2011: The End of a Fantastic Year

Sitting here and looking at the yearly online traffic statistics for this website has left me feeling a number of emotions that really do sum up 2011 from my perspective. I started the year with a new year’s resolution: to dedicate as much time and effort as possible into ej9.co.uk and to hopefully make it moderately successful. While it may have had its up and downs and been hugely stressful at times, I can safely say that it was all worth it.

Looking back at one of my posts from January this year I made a declaration that the content posted on this site from then on would be solely my own. I wasn’t to post any material that wasn’t my own in order to maintain full creative control and to avoid jumping on the bandwagon that many automotive blogs have boarded. While I have no problem with people posting the latest video or pictures that are circulating the internet, it becomes a bit repetitive over time when the same videos and images keep cropping up. Now obviously, I post videos and images from other sources on the ej9.co.uk Facebook page as that’s what it’s there for, but here on the blog is where it matters and for that reason you won’t find the aforementioned material from other sources on here. Aside from the JAE 2011 photos (an event I was unable to attend at the last minute due to exceptional circumstances) I can look back at each and every post and sit there knowing that everything is my own work and my doing and that makes me very proud. I hope that, as a reader of the blog, you can appreciate this approach and that it gives you fresh, unique material to read and look at.

From a personal perspective, this year has been fantastic. Through the various car scenes I’ve made many new friends, some of which have become more than just acquaintances and are now close mates. I’ve moved from the Honda scene to the drifting scene, bought a RWD car to try it myself and met a whole bunch of new people as a result. My photography work has come on leaps and bounds over the last twelve months and I hope that it will continue to improve at the same rate throughout 2012. I also started filming and editing a number videos of the meets and events I was attending, culminating in the Life On The Streets: Part Two video that I released last week to great success and 100% approval from those that viewed it. Hopefully over the next twelve months I can start filming and editing using a number of more advanced techniques.

Rather than going into details about specific events from the year I thought it’d be better to go through my ten favourite pictures from the year, explaining why they’re my favourites along the way.

First off is this shot of an FD3S Rx-7 that I took at Awesomefest. Obviously the car didn’t see any drifting action on the Mallory Park circuit but I thought it looked absolutely stunning in the British sunset. I’d seen a few pictures of the car prior to the event so it was great to get up close and personal with it in real life.

Next up is this picture of Mark Loony’s Civic slammed on a set of gorgeous Schmidt THs. I’ve been following the build up of this car for quite some time now and (visually speaking) it’s undergone some great changes.

While it wasn’t exactly a meet or event, this picture was taken on a pretty memorable night. In the pouring rain with nothing but a pair of RWD cars and some slippery roundabouts to keep us entertained, myself and my friend Seb certainly made the most of the conditions (and managed to squeeze in a quick photo shoot of his awesome Mx-5!).

I spotted this R32 Skyline in one of the car park’s at Awesomefest as I was making my way back to the campsite. I thought the car looked absolutely brilliant (although the poke at the front might be a bit excessive!) and personally I felt that this picture came out great.

This is another of my favourite pictures from the year, although not just because of the sweet DC2 Integra rocking a beautiful set of BBSs! This was another picture that I took at the South Mimms Honda meet and the great weather and even better cars made for some excellent picture opportunities.

Speaking of great weather, the British sunset once again helped when I was taking pictures of Lauren’s AE86 that I featured back in the summer. I particularly liked this closeup of the Corolla Brotherhood sticker adorning her car.

Chris Purr’s B20 powered EK4 Civic has always been an inspirational build to read since I got my first Civic and right now it really is a masterpiece. I love the subtle SiR front lip and Desmond Regamaster wheels.

Without a doubt, the night that this picture was taken on has to have been one of the most memorable of the year. Without going into too much detail: 4am, a long summer’s night, lots of mates and a fresh-out-of-the-workshop drift car was all that was needed to make the night amazing.

Taken in the pouring rain while being buffeted with wind, this photo of Joe Ankers’ PS13 Onevia came out a lot better than I expected it to at the time! It’s definitely ended up being one of my favourite photos of the year and as a result was available as a downloadable wallpaper a few months ago.

Another picture that I made available as a downloadable wallpaper was this shot of Rich Hudson’s PS13 tearing up the Mallory Park circuit at Awesomefest. I’ve made no secret about how much I like this picture and as such I’m sure many of you have already seen it! However, the memory of precariously balancing on two giant wheelie bins and praying that they didn’t roll away while trying to take it has made me very fond of it.

Once again, thanks to everyone that has made 2011 incredible and I can only hope that 2012 is no different. Have a great new year’s and I’ll see you on the other side!

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