I hope your 2016 was happy and healthy. I left the year feeling truly blessed.
Several years ago, I found selecting my “Top Ten” photos of the year is a great way to relive those special places you visited, remember the people you met, and rediscover a few new things you learned. . . or relearned. Selecting ten favorite photos in years past reflected those images that were most recognized by publications, photo contests, or social media. Don’t get me wrong, I like the recognition as much as anyone. But this year, I decided to share a few of my 2016 photos I personally like where I have a story to tell about the image.
I read somewhere that every photograph has three stories. The story about how you came about to capture the image, the story the photographer intended to tell their viewers, and the story the viewer of the image sees in the image. Obviously, all three stories are not always the same. I will try to convey the experiences and stories behind my favorite 2016 images, but I would love to hear about the story you see in any of the images too!
My wife and I often walk the beach near our home just before sunrise. On this morning, the sand was clean and smooth except for the footsteps of one traveler before us. It reminded me of our journey through life. It is your path to choose.
Our ranger-led walk through the Fiery Furnace slot canyons was an adventure we will not soon forget. Near the end of our hike we squeezed through this narrow passageway and over an elevated rock ledge revealing Surprise Arch. A place far away from the rest of the world. It reminds me that you often must really work at getting to a place you really want to be. And a little guidance along the way should always be welcome.
It was late in the evening as we headed for the exit in Mesa Verde National Park. Nancy and I had just seen many of the ancient Indian cliff dwellings that make this park so special. As we rounded a corner another spectacular sight to behold. Every night this burned-out forest overlooks the sunset. I can only imagine the colors and artwork these old branches have seen. We pulled over and watched the spectacle for almost an hour. Some of the simplest things in life give us the most joy. We just made it out of the park as the ranger was locking the gate. The park gate closed at sunset.
The trail to the bridge that overlooks Treasure Falls was still icy in late April, 2016. We had to hold on to the railing to keep our footing. I remember the cold breeze and spray hitting us in the face as we enjoyed the rushing falls. A black and white photo best captured the textures and lines of this beautiful scene. I was reminded that focusing on the details often brings the most rewards.
Ana’s Guest House is a comfortable place to rest after touring the big city of Barcelona, Spain. We loved the quiet world of the old place in the heart of the city. A little room just inside the front door caught my attention. I could visualize Ana sitting in her quiet place as the busy world whizzed by outside. Everyone needs a quiet place.
The La Jurade Heritage Festival was in full swing when we visited the famous walled city of Saint Emilion. As we enjoyed the music in the main square, a man shielding the light rain with his umbrella escaped the festivities down a side street. Was he a wine maker heading back to work in the nearby fields? He seems happy. A little rain was not going to spoil his day.
I have captured fireworks in the night sky many times. This year I wanted to capture something different. Not sure what I was looking for, we decided to go to Cocoa Beach where everyone enjoys the light show from the comfort of the beach. It was a new venue for us. I walked the beach searching for a different point of view. I had no idea what I was looking for until I saw this group of friends sharing the celebration. It was the story I wanted to tell.
Another image from Cocoa Beach. This scene I first saw in my head. I wanted to capture the surfing lifestyle of the Longboard Girl. I like how this story feels. I feel her anticipation as she enters the water for the first time. . . searching for her perfect wave. Anticipation. . . for the future. It keeps us going after the things we really want.
I met Larry as we walked the arts and crafts fair in Fort Pierce. He introduced himself at the best graphic artist in Fort Pierce which has a population of just 41 thousand. He was kidding, but it was a great opening line. He was a character in looks and actions. I had to capture him in his element. I also bought one of his t-shirts custom made by the best graphic artist in Fort Pierce. We could all use a little confidence in our abilities.
The last of my favorite photos was taken by my daughter. I think it captures the joy and happiness my wife and I share every day. Life has its ups and downs. But sharing those times with the love of your life makes life so much more worthwhile and rewarding. I came away from 2016 feeling more blessed than ever. I can’t wait to see what the new year brings our way. I know whatever it is, sharing it with those you love makes the difficult times so much easier, and the easy times so much more enjoyable. I plan to share even more this year.
In 2017, may your journey be full of joy, and may the remarkable times and photos always be yours.