2011 Favorite Images

Written by Alpenglow Images on December 29th, 2011

This time of year always seems to dredge up a lot of nostalgia in me, mostly from the disbelief that the year can’t possibly be over.  It also seems to be the time of year when photographers reflect on their art and the direction its taken over the last twelve months.  For me, its been a very instructive and inspirational year, and I’ve made several images I quite like.

Ansel Adams said, “Twelve significant images in any one year is a good crop.”  I used to think this was ridiculous, but the more I photograph and refine my own style, the more I believe this to be true.  With Adams’ thoughts in mind, I chose what I believe to be my twelve most significant images of the year.  I hope you enjoy them!

Star trails over a hoodoo at the White Pocket

Star trails in northern Arizona, August


Dawn at Bisti Badlands, New Mexico

Dawn, northern New Mexico, July


Joshua Tree National Park Scene

Late-day light, Mojave Desert, California, May


Vishnu Temple, Grand Canyon National Park

Greeting the sun, Grand Canyon National Park, May


Waterholes Slot Canyon, Navajo Nation Arizona

Sandstone Seduction, northern Arizona, January


An intimate scene in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Intimate scene, Utah, July


Saguaro Skeleton, near Phoenix Arizona

Saguaro skeleton and moon, Arizona, January


Narrows of the Paria River, in southern Utah

Into the canyon, Utah, April


Factory Butte near Hanksville Utah

Dawn in the desert, Utah, August


Dried mud in the Paria River, Utah

Dried mud, Utah, April


Ibex Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California

Windstorm, California, December


Eureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California

Sensuous curves, California, December


53 Comments so far ↓

  1. Great set, Greg! Your eye for detail shots is really unique, and I definitely think you have an increasingly recognizable style. My personal favorites here are Late day Light, Greeting the Sun, and Intimate Scene Utah.

    • Thanks, Jackson, this really means a lot coming from you. I am happy to see that something resembling a style is coming out of this chaos. 🙂

      I hope you had happy holidays with your family, especially with your newest addition!


  2. Richard Wong says:

    Nice desert theme, Greg. You had a great year!

  3. Ooooh yeaaaaah!
    Nicely done my friend! The last two are friggintastic!

  4. pj says:

    What can I say? Great stuff Greg. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with in ’12.

  5. You wouldn’t get an argument from me on any of them…they are all super images. My favorite is still the “Intimate Scene” but they are all just great, Greg.

  6. Derrald says:

    Great selection overall, but, the second to last is my favorite by far.

  7. Jessie Bax says:

    Left brain, right brain, you got it all Dr. Russell. The last two are my fave! Happy New Year.

  8. Alister Benn says:

    This is fantastic Greg. I can think of no better tribute to a year than this pictorial representation. Now I need to spend the next two days on my 12 🙂

    Best wishes for the new year, and may great light tempt you to create.

  9. Eli Mitchell says:

    Gorgeous collection. The light and shapes in the last one are amazing!

  10. latoga says:

    Wonderful collection from 2011 Greg! I really love “Intimate Scene” and “Windstorm”. The latter reminds me of a view I had just yesterday down in Big Sur watching the ocean moisture create clouds as it rolled up a cliff side.

    Have a great new year!

  11. Beate Dalbec says:

    Gorgeous collection of images!

  12. Thanks, guys! I really appreciate it…

  13. Sharon says:

    What a year you had, Greg! I would put Into the Canyon and Windstorm at the top of the list as my favorites. They just blow me away.


    • Thanks, Sharon! I appreciate it, and am happy you like “Into the Canyon.” I think its my favorite of the bunch…

      “They just blow me away.” No pun intended 😉

      Happy New Year!

  14. Superb set. I have to like the Grand Canyon first and second would be between the two images just before, “Late Light, Mojave” and “Dawn Northern New Mexico.”

  15. Mark says:

    Really, really nice Greg. I am going to add you to my blogroll so I remember to pop over here more often.

    All of them are terrific, “Intimate scene” and “Windstorm” resonate with me more personally. I really love dried mud images and sandscapes. All show an intimate appreciation for the beauty of light. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by again, Mark! I really appreciate your thoughts on the images, and am glad they resonate with you…your own images all take advantage of wonderful light.


  16. Steve Sieren says:

    Truly a spectacular set of images for the year Greg. Pary’s Nolina is the favorite of the bunch. Good luck in 2012 and maybe I’ll run into you out in the desert!

    • Hey, you never know where we might run into each other! Thanks so much Steve…I am glad you enjoyed the set. The Parry’s Nolina (obviously) is one of my favorites too…I love the way they seem to be dancing in the late-day light…

      Happy New Year–I hope 2012 is good to you!


  17. Pat Ulrich says:

    Beautiful selection of images, Greg! It’s quite hard to pick a favorite, as they are all beautiful. I really like your small-scale scene in “Late-day Light, Mojave Desert” — there are so many interesting textures and patterns with the light playing off of those feather-like plants and the beautiful clouds in the background.

    • Thanks, Pat, I appreciate it! Those plants are called Parry’s Nolina, which is similar to a yucca…don’t they have the greatest textures and shapes?

      Hope your 2012 is off to a great start!


  18. Ben says:

    Really great work, my congrats.
    Wish you a nice and successful year 2012. Ben

  19. That first one, with the cool arcs of the star trails and the warm and undulating layers of the rock, got to me the most, but I enjoyed them all.

    We don’t have majestic scenery like that in central Texas, but we do have a couple of species of Nolina that I look forward to playing with (photographically) again.

  20. Greg Boyer says:

    I’d say this was a very good harvest indeed. Is the first image from White Pockets?

    Well done. I look forward to seeing much more of your work in the coming year.

    • Hi, Greg. Thanks so much–I look forward to seeing your new work in 2012 as well!

      Yeah, the first image is from White Pocket. It was the first clear night I had on a nearly 2-week trip this summer…it was nice to finally have the chance to shoot some star trails. I was pleased with the result!

      • Greg Boyer says:

        White Pockets is really an amazing place. Did you find the dinosaur tracks? I did. By accident and wrenched my knee when I inadvertently steeped into one.

        • Ouch! No one ever said good things don’t come without a wrenched knee now and then. I didn’t find them; I wish I had more time to explore when we were there…at first I thought I would be bored with just a day there, but in hindsight, I could have spent a couple of days in the area just exploring.

          Next time.

  21. Greg:

    Congrats on a wonderful group of images. I hope 2012 is equally productive. Cheers!

  22. Phil Colla says:

    Wow, the star trails over the Lolipod at White Pocket is fantastic, great work Greg!

  23. Tom Whelan says:

    Lots of beautiful stuff – the poplar leaf on cracked mud and the final dune image are particularly lovely. Wishing you the best for 2012…


  24. Greg, these are all fantastic photographs! And, I deeply appreciate that each one has that “unique touch” of Greg Russell; subtle yet clearly present, and, unique because it`s subtle.

    My two favorites of yours are Intimate Scene and Windstorm; wondrous!

    Wish you the best for 2012!
    Seung Kye

  25. Some rely nice shoot, was a good photo year (=

  26. A very impressive group of images that you should be proud of Greg! I agree that the year goes by quicker then you anticipate and it’s interesting to look back at the progression in personal style and how it shows in the images throughout the year. Looking forward to your images in 2012!

  27. Intimate Scene is lovely, but Sensuous Curves for me. I really like the way the foreground dunes have detail, then the background fades/darkens away.
    Great work.

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