Looking over the photos we’ve made in the past year is always an interesting and informative exercise. Time to reflect on places we went, what we observed, and what we experienced. Here are 15 of my favorite photographs from 2015.
Sunrise at Mount Pisgah summit on January 1st.
Quite a few people in Eugene, Oregon, celebrate the arrival of a new year with a hike to the summit of Mount Pisgah. The Jed Kesey Memorial sculpture at the top of the mountain is designed so that the sun lines up with slots on the monument at the solstice.
Sea stacks at dawn from Face Rock State Wayside, Bandon, Oregon Coast.
Sunsets are frequently spectacular in winter along the Oregon coast, and sunrises can be awesome as well. No better place to record the magic than at Bandon on the southern Oregon coast.
Brittlebush; Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.
In February, I attended the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) Summit in San Diego, and immediately after the meeting I spent a few days enjoying the sun and warmth of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California.
Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, Peru.
Without question, the highlight of my year was visiting Machu Picchu, part of a trip to Peru with the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). At the top of my bucket list for years, Machu Picchu surpassed expectations. It’s still at the top of my list – I want to go back. I also really enjoyed the time I spent in Cusco, a wonderful city to visit and photograph.
Smith Rock and the Crooked River.
A friend’s request for a print of one of their favorite places sent me to Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon. Dawn glow in early spring beautifully lights this amazing rock formation.
Playa Olas Atlas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
I have always enjoyed traveling in Mexico, so was delighted to visit Puerto Vallarta in May for the annual North American Travel Journalists Association conference. I soon discovered why this city has long been a vacation favorite for both Mexicans and international visitors. Beaches, warm weather, great food, friendly locals, plenty of cultural sites and activities – what’s not to like?
Food cart at the Mercado in San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico.
Many years ago Penelope and I spent a summer traveling around Mexico in an old van. One of our stops was the little Pacific Coast town of San Blas. After the NATJA conference, I rented a car and spent a few days traveling along the Riviera Nayarit coast. Not much has changed in San Blas, where you can still get great street food and stroll or just sit around the town plaza in the evening.
Wizard Island in Crater Lake at sunrise.
One of my goals for 2015 was to do some new photography at Crater Lake National Park. I was happy to put a check next to that one on the list with a late spring visit that resulted in this photo.
Palouse wheat fields from Steptoe Butte, Washington.
I had the pleasure of returning to the Palouse in June to lead a photo workshop. The rolling hills of wheat were at their prime and we had beautiful light at both sunrise and sunset for several days.
Jumping with joy on Hobbit Beach, Oregon Coast.
In August we hosted Penelope’s brother and wife from Spain, along with three college students from Spain who were visiting as part of a month-long trip to the western USA. They had fun hiking through the forest to the beach on the central Oregon coast.
Vine maple at Clear Lake, Oregon.
Vine maples are the first trees to show their fall colors in the Cascade Mountains. A rainy day hike on the McKenzie River Trail led me to this scene near Big Spring at Clear Lake.
Upper Mammoth Terrace, Yellowstone National Park.
In late September, I had the good fortune to co-lead a photo workshop for the Yellowstone Association with Terry Donnelly. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the workshop participants (and Terry) and am excited to be returning to Yellowstone this summer to co-lead another photography workshop with Tom Kirkendall.
Wildhorse Lake from the summit of Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon.
A slight detour on my return drive from Yellowstone took me to Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon. The view from the summit never fails to amaze, taking in the Alvord Desert, almost a vertical mile below, and stretching south and east to mountains on the borders of Idaho and Nevada.
Storm surf at Shore Acres State Park, Oregon Coast.
Another of my photo goals for 2015 was to capture the power and fury of storm-generated surf crashing on the rocks at Shore Acres State Park. Truly a spectacular sight. For a sense of scale, note the size of the people on the right edge of the photo.
Sand dunes at sunrise, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
A sunrise photo seems about right to finish this recap because a new dawn also expresses my hope for the New Year.
Thanks for looking at my photos, and please let me know which are your favorites by leaving a Comment. If you have compiled your own favorites, feel free to post a link below in Comments. You may also want to check out all the favorites posted on Jim Goldstein’s Best of Photos blog post.