Happy New Year!
It’s become a New Year’s tradition on this blog to pick my best images from the past year, and once again I’m inviting you to help me make these difficult choices. I’ve posted 45 of my best photographs from 2021 below, in chronological order. After you look through these, please use the form at the bottom of this post to list your ten favorites.
Please don’t post your votes in the comments, or send them by email, because they won’t be counted! Use the form at the bottom of this post instead.
You don’t have to list your ten favorites in any order; just pick up to ten images. (The numbers are in the captions underneath the photographs. Also, you can click on the images to see them larger.) Once the votes are in I’ll post the top ten or twelve on this blog.
The voting deadline is Tuesday, January 4th, at midnight Pacific time.
As always, I reserve the right to override the votes if one of my favorites gets panned. But I’ve rarely had to exercise this power because my readers have excellent taste. 🙂
Thanks for your input — I appreciate your help!
— Michael Frye
1. Misty ridges, Sierra Nevada foothills, California
2. Sandhill cranes at sunrise, San Joaquin Valley, California
3. Three Brothers, Sentinel Rock, and the Merced River at sunrise, Yosemite NP, California
4. Sandhill cranes in fog, San Joaquin Valley, California
5. Oak in a snowstorm, Yosemite NP, California
6. El Capitan emerging from clouds, Yosemite NP, California
7. Clearing spring storm, Tunnel View, Yosemite NP, California
8. Light and shadows on dogwood blossoms, Yosemite NP, California
9. Dogwood above the Merced River, Yosemite NP, California
10. Rainbow panorama from Glacier Point, Yosemite NP, California
11. False hellbore in a redwood forest, northern California
12. Waves, fog, and sea stacks, northern California coast
13. Fogbow in a redwood forest, northern California
14. Young and old redwoods, northern California
15. Peak and lake at sunset, Yosemite NP, California
16. Milky Way and meteor reflected in an alpine lake, Yosemite NP, California
17. Trees and creek in fog, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
18. Trumpeter Swan, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
19. Early-morning mist in the Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
20. People in the blue mist, Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
21. Milky Way over a thermal pool, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
22. Geyser erupting at night, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
23. Mist and reflections, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
24. Sun, mist, and tree shadows, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
25. Aspens and pines in a snowstorm, Inyo NF, California
26. Storm clouds over the Sneffels Range, Colorado
27. Frosted aspens, Colorado
28. Aspens and conifers with a dusting of snow, Colorado
29. Hoodoos in reflected light, southern Utah
30. Blue boulder, Utah
31. Badlands in predawn light, Utah
32. Canyons in dappled light, Utah
33. Oak and maples, Utah
34. Sunbeams and natural bridge, Oregon Coast
35. Rock and waves, Oregon Coast
36. Rock formations, Oregon Coast
37. Clouds and sea stacks, Oregon coast
38. Cathedral Spires in mist, Yosemite NP, California
39. Oak tree in a snowstorm, Yosemite NP, California
40. Pink light on El Capitan at sunset, Yosemite NP, California
41. Half Dome and El Capitan, winter, Yosemite NP, California
42. Rainbow on Upper Yosemite Fall after a snowstorm, Yosemite NP, California
43. El Capitan at sunset, winter, Yosemite NP, California
44. Three Brothers on a misty winter night, Yosemite NP, California
45. Half Dome, Glacier Point, and the Merced River at night, Yosemite NP, California
The voting is closed! I’ll be posting the results soon.
Related Posts: My Top Photographs of 2020; My Top Photographs of 2019; My Top Photographs of 2018
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.
People in the Blue Mist would be #1 for me. It is a photo you like to just sit and look at for a while. I like Panoramas and The Rainbow Panorama photo would be #2.
Thanks Allen! I appreciate hearing from you. It would be great if you could use the form at the bottom of this post to cast your votes – it’s much easier to count them that way.
Michael, marvelous work once again. Includes many with truly ethereal vibe. I know you are not keen on people naming you pics, but I think #20 is easily “Stairway to Heaven”. Thanks for sharing your art. Marlin
Thanks very much Marlin! Nice Led Zeppelin reference. 🙂
Awesome work! So hard to choose 10, they are all magnificent! Love your visit to Yellowstone and Utah. I have participated for a few years and it’s always so fun! Happy new year to you and Claudia! We are enjoying your photography in our home.
Thanks very much Rosanna, and Happy New Year to you!
Michael, you always impress. While many others continue to shoot “more of the same,” you continue to capture new and innovative images from familiar places. I am honored to have trained and worked with you over the years. While I may never reach the heights of greatness your images engender, your teaching and work have made me a better photographer, and maybe even a better person.
Thanks so much CJ! Those are very kind words, and I appreciate all help you’ve provided us over the years.
Thank goodness we can choose ten because it would have been impossible to pick only one. Lol I love your work and enjoyed looking through all of these wonderful shots. Thanks so much for sharing Your work and have a happy New Year.
Thanks very much Joyce, and I’m glad you were able to make some choices! Thanks for voting, and Happy New Year.
You don’t make it any easier, Michael! These are all awesome images!
Thanks so much Chris!
Michael, Michael, Michael; you do make it difficult! I love the variety this year, more than the other years we’ve been lucky enough to vote on. I doubt there will be little difference between the top vote getters and the bottom of the vote getters. A great compilation of work!!
Thanks very much Mort! I guess there is quite a variety. But then I like doing different things.
Done, as always difficult and inspirational…
Thanks for voting Peter!
Lorraine and I are loving the new advanced Lightroom tutorial. We are watching for the second time! These images are very inspiring. We never cease to be amazed at God’s creation and your creativity! all the best, Steve and Lorraine
Thanks very much Steve, and I’m glad you and Lorraine are finding the tutorials helpful!
Stunning images as usual Micheal! So glad we were able to spend some time with you and Claudia this fall, I hope we can do it again in 2022 but more than one night this time! 😊
Thanks David! It was great connecting with you and Jennifer, and yeah, more time would be great!
Stunning just like every year. All the best for you and Claudia 2022
Thank you Florian, and I hope you have a great 2022!
I look forward to this every year. And every year I think it’s the best collection and then the next year comes and it’s my new best. My votes are definitely weighted towards Yosemite but you captured the heart of our backyard like no one else I know. Happy new year to you and Claudia.
I’m glad you enjoy this Allison, and Happy New Year to you too!
If ever the phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is in play, it choosing your top photos each year. Thank you for sharing your beauty and photographic skills. Awesome!
Indeed Stan. I’m always struck by the diversity of the choices people make each year. Thanks for the kind words!
My wife and I look forward to see your best images every year. You have a nice selection again. We especially love Yosemite. We visited it in 2015 and this year we went to Yellowstone too, so it was nice to see your best images from these two national parks.
Happy New Year!
Thanks very much Gabor, and Happy New Year to you too!
Wonderful collection of photos, Michael! Thank you very much.
Thanks very much Warren!
Some spectacular work this year as usual. I had a lot of ties I had to break to come up with just 10. Really hard to omit some of them. Thanks for giving us this opportunity to vote 🙂
Thanks so much Elaine!
Thanks for sharing again. Have a wonderful 2022!
Thanks Bert, and I hope you have a wonderful 2022 as well!
Thanks for sharing Michael – and the challenge to pick just 10 images. I had to go through the list several times to narrow it down. Loved them all.
Thank you Ken!
I look forward to doing this every year. Thanks for setting up the voting. I wish you a Happy New Year
Glad you enjoy this Allan, and Happy New Year to you!
Awesome images as usual, and a tradition I have come to enjoy at this time of year.
Thanks so much Robert – glad you enjoy this!
Michael you make the choice so difficult as everyone of your photographs are wonderful. I enjoy your post & all your captures. Thanks you.
Thanks so much Donna!
Michael, I love this fun activity every year, and each year it gets harder and harder to pick ten…..but I did! Had to leave some good ones out cuz there were other even better ones! I love following your blog and hope to take a workshop with you in 2023!
Glad you enjoy this Claire, and thanks for voting!
Great group of photos, it was tough pairing down to 10.
It was good to run into you last week at the Ahwahnee Meadows, I thought that was you from your LR masking training.
Simplemente hermoso, que lindas y maravillosas fotos.
Felicitaciones Michael Frye
Muchas gracias Andres!
Thanks Chuck, and it was nice to run into you!
Dear Michael, as always, it was difficult to pare it down to 10. I do love that Blue Boulder. Such a cool find.
Thanks very much Vivienne!
I always look forward to seeing which you offer as your top 45 and which end up as the top 10! Super group of images, as always, and you remain such an inspiration for my own creativity! Well done!
Thanks so much Lisa!
Can’t we just vote for all 45? It took several viewings to pare my decision down to 10. It’s too bad there has to be a first and a 10th! I always enjoy your posts, pictures as well as the accompanying descriptions. They’re beautiful, informative and give me something to ‘shoot’ for!
Thanks for taking the time to do this Nita!
My favorite way to celebrate the new year – adoring your amazing work! This year was TOUGH! The variety made each of them special but I narrowed down my favorites. Thank you for sharing the collection.
Thanks very much Mandy!
As always Michael, an amazingly difficult project to only pick 10. I am constantly astounded at your beautiful photography and the skills you have to make me seem like I’m standing in your shoes! I’ve learned so much through your courses and following your posts. Thank you for your continued work and sharing of the results!
Thanks so much Scott!
Thank you so much for all these years of sharing your talents (understatement) which have put many smiles on my face. I love getting your emails and also a thank you to Claudia for all the many ways she supports you!
I look forward to seeing your photos and choosing the ones I like and seeing what others chose each New Year!
God bless, Joni
Thanks very much Joni! And Claudia is the best. 🙂
Hi and thank you so much Michael for the inspiration and technical details. Such a pleasure to read you and learn. Cheers for a happy, healthy new year! All the best from Canada 🙂
Thanks so much Celine, and Happy New Year to you too!
Michael, so many wonderful images. You make it very difficult to choose just 10! It is always a pleasure to look at your images. Thank you for sharing them with us as always. With very best wishes for 2022.
Thank you Jane! And best wishes to your for the new year.
Thank you for making these photographs available for us to see. They are all incredibly beautiful and it is so very hard to pick ten. Your images are like fine wine, they keep getting better and better and the choices more difficult.
May you and Claudia have a wonderful year. All the best in 2022.
Thanks very much for the kind words Horatio! Hope you have a great 2022 as well!
YES, Michael! – the diversity in your choices this year is exquisite and daunting, making it even more challenging to single out some over others! But I gave myself your gift of escape into ultimate pleasure and made my way down the path in dreamy enjoyment in the place of each photo. This ‘best of’ event at the end of your year doing what you love is so much appreciated and a perfect finale to all of your sharing throughout the year.
Wishing you and Claudia love and the best of health and contentment in 2022 and beyond.
Hi Michael, this annual tradition is an always delightful and difficult task. Thank you for sharing this collection. I wish you and Claudia a very happy new year!