Driving into Death Valley National Park along California Highway 190, you certainly understand how Death Valley got its name. The brown barren desert landscape is all you can see for miles around. We were headed for “The Ranch at Death Valley”, a self-described casual hotel that would be our home base for the next 6 days. The Ranch turned out to be a convenient centrally located lodge to access the Valley’s most remarkable places to visit. We were excited to finally explore one of the few major National Parks we have never experienced, but we were not at all prepared for the landscape vistas and diversity we were about to encounter.
It is my tradition to pick my favorite images of the year and tell the stories behind them. Reviewing all my photos from the year is always fun. The exercise provides insight on where I have been, the people I have met, and gives me some ideas for resolutions in the new year. I get to relive the experiences and special moments all over again, and I learn a lot. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys photography. You will find the difficult part is selecting only 10 favorites. I spent almost another full year socially distanced at home but managed to enjoy some travel to National Parks at year end. Several of my favorite photos came from these travels, and a few from right around my hometown.
So once again, here are my top ten favorite images of 2021 and the stories behind them.
It was just before sunrise when we drove up to the Fall River Entrance Station of Rocky Mountain National Park. It was one of those crisp Colorado mornings, the dry cool air was so refreshing that we decided to leave the car window open as we headed to Bear Lake Road for our first hike since we arrived in nearby Estes Park, CO.
It has been awhile since I posted to this blog. The whole year seems to have flown by while I am stuck at home. Like most people. . . travels were canceled, plans destroyed, and few family gatherings have been our norm for 2020. The good news, my family has remained healthy. As this strange year comes close to an end, I can’t help but think that time stood still in 2020. No remarkable images of far-away places or events to share.
As my wife and I stepped off the shuttle bus dockside at the historic port of Piraeus, Greece, we were amazed to see her rich mahogany woodwork, and gleaming brass. We had read about the legendary Sea Cloud sailing ship but after seeing her for the first time we felt we were about to step back into history. Our early September 7-day sailing adventure was about to begin. . . Exploring the Greek Cyclades Islands aboard the historic square-rigger. As we boarded this magnificent ship, we were greeted by our expedition director and his staff from National Geographic and the ship’s capable crew.
United Launch Alliance Atlas V – Port Canaveral, FL
Inspired by A Day in the Life series of books co-created by Rick Smolan, a former Time, LIFE, and National Geographic photographer, and publisher David Elliot Cohen, I set out to capture little snippets of life here on the Space Coast of Florida. How do you capture the essence of the lifestyle where we live and work in just a few photographs? I didn’t know exactly where to start, but I set a goal to capture the essence the Space Coast in just 30 days. Continue reading →
Our family has made a real effort to see all of our major US National Parks but there are still a few more on our bucket list. Although we have seen many of the parks in Utah and Colorado, we never quite made it to Arches National Park near Moab, Utah until recently.
Why do we shoot what we shoot? Our personal preferences and interests most likely defines what images we capture. We probably saw something that caught our eye and our interest. But do our viewers have the same interest? Maybe, maybe not. We can’t please everyone, but our goal for remarkable photographs is for a majority of our viewers to find our images interesting to look at. So how do we pick a subject that pleases most of our viewers? Continue reading →
Archie Smith’s Wholesale Fish House Est. 1932 – Sebastian, FL
2015 was a good year for new experiences, new friendships, new challenges, and photography. Now it’s time to look to the new year for all that it may bring. I’ve been told that the time honored tradition of new year resolutions are best set by first reflecting on where we have been. I don’t know about you but I can’t remember what I did last month much less last year! Continue reading →
There may be no better way to explore the lifestyle and culture of a country than biking your way along the “roads less traveled” while your lodging and restaurant catches up to you for a night’s rest. My wife and I explored the Netherlands and Northern Belgium by Bike and Barge this past summer. Our days were filled with new sights while riding along bike paths, narrow roads through farmers’ fields, and in lovely quaint little towns. At night our barge, the Sailing Home, would catch up to our bike group where we enjoyed a gourmet meal and a good night’s rest. Our Barge was pretty small as cruise ships go, only 13 cabins. So avoiding the tourist crowds was never a problem and it was fun getting to know our small private group while on board. What a way to travel! Continue reading →