My Favorite 14 Landscape Photos From the Past Year
Last year was a year in which I did not get out as much as I had in the past to make photos. Taking care of a one year old kind of took me out of that ballgame. With that said though I made some great photos with a great subject in front of me everyday. It is a good trade off for sure. I did get out to make some photos though. A couple of quick trips to Pennsylvania and Maryland helped me get some landscape work in this year. Here are my 14 favorite photos from this past year.
14. This photo is here for one reason and one reason only. I made it with my step daughter as we enjoyed a beautiful sunset out of our front door. She had her camera and I had mine. We both made a great picture, and a great memory.
13. This was one of the coldest winters that I have known. One cool thing (no pun intended) to come out of that was the first sun dog that I had ever seen. It takes a lot of variables to be right to get one of these. I was at home with a limited view of it, but I tried to frame it the best that I could. This was the type of year that you could throw boiling water outside and watch it disappear. I don’t know if I am ready for that again.
12. While in Ocean City this past year I played around with some familiar concepts. I had my 10 stop ND filter to use so I tried to smooth out the ocean. That is not an easy task when it is roaring, but a 30 second exposure will do that. I bought that ND filter with big things in mind, but I really have not used it that much. When I did though it was very cool to me. Many of the photos on this countdown will use that filter.
11. This little church on the corner is one of my favorite subjects. I usually find a way to test out new equipment on the beautiful old church. A couple of weeks ago I was going to do it again when I realized that it was in the middle of being painted. I think that part of the charm of the church was the fact that it was not perfect. I will have to go back to see what it looks like now.
10. Somehow I found a way to make sure that my step daughter made it into this list. During this 30 second exposure she was running around inside the frame, but never stopped so you can’t see her. Unless of course you notice that ghost in the background. This was another time where the 10 stop filter really made a scene much more dramatic.
9. I was not on the ground for very long in Pennsylvania this past summer. When I was there were things to do that had nothing to do with photography. I did manage to get out and make a few images though. When I saw this barn I knew that I had to photograph it. I think that I wasted way too much time finding my way back to it, but the end result is not too bad.
8. When I first got my Lee 10 stop filter I drove around looking for a pier to photograph. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do with the filter? I didn’t find the pier, but I did find the Oakdale Dam. The moving and swirling water was a good way to see just what the filter could help me do. It was a neat experiment that I think worked out well.
7. This is a bittersweet photo for me. I made this from my uncle’s property the day after he died. I saw the sun setting over Fishtrap Lake, and I knew that I had to capture it. I did not have a tripod so I had to do it handheld. Shooting into the sun is never easy, but I think that I did alright here.
6. This is one of my favorite barns. It made my landscape list last year as well. That photo was my first attempt at a Milky Way photo. This year I saw the flag on the barn, and I knew that I had a great image. This is one of those barns that I keep going back to. I need to try one more Milky Way photo here.
5. As I think about it I think that overall this might be my favorite photo of the year. It has appeared on three different countdowns this year. It is the perfect mix of the things that I love. How can you beat baseball and a sunset? It seems like I just keep using this photo as part of the best of series, but it is one that I really like. I suppose that I should just make the print already.
4. This was another sunset after a baseball game. This past summer after taking in a White Sox game against the Yankees we stopped to watch the sun set over Lake Michigan. The clouds seemed right for something cool to happen. When we didn’t expect was the clouds moving just in time for use to see the sun set behind the city of Chicago. It was also a beautiful red sunset. It is times like this when you know that someone is looking out for you. I only made it up there for one sunset this year, but I don’t think that you can beat the one that I saw.
3. Here is another moment that was amazing, and the perfect timing. We only spent one night on Lake Freeman this year, but the sky was absolutely amazing. The stars were out, and bright as could be. The weather was perfect, and the shooting stars were out in force. This was the kid of night that you pray for in the summer. With low humidity the sky was sharp. I was ready to move to the lake after this night.
2. I made this photo very early in the year. There was something about the dark trees in the snow that gave me an idea. Processing the photo in black and white helped me get the vision that I had on the scene. For some reason I really like the look of this photo. For a lot of the year I thought that it would be number one on this list. It is still up there though.
1. Number one on the list was another time that the elements came together for me. My first morning at the Ocean City Pier was not good as heavy cloud cover put a damper on it. I made the shot at #12, and then I went and made some photos of the horses on Assateague Island instead. On this day everything seemed perfect. A few clouds to reflect would have been nice, but this seemed to work very well. These quiet moments on the beach listening to the roar of the ocean really help make a special trip even more special. They are worth getting up two hours before the sun comes up.
The Last of the ‘Best of’ Posts
This will be the last of the posts of my favorite images of 2014. I like to look back at the year to see what I have done over the past year. Sometimes you can get too high or too low on your own work. Looking at it after some time has passed helps you gain a better understanding of what you are doing well, and what you need to improve on. I have a couple of ideas to help myself improve on organization for the coming year. Each year the best of posts get easier as I improve on my cataloging. This coming year I think I have a better system than in the past. I missed some photos that would have been high up on countdowns by not having them tagged right. A catastrophic computer loss in September didn’t help either. In a year I will be back looking at this year. Hopefully I have a lot of hard decisions to make. If all of the lists are easy to make that means that you aren’t doing something right.