Favorites From The Year

The end of another year, another trip around the sun. Time to pause and look back and reflect on the successes and failures of the year. Time to wrap up the year with a baker’s dozen of my favorite images from 2018. My initial thought when putting this post together was to write about journeys and challenges, sunrises and long drives through the predawn hours. But I decided to just lay them out in chronological order, with a short note about why they’re my favorites and let them do the rest of the talking for themselves…

North Window, Arches National Park in Utah. Nikon D750, Nikon 24-70mm lens at 24mm, f2.8, ISO100, 1/250 second. January 22. This is a favorite because I’ve seen many images of the North Window but never from this angle.

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Nikon D750, Nikon 14-24mm lens at 14mm, f22, ISO100, five exposures combined in Photomatix Pro. January 23. This is a favorite because I had reservations about going to an iconic location that has been shot to death and ended up enjoying every minute of it.

Santa Rosa de Lima near Abiquiu, New Mexico. Nikon D750, Nikon 24-70mm lens at 24mm, f8, ISO100, 1/800 second, converted to monochrome with Nik Silver Efex Pro. July 12. This is a favorite because the moment I saw this cloud hovering behind the cross in my mind’s eye I saw black and white – and I was right.

Tomichi Point, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado. Nikon D750, Nikon 24-70mm lens at 24mm, f8, ISO800, five exposures combined in Photomatix Pro. July 16. This is a favorite because I got to watch a beautiful sunrise in the company of this old tree.

Nebraska Panhandle. Nikon D750, Nikon 24-70mm lens at 24mm, f8, ISO100, 1/320 second. September 5. This is a favorite because I wasn’t expecting to be presented with such beauty that day.

Roughlock Falls, Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota. Nikon D750, Nikon 24-70mm lens at 70mm (DX crop mode on, EFL 105mm), f14, ISO100, 1 second. September 7. This is a favorite because I never expected shooting waterfalls to be the highlight of my time spent in South Dakota.

South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Nikon D750, Nikon 24-70mm lens at 70mm, f8, ISO100, 1/60 second. September 8. This is a favorite because I happened to be in the right place at the right time and didn’t blow it when taking the shot.

Sangre de Cristos Mountains outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Nikon D750, Nikon 70-200mm lens at 200mm, f2.8, ISO100, 1/125 second. October 9. This is a favorite because my gut told me to go there even though the colors had peaked and it turned out that my gut was right.

Fourth Of July Canyon, Manzano Mountains in New Mexico. Nikon D750, Nikon 24-70mm lens at 56mm, f5.6, ISO100, 1/100 second, +1 exposure compensation. October 16. This is a favorite because I wasn’t expecting to find a slice of New England in New Mexico.

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Preserve in New Mexico. Nikon D750, Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary lens at 600mm, f6.3, ISO400, 1/2000 second. November 27. This is a favorite because I went to Bosque with a new lens and no experience shooting birds and left with a few images (like this one) that I love.

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. Nikon D750, Nikon 24-70mm lens at 24mm, f22, ISO100, five exposures combined in Photomatix Pro. December 4. This is a favorite because it was a beautiful sunrise, and in the moment I was almost giddy knowing that not only was I fortunate enough to witness it, but also I would be able to share it.

Temple Of The Sun, Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. Nikon D750, Nikon 24-70mm lens at 48mm, f2.8, ISO100, five exposures combined in Photomatix Pro. December 5. This is a favorite because I was in the middle of nowhere, cold, surrounded by silence, after a long slow drive down a winding dirt road, waiting for sunrise, and loving every minute of it.

Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah. Nikon D750, Nikon 24-70mm lens at 24mm, f2.8, ISO100, 1/160 second. December 7. This is a favorite simply because I love this tree.

If you’d like to see more of my work, my online portfolio (where my work can be purchased) is here.  I post photos daily on Facebook, share my photography journey on Twitter (@KSchafferPhoto), and share iPhone pics from the road and around the house on Instagram (kschafferphoto).

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