I did quite a bit of traveling this year, but I don't feel like it was a vintage year for my travel and landscape photography. Good landscape photography takes a lot of time and quite a bit of equipment, neither of which lends itself to traveling with a family or traveling on business. I'm also finding that I'm often now revisiting locations, so finding something new to photograph becomes more of a challenge. That said, as I look back at the collection here, there were more than a few shots I was really proud of in 2017, and, ironically, some locations I really want to get back to...
This was taken from the newly opened 14th floor terrace of the Google NYC office. I'm glad I took this one when I had the chance as I've since moved to a new company. The sunset didn't really perform for me that evening, but I think the photo works well regardless.
THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW
I had an idea that the contrast between the gothic St Patrick's and the modernist Atlas statue / Rockefeller Center opposite might make for an interesting composition. It took two visits and many attempts for me to make this work. I like the resulting shot, even if the blown highlights on Atlas's leg still annoy me (I tried a HDR version but it was not good).
VALLEY OF FIRE
This location is about an hour north of Las Vegas. We arrived too late in the day to really make the most of it, but still managed to pass an enjoyable few hours. This place looks like an alien landscape, which is probably why its been featured in numerous movies, including being the scene of Captain Kirk's rather ignominious death in Star Trek Generations.
EMERALD BAY SUNRISE
I've been to Tahoe a lot, but normally end up staying in Truckee, near the north side of the lake, which means its not too handy to get to Emerald Bay. This time however, we were staying with friends in South Lake Tahoe, so I was determined to get a sunrise shot of Emerald Bay. I arrived at 6am and had the location to myself. It looked as though the sunrise would be a bust, but for about two minutes there was a spectacular glow just as the sun peaked above the hills opposite. I have a very large print of this and it looks great.
GRAND CANAL DUBLIN
My visit to Dublin in June will probably be my last for quite a while, as I no longer have a business reason to visit. I'm happy then, that I got this last shot of the city that I called home for many years. As I was walking along the Grand Canal I noticed the lovely sunset glow on the Georgian row houses opposite and thought that the reflection in the still canal water would make for a nice - and uniquely Dublin - composition.
You have to be determined to get to Bodie. Miles and miles from anywhere, with the last ten or so of those on a winding dirt road, its not the kind of place one just stumbles upon. I'd been wanting to visit this well preserved ghost town since I first arrived in California six years ago, and it did not disappoint. There's loads of glorious decay to photograph, but this landscape shot, taken from the town's cemetery, proved to be my favorite. There was a thunderstorm while we were there and as it cleared, the clouds cast some wonderful shadows over the hills behind the town.
These Bristlecone Pine trees, high in California's White Mountains, are up to 5000 years old. Some have been standing silent on this bleak mountainside throughout all of recorded human history. It is a truly awe-inspiring place to visit (in fact, the only place that I can compare it to is Australia's Uluru). The gnarled beauty of the oldest trees is particularly photographic.
CONVICT LAKE, SUNRISE
The Eastern Sierras have to be California's best kept secret. Its a stunning place. I still can't quite believe it took me six years to get here. I got up about 6am to take this sunrise shot of a nearby alpine lake. The shoot was almost ruined by the sole other photographer there who decided to set up position on these rocks. Thankfully, he soon decamped to another spot, and all was well.
Our trip to Mexico this year was a photographic bust. There's not much of interest to see in and around Pureto Vallarta without a car (which we didn't have). We did however, have a beach, so I headed down a couple of evenings to see if the sunset would deliver, and it did... once.
EVENING COMMUTER, GRAND CENTRAL
I had a lot of fun with my wide angle lens in NYC, and took a number of photos in Grand Central. I like this composition, because it captures the majority of the incredibly artistic ceiling and architecture while still capturing a little of the life that flows through the station.