The polls are closed, the votes are in, and here are my top ten photographs of 2012!
I thought last year’s response was amazing, but this year it was even better: 240 people looked through my initial selection of 50 images and posted their picks here on the blog, Facebook, Google+, and by email. A big thank you to all of you who took the time to look through these photographs and voice your opinions — I really appreciate your help with this! And thanks also to my wonderful assistant Claudia who tallied the votes.
To express our gratitude to all of you we’ve decided to give away another print to one of the voters. We assigned each person who voted a number, and used a random number generator to pick the recipient. And the winner is… Frank Field! Frank will receive a signed, numbered, matted 16×20 print of his choice from among the 50 original selections. Congratulations Frank!
So here’s the list of the ten images which received the most picks, and the number of votes they each received:
1. Image # 50, Three Brothers reflected in the Merced River on a moonlit night, 150 votes
2. Image # 10, Clearing winter storm, Three Brothers, 104 votes
3. Image # 30, Sierra juniper and the Milky Way, Olmsted Point, 103 votes
4. Image # 21, Half Dome and Upper Yosemite Fall with a lunar rainbow, 91 votes
5. Image # 24, Sunbeams and redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, 88 votes
6. Image # 46, Trees and mist underneath Bridalveil Fall, 79 votes
7. (tie) Image # 18, Poppies and popcorn flowers in the Merced River Canyon, 67 votes
7. (tie) Image # 26, Reeds and cloud reflections, 67 votes
9. (tie) Image # 4, Misty sunset over Bridalveil Fall, 66 votes
9. (tie) Image # 44, El Capitan and the Merced River after an autumn snowstorm, 66 votes
Just out of the running was Image # 19, Redbuds and mossy oaks, Merced River Canyon, with 62 votes.
I’m sorry if some of your favorites didn’t make the final cut — some of my favorites didn’t make it either! But it’s always hard to be objective about your own work, which is one of the reasons I asked for your opinions. I think the selection here, chosen by all of you, is very strong. Nice work everyone! I’ll be submitting this post shortly to Jim Goldstein’s blog project.
Again, thank you so much for your participation. This has been really fun for me, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it too. Here are the top ten images:
— Michael Frye
Related Posts: 2012: Picking My Best Images; 2010: My Best Images; Top Ten Images of 2010; 2011: My Best Images; 2011: My Top Ten Images
Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author and photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters, plus the eBooks Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, and Exposure for Outdoor Photography. He has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.
Congratulations to Frank for winning the print. Lucky him!
I enjoyed seeing all the pictures but it was very tough narrowing it down to 10 favorites. Thanks.
Thanks Donna, and I’m sure Frank appreciates the congratulations!
Looks like the night shots are popular! 😉
Great work Michael.
Thank you Lance, and you’re right, nighttime photography is popular these days.
Your images of Yosemite are the most beautiful I have ever seen. They can only come from the eyes of someone who has true love for the most amazing place on Earth. Thank you.
Thanks very much Virginia!
Beautiful set Michael, I see those that voted have some good taste! The moonlit shots are also among my favorites here.
Thank you Mark!
Drat, too late to vote! That’s what happens when one is still terribly jetlagged…. 😀
Still, before I looked at the ten finalists, I went through and picked my favorites (NOT an easy thing to do, BTW). I’m happy to say that most of my favorites are in this top ten. Beautiful shots, Michael.
Sorry you didn’t get to vote Vivienne. I’d still like to hear about your favorites, they just won’t count toward this list.
Michael, thank you for inviting me to share my favorites, even though voting has finished! It was so hard to narrow it down to just 10. These are in order as they appeared on your original post, but in no particular order as my favorite.
4: I just love the swirling fog around Bridalveil with that hint of color
14: the light on Horsetail with the spray, great in B&W
18: gotta love poppies, and the steepness of the hill is mind boggling.
21: I like seeing Half Dome beyond the moonbow
24: sunbeams through the fog always gets my attention
26: beautiful simplicity
31: the colors in this aspen abstract are glorious, makes my heart sing
43: the combination of autumn colors and snow is rare, and make this shot of the Three Brothers pretty special
45: the light on the mist is so nice in this scene
50: Incredible image of a clearing storm by moon light. I loved the story that went with it too.
Honorable mention would be 49, the Ross’s geese at sunset.
Vivienne, thanks for taking the time to do this. A nice selection with a lot of variety!
A power set to rival any of Yosemite, Michael. I will have to go back and look at the original 50 as I didn’t get a chance to before. Most popular does seem to work among a voting class of photographers. My favorites here are #26, #18 and #4 with #46 and #50 as honorable mention. You had a stellar year and made it fun for those who visited here too.
Thank David — I appreciate that!
I’m happy to see that two of my very favorites were the top 2!
Glad your favorites made it Lili. 🙂
Congrats to Frank.
With me it’s the same as with Lili – 2 of my very favorite made it.
May I ask you for a favor one day, Michael? If you will write about postprocessing I would love to know about your image 26 reeds and cloud reflections and f.e. 46 trees and mist.
I will keep those images in mind if a situation presents itself Marie.
I was very happy that I could vote for the 10 best pictures.
I enjoyed, and am already looking forward to the pictures in 2013
Kind regards from the Netherlands
Thank you Sylvia!
Wow! Alot of the ones I picked came out on top, but even more interesting is that several of the others were ones that I originally picked and then swapped out for a second choice.
Just goes to show….. great minds think alike! LOL
This is a great set, Michael!
Glad you like these Kim!
Gorgeous, Michael. I was hearing music in my head while I viewed them — and I don’t even have my speakers on.
Nice John — thanks very much!
These 3 should have been in the final list:
11. Sunbeams on a small waterfall, Yosemite NP, CA, USA
23. Sequence showing the annular solar eclipse, May 20th, 2012, from Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic NP
49. Ross’s geese at sunset, Central Valley, CA, USA
Glad you like those images! I do too, but it’s tough to decide these things.
A fantastic body of work, Michael!
Now, all photographs stand out to me, but IF I were to pick one as an absolute favorite, I would pick #24; it is indeed rare to see such a simple idea being photographed so masterfully! A deep lens bow to you.
Wish you, and your loved ones, a wondrous new year, my friend!
Thank you Seung Kye! And all the best to you in 2013 — hope you have a great year too.
Michael, all of these photos are absolutely stunning. Wonderful work!
Thank you Anthony!
Love the work! Leaves me wanting to visit Yosemite.
Thanks Tyler! I hope you get to do that.
As a photographer, I aspire to be like you. Your work is truely an inspiration! BEAUTIFUL!!!
Thanks very much Janet!
to die for !
Thank you so much Patsy!
Hello M. Frye,
I live near Montreal, Canada and photography is one of my passions.
Your images are superb and very inspiring. I must admit I have a weak spot for Yosemite and your images are amongst the most beautiful I have ever seen: you are doing justice to this magnificent place. I read several books you wrote and, thanks to you, I finally understood the zone system and got several opportunities to put the theory into practise this past weekend. I also appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge and expertise and you are able to do this in a very concise and easy to understand manner.
I wish you continuous success in all your photographic endeavours.
Thanks very much Richard! I appreciate your kind words, and I’m glad you found my books helpful. I hope you’re able to get back to Yosemite sometime soon.
All of the images here are stunning. But my favorite for sure is the one with the poppies in Merced Canyon. Congrats.
Wonderful work! Michael, all of these photos are absolutely fantastic!!!
Massimo from Italy.
I’ll go with #4, The Misty Sunset Over Bridal Veil Falls.
As always great work. For me I love black and white images of Yosemite. I don’t know what percentage of your images you print in bw, but I would like to see a few in 2014.
Merry Christmas and a blessed new year.
Thank you Bob. I don’t make a lot of black-and-white images, but I have some that I really like. Merry Christmas to you too!
Now that’s what I call a Cmas gift! Thanks for the beautiful images & memories.
Thanks M.E.! Merry Christmas!
Nice shots. What kind of camera do you use?
Thank you Sharon. My main camera these days is a Sony A7r. But when people ask me a question like that, I wonder why, because the right camera for me is probably not the right camera for you.
What wonderful, awe inspiring images. Congratulations on finding such moments and being able to capture them!
I’m trying to do something similar in Oaxaca, Mexico where I am fortunate to live and find your blog very helpful!
Here there are so many special subjects to capture, I just need to get to grips with it all somehow, especially the post/ editing side of things. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and deep insight into this wonderful, fulfilling craft, it’s a great path to follow!
Thank you Mark! I appreciate all the kind words, and wish you luck with photography in Oaxaca.