A lot of things happened in my life in 2013, and even though I did not get as much time to take pictures as I would have liked, it turned out to be an interesting year after all. A lot of the pleasant things that happened is of a personal character, hence something I do not necessarily need the rest of the world to know too much about. I feel I can demand a certain level of privacy in my own life, or at least keep to myself the things that I chose.
In this entry, I have tried to choose my favorite photographs from each of the 12 months of 2013. Looking back at the files from each month, it is definately clear that not every month was as productive as I could have wanted. Particularly towards the end of the year, it may seem as the Canon was semi-retired for quite a few weeks.
No matter what, no matter the story behind these selected images, it’s been a busy year - a very busy year.
This image was clearly one of my favorites from January, shot at "Kuhaugen” viewpoint on a very cold but clear winter day. I have to admit that during winter, I tend to take a whole lot less photos outside. I guess it’s because it’s dark most of the day, and a lot less inspiring running into forests and other paths in deep snow. I just don’t lake winter - in fact, I hate winter.
My February favorite photograph was taken at a late evening winter-walk to look for the Northern Light. Despite alerts of imminent Aurora that evening, not much was seen. Freezing on my fingers and toes, I started heading home when I noticed the line of trees. I had to spend a moment walking around to find an interesting angle that would work in my mind, and I eventually chose this as my favorite shot.
March was a very quiet month photography wise - that had a lot to do with my work-shifts and other pressing engagements. But one day, just as I got some time off work, a north-westernly full storm came crushing down on the fjord. I immediately thought this might be an opportunity to get some different shots. When the wind picked up fast, and the swell became rough, ferry services was halted, and I got this shot of Korsfjord awaiting for an opportunity to approach the dock with safe margins.
In April of 2013, I joined the maiden voyage of a former Norwegian coastal steamer, resurrected as the cruise ship Serenissima. Even though, I took thousands of images during the maiden voyage, the above image is left as one of my favorite shots from the entire cruise. The image was taken at 4:30 in the morning, while the Serenissima was sailing at full speed towards the final port of the maiden voyage, Venice, Italy. Apart from the watchkeeping crew, I was pretty much the only one up at the time. The air was warm (compared to Norway), and there was a slight drizzle in the air. At the time of this image, we were about 3-4 hours away from the pilot station at Venice port.
At the end of May, I travelled to Kristiansund to meet up with an old cabin-mate and colleague of mine that I had not seen for about a decade or so. He is now working on the residential cruise ship “the World” - a ship that I didn’t have too many pictures of in my files from before. I arrived at Kristiansund just in time to find the perfect location for the ship’s arrival, and be ready to capture her passage through Markussundet. At the same time, the southbound coastal steamer also departed from the town. I was thrilled the weather was relatively OK this day, but I recall I would have wanted blue skies instead.
When I sat down to review all my photographs from 2013, it was quite clear to me that ships and maritime images are in clear majority. So far in 2014, that might change. My favorite image from June was of the brand new car ferry Stavangerfjord on sea trials on the Trondheimsfjord. in this image, the ferry is making a hard turn at relatively high speed just behind my own ship. The Stavangerfjord is built along the banks of the Trondheimsfjord at Rissa, and was the first of two identical ferries built for Fjord Line.
Picking one favorite image in July was really hard. This was the month I had returned to Thailand after many years, and this was a trip where a lot of wonderful things happend to me on a personal level. Lookingn through all the images, I eventually chose this image from Sangkhlaburi. The trip to Sangkhlaburi was one of the highlights of the July holiday to Thailand - the places is so very photogenic in every thinkable way, and therefore a photgraphers paradise. This particular morning, I had gotten out of bed at 4 AM in morning and walked the quiet streets long before dawn to get to this particular location - a stone-throw’s way from the famous Mon bridge (which by the way, collapsed a few weeks later due to strain on it’s carrying pilars from floating Hyacintyh-flowers flowing and filling the river).
In my photography, August was another very quiet month. Most of the images from this month, was once again ships on the fjord, and in particular this seasons last cruiseship visits. My favorite pick this month was of the sail-cruiseship Club Med 2. I had been on nightwatch the morning when she sailed in the fjord at dawn, passing just behind my ferry. Her sails were up, and the sails were lit from the ships lights, and the morning light was absolutely amazing. Tragically, this was one of the few nightwatches I did not bring my camera with me. Oh, have I been punishing myself for not bringing the camera that night?
This year’s final cruiseship call to Trondheim was of the largest ship as well, the Adventure of the Seas of Royal Caribbean International. I woke early in the morning, keeping an eye on AIS-monitoring websites to make sure I got her arrival. I had the night before hoped she would come “close” to my work as well, but could not have dreamt of a better palcement of both ships. The sun was up shining on the cruiseship, while Gråkallen mountain still cast a slight shadow on Korsfjord. I was so thrilled that this morning I was not on duty at Korsfjord, because I would never have gotten an image like this whilst on board.
Oh, October - another absolutely wonderful month with travels back to my beloved kingdom. The first priority during this trip to Thailand, was of a personal character in Bangkok. Once that was all done and taken care of, an opportunity opened up and I could fly to Phuket for a couple of days. I had a car waiting for me at the airport, and while I was driving on the way to my accomondations, I simply could not wait any longer before I went to see the ocean and the beach. I turned off the highway, and made a stop at Surin Beach just 30 minutes after debarking the plane. I felt like I had literally landed in heaven. My visit to Phuket was absolutely wonderful in so many ways, just way too short. Phuket have for some years of my life also been my home, and I therefore had a lot of really good friends, some former colleagues and other acquaintances to visit. It is perhaps no secret when I say that a bunch of good memories came to mind during my entire stay.
Of the nearly 2500+ images taken during October, another favorite comes as a clear winner in my mind. I had early on made a good deal with friends working in a Bangkok photo-shop, and exchanged my Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Mark III, but this second favorite of mine was taken underwater with the GoPro HD Hero camera. The image was taken in the pool of a friends apartment at Priviledge Residence at Kalim Beach - the hillside luxury condominium with views overlooking Kalim and Patong Beach was so beautiful. Needless to say, a lot of time was spent relaxing at the pool - even spending hours underwater meditating.
The only images taken in November were those taken by my iPhone. My Canon was given a lot of R&R this month, in part a lot because of other committments which continually filled my days. The selceted image above may not be a favorite by any standard, but at least it was taken during the month of November 2013.
Similarly to November, this month also gave a lot of rest to my Canon. During December, my old iPhone 3 exploded and caught fire during charging and I had to purchase a new replacement. The above image is one of the images from December taken by the new iPhone 5s. It might not technically be a masterpiece but in order to fill this page with 12 images of 2013, it is included.
Then, finally, the bonus image of 2013
The bonus image of the year was not taken by me, but it still tells of a highlight during the year. This image was taken by a former Filipino crew-member and colleague of the "Crystal Symphony", which coincidentally also now lives at Trondheim. The day was August 17th, and probably the most amazing Captain I have ever sailed under, came to town. As kind and fair as this Captain always have been, he took time out of his schedule to meet up for a full afternoon of long and interesting discussions. I truly admire everything this man stands for, and will always strive to become a leader of this high caliber.