There has been a lot of buzz recently in the photo community of the year 2012, favorite things that we’ve all done, places traveled and memories created, so I thought I would re-cap my year, with a toss in a my favorite shots from each month.  *disclaimer, I didn’t pick one from February, but I couldn’t pick for a couple of months so I picked a total of more than 12 🙂


Door County!  Wow, what a place, a peninsula of beauty and interesting sights.  We hit the ground running, going straight to a park to take our first photos, and didn’t stop for 5 days.

One Last Sunset


November was spent near home, catching up on the backlog of some photos, and trying out new techniques.  Luckily towards the end of the month, coming home late one night, a nearly full moon with wisping clouds and long shadows gave an opportunity for an interesting capture.

Wisping in to the Night


Ok, so October was pretty awesome.  I spent then entire month in California, mainly in the San Diego area, but had the opportunity to sneak out to both Death Valley and to Joshua Tree, along with some other beachfront locations.

Off Into the Night

I decided that I wanted to learn how to shoot star trails during this trip, so a couple of nights I spent in the hotel reading, practicing, and preparing my gear for heading out to Joshua Tree over the weekend.  An evening spent along in the desert can yield some unexpectedly awesome results.  If you want to learn how to do this yourself check out my complete tutorial here.  Star Trails

More Than a Moment in Time

I probably spent more nights on the beach than anywhere else, so it would be wrong for me not to include one of my favorite shots from La Jolla beach, near hospital reefs.

Here We Are Again


The late summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the windy city, and to top it off we had a little sailing tour out on Lake Michigan on the Red Witch.  After a short tour on the lake, we came back in and enjoyed some more views of lights of Chicago.

Glow of the Windy City

Waking up early has its advantages, and sometimes you’re rewarding with some truly beautiful sights, like this foggy morning with the sun bursting thru the trees.

Sunshine on My Shoulders


Meeting up with photographers Shannon Kalahan and Nick Mayo for a photo expedition in Chicago was awesome.  Along for the ride were Britta and Beth, and we spent a whole day wandering the city, talking photos and talking about what inspires us and where we want to see next.  I hope to do that again soon.

High Window City Watching


Rental car, check.  A couple of bags of food, check.  Camera, tripod, extra batteries, check check check.  A long and winding road laid out before us, with nothing but time and adventurous spirits to explore as much of the Pacific Coast Highway, Sequoia’s National Forest, and Yosemite as possible in 10 days, CHECK.   Arriving to Yosemite late one evening, I was not prepared for the kind of sunset that we had in store, the colors danced across the sky like few sunsets that I’ve seen before, and being in a place as magical and as historic as Yosemite really just made the entire trip worth taking.

The Pink Falls on Half Dome

I suppose everyone has their own favorite color, and I think mind is blue.  I really love all colors, but there is something about a deep blue of the fading light, as it reflects off the water’s surface and it’s radiance that gets me every time.

Last Light of Keystone Rock


May was definitely a month of rugby, and I spent it with my brothers on the road in different cities, playing in tournaments throughout the midwest.  I have to say we did quite well for ourselves, and I managed to sneak a few photos in here and there in the different locations we ended up.  Harbor towns continue to rank up on my list of neat places to live, although trying to pick one place to live right now is like trying to pick on meal to have every day, I just love everywhere!

Serenity on the Water


Well currently, I’ve spent the last two odd-numbered birthdays in foreign countries.  I think I will continue that trend, and probably add in a few even year birthdays in there as well.  Visiting Taiwan and China during May was like a dream come true.  Asia has intrigued me for quite some time, and getting some first hand time in the country was awe-inspiring.  The culture, the people, food, and sights were all fantastic.  I often found myself disappearing in to the night, hoping to catch as much time visiting and capturing the beauty.

Dueling Reflections after Dusk

The Taipei 101 was a building that definitely received a lot of my attention.  It was just years ago the tallest building in the world, and to see it above the skyline of Taipei helps you realize just what a magnificent structure it is.  Add the rainy season’s heat and interesting weather, and you’ll have yourself an awesome time discovering all that Taiwan has to offer.

The Towering 101

West Lake is the kind of place that even locals to China go to visit, being a beauty of nature and structure, with floating buildings, boat tours, monasteries, and more food vendors than you could shake a stick at.

Golden Glow


I haven’t been to New York City since I was in high school, and I was definitely excited to make my way back there again with a new eye for seeing the world, one that helps me see more beauty than ever before.  Although I only had a few days, I made the most of every moment.

A View for Miles

Grand Central Station, known for its bustling terminals and turquoise green ceiling, you can’t help but get lost in looking at all the details and colors.

Motion in Grand Central Station

I will always love shooting inside cathedrals, and this one is no different.  Colors cast to and fro from the most intricate of stained glass, carvings and paintings dating to times long past.  There is nothing that is not awesome about hearing the shutter clicking away inside these wonders of architecture.

Down the Aisle of St Thomas


An unseasonably warm winter brought the colors of the leaves beginning to turn green earlier than ever, and a storm moving in at sunset provided a perfect time to start trying out a new lens, one that I’ve completely fallen in love with.  Yes, you can love a lens.

Wide Angle Reflections


I wrote my first tutorial this January, it’s crazy to think it’s only been a year…  Before a workout at the YMCA, I noticed a sunset brewing, and needed to postpone the gym for a photo session, and for the shot that accompanies my original HDR tutorial.

Cracks of Ice Under a Pefect Sunset

Well there you go folks,  a collection of my favorites from throughout the year, (almost) one for every month.  It’s been a wild ride, and I can’t wait to continue sharing it here with you!