Top Ten of 2012

2013 is nearing an end as the holiday season will soon kick into high gear, and I still have not yet posted my top ten photos of 2012!  This is beyond procrastination, but as they say, better late than never.  I always look forward to this annual exercise for several reasons.  It's always fun during January's typically gloomy weather to relive the previous year's photographic highlights, whether they be trips and vacations, memorable photographic outings, or just chance events that gave outstanding photographic opportunities.  It's also enjoyable to see improvements made in the quality of photographs made and processed, achieved by refined compositions, improved software and post processing techniques, and especially in my case in 2012, by upgraded camera gear.  Lastly, this exercise is a great way to measure improvement from year to year.  Since I am doing this exercise so late this year, I can already see improvement between 2013 and 2012, which again is so motivating and encouraging.  I'm already excited to write this same post (soon) for 2013!  It's rewarding to look back on 2012 and see all of these above factors improve photographically.

The year started out with a trip to Maui in February with my family and my parents.  Of course the ocean was beautiful and I loved that aspect of the trip, but my favorite photograph made from the trip is of a Hawaiian stilt, of which there are only about 1,500 or so remaining.  In mid-summer my wife and our nine month old son took a road trip to see the redwood trees in Northern California and to see the southern Oregon coast.  In December, my good friend Bruce and I took a week long trip to New Mexico to see the sandhill cranes and snow geese at the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, and spend one day at White Sands National Monument.  Now that our second child has arrived, I can't imagine having a year photographically like this with so many trips taken for some time to come.

I concentrated throughout the year on learning and improving my post processing skills in Lightroom and Photoshop, and also Nik's plugin suite.  That, together with upgrading to a new full frame body made for huge improvements in the quality of work, at least in my opinion.  But like everything else in life, the more you learn, the more you realize you have yet to learn.

Some of the photos that made this list are a little more special because I made them while on outings with my dad.  My parents live a day's drive away, and it's not often we get chances to enjoy our cameras and nature together.  After far too long of a wait due entirely to my procrastination, in order of capture, here are my top ten photographs from 2012: