At the end of every year I like to have my friends and relatives help me pick my best shots of the year. I appreciate all the input I get. It’s also fun to see what others like - it’s not always predictable. The photographer sometimes has different favorites. My final selections are based largely on the inputs from my “judges”, but with my own finger on the scale, so to speak, to keep the subject matter broad and make some wiggle room so some of my favorites might squeak in. Traditionally, I like to pick twelve images, based loosely on a statement once made by Ansel Adams:
Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
Selecting twelve photographs also works well with making a calendar! This year, though, I have selected 16, because I couldn’t decide.
I am presenting these in a rather anticlimactic highest-ranked to lowest-ranked order. Feel free to add any comments you might have at bottom! I really would like to know what your favorites are. I hope you enjoy these!
NOTE: If you are interested in prints of any of these, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have not added these to the shop yet. Prices in U.S. dollars are given below for prints on satin finish paper. Sizes given are for paper size - image size will be slightly smaller. Some prints will only be available in the smaller sizes, and others may be printed much larger than the sizes given. Shipping is extra, sales tax is not included.
11x14, 11x17 - $75
16x20, 16x24 - $125
20x24, 20x30 - $185
Other paper surfaces are available, and prints can also be made on metal, acrylic, canvas, and duraplaq, framed and unframed. Please contact me for more details at email@example.com.
Also, see my Best Of 2017 photographs.
Light and Shadow through the Pines
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA - This was taken early morning in June near the Fishing Bridge over the Yellowstone River. With two of my sons I was on my way to Hayden Valley to see what we could see. There was fog every morning, which made for some really nice scenes over the water and valleys. If you haven’t been to Yellowstone, I’d highly recommend it - and would give a few notes of advice:
Camp within the park itself if possible. You are simply closer to all the great places to see, and are more immersed,
Make your reservations at least 6 months in advance,
Get up and out before sunrise - you’ll have the park almost entirely to yourself, and will stand a better chance of seeing more wildlife,
As you are out and about have your camera ready to go at all times,
Be aware of the rules and recommendations given by park rangers and stick to those rules for the safety of all concerned.
Fledgling Great Horned Owl
Westminster, Colorado, USA - There’s an open space near where I live that happens to be home for coyotes, beavers, prairie dogs, falcons, mice, snakes, and this great horned owl fledgling. Prey and predators. I just happened to be out and about one day with my camera and very luckily spied this owl in a tree near where I was standing. A closer look showed momma a few feet off to the right.
Hummingbird In Flight
Wonder Valley, California, USA - An Anna’s Hummingbird caught in-flight approaching a feeder. I photographed this bird at my parent’s home outside of Twentynine Palms. The first time I visited I was surprised to see so many hummingbirds. In the desert?
Shrouded Mount Moran
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA - Threatening clouds shroud the summit of Mount Moran in the Teton range of Wyoming. The summit towers 6000 feet over Jackson Lake, which itself lies at an elevation of 6800 feet above sea level. Very noticeable on Mount Moran’s eastern face is Skillet Glacier, so named because it appears (sort of, if you squint hard) like a skillet, with a long handle leading down to a pan. A herd of elk grazes near Spring Creek at bottom in this photograph.
Moose Cow and Calf
Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Colorado, USA - A mother moose and her calf walk through a small lake after grazing on underwater plants. Brainard Lake is well known for being a great place to see moose. On this morning, there were many photographers in the usual place watching a group of bull moose. It was crowded and I decided to check out another place up the road just a bit that seemed like it would be a great place for moose. I was not disappointed. I got there just in time to see this cow and calf.
Mountain Bluebird Scans for Prey
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA - I was driving along the north shore of Lake Yellowstone one afternoon and saw several mountain bluebirds in a meadow. They had a peculiar habit of hovering, surveying the grass for prey, then swooping down for a quick bite. The hovering made them much easier to photograph than other birds.
Prairie Dog Family
Westminster, Colorado, USA - Squirrels, beavers, foxes, coyotes, owls, hawks, and prairie dogs. I’ve seen them all within a few hundred feet of my house, in a nearby open space. It’s relatively easy to make a photograph of any of these animals. It’s great to capture them actually doing something. And it’s even better to see them interacting with each other - particularly in a way that seems unnervingly human. What do you think is going on here?
The Little Chapel at The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery
Twentynine Palms, California, USA - This is the tiniest chapel I have ever seen. Built on the grounds of The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, it has a “decorative” cemetery just to the left of the chapel. This time exposure captured a wonderful star field above the chapel. Can you see a familiar constellation to the left of the chapel, here?
The Chapel on the Rock
(St. Catherine of Siena Chapel)
Allenspark, Colorado, USA - The first time I drove past this beautiful chapel on the Peak to Peak highway near Allenspark it was threatening rain, and the clouds were low and tattered. But I had to turn around and take a closer look. Six years later I have yet to go inside, but I’ve visited many times while camping nearby in Rocky Mountain National Park. For more information on this chapel visit the web site (https://campstmalo.org/).
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA - Looking at Grand Teton (just right of center) and Mount Moran (far right) over a sea of daisies. This whole area is so rich in variety of terrain, flora, and fauna. Bison, grizzly bear, moose, deer, and much more are found in this area. I had been sightseeing along the foothills of the Teton range and took a wrong turn. But after I saw this field of daisies, that wrong turn seemed oh so right.
Black Fox Hunting near the Flatirons
Chautauqua Park, Boulder, Colorado, USA - Every so often there is a frost or snowfall that turns the jagged cliffs and forests west of Boulder into a platinum wonderland. I headed over to the Flatirons and the conditions weren’t what I had hoped, but I did find this black fox hunting (successfully) for a mouse in the fresh snow. After having found a mouse, the fox buried it and moved on.
Foraging Grizzly Bear
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA - The top of the food chain in Yellowstone is arguably the grizzly bear. During my visit to Yellowstone in the summer of 2018 I came upon this boar with a sow just out of the field of view. The sow didn’t seem terribly interested in the boar’s advances, but it was fun watching them interact. Mostly, they just dug up some of these plants for the tasty roots. This photograph was taken from atop a small hill, just north of Lake Yellowstone.
Coyote Playing with his Food
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA - We watched this coyote hunt for a good fifteen minutes. After he caught the mouse he played with it for about as long before loping away with his prize.
Mille Lacs Sunrise
Mille Lacs, Central Minnesota, USA - You never know when you may need your camera. Fortunately, cell phone cameras these days are pretty good. I was on my way from visiting family in central Minnesota this past fall to the airport in Minneapolis when we drove past Mille Lacs lake at sunrise. We rolled to a stop near this dock which provided a wonderful leading line straight to the sunrise, with the boat providing a nice focal point. In hindsight, I wish I would have opened the trunk of the car and got out my big camera, instead of settling for this cell phone shot. Still, a beautiful capture of a moment we were lucky to come upon.
Sunset over Joshua Trees
Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree, California, USA - Joshua trees are unmistakably unique-looking trees which are found in a very limited area, including Joshua Tree National Park. Add the intriguing rock formations found here and you have an almost otherworldly landscape. The only things missing that would make the scene complete are a coyote and a road runner - and both are native to the area. Beep Beep!
Fall Colors at Barker Dam
Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree, California, USA - This photograph was taken just prior to the sunset above. The Sun at a low evening angle provided wonderfully vivid illumination of the trees across the reservoir at Barker Dam. The leaves on the trees were a rich golden color in what was apparently autumn (late November) in the area.