It’s 2015, and another year is in the rear-view mirror. It was not an easy year for me to get out and about, and besides the usual stuff of life, being forced off the highway at 70mph by a reckless driver took away a good two months of opportunities this spring. But sitting down to assemble the annual favorites post has reminded me that it’s been a fine year full of beautiful places and worthwhile photography. It wasn’t easy to whittle this collection down to a manageable level, and I have quite a few other shots that I was very tempted to include. I got to know my local corner of the California desert much better, and was privileged to visit many other places: a couple new corners of the Nevada outback, Saline Valley, the High Sierra, my beloved Salmon River in Idaho. I’ve got plenty of ideas for 2015, of course, but one thing I’m certain of, which is that nothing will go quite according to plan. So here’s to letting go of plans and a fruitful new year!
As has become my tradition, here’s a collection of favorite 2014 shots of my son Eli, now well into his fourth year. It is limited to favorites fit for public consumption: certain images will be reserved to blackmail him in high school, and the shot of him crawling down the center line on a remote desert highway (his idea, not mine!) may not send the proper parenting messages. Roads are dangerous, children should be rockclimbing instead!
After playing with monochrome in the last post, it’s time for something a little more festive: three colorful shots from one morning last June in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Sunrise at Cecile Lake gave us a few swift moments of waxing pink glow, then a quick spotlight on the peaks, followed by dull gray as the sun rose into clouds.
Reflected light on Iceberg Lake and its namesake (Greg Russell’s take on this scene is here):
We at last felt a breath of winter this week, and clouds, mists and fogs have been playing in the valley for days. Deep Springs is a truly spectacular place under these conditions, especially when storm wrack drifts in and out of serrated granite hills and canyons on the valley’s northwest edge. But even under such excellent circumstances, I do not find it easy to do justice to the place. Compositions that seem like low-hanging fruit upon a casual glance prove surprisingly elusive through the viewfinder. But it’s a very fun place to experiment, especially with the confidence that comes from shooting on home ground, knowing that I’ll have similar opportunities in the future. My experimentation this week involved a conscious effort to try producing some black and white. the stormy weather lent itself to monochrome, and I’m finding that I really like the freedom of playing with black and white in post-processing, working with the tonalities without as strong a tether to reality as one must consider in color images.
(As is often the case, these will show to better advantage if you click through to the full-size versions.)
An odd one, perhaps, but it has some appeal to me at least:
A fine, if belated, start to winter! More please!