I’ve put together a list of what I think are my best image from each month of 2010. That’s not to say these are all my best images of the year, as nearly all of them would have been from the Lofoten islands in January. It’s been a good look at my consistency throughout the year. There are definitely a few filler images from months where I wasn’t able to shoot much for whatever reason. I’d say, April, June, and September are the weaker images of the year, Jan and July my favorites.
As a whole, it was an okay year photographically. I think I’ve captured some of my best images ever and had a couple productive trips. But I’ve also felt a fair amount of frustration in being unable to realize a fair amount of my vision. I guess I could say it better as: more often than not, I’ve failed to return with the images I wanted. This is quite normal for landscape photography, but part of the problem is that I don’t want to be shooting landscape photography, I want to be shooting adventures and journeys surrounded by those landscapes. Hopefully I’m able to find my vision better in 2011 and take my images to the level at which I want them to be…
January: Arctic twilight on Haukland beach, Lofoten islands, Norway
This was a difficult month to pick only a single image from. The 6 days I spent on the Lofoten islands at the beginning of the month were some of the most inspiring days I’ve ever had. Jan 6th in particular, my first full day on the islands, was especially memorable and the light was simply amazing. I was completely frozen after a chilly night sleeping in a wind rocked car. When dawn arrived in mid morning, all was perfectly calm with a brilliant pink glow. It was one of those days that I wished I could have been in 100 places at once; there were so many photos to be made, yet only a painfully few 4 hours of light of the arctic winter day.
This image is from Haukland beach and the first place I stopped in the morning. It was nearly perfectly still, only the gentle waves that seemed more like a lake than ocean disturbed the silence. While several images from this location could easily be my favourite images, I think this is the best. For me the single piece of ice helps show the isolation of the frozen beach and lets the cold reach out to the viewer. I only stopped shooting at this location when I wasn’t able to feel my feet for some 30 and decided I should try and warm up a bit. My only critique is the otter tracks that pass through the image.
February: Night on the Devil’s Racetrack, Death Valley national park, California
Another difficult month to choose from, mostly due to a fairly productive trip to Death Valley towards the end of the month. After having spent the autumn and early winter in Scandinavia and the UK, I was in need for a bit of a change in scenery. So I headed out to explore some parts of Death Valley national park that I’ve never been to before.
This image is from the Devil’s Racetrack, more commonly know as the location with the moving rocks. Unfortunately, the above average winter rains had flooded the southern part of the lake where the rocks are, leaving it impassible due to the danger of leaving permanent damage to the fragile area. Fortunately the northern half of the playa was dry and walkable. A bit bored, with my planned shooting location off limits, I thought I’d just go lay down in the middle of the lake. It was quite amazing really, all alone in the middle of nowhere, full moon overhead, cold night temperatures of winter desert, some AM talk station coming out of the radio. I stayed out there shooting late into the night.
March: Abandoned dock, Salton Sea, California
My last journey to the Salton Sea was in 2005, or was it 2004? Can’t remember at the moment. Anyhow, in March, before temperatures became unbearably hot for me, I headed down. I had been to this location on my last trip, so as I arrived in the dark of early morning I thought I knew where I would be. How I was wrong. The sea level was now far lower and the shore nowhere near as I remembered. Anyhow, as I explored a bit, I found this cool old dock just as the first light of the sun was arriving.
April: Charred tree, Mid Hills Campground, Mojave national preserve, California
In 2005, lightning strikes started the Hackberry fire which swept thought the high desert area of the Mojave national preserve. On the first night of a 4WD trip of the Old Mojave Road, we camped at the Mid Hills campground which was partially burned. I’d never been to this area, nor heard about the fire, so It was quite interesting to see a charred desert landscape.
May: View from tent towards east face of Mt. Whitney, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
Nearly five years to the day of my last trip up Mt. Whitney, I found myself looking at the mountain again. It was sort of a last minute trip, but everything worked out and I made a successful climb of the mountain. This is the view from my camp at Iceberg lake towards the east face and Mountaineers route of Mt. Whitney.
June: Stormy weather over Black Mountain, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales
Black Mountain is the westernmost range of Brecon Beacons national park. Just an image from a less-than-sunny day wandering among the mountains.