Michael Rammell

Happy New Year & The Best of 2015

MusingsMichael RammellComment

I wanted to leave my 'Happy New Year' post until a week or so after New Year. I don't know about you but my inbox was full of offers, promotions, discounts and all sorts of other things that just added to the noise immediately after New Years. Everyone wants you to visit their site and buy their product. I felt that If I were to release this post just after Christmas, or on the 1st of January that I too would be adding your inboxes that are likely (like mine was) busting with things I just wasn't interested in.

Now that most of us are returning to some sort of normality and a sense of routine I thought it would be a good time to share with you, what I think, was some of my best work from 2015 and take a look back on those 12 months.

So, firstly I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you spoiled yourself with some lovely new photography-related goodies. Personally I think photography books are the best Christmas present. As great as new gear is photography books give you so much and can help you grow. If you get a new book at the beginning of a year it can really inspire and inform you for the year ahead. Whether it's business or technical, or even just a photo book filled with amazing photographs to inspire, photography books are fantastic. If you've received Amazon or book vouchers, one book I would recommend is Gregory Heisler: 50 Portraits. Wow!

Best Street Photographs of 2015

I found this to be harder than I thought this year. Usually I would just pick out 10 images and post them right here, but this year I thought instead I'd select a few more and put them in to a slide show. Some of these images are seeing the light-of-day for the first time, which surprises even me. As I looked back through my library in Adobe Lightroom there were a few images that jumped out at me - images that I had previously overlooked as good enough to share with the world. So, here are my favourite Street Photographs from 2015:

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Best Of the Rest

As much as I consider myself primarily a street photographer, the truth is that I photograph everything. 2015 saw me travel to Dubai, Venice, France (for the Le Mans 24hr) and Turkey. I moved to a new area here in the UK and of course I'm actually a wedding photographer 'by day' and so this year has seen me make some photographs that I just haven't made in previous years that I'm particularly proud of. I would add though that one massive change to my photography has been the move to the Olympus system. I'm not suggesting that without the Olympus I wouldn't have made any of these photographs however, there were times when I was undecided as to whether I'd take a camera with me because of the extra thing to carry. More often than not I took the camera but I do feel that If I were still shooting Canon and had to lug a DSLR body and a selection of not-so-small lenses, it would have been the other way round and I'd have been consigned to using my iPhone for moments that really called for a quality camera. Ben Nevis is a perfect example of this.

This was perhaps my favourite photograph from my trip to Scotland. This is not from Ben Nevis at all but was actually a photograph I took as I pulled over the car on the way home to jump out an make a final few photographs before leaving these beautiful landscape behind me. I was most pleased with the colours, the stream in the foreground, the rolling clouds - everything seem to come together to give me exactly what I was looking for! 

Ben Nevis & Glencoe

Here are a few more from that same trip:

Macro Dandelions

Another surprise in my library of favourites were these images of Dandelions that I made using the superb Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens. Before this lens I had only used a Canon Macro lens on hire on a few occasions for weddings. My need and desire for a Macro lens never warranted me owning one, however when making my switch to Olympus and making a sizable investment in new kit I decided that a Macro will be part of that. Before my first wedding of 2015 I took it to the lake near my house to see what i could find to photograph with it - and this was the result:

From that very same trip here are a few more Macro's of Dandelions. I find the close-up detail fascinating!

Motor Sports

If you've been following me for some time you may be aware that each June I make my way to Le Mans in France to watch / photograph the legendary 24 hour race. Although this photograph isn't from the Le Mans 24 Hour Race (it's from the 6 hours of Silverstone here in the UK (another date on the same race calendar) this was the first time I had put the Olympus OM-D E-M1 through it's paces and shot motorsport with it. It was on this day, with photographs like this, that the E-M1 proved to me that it was able to do what my Canon DSLR could and that my switch to Olympus was a justified move. I wouldn't have been overly upset had the E-M1 not been able to produce the goods, but knowing that my new favourite camera was a match for the system I had just moved from, it made me very happy indeed. The post I wrote about the E-M1 and motorsports was also one of my most popular posts in 2015 as well. This was also the first time I really got to put the astounding Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO through it's paces.

For more E-M1 motorsport photographs have a look at my post 'A Day At the Races with the Olympus OM-D E-M1'

Richmond Park

This was a memorable day for me, as much for what I saw with my eyes as for what I managed to capture with the camera. This was perhaps the most golden of golden hours I have ever experienced. The light really was the colour you can see here in the photograph:

I've been to Richmond on numerous occasions to capture the stags rutting and the images I usually make are close ups of the stags with as much detail as possible. I tend to end up coming home with technically sound images; well cropped, good Depth of Field and sharpness etc. Being a park the images almost always have a dark or green feel to them as well. But this particular day I wanted to try something different than what I had before and the Golden Stag above reflects that. I was really pleased that what I had when I got home was something a little different and that, for me, was very reflective of 2015 as a whole. In part thanks to the EVF in the Olympus, more in part to my own personal development and growth as a photographer. Here are a few more from that morning in Richmond:

Summary

So my top picks for 2015 certainly differ dramatically from my look back in 2014 (which you can find here: 2014 Top 10). You'll see that back in that review I was still between systems; shooting both DSLR and Olympus (mirrorless). Whilst for many it doesn't have to be a question of one system or another, for me, I simply found that the Olympus was a very intuitive system to use and the EVF allowed me to (literally) see what it is I was about to capture. This made 2015 a year where I learnt even more about photography; with a solid technical background I found I was now able to more easily break rules and try out new things with a higher chance of success.

Throughout 2015 the only camera I have used has ben either the Olympus OM-D E-M5 or the OM-D E-M1. And I couldn't be happier.

Show me your top 10 from 2015

I'd love to see your top 10 or even just some of your favourite images from 2015. Drop a comment in the comments section below on the blog and be sure to include a link. 



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