My 2012 favorite images

Written by Alpenglow Images on December 28th, 2012

The first Christmas after I began taking photographs, my wife got me a copy of Ansel Adams’ Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs as a gift.  At the time, I was a guy with a camera, and while the photos in the book were pretty, I’ll admit that the text didn’t mean much.  While not quite so flippant, my reaction was something like, “Why is so much text going into describing a photo?  You just take the picture!”  I didn’t understand the difference between taking a picture and making an image.

Eight years have passed, and I think I finally understand.  The last two years have been instrumental to that understanding, and if I had to sum up my photographic experiences in 2012 using one word, it would be growth.

In selecting my favorite images of the year, I had two passages from Adams’ book in mind.  The first one is about visualization.

Over the years I became increasingly aware of the importance of visualization.  The ability to anticipate–to see in the mind’s eye, so to speak–the final print while viewing the subject makes it possible to apply the numerous controls of the craft in precise ways that contribute to achieving the desired result.

Indeed.  The first several years of my photographic career revolved around learning the camera, learning about the digital darkroom, and learning about light.  Always learning.  However, the last two years–and in 2012 especially– I have been working towards the creation of the final product.  What do I want to convey in the final image?  I spent a lot of time asking myself that question this year.  The second passage is about the art of seeing.

The longer I worked…the more convinced I became that the inclusive landscapes–striking as many undoubtedly are–may not interpret the direct excitement and beauty of the…world as incisively as sections, fragments, and close details, which are available in infinite number if the photographer will carefully observe.

This passage speaks to a personal style; again, I think this is something I was not able to identify with early on.  Adams goes on in that same passage to talk about the ability to see form and shape.  The art of seeing is something that goes beyond an understanding of photography fundamentals.

So, here’s to a fantastic year of personal growth.  I hope 2013 brings great light, and more growth, perhaps even in unexpected ways.

Colorful Sandstone at Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Sandstone Kaleidoscope, January 2012

Unique abstract patterns in sandstoneConvergence, June 2012

Manzanita, genus Arctostaphylos

Manzanita Abstract, June 2012

Detail of a bristlecone pine trunk

In the Details, July 2012

Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) and storm clouds, California

The Sentinel, July 2012

Vertical pan blur of aspen trees (Populus tremuloides)

Aspen Grove I, September 2012

Fog and trees, Valles Caldera National Preserve

White Horses, September 2012

Sunset on a small pond at the Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico

New Mexico sunset, September 2012

Foliage in Calf Creek

Autumn in the Desert, November 2012

A small yucca grows out of sandstone

Finding purchase, November 2012

Winter in the San Jacinto Mountains

Winter comes to southern California, December 2012

Tsé Bitʼaʼí (Shiprock)

Tsé Bitʼaʼí, December 2012



38 Comments so far ↓

  1. Love the Aspen grove and the New Mexico sunset and the etc….. Nice set of images and you can be proud of them. I also think we reach some point where we really do begin to create our images. Nice work, Greg, and hope the coming year brings you and your family many more excellent opportunities for images.

  2. Julia Robinson-Waldroup says:

    Your photos are just breathtaking!! I love them! I hope to be visiting a gallery full of your pictures one day!!

  3. Andrew Hardacre says:

    A wonderful selection of images, Greg. Learning, growth, vision, a recipe for progress on a journey without end. I’m sure Ansel would be heartened that his work has inspired you to such heights.

  4. Those are all beautiful Greg!

  5. pj says:

    What can I say? Strong images… simple, uncluttered, powerful. You’ve really zeroed in on your subjects and presented them beautifully. Great stuff.

    You had a good year… now I expect you to surpass your already high standards in 2013. I’ll be watching… 🙂

  6. Russ Bishop says:

    What a wonderful collection Greg. The aspen grove is a standout for me – just mesmerizing!

    Here’s to continued success in 2013!

  7. Alister Benn says:

    Quite a profound shift in your work this year and a definite elevation in your personal vision. I’m not going to pick a favorite, as they are all excellent representations of your journeys with a camera.

    Very best wishes for 2013 – and you never know, we may hook up next year 😉

    • Thanks, Alister! This sounds like you know something I don’t; are you planning a trip to the US? If so, it would be wonderful to hook up and photograph together!

      Happy New Year to you as well!

  8. Bret Edge says:

    Looks like you had an exceptional year, Greg. It’s interesting to note that the majority of your favorite images are intimate landscapes. My two personal favorites are “Aspen Grove I” and “Autumn in the Desert”. Great work, my friend. May 2013 bring you health, happiness and prosperity.

  9. Phil Colla says:

    Greg, these are superb, the abstracts are very nice indeed and I had not seen most of them yet. Great work!

  10. Fantastic collection, Greg! You’re really developing a very recognizable style, and your ability to discipline your eye and eliminate everything extraneous from your comps is impressive. There’s not one of these I don’t admire, though the I must say the three New Mexico images speak the most to my heart.

    • Thanks, Jackson. It’s funny that I did more photography in New Mexico this year than I have in previous years, and I am happy to have “rediscovered” the state. Out of all of these, Shiprock might be my favorite…

  11. Mark says:

    Congrats on the great year Greg. I think what I like most in these images, and it plays a part in each and every one, is your careful consideration of detail and composition. It is something that I TRY to do in my own work, and consider each of these great examples.

  12. Rachel Cohen says:

    Fantastic set of images Greg!! Looks like you had a wonderful year! All of the images are super,but my favorite has to be Aspen Grove! Congrats on a great year! 🙂

  13. Alex Filatov says:

    Congratulations on an exceptional year Greg! There are fantastic abstracts and intimate portraits of nature here.
    Happy new year!

  14. Jean Day says:

    Beautiful collection, but I think I’m partial to the sandstone abstracts and the aspen grove. Much future success to you, Greg!

  15. juanli says:

    Superb collection, really loved this selection of 12.
    Looking forward to your 2013 work.

  16. Sharon says:

    I’d say you had a very good year shooting, Greg. Best wishes for an even better 2013.


  17. Thanks for the comments everyone! I’ve been enjoying many of your favorites from 2012 as well, and can’t wait to see what images present themselves in the new year!

  18. latoga says:

    What a great collection from 2012. I notice more focus on abstract and intimate, very nicely done. The Aspen Grove one is very engaging and pulls me in. Here’s to more learning and growth in 2013.

  19. Hi Greg, that’s funny what you said about viewing my Christmas Poem Post and thinking you had commented. I did the same thing here. I have looked at your images at least once or twice. I believe I looked the minute you made this post and I saw it in my RSS Feeder. However, I suppose I was preoccupied. I am blown away by your growth in photography as you call it. The results are splendid. I like New Mexico Sunset and Shiprock the best, but also like your unique rendering of the Wave, if that is indeed where the first two great images are made. I like the Aspen Grove more than most aspen images I’ve seen this year. I like it’s translucence effect. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you do that?

  20. Iza Korwel says:

    Very interesting body of work. I love you nature abstracts, or “intimate landscapes”. My favorite is “In the details”, this curve leading line brings the eye right down to the cones.

  21. I’m super impressed Greg! You certainly nailed the simple beauty in the intimate landscapes. Wishing you continued success in 2013!

  22. George says:

    Very well done series, Greg. Clean, simple and all telling a story. Excellent work!

  23. John Dunne says:

    Just coming over from Jim’s list and slowly working my way through 🙂 Some beautiful and varied work Russell. Looks like it was a great year for you.

  24. Tim Mulcahy says:

    A wonderful collection Gregg. I like your use of lines and textures in your images. Best of luck in 2013!

  25. Mike Putnam says:

    Beautiful image Greg! they are all a pleasure, but “In the Details” is especially enchanting. Wonderful flow and texture. I hope you have as much success in 2013.

  26. lovely images all the best for 2013

  27. Beautiful images! Thanks for sharing.

  28. Hi Greg, I visited your link that you posted on Bill Neill’s blog and I’m glad I did. Stunning work! My favorites are Aspen Grove I and Winter Comes to Southern California.

  29. Sandra says:

    The winter in Southern California photo is great – just like the whole collection.

    It seems that 2012 was a good year – wish you all the best and lots of good light for 2013!

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