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2018 In Review
STORY LOADING... PLEASE WAIT
2018 In Review
STORY LOADING... PLEASE WAIT
2018 In Review
31st Dec 2018   -   BY ALEXANDER WRIGHT
2018 In Review
BY ALEXANDER WRIGHT
          As 2018 draws to an end, I thought I'd make a recap of everything "Alex Wright Photography" from the past year. This year has been very busy, with two international trips with friends, one family holiday and even a takeover of Berlin's metro Instagram page, whilst I was also able to go out and explore some of the UK's cities. From all these trips, I've amassed over 3,000 personal photos whilst also taking over 17,000 event photos over the course of the year.
          I'll be having a look at my most liked photos of 2018 on both my Instagram and my Website, what my personal favourite photos of the year as well as looking at how my portfolio and website have changed over the year.
          Apart from my website, I use Instagram (@alexwrightphotos) daily to display my portfolio, get inspiration and scout out new photography locations. Over the year I've received over 41,000 likes on Instagram, with an average of 364 likes per post, and here I'll be counting down the Top Nine most liked posts from 2018!
          To create my Top Nine photos from 2018, I've combined data from Instagram's insights, 2018 Best Nine and Gabstats.
          We're starting off this list at the Interlocking Bays of the SeaCity Museum in Southampton. This extension is one of my favourite photographic spots in Southampton, with its nice minimalist architecture but a pop of teal making it a simple backdrop for a photo shoot or just a nice clean photo on its own!
          At Number 8 is a photo of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, from my 2017 family holiday to California. This was one of my favourite shots from the trip due to the building's very simplistic, yet unique design. Standing 48 storeys high, the tower is an iconic landmark of the San Francisco skyline and held the record for the tallest building in the city until it was overtaken in 2017.
          Next is a view of inside the London Aquatics Centre within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. With it's infamous "fluid" roof, this stunning public swimming pool was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
          At Number 6 is a view of the exterior of the Aquatics Centre, with its "fluid" roof cladded with wooden panels.
          Coming in at Number 5 is a photo of an internal corridor at Boldrewood Innovation Campus at the University of Southampton. Together with my friends Christian and Nick, I explored the buildings and scenery of the campus and came across many minimalist concrete structures like this one in the depths of the buildings.
          Next, at Number 4, is this shot showing off the facade of the Monument Building in London. I'd previously taken a shot of the right-hand side with my old camera, but when I re-visited the location with my family I discovered this composition, showing off the two contrasting sides!
          At Number 3 we're back to the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, but this time with a different view of its new extension!
          Coming in at Number 2 is this view of the London Eye and Parliament from the Golden Jubilee Bridge. I had originally taken this photo during the summer of 2017 and forgotten about it, but eventually stumbled upon it and decided to upload it! To achieve the smooth effect of the water and London Eye, this was taken as a long exposure with a ND filter, as well as a panorama to capture the wide field of view.
          And finally, with 855 likes on Instagram, my most popular photo from 2018 was of this staircase in the New Mountbatten Building at the University of Southampton!
          As well as Instagram, I use my website to host my select and full portfolio. Overall, photos on my website have been viewed over 4,000 times over the past year, and below are the most popular from 2018!
          Starting off at Number 9, we're heading over to Berlin for this evening shot of the U-Bahnhof Olympia-Stadion's external building. This shot was originally taken during the day, but I loved how the light pours out of the station during this evening shot! It turned out to be one of my favourite shots from my trip to Berlin and even made it onto my takeover of BVG's Instagram account last month!
          At Number 8 is a view I see day-to-day at Southampton General Hospital. When I used to walk down this corridor, I always wanted to take this photo as I loved the light coming through the frosted glass. Luckily, one day I decided to bring my camera in and take the shot!
          Back again at Number 7 is the facade of the Monument Building in London! I'd previously taken a shot of the right-hand side with my old camera, but when I re-visited the location with my family I discovered this composition showing off the two contrasting sides!
          At Number 6 is another photo from my adventures at Boldrewood Campus. This time it's a simplistic shot of the stairwell within the Towing Tank building.
          Coming in at Number 5 are the computer workstations within the Boldrewood Innovation Campus at the University of Southampton.
          This minimalistic view of a floor guide from the New Mountbatten Building comes in at Number 4
          Number 3 was taken within the lower service corridor of the newly built Crossrail Place shopping complex in Canary Wharf. I'm definitely looking forward to exploring the new Elizabeth Line Station when it opens!
          The runner-up on my website's Top Nine is one which sits in the top position on my homepage! Taken in San Francisco, it consists of the Transamerica Pyramid. This was one of my favourite shots from the trip due to the building's very simplistic, yet unique design. Standing 48 storeys high, the tower is an iconic landmark of the San Francisco skyline and held the record for the tallest building in the city until it was overtaken in 2017.
          Coming in at Number 1 is the spaceship-like bridge from Crossrail Place! This long exposure was one of my favourite shots from 2017, and I was extremely happy to see it become the most popular on my website this year!
          Now it's time to have a look at my personal favourite photos that I have taken in 2018. Unfortunately, due to my studies, I've been unable to get out and about for photography as much as I would have wanted to, so the majority of these come from my trip to Berlin during my Easter break!
          I'm starting off my Top Nine with this shot from Birkenstraße in Berlin. Whilst my friends and I were wandering around the back streets near our Airbnb, we came across these simplistic stairs connecting a raised communal area to the street level. What I loved most about the photo was the footprints in the snow leading up to the stairs, giving the scene a sense of life and movement. I also enjoyed the brightness of the wall and snow compared to the brick wall and dark stairs. When I was editing the photo, I wanted to keep the simplicity of the structure by only brightening up the exposure and applying simple colour-grading.
          Number 8 is from my winter trip to Bucharest, Romania. This was one of many identical residential buildings near the Piața Unirii and I loved how the pastel green plaster sat against the crisp winter sky. Whilst I'd normally remove all the steam coming from the roof, I decided to keep it as it gives a sense of life to the scene.
          For Number 7, we're heading back to Berlin for a facade shot of the Futrium. This stunning building is cladded with over 8,000 elements of folded metal reflectors and textured glass, giving the building a constantly changing look in varying weather conditions. As it was fairly overcast and wet the day I visited, the facade had a gloomy, grey hue to it nearer the top, whilst the aqua gave the building a splash of colour. Along the side of the building were several CCTV cameras, which can be seen above. I love how the simplicity and minimalism of the facade is broken by the camera, which is centred perfectly in its tile, and adds a sense of modern life to the scene. Simple colour-grading and perspective corrections were made to the above image to make the aqua pop.
          Although I found it hard to get any more photos due to the overcast weather, the Futrium ended up being one of my favourite locations from my trip to Berlin!
          Coming in at Number 6 is the exterior of the EY building from a recent trip to Canary Wharf.
          The government buildings within the Tiergarten park were the location of my 5th favourite shot from this year! The gigantic buildings were modern, sleek and covered in concrete. What more could I ask for? As I was walking along a river separating me from the buildings, I saw a photographer set up a tripod on the stairs of the building and start to take some photos. I quickly moved into position and lined him up in the centre of my frame. The editing of the above photo was very light, as I wanted to preserve the true minimalism of these stunning buildings.
          My favourite location from Berlin was the U55 platform at U-Bahnhof Brandenburger Tor with its simplistic and minimalistic design, and this shot is coming in at Number 4. Whilst I was at this station, I set up my tripod for some identical shots and long-exposures at the point where the crack in the floor, wall and roof all perfectly lined up. Then a train arrived, and - oh my god - the centre of the closed doors aligned perfectly with the joint in the floor and roof. Once the passengers were out of sight, I quickly took some photos before the train disappeared.
          At Number 3 is this evening shot of the U-Bahnhof Olympia-Stadion's external building. This shot was originally taken during the day, but I loved how the light pours out of the station during this evening shot!
          My 2nd favourite shot of the year is back on the platform of U-Bahnhof Brandenburger Tor, but this time shows a train leaving the pristine platform edge. I love the mix of minimalistic platform design and the motion created as the train leaves the station.
          Finally, my favourite shot from 2018 was from U-Bahnhof Rosa Luxemburg Platz. I'd seen a similar photo on Instagram before the trip and loved how the roof disappears above the train as it rushes into the tunnel. Once I had found the correct station, I set up my tripod and awaited the next train.
          I used a ND filter and a two-second exposure to smooth out the moving trains and add a sense of movement to the scene. When editing, I removed the majority of the colour from the surrounding platform to clean up the image. I removed a "hidden panel" in the tiled wall and decided to keep the clock, as it seemed like a daunting task to remove. I also added a shadow gradient to the area where the train is entering the tunnel, as I think it makes the train seem like it's disappearing into the unknown! Overall I'm extremely pleased with how well this photo came out, and especially like the grooved pattern which was created due to the corrugated side of the train.
YEAR IN COLOUR
          Joining in a new Instagram trend / analytic this year with my "Year of Colour". This is simply the dominant colours of all my Instagram posts this year!
          One thing I love about my photography hobby is that it allows me to continue enjoying my other hobby of coding. Throughout the year, my portfolio website has been continually developed and slowly updated to something that I am extremely pleased with today! Over the summer, I completely re-wrote the site to remove old code and design elements from my original website and make my site "light and breezy" to fit in with my current minimal brand.
          In July, I released my new blog, Stories, with my first post about my family holiday last year to California. Taking two months to build, I designed Stories to showcase my photos and to provide a narrative to explain why I took them, how I edited them and why I love them. Building on feedback, I released Stories 2.0 in September with Stories: Berlin 2018, including my new Before & After panel which allows for a direct comparison between un-edited photos and their final edits!
          In October I also released my new page design for my Home Page (see below) and Events Portfolio, to place more focus on a curated selection of photos. These were designed to include new panels, such as the new testimonials on the events portfolio, and allow me to update the page contents easily in the future. If you'd like to see more behind the scenes snippets of how I make my website, follow my new Twitter account @MakingAWPhotos.
Home Page (December 2018)
          So those are my Top Nine and favourite photos from this year! I'd like to say a huge thank you to all my followers, new and old, for your continued support and encouragement of my photography!
          Whilst I have no photographic expeditions planned for 2019, I'm looking forward to some spontaneous trips with friends and exploring new places. If you have any recommendations for places that I should visit or explore, please do leave a message in the comments below.
          I'm going to be taking a break from photography during January to focus on my upcoming exams, so I'll wish you all a Happy New Year and I'll see you all again in February.
BY ALEXANDER WRIGHT
Alexander Wright is a London and Southampton based photographer focusing on architectural and minimalist photography. In his spare time, he enjoys roaming around the streets of London looking for new photo opportunities with his friends. Alexander frequently presents photography lectures and runs workshops at the University of Southampton.
More about Alexander
BY ALEXANDER WRIGHT
Alexander Wright is a London and Southampton based photographer focusing on architectural and minimalist photography. In his spare time, he enjoys roaming around the streets of London looking for new photo opportunities with his friends. Alexander frequently presents photography lectures and runs workshops at the University of Southampton.
More about Alexander
Published: Monday 31st December 2018 at 23:59
Data accurate as of 31/12/2018 21:00
Cover Icons made by Freepik from Flaticon and is licensed as CC 3.0 BY
This post was updated on the 8th Jan 2018 to include my "Year of Colour".
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