Top Ten lists aren’t my thing and I tried to fit my selection into such a finite number. But I failed.
I failed because some of the photos I know you will like, being a casual observer, and some I will like, for the memories they bring to me. Let me explain, photo by photo.
The first shot is of the lunar eclipse on January 31, 2018. It was total in some parts of the US and while I watched in amazement, I decided it was time to get my camera. Just before the moon moved out of our shadow, the colors were fantastic.
Next up is Seljalandsfoss, a beautiful waterfall in Iceland and in the summer and even more mystical in the winter. My wife and I visited Iceland during some fairly cruddy weather, but for this one hour when blue skies showed up behind the waterfall. Scroll down a bit for a more ‘realistic’ view of Iceland in the winter.
Next is the Grand Canyon. Who can go wrong with the Grand Canyon in the Spring time? This was a family Spring Break road trip and a great time to be in the park. The first full day was cloudy and afforded excellent hiking weather (that sucker is steep!). Then we met with an excellent sunset, seen above, and a third day of nothing but sunshine. Timing is everything and this trip was right on the nose.
After Grand Canyon was a diversion to Death Valley National Park to meet with one of my brothers who had driven down from Seattle. It was pretty typical and 100+ when on the valley floor. After living 5 hours from the park for 5 years, this was my firs chance to visit and explore. And there is so much more to explore! I look forward to heading back in other season to capture the changing landscape.
I got a little crazy with birding in 2018 and this shot of a osprey carrying its breakfast was a highlight, for sure. That day I watched 4 different osprey capture and devour fish from the Puget Sound. Such magnificent birds!
Another vacation trip, this time to Turks & Caicos, and another chance to capture something unique. This is a 6 shot underwater panorama, my first. The structure was so big it demanded multiple shots and thankfully my trusty Sony RX-100 V with underwater case didn’t miss a beat. My wife chose to swim though the structure while I was happy to snap away. This structure was part of a TV show competition where competitors had to swim off-shore about 200 yards, free-dive down to what used to be a dome, and gather a mystic peal. Then they got a puff off a SCUBA regulator as a reward. The TV crew simply left the structure in place and walked away. It’s now growing coral and is an interesting attraction to visitors like my wife and I.
You just can’t go wrong with a Fall sunrise on Puget Sound with a ferry boat in the foreground. When the clouds are cooperative, it’s a fantastic sight. And a great way to start your day.
Just two weeks after the last photo came this fan favorite. I rarely have as much reaction as I have from this photo. It’s take from about the same spot as the photo just above, mid-way between Mukilteo and Clinton, Washington on a ferry boat. But using some pushing zoom effect, Mt. Pilchuck takes on a otherworldly feel. Something relating the pyramids, perhaps?
And then I got a new drone. A Mavic 2 Pro. It’s a fun machine and I’ve already used it more than I used the Phantom 4 before it, because it’s so small and easy to deploy. I was in Tacoma, Washington, shooting some video for a client when I realized I can get right close and over the train tracks. Tacoma has a large yard and from the air it seems like an endless amount of tracks. I plan to take a LOT more photos for the air this coming year. Stay tuned!
This shot took a bit of forethought and luck. It’s another drone shot from a spot along the Seattle waterfront, which isn’t easy because there are restrictions all over the place. I found a back alley with no traffic on a Sunday night and after shooting shots from Queen Anne Hill, this image of the full moon rising behind the city is one I am most proud of. It captures Seattle landmarks; like the Space Needle, P.I. Globe and the Great Wheel on the far right. Patience and planning.
And now for the bonus 4 images.
These are images that have personal meaning to me, while still maybe being a little cool to view.
Do you see that beautiful waterfall far above? This is the next morning when the locals told us not to drive back to the airport. Truth: The weather in Iceland hated us. The first day was bliss with the Blue Lagoon (and snow!) but then the Golden Circle was closed because of blizzards. Hmmm…what to do? We continued on with our plans to drive to Vik and realized more bad weather was on the way. Luckily, we had some airline miles and canceled our return trip (also on miles, easily canceled) and decided to head to London for a couple days instead of seeing nothing of Iceland in near-whiteout conditions.
In the morning we spent 2 hours helping cars in front of us dig out through the deep snow before we got on the Ring Road back to the airport. This shot, by my wife as I was white-knuckling it the whole time, is of only one of a few vehicles we spotted. It’s a snow plow and we eventually passed it on the left after 10 minutes of blindly trusting its taillights.
I sure do want to see Iceland in better weather conditions!!
My daughter (near ground) and my step-daughter (beside her) still enjoy doing the Junior Ranger Program at US National Parks. This is our stop at Grand Canyon and my wife (far left) checks out the displays. They are now 17 and 11, respectively, and I’m glad to have instilled in both of them the desire to complete these fun, and often silly, programs to learn more about the parks. They have over two dozen badges between the two of them and I appreciate them both humoring me in completing each program. It’s a wonderful family memory.
Same trip, different location. Overcast days make hiking in the Grand Canyon much easier. We all decided this spot was far enough, ate our lunch and were able to enjoy the rest of our time in the Park.
Lastly is a Leucistic Bald Eagle. Something that was new to me. They are certainly rare but not too uncommon, if that makes sense. It’s basically a pigmentation issue with the wing feathers that makes the adults look this way. Here’s some more info. unique and I’m glad I got a chance to see one.
That’s it for 2018!!!
In 2019 I’ll be heading to Spain and, more importantly, to Nepal, leading a couple of photo tours. The first is sold out, but if you’d enjoy an easy trip around Nepal with all the photographic ecstasy you can handle, take a look at what I have to offer in October.
It’s bound to be a great year!