Best Photos of 2008

Best Photos of 2008

In 2008, my photographic pursuits took me (and often, Tracy and the girls as well) all over San Diego, the central coast and deserts of California, Canada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, up in a plane and south of the border. Here are the photos from 2008 that I consider my favorites, mostly for sentimental reasons but also because I think they are good images.

The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah.  The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only

The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah. The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only.
Image ID: 20607
Location: North Coyote Buttes, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona, USA

Blue whale. The sleek hydrodynamic shape of the enormous blue whale allows it to swim swiftly through the ocean, at times over one hundred miles in a single day, Balaenoptera musculus, La Jolla, California

Blue whale. The sleek hydrodynamic shape of the enormous blue whale allows it to swim swiftly through the ocean, at times over one hundred miles in a single day.
Image ID: 21250
Species: Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican head throw.  During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican head throw. During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch.
Image ID: 20257
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Middle Coronado Island, viewed from the south, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

Middle Coronado Island, viewed from the south.
Image ID: 21322
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

A great white shark swims underwater through the ocean at Guadalupe Island, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

A great white shark swims underwater through the ocean at Guadalupe Island.
Image ID: 21346
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca brevifolia

Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park.
Image ID: 22100
Species: Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Male elephant seals (bulls) rear up on their foreflippers and fight in the surf for access for mating females that are in estrous.  Such fighting among elephant seals can take place on the beach or in the water.  They bite and tear at each other on the neck and shoulders, drawing blood and creating scars on the tough hides, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California

Male elephant seals (bulls) rear up on their foreflippers and fight in the surf for access for mating females that are in estrous. Such fighting among elephant seals can take place on the beach or in the water. They bite and tear at each other on the neck and shoulders, drawing blood and creating scars on the tough hides.
Image ID: 20369
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, USA

Sea otters mating.  The male holds the female's head or nose with his jaws during copulation. Visible scars are often present on females from this behavior.  Sea otters have a polygynous mating system. Many males actively defend territories and will mate with females that inhabit their territory or seek out females in estrus if no territory is established. Males and females typically bond for the duration of estrus, or about 3 days, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California

Sea otters mating. The male holds the female’s head or nose with his jaws during copulation. Visible scars are often present on females from this behavior. Sea otters have a polygynous mating system. Many males actively defend territories and will mate with females that inhabit their territory or seek out females in estrus if no territory is established. Males and females typically bond for the duration of estrus, or about 3 days.
Image ID: 21606
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA

Coyote, pausing to look for prey as it passes through Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Canis latrans, Socorro, New Mexico

Coyote, pausing to look for prey as it passes through Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
Image ID: 21803
Species: Coyote, Canis latrans
Location: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro, New Mexico, USA

Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, with sandhill cranes silhouetted in reflection in the calm pond.  Spectacular sunsets at Bosque del Apache, rich in reds, oranges, yellows and purples, make for striking reflections of the thousands of cranes and geese found in the refuge each winter, Grus canadensis, Socorro, New Mexico

Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, with sandhill cranes silhouetted in reflection in the calm pond. Spectacular sunsets at Bosque del Apache, rich in reds, oranges, yellows and purples, make for striking reflections of the thousands of cranes and geese found in the refuge each winter.
Image ID: 21804
Species: Sandhill crane, Grus canadensis
Location: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro, New Mexico, USA

California poppy plants viewed from the perspective of a bug walking below the bright orange blooms, Eschscholzia californica, Eschscholtzia californica, Del Dios, San Diego

California poppy plants viewed from the perspective of a bug walking below the bright orange blooms.
Image ID: 20539
Species: California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, Eschscholtzia californica
Location: Del Dios, San Diego, California, USA

Dune primrose (white) and sand verbena (purple) bloom in spring in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, mixing in a rich display of desert color.  Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Oenothera deltoides, Abronia villosa, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Dune primrose (white) and sand verbena (purple) bloom in spring in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, mixing in a rich display of desert color. Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
Image ID: 20464
Species: Dune Evening Primrose, Sand Verbena, Oenothera deltoides, Abronia villosa
Location: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Anza Borrego, California, USA

UCSD Library glows with light in this night time exposure (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla

UCSD Library glows with light in this night time exposure (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library).
Image ID: 20142
Location: University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, USA

The Bellagio Hotel fountains light up the reflection pool as the half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas rises above them, at night

The Bellagio Hotel fountains light up the reflection pool as the half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas rises above them, at night.
Image ID: 20559
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

A bubble ring. A young girl watches as a bubble ring ascends through the water toward her

A bubble ring. A young girl watches as a bubble ring ascends through the water toward her.
Image ID: 20776

Mariner Mountain, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, part of Strathcona Provincial Park, located 36 km (22 mi) north of Tofino.  It is 1,771 m (5,810 ft) high, snow covered year-round and home to several glaciers

Mariner Mountain, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, part of Strathcona Provincial Park, located 36 km (22 mi) north of Tofino. It is 1,771 m (5,810 ft) high, snow covered year-round and home to several glaciers.
Image ID: 21107
Location: Mariner Mountain, Strathcona Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

See also: Best Photos of 2007