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Visual Delights: A Look Back at My Top 10 Favorite Images of 2023

At the beginning of my year in photography, I embarked on a trip to Oregon, where I got the chance to capture the stunning beauty of the Columbia River Gorge and the Southern Coast. Among the many photos I took, two of them truly caught my eye. One of them was taken at Secret Beach, a place I had visited before, but the lighting this time around was simply breathtaking. I managed to capture the warmth of the setting sun beautifully, illuminating the sea stacks and the sandy beach in a way that was simply enchanting. It was truly a moment to remember.

Secret Beach Sunset

In the second image, I admire how the serene coolness of the evening gradually takes over the warmth of the sunset, creating a stunning contrast that's truly mesmerizing. The elegant silhouettes of the majestic Oregon Spruce trees add to the beauty of the scene, accentuating the peaceful and tranquil ambiance of the moment.

Transitions to Blue

After traveling inland to the Columbia River Gorge, I arrived at Multnomah Falls during a steady rainfall. I put on my rain gear, covered my (waterproof) camera in a plastic bag for added security, and headed out. My perseverance afforded me the opportunity to photograph the falls in conditions I had not experienced before. Although I have photographed Multnomah Falls several times over the years, this is my favorite image from there. The atmospheric conditions created a unique painterly feel.

Multnomah Falls Spring 23

From there, we went on an adventure to the mountains in search of a waterfall I had never seen before. After 45 minutes on Forest Service roads, we finally arrived at Panther Falls. The recent heavy rains created a dramatic high-level flow to the falls. This caused a heavy mist, making it difficult to photograph without getting soaked. I was constantly having to wipe the front of my lens.

Panther Falls

The next day, after the rain had cleared. I found both lupine and balsamroot blooming together due to the cooler, wetter spring that we were having. This composition required some time to find and properly compose. I don’t usually photograph into the sun, but I was drawn by how it backlighted the oak leaves and lupine.

Oaks & Lupines

Later in the spring, back in Montana…

On my Photography Wishlist, there has always been a desire to capture the stunning beauty of Lake McDonald across different seasons, all from a similar location. This year, I was able to make this dream a reality by capturing the spring and, later, the fall season. It was an absolute pleasure to witness the transformation of this breathtaking location as the seasons changed, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have captured these moments with my camera.

Lake McDonald Spring Sunset

As the summer of Art Shows drew to a close, I fondly reminisced about the amazing experiences I had and the wonderful people I got to meet. With the arrival of my favorite season, I eagerly awaited the chance to capture the beauty of nature through my lens. The colorful foliage, the gentle breeze, and the warm sunlight all beckoned me to explore and capture the essence of this magical season.

My first trips this fall were to an area that, even though I haven’t visited in a long time, I always thought there would be a great photograph to be had. After multiple long drives down dirt Forest Service roads, I finally found what I was looking for. This could be my favorite image of the year! I love the color and the texture of the foliage and how your eye is drawn up through the scene.

Red Meadows Hillside

As an avid photographer, I have visited Glacier National Park's Garden Wall multiple times, but each time, I am mesmerized by the unique beauty of this place. This year, I was lucky enough to witness the stunning colors that I had been missing out on due to road constructions and early pass closures in the past. As luck would have it, the sun was setting fast, and I was afraid that I would miss the opportunity to capture this breathtaking scene. With my camera and tripod in tow, I rushed to the perfect spot to capture the scene in exquisite detail. Through this photograph, I aimed to showcase how color can be an integral part of the subject and elevate the overall impact of an image.

Autumn Garden Wall

As part of my Lake McDonald sunset series, I was finally able to capture the perfect fall evening. The colors of the reflection on the lake, the beautiful clouds, and the overall ambiance made it one of the most unforgettable moments I have ever experienced. The combination of these elements created a breathtaking and stunning image that I was thrilled to capture.

Lake Mcdonald Fall Sunet

This is the culmination of a multiple-year effort. For the last six years, I have known what day of the year and what time of the day (to the minute) I wanted to make this photograph. The difficulty in trying to capture an image on Lake McDonald has been the wind coming off the mountains, creating rough water, and in recent years, closures due to road construction. Twelve years prior, I photographed a very similar image. Because I sell limited editions, that first rendition has sold out.

Autumn Shore 2023

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you who has supported my artistic endeavors over the years. It brings me immense joy to know that my creations have found a place in your homes and workplaces, brightening up your spaces and perhaps even inspiring you in some small way. Your support has been invaluable to me, and I am forever thankful for it.

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