweeted about more than any other for quite a while. I hope that it made a few people think about what is happening in the world of professional photography.

I tried to resist the temptation of handing out a few awards (no cash, no trophy, just kudos) so, in no particular order here they are:

Best new piece of kit acquired: The EyeFi Prox2 SD card – for transmitting images to my phone, iPad or computer direct from my cameras. The runner-up is the iPhone 5S and an honourable mention goes to the Lithium ion batteries on the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra.

Best piece of old kit: First place goes to my Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS lens. It is 11 years old and just as sharp as ever thanks to one of my other winners. Runner-up is the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra.

Favourite supplier: For the work they’ve done on my gear, for supplying new kit at superb prices and for being some of the nicest people I’ve ever met this award goes to Fixation. I have two runners-up – The Flash Centre and Castle Cameras both of whom treat me very well even though I hardly ever spend any money with them!

Favourite piece of software: For the tenth consecutive year, it has to be Photo Mechanic because it makes my workflow and therefore my working life better. The runner up is Photogene4 on the iOS operating system.

Favourite client: Picking one out of the bunch would be unfair – I would like to say a public ‘thank you” to everyone who has used my services this year and it is heartening to be able to say that I haven’t suffered a single problem of non-paying during 2013.

Unsung hero award: For making great kit that just does its job day after day and week after week I’d like to recognise the contribution that Timberland footwear makes to my working life. I wrote about the photographer and their uniform quite a while ago and nothing has changed.

Happily, I don’t have a crystal ball. If I owned one I’d spend far too much time looking forward and not enough time in the moment and certainly a lot less time trying to perfect the ‘decisive moment’. 2014 promises many things – new cameras, better computers, upgraded software and the ever-present pressure to create more pictures, faster and for less money. It feels as if our industry has lost far too many characters and heroes this year. The list is long and distinguished and I hope that each and every one of them rests in peace.

So that’s it… the 2013 working year is as good as over and all that’s left to say is thanks to everyone who has read and supported this blog, thank you to all of my colleagues and friends who have helped make 2013 memorable and thank you to my lovely wife for her amazing support.

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