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My 2011 Photographic Year-End Review

It’s been a good year for me. Not only have I got a new and exciting job with lots of travel, but I also moved in with my girlfriend and we’ve had the good fortune to have a couple of great holidays (to Vietnam and South Africa) and a couple more mini-break trips to boot.

It’s been an eventful year for me travel-wise. According to my profile on Tripit.com, in 2011 I have had 14 trips abroad totalling 100 days, racking up 147,596km of travel to 32 cities in 12 countries. Phew.

Apologies for the length of this post – I am having a hard time whittling down my favourite photos of the year!

In early January I was still getting to grips with my latest acquisition, a Canon 7D. I took it out on an crisp winter’s day and put it through its paces around West London:

Sunset Horse Riders, Hyde Park

Ice Skaters, Natural History Museum

I also made a brief business trip to Saudi Arabia. One of the stopovers was a coastal town called Yanbu, which like many Saudi cities has an “Al Balad”, an old town, which has often been left to rot, due to lack of a tourist trade and lack of interest in anything that isn’t shiny and new…
Al Balad ("Old Town"), Yanbu

In February I didn’t travel abroad. Instead I continued to get to grips with my new camera, so took it out on another winter walk, this time to my familiar (and subject-rich) stomping ground of London’s South Bank.

Winter Wheel

Low Winter Sunshine and Westminster

Stormy St. Paul's

In March, springtime began to make itself known in London.

Signs of Spring II - Kensington Gardens

Signs of Spring I - Regent's Park

Also, the UK Uncut protests swept through the West End of London, mostly peacefully, but with occasional spots of mayhem provided by the Black Bloc splinter group.
Comedian Mark Thomas headlining at #UkUncut Comedy Sit-In, Soho Square

Riot squad tooling up to confront troublemakers

Ann Summers Window smashed by Black Bloc protesters #UkUncut

Towards the end of March I took a business trip to Kuwait City.
Souk al-Mubarakiya Market, Kuwait City

April was an eventful month. Within the same week I had changed jobs, moved out of a shared flat and moved into a new flat with my girlfriend, and had all of 4 days to settle in and unpack before we were off to Vietnam for a 3 week south-to-north adventure. The first week of this trip saw us travel through Saigon, Mui Ne and Nha Trang.

Asian Dawn

Granddad shows Junior the wheels, Chinatown

Alleyway Cuisine, Chinatown

Cham Temples and Graveyard, Phan Thiet

Fishermen on Phan Thiet Beach

Red Sand Dunes, Mui Ne

Nha Trang Beach Road from the Sheraton roof bar


For the first two weeks of May we continued travelling northwards through Vietnam, through the cities of Hoi An, Hue, Sapa, Hanoi and to the glorious Ha Long Bay.

Lantern Market, An Hoi Island, Hoi An

Cham Temples of My Son, near Hoi An

Noodle Lady, Hoi An Central Market

Side Gates of Citadel, Imperial City, Hue

Pensive merchant, Hue Central Market

Umbrella Roof at Nola Bar, Old Quarter, Hanoi

Blacksmiths shop, Old Quarter, Hanoi

H'Mong mother and child, near Sapa

Divine Light over Sapa

Rice Terraces of Cat Cat, Sapa - Panorama

Ha Long Bay Sunrise

Interior of Sung Sot "Surprise" Cave, Bo Hòn Island, Ha Long Bay

Straightaway after returning from Vietnam, I made the first of several trips this year to Dubai.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai


In June, I celebrated my birthday and went to Lagos, Nigeria for work. Sadly, neither of these events produced photos worth reproducing here.


In July we went on a long weekend break to Barcelona to reacquaint ourselves with this vibrant city and to spend a little time at our friends’ place out in the countryside of Catalonia.





I returned to Dubai for work…
Burj-al-Arab overlooking Souk al-Madinat

And, back in London, we took advantage of a sunny summer day to stroll the South Bank…
Summer on the South Bank


We started out August with a trip to the Cotswolds to have a cottage weekend with some friends, and of course enjoyed a countryside hike.



As is our tradition we also made a point of walking down to the Notting Hill Carnival to join the throngs which constitute Europe’s largest street party (Day 1 / Day 2).

Children's Day, Kensal Road

Mas Dancer and Trellick Tower, Golborn Road

Mas Explosion, Golborn Road


This month we trekked down to the Isle of Wight to attend Bestival 2011, a “boutique” music festival which is threatening to get bigger than its breeches.

Lords of Lightning

Olly the Pedal-Piano Man

Ziggy Stardust

The Urban Voodoo Machine @ the Swamp Shack

I also made another trip to Lagos, Nigeria, but one can only take so many photos out of the side of a moving car…


In October I was extremely busy with work travel, with trips to Dubai, Turkey and South Africa.

Desert Safari - Belly Dancer

Fortunately, the South Africa trip afforded us the possibility of continuing on in holiday mode once work was done. We started out in Cape Town and explored both it and the surrounding areas.

Camps Bay and Table Mountain (Panoramic)

Boy on the Rocks, Camps Bay

Kirstenbosch Gardens

The Cape of Good Hope

Cape Town from Table Mountain (Panoramic)


In early November we were still on our South African adventure, heading out from Cape Town and headed to the Kruger National Park, where we spent five days on a self-drive safari, stalking the “Big Five”, some stunning birds, assorted other animals, and grabbing time for the occasional landscape.

Scops Owl

African Buffalo

Kruger Lookout Point Panorama

Zebra and Giraffe at a Watering Hole

Bloodied Hippo with Tick Birds

African Elephants Play-Fighting

Southern Masked Weaver

Adult Male Lion

Male Steenbok

Lilac Breasted Roller

African Elephant

Shortly after returning from South Africa we got back on a plane and headed West this time, to New York City, to meet family for the Thanksgiving weekend. Of course, I brought my camera…

Central Park Lake

Manhattan Sunset (from Brooklyn)

Times Square at Night

Leftovers of Occupy Wall Street, Zucotti Park


December has (thankfully) been rather quiet on the photo front so far, aside from social snapshots from various Christmas celebrations. This has allowed me to catch up on my “queue” of photos and – goodness – I am all caught up now, fresh and ready for the photographic challenge of 2012. It already looks as though by the time February is done I will have been to Morocco, Scotland (Skye), Nigeria, and Berlin.

  1. Courtney Johnston
    December 27, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    These are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks, Luke and I hope you have a lovely New Year!

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