Last week I shared a brief summary of the year just passed; this week I offer the fruits of all that labor.
Leading photo workshops for a living, I spend a lot of time in places I’ve visited many times, but it seems each spot feels more a part of me with each visit. This year in particular, I sought opportunities to add the Milky Way, a moonrise, fresh snowfall, an electrical storm, or some other transient natural phenomenon to my scene to further elevate these familiar landscapes.
But thrilling images notwithstanding, for me, and I suspect (hope?) for many, the true joy of nature photography isn’t the image itself, it’s the chase—all the planning and physical sacrifice that made it possible—as well as the humbling awe of being there. Last year, despite its difficulties, was chock-full of those experiences.
As you may have guessed, many of the scenes in the gallery above were shared with workshop participants. It took losing more than a dozen workshops to the pandemic to fully appreciate how much it lifts me to experience Nature’s best displays with people who are as awestruck as I am, and I felt blessed to get that back in 2021.
On the other hand, I feel similarly blessed for those rare opportunities to commune with Nature in meditative solitude. With 16 workshops last year (and all the planning and organization they required), I had precious few truly private photo moments in 2021. But the opportunities I did have still resonate clearly.
Another thing that happens when I review images from the year just ended is a reminder of the visual treats in store for the coming year. I have no idea what I’ll see in 2022, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know that I’ll create more images that thrill me, and more memories to sustain me.
Thanks to each of you for your support, in whatever form that takes. Whether you’re a workshop student, an avid follower, or just a casual browser, I’m so happy you’ve joined me on this amazing ride.
Gary, I loved all of them but # 1 and # 3 are my favs. Are you sure that wasn’t an Atom Bomb cloud from a test in Nevada?? Just kidding.
Have a great 2022 and beyond.
Milky Way over Puna may be one of your best images ever, after New Zealand Milky Way images.
Happy NEW YEAR 🎆
Heaven and Earth is a masterpiece but love them all! Yosemite Fall Reflections 2021 will stand as one of my best photographic experiences so far. Looking forward to Hawaii 2022! Melanie