Can’t remember why, but I didn’t do a photo diary roundup last year (although I did complete the album). Then I got out of the blogging habit completely during 2020 – possibly because commentary on so much that was going on couldn’t possibly be published! (also wordpress rolled out dramatic ‘improvements’ which may well help newer users, but as an old hand, set in my ways, I lost interest for a while.)
Back with a post this year though, looking back at 2020 through my photos – and what an odd year it has been. The habit of taking at least one photo each day has been both a distraction and a challenge – and looking back over the year, plus comparing to previous albums, brings back all sorts of memories.
To get the totals out of the way first: I’ve now published over 14,800 photos on flickr, with getting on for 3 million views! This year saw over 380,000 views (An average of 1060 views per day), plus many likes and comments. My most viewed photo ever is still this one from 2013 (almost 22,000 views), but a previous ‘photo of the day’ entry is catching up fast.
Continuing the photo a day project
The Photo-A-Day (PAD) project is one I keep records of though – as I’m curious which types of photos are popular, plus – having completed 11 albums now – it is a barometer of my own tastes and preferences. Total number of views of 2020 PAD photos (as at 1 Jan): 71,900. An average of 196 views per photo. Up on 2019, which had received 63,550 views by the end of that year. And they had received a total of 808 comments, and 1397 likes – which is the real metric, as the whole point of publishing is to share them and hope other people enjoy seeing them.
My most viewed photo was this one, of a snoozing fox.
Slightly puzzling as it is definitely not one of my clearest, best framed, in the best light, or even cutest views of our regular visitors, but it did for some reason make it onto Flickr Explore – which always increases the stats dramatically. It has received over 2,800 views, and 129 ‘likes’.
Most popular after that include a handful I took as a response to themes set by the “Smile on Saturday” group. I’ve enjoyed being pushed to be creative, and certainly many of the other photos shared have made me smile. My contributions include:
- Passage to India – with 938 views and 18 likes
- Sweets for my sweet – with 805 views and 21 likes
- Large blue – back from extinction – with 454 views and 31 likes
- Title wanted – with 702 views and 22 likes
2020 was certainly different
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is the year I’ve created the fewest new albums – just 7 (mostly before lockdown) as other photos could usually be added to existing ones.
The biggest gap is in records of exploring new places. Aside from brief visit to friends in Germany before lockdown, 2020 was a year spent close to home/family – alternating between Kent and Gloucestershire.
Not nearly enough libraries visited – but we did manage to navigate some of the new systems put in place so you could still borrow books during lockdown. 9 library PAD photos this year (a low bar for 2021 surely!)
There was a massive increase in photos taken in home or garden, plus masses of nature (there is a whole extra blog post brewing there on lockdown wildlife!). Two big tick new-to-me species – large blue butterfly and violet helleborine in flower. Not so many bird photos chosen: 42 compared to 62 the previous year, but a huge increase in animals and butterflies/insects.
Only 16 taken in London (unsurprisingly) – down from 127 previous year. I’m not looking forward to returning to the commute – but having proved that working from home is a viable option, let’s hope that when the COVID situation improves, new patterns will settle. The shift away from town plus lockdown is probably also the reason I just featured a single steam train (and that was a small one!), and no fast jets.
Reviewing the year has reminded me of photos that I liked, and those which bring back memories. Here are a few.
Taking a different train to London meant I saw this view in February. Only when looking on the big screen did I notice all the people crossing the bridge in the foreground.
Meet Bernard! This photo symbolises some of the lockdown close encounters with wildlife – this common lizard took up residence in a Gloucestershire garden for long enough for the boys to give him a name. He alternated between sunbathing on the stone walls, and hiding in a hole in the rockery.
One of the stranger things seen during lockdown. One morning I heard slightly unusual martial music, looked out the window to spot a Star Wars character passing the house! A search on local facebook groups revealed he is Stormtrooper Steve – he has been putting on the costume and walking through a different local neighbourhood each weekend during lockdown.
And finally, this skeletal plane brings back memories of a day of discoveries. Besides seeing my first wild spoonbill in England, I had no idea until seeing this sculpture on Sheppey prompted some googling, and I found out how much of a role in the history of early aviation this corner of Kent played!
Here’s to more local exploring and discoveries in 2021.
PAD wasn’t the only photo challenge
As an aside from the PAD project, and contributions to the Smile on Saturday challenges, I also spotted a proposal from the library at the Institute of Civil Engineers, to run a Bridge A-Z series during December. One letter each day, a sort of alternative advent calendar. As my dad was a civil engineer and built many bridges during his career, I’ve always appreciated bridges and have often taken a detour to see unusual or breathtaking structures. So, I wondered if I could complete an A-Z list using just photos from my own collection.
Mission accomplished (with a little artistic license for some of the letters!). I really enjoyed seeking out those photos – and there were many more that I’d have loved to have included, but hadn’t taken my own photos of. Will write up that list in my next post………