I am going to be honest, 2016 was a down year for me as far as producing quality images. I simply did not have the time to get out and shoot as much as I wanted, but it was a big year for me in photography. I launched this website last December, started writing articles for Improve Photography (the best place you can follow as a photographer), began learning off-camera flash, started doing street photography and shot college basketball games from the court with photographer credentials. So while I am disappointed in the images produced this year, it has been a pretty awesome year for growth and being able to start a lot of new things and expand from just landscape and travel photography.
My limited photography this year is evident in that 6 of my top 10 come from 5 days at Glacier National Park (with uncooperative weather). I also went to Costa Rica this year, but not a single image from that trip made the cut! 2017 is going to be different. I already have plans for travelling to five different countries and 3 different states.
#10 River through Glacier National Park
I am going to be honest. I have no idea how this image made the cut. I made this image on my way to the airport when I decided to stop by the side of the road for just a few more minutes of shooting. I thought nothing of it, even after I edited it. I really don’t think there is anything special about it, but as I reviewed my images for the year, I just really liked this one and I don’t know why. This image hasn’t been posted yet so look for it soon.
#9 Palouse Hay Fields
This image is one I made in July during a trip to Pullman, Washington. As I drove home after the sunset, the colors were still lighting up the sky when I saw these rows of hay and thought they might make a good subject. Again, nothing inspiring here, but the image is just peaceful to me. You can see more about this image here.
#8 Avalanche Creek Waterfall
I am still undecided about this image. In the past, I think I would have been really excited about it because I have always been hooked on waterfalls, but this year I kind of lost that excitement. Maybe it was because there were waterfalls everywhere in Glacier, but I just didn’t feel inspired by the compositions I was making with waterfalls. This one stuck out to me due to the contrasting colors and scale provided by the log. See more about this image here.
#7 Swiftcurrent Falls
I would have been happy if my top ten started with this image this year as I feel like this is the start with where I get happier with the images. There is a little too much dead space with the rocks, but it is not often you can capture mountains, fall color, a waterfall and sunset in one frame. I just wish the sunset would have decided to help out a little more. More about this image here.
#6 BYU’s Davin Guinn
There were a number of shots I was really pleased with shooting college basketball this year. I could have placed 5 or 6 of them here, but went with this one as I like the angle, the action, the hoop in the frame and the two other players in the background. You can see all my favorite basketball images in this post.
5. New York New York at Night
I don’t shoot in my town nearly enough, but this is by far the best image I have made on the strip. There is some dead space in the bottom corner that I couldn’t find a way to avoid due to the fence on the bridge and I would have liked better light trails, but I didn’t spend the time to really nail it. Even with those shortcomings, I still really liked this image. This image hasn’t been posted yet so look for it soon.
4. Moonrise over Logan’s Pass
The biggest thing I learned in doing my top ten this year was to take the time to get every image right in the field. This is another of my images that was an afterthought. I spent just a few minutes to capture this hiking back from shooting the sunset at Hidden Lake. I saw the composition and the huge moon and thought it was worth shooting, but it was just a pond so I wasn’t impressed enough to really put time into making the shot. That was a mistake. More about this image here.
3. Sunset over Canola Fields
This is another image from my trip to Pullman, Washington. I found this beautiful field while I was out driving dirt roads in the country looking for a good sunset location. I really wanted to get in the middle of the field to avoid the dead space in the corner, but I couldn’t get myself to ruin any of the farmer’s crops. More about this image here.
#2 Aspen Grove
I have to thank Jim Harmer for this image as I never would have stopped on my way to Swiftcurrent Lake had I not seen Jim’s car on the side of the road. His help in composing the scene was also essential to making this image so much better than all the aspen grove shots I have made in the past. More about this image here.
#1 Sunset at Hidden Lake
I can’t believe we almost packed it in and bailed on Hidden Lake when we discovered the viewpoint didn’t offer and good compositions and there were no clouds. Luckily, we went further down the trail toward Hidden Lake and found some better compositions. My favorite part of this image is that you can see the light rays over the mountains and they are almost as impressive as in real life. This image hasn’t been posted yet so look for it soon.