Favorite moments of 2019

Favorites from last year. Maybe not my very best work, but things I like or had some luck with. This first one is from a nearby segment of the Ice Age Trail that runs by the Wisconsin River. Snow on the ground, but spring in the air. Hemlocks in the sun. Irresistible.

You know the feeling

These next two got more interesting when I played with processing to really up the feelings of each. I used a texture overlay for the leaf and a black and white filter for the second.


This was the largest alligator I saw in New Orleans and it was just under a bridge, everyone else missed it – just hurried on by. I like how using…I think a green filter created a really big difference between the plants and the reptile.

care I if me Ask

My first real glimpse of a natural bayou after my guide led me out of the manufactured canals and into the deeper forest. We had to do some hard paddling through thick plants, but oh, it was so worth it! I like the balance in this shot and the way the trunks are framed by smaller trees.

Decided before your birth

A favorite spot – Ripley Creek. I’ve done a lot of black and white work with this little stream, but this is a favorite view. I like the white banks and the dark river with the highlights. It’s dramatic yet kind of soothing.

The enduring lure

A rare interior shot of an abandoned house. Normally I don’t go in old houses for a lot of reasons and I didn’t this time either – but I did stand on some debris for this one. I still had to hold the camera up and use the screen pointed down at me to compose. The chair with the phone is just so poignant to me. A little bit of everyday life left over. I like the way the missing glass in the windows makes this more intimate.

Final transmission

These two capture the Duoro river valley so perfectly. One from down at water level and one from the very top of the banks. No wonder it’s a World Heritage Site.

Duoro view

More from Portugal. The light was fading fast as we left this amazing estate that is not normally open to the public. The shade on the far hills helps emphasize the late afternoon sun lighting up the vines. And those poppies! Amazing that just the flowers are lit. Right place, right time.

Life on the slopes

Serendipity makes this a favorite – I didn’t notice the fly at all when I took it. The peeper knew it was there though. When I looked at it in the computer,  I saw it, too, and realized it was on the same focal plane as the frog. So very cool. I probably couldn’t do this on purpose if I tried.

A quick snack

You didn’t think you’d get away without a mushroom shot did you?

I don’t know what it is about this one that I like so much. Maybe the different textures. The way the colors come together. The near perfection of this little russula. The crisp focus. All of it I guess. I just really like it and so here it is.

A solitary you

Back to my beloved Spirit river for these next four –

The flooded woods on the banks is paddling like I’ve never experienced before. It just keeps going and going and going. I know there are places I have yet to see, but this is one I’ve been through before. Not with light like this though. Nearly putting the near trees in silhouette with the farther trees brilliantly lit by the sun. An astounding late summer treat for me.

Earthly bower

While the water is slow and serene most of the time, it can get kicked up by wind out in the main channel. When it’s still though, the reflections are amazing and I have many shots of different sections of river all lit up, but in fall it’s just magical. I had no idea that the color peaked so much earlier right on the river and so this perfect time is pure luck. This is early or mid September!

Glory be
All the rewards

And of course and eagle. This one flew away from me when we first met each other up river, but this time it not only let me slow and change lenses, but also turn and park in some grass to steady the boat. A very patient model.

You again

This is one of the first scenes to capture my attention when I visited this bit of forest. At first it was the stump, but then the little sapling materialized out of the mist and this image came together. I love it for the way it depicts the life cycle of trees; that for every big one that falls it creates an opportunity for young ones to flourish. This looks like a sugar maple and while you might think it’s very young, it could very well be several decades old. Sugars are very shade tolerant and can just idle along in the shadows of their larger cousins for years and years, just waiting for their time in the sun.

Hear that voice again


This is another recent shot, but one I love to pieces. At the time it was the light that got me to hustle my butt to take it, but then I saw how the tree shadows and the tree trunks could line up to make some subtle, but effective leading lines. Down on one knee paying respect to the past, then some strategic processing makes this an emotional photo in my opinion.

Passed down

One you haven’t seen before on the blog, but taken during the Mondeaux Esker trail snowshoe hike. The light was pretty wonderful and the air so still the snow remained on the trees for hours and hours. I like the composition very much and the difference between the shaded trees and the sunny trees. A little golden hour and inner radiance help in Luminar brings out all its best.

Frozen warmth

There are so many more I could have included here, but I’ll stop with the winter bookends. I hope you enjoyed my runners up.

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