A look back at 2021...

Well, that's another year gone. I think? That was definitely a year wasn't it? I think it was a year. I'm not even sure what a year is anymore. There are days, and there are definitely months sometimes, but years? I can't remember a proper year since 2017.


Anywho, let's say 2021 was a year for argument's sake and take a look back at it!


 

Photography - Top 10 of the Year.


I've never really gone into much detail about my photography on this blog. It's something I try and do throughout the year, purely as a hobby. This year, however, I've really tried to get into it. Since 2013 I've dabbled with the craft, but I've never done any sort of research into it and essentially stuck to the same camera and lens since 2015. That all changed this year when I sold my old DSLR, bought a brand new Sony A6400 and a few different lenses to boot. I've started watching loads of photography videos and picked up a few books to grasp different techniques. I'm really enjoying it, and feel a sense of paranoia going anywhere remotely interesting without my camera bag these days!


10 - MediaCityUK Lightwaves Earth

In December, I managed to get to the Lightwaves festival at MediaCityUK, Salford. The light show was fantastic, but the floating Earth was the star of the show. Unfortunately, a large storm deflated it only a day later, so I was glad to see it when I did.


9 - Goats at Cheddar Gorge

In the summer I visited Cheddar Gorge with my girlfriends family. I've never seen wild goats before, so I spent most of the visit taking photographs of them with giddy glee. The Goats were less impressed about seeing me for the first time.


8 - The Deansgate Towers

I'm not too sure why I like this photo. It's fairly basic, and the main focus is a set of buildings I see pretty much every day. I had just bought my new camera when I took it, so maybe I'm attached to it for that reason. It also makes a cracking phone background (just saying).


7 - Looking for Fish.

Being a Cornish lad (well, adopted Cornish) I've always had an attachment to seagulls. Where I differ from most Cornish people, is that I actually quite like them. Anyway, this is probably one of the best pictures I've ever got of those airborne thieves.


6 - Manchester Cathedral.

I've always had a bit of an attachment to Manchester Cathedral. Back when I moved to Manchester in 2017, it was one of the first places I visited. To this day, one of the best gigs I've ever seen was inside it (they sadly no longer do this). I believe this photo is a fitting tribute to such a great building.


5 - Autumnal Salford University.

The moment leaves started falling this year I had this ich to get out there and get some autumnal pictures before it was too late. Autumn is by far my favourite season, but it really doesn't overstay its welcome. I took this photo on a lovely Sunday morning whilst walking around Peel Park and the Salford Uni campus. It's strange, I lived on this campus for a whole year but have no recollection of it looking this nice.


4 - Foggy Manchester Sunrise.

I absolutely love the colours in this photo. It was a particularly foggy morning, and by the time I got onto the roof of my building the clouds had a very eerie quality to them. The Manchester skyline has a Bladerunner vibe to it, which should probably be quite worrying, to be honest.


3 - The old Fire Station.

I was insanely lucky with this photo. For the past year or so, the old Fire Station in Salford has been covered in scaffolding. Luckily by the time the December snow arrived, the scaffolding had been taken down, allowing for this lovely shot to happen.


2 - Love on Oxford Road.

I have a huge regret about this photo. It was taken at the Oxford Road Corridor in October which transformed Oxford Road sites with amazing light installations. My favourite was a series of lights inside the Holy Name Church, where I found a couple enjoying the lights and music. While taking photos of the lights themselves, I grabbed a shot of the twosome and it was the best photo I got all night. So more than anything, I regret not going up to them and asking if they wanted the photo. I didn't realise how nice the photo actually was at first, and I'm just generally too shy to approach strangers having a moment... (If the couple in this photo ever sees this, please let me know! I'd love to give it to you!)


1 - The Cheesering.

For years now, I've tried to get a good photo of The Cheesering. It's just up the road from where I live in Cornwall, and I've always had a fascination with its structure and natural beauty. However, I've never been truly satisfied with a single photo I've captured. Whether that be from a camera, drone or phone. So, when I ventured up to it at the end of the year I was absolutely buzzing to see sunlight sneak through the clouds creating an amazing backdrop for it. Finally, I had captured a photo that I believe shows the true epicness of the location.


Some honourable mentions...





 


Music - Top 50 (ish).


Every year I try and produce a playlist with my favourite 50 songs of the year. Every year I fail. This year, without realising, I failed even more dramatically than in previous years. I'm usually a couple of songs over the 50 target but this year I was some 30 songs over. Rather than try and whittle it down and delete some of my favourites from the year, I decided to just leave it. Was this partially down to laziness? Absolutely. Was it also because it would be too hard? Definitely, but mostly laziness.



 

Some things I did or whatever...


I recently finished my apprenticeship with Ziax/CubeCraft Games with a distinction grade. As well as this, 2021 saw some great achievements for the company. Here are some of my own personal ones:

  • I created a TikTok account and got 100,000 followers in 3 months.

  • Assisted with a full company rebrand (Digital Tree Media > Ziax).

  • Became a bloody meme lord on Twitter (seriously, I'm so down with the kids these days. My memes are now CubeCraft's most liked/shared tweets).

  • Assisted with Microsoft/Minecraft lead trailer creation.

It was also another busy year of Trailer editing. Here are all of the videos I have produced so far!



In the Summer, I also helped edit some online videos for the Children's Shakespeare Festival. I actually had Covid-19 at the time, which made getting hold of hard drives after each shoot very difficult. Executive Producer, Tom Doona, essentially had to leave them outside my door and then shout at me from a mile away with how the shoot went. The project was hard work, with a lot of late nights, but It was a great experience watching the videos go out to the viewers live.


You can find out more here.



I've also been working on a number of scripts this year, and I'm incredibly excited for what 2022 has in store for them. A film I have been working on for a while; Wheelbarrow Man, will hopefully enter production next November. There is also the possibility of a few other film projects throughout the year, so stay tuned!



I also managed to finally graduate earlier this month! After a year and a half of waiting, it was great to finally say goodbye to Salford University and the friends I made there. Here's to the next chapter...



 

So, that was my 2021.


It's always sad saying goodbye to a year, especially in Covid times where you can't help but feel you have been robbed of some special moments.


This year I'm going to have a genuine go at a new years resolution, something I've always scoffed at in previous years. I've noticed just how much I live in the past, constantly looking back at the 'good old days' and thus neglecting the here and now. So in 2022, I want to appreciate those around me more and experience the 'good old days' while I'm still in them.


I hope you have an amazing Christmas, you deserve it after this year! Hopefully, 2022 will be the final 'Covid' year, round it up in a trilogy of shit years and hope there's no more. No one likes another entry once the trilogy has finished...


Rowan.

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