Well its that time of year again and as always I can't believe it flew by so fast! Right now I'm reviewing all the images I captured and have selected my Top 10 Landscapes and Top 10 Floral images. First up are the best of the landscape images. Personally speaking it was a good year for my photography as I got the opportunity to reach both The Subway in Zion National Park and False Kiva in Canyonlands.
Unfortunately the weather in Ireland was abysmal this summer and I didn't really get the opportunity to capture the images I had planned in the Donegal and Mayo. Maybe next year.......
Anyway, onto the photos and so without any further fuss here they are!
|Ao Nang Silhouette, Krabi, Thailand. Nikon D300, 24-70mm lens. 1/100 sec @ f/10|
Taken in November on a great trip to Thailand, I had planned this type of silhouetted shot in advance. I loved the richly coloured reflections on the water the evening this was taken. Unfortunately a low lying bank of cloud didn't let me get the exact shot I wanted with the sun's orb in the shot. Next time.......
|Hazy layers, Canyonlands National Park. Nikon D300, 70-200mm lens. 1/125sec @f/11|
A quick grab shot! I captured this on the way back from Mesa Arch and quickly put on a longer telephoto lens to compress the image and bring out the best of the layers. A blue and gold polarising filter heightened the yellows in the scene.
|Rising tide, Giants Causeway, Ireland. Nikon D300, 12-24mm lens. 1/13sec @ f/11|
More mute in colour and tone than I would have liked but the drama of the wave adds to the image. A 3 stop ND grad filter angled in line with the contours of the foreground helped balance the light in the scene.
|Standing guard, Green River Overlook, Canyonlands National Park.|
Nikon D300, 12-24mm lens. 1/8sec @f/11
One of my favourite images taken in Canyonlands. I used a 3 stop reverse ND grad filter to hold the light on the horizon and balance the overall feel to the shot. There are a lot of subtleties in this image and I think the reflected light on the rim of the canyon adds a lot of impact to the middle level, helping draw the eye towards the sun.
|The point of flow, Archangel Falls, Zion Wilderness.|
Nikon D300, 12-24mm lens. 1sec @ f/11
I've been planning this shot since mid 2005 and finally managed to get here this year! A truely special place and one which deservedly is kept as much a wilderness as possible. Early morning light helped accentuate the subtle tones in this scene. I may even have been too late in arriving here as I found it difficult to control the lighting on the canyon walls even with the help of a 3 stop ND grad. I would have like the river to have been higher in flow so that I could have focussed more on the point in the foreground. After 7 years waiting though, beggers can't be choosers!
|Gilded Gold, The Subway, Zion Wilderness.|
Nikon D300, 12-24mm lens. 4 sec @ f/13
This was my third attempt to get to the Subway and was 7 years in the planning! In November 2005 I had a permit but fell ill and couldn't manage the hike. 2011 saw my plans pulled apart by the record breaking snow pack and resultant flood waters in May that year. Finally in May 2012 I managed to get a permit and reach The Subway. I had an idea that the colours would be pretty mute as not only was the river level low but there had been no rain so the canyon walls were also dry. However, a blue and gold polarising filter helped accentuate the subtle tones on the canyon walls and lift the overall mood and feel of the image. This is a location that is definitely on the list for a revisit!
|Golden flow, Cloghleagh, Wicklow, Ireland|
Nikon D300, 12-24mm lens. 0.8 sec @ f/11
One of very few images from Ireland in 2012 unfortunately though this is my favourite. Taken at an often visited location in mid November just before sunset. A 3 stop reverse ND grad filter was used to pull back the highlights created by the setting sun. Breathing on the filter just before tripping the shutter gave a slightly moody feel to it!
|Fire on the horizon, Dead Horse Point State Park.|
Nikon D300, 24-70mm lens. 1/5 sec @ f/11
I have found it extremely hard to choose the best shot from a series of images taken at Dead Horse this year. The lighting on the rim the evening I took this shot was incredible. I laugh though still at the woman who cam e across to me and asked what I was taking a photo of when all you could see was this incredible vista!
A cloudless sky meant that a tight crop was needed to keep the drama intact in the overall image.
|Delicate glow, Arches National Park|
Nikon D300, 12-24mm lens. 1/30 sec @ f/11
Anyone who has witnessed the crush for space at Delicate Arch near sunset can attest to voices being raised! I got lucky though the evening I took this shot. Blanket cloud had looked like sunset was going to be a non-starter. Luckily though it cleared shortly beforehand and those of us who took a chance and hiked up the slope got lucky! Partly cloudy skies and no crowds! A 5 stop ND grad filter angled along the line of the shadow helped balance the lighting.
|Hidden gold, Clare Glens, Limerick/Tipperary border, Ireland|
Nikon D300, 12-24mm lens. 0.4 sec@ f/22
This hidden gem was a real find on an otherwise dull and rainy day! I hiked around the waterfalls in the area looking for something different. I was heading back to the car when I noticed this clump of primroses growing in the lee of one of the waterfalls. It took a bit of scrambling around to get into position and the help of a 3 stop ND grad filter angled over the waterfall to balance the lighting. This is one spot I will definitely be visiting next year!
This will probably be the last year for my trusty D300 - I'm hoping to upgrade next year to a D800E. The increased resolution will bring new challenges with it in terms of both image capture (critical focus being important) and post capture workflow (100mb TIFF files).
Merry christmas to one and all!