2012 is only a week from evolving into 2013, Christmas is around the corner and I’m battling a festive cold unlike any other. I may be feeling a tad sorry for myself here as I sneeze into my Sleepytime herbal tea instead of raising a glass of cheer for the holidays, but I also realize this seemingly Bubonic Plague will eventually pass. What will not pass are the many memories I have now thanks to several unforgettable photographic experiences over the past twelve months. From moving to the Shuswap of British Columbia while saying goodbye to Powell River, to returning to my old stomping grounds of Jasper, Alberta (the place where I fine tuned my photography skills), this year has blessed me with fantastic commercial and pleasure shoots. It is here that I share with you my 12 favourite imagery moments from the past twelve months. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you all!
1) Moving to Enderby, in the Shuswap of BC from Powell River. Although tough to move from the very photogenic Sunshine Coast, I was excited to have a whole new palette to work with. I was certain the Cliffs would be a common subject for me and they cease to let me down today. I started the year off anxiously awaiting some magic light to hit those cliffs and when it finally happened, oh boy did it ever happen. On this particular winter evening, the storm clouds dominated the sky, but I stuck it out anyway. Glad I did, because just as I was packing up, a fleeting patch of sunset light moved in from the north, magnificently sweeping up the hillside, finally landing on its intended target. I rattled off a good dozen or so, but this one here remains my personal favourite from that incredible evening.
2) This entire valley is a haven for birds, and I do love birds, particularly birds of prey. Hawks, eagles, and owls (I did get one very poor quality image of a snowy owl with my Blackberry while I was caught without my SLR) can be found everywhere around here and I know the best images are yet to come thanks to the abundance of them. But my favourite bird image since moving here has to be of these trumpeter swans feeding in the snowy fields of Back Enderby Rd. The swan looking directly at me was the loudest, most intimidating of nearly a hundred of them in my view. With every step closer I took to them, he took two towards me. It ended peacefully but every time I look at this image I remember that he meant business.
3) Multiple images, multiple opportunities for fun. This year presented many inspirational moments to advance my multiplicity techniques. Multiplicity is blending multiple images of the same subject, into one. Here are some of this year’s favourites.
4) Another dynamic and beautiful feature of Enderby is the Shuswap River, the life blood of this area. Its waters are captivating. As spring arrived, the river came to life with rising water levels and electric green shorelines. Unfortunately, this was a year of extremely high levels causing flooding, with farm fields turning into virtual lakes and streets turning into new waterways. Scary at times, beautiful at others, it all goes to show you how powerful Mother Nature can be.
5) The first holiday of the season was not only extraordinarily fun, it provided me with some fantastic moments to capture. My family and I headed out to Harmon Lake in the Kane Valley, and although our many days of fishing provided us with hardly even a bite, we had some incredible fun.
6) Jasper, Alberta is where I fell in love hard with photography. How could I not living amongst some of the most spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery anywhere? It’s been many years since then, but I was lucky enough to get to return again this year to shoot my friend’s wedding. It felt so good to return.
7) Summer is my favourite of seasons. It is all too short in duration yet provides the most memories that carry me through the colder seasons. Here are some of my favourite images from this past summer.
8) Nothing provides inspiration quite like new gear. This year’s purchase was a Tamron f2.8 28-75mm. Here are some of my favourite images with the newest addition to the family.
9) I was lucky enough to get some great tourism contracts this year through the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, including a contract to provide Explorer Quotient (EQ) quality tourism images representing the stunningly beautiful Similkameen region. Three separate trips, a couple thousand images and some unforgettable moments all contribute to this being one of my favourite shoots of 2012. So much so, that I decided to award spots 9, 10 and 11 to all three Similkameen trips. My first trip was all about the western side of the region; Princeton, Coalmont, Tulameen and E.C. Manning Park. Here are my favourites from that first trip.
10) My second trip to the Similkameen included stops in Hedley, Bromley Rock, Keremeos and Cawston. Vineyards, orchards, rock columns, mountains, views, this area has it all. Here are my favourites from that second trip.
11) My third and final trip to the Simikameen was all about Cathedral Park. This area is absolutely breathtaking and although I only got to spend the day there, I’ll never forget the landscape or the brief times had there. Can’t wait to go back someday for a multi-day hiking trek.
12) Another project I have currently going with TOTA is for Summerland, BC. The project started in late fall and will continue into the winter, but I thought I would share my favourite images from the one and only day I spent in this beautiful Okanagan city. Till next year friends!