Favorite Photos From 2021

Another year on the books but not as many photos taken this year for me. I have been gradually switching to shooting more video for stock work and client work but I still love still photography for what it can express in one still image.

Here then are my favorite photos from the last year:

First up, this photo of the Milky Way is not too amazing. For one thing, it’s missing all the colors some people embellish into their versions. What’s amazing to me, is this is from an iPhone. An iPhone 13 Pro to be exact.

I used a mini tripod for the 10 second exposure.

Yosemite Valley. What more needs to be said.

While waiting in the Newark Airport for a flight home, the sun started hitting One World Trade Center at just the right angle. Such a huge reflector!

Heading out to Nevada and Lake Mead. But before you get there, the landscape becomes a swirling mass of muted colors.

What the? 9 cameras?!?!  On top of a <sarcasm> very cool </sarcasm> Prius? In Vegas?

This year I went into business with a company called Overflight Stock Plates (OverflightDrivingPlates.com) to produce driving plates.

What are driving plates? They are those scenes you see outside of a car in a TV show or movie where the actors are talking to each other and the world flies by outside.

This custom made rig is able to create sets of plates from eight angles and one pointing up (for reflections onto the car when filming). It’s pretty spiffy and a lot of work but also cool to know stuff I am creating is going into studio productions.

Ah, Alaska! I made it up to the 49th state twice this year, both times to create images for Uncruise Adventures.

In this case, I was onboard the Safari Explorer, arguably the finest vessel in the fleet. In the background you can see a glacier of Glacier Bay National Park. Just off the left side of the frame is the wide open Pacific Ocean.

For this trip I was producing 360° Virtual Tours of six of their vessels. If you want to see and tour the Safari Explorer, click here: https://app.cloudpano.com/tours/A_JAbmNFs

More tours can be found on their website.

While getting 360° images, it never hurts to have a DSLR at the ready when the orcas show up!

Close encounters with Nature and wildlife is what Uncruise does best.

On the flight to Alaska the sun was setting and my window seat was the best place to be.

Closer to home in LA’s Santa Monica Mountains, there is a labyrinth a client and I hiked to to practice some art at sunset.

Slightly larger than the 36 passenger Uncruise ship is the 312 passenger Windstar Cruises Star Breeze on its maiden voyage in the Caribbean after $80 million in renovations.

The vessel wasn’t full for my trip in July to capture lifestyle images for the company and, along with strict Covid protocols (nose-swabs, masks, etc…), that made it a great trip.

One of the coolest aspects of the ships is the rear Watersports Platform. It drops down and is equipped with floats, kayaks, paddle boards and other fun water sports equipment. It’s the perfect opportunity to dive into the warm Caribbean waters and soak it all in.

Very happy with this image on the last night aboard the Windstar Cruises Star Breeze off the shore of St. Marteen.

One fun activity while on the Star Breeze was an optional catamaran snorkel.

This stop was at an underwater park where they had sunk a few things, including a helicopter. It’s a little odd seeing one on the floor of the ocean.

Just another sunset in the Caribbean.

Final shot from the Windstar Cruises Star Breeze.

Now let’s head over to Mono Lake in central California.

For me this was a quick stop and my first to the lake. Such an enchanting landscape!

While camping near Mono Lake I was blessed with passing storms along the east side of the Sierra Mountains.

On the way over to Mono Lake I headed through Yosemite National Park and stopped at all the regular stops along Tioga pass to take in the grandeur of the park.

If you’ve seen my post about sort of converting our Prius to a camping vehicle, this is something of an update. The car has been outfitted with a folding table and rocking camp chair (thanks to my wife) making it almost luxurious in camp.

On the inside, set up for sleeping. I’m 6’1″ and I fit in the back in this comfy sleeping bag. Side lights and bug screens make for a pleasant camping experience.

Back again in Glacier Bay National Park, one of my favorite, with Uncruise Adventures and acting the poser in front of Lamplaugh Glacier.

While in Alaska, big bears walk the shores. We saw a number from the boat and here their tracks are left behind in the muck.

Some behind-the-scenes action of getting the 360° VR photos for Uncruise. The final version has the drone edited out and I was able to hang the 360 camera from under the drone and fly very cautiously to cover all angles of the boat.

How could you NOT want to go to Alaska in the Summer?

This is the Wilderness Discoverer in a secluded bay where the big boats could never visit.

Another glamour shot of the the Wilderness Discoverer in the Fords Terror-Tracy Arm Wilderness.

Tracy Arm in Alaska.

A friendly reminder that the Red Cross needs your blood. Please consider making an appointment to donate today.


Aerial view of OHVs playing in the sand dunes of Southern California. I’m not a fan of the noise they create, but all those lights sure make a spectacle.

Aerial view of a scrap yard.

Aerial view of an orange orchard in California.

Aerial view of replanted forest on the slopes of Mt. Shasta.

Aerial view of Portland, Oregon.

Can you tell I like aerial images?

Aerial view of Covid vaccination site at Dodger’s Stadium in Los Angeles in January.

Getting up early for this aerial image of downtown Los Angeles and McArthur Park.

The final shot is not from me, but of me. A much needed vacation in Hawaii and testing out my iPhone 13 Pro underwater. It works pretty well (and is still functioning).

Thank you for joining me on this recap of 2021.

I hope we can all get out and explore and photograph more in 2022!

5 Comments Favorite Photos From 2021

  1. Alexander S. Kunz January 3, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    Wow, great year, Peter, I’m very impressed! You went to fine places and got to play with a lot of toys. 😉 All the best for 2022!

    1. Peter Carey January 4, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you, Alex. I wish the same for you this year!

  2. Michael Russell January 3, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Great and varied images this year Peter! I can see why you didn’t do a top 10. 🙂 The Prius photo made me wonder if there is such a thing as “suction cup anxiety” on your first run with a rig like that?

    1. Peter Carey January 4, 2022 at 12:13 pm

      Thank you, Michael. It turns out in 2018 and 2019 I posted 34 images each time, so I kept with that. I ignored 2020.
      The first few times out there was some trepidation, but those things are bomber. I have had the car up to 80MPH and it is solid ( plus there are safety straps on four of six of them).

  3. T.M. Schultze January 4, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    Despite all the challenges in 2021, you had quite a year sir. Thank you for posting and here’s to 2022.



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