Top 10 Photos of 2016

All of these photographs represent my growth as a photographer this year. Many of these have been some of my most popular photos ever and have paid for them selves a few time over, while others are just being revealed for the first time today to the main public.  The photos are not in sequential order of most favorite to least or in time line either. These are just my top ten favorite photos of the year.

10Broken Arch

This photo was origanally photogrpahed in March of this year and has been one of my most succesful photographs. I think in general people really like sun bursts because they are hard to pull off for most inexperience photographers. I came to this photo through careful studying of sun patterns and formation allignments. This is the only photo of this arch that I have ever seen that looks like this.



A photo of Angels Landing like this has been on a bucket list since I saw Marc Adamus version. His is far darker and moodier, but I like mine. This was one of my most complicated photo I have ever had to edit as it has huge dynamic range. The photo was discussed in more detail in another blog post.


This makes my list simply because it was a bucket list shot of mine. I had been wanting to do the subway again with a better camera and better light ever since I did it the first time. Mind you my first time was just the year before. When I did it that time, I didn’t have the technical knowladge nor the knowladge of how to photograph the canyon. Overall this is actually one of the easiest shots I have ever edited as it came out of camera almost looking exactly like this.

7Mesa Arch (4 of 7) light

This is a memorable image for me as it was a beautiful sunrise and that story behind it. I had a few days to myself as my wife was up in washington helping my sister who just had a kid. With that time I headed down to Moab and camped out of the back of my car for three days. To get this shot, I arrived at 4 a.m. in the morning (I couldn’t sleep and was tired of just rolling around uncumfortably.) Suprisingly I was not the first one there. I headed out to the arch around 5:30 a.m. and took my place and waited there for about 2 hours for the sun to arrise. Worth it.

6provo city center temple south view HDR (1 of 1)

I use to live only two blocks away from the new LDS Provo City Center Temple. It is a nice reminder of the covenants I have made with God. This is the first HDR shot I ever used Lightroom to put together automatically. I liked the way it turned out. This still remains as my background to my computer.


The Great Undercut coyote gulch (1 of 1)

My most popular photo ever and my longest hike to get a shot as well. Taken in Coyote Gulch, Escalante. This shot was also a HDR combination from Lightroom. I did plenty of work to bring it all together. I still want to work on this photo but people seem to like it so I leave it. BTW the clouds are all real. That is freaquently asked of me. I have never painted in clouds in any of my shots that were not present.

4Pine Creek-4535

A bucket list, a memory, an advnture, a technical and physical challenge. This photo can only be made by those with a good working knowladge of a camera and technical slot canyoneering skills. This shot was taking standing in the middle of a deep pool with a sand hill on one side (thats where I stood). To get to this spot there are multiple rappels and than a 75 foot rappel down this structure. I also had to unhook while swimming with all my gear on. In other words this is not easy, but totally worth it. I don’t know if I will ever be here again, but I am gald I made it to get this shot.


Sometimes the most beautiful photos are hidden in plain sight. This is not a marked location. It has no name except that this is Provo Bay. It is easily gotten too, and probably one used by hunters only. This sunrise was one of the best sunrises I have ever seen. It was also extremely cold. This shot makes the list because it is both beautiful and simple. I love this photo.


Sunset arch (actually sunrise arch can be seen in the distance if you look close) came onto my radar possibly about 6 months ago. But I forgot about it until I began planning an impromptu trip down hole in the rock road. I had an idea of what I wanted to photograph and on the last day  of the trip it did not disapoint. Beautiful underglow and a huge sunstar to boot. Overall not a super technical photo except the distant background. But this is a location that will probably not be visited again for years.


This photo is number one. I had planned this shot for… 3 months. I had a two week window of the sun being far enough south. I had a huge dynamic range from sun to arch (3 full stops). This photo is a combination of everything I have learned this year from watching weather, planning, sun tracking, composition, sunstars, post processing in lightroom, luminosity masking and so on. I gained much of this knowladge from a digital imaging class I took in college, but the rest has been a modge podge of picking up tidbits from free tatorials, listening to Improve Photography’s Tripod, talking to other photographers and my own plinking around. The final shot of 2016 as it was taken December 30th.

Special thanks to Mark Metternich for sharing bits of knowladge here and there. Ryan Dyar for explaing what dodging and buring means to a modern day landscape photographer and how to do it. Sean Bagshaw for occasional giving me a tip or two. The guys at 500px for introducing me to luminosity masking and showing me a free plugin to photoshop. Marc Adamus for sharing knowladge to other photographers then having them share the fun tidbits. Erin Babnick for being an amaizng and inspiring photographer and for the editing fine art prints and composition videos I have seen. Ted Gore for sharing information about color balance but I am terrable at doing it as I am color blind. Jim Harmer for doing Improve Photography and the guys there who do the podcasts. And the many other photographers whom I listen to very carfully withouth them ever knowing it. (That includes you RJ Hooper and Ryan Smith)

See you next year!!!

Also I have a new website, go check it out. My blog will still be through this so keep an eye here to check out my blog post but go to my site to see my main body of work.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s