Here are my favorite images from 2013, not counting portrait work. Each one has a unique quality that sets it apart from the others for one reason or another.
10. In this image the repetition of the gondolas and the posts as well as the blues and reds make an interesting backdrop to the Venetian gondolier talking on his cellphone. It just seems like a fun anachronism.
9. The sea of clouds in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. While on our way to see Mt. Teide up close we were treated to this view of the clouds from above. The road adds an element of reality to what might otherwise seem unreal.
8. It was a beautiful year for cherry blossoms. This demonstrates that you don't need to travel the world to find beauty. This was shot in our front yard. The vivid color and the grouping are my favorite aspects of this image.
7. Is it just the romanticism of the canals being the only transportation routes in Venice that makes this image compelling? Perhaps it is also the colorful boat sitting isolated waiting for a rider.
5. From Mount Teide in the Canary Islands seeing the majesty of the stars above and the clouds lit by the city below. This is one of those times when the photograph just cannot capture the vastness and beauty of God's creation. The big dipper was clearly visible as was every other star in the sky, or so it seemed.
4. There was a bit of serendipity involved here as the crashing waves were captured against this colorful background of Los Gigantes (Canary Islands) from a moving boat. The foreground water was clear and vibrant. A fast shutter speed and a great camera make it possible to capture the drops of water frozen in time.
3. Sparks Lane in Cades Cove is a beautiful and serene place, even with the occasional crush of photographers that show up to shoot these trees with the line of fenceposts and the lane that provides the line leading your eye into the image. Digital hand-painted watercoloring adds color and removes some details. This is a technique I learned recently from Jack Davis on creativelive. Having creative control over color, sharpness, and brightness is lots of fun!
1. My favorite image of the year comes from the Great Smoky Mountains. While shooting the sunset with fellow photographers Frank Green and Jim Dunaway, the clouds suddenly shifted and moved toward us making the sky red and foggy. I turned my camera to the right to catch this line of trees with this ethereal background.