The 12 Best Photos from 2011


Pilgrim Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming rests under glowing sunset clouds.

I found myself rather unproductive in early 2011 in terms of stills. With the recent purchase of a 7D and getting it up to working order, as well as discovering time-lapse photography, my still photography became a bit stagnant. As a result, most of my work was in the form of a time-lapse and before finding a good balance of time-lapse, video and still, I even wondered if I would move entirely into video. Eventually the balance did work itself out and once I had my 7D back and functioning properly the following spring, it was full-steam ahead in every direction!

I discovered this image during that time after forgetting about it. I was looking back through a day in January where I hadn’t shot very much at all, but saw potential in a nice sunset above Pilgrim Mountain. – Continue reading

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If There’s Good Light, Capture It

A fiery sunrise lights up the clouds above Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky District near Moab, Utah.

Several months ago, I was visiting with another photographer passing through town, and we got on the discussion about breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. We both agreed that no matter what the foreground or landscape below looked like, it would come out looking great simply because of the light and clouds, provided they offered enough interest. While I certainly agreed with it, it was never my intent to be forced to try it. As a photographer, I always want to be around some magnificent landmark with such dramatic skies.

On my recent road trip, my first morning into Canyonlands National Park, however, gave me no other choice. I miscalculated the distance from my campground to the park, and as a result, saw the beginning signatures of a brilliant sunrise forming while I was still driving to the entrance. – Continue reading

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Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park

Sunrise lights up the bottom of Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

I’ve spent the last few days here in Moab, Utah, which I like to describe as a Jackson Hole in the desert. It’s a beautiful place with all kinds of outdoor activities, set in dramatically natural, sandstone carvings all over the landscape.

One of the more iconic spots is sunrise on Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park’s, Island in the Sky District. The high altitude of the landscape looking above the valley below is just high enough for the first light of day to illuminate the bottom of the arch, creating a unique glow hard to find in any other location.

Before Moab, I was in Hovenweep National Monument and also in Chaco Culture National Historic Park enjoying much more productivity on the trip. Given the time, I’m going to begin heading down to Phoenix from here to visit some friends and some sites I took for granted while living there. – Continue reading

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Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Sunset light hits a log overlooking Squaw Flats in The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Having never been to The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park prior to my most recent road trip, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect or which hikes I should ever do. I was told to hike The Joint, but by the time I got there it was a little late to start a hike of that length. I eventually settled on the Big Spring Canyon/Squaw Flats Loop and I neared the end of the hike as the day was beginning to wind down. I sat here for probably an hour or so basking in absolute silence and gazing at such incredible scenery surrounding me in 360 degrees. This is definitely a place I’ll be getting back to in the near future. – Continue reading

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Aerial View of the Green River in Canyonlands National Park

An aerial view of the Green River flowing through Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Last night my original plan was to get outside and take advantage of one of the few clear, night skies we’ve had here recently. Unfortunately, I came down with an odd bit of nausea and dizziness that kept me indoors. It was gone later that night but by then I was ready for bed. While resting up, I began looking back through some old photos I have of Canyonlands National Park to help me get inspired for an upcoming trip I have in the southwest in a couple of months. After going through these photos and looking up some information, I’m halfway tempted to spend an entire week just in Canyonlands. However I’ve already decided to spend one week getting to Phoenix, Arizona and one week coming back. – Continue reading

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