The Best of 2017 [Personal]

A look back on the year that was. 20 feet of snow in Mammoth, a move to Montana, and lots of time off from shooting. More exploring, more living.

I still have several rolls of film marinating from the year that need to be developed, so this list is essentially inconclusive; however, such is life.

So instead of the desired 10, here are my 8 favorite moments from 2017, through my eyes and lens. Captions are included below each photo.

Happy New Year!

xx

"Seeing Double" Death Valley National Park, CA (March 12, 2017)    Another sunrise worth the effort. We camped with friends in Death Valley the night before. I really wanted to see Zabriskie Point at dawn, and it turns out, so did everyone else. I've never seen a lookout so crowded before the sun was even up. Still, I somehow managed to be the lone photographer on the mound beneath the viewing platform that morning, which inspired some experimental shots using prisms in my gear bag that I don't get to use very often.

"Seeing Double" Death Valley National Park, CA (March 12, 2017)

Another sunrise worth the effort. We camped with friends in Death Valley the night before. I really wanted to see Zabriskie Point at dawn, and it turns out, so did everyone else. I've never seen a lookout so crowded before the sun was even up. Still, I somehow managed to be the lone photographer on the mound beneath the viewing platform that morning, which inspired some experimental shots using prisms in my gear bag that I don't get to use very often.

"Mitten Burst" Monument Valley, AZ/UT (May 13, 2017)    This was easily my favorite moment of 2017. We camped in Monument Valley the first night of a multi-day road trip to Indiana. We arrived to camp really late and had to set up in the dark, but it was a full moon that night, so you could see the outline of the buttes against the night sky perfectly. The anticipation of morning was so real that as soon as any sign of daylight gave way, I jumped out of our tent and started shooting.

"Mitten Burst" Monument Valley, AZ/UT (May 13, 2017)

This was easily my favorite moment of 2017. We camped in Monument Valley the first night of a multi-day road trip to Indiana. We arrived to camp really late and had to set up in the dark, but it was a full moon that night, so you could see the outline of the buttes against the night sky perfectly. The anticipation of morning was so real that as soon as any sign of daylight gave way, I jumped out of our tent and started shooting.

"Beargrass Fields Forever" Glacier National Park, MT (July 7, 2017)    As the eloquent, highly quotable Ranger Doug said it best, this summer offered a "once in a lifetime beargrass moment." 

"Beargrass Fields Forever" Glacier National Park, MT (July 7, 2017)

As the eloquent, highly quotable Ranger Doug said it best, this summer offered a "once in a lifetime beargrass moment." 

"Fountains of Youth" Yellowstone National Park, WY (May 27, 2017)    Mammoth Hot Springs is, in my opinion, one of the eeriest places in Yellowstone. I loved the juxtaposition of this photograph; the ho  t, sulfuric springs in the foreground, the scarce dead trees nearby, and the towering snow-capped mountains off in the distance.   

"Fountains of Youth" Yellowstone National Park, WY (May 27, 2017)

Mammoth Hot Springs is, in my opinion, one of the eeriest places in Yellowstone. I loved the juxtaposition of this photograph; the hot, sulfuric springs in the foreground, the scarce dead trees nearby, and the towering snow-capped mountains off in the distance.   

"Hospitality" Waterton Lakes National Park, AB, Canada (August 19, 2017)    To me, this photograph sums up the friendly atmosphere of Waterton Lakes. I love how this visitor waved without hesitation to the kayakers near the shore during a cruise on The International. It was heartbreaking to see how devastating the wildfires were in this region last summer, and I look forward to seeing this wilderness gem bounce back after such great devastation. 

"Hospitality" Waterton Lakes National Park, AB, Canada (August 19, 2017)

To me, this photograph sums up the friendly atmosphere of Waterton Lakes. I love how this visitor waved without hesitation to the kayakers near the shore during a cruise on The International. It was heartbreaking to see how devastating the wildfires were in this region last summer, and I look forward to seeing this wilderness gem bounce back after such great devastation. 

"Gus" Glacier National Park, MT (August 21, 2017)    Mountain goats are known to graze near Logan Pass in Glacier National Park during the summer months, and one in particular became beloved by my coworkers and I. We nicknamed him "Gus", instantly recognizable by his radio collar administered by NPS and a small round patch of missing fur on his left side.

"Gus" Glacier National Park, MT (August 21, 2017)

Mountain goats are known to graze near Logan Pass in Glacier National Park during the summer months, and one in particular became beloved by my coworkers and I. We nicknamed him "Gus", instantly recognizable by his radio collar administered by NPS and a small round patch of missing fur on his left side.

"Yield to Snow Ahead" Mammoth Lakes, CA (February 18, 2017)    Last winter in California was a wet one, and the town of Mammoth Lakes received nearly 20 feet of snow (last time I checked). Most of the main roads were plowed when we visited, but many of them eventually just dead-ended at huge piles of plowed snow. It was a crazy time to be there.

"Yield to Snow Ahead" Mammoth Lakes, CA (February 18, 2017)

Last winter in California was a wet one, and the town of Mammoth Lakes received nearly 20 feet of snow (last time I checked). Most of the main roads were plowed when we visited, but many of them eventually just dead-ended at huge piles of plowed snow. It was a crazy time to be there.

"On the Edge" Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, UT (May 24, 2017)    Coral Pink Sand Dunes was one of the first places we stopped en route to Zion, part of a longer multi-day road trip during our move to Montana. We were racing the setting sun, hiking against fierce winds, and even had our cat on board with us. When I turned around and saw Ross with the sun perfectly flared behind him, I yelled "Don't move!!!" 

"On the Edge" Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, UT (May 24, 2017)

Coral Pink Sand Dunes was one of the first places we stopped en route to Zion, part of a longer multi-day road trip during our move to Montana. We were racing the setting sun, hiking against fierce winds, and even had our cat on board with us. When I turned around and saw Ross with the sun perfectly flared behind him, I yelled "Don't move!!!"