Continuing my end of year tradition of reviewing all my photos from the year and picking my favorites, below are my selections from 2010 listed by the month they were photographed. (You can also review My Favorites from 2009, 2008, and 2007).
Of couse my favorite photos from 2010 are all of Matthew, our son born in September. This has definitely been the year of Matthew as we prepared for his arrival and then adjusting to the new routine of family life. As the first four months of life with Matthew comes to a close, looking back at this photo of Matthew at just 4 days old brings a lot into perspective. The hat which was too big for him then won’t even fit now; it’s amazing how quickly he is growing up!
For a few days each February, the angle of the sunset in Yosemite valley lines up such that the setting sun creates a sliver of light on Horsetail Falls. This sunset lights up Horsetail Falls like the Yosemite firefalls of the past. All of this assumes that mother nature cooperates with the clouds and weather. This past February I was lucky to get good weather during my trip to Yosemite to capture the Horsetail Falls firefall two days in a row. The above HDR photo capture the wider scene as the sunset approached it’s narrowest and just after two airplanes had just flown over, creating this X in the sky over the fire falls like a real world treasure map.
Note: The same angle happens in October as well, but since Horsetail Falls is a ephemeral waterfalls you usually don’t have water flowing over it in October.
In April, myself and a friend drove up to Oroville, CA to Table Mountain to check out the wildflowers that always propagate this area. The fields were full of small yellow flowers and purple lupin. From a distance creating a carpeting affect. I like how the above photo shows the diversity of this area with the lupin in the foreground, the carpet affect in the mid-ground, and the hillside of trees in the distance.
While exploring Table Mountain, I discovered a lone Oak tree in a ravine. It had a collection of fallen branches that had weathered over the years and create a very intriguing set of patterns and lines. Once converted to a black and white photo, the lines became even more apparent. It seems like every year there is a few photos of mine that just seem to work best in Black and White.
While walking through downtown San Francisco, on a route that I frequent monthly, I suddenly realized this wonderful scene that I have been walking past for years. Maybe it was the time of day and the way the light was illuminating the area, maybe it was my frame of mind (maybe it was both).But I walked 50 feet past and stopped, turned around and created the above image. It’s the layering of details and lighting that keep me coming back to this photo time and time again.
While visiting Bodie State Historic Park east of the Sierra Nevadas, I happened to stumble across a wonderful field of wild iris’. The with snow still capping the Sierra Nevada Mountain peaks in the distance, I had to take an hour detour to photograph the scene. The idillic nature of the place still speaks to me when I see this photo.
Years ago I had the idea for a unique way of documenting Bodie State Historic Park, the abandoned ghost town maintain in a constant state of decay in the high desert east of the Sierra Nevadas. As it can sometimes happen with a project, a single image sticks with you and becomes central to the project. For this project it was this image of the front of the Boone Store on Bodie’s main intersection. The reflection of the nearby buildings in the large window while at the same time showing the preserved state of the interior of the store became the genesis of my photography book Reflecting on Bodie (and became the cover image).
Part of the challenge in creating the photos for my Reflecting on Bodie book was looking beyond he obvious for reflections of Bodie. This photo of the windscreen of the Dodge Graham Truck sitting on the mainstreet in Bodie is one of my favorite non-obvious reflections. The way you can see the inside of the car cab, through the rear window of the car to the buildings behind, as well as the reflection of the buildings sitting infront of the car perfectly symbolized the duplicity the reflections at Bodie can provide.
July was the Scott Kelby World Wide Photowalk. I joined the photowalk lead by Jim Goldstein at the Sutro Baths in San Francisco. This photo of Seal Rock was the winning photo chosen from all the photos submitted from Jim’s photowalk. It was my favorite long before this though, the moodiness of this photo keeps drawing me in.
Halloween always kicks off the house decorating season. My wife usually mixes Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations and this year it was a combination of pumpkins, candles, and jack-o-lantern lights. The great textured pumpkins and the soft candle light made for a great combinations for a HDR photo project. This photo was my favorite from that evenings work.
This year I wasn’t able to make my fall pilgrimage to the Eastern Sierras for autumn leaves display. However, the late in the season color change of all the trees in our neighbor hood allowed me to get my fix right in my own front yard. This collection of leaves on the pebble sidewalk was waiting for me just a few feet from my front door!
Winter is the time for landscape photography in the Bay Area. We finally get interesting clouds in the sky and the rain helps to create more mood with lighting and fog. One early morning I checked out a newly opened regional park on the hills a few miles south of my house. The early morning light combined with ground fog made for this wonderful view to start the day.
While returning to my car after the previous sunrise photo was taken, I meet up with a local coyote who was also enjoying the morning sunrise. After following him around for about 30 minutes, I was able to photograph him on the ridge of the hill just as the sun came up over the horizon. Then he disappeared down the other side of the hill.
Before Christmas, the family and I spent the weekend in Yosemite. I was all exciting about the potential for a dumping of snow during our stay (naturally it rained, then snowed the day after we left). However, the holiday lights set up at Yosemite Lodge made for the perfect HDR photo opportunity (thanks to my trusty Golf umbrella).
This night time view of Yosemite Lodge Mountain Room Restaurant at Yosemite Lodge just cried out to me to be photographed. So in the middle o the rain storm, while the rest of the family was enjoying Hot Totties in the lounge, I was out in the cold rain to create this magical image.
Looking back on 2010, it was a great year of photography, accomplishments, and change. I hope your 2010 was as memorable and 2011 is even better!
(Note: click through on the photos to view more details, purchase prints, or license stock usage via the photo archive.)
Update: This yearly tradition continues in large part due to a blog project that is coordinated each January by Jim Goldestein. I want to thank Jim for continuing his efforts in this project, I anxiously look forward to his posting of all of this year’s participants.