Best of 2011

Previously I have shared with you my Best Sports and Disney photos for 2011.  Now, it is time to present my top ten photos of 2011.  It was not easy to whittle it down to 10.  I started with over 200 images.  Then I removed all Disney photos and the one sports photo and got it down to 100, then 50 then 13.  I stared at those 13 for a long time before finally settling on these 10 presented in chronological order.

It is hard to show the pure size of the Taughannock Falls gorge unless you show something of scale near it as I did in January when I called it an Iced Cathedral.

People look small compared to Taughannock Falls iced waterfall in winter at the Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York.

Learning about Blue Hour and how to predict it opened up whole new possibilities for me after the Sun goes down.

The historic Syracuse Savings Bank Building on Clinton Square in Syracuse, New York. It opened in 1876 with a passenger elevator which was a first for Syracuse. Today it is the home of the Bank of America.

I called this HDR image a Bridge of Hope in remembrance and in honor of those who have passed from and currently fighting cancer.  The auction raised $200 for my Relay for Life team.

Pedestrian bridge over Taughannock Creek in the Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York.

When I heard about the Salt Potato Eating Championship was being held in my hometown, I was not sure what to expect.  I sure did not expect a WWE type of atmosphere and fun!

Emcee and Major League Eating President George Shea doing his WWE style introductions of the competitors in the Wild Carp Week World Salt Potato Eating Championship on Paper Mill Island Budweiser Amphitheater stage in Baldwinsville, New York.

Reining competitions show the athleticism and strength of horses and their riders each year at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.

Dirt flying and forelegs extended is a good sign of a successful slide by rider and horse during the CNYRHA Ride and Slide show in Syracuse, New York.

I took a lot of wildlife photos this year but none were more challenging than this Clapper Rail in the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. He was taking a bath in a dark area and was splashing and moving until he suddenly stopped.  For the next few seconds all I heard was three shutters firing as I and the two photographers with me took advantage to capture a wet and happy looking wading bird.

Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris) in the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge near Atlantic City, New Jersey.

It is hard not to include a Lake Ontario sunset in this list so I did. 🙂

Waves breaking at sunset on a beach on the Lake Ontario eastern shore near Pulaski, New York.

It has been 10 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center.  The New York State Fair honored the victims of 9/11 and gave families a chance to teach their children about a day that changed our lives forever with special memorials and presentations.

A family remembering and learning about the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 in the New York Remembers exhibit at The 2011 Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York.

Autumn this year seemed a bit subdued until I took a trip to Ithaca and found colors around the gorges and waterfalls the city is famous for.

Autumn fishing on Fall Creek near Ithaca Falls in Ithaca, New York.

What could be more impressive than 1,200 people running directly at you?  This photo was chosen for the front page of my hometown’s newspaper the week after the annual Turkey Trot races on Thanksgiving.

Runners head up Oneida Street at the start of the 43rd Annual Baldwinsville Kiwanis Turkey Trot 5K Run in Baldwinsville, New York on Thursday, November 24, 2011.

It was quite a year.  Here’s to another one….Happy New Year!

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28 Responses to Best of 2011

  1. 3,7, and 9 would get my vote as THE best of your Top 10, but I couldn’t narrow it down any more than that 🙂


    • It is tough to be your own editor for things like this. I am sure if I gave you the initial photos, you would have come up with different ones. Some are Best for reasons which are not photographic. Each one brings strong feelings within me from laughter to sorrow.


  2. Sybil says:

    Scott, these are wonderful ! Salt potato eating contest ? The captured motion on the barrel racer and his horse is wonderful. Your photo of the race start deserved to be on the front page of your newspaper.

    I now pay much more attention to the sky right after sunset, thanks to you.

    In the Bridge of Hope shot, part is in shade and part in bright sun. I marvel at the even lighting.
    Having just a “point and shoot” digital camera, I have little flexibility in my shooting options.


    • Hi, Sybil! Make sure you click the links to visit the blog posts behind these photos from more information. You will learn all about the Salt Potato Eating contest and reining horses.

      The Bridge of Hope is an HDR image which allowed me to pull out the details from both the shadows and bright areas. You can do HDR images, too, by creating an HDR set of photos from ONE image in a photo editor. You will have to buy some HDR software like Phootmatix to create the images.


  3. Karma says:

    Nice collection Scott. I remember many from your posts this year, and it has been a very photographically educational year for me on your blog. I’ve noticed “the blue hour” a few times in recent months, and thought of you when I saw it, though I’ve yet to challenge myself to trying any photographs in that light. I really love the clapper rail picture – that’s a bird I’ve never heard of before. Happy New Year to you too! 🙂


  4. kanniduba says:

    These are all beautiful Scott…
    Happy New Year to you and Merrie…sending you wishes for a blessed 2012. 🙂


  5. truels says:

    A nice selection of some of your many great photos from 2011. Thanks for lots of good inspiration and challenge – I am looking forward to more in 2012. Happy New Year!


    • Thanks, Truels! I was talking with my daughter today that I need to make time in my life to take a trip to Europe to visit my friends in Denmark. That would be so cool to do.


      • truels says:

        That sounds exciting – with travel plans to Europe and Denmark! I will do my best to make you feel welcome – and to help you get an exciting experience here in the kingdom, when you come. It will be interesting to hear more about your plans 🙂


  6. Robin says:

    This is such a wonderful collection of photos, in both image and the stories they tell. 🙂


  7. Dawn says:

    I think my favorite are #1 and #10. Being a runner myself I wonder how fast you had to take #10, then get out of the way! 🙂 Also love the bird and the announcer.


  8. montucky says:

    These are all great, Scott! You certainly had a good year with the camera!


  9. sartenada says:

    All are awesome photos, but when living in a country of snow and ice, I prefer the first photo. It is so “cozy”.
    Happy New Year 2012.


  10. yesbuts says:

    Happy New Year.
    All the best for 2012


  11. Anna says:

    All are wonderful! Happy New Year 2012 and Bright Blessings!


  12. Gerry says:

    I just love all those runners pouring into the photo through the arch made by the graceful trees. Just sends me right off to a happy place it does. Nice portfolio, Scott. Happy New Year.


  13. Carsten says:

    Happy New Year Scott
    Thanks for your inspiring posts and all your work with the assignments. I like your photos very much. This collection is no exception. If I should pick a photo that I’d like to learn from it must be the rider on his horse. If I could just freeze a moment like you Scott. Maybe it should be my assignment for 2012.


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