First, I hope everyone had a great holiday season and I always wish everyone a healthy and prosperous new year. As most of you know as I prepare for the next year, I always take some time to reflect upon my photography from the previous year. This year, I focused much of my energies in my home state of Nebraska, but did head north to South Dakota on two occasions. Mentally, I went into this year wanting to focus primarily on capturing landscape images, but I never let an good wildlife or intimate nature image opportunity go by. Upon review, I feel incredible lucky to be able to have experienced nature in these moments and to capture these images to share. Overall, I can say that inspirationally this was an awesome year and I am excited for 2019.
Also, all the images from 2018 on my website can be viewed: Images from 2018.
My yearly disclaimer: As with every year, with each selection I consider the technical and aesthetic aspects, but also if they hold any special memory or meaning for me. The following images are in no particular order.
Every year I take my eldest daughter camping. This year I let her pick the location and she choose the beautiful Black Hills in western South Dakota. One evening after we had setup camp we took a hike through the lush forest along the Grace Coolidge stream. I found this beautiful vantage near an opening in the forest that filter through this lovely light. A favorite image from a memorable and wonderful trip.
I’ve only seen a bobcat in nature twice before in my travels. Once in the Arkansas Ozarks and again in a rural area of Montana. In neither case was I able to capture an image. This time, in Custer State Park in South Dakota, I had camera in hand and managed to on a few shots before he had enough of me.
This year I wanted to visit and hike Fort Robinson State Park in northwestern Nebraska. I managed to make three trips out during different seasons. On my autumn trip I brought my family and we hiked to the top of the bluffs for sunset. We were rewarded with this beautiful sunset.
Besides capturing landscapes I had two other goals in mind. One, to capture more images of windmills in rural Nebraska, and two to get new and unique shots of Toadstool Geologic Park. I managed to do both with this one shot.
Another image of Fort Robinson captured during a sunrise climb among the bluffs. Lovely light on Lover’s Leap. Additionally, I wanted to work on capturing more panoramic images so I was pleased with the format on this one.
Perhaps the most prominent identifying landscape of Nebraska, Chimney Rock. I had planned on focusing solely on capturing spire for at least a day. The day I picked could not have been more perfect, fluffy clouds that floated into the distance, deep azure skies, and wonderful light. I found this vantage high on a nearby bluff which allowed me to get a very wide shot of not only Chimney Rock but the expanse of the Great Plains all around.
I mentioned earlier I had a goal to capture more windmill shots. What could be better than an intense sunset with a full tank reflecting the beautiful colors.
While driving through Wind Cave National Park in western South Dakota, I passed over this stream many times. On this beautiful morning I relaxed by the trickling water and enjoyed the fresh air and scene before me.
I explored deep into Toadstool Geologic Park this year and climbed beyond where I had been before. My reward was finding an area that I think few have seen. I waited for late afternoon to capture the beautiful light on the hoodoos among the landscape.
My last image is a common sight on the Great Plains, that of a thunderstorm. I especially love it when dark gloomy clouds have texture and shape. Additionally, roads like these are among my favorite type, quiet, rural and can take you places few have seen. Would you want to take this road into the storm?