Top 10 Favorite Photos of All Time
This is a blog post I would highly recommend reading. Oneonta Gorge is in Oregon tucked in the Columbia River Gorge. The hike put me on the brink of hypothermia and took a nice gash out of my shin but images like this, made it worth it. This image, that starts out the list, was early in the hike, before I went neck deep in fresh spring runoff or cut up my leg carrying Sarah through it. This looks like a good filming location for a Jurassic Park movie with the moss covered walls and dark haunting slot cut by the water. I need to move on, I'm starting to shiver.
You can find this image on the website titled "Turn the Page". It was taken in Marquette, Michigan in Presque Isle Park just past the ore dock. High winds were testing this breakwall while a spring storm rolled in and I found myself on the shore testing long exposures. I love the smooth clouds and blurred sea, it almost looks like a painting.
Fine I'm going to cheat and post the strip, yes it's cheating, but I don't care. I'm still blown away by these shots. They look like a telescope took them but in reality it was just a 200mm lens. The experience made a twelve hour traffic jam an afterthought and that should tell you how incredible this was to see. I was thrilled to get results like this and that is why they made this list.
This image is on the website (as are the remainder of the list) and is one of the few times I've photographed lightening. The image was taken in Hilton Head on a night my family and I were enjoying some drinks while a performer plucked Jimmy Buffet songs on a guitar. Lightning began to flicker in the distance and I found my way to this dock to see if I could get lucky. I just had my camera with me and had to position my wallet and phone beneath it just right to get this frame. The lightning is fantastic and stole my focus for years before I even noticed the bird in the bottom left corner.
This image is a favorite of mine for sentimental reasons. Visually it is simple with the black trees forming a divide between the blue sky and water. It is the moment and the experience that make this image so meaningful to me. The shot was captured during a trip to Canada for fishing that will stay with me forever. The trip was shared with a best friend who is no longer with us and this may have been our happiest time together, fishing non stop for a week on an isolated lake in Ontario. Full story here.
This shot was taken in Ireland in Killarney National Park. We stumbled upon this friary on our way to a waterfall and what struck me was its accessibility. There was no price of admission, no tour guides or security, a few sections were blocked off but only stairwells that were likely unsafe. The biggest surprise was the absence of graffiti. A place like this in the U.S. would have been covered with etchings from people looking to leave a trace of their presence behind. The hallway pictured was pitch black and took a very long exposure to reveal any detail. I love the warmth and the inviting glow coming from the doorway at the end of the hall. This has long been a favorite image of mine and one that will be hard to top.
I still can't pinpoint what does it for me in this image. Gallows Pole was shot in Maldives during our honeymoon while we toured a local village. While everyone else gawked at the buildings the tour guide pointed out, I was drawn to the colorful fences lining the streets. This particular fence created a nice palate of earth tones unlike the bright colors that covered the majority of the island. The trees were full of leaves above the fence line but the crop gives a completely different impression. I assume the textures and lines are what draw my attention but this image continues to perplex me.
This image was taken outside of Aspen on a bleak morning. It was the middle of September and a cold front brought a snow storm into the region. Unfair Weather Friend was one of four images on the website taken during that day and my favorite of the bunch. I love the second peak in the image coming through the low clouds to balance out the sky. It would disappear soon after this shot and the images without it aren't as strong. The color palate is warm but the grey sky cools down an otherwise warm scene which is perfect for the mood of that morning. If you would like the full story of this day click here.
Jolene comes in at number two. Taken at Abiqua Falls in Oregon, number one on places I have ever visited. This image does a good job of enveloping the viewer in the scene much like the falls did. The 100 foot wall wraps around you and makes you feel small before the raging falls. This was a place that made me never want to leave and during the trek out I kept giving looks back like a kid waving goodbye to his friends as mom carries him to the car.
Did I really take my favorite photo of all time this year? Yes I did! This was one of the images taken in 2017 that showed growth in my work. I try to avoid the "pretty" pictures and instead capture the character of the Earth in unique places. This image is the strongest image in my eyes with the layered mountains and gradient from black to white that leads the eye across the image, up and around. I love the fog that adds a bit of mystery to the image as if King Kong were to emerge from the jungle at any moment. If I continue to improve there will be a new photo here next year.