And so we move into my top twenty images of the year, starting with this lovely old Bentley.
#20: The one taken at Henry VIII’s old gaff
The most incredible assembly of cars I had the privilege of shooting this year just happened to also be in the most picturesque location, Hampton Court Palace. This meeting of machinery and milieu is an absolute godsend for a photographer.
Rather than having to worry about wheely bins and hot dog vans creeping into shot, you’re free to compose for artistic intent, knowing that the stunning backdrop will complement the image.
For this and many other reasons, shooting at the Concours of Elegance was one of my favourite days of the year. And, as an added bonus, this collection of images gave me my first full page in Octane magazine.
#19: The one that marked my debut as a writer
One of my highlights of this year was being given the honour of covering the Goodwood Festival of Speed for The Automobile magazine. Not only because it’s one of their biggest and most popular articles of the year, but from a personal perspective it was my first big commission as both photographer and writer.
There are so many images from the Festival that I could have put in here – and a few may well crop up later in this list – but this one is very special to me as it made the front cover of the mag.
I plan to do a lot more writing in 2019 – it’s why I started this blog – and wherever that leads, the Goodwood article, the issue it was published in and this cover image will forever remind me of where my career as an automotive journalist really kicked on.
#18: The one that gives divine protection
As you’re probably aware of by now, I love an image that tells a story. Even if that story is unique to each individual viewer.
I’ve conjured up my own little narrative to go with this image because, to be honest, I don’t know anything about the car, its driver or the reason behind the dashboard icon.
And that’s the beauty of a photograph like this: the subtle clues dotted around the frame will only tell so much. The rest is open to interpretation and imagination.
#17: The one with the frightfully British muscle car
I refer you back to the point I made in #20 about location.
This was another shot taken in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Don’t the car and the environment just complement each other perfectly?
#16: The one I shot on home turf
Every spring, the Vintage Sports-Car Club bring their wonderful old machines to Curborough Sprint Course for their annual Speed Trials. Which is handy for me, as it’s just a couple of miles from my home.
What’s also great about Curborough is that it’s a very small, tight layout with great trackside access for photographers. So you don’t need a humungous lens to capture the cars in full flight.