Every year photographers around the world create millions of images. At the end of each year many of us reflect on our adventures over the previous twelve months by curating a collection of our favorite images of the year. For active photographers this is not an easy task. Whittling down to 10, 12 or even 40 images from a collection of thousands is a time-consuming and often emotional endeavor. Memories of quiet mornings in the desert, nuclear sunsets, the chill of autumn rustling through aspen leaves and a kaleidoscope of summer wildflowers come flooding back – and if you’re like me, some of these moments were even more special because they were shared with your family.
It’s always a treat for me when my favorite photography blogs start filling up with “best of the year” posts chock full of incredible imagery. It inspires me to see photographs of locations near and far, being shared by folks whose passion for creating images is clearly evident in their work.
I can think of no better way to begin the new year here on my blog than by sharing with you links to some of my favorite photographer’s “Best of 2011″ posts. Enjoy!
Bret Edge – Yeah, me. Here you’ll find thirteen of my favorite images from 2011.
G Dan Mitchell – I’m a huge fan of Dan’s intimate landscapes and there are many incredible images in his post. “Fallen Aspen Branch, Snow” is particularly exquisite.
Younes Bounhar – Much great stuff here but Younes’ work from Morocco is a stand-out. My favorite shows a man passing through a colorful hallway.
Russ Bishop - My favorite: Barrel Cactus in Bloom (exquisite!), although there are lots of captivating images here.
QT Luong – QT’s year in review is not to be missed. His June image, of sequoia trees behind a dogwood in bloom, is breathtaking.
Mike Cavaroc – I’m a sucker for grizzly bears and Mike’s photo of #399 nursing her cubs surrounded by colorful wildflowers is as sweet as they come.
Alan Majchrowicz – Some seriously gorgeous & diverse grand landscapes here, my favorite of which is “Sunset Alpenglow Over Russell Peak”.
Olivier Du Tre – Eleven exquisite black and white images. All are stunning but I gasped when I saw the image of a lone tree in a snowy field against a black sky. Gorgeous!
Greg Russell – I am quite fond of Greg’s desert photography. Very sensitive and portrays the desert in such a magnificent way. Check out “Dried Mud, Utah” and “Into the Canyon, Utah”.
Erik Stensland – No one has a more complete collection of dynamic images from Rocky Mountain National Park than Erik. He’s also a great friend. The third photo, of a craggy peak reflecting in an icy lake, makes me want to go backpacking NOW.
Benjamin Chase – Beautiful landscape and wildlife images in Ben’s collection, with one adorable red fox in the snow in Yellowstone NP.
Rob Tilley – Lots of diversity here with two outstanding semi-abstracts, “Agave VI” and “Rainbow Eucalyptus”, vying for top honors (IMHO).
Gary Crabbe – Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big wimp when lightning crashes in the backcountry and Gary’s “Lightning Bolt Striking the Sierra Buttes” image is both beautiful and terrifying.
Petr Hlavacek – Petr is a New Zealand based photographer whose work continues to move NZ higher on my list of “must visit” locations. His photo of the Copland River is straight out of a fairy tale.
Rick Louie – Another diverse collection of landscapes & cityscapes, with my favorite being a killer black and white image of a lonely road below a dramatic sky.
Robin Black – Robin’s photography of the Sierras is nothing if not inspiring. Her photo of Bishop Creek cascading before colorful aspens is my pick among a wonderful collection of lovely photos.
Paul Conrad – Great slideshow and the photos aren’t named, but watch for a killer bald eagle in flight and a mystical black and white of some old wooden pilings in the water.
William Neill – So many original and stunning images it’s virtually impossible to pick a favorite but “Buckeye, Foothills of the Sierra” and “Morning Mist and Pines” took my breath away.
Richard Wong – Lots of diversity in subject matter here, with some landscapes and photojournalistic imagery. Richard’s killer photo of patterns in an agave plant is exceptional.
Ron Niebrugge – Killer photos, mostly from Alaska, and Ron opens with a ridiculous photo of Denali NP in autumn.
Jackson Frishman – Well traveled river guide whose top photos show spectacular locations you’ve likely never seen. Jackson’s photo of a Western Red Cedar is so serene.
Steve Sieren – A lovely collection of images, mostly from California’s mountains and deserts, with the BEST photo you’ll EVER see of a rattlesnake. Never seen one I’d called “pretty” but this one is most certainly that.
Brian Rueb – Brian shares some great work from Iceland, the Pacific Northwest and more but my favorite is a mind-bending abstract of reflections in the Merced River.
Jerry Monkman – Seems most of my friends are on the west coast, but Jerry lives in New Hampshire and his photos of the New England area really make me want to visit. In this lovely collection, my favorite is “Ferns & Tree Trunks”.
Dan Baumbach – Dan was a large format photographer for a very long time and his images are contemplative and quiet. The very first image in his list, of ghostly trees in snow, is true art.
Richard Bernabe – Eleven images, and every one of them will take your breath away. Patagonia is #1 on my list of international travel destinations so it isn’t surprising that Richard’s photo of peaks in Torre del Paines NP is my fave.
Photo Cascadia – Another inspiring slideshow loaded with many beautiful images. At 2:13 look for a stunner of what looks like the Palouse. Yowza!
Looking for an even larger collection of “Best of 2011″ blog posts? Be sure to check out Jim Goldstein’s blog in a few days for a huge collection of links to amazing photographs.