IMG_0203I can’t do it…It’s simply not possible.  I’ve tried and tried and I just can’t narrow down my Best of 2012 collection of images to 10.  Heck, I can’t even get it down to 12.  I’m hopeless I guess.  Most of my photographer friends who post a “Best Of..” collection limit it to 10.  Best I can do is 14. You can see the collection at this link:  I’ve been saying that 2012 was a good year for me photographically but after editing this collection I have to say it was a great year.  It went sort of like this….

The year in photos started fact, it began with sunrise New Year’s Day.  I was invited to Moab to shoot the first sunrise of the year with my friend Bret Edge. (BTW, if you’re headed to the Moab area and looking for an excellent guide, contact Bret…he’s a good ‘un)  We photographed sunrise at Broken Arch in Arches National Park.  I did manage some nice images that morning but the star (pun intended) of the trip was an image of Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park with a sun star.  I’ve been wanting to capture that image for nearly 20 years but was always in the park at different times of the year when the sun rose too far to the north for the effect I wanted.  Finally….got it!

Later in January I hooked up with some friends and fellow photographers from Rocky Mountain Nature Photographers to photograph some captive raptors.  We met the handlers at a park in Aurora where they displayed a Red Tailed Hawk, a Ferrugenous Hawk, a Gyrfalcon, and a Great Horned Owl.  I got some nice images of all the birds but my favorite was the Great Horned Owl.  The eyes are amazing.

March found me in Phoenix.  I try to get there every year in March to see some spring training baseball and spend some time with my daughter Erin and granddaughter Katrina.  While there I got snowed on…twice…in Phoenix!  Granted, once I was up the hill in the Superstition Mountains, but snow?  The storm clouds did make for some nice images though.

Perhaps my most ambitious trip of the year was in the spring.  I headed out Saturday of Memorial Day weekend for the Northwest.  I drove as far as I could and finally caught a few hours of sleep at a rest area outside of Boise, Idaho before heading west again.  My destination was the Columbia Gorge where I spent 2 days photographing waterfalls.  The weather was perfect and I saw some amazing sights.  Ponytail Falls was by far my favorite of the falls I photographed but there are quite a few I didn’t see on this trip.  Anyone up for a road trip?

Leaving the gorge I headed up the coast on Highway 1 with stops along the way to have fresh fish and chips in Westport, Washington and along the way I ran across a custom car building shop with tons of old cars sitting out front.  I don’t usually do a lot of crazy digital editing of images but I thought the rust and stuff on this old Ford would make a good subject to practice some HDR processing on.  I love it!  There may be some more HDR stuff in my future.

Continuing up the Olympic Peninsula I had one good sunset at Ruby Beach before the clouds and rain set in.  After that sunset I didn’t see the sun clearly for 8 days but it was okay.  I found plenty of things in the Hoh Rain Forest to shoot and the rain and mist was very ethereal the morning I was at Crescent Lake Lodge.  And I found a little creek on the trail to Sol Duc Falls that was much more fun to photograph than the falls.

After 3 days photographing on the Peninsula and a couple of days visiting my friends Tim and his wife Kristy near Seattle, I headed east again, bound for the Palouse region of southeast Washington.  After cowering in my car on the top of Steptoe Butte during a tremendous thunderstorm I woke to a wonderful sunrise and was able to capture some classic images from the Palouse.

August in Colorado is sunflower season and almost every year it’s a challenge to find where the farmers have planted the giant sunflowers this time.  In 2012 I found a huge field of giant sunflowers just a couple of miles east of the runway at Denver International Airport.  Close enough to shoot one afternoon at sunset and the next morning at sunrise and I came away with some images I’m really proud of.

September found me back in Utah.  Scheduling was such that I wasn’t able to spend any time shooting with Bret but I did visit his new gallery on Main Street in Moab.  I watched the sun rise at Dead Horse Point but didn’t photograph it.  I’ve got a lot of sunrise images of DHP with no clouds in the sky and have no desire to create more but if I’m ever there during monsoon season…….I did manage to capture some fall colors and also made a detour south to Bisti Badlands in New Mexico but didn’t shoot much there.  Another road trip in the works.

I ended the year by photographing one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen and the best part….I found subject matter 200 yards from my back door in Parker and captured one of my 2 or 3 favorite images of the entire year.

So there you have it.  My year in photographs.  What will 2013 hold in store?  Well, other than New Year’s Day sunrise at Garden of the Gods I really don’t have anything planned.  March in Phoenix, maybe Bisti, maybe I’ll even spend some time photographing more stuff in Colorado.  Seems my files are largely made up of images from other states.  I guess it’s time to sit down and make a list…maybe after Christmas.