Monday, January 31, 2011

My Ten Favorite Photos of 2010

2010 was a very busy year. I did a lot more assignment work in 2010, and branched out more into agricultural and aerial photography. As a result, selecting my ten favorite images of the year is going to be virtually impossible. There are just too many images to choose from. But, like last year, I've decided to break it down into categories and pick my favorite images in each.


These two photos were actually taken on the same day in March. I was in the hills of western Tehama County in a remote corner of Northern California and took a road I'd never been on before. I discovered not only beautiful green rolling hills, but unexpected views of Mount Shasta and the coast range. It was one of the single most productive days of landscape shooting I've ever had.

Rolling Hills near Paskenta
Rolling Hills near Paskenta

Oak and Shasta
Oak and Shasta


I did a number of architectural assignments this year.

My favorite assignment was to take an 'iconic' image of the City of Redding in Northern California. I was given free reign as to the exact subject of the image, but it had to say "Redding". So naturally, I focused on the only "iconic" thing in Redding - the Sundial Bridge. I took images of the bridge from every conceivable angle, including from the air. The image below, was my favorite, mostly because of the lighting and the reflections on the river. In the end, the client ended up selecting the aerial photo of Mt. Shasta and Shasta Dam (see below), but I really enjoyed shooting the Sundial Bridge.

Sundial Bridge - Redding
Sundial Bridge - Redding

I also had an opportunity to shoot some of the buildings in downtown Sacramento last year. And my favorite image from that shoot is of the relatively new Bank of the West Building. This shot was taken very early in the morning and the building looks almost transparent with the blue-on-blue of the windows and the sky. Taken with a 24mm Tilt/Shift lens.

Bank of the West Building, Sacramento
Bank of the West Building, Sacramento


At the end of last year, I had the opportunity to shoot some lettuce fields near Yuma, Arizona and I fell in love with the rows of alternating red and green mixed greens they grow there. This is one of many of my favorites from that shoot.

Mixed greens in the field
Mixed Greens in the Field near Yuma, Arizona

I also had the opportunity to do an aerial shoot of the rice harvest here in the Sacramento Valley. The harvest was very late this year, so I ended up going up twice, but I got some amazing images. This is easily my favorite from both flights. What makes this shot are both the curving lines of the harvest tracks and the contrast between the golden heads of ripe rice and the still green stems that become visible after the harvester passes.

Rice Harvest near Marysville 
Rice Harvest - Sacramento Valley

I did a number of aerial shoots this year. My favorite shot from all of the shoots is the one of rice harvest (above). However, I got some great images on all of my shoots. One of my favorites was an unusual angle on some blooming peach orchards near Live Oak. I particularly love the contrast between the pink flowers and the green grass on the levee.

Peach Orchards from the Air
Peach Orchards in Bloom from the Air

I also got some great images during my aerial shoot of Redding. I hadn't actually intended to go up to Shasta Lake during the shoot, but figured that it was only a few minutes away (flight-wise), so we did several loops around the dam. It turned out that the client liked this image better than any of the others from that shoot and used this for a 30 foot wide mural.

Mt Shasta and Shasta Dam from the air
Mt Shasta and Shasta Dam from the Air


I didn't do as much food photography this year as last - something I hope to rectify in 2011. However, I did get a few images that I particularly liked. This lamb and cucumber soup was particularly successful because of the contrasting colors of the plate and the geometric composition.

Lamb and Cucumber Soup
Lamb and Cucumber Soup

Though there was nothing particular special about the lighting or setup of this shot, it's one of my favorites because of the simplicity of the composition, well, that and the fact that I love peaches and any kind of dessert with peaches in it. This layered peach and pecan parfait, was especially delicious.

Peach and Pecan Parfait
Peach and Pecan Parfait

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