It’s about this time of year when I start reviewing images and picking out my favorite images. I’ve done this in the past (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) and have never narrowed it down to 10 images. This year I’m only choosing 10 and I have about 100x more images than any other year to choose from.
With this in mind, I’m going to begin a series of blog posts highlighting some favorites. They may or may not be in my Top 10 Images for 2013, but as a photography admirer, I get great pleasure from recounting experiences and imaging new ones through viewing images. I suspect many out there are like this whether you shoot or not.
I’ve also realized I have many images that I haven’t shared or even edited! So each post will be a bit of an exciting time for me too as recount an incredible and life-changing year.
These images are from the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. I visited this area in early May with a goal of climbing Mt. Whitney. The weather was stormy and the Sierras were covered in clouds a majority of the first 7 days. Without ever seeing this range in person, I had no idea what to expect. (Original post about Mt. Whitney)
The storm eventually swept through leaving feet of snow at the higher elevations. This was exactly the break I’d been waiting for all week and I jumped on it. Permit in hand and backpack stocked, I hit the trail and climbed. It wasn’t easy and it became increasingly more difficult as I gained elevation due to deeper snow. About 2 miles from the summit, the trail through the snow ended and I had to break my own trail to the summit. It was up to my waist in places and at 14,000 feet, this becomes no easy walk. I pushed on since I was feeling good and stood on top of the highest point in the United States in no time.
At this point I felt like I knew the Sierras a little better but the view only inspired me to explore more. It’s November and I’m still on cloud 9 thinking about this special place. Enjoy:)
Yosemite National Park is one of the most visited and photographed National Parks in the US. I spent a week of my life in this majestic place and only scratched the surface of the grandeur that is Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite Valley is iconic in every sense of the word. It is a paradise for the eyes and soul for people from all over the world. It is a place that bonds people through beauty, creates memories from experiences and leaves you speechless time and time again. I made my first trip to Yosemite this spring after dreaming about this place my whole life.
There is one scene I’ll never forget in Yosemite and many of you will identify with it. It is the scene where you first see Yosemite Valley, with El Capitan, Half Dome and the numerous waterfalls all converging in the most perfect valley you’ve ever seen. It literally took my breath away and I still get chills thinking of that special moment.
You’ll see plenty of people no matter the time of year and I happened to be there for Memorial Day Weekend and Tioga Pass had just opened. This was a recipe for crowds, congestion and noise. The challenge of photography is to eliminate all that and show the overwhelming sense of peace I felt while walking the meadows in the full moon, trying to capture the elusive rainbow of Yosemite Falls and hours spent in quiet places off the beaten path.
This post is all about the not-often-seen scenes that bring me back to this special place on our planet. There is so much to explore so get away from the crowds and find your own paradise there:) Going to Yosemite National Park at sometime in your life just might change it for the better! EE
Mono Lake is on every photographers bucket list and if it’s not, it should be. It is true that Mono Lake is heavily photographed and very popular with the landscape crowd. This should not deter you from shooting there for one simple reason: Mono Lake is incredible!
I was lucky to be there during some great shooting conditions with an exiting storm and light winds. Mornings were calm and peaceful and the limestone Tufa Towers make for some interesting compositions. If you get to the lake early, you can also see an incredible light show from the stars. There is minimal light pollution and the Milky Way is vivid and seemingly close. I’m not much of a Milky Way photographer though, but I did arrive extra early to see the full transition from night to morning. This is the best time of “day” to capture balanced light behind the contrasting odd silhouettes.
To get there early, like 3:45 a.m. early, I decided to camp nearby so I could sleep in 5 minutes longer. Those 5 minutes don’t really matter though because 3:15 or 3:20 a.m. is still really, really early! So all you have to do is wait for calm weather, get up really early and find a composition that speaks to you and you can get a crazy cool image. There’s one problem with this. Actually, 100,000+ problems. Mono Lake is a HUGE bird refuge and there are thousands of birds everywhere! I had one whole morning shoot “ruined” because of wildlife.
Besides the actual lake, there are many shooting opportunities around this geologically diverse area. There are unusual colors throughout the landscape with much exploring to be had. The entire area is covered with pumice and driving off-road can be tricky. I attempted to drive around the lake on pumice/dirt roads but I’ll save that for a motorcycle adventure:)
Lastly, this place challenged me photographically and many important lessons were learned. Despite Mono Lake’s popularity and crowds of photographers I’ll definitely be back to shoot there again. I’ve already envisioned a few images from browsing my shots from this area. One bit of advice, go before they open Tioga Pass that connects Yosemite National Park. It’s like a floodgate.
I’ve got one more post from the Sierras in a few days in which I’ll talk about the most amazing experience in nature that I’ve had in my life, hands down. I’ve posted about it before so we’ll see what months of hindsight and a different eye produces.
Fall in Park City was spectacular this year with several snowfalls coating the colorful landscape. As the snow melted, fall came back for a visit bringing warm sunny days and cool nights. Then snow. Then Sunburn. Now Old Man winter let himself in to stay for a while:)
In other news, I made a VERY special announcement on my FB page ! I won’t go into details here about it, I’ll stick with photos. Enjoy some scenes from Park City and yes, these were all recently! More to come soon!