Best Photos of 2011

Best Photos of 2011

In a past “best of” post I stated that one of my goals is to make a handful of really strong images each year, images that could be included in a career retrospective portfolio. This year I will admit that another of my goals is to produce a body of photographic work that outlives me, that has relevance throughout not only my life but those of my children and grandchildren. That’s a lofty goal and, truth be told, I will never know if I have succeeded or not. My hunch is that, of the photos I have made so far in my 20+ years of shooting, perhaps two or three may outlive me. Anyway, enough musing. Here are my favorite images, my “best photos of 2011”.

Dusk settles on downtown San Diego with snow-covered Mt. Laguna in the distance

Dusk settles on downtown San Diego with snow-covered Mt. Laguna in the distance.
Image ID: 26716
Location: San Diego, California, USA

The Milky Way galaxy arches over Arch Rock on a clear evening in Joshua Tree National Park

The Milky Way galaxy arches over Arch Rock on a clear evening in Joshua Tree National Park.
Image ID: 26792
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

A humpback whale raises it fluke out of the water, the coast of Del Mar and La Jolla is visible in the distance, Megaptera novaeangliae

A humpback whale raises it fluke out of the water, the coast of Del Mar and La Jolla is visible in the distance.
Image ID: 27142
Species: Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae
Location: Del Mar, California, USA

Boulders and sunset in Joshua Tree National Park.  The warm sunlight gently lights unusual boulder formations at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, California

Boulders and sunset in Joshua Tree National Park. The warm sunlight gently lights unusual boulder formations at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, California.
Image ID: 26730
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Earth Shadow lies over Point La Jolla at dawn

Earth Shadow lies over Point La Jolla at dawn.
Image ID: 26444
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Horseshoe Bend. The Colorado River makes a 180-degree turn at Horseshoe Bend. Here the river has eroded the Navajo sandstone for eons, digging a canyon 1100-feet deep, Page, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend. The Colorado River makes a 180-degree turn at Horseshoe Bend. Here the river has eroded the Navajo sandstone for eons, digging a canyon 1100-feet deep.
Image ID: 26635
Location: Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, USA

Fisherman at dawn along the La Jolla coastline, waves blur as they crash upon the Boomer Beach boulders

Fisherman at dawn along the La Jolla coastline, waves blur as they crash upon the Boomer Beach boulders.
Image ID: 26447
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Breaking wave fast motion and blur. The Wedge, Newport Beach, California

Breaking wave fast motion and blur. The Wedge.
Image ID: 27079
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA

Water falling from the fluke (tail) of a humpback whale as the whale dives to forage for food in the Santa Barbara Channel, Megaptera novaeangliae, Santa Rosa Island, California

Water falling from the fluke (tail) of a humpback whale as the whale dives to forage for food in the Santa Barbara Channel.
Image ID: 27029
Species: Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae
Location: Santa Rosa Island, California, USA

California sea lion underwater, Zalophus californianus, Sea of Cortez

California sea lion underwater.
Image ID: 27423
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

King angelfish in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico, Holacanthus passer

King angelfish in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico.
Image ID: 27470
Species: King angelfish, Holacanthus passer
Location: Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

San Diego harbor and skyline, viewed at sunset

San Diego harbor and skyline, viewed at sunset.
Image ID: 27146
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Torrey Pines balloon aerial survey photo.  Torrey Pines seacliffs, rising up to 300 feet above the ocean, stretch from Del Mar to La Jolla. On the mesa atop the bluffs are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world. Peregine falcons nest at the edge of the cliffs. This photo was made as part of an experimental balloon aerial photographic survey flight over Torrey Pines State Reserve, by permission of Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California

Torrey Pines balloon aerial survey photo. Torrey Pines seacliffs, rising up to 300 feet above the ocean, stretch from Del Mar to La Jolla. On the mesa atop the bluffs are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world. Peregine falcons nest at the edge of the cliffs. This photo was made as part of an experimental balloon aerial photographic survey flight over Torrey Pines State Reserve, by permission of Torrey Pines State Reserve.
Image ID: 27271
Location: Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California, USA

Freediver photographing pelagic gelatinous zooplankton, adrift in the open ocean, Phacellophora camtschatica, San Diego, California

Freediver photographing pelagic gelatinous zooplankton, adrift in the open ocean.
Image ID: 26817
Species: Fried-egg jellyfish, Phacellophora camtschatica
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Surf and sky at sunset, waves crash upon the sand at dusk, Carlsbad, California

Surf and sky at sunset, waves crash upon the sand at dusk.
Image ID: 27234
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA

Ocean Beach Pier, also known as the OB Pier or Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast measuring 1971 feet (601 m) long, San Diego, California

Ocean Beach Pier, also known as the OB Pier or Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast measuring 1971 feet (601 m) long.
Image ID: 27387
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Yosemite Falls reflected in flooded meadow.  The Merced  River floods its banks in spring, forming beautiful reflections of Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls reflected in flooded meadow. The Merced River floods its banks in spring, forming beautiful reflections of Yosemite Falls.
Image ID: 26888
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

T.A. Moulton barn with Teton Range, on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

T.A. Moulton barn with Teton Range, on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Image ID: 26914
Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

Convict Lake sunrise reflection, Sierra Nevada mountains

Convict Lake sunrise reflection, Sierra Nevada mountains.
Image ID: 26974

See also:

Best Photos of 2010
Best Photos of 2009
Best Photos of 2008
Best Photos of 2007

17 Comments

  • Greg Russell says:

    Beautiful set of images Phil…it looks like it was a great 2011 for you. Here’s to an equally productive 2012!

    Cheers,
    Greg

  • Phil says:

    Thanks Greg, I appreciate it. Yes it was a good year. Onward and upward!

  • Sensational collection Phil. It’s a great selection of subjects and each one is a beauty.

  • A great and really varied set of images, Phil. I’m honored to have been with you for several, and hope this year goes as well, if not better!

  • Phil says:

    Thanks Garry, yes we had some super outings and will put more together for sure in 2012!

  • Richard Wong says:

    You had a great year, Phil. I can appreciate that you included a lot of local Southern California scenes as well.

  • Phil says:

    Richard, thanks! I’ve lived in Southern California my entire life, I guess I better start taking some photos here! 🙂

  • Gorgeous collection of images for the year! Looking forward to seeing your images in 2012!

  • Rob Tilley says:

    Beautiful set of images Phil. I enjoy seeing your posts on Google+. Wishing you many more great pixels in 2012!

  • hung says:

    good job, how beautiful

  • Phil says:

    Rob, thanks very much! Google+ is cool, much more appealing than FB, but we still need to keep our blogs alive. Best to you in 2012 as well!

  • Phil says:

    Patricia, thank you! I’m impressed with your work and will look forward to see what 2012 brings for you. You have quite a G+ following!

  • Russ Bishop says:

    What a wonderful collection of images Phil. You had quite the productive year! I especially love the dive images and the J-tree milky way.

  • Phil says:

    Thanks Russ, I appreciate the kind words. Could not have made the diving or J-tree images with the help of some friends!

  • Quite a fine collection, Phil. Many wonderful images in there, but among them the Convict Lake photograph caught my attention – many people do not realize just how difficult it is to photograph that lake, and you have done a fine job.

    Dan

  • Phil says:

    Steve, Hung, Dan – thank you very much. Sorry for the late reply to you three, some comments somehow got caught up in the WordPress software. Have a great 2012!

  • Phil says:

    Dan, thanks especially for your comment about Convict Lake. It’s so accessible that I think that place takes people by surprise the first time they see it, rugged peaks above such a beautiful alpine lake, just a minute or two off the highway.