January 26, 2015: My Top Ten Photos for 2015 and Why

In many ways 2015 was a very good year; full of growth, settling into retirement, finding out about my spouse and sons, a mini-vacation to Yachats, Oregon, and a refreshed look at my photography.

This year I’m doing something different – I’ve selected 10 of my most favorite photographs of 2015 that I would like to share with you.  Selecting 10 photographs was an interesting process and, in the end, I was able to whittle down my selections to 10.  They include both a macro and micro view of the world I live in: photos from around our house as well as those from various trips or excursions made last year.

Please note all photos were taken with the Nikon Df and various Nikon lens.  All images, with the exception of number 1, were processed solely in Capture One Pro 9.  Image 1 is a panoramic composed of multiple images and stitched together in Autopano Pro, then process in Photoshop.

(Click on the images for a larger view)

Here we go:

10.  Mushrooms on Lavender Branches

Mushrooms on Lavender Branches

Mushrooms on Lavender Branches

I have a fascination with mushrooms of all sorts.  These tiny mushrooms were growing on an old lavender branches we had taken off of a very old plant (approximately 10 – 12 years old) that we had to pull up as it was sprawling everywhere and the plant was struggling to produce blooms.  So, we pulled it up and saved some of the most interesting  branches.

This photo also incorporates my zeal to get back into Black & White using the zone system.

 

 

 

9. September Super Moon

September Super Moon

September Super Moon

Last year was a bumper year for super moons and the one in September did not disappoint.  There was a large crowd of photographers and viewers out that crisp evening and, once the moon cleared the ground clouds, it turned out to be spectacular.

 

 

 

8.  Love In The Mist

Dried Love in The Mist

Dried Love in The Mist

We’ve had Love in The Mist for a few years now and it’s spreading like crazy.  We don’t mind as the flowers are quite interesting when they bloom and when the seed pods are ready to harvest as this one is in the photo, we gather the most delicate tiny seeds, let them dry for use in the kitchen.  You might know the seeds as “Nigella”.  This particular image was posed indoors.

 

7.  Silver Lake, on the way up to Mt. St. Helens

Silver Lake, on the way up to Mt. St. Helens

Silver Lake, on the way up to Mt. St. Helens

Last April I took a day trip to Mt. Saint Helens.  I went specifically to capture a good side view of the volcano instead of the more traditional frontal view.  As I turned off of I5 South onto Highway 504 (aka Spirit Lake Highway) and drove towards the volcano, I came across the lake on my right.  It was early morn and the lake was covered in fog and the light was beautiful.  I find this image very serene.

 

6. Golden Hops between Sun and Shade

Golden Hops between sun and shade

Golden Hops between sun and shade

We have four hop vines growing near the house.  Two that were planted in half wooden barrels years ago and two more we just planted this past summer.

This particular hops vine is a Golden Hops vine and produces an incredible amount of hops each year.  When the hops are fully ripened they have a wonderful aroma and have a silky feel in your hand.

This particular bunch was in a transition zone between the sun and shade.

 

 

 

5.  Passion Flower Seed Pod

Passion Flower seed pod

Passion Flower seed pod

Each year we have a small number of Passion flowers bloom in the semi-shaded area of the yard.  In the past I’ve always photographed the flowers but never really the seed pods.  This year I really noticed the pods and kept an eye out for the right lighting conditions.  Then one day, the sun was at the right angle, the pod was covered in spider web fragments and dew – a perfect opportunity.

 

4.  The Spruce Goose and other Vintage aircraft at the Air & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon

The Spruce Goose and other vintage aircraft, The Oregon Air & Space Museum

The Spruce Goose and other vintage aircraft, The Oregon Air & Space Museum

We took a mini-vacation to Oregon last fall.  Once we realized that the Spruce Goose had been transferred to the Oregon Air & Space Museum, we stopped on our way back home in Washington State.

I read about the Spruce Goose many, many years ago and really hoped I would have the opportunity to see the airplane at some point in my life.  If you like vintage aircraft, particularly the Spruce Goose, you owe it to yourself to visit the Air & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

The museum had to build a special building to display the Spruce Goose due to it’s immense size.  Surrounding the Spruce Goose are many other vintage aircraft from the early years of aviation to more modern times, including a B17, ME-262, DC3, P51, a PBY, and many, many others.

3. Heceta Beach, Oregon

Heceta Beach, Oregon

Heceta Beach, Oregon

This was taken in our October trip to Oregon and was one of the places we had planned to see regardless of what else we did.

It’s a beautiful beach to walk on, has many sea caves you can walk into, and it’s where the Heceta Beach lighthouse is located.  This particular shot was taken from the lighthouse area and it’s a beautiful view, even with the heavy clouds over head.  The bridge is the only bridge of its kind in Oregon with that particular structure.

2. Hummingbird and Tudor Rose

Hummingbird and a Tudor Rose

Hummingbird and a Tudor Rose

Over the years at least three pairs of hummingbirds now live here year long much to our delight.  This particular image is representative of the view we have each morning as the hummingbirds swoop in to feed, chase the rivals off, play with each other as they dart, twist, and zoom out of sight.

It’s a view we never grow tried of.

 

And now my most favorite….

  1. Late Morning Sunrise, Mt. St. Helens, Washington State
Hummingbird and a Tudor Rose

Late Morning Sunrise, Mt. St. Helens, Washington State

I love sunrises and landscapes, particularly in a panoramic setting and this one has it all.  This was taken last April on my day trip to Mt. St. Helens to catch the mountain in sunrise.  Unfortunately I didn’t factor in the amount of time it would take to drive from the I5 South turnoff to this vista and by the time I arrived, the sun was over the horizon.  The particular viewpoint I stopped at has a low rock wall you can stand on which gives you just a little better view.  As it was early in the year, I and two other visitors, were the only people lucky enough to see this view.

It’s my favorite simply because I can get lost in it as I look at it.

 

 

 

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