Here's the thread for your best THREE photos of the year. Of course, feel free to only post your best one (or two).
Previous years' threads here: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.
To reiterate, the guidelines are that you decide the criteria for why it makes your top-3, technically or otherwise. However, please let us know that reason.
"Above the fog" - I selected this one, a selfie, because of the sheer effort expended in taking it. The spot I'm standing on was 8-9sec away from where I'd placed the camera. I couldn't get the remote to work, so was stuck with using the camera's 10sec timer. It was pre-dawn and the light was dull enough that I had to use a 2sec exposure. So, after setting up everything, I fired off the shot and sprinted carefully to my spot, stilled my racing heart and struck my pose, and then held myself absolutely still for 2sec. I think I had to make about a half dozen attempts before I was successful.
"Skimmer" - These black skimmers were racing up and down the waterways. They would dip their lower shovel-shaped beak into the water and then drag it through the water surface as they skimmed over it at great speed. As they'd run out of water they would bank and then come back for another pass. This photo was taken as the bird had just finished up one of it's runs. If you look at the photo in larger size you can see water drops flying off the bird like pearls from a broken necklace.
Cherry blossom festival
"Cherry blossom festival" - Like the previous year 2018's year's cherry blossom festival in Washington D.C. was almost a no-show. A warm spell followed by a cold snap nearly killed off the blossoms. Thankfully, the blossoms had not quite appeared when the cold snap appeared, and the buds were able to weather the temperatures. This was the best showing for me in the past three years.
I think I've taken a few years off from this thread, but I'll give it a go. Thanks for starting it Galiwalker.
A creek filled by snowmelt cascades toward Island Lake in the Wind River Range as the sun sets.
This was sunset on a one night backpacking trip to the Wind Rivers. It had been cloudy most of the day, but cleared somewhat near sunset. I strolled up and down this creek for a while and found a composition I kind of liked and waited for the sunset.
Long Knife Creek descends to join Kintla Creek on a fall day in the North Fork of Glacier National Park while the larches look on.
This was a google earth preplanned composition. It was a little harder to see the peaks than I was hoping, but the larches cooperated well. It would have been much better later in the afternoon, but the days are short in October, and the trailhead 8 or 9 miles away, and I'm scared of hiking at night in grizzly bear territory. So I used an ND filter and went with what I had in the middle of the afternoon.
Anhinga with fish
I've been trying for some more wildlife photography. I don't think this is a particularly compelling shot, but I liked the idea of getting a photograph of an animal (Anhinga in this case) doing something.
Both you guys have always been a big inspiration for me ... for photography and for places to go. Beautiful images as always. Welcome back Kyle.
We didn't get out much this year ... a few hikes in the Sierras and Tetons and a day of kayaking at Deception Pass.
I shot a lot while on hikes along the shore (we camped at Bowman Bay for a few days), but I love the simplicity of this one, plus it kinda says it all for me because the next day we passed by in a kayak.
Grand Teton NP was ablaze with color, plus I have a lot of shots of the peaks both in in B&W and color (always my favorite subject), but I chose this one because it was up close and personal and I had to work a little to get there ....from the trail in Cascade Canyon.
Autumn in the Tetons
Yellowstone in the quiet shoulder season ... not exactly! But, we visited the less crowded areas and survived (no Old Faithful shots). Lots of wildlife and fall color in the Lamar Valley, too. Not until I got home and researched the places we hit did I find out that the Grand Prismatic Spring is usually photographed from a trail above it looking down. Instead we were in the basin, again up close. I'm always looking for designs in nature and the geyser basins offered a cornucopia of choices (as did the Mammoth Hot Springs). Here, I accentuated the color by using a graduated filter in RAW to darken the background.
Grand Prismatic Spring
PHOTOSFILMSKeep a good head and always carry a light bulb. – Bob Dylan
PHOTOSFILMSKeep a good head and always carry a light bulb. – Bob Dylan
I guess it makes you realize you're a bit better at photography than the year before, when you have to reject more of your beloved creations to get the top three. That's a good thing though. Also makes me reflect on what I been shooting all year. Surprised to find far fewer landscapes as a percentage of what I shot. Seem to favoring flora and fauna lately. In no particular order:
"Bambi" - Hurricane Hill trail in the Olympics, well off the trail a ways, away from the crowds. The deer are so tame up there it's like taking candy from a baby when you can pretty much take time to get in a position you want to get the right light and background.
Happy deer taking a break from grazing. Hurricane Hill, Olympic National Park, WA
"Carbon River Rocks" - Last year one of my favorite shots was of the Carbon River inside Mt Rainier NP. This year's shot is the same river just a few miles out of it. Upstream of Manley Moore Rd near the end of the Foothills Trail. I love the color of the rock there. It's just in this one little area. Totally surprised to find it. Then flowing water is easy to manipulate to make it look like you want.
"Silver Forest" - Silver forests are always cool. This one was a bit special because it was at the end of a hike I almost didn't get to do. From Jack Lake up to the base of Three Fingered Jack. Started the hike, but had ventral hernia pain to where I had to turn around. Laid out my sleeping pad on a picnic table, laid my old body there for a couple hours, massaged my belly, burned it in the sun, and finally made the pain go away. Once that was done, I was on my way up the trail. I like the color combination of silver, green, and blue sky. Maybe overcoming my incident makes the photo mean too much to me, but it's an OK shot anyway. There be miles and miles of this forest in the area. No shot of Three Fingered Jack? Well, since I was a couple hours behind my original timetable, the mountain was all in shade, no good for photography. Now I have to go back there and re-shoot. I think I wouldn't mind that!
Always a fun thread to browse - thanks for always remembering to start it, GW! Great stuff so far, folks!
The first was quite opportunistic - right place, right time. After dinner at a very old friend of my sister's who we were visiting in Ronan Montana. Shot from the back porch in high wind, with me holding my tripod down as hard as possible to minimize camera shake as the others were grabbing the things on the porch that hadn't blown off yet. It was one of the most spectacular passing thunderstorm events I've ever seen, and I'm happy I was able to capture a moment that gives me some shred of a sense of what we were experiencing.
Storm marches through Mission Range (1 of 1)
I got this while using an Xmas present to self - hip waders chosen with some help from answers to a query I posted in gear talk. I wanted to capture a sense of the flow that always captivates my little mind when hanging out around waves - especially at low tide on sand flats like this where the surf is large further out, and the water is massively ebbing and flowing. This was pretty much my first try at catching a long (1-ish second) exposure of foam flowing on the water, and I like the way this captures more than just a brief instant - no picture of water every captures every aspect of what's going on with it, whether short or long exposure. But in this case I was looking for catching the *flow* and I think I got it.
Ebb and Flow
I got this one toward the end of a multi-week safari to southern Utah, at Snow Canyon State Park. It was a clear evening and the light wasn't great for most photos I had in mind, but I kept wandering around on what they call the "petrified sand dunes," and shortly after sunset I discovered this one tank still holding water near one of the high points. I just loved the way the very organic weathered and water stained cross-bedded sandstone was set off against the almost metallic reflection of the sky.
joker is killing it lately!
I don't feel like I took any really outstanding pictures this last year. Probably spent less time behind the lens than in just about any year out of the last ten. Hoping I can rectify that this year, but given all the city-bound projects I have on my plate currently, not sure that's going to happen.
So, without further ado, here are my 3 favorites from this last year:
This first image at Upper Cathedral Lake is meaningful to me, because the next day I had a medical issue far from help and wound up meeting Perry Burkhart at exactly the time that I needed someone.
"Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing" -- John Muir
This is a place my family often goes, but I've never taken a tripod there. On this particular day last fall, I did.
I'm part of a hiking group called the Usual Suspects. This was on the trail up to Mount Washington. It was taken on expired film with my 1970s Nikon F2 and a 28mm Nikkor that I had bought recently for about $8. Old stuff can still perform.
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