My Top 10 Images of 2018

I know, I’m a slacker. Here we are one month into the new year and I’m just now getting around to publishing this. Selecting my top images for the year is an exercise I’ve been doing for the past several years. It gives me a good look at how the year went photographically, and also helps me to understand how (or if) I have improved over the previous years. If you are passionate about photography and really want to improve, this is something I highly recommend.

I’m not going to lie, 2018 was kind of a down year for me photography-wise. Not that there weren’t plenty of opportunities. There always are. From a trip to Charleston back in March for a photography conference, another excursion to Utah in May, to some vacation time in Colorado in July, there were some good photo ops for sure. No, last year was more a question of motivation, or lack thereof. That was compounded by some creative roadblocks and waning passion. Simply put, I found myself in a “funk” for much of the year and just couldn’t claw my way out.

In any creative pursuit, it’s not unusual to find oneself lacking in the creativity department now and then. Authors call it writer’s block. Does that mean for photographers it is called image maker’s block? I’m not sure, but whatever it is, I’m working my way out of it and am looking forward to a new year. Who knows what 2019 has in store, but i’ll have my camera in hand and ready for whatever comes my way.

So, without further ado, and to put a seal on the 2018 that was, here are what I feel are my top 10 images for the year. Choosing a top ten is not easy. There are many images that may have sentimental value, but are not necessarily “good” images. Sometimes the process and the adventure of capturing a particular image gives it more meaning. Reminiscing about what it took to get that image brings back good memories that may cloud your vision. Just because an image has a good story behind it doesn’t necessarily make it a good image either. In these selections, I try to take all these things into account. Then there is the all-important technical aspects of an image. What makes it good might be the light, composition, patterns, textures, gesture, color (or lack of color), or any combination of these things. Cutting through the emotional aspects and really drilling down to the nuts and bolts of what makes an image a good image is what is important.

So, here they are. In no particular order. I hope you enjoy them. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have anything to say about any of the images or questions about how they were created. I’m always happy to help.

“Reflections of Color”, Historic Middleton Place in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Milky Way over Lower Fox Creek School”, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, near Strong City, Kansas.

“Morning Gold”, a Pelican on the Mississippi River, Lock & Dam 14 near Le Claire, Iowa.

“Lower Calf Creek Falls”, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.

“Sunrise on the Beach”, Morris Island Lighthouse, Charleston, South Carolina.

“Milky Way over the Watchman”, Zion National Park, Utah.

“Fast Food”, a Bald Eagle fishing the Mississippi River at Lock & Dam 14 near Le Claire, Iowa.

“Sunset in Canyonland”, Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah.

“Milky Way over Escalante”, a panoramic image of the night sky over Escalante, Utah.

“The Bright Side”, a sunset capture at Grinter Sunflower Farms near Lawrence, Kansas.