Cheryl and I went to Elements so I could check out the lighting at the venue for Jono and Sam's wedding this coming weekend. The main reception hall is a dark, dark room, but during the daytime in the area where the guys are getting ready, there will be plenty of light. This shot is taken off of a huge mirror outside of the reception hall. I am sure Jono's friend and main photographer, Jason, will try to make something of that location for wedding pictures. It has been a long time coming but we are in the final countdown!!!
This is the final shot of my top 20 shots in chronological order and it is also a very recent shot from Michael's and my December trip to the Oregon Coast. We caught the sunrise burning off the fog along the coast not too far from Astoria, Oregon, although I think it is foggy there quite a bit. It was fun putting this list together and I am not sure that all of these shots will stay on the list over the course of this year. A top 20 list, if you keep shooting, changes all the time. New favorite shots come in and have to fight to replace older shots and, occasionally, you find an old shot that speaks to you in different ways and you might make a change. For example, the shot of Michael in the Narrows at Zion (number 17) is in danger of falling off of the list as I don't have Michael in focus in that shot. I like the shot a lot but it is not technically perfect. I almost bumped it from the list but on Facebook or in Blogger, you are not printing it up to a huge size so the imperfection isn't noticeable. But, I know it is not perfect and to be on the top 20 and stay there, it has to stand as one of my best shots. I like that shot, but it has to fight for its spot. So, we will see what comes in over the year. Enjoy your top 20 and for those of you who are photographers, keep shooting.
Number 19 on my Best Of list is a recent shot, taken only this past December on a weekend trip up the Oregon coast from Portland. Michael and I got to the location just as the morning sun was about to top out over the Peter Iredale, a shipwreck that ran ashore back in 1906. We were able to get some nice shadow play, making for an unusual shot. I'm surprised that the ship's front hull structure is still intact, over 100 years after it ran aground in a storm.
This shot, number 18 of my top 20, was 8 years in the making. Ever since Stephie and I were fortunate to get under the moon's shadow in Beijing in 2009, we have been looking forward to experiencing another one. The 2017 event was circled on the calendar for many years and when I learned that my cousin's property was only 2 arc seconds from the longest eclipse spot in the United State and right on the centerline, I knew where we had to be. What a fun event, made even better with lots of family and friends around. I was lucky to get a good capture as I was trying to enjoy the eclipse as much as photograph it. We were so lucky in the weather (although hot) but that also made the experience of feeling the temperature change as the eclipse approached. Those who have been fortunate to be able to stand under the sun's shadow know that a solar eclipse is more than a "seeing" event. It is a whole body, every sensory experience. You see a 360 degree sunrise. You feel the wind shift. You feel the temperature change. You see "shadow bands" as the light changes. You see planets near the sun. You hear birds go to roost. All of these happen in the minutes you have under the shadow. Can't wait to see another one. The easiest date cuts through my cousin's property once again, in 2024. Sign me up and I hope you can see it as well.
Shot number 17 in my Best 20 list, was taken in Zion National Park on our trip out west last year. Unfortunately, we weren't able to hike into The Narrows, a water hike up the river and one of the better hikes in the park. As the park just opened for the season, the hike was closed as the water would be too cold and deep farther in the canyon. In any case, we had an excellent time in Zion. Michael did the very difficult Angels Landing hike and Anthony and Bill and I did the some simpler hikes. Beautiful area.
Number 16 of my "Best Of" list is from this past year's trip to Bryce Canyon. You have to put this national park on your bucket list as it just takes your breath away. It is sort of sad that there is no longer any physical effort to get to a location like this as the view in this picture is about 20 yards away from the parking lot. However, we did hike down to the bottom of the canyon so you can get some work in, if you want to. Hiking in doesn't improve the views, but it was fun. Now I know why we have national parks. A visit to Bryce, which isn't that far of a drive from Las Vegas (and you can throw in Zion National Park on the way there), makes this a very accessible park. We visited in March, right after the park opened for the year and before the crowds started showing up. Quite an amazing trip.
This shot is number 15 of my "Best of" list which came from a low level flight from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to Portland, Oregon which conveniently gives a great view of Mount Hood with Mount Jefferson lurking in the background. If you ever get to fly this route, make sure you pick the right hand side of the plane. Just an amazing view and, by the way, two of my favorite cities to visit in the Pacific Northwest.