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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.