Best photos from 2014

31st December 2014
At the end of another year, it’s time to look back at my favourite images from the previous 12 months. Away from the camera, I’ll remember 2014 for the challenges and low points as much as the fun times. However photographically, the year produced some good photographs and plenty of highlights:

Porth Nanven
This location regularly features on my annual highlights... It really is the kind of place you can shoot endlessly. At the time I was not sure if this shot would stand out, as the light was a little flat.... but I needn’t have worried, the overcast light was perfect for showing the rocks with their soft pastel tones in all their glory. The small gap in the clouds came to the rescue by adding interest and preventing a flat grey sky

Hookney Tor
A personal choice perhaps, but there is so much going on in this photo, and what a treat it was when this one popped up on the screen after the 8 minute exposure! It was a case of spotting the possibilities, guessing the exposure, waiting 8 minutes and then -> wow!

You have the ancient Bronze age settlement of Grimspound visible on the hills to the left, while above, looking like an alien attack fleet is a dramatically streaky lenticular cloud. The light is provided half by an almost full moon and half from the final ebbs of light from the afterglow of the sunset. The first stars were appearing in the sky, and you can just make out the constellation of Orion above the main cloud.

I often say that a good photograph follows a good cycle on my bike – partly because cycling is good for relaxing and helping me get into a creative mood – and partly because I sometimes see things from the bike I would have missed from the car (or sat at home!). This was the case on a lovely day in the spring, when, quite by chance I found myself cycling down the road past Hookney Tor and Grispound (see previous photo) on Dartmoor, and found myself riding past this enormous field of bluebells. Somewhat contrary to expectations, bluebells are doing quite well on Dartmoor’s exposed hills. However I had not seen this patch before, and what’s more, it was right at the peak of flowering, when the blue tones seem to almost glow. When I got home, I grabbed the camera and headed straight back!

Bedruthan Steps
I stood on the cliffs and watched the waves rolling in towards the waiting rocks. What a fantastic sight! The air was fresh, and the spring flowers in bloom. I often use longer exposures when photographing the sea to capture a sense of movement, but not on this occasion. I wanted to capture the ‘personality’ of that blustery sea, and so a faster exposure was needed. The light was also superb – warm but still subtle.

The harbour at Boscastle, connected to the sea by the ‘zig-zag’ river through the cliffs. It’s truly a beautiful and impressive vista, and complemented by the soft sunset tones in the sky.

This one was taken on a fine summer evening. One of the things I love about Cornwall is that so many of the beaches are unspoilt; backed by dunes and cliffs rather than by shops and hotels. You may only be a few minutes from the car, but it feels like another world. This, for me, is a quintessentially 'Cornish' scene, with the soft sands and wild grasses leading down to the beach. The Sea Holly was great to find in such abundance, and added a splash of colour.

I remember this day for a big build up to sunset, which was shaping up to be fantastic. The clouds looked good, and in the right place, all I needed was the sun to pop out beneath them to complete the picture. When it came, it was a sudden burst of colour, and then a second later, it was gone.

St Mawes
The final image is a late entry into my 2014 highlights, coming from my final shoot of the year. Sometimes photos almost take themselves, with the ‘pieces’ of the puzzle slotting together without effort. The sunset was fantastic, and cast some sublime light which was just shimmering off the still waters. Add some old rope left artistically displayed on the steps, and it was a pleasure to photograph.


Photo comment By ian locke: Matt just stumbled across you website,as a keen amateur landscape phorographer your images are inspirational.I was wondering what kit you used fro you landscape images. Best Regards.
Photo comment By Matt: Thanks Ian! I use Canon Kit - and 5D2 DSLR camera and a selection of lenses (my favorite ones being the 17-40 and 70-200).
Photo comment By Matt: Thanks Ian! I use Canon Kit - and 5D2 DSLR camera and a selection of lenses (my favorite ones being the 17-40 and 70-200).

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