I wanted to sit down really quick today and post something that sums up my best work of 2018, and go into a little detail of why I like each image. I have become more picky with what I shoot and what I consider a portfolio worthy image, so hopefully this will be a marker of that progression! This should be a bit more “off-the-cusp” than my other articles on here, but there will be a new one of those tomorrow to start out 2019 as well!
10. Purple Mountain Majesty
I shot this image most recently (Christmas Morning), and because of this I have tried to distance myself from it. There are things I struggle with like the tree on the left breaking the horizon and partially blending in with the ridge behind it. However, there is a lot I like in this image which is why it earned a spot in my top 10 from the year. The small tree tops poking out of the snow with piles around it showing what it shook off from the recent snowfall in the winds. The tones here are also lovely in combination with the fresh textures of snow that are lovely. I will have to wait and see if this image holds its own over time, but it made #10 for now.
9. Phineas and Ferns
This is a shot I loved from the start because of how odd it was. The three strong tree trunks in the top third of the image act as a background subject that holds my interest. I also really enjoy the tones and textures of the mossy forest. The fern in the foreground is another part I really enjoy, but it is also part of why I placed this image outside of the top five this year. There are some small compositional elements that I wish were slightly different, but since I avoid changing the scenes I photograph it remains as naturally nearly perfectly composed.
8. Panther’s Lair
I really like this image and that is why I have printed it already earlier this year in part of a three piece series of waterfalls for an office installation early this year. I do like a different image I shot of this waterfall perhaps slightly more, but the tones on this image fit better with this project. A very nice image through that tells a good story about a cold, wet day at a beautiful location!
This image was a bit of a pleasant surprise to me. I didn’t expect to shoot it and I surely didn’t expect to like it this much! What really draws me in is the tones of this time of year mixing together along with the darker clouds in the sky without being too foreboding. The soft, yet warm, light on the field and trees really helps to tell a nice story. Not too bad for an image made on the side of the road from the roof of my car!
6. Howling Dog
This is another very recently captured image. It is a location I visited once before earlier this year, and while I got some decent images on that trip this one feels to tell a more complete story. The cool tones of rushing water add drama while still complimenting the early morning sky. They contrast the sharpness and darker tones in the rocks and barnacles they move around and over so nicely. It rightfully has earned its spot as the only Seascape on the list this year!
5. Branching Out
I went on a trip to Europe this year, and while I didn’t get the camera out very often as it wasn’t the purpose I made the most of each opportunity! I convinced my new Fiancé (got engaged in Rome!) to stop in a park outside of London to do some photography in a forest there. Luckily, I came across this beautiful scene of arching trees and captured it in the few minutes I had there.
4. Fog in the Forest
I have been focused on finding more intimate and complex scenes in forests over the last year. This is part of the reason I haven’t been able to get as many new portfolio pieces as I might have in past years because of how difficult they can be. This one worked out so well though, I knew it would be going right into my portfolio from the moment I took it! The chaos, tones, and atmosphere with the coastal fog it fits my vision so well!
3. Blue Hour
I have photographed this location many times before, and I will likely at least be trying to avoid continuing to shoot this composition at least in the future. This is not because it is too challenging or not beautiful, but because I feel like I have captured it perfectly in the way I would like to describe it. Last year, I captured the “epic” sunset glow with the river running through the foreground. This image has a different story though as it speaks to the cool blues of the tones going on. The deep pillows of white snow reflecting the deeper blue in the post-sunset sky. The navy blues of the rushing stream and then diving into the near-black shadows in the snow covered trees. A wonderful winter wonderland on the mountain!
2. Bend / Don’t Break
I have been searching for a scene that speaks to the mood and emotion of a foggy forest for a while. This shot does a phenomenal job of doing just that. The trees of this section of the forest showing a cohesive lean to the right. It starts in the centered foreground as the thin tree grows from the ground to the left before sharply bending right with the background. After the immediately apparent theme in the foreground it fades into a perhaps slightly creepy and foreboding background. There is no real resting place for the eye which some might say is an issue, but I like the chaos and how there seems to be a small amount of order without feeling fake or manufactured.
1. Abiqua Falls
I peaked too soon! This was literally the first image I took and published this year, and it was the best of the images I took in 2018. It is quite obvious as well why this is the case with the stunning waterfall framed between the textures and tones of moss and ferns overhanging from a ridge above. It feels mystical and like a fairytale! I promise you though this is a real place in danger of being overrun by ecotourism. Should you choose to go, please do be mindful of the area, leave no trace, and respect others/the wildlife here.