I always find it difficult to narrow down a years worth of photographs into one list of the “best”. It is a good exercise, however, to really sit down and go through your work and determine what images best fit your current vision for your photography. I did this back in 2010 and 2011 as a part of Jim Goldstein’s project and I am please to enter my images again for this years version.
All of these photographs are available as Fine Art Prints.
So in no particular order these are the “top” (probably better termed as favourite) photos I have made in 2012.
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Spring Panorama
(Coldstream, British Columbia)
Arctic Lupines & Mount Shuksan-click to enlarge-
This is an older image from 2010 that I recently reprocessed. I have always liked this photo of Arctic Lupines (Lupinus arcticus) flowering along Kulshan Ridge with Mount Shuksan in the background. The older version had Lupines that were just not that clear. There was a good breeze coming through there that evening and getting a still shot of the flowers was not easy. In fact, I had thought I had failed that mission, and published one on my blog and website that didn’t have the clearest Lupines. This is a different exposure, though a slightly different composition. It occasionally pays to keep some of my old files around!
This evening was my first outing with my first Graduated Neutral Density filter. I had never used one, but read a lot about them and a bit on how to use it. My photos from this evening were a big eye opener as to what was possible, and this beautiful location was certainly a big help. I also learned what they can do to trees that are on the horizon line but hopefully that is not too distracting in this photo.
The Artist Point area on Kulshan Ridge gets a ton of foot traffic as the parking lot is nearby. As a consequence, a lot of the vegetation gets trampled and destroyed. With the amount of snow that falls here each winter, there is a very very short growing season for these plants, so growing back after a repeated tourist trampling is not easy. Unfortunately I could not get my old tripod into a good position to photograph these so I had to convert myself into a pretzel to get low enough to look through the viewfinder. My old camera had no live view which would have helped immensely. One foot on a rock, a hand on another rock, and one hand on the camera… I only hit the mosses and other plants once with one of my hands. So I was successful in not damaging nature to get my nature photograph, but I did manage to pull a muscle in my leg which didn’t feel right for a week. I think the results make that completely worth it!
A few “leftovers” from my trip to Mt. Baker back in October. I like these shots but never found the will to make dedicated posts about them. So here they are.
First I have always liked the angle of the Hwy 20 near Artist Point from this vantage point. The short hike to Huntoon Point from Artist Point has a few small tarns but I think this was a bit late in the year to have them full and capable of reflecting more of Mount Shuksan.
Canadian Border Peak, American Border Peak, and Mt. Larrabee from Artist Point (above).
Finally, Mount Shuksan reflected in Picture Lake.
4 exposures stitched, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM @ 50mm
Panorama of Mt. Baker with Ptarmigan Ridge in the foreground – from Artist Point.
10 exposures stitched, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM @ 35mm
Click for larger version…
For the past few years I find myself wishing that I’d spent more time in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest photographing the peaks in the Cascade Range. The classic/cliche Picture Lake is awesome and can yield interesting photographic moments almost every time but the wide range of possibilities from up at Artist Point make it more appealing to me. The trouble is the road remains snow covered until sometime in July (this year it opened on the 30th of July – a bit late). As the road closes with the first major snowfall, this year in late October – this isn’t a lot of time to enjoy it. I live only an hour away just north of the border in Canada but always seem to get caught doing other things. At this time of year I know I will be waiting at least 7 months until I can get back to Artist Point. Editing images like this always give me ideas as to what I want to do next time I am there… but so long to wait!
This panorama is from Artist Point looking north into the Cascade Range peaks north west of Mt. Shuksan. The peaks are (from left to right): Mt. Herman (foreground), Tomyhoi Peak, Canadian Border Peak, American Border Peak, Mt. Larrabee, Winchester Mountain, Goat Mountain, Goat Mountain East Peak, and Mt. Sefrit.
If only the last light of the day lasted longer!
Another shot while walking from Artist Point towards Huntoon Point back in October. Considering how windy it was that evening I am pleased the Arctic Lupines (Lupinus arcticus) are relatively still for this shot. Mt. Shuksan and Shuksan Arm in the background.
Mt. Shuksan in late evening light from Artist Point.
This place is likely one of the most scenic areas close to my home. I am fortunate to live within an hour (with an easy border crossing experience) of Artist Point. This image was taken a few weeks ago on the same day as my earlier Picture Lake post.
EDIT: I have since cropped and reprocessed this panorama to include just the portion with Mount Baker:
(click on the thumbnail for the larger version)
1. 31 exposures stitched, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM @ 20mm
Major mountains I can ID in this photo: American Border Peak, Mt. Larrabee, Winchester Mountain, Goat Mountain, Mt. Sefrit, Mt. Shuksan, Shuksan Arm, Mt. Baker, Tabletop Mountain
Click for larger version… (may take a bit to load – this one is big)
2. Another version of the same panorama. This one is cropped to 1) include less of the “superfluous” scenery and 2) to preserve the potential idea that I hiked my ass off to get up there by cropping out the parking lot!
A few more from Artist Point in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.