My Favorite Photos of 2018

Here we are again, the end of the year reflection on things past and things future. This has also become the time of the year where I attempt to clean up all the photos in my inbox that have not yet been organized into my Lightroom Archive.  That task this year also threw the reality of how little photography post processing I did all year (hence the silence on the blog).  Day job, kids, advising activities, and life took all the time this year.

But, I can’t miss the 12 year anniversary of sharing my Favorite Photos from the year and participating in Jim Goldstein’s year end blog project. I’m grateful that Jim creates the time priority to continue this tradition.  This year’s selections are largely travel images from the various trips taken over the year. You can also see my past yearly favorites, going back to 2007, in the blog archive.

Photo #1

Family hikes the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park.

Our year started off with a family trip to Yosemite Valley during which the entire family hiked both the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls and halfway up the Yosemite Falls trail. Super impressed with both my kids (5 and 7 at the time) tenacity to keep going on these steep trails! Little did I know at the time that this would be the first of three hiking trips to Yosemite over the course of the year.

Photo #2

Tokyo cityscape in black and white.

This year had less business travel that past years, but again more International travel. The highlight of which was my first trip to Tokyo. This was the view that I had from my partner’s office.

Photo #3

Grand Canyon Detail at Sunset from the south rim.

This spring the family did a road trip to Arizona and it allowed me to check another National Park off my list. We were able to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for a day. I was excited to see the kids reaction, following them to the rim with the video rolling…only to get ho-hum type of responses. But when sunset came around, they were a bit more interested as the canyon views started to come to life. Need to come back and stay a week to be able to start to do the canyon justice.

Photo #4

Sunset over buttes of Sedona Arizona.

While on our Arizona road trip we stopped in Sedona a eventually the kids wore us down to do a jeep trail tour. My daughter was laughing the entire way up the rocky jeep trail as the sun was starting to set behind us. We reached the top of the trail just in time to watch sunset over the buttes of Sedona.

Photo #5

Hoover Dam, Colorado River up stream, and Spillway panoramic.

Hoover Dam, Colorado River up stream, and Spillway panoramic.

What Arizona road trip is complete without a stop at Hoover Dam? Our’s wasn’t! We didn’t have time for the tour of the dam itself, but the vastness of the dam complex is quite impressive. It is even more impressive to see first hand the effects that the prolonged drought in the West and increased water usage from the Colorado rive has on Lake Mead and the dam. No one I talked to could remember the last time the spillway on the right was used. The dam is also designed to only produce electricity when the water level is above 1071 feet; according to the historic record it took 2.25 years for Lake Mead to fill to that point once the dam was completed and it was at 1084.5 feet when we visited. The lake level has been dancing around that minimum level for power generation for the past few years.

Photo #6

Windmills and rainstorms near Mojave, California.

Windmills and rainstorms near Mojave, California.

On the home bound leg of the Arizona road trip, we were driving across the Mojave desert and hit the front edge of a spring storm system moving east. We suddenly felt and heard our windshield getting pelted by sand picked up by the wind that accompanied that front edge (our poor windshield is peppered with small chips to this day). Eventually we meet up with the rain near these windmills on the western foothills of Mojave, California. When rain and storms are near, I tend to keep the camera handy for photographic opportunities like the one above.

Photo #7

Summer Vacation: two kids sit on a dock at a lake.

End of June found the family traveling again, this time to Wisconsin for a family reunion to celebrate my Parents 70th Wedding Anniversary. Part of the family rented a great house on a lake about 15 miles from my Parents house…the same lake on which my parents used to own a lake house that all my siblings and I enjoyed while growing up (follow this dock straight across the lake as a crow flies and you would find that lake house still there). This photo of my kids sitting on the dock on a cloudy summer day feels so iconic, and is something we need to give them every summer whenever possible.

Photo #8

Camping fun with flashlights.

This fall my son’s Boy Scout pack did their yearly camping trip to a meadow in the San Francisco East Bay Hills. The glow you see over the trees is from the city lights of Orinda (and Oakland was just over the hill behind me). There was a hill across the meadow from where we were camping and the boys were playing various games running up and down that hill in the dark. I setup my tripod and called them all over to have them sprint across the meadow as I took a long exposure. Six or seven attempts later, they were all tired and ready for bed…and I had my photo.

Photo #9

San Francisco Skyline at Sunset.

Just when you think you know all the spots to take the iconic skyline photo of San Francisco, a new one sneaks up on you. Stumbled across this one while running errands and I liked the prominence of the new Salesforce Tower along with Bay Bridge. I’ll have to work a few more visits in to this spot over the coming year.

Photo #10

Clouds Rest approach from the North, Yosemite National Park.

The Third trip of the year into Yosemite was a boys adventure weekend to hike to the top of Clouds Rest. We camped on the valley floor and two of the group hiked from the valley floor past Half Dome (off to the right) and summited Clouds Rest from the south (about 24 miles round trip). Myself and the 4th drove up to Tenaya Lake and summited Clouds Rest from the north (about 17 miles round trip). It’s a hike work doing!

Photo #11

Clouds Rest northern approach and view off to Tenaya Lake.

The other view from the north approach to Clouds Rest. The trail from Tenaya Lake, which you can see on the left, is more trafficked than the trail between Half Dome and Clouds Rest. But not nearly as trafficked as the trail getting to Half Dome.

Photo #12

Tenaya Canyon and Half Dome from 4 Mile Trail in Yosemite National Park.

To complete the trifecta of Yosemite perspectives, here is Half Dome and Clouds Rest (peak to the left of Half Dome) as seen from 4 Mile Trail to Glacier Point. What better way to stretch out the legs after 17 miles than to hike another 9 miles!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thanks for making it all the way through this year’s favorites! Please leave a comment and let me know which of my favorites is one of yours as well. If you enjoyed these photos, please tell your friend by sharing this within your social network.

I hope 2019 is a wonderful, healthy, and successful year for all of us and full of many more photographic moments worth sharing. Happy New Year!

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