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David J Grenier Fine Art Photography

2013 Top Twelve Photographs of the Year

Happy New Year to all my family and friends. It is my sincere wish that 2014 brings you Peace and Happiness! I would like to thank everyone that have supported my photography through the years by buying my prints or taking the time to Comment or Like posts on my Facebook page - thank you! 2013 was an interesting year for me personally and creatively. I began the year having to deal with the loss of every piece of photographic equipment that I owned, having had it all stolen from my vehicle in SoCal in December, 2012. As it turned out eventually, it was a blessing in disguise because it gave me a chance to replace/upgrade all of my equipment with items that I really wanted, and make choices from experience and use in the field, rather than from hearsay or magazine articles.

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

I ended the year with a collection of some 10,850 images, captured from January 10, through December 25. When I am out on a photo shoot I usually have a modest goal of coming home 'with a couple of significant photographs'. That is based on the Ansel Adams quote above, as well as my experience from various photo shoots over the years. It keeps me calm and grounded verses being manic about what I need to get done on any given day's shoot.

So, this blog is a summary of my most significant images of 2013. The decision to make these selections, and the order of the final 12 photographs is determined by the number of Likes I have received from posts on my Facebook page http://facebook.com/djgrenier I will count them down from number 12 (with the # of Likes) and say something about each image, as well as provide some basic EXIF data.

#12 'Three Brothers Sunrise' (53 Likes)~ this is an image of the Three Brothers, a rock formation in Yosemite Valley, California. It is located just east of El Capitan and consists of Eagle Peak (the uppermost "brother"), and Middle and Lower Brothers. John Muir,  a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States, considered the view from Eagle Peak to be the most beautiful view of Yosemite Valley available.

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November 16, 2013, Yosemite National Park, CA, Exposure 0.6 sec at f/11; focal length 25 mm; ISO 100

#11 'Against All Odds' (54 Likes) ~ this is an image from a fall photo shoot in Sedona. Shot early morning on our last day at Slide Rock Park, I was looking for something different to what all the other photographers were shooting and found this beautiful little waterfall. It was difficult to get to but the lone fall leaf, perilously surviving the rushing water, caught my eye and I created a composition around the theme of fall and survival.

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October 17, 2013, Slide Rock Park, Sedona, Arizona, Exposure 1/8 sec at f/11; focal length 55 mm; ISO 100

#10 'Sand Dune Art' (55 Likes) ~ an image from my trip to Death Valley in November. Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California. Situated within the Mojave Desert, it is the lowest, hottest and driest area in North America. Death Valley's Badwater Basin is the point of the lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. Death Valley's Furnace Creek holds the record for the highest reliably reported air temperature in the world, 134 °F (56.7 °C) on July 10, 1913.

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November 14, 2013, Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California, Exposure 1/15 sec at f/11; focal length 45 mm; ISO 100

#9 'Lake Fire' (58 Likes) ~ I drove up to South Lake Tahoe on a July evening, chasing clouds I began to notice in the afternoon near my home, about ninety minutes away. Went straight to my favorite spot in Emerald Bay, hoping that the clouds would cooperate for the evening's sunset at 8:30 pm. Cooperate it did and how - the most colorful and spectacular sunset I have ever seen in Emerald Bay!

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July 10, 2013, Emerald Bay, South Lake Tahoe, CA, Exposure 0.3 sec @ f/11; focal length 18 mm;  ISO 100

#8 'Fall In Yosemite' (58 Likes) ~ Fall in Yosemite is a special time of the year, for brilliant colors and beautiful reflections. It is clearly one of my favorite seasons to visit this incredibly beautiful valley. Captured this image at a not so well know spot that provides for fall colors and reflections on the Merced River, together with the subtle low light of the morning's sunrise.

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November 16, 2013, Yosemite National Park, CA, Exposure 1/50 sec at f/11; focal length 24 mm; ISO 100

#7 'Heaven's Gate' (59 Likes) ~ this particular evening in August, I started out on my way to the gym when, from out of my garage I noticed interesting clouds in the sky. Thinking to my self this could be a good sunset, I grabbed my camera and tripod and headed out to one of my local go-to locations. Just got there in time, maybe even a few minutes late, to witness this amazingly colorful, OMG sunset!

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August 18, 2013, El Dorado Hills, California, Exposure 1/6 sec at f/11; focal length 24 mm; ISO 100

#6 'Seeing Double' (69 Likes) ~ I decided to join a group of friends who wanted to shoot the Milky Way at Wright's Lake, Kyburz, on an evening in early September. We arrived at this location just as the sun was setting before we planned to move to a different location for the Milky Way shoot. The light on the mountains in this alpine setting caught my eye, with the reflection on the lake making for a classical image.

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September 6, 2013, Wrights Lake, Kyburz, CA, Exposure 0.5 sec at f/11; focal length 16 mm; ISO 100

#5 'Half Dome Full Moon' (71 Likes) ~ I went to Yosemite in November with two goals; shoot the fall colors and capture the rising full moon near Half Dome from Tunnel View. There were about 30 photographers lined up at the viewing wall on that evening, lots of talk and discussion, each one with their own guess/prediction as to where the moon would rise and at what time. Then, all of a sudden there it was, and all the chatter stopped, replaced by a palpable quiet as we each began the process of capturing what we had waited patiently for so long!

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November 16, 2013, Yosemite National Park, CA, Exposure 1/5 sec at f/11; focal length 228 mm; ISO 100

#4 'Fall Brilliance' (78 Likes) ~ this is one of my favorite images from of my November fall photo shoot in Yosemite. Fall is a time that reflections in the still waters of the Merced River are the most brilliant. When you add fall colors to the iconic monuments of Yosemite, it is hard to find a more beautiful time of year to visit this magical place. Spent about an hour at this location, first arriving in the morning when there was very little light and a bald white sky, to this image when the sunrise lit up the fall colors and a beautiful sky provided a brilliant image of reflections and colors - just doesn't get much better than this!

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November 16, 2013, Yosemite National Park, CA, Exposure 1/40 sec at f/11; focal length 24 mm; ISO 100

#3 'Contentment' (79 Likes) ~ captured this image from The Gates of the Valley, also known as Valley View. From here you see El Capitan (left) and Cathedral Rocks and Bridalveil Falls (right), no falls due to an unusual dry winter. I have been to Yosemite several times over the last few years and this is one of the finest images I have been privileged to create, with the remnant fall colors and these magnificent granite structures ~ leaves me feeling very satiated, grateful and content as an artist.

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November 16, 2013, Yosemite National Park, CA, Exposure 1/40 sec at f/11; focal length 16 mm; ISO 125

#2 'Into the Mystic' (87 Likes) ~ This image won 'Image of the Night' at the local Sierra Camera Club's Travel Singles Competition in November, out of 56 images submitted that particular night. I have never submitted images in this category before and this was my first experience at street photography, in the Brisbane Queen Street Mall, Australia. I asked this man permission to photograph him, but I was so intimidated/introverted I only released the shutter twice, apparently just enough to come away with this haunting image!

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October 7, 2013, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Exp. 1/200 sec at f/5.6; focal length 105 mm; ISO 100

And the Most Significant and Popular Photograph of 2013!

#1 'El Cap's Magical Light' (88 Likes) ~ After it had snowed for most of the night on December 6, 2013 in Yosemite I drove into the Park in the early morning the next day. I was not allowed to go up to Tunnel View because they had not finished plowing the snow in that area and this is the first sight I had of the majestic El Capitan, which is amazingly beautiful with early light and low clouds. Located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, near its western end, this granite monolith extends about 3,000 feet (900 m) from base to summit along its tallest face, and is one of the world's favorite challenges for rock climbers.

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December 7, 2013, Yosemite National Park, CA, Exposure 1/30 sec at f/11; focal length 28 mm; ISO 100

There you have it, my first annual top 12 list of significant photographs in a year. I am very happy with my accomplishments this year, learned a great deal and have numerous journeys set up in the year 2014, including a 21 day journey back to the country of my birth Sri Lanka. My planned itinerary should put me in interesting places to hopefully allow me to have another  creative and successful photographic year.

And as we all say goodbye to this year and look forward to the next, let's take a few moments to be grateful for our family and friends, and all that we have accomplished, as well as all that we have earned and been given in this life.

Enjoy 2014!

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