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2011 Favorite Images

Thursday, 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

2010 Favorite Images

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Many thanks to everyone who helped me narrow down a top 5 favorite images of 2010 by voting on my blog and on Facebook!  It was a lot of fun for me to take some of my personal favorites and to hear your feedback.  Interestingly, the top two images are from the Sierra Nevada.  I‘ve blogged before about how I’m finding more and more of a sense of place there, and I’m happy to have created two excellent images there this year.

I hope you enjoy these five images; I’ve added a couple more of my personal favorites at the end.  Thanks again for a great 2010; I’m looking forward to seeing you in 2011…

The Cathedral Range, Yosemite National Park, Californi

#1 The Cathedral Range, Yosemite National Park, July

Minaret Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness, California

#2 Minaret Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness, July

Slot canyon, southern utah

#3 Red Cave, Utah, June

Ibex Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California

#4 Ibex Dunes, Death Valley National Park, February

Fiery Sunset, Joshua Tree National Park, California

#5 Joshua Tree National Park, August

And a couple of my personal favorites from this year…

Aspen trees, Sierra Nevada California

#6 Aspen Trees, Sierra Nevada, October

Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah

#7 Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah, January

My favorite images of 2010; help needed!

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

As 2010 rapidly draws to a close, I am reflecting on the year and am trying to pick out my favorite images of 2010.  To your right, you can see a small slideshow of the 13 images I’ve been able to single out as my favorites of the year.  But, I need your help.  If you go to my Alpenglow Images’ Facebook Fan Page, you can vote for your top 5 images.

Everyone who votes by 12/31/10 will be entered for a chance to win a free 12 × 18 print.

Don’t have Facebook?  You can vote in the comment section of this thread!

My 5 favorite images of 2009: #1

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

The hardest thing about the last 5 days has been picking out 5 of my favorite images from this year.  Obviously I like all the images on this website, or I wouldn’t share them with you, but I like them all for different reasons.  Some were images that I envisioned for weeks (or even months) before getting the chance to make them, so I was happy when the shot came together.  Others were ones I associate memories with; I was able to shoot with my dad (who lives 750 miles away) a few times this year, and other times I had my wife and son with me.  The memories are what make those images some of my favorites, not so much whether they’re technically perfect.

Today’s image also comes from Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.  Shooting in Zebra Canyon was something I envisioned for almost 2 months before the trip, so I was happy to finally get the chance to visit the location in August.  You can read about photographing inside of Zebra here.

Zebra Canyon, August 2009

Zebra Canyon, August 2009

You can view my four other picks for 2009 here, here, here, and here.   My family and I are leaving tomorrow morning to celebrate the new year (and incidentally, new decade) in Yosemite National Park.  I hope 2010 brings you happiness, health, and fantastic light!  Many warm wishes.

My 5 favorites of 2009: #2

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

In my last post, I shared an image that shows the intimate connection between man and nature.  Today’s image, and the 4th of my favorite images from 2009, is from an April trip to Death Valley National Park.  I had visualized in my mind’s eye the types of shots I wanted to get for weeks leading up to this trip.  However, my plans were foiled on the first night there when a large sandstorm moved into the valley.  We drove to Badwater for sunset photos, and even though I took several frames–including today’s photo–I was ultimately let down with the evening.

When I got home from Death Valley, today’s photo became one of my favorites of the trip, and obviously, of the whole year.  It was taken just as the sun dipped below the peaks of the Panamint Range to the west, giving the feeling of a growing storm.  Because the sky is completely obscured by sand, combined with the salt pan formations, it gives a very otherwordly feel to the image.

Sandstorm at Badwater salt flat, Death Valley National Park, April 2009

Sandstorm at Badwater salt flat, Death Valley National Park, April 2009

Remember to receive 30% prints of all five of my favorite images from 2009 through January 15, and to check out my first two choices here and here.

My 5 favorites of 2009: #3

Monday, December 28th, 2009

The next image in my year-end lineup includes a human element.  In August, we visited the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.  Although my “day job” allows for plenty of photography time, my days off to shoot either lie in the heat of summer, or the dead of winter.  Thus, visiting the Escalante in August, was…um…hot.  But it was very worth it.  On our second day there, we decided to visit a feature known as the Golden Cathedral.  Getting there is not really tough–it involves about 5 miles of cross country hiking, but getting there is all downhill.  Plus, once you’re in the floor of the canyon (the last mile) you’re protected from the heat of the day.

We spent about 1 hour shooting in the Cathedral, but my favorite shot to come out of the day was one I took of my friend Brent, who was kind enough to stand still for all 3.2 seconds this exposure took.

Be sure to check out my first two images of 2009 here and here.

Inside the Cathedral, August 2009

Inside the Cathedral, August 2009

My 5 favorites of 2009: #4

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

My 4th favorite shot of 2009 comes from Zion National Park.  Over Labor Day weekend, my dad and I hiked through the Subway, from top to bottom with all of our camera gear.  Earlier that day I had slipped while descending into the left fork of North Creek and very nearly took a spill off of a ~150′ cliff (it really was the most scared of actually dying I’ve been in the backcountry), but despite that (and what I think is tiny–but painful–bone fragment still floating around in my elbow), it was a fantastic day.  I double-drybagged all of my camera gear to keep it dry on the swims, and it was worth it when we came to the beginning of the Subway.

My fourth favorite image of 2009 is one many Subway hikers don’t get to see because there’s a rappel standing in their way.  The first cascade in the system is not as magnificent as the others, but it had an Eden-like feel to it.  I feel this shot does a good job of portraying that feeling.

Inside the Subway system, Zion National Park, September 2009

Inside the Subway system, Zion National Park, September 2009

I think one of the best parts of this image for me is the swirl of leaves in the lower left hand corner.  I hope you enjoy it!

Remember that you can receive 30% off of prints of any or all of my favorite images through January 15.  Also, be sure to check out my first choice for image of the year here.

My 5 favorites of 2009: #5

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

It always seems like the end of the year is a good time to look back and reflect.  As a photographer, I think its instructive to do the same thing; by looking at what I’ve learned, what I tried and what didn’t work over the last year, it helps to make my images better.  As such, I’ve chosen to finish this blog year by choosing five of my favorite images from 2009.  These images may not be my absolute best of 2009, but for various reasons, they’re the ones that mean something to me.

As a post-Christmas special, I’m offering 30% off the purchase price of these five prints through January 15.

I hope you enjoy them!

The first of my five favorite images of 2009 was somewhat planned, somewhat not.   In October, my friend and I headed to the Sierra Nevada to attempt to find fall colors (looking in the archives, you’ll our hopes fell flat…alas).   Because we left work late, we camped in the Alabama Hills outside of Lone Pine, CA.  I had been looking forward to photographing Mobius Arch (aka Galen’s Arch) for several months and had visualized in my mind’s eye the nighttime shots you can see on this page for months.

That star trail shot almost made my top five for the year.  However, early the next morning, the alpenglow on the Sierra was unreal.  The sky lit up a beautiful purple color, and the mountains turned a lovely light pink.  For about 5 minutes, it was unreal.  The moon was setting over the Sierra, adding to the scene.  Thus, Mobius Arch at dawn is the first of my five favorite images of 2009.

Mobius Arch at dawn, October 2009

Mobius Arch at dawn, October 2009

I recently had this image printed as a 12×18, and it really does look phenomenal.  It will hang in a friend’s home eventually, but right now I’m enjoying it in my own!