Below are six of my photos that I, personally, judge to be the best pictures I took during the week. If you think I'm grossly mistaken, contact me and give me a piece of your mind.
I love this portrait. The sharpness and detail are incredible and, despite strong, direct sunlight and a total absence of fill flash, the whole of Rizwan's face has been exposed perfectly.
I think this is perhaps the most technically-correct photograph I took during the cruise, and also the most visually impressive. The optical quality described by this image (taken at maximum aperture) is an excellent advert for Canon's prime lenses, and proof that all the bad pictures I've taken are not the fault of my equipment. Just me being an idiot.
Despite this not being the most incredible composition imaginable, it's probably the only nice landscape shot I managed during the week. And it has it all: sunshine, clouds, green countryside, cows, a farm and rural residence, a motorway (just look for the little blue sign in the distance), and gently rolling hills. Nice.
I like this portrait because it shows Ben in a fairly natural stance, just taking a break from washing the boat to alter the spray of the hose. The lighting was simple because of overcast skies, but the pleasant tree background all blurred in the distance avoids the inclusion of horrible great patches of bleak white sky. I also like the fact that a fast exposure has stopped a lot of the water-spray mid-air.
I think this shot is incredible. Not for anything I did particuarly well, but because the surge of water that you get by opening lock gates of this type is just very impressive. To avoid getting my camera soaked I sat on the roof of the narrowboat, then used as fast a shutter speed as I could to freeze the motion of the water surge. It gives the water flow an impressive milky texture that makes the image even more interesting.
Technically-speaking this shot is awful. I didn't actually want a long-exposure at the time, and if I'd known that the only part of the picture that would remain recognisable was the front of the boat I would have put the front of the boat in focus. But at least the metering was fine.
But despite (and perhaps because of) the technical flaws, the final result is quite pleasing to my eye. The front of the boat is sharp enough to be recognised, and the boat moved through so much tunnel during the 20 or 30-second exposure that it looks like we were doing a couple of hundred miles per hour. So I'm glad the shot didn't become exactly what I'd planned originally.
I like this picture simply because it shows so much green. Trees and bushes more densely packed than anywhere else I remember on the Stourport Ring, so serene an exit point from Wast Hill that almost the whole crew were inspired to take a couple of pictures.
The inclusion of the out-of-focus front of the boat doesn't irritate me because it gives a centre to the image and a sense of perspective. A shot that seemed to originate from a camera floating unsupported in the middle of the canal might look strange next to this one.