Top Ten (favourite) Images of 2019

This will be the fifth consecutive year that I have compiled a list of the top ten favourite of my images from the past year. Every year I create this list, in part, to participate in Jim Goldstein’s blog project on his JGM Galleries site, where he encourages photographers to participate by linking a post with their top photos of the year. It is also a great way for me to see what progress I have made over the year and to have something to look back on to see the changes in my photography over the years.

Without further ado, here are my personal top ten images, in no particular order.

Lions Gate Bridge with Downtown Vancouver

I have been wanting to do more night photography for some time, so I was very happy to get out to West Vancouver and look back at Vancouver for this night image. The lights of downtown are nicely set between the bridge and Stanley Park, and if you look closely, you will see a bird standing still in the water, just to the right of the near point of land.

Falls Through the Trees

I found it tough to winnow the list down to just ten, so I had to make some tough choices. There are a lot of great areas for photography within a couple hours drive that I get out to often, but I thought I’d try exploring some of the lesser known areas that are even closer to me this year. I discovered this little gem on one of those hikes. This image narrowly edged out another hidden waterfall I stumbled upon which was featured in my most recent prior blog post.

High Speed Seaweed

Another thing I’ve found myself doing more of in 2019, is making minimalist images. Often I find compositions I like on the beaches and this little bundle of seaweed, with the sand pattern created by waters retreating back to the ocean, reminded me of a comet streaking through the heavens above.

Fast Moving Fog

In the matter of a few minutes, fog rolled off unseen fields, just to the left of the area viewed in this image. This beach is at the very northern end of Vancouver Island and I had gone on a several day hiking & camping trip to get there, as well as other places in the park.

Flames of Sand

This is another image that started out as quite minimalist, but I decided to get more creative with it. I have a version with natural colouring and that closely lost out to this one for my top ten list. When I saw these patterns in the sand I immediately thought they reminded me of flames that would be painted on the hood or sides of a muscle car, so when I was processing the image, I used a red & yellow split tone effect to achieve what I saw in my mind’s eye. I have since made a large metal print of this and it is on display at the BC Ministry of Health building in Victoria for the month of December.

Milky Way over the Sooke Bridge

I have several Milky Way images from this year, some of which show it much more clearly and fully than this one; however, I chose this for this year’s top ten list because I like that it features the bridge into Sooke, BC. I have only recently been experimenting with astrophotography and low level lighting and can see myself doing a lot more of this in the future.

Mirrored Globe

This reflective ball sits perched upon a pedestal at The Buchart Gardens on Vancouver Island. I found the scene reflected to be fascinating but had to act quickly as there were quite a few people milling about and the reflection covered a very wide angle. A little patience paid off and I managed to get this image, with a starburst from the sun and no people in it, while I hid myself behind one of the reflected bushes at the centre of the image. There were a few little bits of me that were visible that I used Photoshop to make disappear.

Centre of Attraction

Even though I’ve already included one image from The Buchart Gardens, I had to add this one from the Japanese gardens there, as well.I loved the way the sun highlighted the tree and how the branches sprawling throughout it.

Seaweed and Shadows

Looking down on this floating bull kelp, I found the contrast between the lighter sandy bottom and the darker area where the pier cast a shadow on the ocean floor interesting.

On Final Approach

The gardens and castle at Hatley Park are another favourite location of mine to go for photography. There were lots of bees in this particular area of the gardens and so I was getting some shallow depth of field shots of them on these thistles, when I saw one approaching a thistle-head that another bee was crawling on. I was able to adjust my position and capture this image that really makes me happy every time I look back at it.

So that’s it. My Top Ten (favourite) Images for 2019. Now it’s just about time to start working on building up my 2020 portfolio and creating a large digital stack of images that I’ll be sorting through for next year’s list. Before I go, I am leaving one last “bonus” image, that was something of an experiment. I created it early in the year and then left it. I came back to it a couple times and decided to print it out. I framed it in a wide black frame, with a white matt that had a black inner edge, and just love it. While it didn’t officially make the cut for my top ten, here it is (I’ve given it a black outline just for display here)…

Please let me know what you think about the images on my list and make sure to check out some of the other images by some fantastic photographers at JGM Galleries.

Exploring San Josef Bay

There are many areas of Vancouver Island that I’ve explored, but far more that I haven’t, yet.  Most of my exploration has been near the southern end of the island, but my trip to San Josef Bay, in Cape Scott Provincial Park, took me to the far northern end and was quite an adventure.

menacing dark grey clouds and misty rain over the treed slopes of Cape Scott Provincial Park

Angry clouds hang over San Josef Bay beach

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Exploring the Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula (and Olympic National Park) is just a short ferry ride across the Straight of Juan de Fuca from Victoria, and somewhere I’ve been meaning to visit for years.  I’m glad that I finally did!

US flag waves on back of ferry across the Jaun de Fuca straight

Victoria recedes in the distance as MV Coho departs for Port Washington

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A Relaxing Trip to Tofino

Tofino is always one of my favourite places to go to get away.  No matter what time of year you go, there’s always something interesting to do… or you can just relax in nature and escape the hectic pace of everyday life.  This trip I went in search of gray whales, with Jamie’s Whaling Station, onboard the Chinook Princess.

a faint rainbow can be seen in front of the mountains in Tofino BC

A rainbow over the Tofino harbour

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The Wonders of Sombrio Beach

Sombrio Beach is a place I’ve been meaning to check out for quite some time.  In fact, a few weeks ago I actually drove there (it’s around an hour drive pst Sooke, along a the twisty West Coast Road), but when I arrived, both parking areas were full and the gravel road leading to it was lined with cars on both sides for some distance up the hill, so I decided to try again another day.  I’m glad I did, because when I returned this time, there were only a few people camping on the beach and it was a great day to explore.

a wood plank bridge crosses Rosemond Creek

One of the many small bridges on West Coast Road, heading towards Sombrio Beach

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A Hike Around Botanical Beach

A Hike Around Botanical Beach

I arranged for a small group from my local photo club to go on a day trip to Botanical Beach.  The beach is best seen at low tide, when the many unique features can be more easily observed, and the water doesn’t keep you off the beach.  This took a bit of coordination to get the timings right and as the day approached, it looked like we might be more in danger of getting wet from the rain than the ocean.

black and white image of Botanical Beach showing rocky shore and some trees under dark clouds

Moody clouds over Botanical Beach, BC.

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Ice Shots on the Beach

It was about a degree below freezing with just enough of a breeze to make it seem much cooler down at Sandcut Beach, but the sun was out and it was a beautiful day for photography. Look out from the beach and on most days you can see the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. I have heard there and many excellent photographic opportunities there and hope to check it out myself some time in the future.

Log on beach overlooking rock and Olympic Peninsula

Looking across the water at our American neighbours 

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2016 Photowalk in Oak Bay

This was the third year I participated in one of Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walks (WWPW). They are held the same day in cities all around the world. My local walk for the Victoria, B.C. Area was in Oak Bay and started at the marina.

old gentleman sitting on a bench with his book

Taking in the View at the Oak Bay Marina

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Ongoing Adventures of Henrietta the Hen

Ongoing Adventures of Henrietta the Hen

Quite some time ago I first met Henrietta, a chicken in search of her long lost uncle, Larry-Lays-Two-Eggs.  I told the story of our meeting over at the Oopoomoo blog, and it can be found here.  While Henrietta has grown quite comfortable on Vancouver Island, she has not given up her quest to find her long lost uncle.  Recently, she searched high and low at Gordon’s Beach and even tried to recruit a passer-by to help, but in the end she knew it was up to her alone to find him.

a rocky beach watched over by a chicken on a log and walking woman

Searching the Beach

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