2020 Photography Review

It seems strange now that I started last year's review saying "2019 was a quieter year photographically than the previous one". This year has, inevitably, been pretty much nonexistant photographically. I've only taken a few trips within the UK and most have been single day or overnight stays, to places like Haworth, Kenilworth, Lyme, Stamford and the Lake District - places under normal circumstances I may not have visited at all. So there's that. What few photos I have taken haven't reached the heights of what I'd normally consider worthy to show in a gallery, but - just because - here are three highlights from this year:

This year has also allowed me the chance to print some images for the first time, three of which are now framed in my study and landing. Many thanks to Untitled Print for providing such superb quality prints at very reasonable prices - I couldn't have been happier with the final results.

With that said, let's take a trip back down memory lane over the last few years of reviews, before looking ahead to what 2021 may (or may not) bring. If you want to see a summary of the last ten years that I wrote last year (before the pandemic hit), click here.

2019 Review - click here to view

A mini-break to Saint Petersburg was a fantastic opportunity to geek out on historical sights and eat a range of fantastic Russian food, from borscht to various meats, dumplings and Georgian specialities such as khinkali and khachapuri. It also yielded some photos that I'm really pleased with. It was hard to choose one from this trip, but I've gone with the reflection of the General Staff Building shot that I've subsequently had printed. The big trip of 2019 was South America, which was incredible, even if perhaps it did not result in my best images from the year. Only one iconic sight could be chosen to sum up this trip. 2019 ended - and 2020 began - with a trip to Florence and Milan.

2018 Review - click here to view

2018 was a fantastic year of photography and travel, one I won't forget in a hurry and one that I'd be very happy to repeat. A return to Japan - ten years after living there - was an enormous highlight of the last few years, while getting the chance to explore Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in the summer was incredible.

2017 Review - click here to view

A good year of travel - Jordan at Easter, and the Balkans in the summer. Petra by night was an incredible experience - as was Wadi Rum - while the Balkan trip in the summer meant visiting eight countries in the space of three weeks, one of the highlights of which was the old town in Sarajevo.

2016 Review - click here to view

A very good year of travel. A short break to Copenhagen and a school trip to Devon allowed extra photo opportunities. Meanwhile, the 'big trips' of the year were to Andalucia and Georgia/Armenia in the summer, and then to Venice in the winter - during which we were blessed with the most fantastic weather. I'd happily revisit both Georgia and Venice.

2015 Review - click here to view

We're receding into distant memory at this point. 2015 was the year in which I swapped an office job in publishing for a new career as a History teacher. This allowed a bit of a 'career break' opportunity - ten days in Greece and a whole month in Indonesia. It was a strange summer in retrospect - between homes, between careers, between cities - but the highlights were definitely relaxing on the island of Naxos and the amazing Indonesian island of Lombok.

2014 Review - click here to view

A vintage year of travel in which I visited Thailand / Burma (Myanmar) in January, Sardinia for a short family holiday, Naples for a wedding and India for two weeks in the autumn. I've chosen my two favourite photos from this year, though both come from the same Burma trip. This was also the first year in which I wrote a dedicated annual review of my photography.

2010-2013 Review

I never wrote about these years but I did upload a gallery of my favourite images. The highlights are from Morocco and Croatia, Turkey and New York, Cambodia, Spain and Portugal. Two of my favourite images are below - the faces at Bayon Temple, Angkor Wat, and Praia de Adraga, Portugal.

What's next?

It strikes me that the even-numbered years have been pretty good to me up until now, though I've clearly been spoilt. Of the two years when I feel like I've had the least success photographically - 2015 and 2017 - I still got to visit the island of Naxos, spend a month in Indonesia, visit Petra, Jordan and eight Balkan countries. I remain enormously grateful for all the opportunities I've had to travel over the last few years, and the shutdown of 2020 has confirmed to me that travel is one of the single greatest pleasures in life. So, what's next?

The original plan for 2020 had been two weeks in Kerala, India at Easter and a month in Ecuador and Colombia in the summer, plus a potential trip to New England in the autumn. If this can happen in 2021 it'd be a massive - and at this point unexpected - success. More likely will be some European trips until the world slowly opens back up. Other options on my travel list include a trip to Patagonia (Argentina and Chile), exploring Ukraine, a return to south-east Asia with Vietnam and Laos, another trip to Japan, exploring Ethipoia and maybe also Iceland. But, as with everything at the moment, no firm plans can be made, and at this stage I can only day dream about the next ten years of travel - and hope that they're as enjoyable as the last ten years.