Happy New Year, 2012 / 31 December, 2011 [click for previous image: Shipka memorial #2]
Happy New Year, 2012 / 31 December, 2011 [click for next image: morning mist]
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Title • Happy New Year, 2012

To round out the year I've posted my 12 favourite shots from 2011. The first two are beachcombing images, both of which were taken on Fleetwood beach, and I've included them because there's probably no other type of photography I enjoy more: there's something really therapeutic about wandering along a beach in search of things to photograph.

The third, Istanbul #1, was taken during the recent Faces and Places photo tour to Istanbul that I ran with Bobbi Lane and I've included it because it's probably my all-time favourite street shot. The fourth image – the shot of the old chair - was taken during the same trip and I included it because it typifies another of my favourite types of photography: shooting seemingly bland scenes that I know can be post-produced to look considerably more interesting.

The next four images (the middle row) were all taken in Dubai. The first, the shot of the Dubai skyline taken from the roof bar of the Park Regis hotel, ended up as one of my favourites simply because it's a bit different. I've been to Dubai eight times now so I'm always on the look out for alternative ways to capture the city.

The next two – the shot of the Sheik Zayed road taken from the Four Points Sheraton roof bar and the shot of the Burj Khalifa taken from the roof of the Executive Tower B building in the Business Bay area of Dubai – made the favourites list because I think they ended up being about as good as I could get them. There's probably room for improvement, both technically and creatively, but I was really pleased with how they both turned out.

'You said it would last forever' was included for two reasons. First, because I thought it was an interesting commentary on Dubai, but also because it took me quite a while to work out how to shoot it. It was almost pitch-black, and while I did have a tripod with me I didn't have a remote release so ended up shooting a set of images at different focal points which I then blended in Photoshop.

The next two images (bottom left) were both taken in Oman during our first Gulf Photo Plus photo tour. The first is a shot of my good friend Catalin Marin and the second was taken during a sunset shoot on the beach near our hotel.

The penultimate image was taken on Blackpool beach and I included it because it's probably my favourite UK beach-scape of the year, and the final image was taken with my iPhone 4. It's not my favourite iPhone shot from 2011 – I haven't blogged that one yet – but it is the one that made me realise that the iPhone should definitely be considered a serious photographic tool.

So, those are my choices from the year. I'm sure that some of you will have some different favourites, but I hope you enjoy my choices too.

On which note: I hope you all have a fabulous New Year's Eve and that 2012 brings you the prosperity, health and happiness that you all deserve. Have a good one :)

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