My Favorite Photos of 2015

Continuing my yearly tradition here is my favorite photos of 2015 (past years favorites are available for a trip down memory lane). This marks the 9th year of participating in this blogging ritual thanks to Jim Goldstein’s annual blog project.  Thankfully 2015 has less valleys and more rolling plains than last year.  While the addition of a Sony A6000 mirrorless camera to the collection, I was able to have a big camera in a small body with me at all times to help photograph what may come my way.  And the results of that show a bit in this year’s favorites.  The year still had few photography specific trips; with the kids no at the fun age of five and three and a half, trips are more about them and less about photographing the travel or nature.

So, in general chronological order from the year…you can click through on each image to view it in the Photo Archive, where you can order an Art Print of any of my photos.

Photo #1

Foggy Sunrise and Empty Golden Gate Bridge

Foggy sunrise over an empty Golden Gate Bridge during closure to install new movable barrier, San Francisco California.

The closure of the Golden Gate Bridge in January was a photographic opportunity I couldn’t miss.  The 50 mile drive started at 4am, and at a bit past 5am I arrived in the Marin Headlands with zero visibility of the bridge. I didn’t expect the bridge lights to be turned off, and so parked right in front of the bridge all I could see was the black soup of San Francisco Bay fog.  But, by the time sunrise came the fog was lifting and it was amazing to be standing at Battery Spencer with such silence in the air.  I eventually heard two women talking, after looking around I realized they were jogging across the bridge and their voices were carrying up to the battery!

Photo #2

Aerial view of Arizona's Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station with self created cloud formation.

Aerial view of Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station with self created cloud formation.

One of the new habits I formed in the year was sitting in the window seat on my business trips with the A6000 in my lap..especially during take off and landings thanks to the new FAA regulations on electronic devices.  While the quality of the aerial photos through a plane window (and sometimes the jet exhaust) is less than ideal, there are still wonderful photos that I find.  Like while approaching Pheonix on a cloudless morning and suddenly seeing this singular cloud over the desert.  As we got closer I realized it was formed by the cooling towers of the Nuclear power plant west of Pheonix.

Photo #3

Aerial View of Pheonix Central City South Neighborhood

Aerial View of Central City South Neighborhood in Pheonix, Arizona.

Another from the aerial collection. Sometimes the exhaust of the jet engine can work in your favor. Like for this view of a neighborhood in Phoenix, the jet exhaust created a tilt-shift effect that gives this photo a surreal feeling and nicely augments the uniform nature of this neighborhood.

Photo #4

Boy Entranced by Sea Life

A boy sits in the window of one of the tanks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, California.

This was one of the quick family photos that I took of Matthew during one of our trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The amazing dynamic range of the A6000 allowed me to capture this on the fly during one of the rare moments he wasn’t running at Mach 1 thru the aquarium.  Once I saw the lighting in this photo it instantly became one of my favorites from the year.

Photo #5

Statue and Empty Breezeway in French Market building on Decature Street

Statue and Empty Breezeway in French Market building on Decatur Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.

During a business trip to New Orleans, which just happened to be my first trip to the city, I set an early wake up alarm in order to wander the French Quarter before too many people were up. I don’t usually see in black and white, but this one became a rare exception.  The early morning made for great photography and a short line at Cafe Du Monde for the coffee and beignets…

Photo #6

Horns, Blue Spheres, and Yellow Chairs at the Entrance to the W Hotel in New Orleans

Horns, Blue Spheres, and Yellow Chairs at the Entrance to the W Hotel French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana

Photo #7

2015 Bouquets to Art - Orinda Garden Club

Orinda Garden Club installation from 2015 Bouquets to Art at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

This year I again photographed the Bouquets to Art event at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.  After photographing all the wonderful designs by all 123 Floral Designers who participated a few personal favorites lingered with me.  I’m not sure if these are favorites because of the floral design, because of the artwork, because of the composition of the design with the artwork, or likely due to a combination of all three.  Mostly it was the abstract and more challenging nature of each of the floral designs that really resonated with me personally.

Photo #8

2015 Bouquets to Art - Renka Design Group

Renka Design Group installation from 2015 Bouquets to Art at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

Photo #9

2015 Bouquets to Art - Jean S. David

Jean S. David installation from 2015 Bouquets to Art at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

Photo #10

2015 Bouquets to Art - Takako Ikebana Studio

Takako Ikebana Studio installation from 2015 Bouquets to Art at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

Photo #11

August Lightening over Tri-Valley

Thunderstorm rolls through the Bay Area and lightening over the Tri-Valley.

A rare August thunderstorm that rolled thru the Bay Area gave me a nice front row seat in my back yard for some lightening.  At least until I felt the hair on the back of my neck start to stand up…

Photo #12

Mother and Children Exploring Subway Cave Lava Tube in Lassen National Park, California

Mother explaining Subway Cave Lava Tube to children in Lassen National Park, California.

During a summer camping trip up to Lassen National Park, we did a stop in at the Subway Lava Tube.  By pushing the A6000’s ISO beyond what I would have ever tried with my 5DM2, I was able to capture this picture of the family not far from the entrance to the cave.

Photo #13

Sunset View of San Francisco and Farallon Islands

Sunset view of San Francisco to Farallon Islands from the Oakland Hills.

On a rare clear day in the Bay Area this fall, I was able to glimpse the Farallon Islands (right side, beyond the Golden Gate Bridge) which are about 40 miles from where this photo was taken.

Photo #14

Sunset View of Bay Bridge and Holiday San Francisco Skyline

Sunset View of Bay Bridge and San Francisco Skyline from the Oakland Hills.

After 15 years in the Bay Area, I still find the San Francisco Skyline such a joy to photograph.  The combination of the holiday lights on the Embarcadero towers, the glorious sunset, and the new Bay Bridge eastern span, this photo quickly become one of my favorites of the city that I’ve taken over the years.

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I look forward to hearing your comments on which of my favorites from the year is also your favorite.

I hope 2015 was a photographic year for you and wish you and your’s the best light in 2016!

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1/3/16 Addendum: If you enjoyed my favorites from 2015, check out my 2016 Photo A Day project that I kicked off on January 1st. I’d appreciate your social support in helping me reach the 366th photo a year from now…details about the project are in the inaugural post.

8 thoughts

  1. Wonderful selections, Greg! I agree completely with your sentiments about the San Francisco skyline, and the new span of the Bay Bridge is a wonderful addition to the nighttime scene. Best of luck with your new project for 2016 — it sounds like a great way to re-connect with your archives!

    [Reply]

  2. Pingback: Best Photos of 2015 by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers - JMG-Galleries - Landscape, Nature & Travel Photography

  3. Looks like a fun year Greg. I really like those family photos of yours. I’m sure it’s not easy to be lugging around a camera with kids in tow but you make it work.

    [Reply]

    latoga Reply:

    Thanks Richard, having a camera handy with the kids is a requirement these days. The Sony A6000 helps there and gives better results than the iPhone, the challenge is still the developing and sharing of the photos. Personal projects or kids photos is always a battle. 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. How nice to have such a wide view of the horizon to photograph lightning for your yard! Wish You the best for 2016 and good luck on your new project Greg!

    [Reply]

    latoga Reply:

    Mark, the view from our backyard was definitely one of the reasons we bought. Comes in handy every now and again for photography too! 🙂 Hope you enjoy following along on my 2016 Photo A Day Project.

    [Reply]

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  6. Pingback: Best Photos of 2015 by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers | Portrait and Wedding Manila Philippines

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