Best of 2015

December 31, 2015  •  2 Comments

2015 has been my best year yet as a photographer. I feel that my skills have developed more and I am taking on different subject matter. I have sold almost twice as much as the previous year, and I have been branching out into some new styles. Here a list in no order of my top images of the year. Now not all these images were taken this year but they were worked up and released this year.

 

This first one is from the Palouse. I finally got a sunrise trip to Steptoe Butte and was well rewarded. I love the tones of yellow with the rolling hills in the foreground and the mountains in the background. This is the true Golden Hour!

Golden GrainsGolden GrainsShortly after the sun has risen over the mountains, the sky has turned a beautiful golden color on this morning, Spring wheat in the foreground is sill green but the winter wheat along with other crops are starting to ripen. This vantage point is from lower on Steptoe Butte. The warm glow of the sun brings life to the crops. It won't be long until combines are seen in the distance harvesting this seasons crops. The Palouse is a region located in south Eastern Washington.

 

Jeanelle and I have been talking about going to Vancouver Island for several years now. I have always had a hard time venturing away from my "go-to" spots but I do like a new adventure. After our first day I was kicking myself for not making the trip sooner. The whole Island is amazing and has so much to offer. We spent several days on the West Coast near Tofino. This image was from a small beach that can be accessed from town and is more popular with the locals who just want to relax and enjoy nature. It didn't take me long to find my spot to capture sunset. As soon as I took a few shoots, I knew this was going to be a image that I couldn't wait to see when I got back home.
Tonquin Beach SunsetTonquin Beach SunsetThis isn't one of the biggest beaches around Tofino or the most popular, But it is arguably the prettiest
. Tonquin Beach is a small beach that is popular with the locals. After a short hike the sandy shoreline greets you. It is easy to find a private place to set up a chair and watch the sun go down or do a little exploring.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

This is am image that I actually took in the fall of 2014 but struggled with how to work it up. I got frustrated because I couldn't do it justice. The light was amazing. Fog and the thick forest softened the light and created a magical curtain that blanketed the picnic area. It wasn't until I experimented with a few black and white versions that I new this is how the photo was meant to be presented.

Spiritual PicnicSpiritual PicnicAs a photographer I always hope I get the light that I am looking for on the subjects that I am photographing. Many times that doesn't happen but that is why nature is so amazing. Then, every once in a while, there is lighting that is beyond anything I hoped for or could image.That is what I got when I stumbled on this scene in Silver Falls State Park. In the Picnic area the fog was hanging in the trees filtering it enough so light beams formed as the sun cut through the trees. It was definitely an inviting place for a picnic.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

This next photo is one of my favorites if not my favorite of the year. I also have a version in Black and white that I almost like more as it shows off the textures and shadows. On this day I didn't have a very successful day shooting sunset. Because of all the fires, the hot weather, no clouds and so much dust and smoke in the air it was tough to get a something I was happy with. On my way down from Steptoe I saw this tree and figured I would try some shots of it since nothing else worked.  The moment I got home and opened this image on the computer screen I knew I had something special. Everything from the last rays of the sun to the shadows bouncing off the hills in the background.

Palouse SentinelPalouse SentinelThere aren't many trees in the Paloluse. I guess that is something that gives it the unique look of miles of rolling hills. The few trees that you see obviously have been around for a long time and some are purposely left alone. This specific tree has many stories to tell. Not far from Steptoe Butte it looks out across the fields. It is a protector of sorts. A guardian. It is refuge for small animals and gives shade to many including farmers taking a break from a long hot day of working the fields. The one branch almost seems to curve and wrap over the Palouse as if it is telling it, "I am here to protect you, I am the Palouse Sentinel".

 

Every year there is a farmer that plants several fields of Sunflowers. They are not always that accessible and then when they are it can be tough to find a good composition. The other issue this year was the heat. We had an extremely hot summer. Almost as soon as theses sunflowers opened did they start to wilt so there was a small window to get some quality shots. But as I have found, there is something special about a field full of sunflowers and even an average image can be interesting.
Sunshine and HappinessSunshine and HappinessAnother year brings a new field of sunflowers. A farmer in northeastern Washington rotates his crops every year so it is a guessing game as where he will plant his crop of sunflowers. When they are grown and fully mature, they will be harvested for bird seed. Until then they are a field full of sunshine and happiness for everyone to enjoy.

 

I had several images that I took at sunrise around the docks of Tofino that I was fond of so I picked the one that was by far the favorite by visitors to my websites. This one was actually worked up and presented as a tribute towards a horrible boating accident that happened a little over a week after we had left. Jamie's whaling station (located on the far right of the image) had one of their tour boats out looking for whales when it capsized killing several tourists that were on board. A beautiful sunrise is a great symbol for hope and new beginnings.

Tofino Docks Sunrise - A TributeTofino Docks Sunrise - A TributeOn a calm morning in early October the sun lights up the sky in a symphony of colors. The sleepy docks of Tofino start to wake with fishermen and tour boats preparing for the day. This specific image is my way of paying tribute to the recent tragedy that happened to this tight knit community when a tour boat from Jamie's whaling station sank killing 5 people. This image was taken just short of 2 weeks before the terrible accident happened. The docks where Jamie's Whaling Station boats are at is in the far right side of this image. As my heart breaks to all those directly affected and the town of Tofino, I know more amazing sunrises like this will come, signaling the time for healing and hope.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

The next image would fall more in the category of digital painting. It is still a photo that I took but I have worked it up through an application that gives it a painterly look. This year I have been doing a lot more digital painting image in hopes to diversify my portfolio. This is also one of those images that I took several years ago but was never happy with it until now.

Madison BullMadison BullThis is a digital painting from an image I took of a Bull Elk in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. This Bull was crossing the Madison River. It is Rut and he was with his harem.

 

 

While there were many more that deserve to be on the list, I welcome you to be the judge and pick out your favorites on either one of my websites. I also want to send out a huge Thank You to all that have followed my journey this year and those have have purchased my images. I can't wait to see the challenges that 2016 brings in the chase for amazing light. Thank you again and have a Happy New Year!

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work and sale info with discount codes. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

 


Comments

Mark Kiver Photography
Thank you Paul
Paul Conrad Photography(non-registered)
Beautiful work!!
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