I seriously can’t believe it’s that time again, but here we are at the end of 2016 and (drum roll) it is time for the Best of 2016! The time when we all must sort through hundreds, or thousands of photographs to narrow it down to our five or ten best, or favorite images of the year. In my case these are my favorite images of 2016. In the past I have usually posted 10 images, this year I found only nine to be my favorites.
This is the 5th year that I have participated in Jim Goldstein’s annual Best Photos Project that he hosts for all photographers who would like to participate.
Thank very much for all of your hard work Jim! I really appreciate it!
Before getting to my Best of 2016 images , you might like to take a look at my favorite images from last year. You can view that post here in my 2015 Year in Review.
I had several occasions this summer and in early autumn to witness some amazing fog! I made a huge print of this for myself!
I was able to spend some time during spring in Traverse City and vicinity. I had come in hopes of experiencing the cherry blossoms but I was just a tad too late. The sunrises on the bay, like you see here, and time spent at Sleeping Bear Dunes was beautiful though!
While driving up H58 from Munising MI. to Grand Marais I just had to stop at this location and feel the strong winds pushing the waves ashore. The colors of the water, and sky were both amazing and there was a pop of orange color in small scruffy maples in the sand grass that just made the scene for me! I can seriously just allow myself to get lost in this photograph!
This was yet another day that started with heavy low lying fog that rose higher just as the sun began to shine! It created a delightful atmosphere with it’s warm hues! I really loved the sunbeams streaming through the tree and fog! It looks amazing in a print or canvas!
One of my favorite places to stop at along highway 28 just outside of Munising, MI. It’s always beautiful in autumn with the fall color set against the evergreen trees and rocks!
Along H58 from Munising MI. to Grand Marais there are many beautiful places to stop, all within Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore area. This wonderful location had superb conditions when I arrived there! I just recently made a large print of this photograph.
This autumn I spent several hours at Lake of the Clouds with the weather changing from full rain to completely sunny and everything in between. It is spectacular no matter what the weather!
Having been to Laughing Whitefish Falls before, I have often found it to have quite a low water flow. I know my timing has been off because after a rain this place can present with torrents of water. I happened to catch it at a good time this year with a nice, full, but not overwhelming, flow of water.
This concludes my Best of 2016 favorite images. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them as much as I enjoyed the opportunity to experience these places and make these photographs!
Finally as we enter into the new year, I would like to wish all of my family and friends, all of you who read my blog, and everyone from near and far a most wonderful and adventurous 2017!!
I’ll end this post with one of my favorite quotes:
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” ~ Edward Abbey ~
I was going through some of my photographs recently of The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia that I made during a Mid-June trip. I found these two images of a very beautiful, humid, and stormy summer day in the mountains!
The clouds were dark and heavy as was the air all around. The kind of air with humidity that gives layers of haze in the distance, and feels thick to breathe.
The forests were full of trees and were a lush green from previous rains, giving beautiful contrasts of colors in both greens and blues!
I’m looking forward to heading back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Shenandoah National Park sometime this spring or summer. There’s always an ever changing landscape there just waiting for me around the bend!
Well, another year is nearly over and a new adventure about to begin! As is customary as the year comes to a close, I usually bring out ten of my best images of 2014, or actually my favorite images from the year. These are not in any particular order, but as you look through them you might see a familiar theme within almost all of the images! That theme involves water.
This first image is one taken in early autumn at Miner’s Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I had tried to time my fall foliage trips to coincide with peak color. Well that didn’t always go as planned. Fall was a bit difficult to chase this year LOL!
In this next image you’ll notice a very turbulent looking Lake Michigan. What a beautiful day that was! Forty-Fifty mile an hour winds with wild and dramatic clouds swirling by!
During the spring I had the opportunity to go to one of my favorite locations in Pennsylvania, The Laurel Highlands. These next two images are from there. First is an area called Meadow Run. A beautiful fast running stream, that at times looks more like a river, and also like rapids.
This next image is of Cucumber Falls also in the same area of PA. I really love these falls. I’ve seen them many times, during drought, moderate rain, and during periods of good rain. I think this was during a good time with a strong flow of water. Cucumber Falls is a popular place to go, but if you get there when no one else is there, it’s pure Magic!
In keeping with this theme of water, and of my search for fall color during this autumn, I made it up to Tahquamenon Falls in Paradise Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. I was rewarded with some pretty good color at the time. It wasn’t at peak, but it was beautiful!
As you’ll see here, these are really not in chronological order at all. Below you’ll find beautiful Miner’s Castle, located in Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. It might look like it was photographed at some point during the winter, but this was actually in late May. The Great Lakes, especially Lake Superior were still having quite a bit of ice coverage even in late spring!
While in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in early summer I had the chance to not only photograph the mountains and valleys, but also the wildflowers. This one here made a big impression on me, and as it turns out is one of the endangered wildflowers around the Blue Ridge Parkway area of Virginia.
A beautiful day in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which you might say is not unusual, but on this particular trip it happened to be. I didn’t find very cooperative weather for most of the two times I was there this year. I really enjoyed the beautiful weather when I had it though!
As many of you know, I usually go up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula pretty often. If you haven’t been there, you must cross the Mackinac Bridge to get from the lower part of MI. to the UP. This beautiful bridge is a five mile long suspension bridge which crosses over the straits of Mackinac. I often photograph the bridge in the daylight, but not often at night. This image was one of many night images taken on this particular trip.
Here you’ll find a study in minimalism. A wonderful sunrise over Lake Huron. The hues were gorgeous, the color lasted for quite a long time, and gave me a time to not only spend time photographing it, but just enjoying the peaceful moment.
On that note I would like to thank you all for stopping by not only for this post, but for others all through these past years!
I wish everyone much peace, blessings, and many happy moments not only behind the camera, but in all aspects of your lives!
We’re going back again to Ohiopyle State Park in this image, to Cucumber Falls. Located in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, this spot is a popular place to visit. So popular that it is sometimes hard not to find people in the water below the falls in the hot summer months.
It took quite a bit of time to not only have the waterfall seemingly to myself, but to also have a relatively even lighting situation.
I have photographed these falls on several occasions. The dappled and sometimes harsh lighting conditions can be difficult during most of the day.
I was able to take advantage of the morning light this particular visit, and was really happy that I did.
It really is a feast for the senses. You can hear the roar of the water as it comes over the rocky ledge to the pool below. Next you feel the coolness of the air from the spray of the falls and the darkness of the deep woods. Lastly you can smell the heavy scent of earthiness from the damp dirt to the abundant moss and lichen that cover the rocks below.
There’s just nothing like being able to get out into nature. Whether it is a short walk in a small garden to smell the flowers, a strenuous hike in a mountainous area, or something in-between like the enjoyment of a beautiful waterfall.
For me I feel the need to get out every day, to see and feel the beauty that is all around. We can all do that, no matter where we are. It is a must for my soul, and you may feel the same way too.
Tell me about the way you enjoy the simple things in nature, what feeds your soul!
I’ve been talking a lot about Michigan lately, so I thought I’d take you to a different area of the country. Not too far away though.
This post brings us to one of my favorite places to go and just get away for some peace and quiet. As long as it’s not summertime mind you! 😉 Ohiopyle State Park in Ohiopyle PA.
I love the Laurel Highlands area for its beautiful forests, hiking trails, waterfalls, fast moving rivers and streams and more!
This image is from a wonderful area that is covered with trees, amazing rock formations, and rapidly flowing water called Meadow Run.
In early to late spring and also in autumn, you can quite often find this place all to yourself, or just maybe another photographer or two. In the warm weather especially after school lets out, and during the weekends it becomes another world. These rock formations below the water turn Meadow Run into a long water slide for the very daring.
I myself choose the quiet times like what you see here. In the late afternoon when the dappled light has faded and and a slight darkness comes upon the area, I can sit and breath in the beauty of nature. I can take my time setting up my tripod, and calmly go from one location to another looking for each new composition.
Just picture yourself here. Have a seat on one of the many rocky ledges. Watch the rapidly moving water flow, and feel the spray when it crashes against the rock formations along the way. Enjoy the feel of cool air as it rustles through the early spring leaves. When it gets a bit darker you might even catch a glimpse of a few deer moving through the forest.
I invite you into this peaceful frame. Take a minute to relax while gazing at the scene, and while your at it, try imagining the sounds of nature that surround you!
Great news: Our snow has finally totally melted here!
I spent each day of this last week checking one particular spot to see if any crocus had popped up yet. I was thrilled to see one purple crocus yesterday. I think my excitement got the best of me. I have been going out several times a day to check on its progress, and just enjoy the simple beauty.
Now I’m talking about spring, and crocus. You might even expect I’d put up one of the many images I took of that one flower, but no, that’s not what today is all about.
I was looking back through some images from last spring. Early May to be exact. This one looked like the view I’d like to be seeing right now.
When I go to Shenandoah National Park I make sure to hike out to different locations especially to waterfalls. Sometimes though I just want to enjoy a leisurely drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains and stop at the easily accessible and wonderful overlooks along Skyline Drive.
One thing that I have appreciated ever since I was a child, was the look of the lovely stone walls that line many areas of the park.
I seem to have a special love of stone in general. Cobblestone streets, and buildings. The stones along Lake Superior and the walls they have built with them. Historical architecture built with many types of stone. You name it. I love it all!
In this simple scene below, I place just as much importance on the wall as I do the wondrous scene beyond it. Each stone carefully placed by hand, enhancing the natural beauty of Skyline Drive. Not only for looks, but for safety reasons as well.
So the next time you’re in Shenandoah National Park, look not only to the mountains, valleys and clouds. Look also to these walls which were originally built during the depression era. Walls that are at each of the 75 overlooks on the drive, as well as along much of the mountain sides!
As far as the park goes; Did you know that in 1939 the entrance fee for a car was 25 cents? Times sure have changed, and of course 25 cents went a lot further back then than it does now.
Times have changed but beauty still remains, and I thank those men that worked so hard, so long ago to make this place what is is today!
In our last post we visited the vast shores of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula of MI., on a beautiful windy day. Today I bring you another image in the same colors and hues, lovely greens and blues, but in a totally different setting. The beautiful Laurel Highlands area of Pennsylvania.
This area encompasses many towns,counties, resorts, historic sights, state forests, ski resorts, and some wonderful architecture!
In this view you’ll see some of the area around Ohiopyle PA., where Ohiopyle State Park is located. The views are spectacular especially on days like this one here. Forests in all shades of green. Blue skies filled with large cumulus clouds that cast shadows in shapes across the mountains and valleys.
In Ohiopyle State Park and vicinity, you’ll find plenty to do if you want to enjoy nature to its fullest. Hiking trails galore, kayaking down the Youghiougheny River, a visit to Cucumber Falls and more.
This day is a perfect one for taking in the wonders of the natural world, and casting all of our cares aside.
As we slowly approach spring. I have begun to process some images from last spring that I hadn’t had the chance to get around to.
This image is from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. In this particular area the trees are tall and straight. The sunlight streams through, leaving areas of shadow and either filtered light in summer when the trees are full, or bright light in spring when leaves are just starting their re-growth.
There is one area on Skyline Drive in this section of trees that has a small place to be able to pull over, get out and walk the trails, to feel the immense height and stunning beauty of the forest.
I never tire of this place, gazing at its grandeur, inhaling the scent of the earth, relishing the warmth of the sun as it rains down, and enjoying the shade when summer heat comes.
I took many images of the trees themselves, some while gazing straight up, some using a wide angle lens to get in as much of the scene as possible.
For this image I got down in the middle of the road, hearing nothing but silence all around me. No cars coming in any direction. I felt the beauty of the road within the woods. I embraced the shadows and light. I could feel how it must feel to be an automobile passing through this greatness. What a beautiful feeling that is!
I passed through this special place at least 10 times last spring, and each time I marveled at its wonders, and never tired of seeing it again and again!
I can only imagine what it would be like to experience this in autumn, with colors of every hue! For now I shall save that for another day, and another time. Instead I will enjoy the pure green beauty of spring. One that has yet to come to most of us. Elusive this year, but in the end I’m sure it will arrive.
I hope you can get a sense of the feelings that I described here! Enjoy your piece of spring!! 🙂
As the year is drawing to a complete close, I have been reflecting on many things that happened during 2013. I know in my last post I already gave you my 10 favorite, best, or best selling images of the year.
Now I’d like to share with you a few images from this past spring that have special meaning to me. As a lot of you know. I lost my father in May. It came without much notice, and I was not able to get to him in time before he passed away. I was driving from where I live, to the hospital he was in, in another state. The news reached me when I was halfway there.
I didn’t stop driving, in fact I might have driven even faster, with lots of tears a long the way. One thing I do feel good about is that I was able to have the chance to be with him in his hospital room for a short while after he had already passed away. Many of our family members gathered around my father, as we reflected upon his life, the lives he brought together and the gifts that he gave to the world.
He was a nature lover of the purist kind, he was someone who gave me my love of all the beauty out there, and how to enjoy and capture it. He never went anywhere without his camera in hand, which was something I learned very early on.
These next few images here were taken in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. A favorite place of his. A place where we were able to spend a lot of time together, and that we both have a special connection to.
This year was one of great loss, but also of great wonder, depth, and blessings.
I wish you all the very best in this coming year, as we all travel along in this journey of life together!!