As promised yesterday, here are my Top Ten Photos that I took in 2021. I have been posting these on Facebook and Instagram for the last few days but if you don’t follow me on either of those platforms, here are my Top Ten.
Number 10: The Wenatchee River in Leavenworth, WA
I decided to start with a photo I took in my old stomping grounds of Leavenworth, Washington. This shot of the Wenatchee River as it flows through the town was what I consider the best of the ones on my early morning photo walk.
Number 9: Blue-footed Booby on Española Island
Number nine in my countdown of my 10 favorite photos I have taken in 2021 is this marvelous blue footed booby I shot on Fernadina Island in the Galapagos. I am doing these in order of how much I love them. As you can expect the majority will come from our trip to the Galapagos.
Number 8: A foggy field in Redmond, Washington
Number eight of my top ten photos of 2021 is the only one I took with my iPhone 12. I was out taking my daily walk when I saw this scene early on what would become a very warm day. The last vestiges of moisture were hanging low over this field and rapidly disappearing in the rising sun. I realize it’s not much a travel photo as I was about three miles from our home…but hey, I was traveling.
Number 7: A Galapagos Tortoise on Santa Cruz Island
My choice for my seventh favorite photo I took in 2021 is this old guy I snapped while we were on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. He saw me and decided he was going to see just what the heck I was doing with that big, ugly camera. I love the look on his face.
Number 6: Heron Reflection in Olympia, Washington
Number six on my top ten photos I took in 2021 is this heron I shot on an early morning photowalk in Olympia, Washington. It’s all about the reflection as far as I am concerned. The state capital of Washington was just a really nice bonus as the reflection.
Number 5: Blowhole landscape on Española Island
My Galapagos photos are mostly flora and fauna but this shot I took on EspañolaIsland is my favorite landscape from the trip. The water you are seeing is from a blowhole in the rocks that shot huge amounts of water up into the sky whenever a wave came in. Between that water, the incredible sky and the clear and clean air, I just love this shot.
Number 4: Two Pelicans over Santa Cruz Island
Number four in my Top Ten Photos I took in 2021 is one that I did not like when I first saw it. In fact my appreciation of it grows every day. Kathleen talked me into keeping it because I was going to throw it away. I didn’t like because of the way the pelican on the left is cut off. But I did like the contrast between the birds and the sky and the incredible sharpness I got by using a 1250th of a second shutter speed and a 16 f-stop. The birds were fast but every part of my shooting was faster except me. I just couldn’t turn quick enough. BTW: 2021 is the year I learned to back-focus on my Nikon and I will never go back. What a difference.
Number 3: Galápagos Sea Lion on Española Island
My number three choice is the best portrait I took this year. If you go to the Galapagos probably the MOST amazing thing is that all the animals will let you get within feet of them. This shot was not a telephoto or zoomed. I was about five feet away. I chose it as much for the clarity and photo quality as for the awesome subject that I hope to shoot again one day…and the look on his face.
Number 2: Mount Rainier from Olympia, Washington
I got this shot on another of my pre-dawn photo walks. We were staying in Olympia at an AirBnB so we could have the grandkids all to ourselves. Had the best time ever. I got up and went to do an Olympia, Washington photo walk. And lo and behold, the first thing I saw was Washington’s unofficial state symbol—Mt. Rainier. I guess the mountain is almost the official symbol—it is on our license plates and you can just about see it from every part of the state. That morning, as you can see, the sky was on fire. No retouching here, this was straight out of my Nikon.
Number 1: A flamingo coming in for a landing on Isabella Island in the Galapagos
Did you know that when flamingo’s land, they walk on the water as they come down? Neither did I. But this shot from a morning walk on the Galapagos Isabela Island is what I consider my best nature shot ever. I am so glad I did a lot of research into shooting wildlife before we went as it is not something I have done a lot of except in zoos. Learning to use back focus and shooting at 2000th of a second has enabled me to up my wildlife game. When I took this shot and the thousand others I took in the Galapagos I felt like I have made up for a complete pandemic worth of non-travel shooting in seven days. How much do I love this photo? I believe it is the second best shot I have ever taken…or maybe my third.
There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.