Here’s the obligatory end of year bonus post that reviews my 2013 and looks ahead to next year.

This video captures my year pretty well, it shows all travel locations visited and a selection of photos taken there:

According to my Tripit.com account, in 2013 I took 14 trips over a 59 day period. I visited 14 cities within 9 countries; Tripit doesn’t have everything in there though, so that’s just the main highlights of my year.

I’ve travelled just over 65,000 km (so around 40,000 miles) but it’s likely more than that as I’m not counting the miles it took to drive around Slovakia, for example.

It was certainly a year with plenty of ‘firsts’ for me, starting out in January where it was the first time I had attempted fire breathing (also first time I failed in those attempts). This year saw me take my first trips to Asia, to South America, to the Middle East and to Russia. It was the first year I have eaten donkey, bear, elk and camel. I walked along the Great Wall of China, got drenched in a boat beneath the Iguazu Falls, and was fortunate enough to visit Petra by night.

Here’s a timeline of the main places that I visited this year:

My favourite place visited was probably Beijing. It was a great city with friendly people and I really enjoyed the time I spent wandering around. It was the place where I saw the greatest language barrier, but not where I felt most like a foreigner.

I’ve met some fantastic people along the way this year, which includes those who do and do not take photos, and I’m happy to now call some of those people friends.

My main delight for this year is maintaining the only photographic goal I set for myself, and that is to continue to post one new image every Monday thru Friday. That’s roughly 260 new images every year. They don’t all make it to Facebook/Flickr/Google+ etc due to the fact I may be travelling, but rest assured with the scheduling feature on my site I ensure they go up there each day. It was tough travelling to Argentina and Jordan in quick succession, as that meant I had to spend a weekend processing 21 images, and then writing up blog posts, so that I could schedule them for my time away. Happy to have maintained such consistency though.

As always, it’s difficult to sit and pick favourite shots from the year due to the volume, so instead I’ve simply pull out one image that I like from each of the 12 months.

January – Snow trails
This was my first outing with my 14mm lens, and it had been snowing in London. I headed out for a walk down the Thames after work, and fell in love with the 14mm.
Snow trails

February – Stairway to heaven
I love a good stair shot, and this staircase in Greenwich, London provided a subject.
Stairway to heaven

March – A cold spell
I love this tree. It’s on the south coast of England and I walk past it a few times a year, I think I may one day have a decent image of this tree, from the same angle, for all seasons of the year.
A cold spell

April – Missing the mark
This was my image for April 1st. I was fooling around in my flat and playing with a flash, getting drunker and drunker the more shots I took – but I did like the end result. I want to play with more flash next year…but I say that every year.
Missing the mark

May – Goldeneye
One of my favourite images of London with the iconic wheel and a lovely sunset. Possibly my favourite image of the year.
Goldeneye

June – Road to the mountains
I was shattered when I got to this field, after first spending the day hiking int the mountains you see in the backgraound. They’re the High Tatra mountains in Slovakia, and after returning to our cabin we just had to rush out to see if there was a sunset. There wasn’t really, but I was happy with this image.
Road to the mountains

July – The secret waterfall
My favourite spot in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, and somewhere I returned to twice within as many weeks.
The secret waterfall

August – Cutting edge
Another London image, and a simple one at that. Long exposure of clouds shooting up through a few buildings; quite a popular image for those in London so you may see many variants to this one.
Cutting edge

September – Novoslobdskaya
The best thing about Moscow, Russia was their metro system, and getting up at silly o’clock on a Sunday was well worth it. This is one example of many beautiful stations.
Novoslobodskaya

October – Needling
Awesome clouds over the Shard in London. The tallest building in Europe is taken out of context here, and I love it.
Needling

November – Autumnus
Autumn is here and this lovely boat house with fall leaves was a lovely find, and very hobbit-esque.
Autumnus

December – Milky way over mushroom rock
One of my favourite images from my trip to Jordan, even though the milky way isn’t very bright in this sky.
Milky way over mushroom rock

Goals for 2014?

Well, the one image every weekday goal is still there. I’ll soon be celebrating my 3 year anniversary of doing this so don’t see why I should stop now.

I wish to learn how to use the pen tool in photoshop. For years I’ve avoided it, and had other people tell me it’s one of the best tools you can possibly use, so I really need to give it a go this year.

I also want to learn more, and so will be hoping to watch more video tutorials. Jimmy suggested I check out Phlearn.com and so I have, the few videos I’ve seen from there have taught me some great stuff to think about and practice so I don’t see why I should stop there. If you learn just one thing from a video, it’s worth watching.

As always I have ‘plans’ for the site, but I’m not going to be cut up if I don’t do them in the coming year. With a full time job, a social life and a wish to travel, it’s hard enough to maintain one new post each day rather than stress about the little stuff. I hope to get a few ideas up and running though.

Speaking of the job, I hope to use up all of my holiday entitlement in 2014. I’ve worked for the same company for 7 years and have never managed to use all of my holidays up, but I came close this year after losing just 4.5 days (and carrying 5 over to next year). In 2014 I hope to take all of them, and with my current love for travel I think that may be achievable.

I’ve booked trips for New York in January and Paris in May, and I have tentative plans for Dublin and Northumberland in February, Singapore in March, Japan in March/April, and a drive across the Norweigian fjords towards the end of the year. The rest is wide open and waiting for me to plan.

All in all it’s been a fantastic year, and I’m hoping 2014 just gets better. I’m looking forward to it, and wish you well with yours.

And finally…

I love statistics, so I’ve pulled a few out from my images 🙂 I was going to make an infographic of them, but who has the time?

I posted 261 images on my blog, without missing a day from my target of posting every week day.

73% of the images were taken with the Canon 5D Mark II, 23% with the Sony NEX-7 and the remainder with the Canon 500D, Sony QX100 or iPhone.

My most used lens for the images published was the 24-70mm on the Canon, with 38% of the images coming from this glass. The 14mm for the same camera was close behind at 33%, and in third place was the 16mm pancake lens for the NEX-7 which took 19% of my images. The rest were from various cameras.

All of my images have titles, and the most popular starting letter for my posts is ‘S’. 28 of my images this year, 11%, had titles starting with that letter. The least popular letters are ‘X’ and ‘Y’ where there were no image titles starting with those letters.

London was the location I posted the most images from, which is understandable seeing as how I live there 🙂 Exactly 100, or 38%, were from this location.

Out of the 8 countries outside of the United Kingdom that I visited this year, I posted exactly 80 images, so an average of 10 from each location.

5% of this year’s images were from Urbex locations.

Images that I deem as being ‘Architecture’ are my most posted, with 26% of my images this year being that subject. These seem to span across every location I visited with the exception of Wales, which was pretty much just landscapes and waterfalls. Within London my next most frequently posted were cityscapes, and these images seem to sell more than any others.

93% of my images are shot in Landscape orientation.

69% were shot during the daytime, with 23% at night, and just 8% during sunrise or sunset.

74% of my images are in colour, with the rest taken up pretty much half and half with black and white or very muted mono images.

25% of my 2013 images used long exposure to get a desired effect, be it movement in the clouds, stillness in water, or the trails of a car at night. I used long exposure equally during day and night.

Finally – 99% of my followers are simply awesome! The other 1% not so much…you know who you are ;o)

See you next year folks. And by that, I mean it’s business as usual tomorrow.