Eleven photos from ’11

In the midst of all my end of year best of the blog malarky, I seem to have left off one of most important year-end wrap ups: my photography.

So today — a few days late, and in no particular order — I bring you the eleven photos (of mine) that I like most from 2011:

The miniatures

As regular readers of the Big Bad Blog will know, roleplaying is a hobby of mine, and I play D&D on a semi-regular basis. I often take my camera along, to take photos of the minis in action.

Here’s an example of minis in action:


Two friends of mine got engaged (to each other) early in 2011, and so I took the opportunity to have an “engagement photo shoot”. A number of the photos resulting from this can be found at this post in April.

My favourite photo from the shoot is this one. The epic feel just feels right.

Greenwich foot tunnel

For most of 2010, Karen and I lived in Greenwich. There’s a tunnel there, that crosses the Thames to the Isle of Dogs. We didn’t use it at all.

When we moved back to Wapping, however, it started to get regular use — we would walk or jog to Greenwich, to spend time in the park or one of their many lovely pubs. The tunnel is quite picturesque, but usually the pedestrian traffic is too heavy to make for a good photo opportunity.

One day in March, however, I found myself in an uncrowded tunnel with my camera. I like the result.


Summer, a visit to a friend’s, bubbles in the garden. A beautiful day.


The Maggie-a-day project is an endeavour in which your blogger attempts to add a photo of his daughter to his Flickr stream every single day.

The project has met with partial success — I certainly do not take a photo every day, and I seem to miss posting a photo approximately one day in four (she’s about 450 days old, and there are about 350 photos in the stream). But with so much of my energy spent on photos of Maggie, it should be no surprise that they make up a significant portion of my top eleven.

Reflections on a nephew

All that practice taking photos of children comes in handy when I get to take photos of other people’s children. These stand out to me, as they are different from the Maggie photos I take daily.

My favourite of these is this photo of my nephew, taken while in Canada:

The green wood

I don’t get out hiking or walking much — while London has a fair bit of green space, none of it is “wild”. And it’s tough to drag a child who isn’t up to walking along with you.

Exceptions are made, however, and one such exception led me to find this little green gem:

The road to the sea

This summer featured our first family holiday — we went down to the French seaside. It was gorgeous, and filled with a dozen photos which would all be featured were this “the top 25 of 2011”, and I did not have an aversion to filling such a list with a group of photos taken in the same short timespan, in the same place.

Out of these photos, two made the cut to the top 11. The first is the final photo in the Maggie sequence above. The second is a black and white photo I took of a pier jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. There’s something special about photos of water in black and white.

All photos are CC licensed by Mr. Topp, and can be found in my Flickr stream. Alternatively, just click on the photo to go to it on Flickr.

The morning coffee and the drain people

Below Las Vegas, there are tunnels. According to The Sun (in other words, this is possibly a gross exaggeration) people live there. This is their story.

(photo by orvaratli)

French legislators want photoshopped pictures to include warning labels. I’m a little confused for this: For what would it apply? Any professional photo has gone through a Photoshop-like program, in order to convert the raw data from the camera into an image. At what point does it become “altered”? Will this be enforced for the legions of French photobloggers and Flickr users?

The Hobbit: Thorin Oakshield is running a scam.

Morning coffee XIII

We all know that the Super Bowl is more than a football game. It is a time when advertisers come together, and show us their newest, greatest creations. One of the shames about watching the game via the BBC is that there are no ads. All that ad time? Filled with British commentators who do not actually know anything about football. Now that I have figured out who I will be cheering for, the remainder of the Super Bowl section this week will be filled with reminders of what I’ll be missing.

First up? The one that started the madness:

In the news: The BBC exhibits some (more) bizarre behaviour, with the headline Robinho held over ‘sex assault’. I’m trying to decide if it’s bad reporting or bad writing. Or maybe bad editing. At first I thought that the quotation marks in the headline were a little insulting and represented bias — can it really be a sex assault, with a football star? After reading the article, in which half of every sentence (including bits such as “criminal investigation”) find themselves mysteriously within unnecessary quotation marks I’m not sure. Bias or someone who has no idea how to write?

Blog-wise, I send you over to Mark. Mark has analyzed the new Canadian budget, so I don’t have to.

In today’s blews, Freakonomics wonders why those digging tunnels in Gaza (to smuggle things in from Egypt) talk to reporters, even though this is the sort of thing that leads to Israeli attacks. Both the question and the responses it has gathered are interesting.

Today’s image of the day is of the Chinese New Year:
With many more to be found at this blog entry.

And finally, today’s webcomic of the day: