There are already so many cliches in landscape photography and unfortunately the end of year review is probably one of them. Out they come, tripping over themselves in threes, the ‘end of year review’, the ‘my best shots of the year’ social media posts. Sure, it gets a little tedious when everyone inevitably comes to that end of year reflection all at the same time but that isn’t to say it doesn’t have its place and value. Reflecting on ‘progress’ can bring benefits and even reset some of our own perceptions – certainly over the years I became my harshest of critics and I probably convinced myself at times my photography had no value at all…

Some things changed this year. I’m not going over the whole OCD diagnosis again (a post you might notice that I eventually deleted) but it turns out that although photography was intended to be an escape, it actually became a bit of a depressing anchor which led to some poor outcomes, so I’ve tried very hard to break that cycle, starting with shooting less and selling some kit. 2017 didn’t yield a high volume of images, mainly because I started to lose all faith in my output and the need to change things up. I entered my last photography competition (Landscape Photographer Of The Year) earlier in the year because the all round behaviour that drives just isn’t desirable – the oneupmanship is almost unbearable looking at it all from the outside in, I’m done with all that. I also stopped posting images to social media for a long time too, with just a handful ending up on Flickr in the end.

Nonetheless I’ve spent the last few days going over my 2017 photography and to my surprise there was more to it than I remembered. There are certainly a huge number of images I’ve not even tried to process, sometimes out of sheer exhaustion, it seems that as a result of all of these changes there are a few photographs that mean the year isn’t a complete write-off. Interestingly some of that has come right at the end of the year with the pretty substantial snowfall we got for the first time in years at lower levels. Of course the problem is always the same – as soon as it snows properly, you can’t get to any of the locations you’d love to visit, so once again I was left to try and take advantage of the local landscape (and thankfully there is at least some local landscape I can always access on foot). This recent stretch of weather delivered probably my favourite image of the year, sometimes you have to wait right until the close of the year to get something you’re truly happy with (it’s not the first year it went like that for me either).

So here they are, proof to myself, if anyone, that 2017 wasn’t a total photographic disaster and that there are images here to be happy with and to use as a platform for 2018. I must return to a more artistic approach though, back to photography which perhaps sets itself apart again…

Yellow Belly – I just love the contrasts and subtle colours in this

Brutal Forecast – Probably my favourite image of the year. Taken with the D850 in a snow storm, it was hard work but incredibly rewarding. It sums up the winter landscape for me and I love the fact it’s an image almost on my doorstep.

Peakland Pinks – A gorgeous summer morning yielded a Peak District image which sums up an English landscape in full bloom for me.

Shimmer – The year actually started in fine style in the Lake District

Whisper – More January 2017 winter conditions in the Lakes

First Leaf #13 – Spring in combination with Infrared was long forgotten until I looked back recently.

First Leaf #15 – The Zeiss 100mm f/2 and Infrared is very desirable

Angel’s Hair – More Lakes in early spring

Tones Of Newgale – Summer in West Wales and some Multiple Exposure

Road To Valhalla – The Yorkshire Limestone Pavements were also a very memorable visit. Infrared again playing a big part.

Cotton Grass On Exmoor – I forgot about my pilgrimage to North Devon too, can’t get enough of the place.

Not bad all in all? Certainly better than I remembered anyway…