Charlotte's Top 10 Photos of 2022Dec 29, 2022
After a very quiet couple of years photography-wise, I felt like this year the floodgates were released. I was finally free to get out and start travelling and photographing dogs again! Craig was able to visit from New Zealand, and I had three overseas trips - one to New Zealand and two to Europe - all with workshops attached. Plus, I had some wonderful client sessions and as always, lots of fun photographing my own dogs.
Let’s take a look at some of my favourite photos from the year that was 2022.
Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM @ 158mm, ISO 800, 1/1250 sec, ƒ/4.0
Fletcher, Opal and Enzo
We’ll start with a fun one!
When Craig visited me in March, he filmed fun behind-the-scenes videos as I shot some of the challenges that are included in our Unleashed Challenges courses - Embark and Emerge.
This was my shot for the “Party Time” challenge - the final challenge of Embark.
Every morning I walk my furry terrors (Fletcher, Opal and Enzo) down the driveway and back (it’s a long one, we live on property) and usually on the way back, Enzo finds a stick and they all join in on this fun game!
I’d been dying to capture a great shot of them doing this and it was awesome to finally be able to get it, with Craig around to help! They certainly know how to party.
You can find out more about our Unleashed Challenges and register your interest in the first course Embark here.
Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM @ 84mm, ISO 2500, 1/640 sec, ƒ/2.8
We’ve had the most glorious sunsets this year, due to a massive volcanic eruption in Tonga back in January. The ash cloud high in the atmosphere has been circling the earth, creating a warm, pinkish glow that lasts well after sunset. This has been amazing to capture on a number of occasions while shooting at twilight at the beach on a clear day.
One such session was with my client Kate’s dog, Nala the Doberman. Nala had been diagnosed with kidney disease early in the year so Kate was quick to book a session while Nala was still active and feeling okay. The sky really turned it on for our April session and I was able to capture some gorgeous semi-silhouette images of Kate and Nala’s wonderful relationship. Believe it or not, this image has had very little editing!
Unfortunately, Kate lost Nala in June this year. I’m so glad I was able to capture their bond and create a gorgeous Storybook Album for her to look back and remember a very special afternoon at the beach together.
Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM @ 158mm, ISO 160, 1/4000 sec, ƒ/2.8
While I shot plenty of images I love of my own dogs this year, I didn’t want my top 10 to be all about them - however - my youngest, Enzo hasn’t had nearly as many shots of him shared as Fletcher and Opal over the years so he gets special treatment with his very own image this time around!
This is a very unique shot of Enzo, because he is possibly the laziest Aussie that ever walked the earth. He’s just not interested in group ball or frisbee sessions as he doesn’t like to compete with the other two (who are VERY competitive). At home, he’d much rather stand around and munch on grass, or lie down and have a rest, while the other two are racing around like maniacs.
During a trip to the beach while Craig was visiting in March, he was able to help me get this amazing shot of Enzo - in action! Craig actually had the other two held on-leash, out of the way, and we managed to get Enzo excited enough to chase the ball. I love the way he’s framed perfectly in the splash from the ball. I was only able to get this shot because I can hold my Canon R5 right down at water level and shoot with Animal eye detection, using the flippy screen. This camera has changed my life! Or at the very least, changed the way I shoot.
The reason we were attempting shots like this was again for the Unleashed Challenges - there’s a behind the scenes video of this in the course! One of the Embark shooting challenges is “Splash” - I think I nailed it, wouldn’t you agree?
You can find out more about our Unleashed Challenges and register your interest for the first course Embark here.
Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM @ 81mm, ISO 250, 1/1000 sec, ƒ/2.8
“Hang on Charlotte, this isn’t your usual style?” you might be thinking. And you’d be correct. At the slightest sign of rain or gloomy weather, I always reschedule for a sunnier day.
But when you’re on the other side of the world and shooting at a workshop, you don’t have that luxury! And don’t the Scottish Highlands look so much better with dramatic skies anyway?
We could have done without the sideways freezing rain, but wow, some seriously awesome atmospheric shots came out of this incredibly challenging but amazing shoot at Glencoe during our Barklander workshop in May.
I’m especially proud of this one as Oreo was highly reactive to other dogs and I had literally a split second of attention before his attention shifted to the other dogs present. I love his expression in this though!
Channelling Craig, this was a 28 shot panorama.
If you’d like to find out more about these international workshops we teach at (collectively known as “the Barkas”) you can find out here.
Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM @ 100mm, ISO 125, 1/640 sec, ƒ/2.8
The second image I’d like to share from Barklander has a happier, more optimistic feel. Scotland really is a land of rainbows and I was excited to capture this one in the background while photographing this gorgeous Border Collie on the shores of Loch Tay.
It was another challenging shoot weather wise, with a mix of sun, clouds and rain. But the changing light presented the perfect opportunity for me to help our workshop students identify lighting issues and come up with an alternative plan when the light changed.
Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM @ 70mm, ISO 400, 1/1000 sec, ƒ/2.8
Is there a happier sight in the world than a wet dog enthusiastically digging a hole in the sand? I think not!
I love Brisbane winter weather and what better place to spend a clear sunny afternoon than at the beach with a girl and her beloved Lab.
Cairo soon got the hang of standing and posing for his "dry" shots, but flipped the switch to crazy sand monster with very little encouragement when it was time for some sandy wet action shots!
I just love the reflection in the still tidal pools and the simple gradient of the early twilight sky.
Cairo was another 2022 angel, just a month after our session he departed to the big dog beach in the sky where he can swim, chase balls and dig, dig, dig to his heart’s content.
Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM @ 200mm, ISO 500, 1/1000 sec, ƒ/2.8
What’s this then? Another dark, gloomy, desaturated photo from Charlotte Reeves, lover of all things sunshine and backlight?
I absolutely love teaching students at our Unleashed Workshops but I also (surprisingly) enjoy the challenge of not being able to reschedule when the weather is not ideal. We definitely didn’t count on sunshine for our winter workshop in Arrowtown, New Zealand but on the afternoon of this session, it got a bit crazy. We had very heavy cloud, crazy winds and mini-whirlwinds - later followed by driving rain!
The soft flat light, coupled with the bare trees, created a very different look than what I am used to shooting in, and when I edited this shot I really pushed the desaturated feel to create a very stark and wintery feel.
By the way, Bonus the Border Collie is one of my favourite New Zealand dog models. I’ve worked with her a couple of times now and she’s the best - gorgeous and well behaved. Such a pleasure every time.
This image was the subject of one of our monthly Edit My Photo challenges - where Craig and I take turns to supply a RAW file and you edit and submit it! Then it turns back around, and we edit one of the winner’s RAW files. This challenge is free to participate in, and you can sign up here.
We also create a full Unleashed Edit (editing tutorial) of the image, which is added to our Premium Membership and also our Editing Unleashed Membership. The tutorial “Winter Bonus” will be released in early 2023!
Oh, and if you’re interested in attending one of our Unleashed Workshops, you can find out more here!
Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM @ 70mm, ISO 640, 1/800 sec, ƒ/2.8
Off to Europe again I went in October, this time to teach at Barkelona, an out-of-this world pet photography workshop in Spain. This was actually our second time at this venue. Our very first Barka workshop took place here in 2016!
This time though, we found a brand new shooting location. Inspired by the amazing Roman aqueduct we shot at in France in 2017, we discovered another incredible 2000 year old aqueduct near the town of Tarragona (which has some incredible Roman history), so of course we had to shoot there!
This totally floats my boat because (unknown to many) I am a big history nerd. So of course I love to combine my interests of dog photography and history whenever I can.
This is Oliver, one of our wonderful models. It was certainly a challenge photographing a teeny tiny dog in front of such a huge structure, but we worked hard on achieving this through how we positioned the dog and the focal lengths and angles we used. I love how this one turned out!
If you want to see more of my Barkelona photos, you can check them out on Facebook here.
Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM @ 124mm, ISO 800, 1/640 sec, ƒ/2.8
Fletcher, Opal and Enzo
I returned home just in time to catch the Jacaranda trees flowering. I am a little obsessed with these trees. Every spring they lose their leaves, then erupt in masses of purple blossoms that only last for a couple of weeks.
It’s become a tradition to take a group photo of my furry terrors in front of the Jacaranda tree that I’m lucky enough to have growing in my yard.
I was also lucky to get the ultimate head tilt trifecta in this shot! Another year, another Jacaranda group photo to add to the collection, and of course my annual furry terrors calendar. Personal projects are so much fun!
Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM @ 128mm, ISO 400, 1/800 sec, ƒ/2.8
My final client session of the year was actually a repeat client - Naroa and her amazing Malinois girl, Alis. We’d already shot a beach session earlier in the year and Naroa loved the photos so much, we moved on to planning another session straight away!
This time we headed to my forest location. Usually I shoot there at a different time of year, so the sun is at a different angle. But in November, the sun is so far south in the afternoon that it opened up new areas possible for shooting with backlight (my favourite).
While editing these images, it became increasingly obvious that the RAW files wanted to be darker, more saturated and warmer than I would normally edit. I went with it and am absolutely in love with the look.
You can see more images from the session on my Facebook page here.
So there you go, a little about what I’ve been up to this year, and some of my personal favourites from 2022. What are your personal favourites? We’d love to see you share them in our Facebook community.
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