The votes are all in and counted, and here are my top photographs of 2017!
We had a great response this year: 370 people looked through my initial selection of 35 images and voted for their favorites here on the blog, 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 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 we’re giving away a 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… Rhoda Schaffer! Rhoda will receive a signed and numbered 16×20 print of her choice from among the 35 original selections. Congratulations Rhoda!
This year I expanded the final selection to include a dozen images, rather than just ten, so that one of my favorite images wasn’t left out (#7, Wildflowers in the Temblor Range). Here’s the list of the twelve images that received the most picks, and the number of votes they each received:
1. Image # 5, Sunset over Yosemite Valley, 221 votes
2. Image # 10, Milky Way over sand dunes, Death Valley, 192 votes
3. Image # 14, Half Dome and oaks in flooded Leidig Meadow, Yosemite, 180 votes
4. Image # 13, Wind-blown spray above Horsetail Fall, Yosemite, 156 votes
5. Image # 35, Reeds and aspen leaves, 155 votes
6. Image # 4, Reflections in the Merced River, winter, Yosemite, 154 votes
7. Image # 1, Ross’s geese at sunrise, San Joaquin Valley, 149 votes
8. Image # 24, Clouds and Milky Way reflected in Tenaya Lake, Yosemite, 146 votes
9. Image # 18, Moon setting over Yosemite Valley and Horsetail Fall, Yosemite, 141 votes
10. Image # 25, Solar eclipse sequence, Sawtooth Mountains, 132 votes
11. Image # 7, Wildflowers in the Temblor Range, 119 votes
12. Image # 19, Sun rising over a field of lupines, Redwood National Park, 116 votes
Rounding out the top 15 were numbers 11, 32, and 22.
Overall I think it’s a well-rounded selection, with daytime grand landscapes, nighttime images, a few intimate scenes, and even a wildlife photograph!
If you’re wondering about my personal favorites, they’re all in this top twelve except maybe number 3, Oaks, Mist, and Snow, number 15, Swirling Dogwood Blossoms, and number 28, Autumn Hillside with Aspen and Spruce Trees. But again, I think this final twelve makes a nice, well-rounded collection. I’m happy with it, and it would be hard to take any of them out.
My favorite images are always tied to great experiences. The top vote-getter, Sunset over Yosemite Valley, was certainly one of those. Of course the solar eclipse was an incredible experience, and so was the wildflower bloom in the Carrizo Plain and Temblor Range.
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:
Related Posts: My Best Images of 2017: the Nominees; My Top Photographs of 2016; My Top Photographs of 2015; My Top Photographs of 2014
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.
Awesome beautiful. I love nature. Thank you so much for sharing your work.
Stunning body of work Michael! Thanks again for taking part in my blog project. It’s always great to see what you’ve captured. The “Reflections in the Merced River, winter, Yosemite NP, CA, USA” is a personal favorite as I just like hanging out in that spot when I’m in the valley, but your moonrise and sunset/horsetail fall photos are tremendous. My best to you and your family in 2018!
Thanks very much Jim, both for the kind words and for the original inspiration to do this!
I wish I could take that good of a picture but I can’t because I am Horrible at taking pictures
Just wow. Your work is awesome!!!
Thanks so much Penny!
This is a wonderful collection of striking images, Michael! It’s hard to pick a favorite, but #5 is so fresh and unique. Wishing you and Claudia all the best in 2018.
Thank you Russ!
Nice work, as always, Michael. Inspiring to all of us, photographers and viewers alike!
Thanks very much Dan!
All the best, thank you for sharing beautiful and sustainable nature,Great.
I just don’t know how you could have captured these locations in any better fashion – just spectacular! Thanks for taking the days and days of work, in preparation and composition for this compilation.
Ansel would have been proud !! Stunning work Michael
What a great portfolio Micheal thanks for sharing
I cannot believe I was the lucky, lucky drawing winner. I am so excited! Please advise on how to contact you regarding this. Thank you. Rhoda
Congratulations, Rhoda Schaffer. Lucky you!
Congratulations Rhoda! I’ll email you with details, but in the meantime you can start deciding which image you’d like a print of. 😀
Michael, I would like to thank you for your blog and your photography tips.
Once again nighttime images were popular. So I thought that f.e. your spectacular eclipse didn’t need my help. As your reader “with excellent taste” my votes included 5 of the final top ten… including 3(oaks, mist, snow) and 15(swirling dogwood blossoms).
My question concerning images like “oaks, mist, snow”: how to work in the digital darkroom ? Maybe you will write a post someday?
Thank you Marie! As for the Oaks, Mist, and Snow image, it would take more than a post to describe all that was involved in processing it (or really any image). I did spend a lot of time on it, more so than on most images. I did quite a lot of dodging and burning to balance the light, and tried to bring out the beautiful, subtle colors. And at the last minute, just before I posted for the first time a few days ago (I made it on 1/15/17), I lightened it more, to give it a semi high-key look, and I like it better after that change. I revisit and rework images all the time, which is one reason I value non-destructive, flexible processing tools.
I remember being in the voting (I think anyway!) and it’s great to see the results here, even though some of my faves didn’t make the top 5 – but I like to be different. These are all amazing, Michael, it’s a great year when you have to choose between results like this! Happy New Year to you!
Thanks very much Brenda, and Happy New Year to you too!
Thanks so much for all the kind words everyone! I really, really appreciate them all, and I’m glad so many of you enjoyed viewing these images. I hope 2018 is a great year for you all – in your photography and everything else.
Thanks again for sharing your favorites of 2017. This is a great exercise for any photographer. I amazed how much you get out per year! Keep up the fine work.
Michael these are magnificent. I am so glad I purchased the storm over tunnel view.
These are all absolutely stunning, Michael. Somehow I missed the competition — but I’d have been very hard put to choose the best! They all deserve to be called that. God bless your great work.
Fabulous images, as always!
I love the reeds and aspen leaves photo.
I also have a personal fondness for winter reflections in the Merced River.
All the best,
Another year of absolutely stunning images, Michael! They all offer such a fresh perspective. “Wind-blown spray above Horsetail Falls” is just magical. I also imagine you were the only one in the crowd taking a wide approach to the firefall in “Sunset over Yosemite Valley with Cathedral Rocks, El Capitan, and Horsetail Falls”. Truly unique! Keep up the good work in 2018!
Thank you Alan!
Wow. Well done. They are so good it’s hard for me to imagine them all being captured in a single year. I hope you are as a proud as you should be!
Michael, the images are both beautiful and inspirational! Well captured, all of them, a very productive year. Have a great 2018!
Thank you Derrald!
Looking at your blog top image page for last year especially liked these three each of which provides this person with subject ideas I had not considered. A reason to visit your fine site and broaden the scope of my own work
7. Wildflowers in the Temblor Range, with desert candles, blazing stars, tansy phacelia, and hillside daisies, Carrizo Plain NM, CA, USA
I can see you timed your visit back into the Temblors well. Quite like how well the yellow green candles stand out against the well saturated orange blazing stars…in diffuse cloud or early sky light? I’ve never been able to work that species with its unique form into any foreground well.
14. Half Dome and oaks in flooded Leidig Meadow, Yosemite NP, CA, USA
Exceptional reflection landscape, am envious. The light sky at center balances the frame and the mid ground silhouetted tree elements provide an unusual window dimensionality. Color tones in the background bring out elements well.
35. Reeds and aspen leaves, Inyo NF, CA, USA
The sharp narrow lines create an superb simple intimate landscape while the fall aspen leaves differentiate such from more common situations of reflecting reeds in water.
I love your art.