The votes are all in and counted, and here are my top photographs of 2014!
We had a great response this year: 268 people looked through my initial selection of 40 images and voted for their favorites here on the blog, on Facebook, Google+, and through email. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to look through these photographs and voice your opinions! I also really appreciate all the kind words expressed along with the votes. I wish I could respond to every comment, but please know that I’ve read them all and am very grateful for all your support. And also, many thanks to my wonderful assistant Claudia who tallied all those 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… Jeff Nicholas! Jeff will receive a signed, numbered, matted 16×20 print of his choice from among the 40 original selections. Congratulations Jeff!
So here’s the list of the twelve images which received the most picks, and the number of votes they each received:
1. Image # 1, Sunbeams and fog in a Sacramento Valley orchard, California, 139 votes
2. Image # 28, Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy over sand dunes, Death Valley NP, CA, 108 votes
3. Image # 13, Lunar eclipse sequence, April 14th and 15th, Trona Pinnacles, CA, 103 votes
4. Image # 26, “Swayback” building at night, Bodie SHP, CA, 88 votes
5. Image # 18, Sunbeams at the mouth of Fern Canyon, Prairie Creek Redwoods SP, CA, 87 votes
6. Image # 38, Moon setting on a misty night, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite, 86 votes
7. Image # 39, Moon rising above Yosemite Valley, Yosemite, 86 votes
8. Image # 10, Rainbow over Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite, 83 votes
9. Image #29, Meadow Fire burning in Little Yosemite Valley at night, Yosemite, 84 votes
10. Image # 7, Ross’s geese and reflections, San Joaquin Valley, CA, 84 votes
11. Image # 35, Sun, mist, and oaks in El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite, 78 votes
12. Image # 33, Aspens in fog near Ridgway, CO, 77 votes
As you probably noticed, I expanded this list to include the top twelve vote-getters, rather than the top ten. This is the fifth year we’ve invited readers to vote, and I’ve always reserved the right to override the votes if one of my favorite images didn’t make the top ten. I’ve never done this, as I’ve always liked the voter’s picks. But this year, one of my very favorite images didn’t quite make it: number 33, “Aspens in Fog,” came in 12th place. I could have substituted this photograph for the ninth- or tenth-place vote-getters (they were actually tied), but I liked both of those images also, and thought they deserved to be on this list. So I just decided to include the top twelve, instead of the top ten. Although Jim Goldstein says “5 or 10” for his blog project, I’m guessing he won’t mind. 🙂 (I’ll be submitting this selection to his blog project shortly.)
If you’re wondering about my personal favorites, I mentioned number 33, but probably my very favorite photograph was number 38, “Moon Setting on a Misty Night,” which tied for the sixth-most votes. A couple of other favorites were number 6 and number 9. Number 6 actually got 63 votes, putting it in 16th place. Number 9 only got 39 votes, but I understand that – it’s a subtle photograph, and works better in a large print. Otherwise my choices coincide closely with the votes. But the task was to choose the best images, not my favorites, and I think the collective wisdom of over 200 people is better at determining the best than I could be by myself.
Again, thank you so much for your participation. This has been really fun for me, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it also. Here are the top twelve images:
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Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael 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.