a life in a year

a look back at 2017:


January – the start of a new year, with new plans, and glad to be able to start it with building a new website for a  client firm.  Whilst still busy with location photography when weather permitted, a considerable amount of time was dedicated to the project, with a target to complete things within a short time frame.

Alongside this, I started planning a new print-ordering area and a redesign of my own website,

On the road, time was put in on the Gower, Kenfig and other wild areas as well as making plans for watercolour painting (one of my other `hats`). January was very much a very early morning to late night month!


February – and with winter full on it was a case of again planning a week around weather, light and tides, together with any commitments to clients. However, it was a bit of a highlight to be asked to provide one of my images of Short Eared Owl for publication in the the BBC Wildlife magazine (Feb edition).

The photo was to accompany a short feature about the National Wetland Wales` Reserve and saltmarsh, and the image taken from a series from an encounter 12 months before, in February 2016. 


March and back to some corporate work amongst other things, photographing business premises and staff for an expanding regional law firm. First impressions can last, and to me it is important to be able not just to provide pleasing images, but at the correct resolution and exposure.

With spring beckoning, plans were afoot for some particular woodland photography, and also time-frames and locations worked on for nature photography.  Running alongside this, print-ordering was now live, and I invested in some further equipment for portrait work.


April – and what a way to start by photographing wild otter at the WWT Wetland Centre at Penclacwydd on 5th April. No set up shots or tame animals, these were completely wild and photographed in poor light and conditions. Here are two of the three.

A busy month elsewhere too with other things, but this had to be a highlight.

April also saw me start spending more frequent time on the Gower peninsula, with spring migrants arriving and plenty of courtship.



May and it`s full-on Bluebell season. 

One of my photography sessions during the month was at Dinefwr Country Park, where millions of Bluebells bloomed across the estate. As per previous months, some of my images were used on the regional weather TV bulletins by both ITV and the BBC.


June– and it`s the second of two events this year participating with the Woodland Trust.

The Trust had organised two events to highlight both their mature woodlands and fantastic views, and I was booked to participate in leading the photography element to each walk.

Back on the South Wales coastline, I was spending a lot of time photographing the breeding Kestrels. I had been with them on and off since the beginning of the year ( see August below.)


July a good time for insects and flowers amongst other things, but also the month the the National Wales Airshow.

This year was another two-day event, and time to do some aircraft photography, which included the earsplitting Typhoon.

Also in July there was more location work on Gower and other coastlines, and some more webdesign work for another company to squeeze in in the evening hours.



August the year is whizzing on, and now finishing off my main time allocated to the Kestrels, the young of which fledged as usual in early July. These are fantastic birds which of course must never be disturbed, so many many hours are spent crouched still in places that are less than comfortable! 

August also took me to locations across England, and some planning was organised for a future `Time for images` arrangement. This was to focus on the gap between the sometimes less-than-professional results of selfies and the often overpriced studio sessions. My plan has been to create a compromise arrangement that would allow someone to end up with a series of post-production images at the correct resolution to use for a gallery portfolio.


Septemberand another bird being probably the highlight of the month. 

I had the good fortune for once to be in the right place at the right time (something that hardly ever happens to me) when a passage Osprey briefly visited Penclacwydd .

This was a first for me there, totally unplanned, but for once things came together when some crows pestered the Osprey towards me and straight overhead! It had just caught a mullet too.

Ospreys stop off on the North Gower estuary in September to fuel-up and fish for a week or two before their long flight South.

October and it`s storms Ophelia and Brian

Time to leave the corporate,portrait and bird photography for some full-on storm stuff, this being early morning high-tide at Porthcawl. Again my photography from both storms made it onto the BBC and ITV forecasts

Away from the storms I was busy with the Autumn photography,and back photographing more staff for a company website. Generally a busy month when weather was cooperating!


November – probably both the worst and the most memorable month of 2017!

On the negative side, in early November my site went down. To cut a long story short, and after dozens of hours of investigative work, the problem was at the hosting side. However, after over a week of trying to get some action, I moved hosting companies and started rebuilding a new site from the ground up.

On the plus side, November was the month I carried out some more Rock photography, and photographed the one off event of the return of Jim Lea of Slade at Bilston, the details of which are covered in the relevant Post.

I was asked permission for one of my images to be used on Jim`s official website.

A true rock hero of mine, a reclusive musical genius (and I don`t use that word lightly). A very memorable event.


Decemberand it`s a look back at the year.

The first real cold weather of the winter too, with who knows what will come over the next few months. It was -4c on the above morning, but not quite so numbing as a -7c windchill on Gower – made worse by sitting still facing the headwind.

It`s also a time for planning, taking stock and deciding what to take forward in 2018. Hopefully some more webdesign and imaging work alongside my diverse photography. 

It just leaves me to thank all those who have stayed with me during this last year, and hopefully I will get to bump into some of you in 2018.

“Look to the future now, it`s only just begun”





all content and images (c) russ myners 2017