Ansel Adams - the late photographer whose work I admire - is said to have once remarked:
Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
In that spirit, I've selected my own personal favorites from the past twelve months (from about 6000 careful exposures made over the year) that cover a broad range of my photographic interests. I hope you enjoy these - certainly leave comments if you feel motivated to do so. Many of these are also for sale as prints (links are provided).
Frosted Pine at Lost Gulch (#2)
Here's a unique tree above Boulder, Colorado. There are several pine trees at this location that I have found to be appealing subjects for photography. This particular photograph was made earlier this year after a snow and frost had passed through the mountains overnight. I visited this tree recently (here at the end of 2016) and the funny branch extending to the right midway up the bare part of the trunk is now gone, having been sawed off.
This is one of the first significant photographs I made with my Nikon D810 camera, having upgraded recently (at the time) from a Canon T3i.
Virga over Haystack Mountain
I was running late to a hiking appointment on the morning this photograph was made. Thank goodness I was late, or I would never have seen it. My vantage point was just north of Boulder. I just happened to stop at a point where the sunrise lined up with the mountain. Sometimes it's just like that. The morning clouds were under-lit, with virga highlighted below the clouds. Virga is rain that doesn't reach the ground.
Nest-making Great Blue Heron
I like these large birds - I think their regal plumage is very visually interesting. Their takeoffs are ungainly, but their flight is graceful. On the morning this photograph was made I was camping at Standley Lake Regional Park west of Denver, Colorado. I had gotten up early and headed down towards the lake where the trail ends and the preserve begins. There are nesting eagles nearby, and a number of other bird species including the American Kestrel (a beautiful bird itself), Canadian geese, Mallards, meadowlarks, and so on. It's a great place for bird photography. This heron was quite busy flying between its nest on a small island offshore and a marshy area near where I had set up. I have quite a few photographs of this bird bringing twigs to its nest and returning, but this photograph of the bird in profile is my favorite.
Hunts Bumble Bee in an Indian Blanket
Earlier this year while walking in my garden I just happened upon this single Indian Blanket (aka Firewheel) flower, with a bumble bee harvesting nectar, seemingly suspended from the center of the flower. I found the bee to be very colorful and furry (imagine the view from the perspective of this bee!). So, I searched for what kind of bee this could be and found there are many similarly colored bees in Colorado. This one is a Hunts bumble bee, having two golden bands (which may look like a single large band) on its body.
Chocolate Lily with Dewdrops
Another photograph from my garden. I have an appreciation for lilies, stemming from a still life photograph I made in May of 2015 with Stargazer lilies. I planted a lot of lily bulbs in my garden and this photograph of a new chocolate lily bloom in the morning dew was one of my favorites.
Fighting Fires from the Air
I am an aerospace engineer by day, so it's only natural that I have an interest in photographing airplanes. The circumstances of this photograph are unfortunate, as this aircraft (a P-2 Neptune water bomber) is on its way to battle a Front Range fire, having just taken off from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, Colorado.
I'm uncomfortable with keeping many wild animals in zoos unless the enclosures are appropriately sized and the animals well cared for. The new elephant habitat at a local zoo seems to be well-designed for both the welfare of the animals and close-up viewing for visitors. I was able to get very close with a zoom lens to capture the texture of this elephant's skin, and his eye.
Old Fall River Faerie #1 Summer
I don't often share my photographs of people, but I'll make an exception here. I ventured into the Rockies this past summer with a friend who had the idea of making some portraits and whimsical faerie-themed photographs in the mountain forests.
Autumn Sunrise from Bear Lake
This past fall, along with a friend, I ventured out to capture the fall colors as they emerged in the front range. We arrived just before sunrise at the Bear Lake trailhead (about 9500 feet above sea level), and the sunrise was shaping up to be beautiful, with the various peaks and valleys lightening up in the distance in the indirect light.
Here's a wonderful stand of aspens near Michigan Creek and Kenosha Pass in the Rocky Mountains. This was probably the last day that this stand looked full of golden leaves, as later in the day the wind picked up considerably. At right in this photograph one can see where the leaves had started to be stripped from the branches - the prevailing winds were from the right in this photograph. This is a series of three photographs made into a panorama, and it can be made quite large. Individual leaves are clearly visible, sharp in the full-size photograph.
Forest, Mountain, Sky
I recently printed this photograph of Longs Peak on metallic paper and it looks wonderful. This one fits the "rule of thirds" so well. Threes appear in a variety of ways: dark, gray, and light; wood, stone, water (vapor); ground, heights, sky; near, farther, farthest ... and, Forest, Mountain, Sky.
There is a mirroring effect between the mountain and the open, snowy, forested area below it, separated by the thin line created by the highlighting of the top of the forest in the morning Sun.
This print is available at The Walnut Gallery in Louisville, Colorado as well as here at the web site.
Powder, Pines, and a Chill Breath from Old Man Winter
On a recent excursion into the forests above Boulder, Colorado, I came upon this scene of powder-shrouded pines. I really like being out and about in winter in Colorado (when properly dressed), not only for winter sports, but for scenes such as this, where the landscapes aren't static - where there is action in them. I can imagine various small wildlife in this scene keeping warm in burrows and under brush.