2022: My Year in Pictures

December 30, 2022

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” - Ansel Adams

Well, to be sure, I've shared more than 12 photos in my year-end review here, but to be fair, using a digital camera allows me to produce many more photos than Ansel Adams using a view camera that took one sheet of film at a time. Whether or not the images I managed to produce this year deserve to mentioned with any of Adams' is something I'll leave to others to determine. But overall, I'm happy with the way 2022 turned out for me.

The year started with a late January trip to Death Valley National Park, in Southern California, with my friend and colleague Kristen Wilkinson. It was an incredible experience exploring such an arid landscape, including locations like Mesquite Flats Dunes, Zabriskie Point, Dante's View, and Badwater Basin. I've included a few of my favorites here.

The pre-dawn light glows on the dunes at Mesquite Flats in Death Valley National Park.

Mesquite Twilight

Limited Edition

The pre-dawn light glows on the dunes at Mesquite Flats in Death Valley National Park. This Limited Edition of 100 prints includes a signed certificate of authenticity.

Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes was simply gorgeous. We'd first visited during an afternoon to check out the location, but decided early morning would be better as we'd hoped the winds would remove footprints and create the soft ripples in the sand.


A starry sky above Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

Celestial Basin

Limited Edition

Jupiter descends toward the horizon as stars begin to shine just after twilight in Badwater Basin. The pyramid of light you see is known as Zodiacal Light, the result of sunlight reflecting off cosmic dust orbiting in the solar system. Badwater Basin is a salt flat that lies 282 feet below sea level in Death Valley National Park. Limited edition of 100 prints. Includes signed certificate of authenticity.

Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, was unbelievable. The patterns the salt made gave me so much to work with photographically, but adding to it the incredibly dark skies that enabled me to capture the stars and zodiacal light, it became an unforgettable experience.


The sky glows pink as the sun rises at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park, California. Alpenglow lights up Telescope Peak in the distance.

Zabriskie Dawn

Limited Edition

The sky glows pink as the sun rises at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park, California. Alpenglow lights up Telescope Peak in the distance. This is a Limited Edition of 100 prints. Each print includes a signed Certificate of Authenticity, and a matching serial number.

The Milky Way fills a night sky over the Sheepscot River in Reid State Park in Georgetown, Maine.

Milky Way Over the Sheepscot River

The Milky Way rises over the Sheepscot River in Reid State Park on a winter night in Georgetown, Maine. The bright star in the scene is Venus rising just above the horizon.

Back home in Maine in February, I took advantage of the beginning of Milky Way Season, when the Milky Way is visible in the southern sky. This happens from late February to early October, depending on what part of the country you're in. I headed to Reid State Park in frigid temperatures in the middle of the night to capture my image of the Milky Way over the Sheepscot River. All in a night's work!


Pinnacle Rock on Bailey Island, Maine, stands against the incoming tide on a spring morning.

Against the Tide

Pinnacle Rock on Bailey Island, Maine, stands against the incoming tide on a spring morning.

I made "Against the Tide" in April, just as things began warming up. I found myself on a perch just above where the waves were crashing against Pinnacle Rock on Bailey Island. This is one of my favorite local spots to photograph and it was the perfect way to start a spring day.


Morning light on Leading Ridge and Jewell Hollow in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park.

Shenandoah Dream

Sunlight pours over the Blue Ridge Mountains and Jewell Hollow in Shenandoah National Park.

In mid April, I headed to Shenandoah National Park with Kristen again. The hope was that we'd catch the spring blossoms just right and get some of those soft pastel colors. It wasn't to be as spring came a little later this year, but there were still some beautiful scenes to be had.


Pools and rippled sand are left behind at low tide as the sun rises over Popham Beach, Maine.

Luminous Ebb

Pools and rippled sand are left behind at low tide as the sun rises over Popham Beach, Maine.

In May, I led a workshop here on Maine's midcoast. The first day we were blessed with an incredible sunrise on Popham Beach. I love the patterns of pools and ripples in the wet sand on Popham at low tide, and this was as good as I've ever seen it.


A star filled sky over Bailey Island, Maine.

Starry Night on Bailey Island

The Milky Way glows in the night sky over Bailey Island in Harpswell, Maine.

In late May I headed back to Bailey Island. I'd had the idea for an image of the Milky Way over Pinnacle Rock for a while, and was finally able to make it happen. It was pitch dark and about 1am when I made this. It took a little work but it felt good to finally bring this image to fruition.


A storm drives waves from the Pacific Ocean into the rocks at Cape Disappointment, Washington.

Siren's Song III

A storm drives waves from the Pacific Ocean into the rocks at Cape Disappointment, Washington.

In June, I headed to Oregon to lead another workshop. I've always loved the Pacific Northwest, and this trip was filled with a variety of landscape and seascape images. Before the workshop began, I headed up to Cape Disappointment just across the Columbia River in Washington. It was a stormy day and I was able to get some of the angriest waves I've ever seen!


Sunbeams stream down into a misty old growth forest.

The Wood Between The Worlds

Sunbeams stream down into the misty old growth forest at Cape Falcon, Oregon, just south of Cannon Beach. The old growth forest serves as a sort of buffer between the rugged coastline of Oregon, and the mountains further inland, reminding me of the fabled wood from the Chronicles of Narnia.

The day after I visited Cape Disappointment, I headed to Cape Falcon, just south of Cannon Beach. I spent the entire morning in the old growth forest there, among the Sitka Spruce trees. Soft light filtered through the trees, and the coastal fog moved in and made magic happen!


The Little Missouri Badlands of North Dakota at Theodore Roosevelt National Park on a summer afternoon.

Little Missouri Badlands

The Little Missouri Badlands of North Dakota at Theodore Roosevelt National Park on a summer afternoon.

July was really special, as my wife joined me on our first cross-country road trip together. It was still a work trip for me, but having her there made it special. She didn't even want to kill me after being cooped up with me in the car for 8,000 miles! We made many stops along the way, but photographically, our first stop was Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. We only spent a few hours there, but it was more than enough to show her how beautiful that park is. I had spent several days there last year with my son and my brother, so I knew just where to take her!


Liberty Bell Mountain rises above Washington Pass in the North Cascades of Washington.

The Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell Mountain rises above Washington Pass in the North Cascades of Washington.

From North Dakota, we crossed Montana (man, Montana is HUGE), and eventually ended up on the Washington coast. From our base there, we explored North Cascades National Park. The North Cascades are incredibly beautiful! We were a bit shocked to be hiking in a few feet of snow still in mid-July!


The sky glows with the last light of the day over Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park in Washington.

Diablo Twilight

The sky glows with the last light of the day over Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park in Washington.

I finished our stay in Washington with a beautiful sunset over Diablo Lake. The next day, my wife Jess and I began heading back east.


Devils Tower, also known as Bear Lodge Butte, rises above the Belle Fourche River in northeast Wyoming.

Devils Tower

Devils Tower, also known as Bear Lodge Butte, rises above the Belle Fourche River in northeast Wyoming.

Our first stop on the way back was Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming. We got there just in time for some gorgeous late afternoon light. Jess and I did a short hike while I figured out where I wanted to photograph from. Now that I'd seen it in person, I needed to go back and re-watch "Close Encounters of the Third Kind, since this location figured so prominently in the movie.


Early morning light glows on rock formations at Norbeck Pass in Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

Twilight in the Badlands

Limited Edition

Early morning light glows on rock formations at Norbeck Pass in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Limited edition of 100 prints. Includes signed certificate of authenticity.

The next day, we visited Badlands National Park for an incredible sunrise. Badlands simply looks like you're on another planet. We spent half the day exploring Badlands before getting back on the road. I was able to make some beautiful images, but my favorite is definitely "Twilight in the Badlands", above.


Perkins Island Lighthouse stands watch over the Kennebec River on a summer morning in Georgetown, Maine.

Perkins Island Lighthouse

Perkins Island Lighthouse stands watch over the Kennebec River on a summer morning in Georgetown, Maine.

Once back home in Maine, I spent a lot of time editing images from the road trip. But in August, I managed to get out on the Kennebec River with another photographer in his boat and capture some sunrise images. One of the nice things about being on the river was the different vantage points to see lighthouses, like Perkins Island, above.


A skiff is anchored in Middle Bay off a small island, near Lookout Point in Harpswell, Maine.

Sunset Reset

Sunsets are the Great Reset at the end of every day. The sun goes down, the world goes to sleep, and tomorrow starts anew.

Here, a skiff is tied off a small island in Middle Bay near Lookout Point in Harpswell, Maine.

At the end of August, I had one more Milky Way image I wanted to make, at Lookout Point in Harpswell. I arrived in time for sunset, knowing the Milky Way would be visible just after dark. It was a gorgeous sunset, but I was anxious to capture the Milky Way over the islands visible from Lookout Point.


The Milky Way glows above the islands visible from Lookout Point on a summer night in Harpswell, Maine.

Night Falls at Lookout Point

The Milky Way glows above the islands visible from Lookout Point on a summer night in Harpswell, Maine.

Capturing the Milky Way over Lookout Point was a little more difficult than I thought, but I managed to make it work. You can see the result above. It was a nice way to finish off the summer months as I headed into September.


A boathouse sits on the edge of WInnegance Creek while a dinghy waits tied up in the creek on a summer morning near Bath, Maine.

Morning on Winnegance Creek

A boathouse sits on the edge of WInnegance Creek while a dinghy waits tied up in the creek on a summer morning near Bath, Maine.

In September, I stayed in Maine for the most part, capturing some small vignettes I'd seen while meandering about. The first at Winnegance Creek is not far from my home. I'd seen it many times while driving by and knew I wanted to capture it with morning light on it, so I finally made myself get there and do it. The waters on the creek were calm, creating a gorgeous reflection.


An old red boathouse on the banks of the Sasanoa River in Georgetown, Maine on a summer morning.

The Red Boathouse

An old red boathouse on the banks of the Sasanoa River in Georgetown, Maine on a summer morning.

The second vignette was this house on the banks of the Susanna River on the Georgetown Peninsula. I've been past it several times and I know many people have photographed it, but I'd never put my own spin on it. I was glad to finally get around to it. It's just such a Maine spot that it was hard to resist.


A family of sea otters lays among the seaweed near Otter Cliff in Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine.

You Otter Be in Pictures

A family of sea otters lays among the seaweed near Otter Cliff in Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine.

One of the fun things about living on the Maine coast is how angry the ocean gets when there's a storm churning somewhere at sea. It makes for awesome photos. With that in mind, and a hurricane at sea, I headed up to Acadia to see if I could get some giant waves crashing against the rocks. Unfortunately, nature didn't cooperate, but as I was setting up for a landscape photo, trying to make lemonade from the lemons I'd been handed, this family of otters popped up from the rocks near Otter Cliff to spend a few minutes with me. Really made my day.


An old barn sits beneath a maple tree at sunset on an autumn evening in rural Maine.

Autumn Sunset by the Barn

An old barn sits beneath a maple tree at sunset on an autumn evening in rural Maine.

Sometime earlier this year, a friend of mine, Natalie Breton, sent me a quick phone shot of the barn above, thinking it might be something I wanted to photograph. It looked like a great subject, so... I waited. When she'd first sent it to me- I think it was back in the spring- there were no leaves on the trees and I decided I'd wait until there were. Then of course I got sidetracked and focused on other things, until one day in the fall, I had a free afternoon and decided to go find the barn. I happened to pick the perfect day, with a nice sky close to sunset, the tree next to the barn was nice and colorful and the light was perfect.


The Great Smoky Mountains lay before the setting sun on an autumn evening at Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Appalachian Sunset II

The Great Smoky Mountains lay before the setting sun on an autumn evening at Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I finished out the autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains with Kristen Wilkinson again. I've loved exploring there the previous times I'd visited, and this one was no exception. The leaves came down a little earlier than we'd hoped at the higher elevations, but we were able to capture some amazing views, and still get some good foliage at the lower elevations.


Mist hangs in the valleys of the Great Smoky Mountains at Newfound Gap on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee on an October morning.

Autumn Mist at Newfound Gap

Mist hangs in the valleys of the Great Smoky Mountains at Newfound Gap on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee on an October morning.

There's such a wide variety of compositions available in the Smokies. From wide vistas with mountains that stretch for miles, to more intimate landscapes. We photographed an incredible sunset from Clingman's Dome, and I managed to capture an amazing misty morning from Newfound Gap.


An oak tree shows its full autumn color on a misty morning on Hyatt Lane in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Autumn on Hyatt Lane

An oak tree shows its full autumn color on a misty morning on Hyatt Lane in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Cades Cove is definitely my favorite spot in the Smokies. It's especially magical when there is a low hanging mist that moves through the trees and across the meadows.


The sun sets behind Weir Island in Penobscot Bay, just off Sand Beach in Stonington on Deer Isle, Maine.

I Am A Rock, I Am An Island

The sun sets behind Weir Island in Penobscot Bay, just off Sand Beach in Stonington on Deer Isle, Maine.

In November, my wife and I took a drive up the coast of Maine so I could photograph Sand Beach in Stonington, on Deer Isle. I had been keeping my eye on the tides and the sunset location, as I wanted the sunset as close to the island as possible. This spot seemed perfect. It turned out to be a really beautiful sunset and I decided it would make a nice long exposure, which is what you see above.


On a foggy night in Friendship Harbor, Maine, a Christmas tree made of lobster buoys stands glowing on a wharf as lobster boats...

Lobsterman's Christmas

On a foggy night in Friendship Harbor, Maine, a Christmas tree made of lobster buoys stands glowing on a wharf as lobster boats wait at anchor.

Once the leaves are off the trees, I tend to take a little break for a bit, waiting for snow to fall. I've been waiting a while here, as we haven't had much on the coast. But Christmas on the Maine coast is so magical, with Christmas trees made of lobster buoys and lobster traps popping up in many towns along the coast. I would have preferred a little snow to photograph these, but this rainy, foggy, evening in Friendship was pretty magical all on its own, without the snow.

Tidal pools reflect the glowing morning sky over rocky Wells Beach, Maine.

Reflected Tranquility

Tidal pools reflect the glowing morning sky over rocky Wells Beach, Maine.

All in all, 2022 was a fantastic year for me. I hope you all had great year, have a wonderful 2023 filled with laughter and love, and continue to follow my adventures!