Last year, in late December, I made a list of my favourite photos I had taken over the year. It was an enjoyable experience to look back, and I encountered many photos I’d actually forgotten about. In this age of social media, it’s easy to put a good photo online and then just never think about it again, but it’s nice to look back and relive old memories.
My year started off in India, where I spent several months travelling. I had a new camera (Nikon D5600) and I used it to capture all sorts of photos, with mixed results. Of the thousands that I took, some really stood out. Here are a few, with some explanation:
This colourful street is in Mallallapuram, on the east coast of India. I shot this simple photo and someone later told me it was like a scene out of a Wes Anderson movie.
It was difficult to choose this photo because there were so many I took in one afternoon at a small park. For some reason, people kept lining up to ask me to take their photo. I didn’t understand it at the time, but later a boy told me about a rumour that there was a Scottish photojournalist taking pictures for a newspaper.
I didn’t particularly enjoy my time in Puducherry, but I liked the way this shot turned out. The statue is of Mahatma Gandhi.
This is possibly my favourite photo of the year. In fact, I used it on the cover of a book I wrote about India. It’s called Crossing India the Hard Way.
One of my favourite places in India was Thanjavur, where I visited the incredible Brihadisvara temple. I arrived just before sundown, but was struggling with my new camera and all the photos I shot that evening were blurry. I went back the following morning and got lots of great photos, including this one of an old man. There are loads more here.
This photo of women praying was also shot at Thanjavur.
During my time in the middle of India, I saw many incredible sights at the hill stations and national parks, including a lot of wildlife. However, upon reflection, none of the photos were particularly outstanding. I did, though, quite like this picture of two wild boar crossing a path in the early morning light.
When I arrived on the western coast of India, at Kochi, or Fort Cochin, I visited the beach. I was shocked to see this massive tanker travelling past the beach, almost within throwing distance. I have no idea how it could come so close without getting grounded.
My final stop in India was Varkala, where I stayed for about a week. There were hundreds of huge birds constantly flying around the clifftops, and I spent countless hours trying to shoot photos of them. This was one of my favourites. My camera has poor zoom lens, so you can imagine how close this bird flew.
Also at Varkala, I shot this photo (an “advanced selfie”, I suppose) of me and the nightsky. As you can probably tell from the shape of the trees, it was shot on a GoPro.
This is one of my absolute favourite photos of the year – perhaps joint first. It is now the background pic on my computer screen. Shot in Sri Lanka, this was just one of many incredible animals I was privileged to have seen this year. I also saw a leopard, but the resulting pictures weren’t particularly good.
I saw this cool lizard in a tea field near .
I liked this picture because the colour of monk’s robe stands out. It perhaps could have been edited better, though.
This was one of many photos I took at Zhaji, in southeastern Anhui province, China.
This shot of long-tail boats on a beach near Krabi, Thailand, was shot on my iPhone.
Another “advanced selfie” taken after a long hike in Thailand.
I think this photo of tree bark was taken in Thailand.
I used to live in Cambodia long ago, and this summer I returned. I was saddened to find the country overrun by Chinese people, but there was still plenty of beauty left comparatively undisturbed.
This photo of ruins at Angkor Wat is now the background to my iPhone. It is another of my favourites of 2018.
After visiting Cambodia, I returned to Bangkok and shot this photo of sunset over the city from my hotel. It may look heavily edited, but it in fact isn’t. The light was simply sublime.
The island of Koh Phangan made for an enjoyable holiday, but I didn’t actually do much photography whilst there. I did, however, see this rather majestic-looking dog.
In nearby Koh Samui, I shot this photo of my (now ex-) girlfriend. We found this isolated waterfall and spent a few pleasant hours swimming in the cool jungle waters.
Oh look, another selfie. 🙂 What can I say? I like hiking and am determined to overcome my fear of heights. Contrary to what it may seem, I’m still terrified and every time I shoot this sort of photo my knees turn to jelly.
I spent four and a half years in Huainan, Anhui province. It was not a particularly photogenic place, but every now and then an opportunity would present itself. I took several photos of sunsets over the city or the nearby hills, including this one.
At the beginning of December, I quit my job in China and returned to Scotland. This was the first photo I took, while walking in the fields around Balmullo. It was icy cold, but after months of breathing toxic air in China, I was happy to take in that fresh Scottish air. I have spent time exploring the local area, but this first photo reminds me of that feeling of being back home, and having escaped the dank, grey hellscape of eastern China.