A few days ago I wrote a blog and posted my Favorite images of 2011.  This was in response to seeing several “Best of..” collections by some of my photographer friends on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.  Believe me, there are some amazingly talented photographers out there and I’m honored to call many of them my friends.

Several of the images I posted as Favorites were not my technically or aesthetically best images of the year.   Due to some health issues I wasn’t able to compile a tremendous amount of images in 2011 but after scouring the files I’ve come up with what I feel are my 10 best.  Hope you enjoy them.

We’ve been traveling from Denver to Phoenix for several years since Erin, Sean, and Katrina moved there and I’ve always wanted to spend some time traveling Old Route 66.  When we drove south in September for Erin and Sean’s wedding I made it a point to make time for this.  We started here, in Albuquerque, NM.

I’ve been wanting for several years to photograph the Palouse region of Washington state but haven’t yet made it there. (Watch out this June, though…mega shooting trip in the works) I drive past this scene every working day of my life and one day the light was just right, the new mown hay was the right color and it struck me as Palouse like.  BTW, it’s Franktown, CO.

Our house in Parker is about 100 yards from Cherry Creek.  I went out Christmas morning hunting images for future Christmas cards and came across this “S” pattern in the Ice.

My Father-in-Law purchased a time share several years ago.  In the past we’ve met up with them several times and once we were able to trade it to pay for half of a cruise to Alaska.  I literally rested my camera on the open door of my car in the parking lot of the time share in Sedona when we all gathered there for the wedding.  I love late summer skies full of thunderstorms.

In May I spent a long weekend in Moab, UT hanging out with about 20 other photographers/members of Rocky Mountain Nature Photographers.  Good food, good friends, great conversation, and excellent photographic opportunities.  This is one of my favorites from that weekend.  A simple telephoto extraction taken from the Grandview overlook in Canyonlands National Park.

From time to time I get the itch to create some “fine art” with my photography.  I found this old shed while strolling the streets of Jerome, AZ.  A little abstract, a little whimsical…I love it!

Another image from my afternoon in Jerome.  This is a 1930’s vintage fire engine looking out through the garage door of the Jerome Fire Department.

Every year for the past decade or so, I’ve made a trip in late July to Crested Butte, CO which unabashedly bills itself as “The Wildflower Capital of Colorado.”  My preferred route is over Cottonwood Pass and this area is on the west side of Cottonwood Pass on the way down to Taylor Park.  In a good year the forest floor is carpeted with Lupines.

Another image from Crested Butte.  I am particularly fond of Columbines and look for them every time I’m in the mountains in the summer.  This time the background and composition was exactly what I’d been looking for.  A little bit of cloud cover to create soft even light and there it is!

Finally, my #1 favorite image of the year (with the exception of some of Erin’s wedding photos) and also on my Best of list.  This is from the top of the ridge on the trail to the Marching Men formation of Klondike Bluffs in Arches National Park.  I got this image almost by mistake.  Several photographers from RMNP were hiking in to Marching Men and me being overweight and out of shape, I stopped at the top of the first ridge instead of dropping down in the basin with the others.  With all due respect to Bret, Scott, Sarah, and all the others, I really like this image better than the ones y’all got of the Marching Men.  Sorry folks.

So there you have it.  I admit, the catalog for 2011 is a bit sparse in comparison to other years but 2012 is looking far more productive.  I’ve already compiled some wonderful images from a New Year’s weekend trip to Utah and will be making a few more photo trips this year.  I hope you don’t wait a full year before checking back but also look for this to be a regular feature of Bill’s Blog.

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