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This post has been building for a while!

So, photography. In previous years I’ve taken quite a few pictures and even blogged about some of them, but this year it’s been at a different level; in 2010 I have taken something in the region of 14,000 photos, and published well over 1,000 of those. It’s down to a combination of things; moving house and having a better garden in a nicer and greener area of Reading is really inspiring and in the summer particularly gave me an endless array of things to photograph. Also worthy of a mention is my friend MarcT, who lent me his 100-400mm in the spring, enforcing my desire to get one of my own; and it was his lens that I was using when I took my red kite photo in February. In addition he lent me his macro extender in the autumn, and I still have it, muahahahah! Some of the macro shots later in the year were taken with that.

So now to my photos of the year. There are 24 here; two for each month. I’ve really enjoyed developing my skill and imagination over the year and I think it shows; I started this list in the summer which has been great in itself as I’ve been challenging myself to take photos worthy of inclusion! I’m pleased though that I have such a better idea now of how to go about getting the photo I want, though I’m also not too proud to use the automatic settings if there’s no time to think or plan what I’m doing.

While I really like all the photos here, my favourite of the lot is probably obvious (and it has nearly 450 views on Picasaweb in comparison with a maximum of about 200 for any of the others), but I’d be very interested if anyone thinks any of the others are better. I’m a bit blinkered when it comes to red kites! Not all of them are technically excellent, but the ones that aren’t make me laugh (the kestrel in particular). Some of them were deliberately set up and others are snapshots.

The photos... )

So that is my 2010 in photos.

In 2011 I hope to finish my garden birds project, or at least get as close as reasonably possible to completing it; I also have a lot of new skills to build on and I know I can get a better red kite, one day! I have tentative plans for a year-long project later on in the year, but that’s another post. I am proud of the fact that in 2010 I have gone from being a keen but bored amateur to a really keen amateur with some nice kit; I also occasionally think I have a flash of talent, though I think persistence normally gets me further than that anyway. That and a generous dollop of patience!
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 My friend lent me the lens again:



My precious! I'm sure that using it is extremely good for my biceps as it's pretty heavy!

Yesterday was a splendid day. We woke terrifyingly early (6:50am!!) but both feeling surprisingly awake, so we didn't bother going back to sleep. We ended up spending pretty much the whole day outside. I'd suggested to Tom first thing that at some point we could get rid of the slightly pointless fence and gate halfway down the garden; the previous owners had a dog and we assume that they used it to keep her in one or other half. When I suggested it I wasn't expecting it to be done by the end of the day, though! It's going to look much nicer, I think; we had to take down a rosebush, but I have five others so it's not the end of the world and the garden looks a lot more open. We've extended the lawn by a foot on one side of the garden and more of the flowerbed on the other side is accessible so I think it was really worth doing.

I did lots of other bits and pieces in the garden too; I got some weeds out of the drive, weeded some of the front garden, sorted out some seedlings in the greenhouse, took two (quite possibly pointless) cuttings of the rosebush that we took down, and watered a lot of my tubs. And of course, on a day like yesterday (spookily quiet with no planes going over) I had my camera out.

Bird porn... )

Today I got up early (I'm clearly going mad) and went for a run; I'm now sitting here sorting photos with my camera at my side, and watching the F1. Apparently they are worried about the Spanish Grand Prix in a couple of weeks because of the #ashtag; it takes six 747s to transport the entire F1 setup and they are naturally worried about getting to Spain on time to set up. I'm actually surprised it doesn't take more than six planes, but that's not including personnel who fly on commercial airlines.

Later on I intend to do not much, apart from prowl with my camera and enjoy the sunshine.

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