Before completely shifting to planning for 2017, let's take a look back at some of my favorite images that I took in 2016. Last year I had some incredible photographic opportunities.
Before I post my favorite images of 2016, I am excited to share a few of my favorite memories from the year. The highlight was our family trip to the desert Southwest in October. Hiking through the Narrows of Zion National Park was incredibly memorable and unique from anything I have ever experienced. The hike through the Virgin River offered both a physical challenge and an amazing opportunity to capture some breathtaking images.
The next highlight of 2016 was getting to photograph Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. The Canyons were always intriguing to me as I saw pictures of them come across my feed on Instagram and 500px, but they always seemed fake. That was, until I walked into the Canyons myself. The photography tours there allowed me to experience the Canyons in a more intimate way.
Being able to photograph these amazing locations with my wife Katie and father-in-law Gary was especially rewarding. I also enjoyed meeting many other talented photographers along the way this year. It is always fun to connect with other artists and see how they view things on the same day.
We also were able to enjoy Disney World in the spring and numerous local hikes throughout the summer.
Top 16 Images of 2016
My first two favorite images of the year are from the Narrows hike in Zion National Park. As we waded through the Virgin River, we came to a few small runs and waterfalls that made for awesome foregrounds as we captured the massive walls of the Narrows.
At both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, we were able to take photography tours in the Canyon. The benefit to taking the photography tour versus the walking tour was that the photography guides were able to hold back the crowds so that we could take pictures for a minute or so without people walking in front of our cameras.
The colors and light in the Canyon were truly remarkable. It seemed that every minute and every angle could present us with different images.
Two nights in a row at the Grand Canyon, a full moon hovered over the colorful rocks, illuminating the entire Canyon. The Grand Canyon was a sight to behold during the day but seemed to be even more magical at sunset.
One of my fondest memories from Zion National Park was from our final morning at the Park. We woke up about an hour before sunrise to get some unique sunlight hitting the mountains at two different locations. The very first light arose on the Shrine of Ages and later the light rose higher in the sky and illuminated the Court of the Patriarchs.
Both Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, were so unique in their own way. The most difficult hike of the entire trip was the ascent to the Delicate Arch at sunset. After nearly two hours of straight uphill hiking, we finally arrived at the stunning setting of the Delicate Arch. We caught a rainstorm on the horizon just as the sun descended. A scene we will never forget.
Arches National Park also hosts the iconic Turret Arch.
My favorite scene from Canyonlands National Park in Moab was the Mesa Arch. Traditionally photographed at sunrise, our schedule brought us to the Arch at sunset instead. I would say it is equally as gorgeous at sunset. This seven-image panoramic also caught the moon rising in the top right corner of the image.
The final highlight from our West Trip is certainly not the least. While visiting Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona, we were able to stop at Horseshoe Bend twice. The first night produced my favorite image of all I had taken. We thought that we had completely missed sunset due to a time zone change. When we arrived at the edge of the Bend (2,000 feet straight down from where I stood to take this image) there was still plenty of red and pink in the sky but the water and rocks were very dark. I ended up shooting a four-minute long exposure to produce the image below.
There were many other favorites from the West trip but I decided to include a couple from our other adventures this year. The first was from spring break in Walt Disney World, Orlando. I instantly felt like a kid again, enjoying the fireworks over Cinderella's Castle with my family.
The final of my favorite images of 2016 is from my favorite local spot, Great Falls State Park. I always enjoy escaping to Great Falls on a summer evening and catching the sun set. This eight-image stitched panoramic is my final favorite from 2016.
There you have it. Those are my top 16 images of 2016.
All of these images are available in my Shop to purchase for your home or business.
Do you have a favorite from the 16 above? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Happy New Year!