My 2013- in review

In many ways last year seemed to go by very quickly, but looking back at these photos, I feel like I took them years ago! 2013 was my first full calendar year of being a University student, and I think it’s somewhat reflected in the volume of shots I took this year. During term times I was always fairly busy with work, OK well maybe not always! From January-June I was a first year, and I am pretty sure I could of made more time for photography if I tried! However having that kind of first year mentality, where you think you have no time to do anything because your’e far too busy watching American sitcoms on E4, I didn’t manage to spur myself into taking many photos. But during the Easter and summer holidays, in between earning cash working on a farm, I did manage to take some more shots, and since getting back to uni in October, despite there being a lot more work than first year, I have put much more of a focus on my photography. So here’s 16 of my favorite, or most defining, shots of 2013!


1. Getting to grips with the Nikon D3200- January

Stepping up from a bridge camera to a DSLR was a great feeling, the quality the CMOS sensor exudes compared to the CCD is excellent!  This shot was taken at a fishing pond very close to my home, a regular haunt for me, here I have tried to close in on the finer details, in an otherwise busy (and at the time very muddy), landscape, inspired by the golden light on the fluffy clouds.

Nikon D3200 Billy clapham nature photography


2.  Muddy knees-February

Another shot from my patch, St Andrews Church-Utterby, in Lincolnshire, a shot I have often imagined, but never really pulled off before.

billy clapham utterby snowdrop photography


3.  Curves- April

This tree has seen the face of my lens many times, sat on a gently folding valley side it always catches my eye. It has been part of some of my favourite landscape shots through out the years but this was the first time I had seen the hill in this light, and it really brought the otherwise plain winter fields alive! It had to be converted to black and white.

black and white landscape photography billy clapham



4. Shot in Practical Fishkeeping Magazine- April

Not a shot I took in 2013, but in April I got this shot taken of a little Scarlet Hermit crab (in my old, now shut down, reef aquarium) featured in Practical Fishkeeping magazine, it’s always nice to see a shot in print.

5-8. Vintage macro shooting

In the summer I got my hands on a few vintage goodies including an M42 fit pentacon 50mm f1.8. I have always loved the shallow depth of field look, and after looking into buying second hand M42 lenses I decided to give it a shot. The most major limitation is that, due to Nikons flange focal distance, an M42 lens with a standard glassless adaptor  has the maximum focus of about 1.5m…. very limiting for landscapes, but fine for some close up work!

butterfly billy clapham photography

9. Light dancing on the Peaks- October

A quick shot grabbed while out running a walk for a society I have gotten involved with at university, if anything this walk taught me just how easy it was to get into the Peak District from Sheffield! I have no excuse to not get out there now!

10.  Dozing in the haze- October

Another shot with the pentacon lens, this time at Yorkshire Wildlife park. I can definitely recommend this zoo for a bit of animal photography, mainly down to its lack of bars or messy viewing windows and the sizable natural exhibits!

11 & 12.  Autumn in Padley Gorge- November

Finally I properly took advantage of living on the door step of a National park and one morning ventured out in to the Peaks to a spot I had found on Flickr, just off from Grindleford train station, Padley gorge. A morning away from the city and all the uni work I had was exactly what I needed, and I will definitely be trying to get out into the peaks more when my exams are over in February!

13 & 14.  Seascapes- December

Back in Lincolnshire for the Christmas holidays, one very cold morning I ventured to Cleethorpes to do some seascape photography. I didn’t really know what to expect to get out of Cleethorpes photographically, but being there as the sun rose, with only  flocks of wading birds, and the odd dog walker, for company was a very different to my usual Cleethorpes experience of tourist filled beaches and McDonalds. Will definitely be aiming to get here again before I head back to Sheffield!


15. Village bird- December

The 70-300mmVR lens I got for Christmas has barely left my camera since I got it, I have had some great fun getting back to grips with photographing birds!

Now I begin 2014 with a much more focused head than I did in 2013, becoming a professional photographer/cameraman has become a lot more of a serious career option for me and not just a pipe dream. Hopefully now armed with my little telephoto lens and some potentially exciting projects in the pipe line, I hope to make 2014 my best year yet! Stay tuned to see how I do!

Happy New Year!


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