Favourite photos of 2019

2019 has been a great year for my photography. I started the year by upgrading from my EOS-M, which has served me very well, to an EOS-M5. Apart from the improvement in image quality and resolution, 18 megapixels to 24 megapixels, the extra manual controls have made using the camera much more natural, and the boost in image quality was so big, that I quite quickly decided to add some new lenses to make the most of all those new megapixels. I'm quite a frugal buyer, so I wanted to maximise performance for the best possible cost. Up until now, I've been using wide-angle zooms and standard primes, so I went all in and got a 70-200 F4 L, the base 'L' lens in the 70-200 range, but the image quality on a tripod is simply excellent. In addition to this, I also purchased a second hand 24-105 F4 L IS, the 'kit' lens from Canons pro camera bodies. For the price, this is also an excellent lens, sharp and versatile, but on the negative side, heavy and prone to chromatic aberration, but nothing that can't be fixed in post-processing.

New kit aside, this year also marked a return to simply going out with a tripod and taking my time to compose landscapes. Recently, most of my photography has been from walking and holidays. It's been quite satisfying to just take my time without any pressures or time contraints.

MAAT at Lisbon

The year started with a Holiday to Lisbon. A beautiful city with lots to see and do. The weather was great, and complimented the fantastic food. This was a quick shot taken by the MAAT museum on the waterfront. It was a warm afternoon, lots of people enjoying the sunshine, and maybe a drink, by the water.

The broadwalk at Thursley National Nature Reserve
Infrared Trees

The boardwalks at Thursley National Nature Reserve provide the next location. It's a great spot for capturing evening light, the windswept trees and grasses providing some great subjects. This is a location that I will need to return to, as I suspect these scenes will look great with different weather conditions.

When I upgraded my primary camera from the EOS-M to the EOS-M5, I converted the EOS-M into an infrared camera by removing the builtin IR cut filter. This requires dismantling the camera, and removing a tiny glass filter that sits in front of the imaging sensor. Once this is done, the camera is now capturing visible light and Infrared light, which in normal use just adds a pink hue to images, but when combined with an IR filter, i use a R72, on really bright days, you can capture Infrared photographs. As leaves and grass reflect IR light more than other surfaces, IR photographs take on an ethereal look.

The Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
The Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
Prague Prague Bluehour

These last three photos are all long exposure images from Prague during a trip to the Christmas markets. Prague is a beautiful city, but it is also a very busy city. Using long exposures can help to blur out the numbers of people, and combined with exposure bracketing for HDR processing, allows for details to be retained in the shadows, without blowing out the street lights.


If you like, or are interested in any of my photographs, these and many more are available for license from my picfair profile: https://maniacalrobot.picfair.com

About the Author

Phil Balchin is a full-time software developer at Zendesk, previously at Heroku/Salesforce, and Kyan, as well as a part-time photographer living in Guildford, Surrey, UK.

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