Top Ten (favourite) Images of 2021

This is now the seventh consecutive year that I am writing a post about my top images of the past year. Last year at this time, I, like many other people probably were, thought life would be back to something resembling normal by now. As we all know, life had different ideas for us. I really hopped that I would be getting out with my camera more often as well as posting more frequently, but that didn’t happen. I did get out a bit and had some photos that I am happy with, so I am sharing them here, along with my thoughts.

Several times a year I go into the city specifically for photography, but often even when it’s not a photography specific trip, I still bring my camera with me. That is what happed with the photo below. I had taken my car to the dealership for some very minor work and had an hour or so to hang out while it was being done. Across the street is a large building that was reflecting the wispy, white clouds and blue sky and I thought the pattern was interesting, as was the contrast between the lighter (left side) and darker side. This photo actually received a live review on one of my favourite podcasts, Behind The Shot – Image Critique (on YouTube) and I did a little re-editing based upon their suggestions.

reflections of the sky
Shades of Blue

One of the few times I went on a photography specific trip was when I went up to San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Provincial Park. It is a long drive, but always worth it. The rainy weather made for a less than comfortable day hike at the beach, but it certainly added an element of atmosphere to the photography that day.

a group of rocks with trees
San Josef Bay Sea Stacks

This year I also found myself having a greater appreciation for abstract scenes and the beach can be a great place to find them, if you can look beyond the grand vistas. The patterns in the sand are disrupted here, by this piece of kelp that has formed a gentle loop along with evidence of foam bubbles that burst after the waters receded.

kelp looped on the sand
Natural Beach Art

Looking down, I saw this beach scene, below, and though it looked almost like a pencil sketch of a distorted Jaba the Hut face. I decided to capture it and process it as a black and white image. I’ve since tried my hand at a little pencil sketching, but nothing quite like this!

seeing faces in the sand
Face of the Beach

The biggest trip I took in 2021 was to the Kootenays, and I took advantage of the trip to do a lot of sightseeing along the way, as it had been many years since I had driven the southern route through the province. I definitely don’t want to wait too long before exploring the area more. I liked the way the river was flowing past these three old posts in the Slocan River. It gives me a calm, relaxed feeling.

three decaying poles
Last Three Standing

Some of the areas I drove through on that trip showed signs of past fires. As unfortunate as it is for wildfires to destroy trees and anything else in their path, it is interesting how what was left behind afterwards can still catch the eye and be appreciated. While this lone tree stood on the angled ridge line, against a foreboding sky, renewed signs of life can be seen, like the small evergreen a little lower on the hill.

a burnt tree on the hill
Scorched but Standing

With the morning sun low on the horizon, the hills around the Osoyoos area were accented by the shadows and the distant fog. I loved the way they seemed to go on and on and the warm feeling I get, looking back at this image.

rolling hills and mist
A Study in Layers

I know earlier I talked about looking down for unique images, but it pays to look all around, including up, if you want to find something different than everyone else. I saw these cables and the way they intersected and knew they would make an interesting subject. I shifted my viewpoint around and waited until the clouds drifted to a point where they added more interest to the scene and quite like the result.

cables under tension
Got Your Wires Crossed?

There are many places close to home that I like returning to over and over, and this is one of them, but the specific scene is not one I’d previously paid much attention to. It’s a little cove, just off to the side from a lighthouse that is the normal subject of my attention. This time, I decided to do some long exposure photography, and happened to notice that, from the right angle, the rock formation on the beach looked like a couple of stacked pyramids.

rocks, ocean, waves
Long Exposure in Front of Natural Pyramids

My final image selected for the year captures a traffic circle in the snow, the day after Christmas (Boxing Day here in Canada, among other places). The heavier traffic on three sides of the roundabout leave a clear dark path, which kind of remind me of an ancient Egyptian eye hieroglyph. In the last couple of months I have started using my drone more often for photography and am really enjoying the perspective.

a traffic circle in the snow
Snow on the Eye-way

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look back on my favourite photos from 2021 and come on back to see what 2022 will bring.

Remember, if you enjoy my work, you can always buy me a coffee!

4 thoughts

  1. I can’t believe that the San Josef sea stacks (one of my favorites) is an image from 2021! It feels like I’ve seen it AGES ago but I’ve had that sensation a couple of times with photos and events that actually did happen in 2021! “Last Three Standing” is another one I find very attractive, and the “Study in Layers” too. A very nice selection of images, once more. All the best for 2022, with good light and lots of photo opportunities.

    1. San Josef Bay is one of those locations that I love to go to, but at over a 7 hour drive to get there, I don’t go as often as I’d like. It does seem like long ago that I was last there, but it’s been hard to keep track of time for the last couple of years!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the images and appreciate your feedback. I hope you have a great year with good health and lots of fantastic photo adventures!

  2. Great photos Drake – the Cape Scott Provincial Park one is probably my favourite. The reflections in the building glass are also pretty awesome! 🙂 Hopefully this year we can have more normal times than we did in 2021!

    1. Thanks Michael, I really appreciate your comments. There’s so much to see at Cape Provincial Park, but those sea stacks are always great and once you get to the park, are easy to get to.
      Something close to ‘normal’ times would be very welcome.

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