Reflection is a powerful way to promote self-development. It gives us the opportunity to understand what we have done well, as well as the hindsight to understand opportunities we have missed, or times when we may have acted negatively. Ultimately, in the name of efficiency, we would hope to learn and adapt quickly, which can often be a difficult task.
The last 12 months have been a fulfilling, and largely positive experience for me. Life is scattered with difficult and challenging moments, which are opportunities for patience and growth. It is easy to lose the grasp we have on our emotions and become frustrated in our professional and personal lives, but these situations are also great tests to practice self-restraint and control.
How fast do you give up on a challenging task or period in your life? Would you rather relieve yourself of frustration, or persevere in a moment of adversity, and deal with whatever may be hidden on the other side? Unknowns can be frightening, but those grey areas are where we can find new challenges and chances to test ourselves.
I made a number of trips to Ukraine this year. During those travels I spent time living at the front lines, experiencing daily artillery shelling and combat, as well as mundane day-to-day life. I visited the families of killed soldiers, met people psychologically and physically maimed by war. There is a surreal understanding that you're witnessing historic events.
These 'assignments' were frustrating at times, filled with moments of frustration and uncertainty. Then, more than ever before, I had to push on and adapt. Thank you to people who regularly sent me messages with kind words about my work - and how I had been able to motivate them - because these are great to look back on in times of doubt.
I was fortunate - and humbled - to have my work published by ABC Australia, SBS Australia, Mashable, Conflict News, The Interpreter, and more. I took a Canon XF100 on my recent trip, and used it to film broadcast-quality footage, which is being produced into a documentary on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine's east.
My camera collection grew slightly. I own a Canon 5D Mark III, Leica M3, Hasselblad, and Olympus AF-1 Super. The 5D stays in my closet, and I only tend to use it when I am doing professional work. My Leica has been regularly by my side overseas and at home. I shot 80 rolls of film (and developed 50 rolls of black and white film) this year.
I am going to share some photographs from the last 12 months below. This is a mix of work from different areas. Shot using Tri-X 400 on a Hasselblad and Leica M3.