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:

Split Mountain Lunar Eclipse

Lifting storm, Eastern Sierra:

Winter Above

Lizard on metal, Keene Wonder Mine, Death Valley National Park:

Lizard on Metal

Sea light, Channel Islands National Park:

Shimmering Gloom of Gray

Kelp and ripples, Channel Islands National Park:

Kelp and Ripples

Rosy evening light over Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park:

Rose Ocean

Aspen in eroded tuff gullies, eastern Nevada:

Tuff Maze Aspens

Luminous haze on the Golden Gate Range, Basin and Range National Monument, Nevada:

Coal Valley Glow

Reflecting water, Deep Springs Lake playa, California:

Playa Galaxy

Light beams over Panamint Valley, Death Valley National Park:

Panamint Rays

Precambriam fossil mud cracks, White Mountains, California:

Precambrian Calligraphy

Blooming indigo bush in monsoon rain, Deep Springs, California:

Indigo Rain

Dune and mountains, Kelso Basin, Mojave National Preserve, California:

Devils Playground Textures

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!

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15 thoughts on “Favorites of 2018

  1. I hope 2019 is a good year for you Jackson! I am sad to see you leave the Sierra but I am excited to experience the PNW through your lens, especially eastern Oregon. To me, a lot of it feels like the New Mexico outback. Some of it is lusher and some more visited but it has so many nooks and crannies and beautiful areas that get overlooked, it has a similar potential to southwestern New Mexico. I am already envious of your inevitable trip to Hells Canyon too!

  2. Pingback: Best Photos of 2018 by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers - JMG-Galleries - Landscape, Nature & Travel Photography

  3. This is a very strong set of images for 2018, Jackson. In my opinion, your tenure in the Eastern Sierra did much for your photography. It follows that my favorites are the first two of the Sierra and the light beams over Death Valley, though I really like the White Mountains fossil too. Here’s to a great 2019 for you in the Pacific Northwest… :)

    • Thank you, David! Yes, it was a revelatory time for my in photography, though I’d credit the Great Basin more than the Eastern Sierra (I know one contains the other, but still….). Now I’m wrestling with how to translate my outlook and approach to the Pacific Northwest. Time will tell, I guess.

    • Thank you, that means a lot! Likewise, I find a lot of beauty and meaning in your images. If I were still in California, I’d say we should connect in person someday, but….. if you’re ever in eastern Washington…..

  4. Pingback: Best Photos of 2018 by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers | Rockmountain Art

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