I have read with interest how other bloggers have picked out their best of 2011 shots, so – a little belatedly – I thought I would do the same. I scanned the files and, after much deliberation, settled on this shot of a pair of puffins on the Farne Islands in Northumberland. It gets my vote not because it's technically a decent shot (it's not – the light was bad, the image is noisy and, too far away, I was stretching the limitations of the lens) but because the symmetry of the birds' pose is just one of those moments which, when spotted and captured on the memory card/film, gives you a tingle all over and makes it all worthwhile.
In second place is this abstract shot of a dandelion, chosen because it's not a studio shot and technically it's tricky to capture in focus the seed heads and their delicate umbrellas as they are jettisoned by the plant.
And finally, I went for this simple shot of a Greenfinch, chosen because it was one of those moments when the light was perfect, allowing me to capture in all their glory the myriad colours that make up the bird's surprisingly complex patchwork quilt plumage.