Favorites of 2018
As is the tradition, here is my end-of-the-year collection of favorite images. This is now my tenth such collection – I suppose this photography hobby is working out!
January 2018 lunar eclipse setting over Sierra crest:
Lifting storm, Eastern Sierra:
Lizard on metal, Keene Wonder Mine, Death Valley National Park:
Sea light, Channel Islands National Park:
Kelp and ripples, Channel Islands National Park:
Rosy evening light over Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park:
Aspen in eroded tuff gullies, eastern Nevada:
Luminous haze on the Golden Gate Range, Basin and Range National Monument, Nevada:
Reflecting water, Deep Springs Lake playa, California:
Light beams over Panamint Valley, Death Valley National Park:
Precambriam fossil mud cracks, White Mountains, California:
Blooming indigo bush in monsoon rain, Deep Springs, California:
Dune and mountains, Kelso Basin, Mojave National Preserve, California:
2018 was a strange year for me, and a difficult one. Lots of plans were cancelled unexpectedly or failed to pan out. I really didn’t take many trips devoted to serious photography, but instead spent a lot of time on outings with family and friends or in casual rambling. Hanging over most of the year was the prospect and logistics of leaving the California desert and moving to Washington, a process which sapped much of my mental energy and inspiration.
Atmospheric haze was something of a theme for me this year. Even before skies across the American West filled with wildfire smoke, it seemed that I much of the best light I saw was filtered through a lot of soft and hazy air, challenging conditions in which to make images. During a two-week trip through Washington and Oregon in August in the thick of fire season, I barely saw blue sky at all, and scarcely a glimpse of a mountain.
Despite these challenges, I had my share of good moments. I took many fun hikes with friends, saw lots of really interesting fossils and geology, explored some new territory in eastern Nevada, took my son on four backpacks, and got to spend some time on Santa Cruz Island, a landscape I hadn’t visited since I was nine years old.
In 2019, my main hope is simply to explore Washington, particularly the Channeled Scablands and the North Cascades, and perhaps deepen my connection with landscapes in western Idaho and eastern Oregon where I’ve always wanted to spend more time.
It seems that many of my friends and acquaintances also found 2018 to be a challenging and unpleasant year. Here’s hoping that next year is an improvement for all of us! Happy New Year!