Favorite Photos from 2011

Last year I participated in Jim Goldstein’s annual “Your Best Photos” blog project for the first time so I made a post about my favorite photos from 2010. Last year’s post has been one of my most visited posts over the past year so I wanted to continue that trend this year. Initially I was unsure if I was going to participate this year since I didn’t feel like I had traveled enough to warrant a post but when I reviewed my images from 2011, I realized that I had 16 selects to cull down from so maybe my year was better than I had thought. Here goes my ten favorite photos from 2011 in chronological order:

San Gabriel Mountains Sunset Alpenglow Reflection in Pond, San Gabriel Valley, California

San Gabriel Mountains Sunset Alpenglow Reflection in Pond, San Gabriel Valley, California

The San Gabriel Valley and San Gabriel Mountains are rarely photographed for such a heavily-populated region. Most landscape photographers find little appeal in such an urbanized landscape so that is why I enjoy taking this on as a creative challenge. My roots are in the valley so it’s a region that I feel compelled to photograph. What I like about this image is that it shows a glimpse of what the San Gabriel Valley might have looked like when it was still a wild landscape.

Red Paint Cans

Red Paint Cans

My house was on the market for half a year as a foreclosed property and I saw it listed for a few months before deciding to take a tour. The photos I saw on the real estate websites didn’t look very appealing but since I was making no progress on finding a suitable property to purchase, I decided to take a look. I was pleasantly surprised and the room in the back was the one that sold me on the house. The room was red and once I saw it, I knew that would be the future home of my photography office. I re-painted the room a lighter shade of red four times to get it right and these paint cans bear the aftermath of that project.

Semi-Spiral Staircase at City Hall, Pasadena, California

Semi-Spiral Staircase at City Hall, Pasadena, California

When I saw this, I thought of my Craigdarroch Castle staircase photo from 2009.

Cowboy Running from Bull at 2011 Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo, Palm Springs, California

Cowboy Running from Bull at 2011 Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo, Palm Springs, California

Rodeos are a blast but also very dangerous. Cowboys are tough.

Desert Garden Agave at The Huntington Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California

Desert Garden Agave at The Huntington Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California

I spent a lot of time at The Huntington this year and had always wanted to make an agave photo that I was happy with. One of the perks of membership is early admission on the weekends so I made this image during one peaceful early morning and practically had the whole garden to myself. The light is best in the mornings.

180 Degree Double Rainbow over San Gabriel Mountains Panoramic, Angeles National Forest, California

180 Degree Double Rainbow over San Gabriel Mountains Panoramic, Angeles National Forest, California

This gigantic double rainbow could be seen from as far away as Palos Verdes Peninsula and I had a nice front row seat to witness it. Undoubtedly this was the coolest natural phenomena I saw all year. Many others agreed too apparently as I heard numerous “Look at the double rainbow!” screams from down the mountain.

Yosemite Falls in Shadow at Cook's Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls in Shadow at Cook's Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California

My mom is not a photographer but even she knew this light would make for some dramatic photos. In-fact she was the one who suggested pulling over to photograph it.

Autumn Leaves and Granite, Yosemite National Park, California

Autumn Leaves and Granite, Yosemite National Park, California

Of the photos I made in 2011, this was the one that required me to work the scene the most in order to make.

Pasadena Wind Storm - Fallen Tree on Property, Elizabeth Street

Pasadena Wind Storm - Fallen Tree on Property, Elizabeth Street

The night of the windstorm was one of the scariest I’ve ever experienced. Pasadena still has cleanup to do and this tree trunk is still there a month later.

Bamboo at The Huntington Botanical Gardens

Bamboo at The Huntington Botanical Gardens

In the past, I was mostly a wide angle lens photographer but lately I’ve been finding myself gravitate more toward simplicity and “intimate scenes”. Scenes within a scene.

25 thoughts

  1. Looks like you had a pretty good year, Richard! I really like that many of your images came from close to home…

    Your work from the Huntington is especially nice…very moody and evocative. I like it a lot.

    Hope your 2012 is off to a great start!

    Greg

  2. Wonderful collection from the year Richard! Even though you didn’t travel as much in 2011, it looks like that forced you to look for photographic opportunities closer to home and outside your normal comfort zone. This resulted in a wide variety of photos from the year…the minimalistic bamboo photo and abstract staircase are great examples of this.

    Glad you took the time to participate in the blog project!

    Have a great start to 2012!

  3. Thanks guys. Glad you noticed. I’ve photographed a lot of locations around the Southland over the past ten years so the only way to grow and keep things fresh would be to look deeper rather than wider.

  4. Great collection here Richard. It’s nice to see the diversity in your shooting, as I’m finding it hard to “branch out” of shooting only images of the natural world. All the best for your 2012 endeavours…

  5. Thanks Morkel. I think diversity in subject matter is also dependent on where you live. I live in a heavily developed region, yet my favorite subject matter is related to the natural world so I’m able to photograph a wide variety of subject matter because it’s so accessible. It’s the nature stuff that is more of an investment for me to get to because it requires travel to get to.

  6. Really beautiful selection of images, Richard! I like how you have such an interesting diversity of styles in your selections. I really like the cool colors to match the harsh textures of the agave, and of course, that gorgeous rainbow really stands out!

  7. I like the high key bamboo, the rodeo shot and the paint cans. I also love that first image, it must have been beautiful place unscathed by us. That must be San Gorgonio in back ground?

  8. Congratulations on a productive year. With all of the Huntington images, you should approach them with a project proposal. A nice calendar comes to mind. Happy New Year.

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