2018 was definitely a down year for my photography. With a new baby and a trip to Disneyland instead of our normal travels abroad, there just wasn’t that much time spent on photography for me. Because of that, there are going to be some images from the same location in this list, which I usually try to avoid.
No more excuses, these are my top images of 2018. While I didn’t shoot as much as usual this year, I did have fun when I went out and am happy with what I accomplished.
I don’t usually do honorable mentions on these, but 2018 marked my first time shooting hockey, and I wanted to at least celebrate the new experience even though none of the images made it into my top 10 of 2018.
The above image is from the Arizona State vs. Northern Michigan game at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. I was still learning what action to capture in a hockey game, but the breakaway was pretty obvious.
This second image is from the same hockey game. They don’t let them fight as much in NCAA games, but this fight was broken up right in front of the window I was shooting from.
#10-Columbia River Gorge from Chanticleer Point
On one of our trips to Oregon this year, I finally made the short drive up to Chanticleer Point to capture Crown Point and the Columbia River Gorge during sunset. I loved the warm light reflecting off the cliff edges.
#9-Seven Magic Mountain in Las Vegas
The Seven Magic Mountains, which are about 15 minutes south of our house, became a favorite outing for my family this year. My girls love playing there. On this occasion, I took my camera gear and took hundreds of images to blend together and get rid of the crowds that always hover around the rocks.
#8-Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Oregon
One of our Oregon trips this year coincided with the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. I was able to meet up with a local photographer and visit during sunrise. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate and I didn’t get a whole lot that I liked from the morning. This was by far my favorite image. The rows of white tulips really popped in black and white.
#7-BYU’s Yoeli Childs over UNLV’s Dembele
This year was my third year shooting some college basketball games. I shot about half a dozen games at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this year. Three of them, all from the same BYU vs. UNLV game, made it into the list this year. In this image, Yoeli Childs elevates for a short jumper.
#6-Death Valley National Park
Earlier this year, I met up with the guys from Photog Adventures for a day in Death Valley National Park. We only had time and conditions to shoot the mudflats, but my favorite image from the night was this one focused on the crazy green rocks in this area mixed among the mud cracks.
#5-Spirit Falls in Washington
By far, my favorite location I shot this year was Spirit Falls on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. It is just down the street from Panther Creek Falls, which was my favorite location of 2017, and is also a bit of a climb to get to. But once you are there, it is an amazing little secluded area of beauty. You can check out more information in this guide.
#4-BYU vs. UNLV Jump ball
My second image from the BYU vs. UNLV game is the tip off. I am always surprised that I usually tend to be the only photographer that leaves the baseline to capture tip off from this angle. I love when I capture the peak moment where one player tips the ball. I usually don’t shoot sports in black and white, but it was really feeling good to me this game as it removed some of the distractions around the arena.
#3-Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach, California
Luckily, we were able to get to California a day early before we were going to Disneyland so I convinced the family to head to the beach for an evening. I’ve loved Laguna Beach since I first went there 18 years ago, but this was my first visit to Aliso Beach. It was awesome. I spent the sunset shooting this little break between the rocks with each tide that came in and went out.
#2-Spirit Falls in Washington
My second image from Spirit Falls was shot about 20 yards south of the previous image. The water color at Spirit Falls is just incredible. So many images out there show an unreal turquoise water after some editing. That is not the case at Spirit Falls. I was surprised to see the water was the actual amazing color I had seen in images.
This is my personal favorite image from the year because of the emotion I was able to capture. I was sitting on the floor at the baseline about 5 feet away from the BYU bench as they came back from almost 20 points down to UNLV. This was the moment a big shot was made to given them the lead within the final minutes.
Unfortunately, BYU would lose on a last second prayer shot from UNLV in overtime, but I still love everything in this image. There is so much raw emotion as they players celebrate, the player trying to hold everyone off the court while he celebrates at the same time, and Coach Cummard with the smirk of almost disbelief. As so often happens, my experience in the moment plays a large role in what images are the most impactful to me, and this was a moment not to forget.