My 2015 photography year in review

2015 was a great year for me and photography with my skills developing more and more with every shot I take. A big focus has been around landscapes, trying to catch lightning, some astro and towards the end of the year portraiture and studio lightning. Oh and I have been in the news!

p.s. there is a partial nude (tasteful) at the bottom of this page, you have been warned 🙂

ABC radio, tv news and website

I’ve been featured twice now on local ABC 666 morning radio with Philip Clark talking about photography.  The first time was about lightning photography and the second was after a long night trying to catch the Geminid meteor shower. My images have also appeared twice on the ABC news website regarding both lightning and the Geminids – both times the ABC requested use and gave credit which I do appreciate.  And to top all that off, local ABC TV news interviewed me for a piece on the weather and photographing lightning which featured in the 2 November evening bulletin.

Landscape photography

I’ve always enjoyed landscape photography, especially around sunset and there have been just some amazing sunsets in Canberra this year.  Coupled with hard grad ND Lee Filters it’s really helped take some of the photos to the next level. I’ve been trying more stitched panoramas where I’ll shoot around 5 exposures in portrait orientation to get more of the ground and sky.

Canberra sunset with the National Arboretum and Telstra Tower

Beautiful panorama of a sunset in Canberra ~ 5 exposures 1sec f/13 ISO100

Lightning photography

There was also a lovely abundance of storms in the first third of the year and things started out well with what I feel was my best lightning capture on just the 2nd of January with a massive strike next to the National Arboretum.  Another favourite was catching not one, but four direct lightning strikes to Telstra Tower, in fact a strike I caught to the Telstra Tower on Boxing Day was seen by a quarter of a million people on Facebook! All in all I had enough lightning photos to release my first calendar featuring lightning strikes in Canberra – sorry all 50 have been sold.

Lightning strikes over the Brindabella Ranges

An awesome lightning strike captured in Canberra Australia it felt so large as to fill the sky. If you look close you can see the National Arboretum in the bottom right to give a sense of the scale for this strike ~ 4sec f/2.8 ISO100

Lightning strikes Telstra Tower on Boxing Day 2015

Lightning strikes Telstra Tower on Boxing Day 2015 which was seen by 250,000 people on Facebook! ~ 3.2sec f/8.0 ISO100

Astro photography

I’ve always enjoyed taking photos of the stars, in particular star trails which can be accomplished by taking 100s of photos and them stacking them in photoshop or other specialised software.  My astro photography highlight this year, however, was this panorama of the Milky Way with a guest appearance by the Aurora Australis.  This shot (technically 19 shots stitched together) was taken in Tasmania on 4 October and was a double header of firsts – my first full Milky Way and my first Aurora. This has also proven to be my most popular image in sales on RedBubble this year.

Aurora Australis and the Milky Way

A panorama of the Aurora Australis and Milky Way captured in Dunalley Tasmania ~ 19 exposures 20sec f/2.8 ISO6400

Portraiture photography

Also in October I had my first studio portraiture workshop weekend, technically a “Fine Art Nude” workshop where I learnt about studio lighting and shooting a model.  It was a great weekend with a steep learning curve and naturally within a few weeks I had acquired a set of studio lights myself. I also submitted my first portraiture in the National Photographic Portrait Prize which while I was not a finalist I was happy with the image I took of my friend Renny as my first attempt.

Man in jumper stares at the camera for a portrait in black and white

The photo of Renny in his favorite writer’s jumper that I entered in the National Photographic Portrait Prize – there’s always next year… ~ 1/160 f/16 ISO100

Torso of a nude woman shrouded by blue smoke

Experimenting with a smoke machine at a fine art nude workshop I took in 2015 ~ 1/200 f/11 ISO100

And more!

There was so much more to this year including photographing Park Light at the Yarralumla Brickworks, regularly being featured in social media by the Canberra and Visit Canberra accounts, having one of my images on Facebook being seen 250,000 times, being a finalist in a couple of the Clique monthly competitions and an honourable mention in the David Malin photography awards.

Long exposure at the Yarralumla Bricklworks for Park Light ~ 30sec f6.3 ISO100

Long exposure at the Yarralumla Bricklworks for Park Light ~ 30sec f6.3 ISO100


Looking forward there are so many things I want to accomplish in 2016:

  • First is to get out for more night time shooting. I want to do more astro work and continue to refine my technique for both startrails and stars as points of light.  The Milky Way core will rise from its slumber around February and I want to chase more shots of its majestic arc in the sky.
  • Of course lightning is in the mix.  I also want to go after it more, rather than waiting for it to come to me and will look to hook up with the local storm chasing community for opportunities.
  • I’ll be moving into doing more portraiture as well both the professional and sensual kind, particularly now I have a set of studio strobe lights.
  • I want to enter more photo competitions to keep driving me to improve my craft.
  • Product and stock photography I also want to continue honing my skill in.
  • And I’m also thinking about moving away from just in time printers like Red Bubble and using more local Canberra printing companies for sales.  The only problem with that is freight and storage logistics, but I’ll work something out.

That might sound like a lot of different genres of photography but truth is i am still finding my place, the thing that gives me the most thrill when I capture an image.  So until I find that one thing, or things, I’ll continue to spread my creative wings wide.

Bottle of Jura Single Malt whisky on a white background

Product shot of a bottle of Jura 12yo Single Malt Whisky ~ 1/160 f/9.0 ISO100

Thanks for your support

So that’s my 2015 year in review, I feel like I have learnt a lot but there is so much more to discover in this journey.  Thanks for being part of it and providing the encouragement to keep me going and working at producing better and better images.

Kindest regards,

Glenn Martin
1 January 2016

Firworks burst behind Nishi and QT building in Canberra

New Year’s Eve 2015 Fireworks in Canberra Australia