As I sit back and reflect on 2017 and all that it has brought to me as a photographer, I had such trouble narrowing down my top 20 photos for the year. Needless to say here are my top 20 photos from 2017.
While these might not all be the BEST photographs, they gave me a truly magical experience. One which I hope to share with you, the viewer.
1. This is a photo taken in the spring in California. The poppies were in full bloom. This scene took my breath away and made me smile from ear to ear. I literally sat and enjoyed this view before I even started photographing them.
2. This is a sand crab. While probably pretty common on beaches, it really caught my attention this time around. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them go and in out of their burrows in the sand. If you can’t tell from this photo, these crabs are only a couple of inches. Not always easy to spot and definitely not easy to photograph.
3. While this wasn’t my first experience with mountain goats in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, it was a special morning. I got to catch up with a friend and we both thoroughly enjoyed the mountain goats posing for our photos. Truly a joy to experience.
4. This was my first time spotting and photographing ptarmigan in the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains. This was pretty special also because this female had 3 chicks with her.
5. These are wild horses found in Wyoming. First, simply spotting them was lucky. Then spending time with them going about their day was truly magnificent. I enjoyed them all, but particularly like mom and baby interacting.
6.These waterfalls were photographed in Mount Rainier National Park. I enjoyed spending a few days here regardless of the cold, rain and clouds. The waterfalls didn’t disappoint and what scenery I could see was breathtaking.
7. Believe it or not I was relaxing outside when this hummingbird flew within 2 feet of me. The first time it happened I was in disbelief and ran inside to grab my camera. I didn’t think it would come back, but it surprised me. Lucky me! It returned several times and beat its little wings right in front of me. Magical, right?!?
8. I really enjoyed visiting the Oregon coast even with clouds and fog. There were a few days with clear skies and it allowed me to capture this moment while sitting on the beach in southern Oregon.
9. I spotted this amazing Cascade fox in Mount Rainier National Park. I didn’t even know these special foxes existed. I felt truly lucky that this little fox stopped to pose for me. Wildlife always makes me excited and happy. While the landscapes were too cloudy for photographs, this fox shined through and made my day.
10. While parked near some National Wildlife Refuges in California, I arrived in time to watch sunrise. I found this beautiful spot by this tree and I really enjoyed the glow of the morning here before heading out in search of birds.
11. This Western Meadowlark was photographed in a National Wildlife Refuge in California. I happened upon it as it was landing on a nearby post. I enjoyed quite a while with him as he sang his sweet song.
12. One evening while camped in Jasper National Park I set out in search of things to photograph. I honestly didn’t take a map or anything. I just got in the truck and drove to see what I could find. When I saw signs for a waterfall, I stopped to explore. This scene was amazing. The spray from the falls created a rainbow and the beautiful mountain backdrop. Wow.
13. This experience was my first with grizzly bears! Spotted in Jasper National Park in Canada this little cub was one of two seen with its mom. Adorable, right?
14. When people tell you about special places, you listen. I was told to visit Fern Canyon pictured above and it was breathtaking. The greenery. The water. The ferns blowing in the wind. The trickling of water down the canyon walls. All of it was truly amazing. Other wordly actually. I will also say the water was freezing and I couldn’t avoid walking through it. I was so happy to put on warm, dry socks afterwards.
15. Another California poppy scene. I did a nice little hike among hillsides covered in poppies. In the backdrop was a beautiful lake creating a stunning scene and great place to hike. If you get a chance visit California during poppy season. So beautiful.
16. While I’ve seen burrowing owls before, these two really were special. I was able to get relatively close to capture some crystal clear images and they posed for me! While I never encourage disturbing wildlife, these owls are pretty used to people. They live in a county park that is well used. There were people running, biking and walking all over. While I kept my distance, my long lens enabled me to truly enjoy my time with these adorable owls.
17. Thankful I live in an RV because it lets me change plans easily. When I got word that the Superbloom was happening in the Anza Borrego desert of California, I decided to head that direction. The super bloom in the desert was wonderful. So many colors and everything was so alive.
18. I’m sure you all know what this is a photo of. If not, I was fortunate to be in the path of the total solar eclipse of 2017! This photo is part of a lifetime experience I will never forget. I had about 3 minutes to capture this and take in the scene before me.
19. One of my favorite experiences this year was attending the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It made me smile every morning to see so many balloons in the air all around me. Everything from the night glows to the morning lift ascensions was amazing. So many experiences all in one week. I was exhausted after those early mornings, but well worth the effort.
20. Finding sea otters was one of my favorite activities in 2017! It was an overcast morning, but the sea otters were thoroughly enjoying their day. I witnessed swimming, playing, eating, napping and even saw them come ashore on the beach. It was a magical first time with sea otters, that’s for sure. Who could resist that cute face?
What were some of your favorite experiences in 2017?