I have never done a “Top Ten” or “Best Of” post before, but I did make mention in my last post referencing one of my latest images from Vancouver Island as one of my all time top 5 favourites. So with that in mind, I thought I would share with you 5 images that have great meaning to me throughout the last 12 years and that I consider an “All Time Top 5”.
#5 – Arenal Volcano at Night, Costa Rica (Above)
Even thought this isn’t technically one of my best images, it does have great importance and great meaning to me. This image is the one that started it all. My first official photography trip to Costa Rica. On this trip I would meet and become friends with one of the best nature photographers on the planet in Greg Basco. Throughout the years, I would gain an incredible amount of knowledge from Greg but most importantly, the resulting friendship from this trip is more treasured than any photograph could ever be. The image is roughly a 30 minute exposure that started at approximately 3:00 a.m. It was a difficult image to make as it was composed blindly as visibility was virtually zero. The sky was cloudy and all I could see was an orange glow. It would be the third and final frame. Roughly 30 minutes of exposure time followed by another 30 minutes of in camera exposure noise reduction. After the exposure was complete, I went to sleep and let the camera continue with it’s long exposure noise reduction algorithm. To my surprise, I awoke at about 5:00 A.M. to the image above. The following year, Arenal would become dormant and the flows of lava would be no more… at least for now.
#4 – Cloud Forest Near Arenal, Costa Rica
This simple image is currently hanging as a 20 x 30 canvas on a wall in my house. It was on my third visit with Greg Basco to Costa Rica and I just love the texture and mood of the heavy clouds in this scene near Arenal Volcano.
#3 – Gondolas in Venice, Italy
In 2018 I took a trip with Jeffery Chapman and Winslow Lockhart of Within The Frame Adventures. I wanted to try a different type of photography steering away from nature and landscapes and moving toward people, places and culture. Winslow is a master of Intentional Camera Movements or what I call my “Monet Camera Filter” and this image was inspired by her technique and guidance. It may not be technically perfect to Winslow’s standards, but I love the feel of this image. It invokes memories of the people I met on that trip and make this image so much more memorable.
#2 – Sunset on Botany Bay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
This image is one of my favourite sunsets of all time. On this trip to Vancouver Island in October 2019, I would meet and become friends with Laurène, an amazing and inspirational young lady from France. I could tell from the formation of the clouds that the ingredients for a great sunset were present. It was then that I boldly guaranteed Laurène an absolutely spectacular sunset… and lucky for me, my integrity would remain intact. Again the image is secondary. Making a new friend while photographing this glorious sunset has special meaning and fond memories for me.
#1 – Sunset at Gandoca, Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica
My last trip with Greg Basco in 2013 took us to Gandoca, Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. Just shy of a 3 minute exposure, this image is my top all time favourite. Even though it was made as the sun was heading into the horizon, it has a somewhat mysterious lunar landscape feel to it. Once again the combination of an image I most treasure and the fact it was made with a good friend has great resonance with me.
You can see that it’s not necessarily about the image that makes them favourites. The common denominator in all of these images are the people and friends I made on each trip. My friends are what makes these images so special to me! Thanks to all and hope to see you real soon!
Until next time…