2015 Year in Review
|Milky Way over Big Bend|
This has been an amazing year for me in photography with some great trips, fantastic sunsets, and clear dark nights.
2015 started with me being in the field awaiting sunrise on New Years Day. We had cold rain breaking a streak of some ten years of cloudless sky. That rain turned out to be a forecast of the year to come as rain was the key word here in Texas. A normal year sees us get about 30" of rain and we have gone several years with drought and getting about 20" of rain. This year we have had 59" and the year is not over yet! It has been the wettest year on record.
|Nolan River Flood|
I saw a few flooding events and the high water levels impacted several planned locations for the year.
I went to the Brazos river another morning even though the moon was up just to get out and see a few stars and actually got a few nice images of an old bridge.
|Guadalupes at Night|
The Lost Mesa turned out to be just a weak sunset, but I caught a great sunset on the dunes at Guadalupe Mountains. I am always struck by the absolute silence here. It is stone quiet standing out here all alone. Watching the sunset the only sound is the click of the camera.
|Texas hoodoos at night|
It was then off to Big Bend for several days in the desert with some great wildflowers, a few good sunsets, and some good night images. I have found several locations I like and have learned the best season for each for night images. Now, now matter what time of year, I have some spots that will work.
After a week of little sleep, I needed a vacation to rest up from my vacation.
Our bluebonnet season was bad this year, that late ice storm really put the damper on flowers. I had a quick trip to Salt Lake City and got in a sunset at the Great Salt Lake in the middle of the gnat season. I think they are worse than cold or snow! :-)
|Spring Wildflowers in Big Bend|
|Great Salt Lake|
|The Snowy Range|
In July I also had to goto Colorado and took an opportunity to get there a day early and go spend the night in the Snowy Range of Wyoming. This was one of those trips I only took the Sony A7S and standing high in the mountains, I got some great night images with amazing green air glow.
For just having 24 hours up there I got in a lot of good photography and got several images for the portfolio. Planning pays off. As does having a place few other people go to. One of the many reasons Wyoming is one of my favorite states!
|Snowy Range at night|
|Halealaka at Night|
In the late summer I also had some of my Collections featured on Google+ which was a huge honor. You can see them here: Google+
I had to go to Maui in late September. I know horrible....... I flew in a few days early, took my tent and camped on Halealaka and then along the coast at Hana. I got to see a side of Hawaii few see these days. The seascapes were good with some rainy sunrises along the coast and it was a cold night on the volcano at 10,000'. I took a down jacket with me to Hawaii. Let that sink in......
The night sky was great in the middle of the Pacific although the Milky Way was already too far west to photograph over the crater.
|Nolan River Nightscape|
In October I did a quick 5 day trip to Big Bend. It was a solo trip and I went specifically for some fall night photography. It was my first trip to Big Bend with the Sony A7S and I put it to good use getting some amazing views of the night sky there in the park.
The end of October saw me with a week in Zion. Well it was supposed to be a week where I went to Bryce and Zion but some unexpected things happened and it turned into a week of camping in Zion. This is another trip I have yet to cover on the blog as I run behind by at least a few months.
I waded the Narrows again this year. For the first time I rented the dry pants and shoes. Wow what a difference! In the past I just wore shorts and Keen sandals. That works in September, but not around Halloween. I spent most of the day in the Narrows and got of of the best images I have ever made there.
I got to see fall color around the area and despite the fact it was a full moon week, got in a few nights of dark sky before moonrise. The night images were everything I was hoping I could get.
|Zion Canyon at night|
November brought fall color to north Texas and I spent every free day visiting local parks and and making drives looking for fall color.
After a rather hectic fall it was nice to just be around the home area and take in the local experience. I caught some great fall color and then the above mentioned rain at Thanksgiving made another chance for some flood photos.
I also did something a little different for me, bought a SJ400 action camera and started doing some videos out in the field and even put together a YouTube channel. You can check it out here: My You Tube Channel
|Fall color and flood on the West Fork|
In December I kept photographing fall color, high water and even got in a night at an old church that is a favorite location. I had envisioned a shot with the Milky Way and after September visit figured December would be perfect, we made some special arrangements and on a fantastic mild Texas December night got some great images.
I also had a couple of images published this month. Both from Big Bend. One in Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine and one in Wild West magazine. Check them out in you local bookstore.
|Big Falls on the West Fork|
2016 is starting to plan up for me too with a spring trip to Big Bend in the works and who knows what else.
Thanks 2015 for a great year and I look forward to what 2016 brings.