The votes are all in and counted, and here are my top photographs of 2016!
We had an amazing response this year: a record-breaking 728 people looked through my initial selection of 47 images and voted for their favorites here on the blog, on Facebook, 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 and email, 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 the voters we’ve decided to give away two prints this year. We assigned each person who voted a number, and used a random number generator to pick the recipients. And the winners are… Fred Littooy and Geoffrey Robinson! Fred and Geoff will each receive a signed and numbered 16×20 print of their choice from among the 47 original selections. Congratulations Fred and Geoff!
This year I thought the top twelve vote-getters made a more well-rounded selection than the top ten, so I expanded the final selection to include a dozen images. Here’s the list of the twelve images that received the most picks, and the number of votes they each received:
1. Image # 7, Stars, Mist, Three Brothers, and the Merced River, Yosemite, 485 votes
2. Image # 25, Milky Way over the Tuolumne River, Yosemite, 291 votes
3. Image # 23, Sunbeams and an old road in a redwood forest, 265 votes
4. Image # 14, Morning sunlight on Yosemite Falls, Yosemite, 252 votes
5. Image # 20, Spring sunrise, Gates of the Valley, Yosemite, 245 votes
6. Image # 21, Ice and reflections in Ellery Lake, Inyo NF, 229 votes
7. Image # 16, Poppies, lupines, and oak, Figueroa Mountain, Los Padres NF, 228 votes
8. Image # 10, El Capitan and Horsetail Fall at sunset, Yosemite, 226 votes
9. Image # 1, Snowy oaks, Yosemite, 208 votes
10. Image # 47, Moonlit winter night with Half Dome, Glacier Point, and the Merced River, Yosemite, 198 votes
11. Image # 41, Moonrise over the Cathedral Range from May Lake, Yosemite, 196 votes
12. Image # 9, Cottonwood trees and fog at sunrise, San Joaquin Valley, 186 votes
Rounding out the top 15 were numbers 5, 42, and 6.
Once again nighttime images were popular – including the top two vote-getters. But it’s a well-rounded selection overall, with daytime grand landscapes, nighttime images, and a few intimate scenes (even one in black and white!)
If you’re wondering about my personal favorites, most of them are in this top twelve. Two that I’m particularly fond of that didn’t make it are number 17, Morning Reflections, Dogwoods and the Merced River, and number 45, Moonrise from Gates of the Valley. I’m also partial to the goose photos, especially numbers 6 and 12. Number 6 actually placed 15th in the voting, with 175 votes, which was a bit of a surprise, as landscape images are always more popular.
But again, I think this final twelve makes a nice, well-rounded collection. I’m very happy with it, and it would be hard to take any of them out. Perhaps my favorite image of the year is number 23, Sunbeams and an Old Road in a Redwood Forest, because I love the redwoods, and that was such a magical moment. I’m glad to see that this photograph was so popular will all of you. But I also love the runaway winner, Stars, Mist, Three Brothers, and the Merced River, as that was another special night, and also one of my favorites images.
I’ll be submitting this post to Jim Goldstein’s blog project shortly. Thanks to Jim and G Dan Mitchell for providing the original inspiration for putting together this list back in January of 2011, and helping to start this tradition.
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:
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: 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.