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My Favorite Photographs of 2013

January 3rd, 2014

Happy New Year!  I have finally put together my favorite photographs from 2013.  It is always helpful to take the occasional assessment of our own creative progress. The annual ritual of posting a “best of” has now gone crazily viral.  You might be interested in reading an essay I wrote on the subject several years ago in my On Landscape column for Outdoor Photographer on this subject.  I am pleased with this selection, which includes new Impressions of Light images, iPhone images, as well  landscapes taken around my home and in nearby Yosemite.  Since I started teaching private workshop sessions in Yosemite, I’ve been visiting Yosemite Valley much more often so you will see a batch of new Yosemite images taken this past year.

This year I have numbered each image, which will make it easier for your to let me know which ones are your favorites.  It will be fun and helpful for me to have your feedback.  I will value a list of favs, or general thoughts on what work you respond to the most.  After I assess your feedback, I will then make a final edit of 10-15 that are my top selects of the year.  My criteria for that final selection will be based on which images I feel best represent my vision and style.  If you have your own post of top images for 2013, please add your link in your comments below.

I look forward to your comments and favorites for my 2013 portfolio.

Happy New Year,  Bill

 


1.  Frozen bubbles and grasses along the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


2.  Ice patterns and grasses along the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/2 second at f/32, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


3.  Ice patterns along the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/2 second at f/32, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


4.  Stone and Pine Needles, Ahwahnee, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
6 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


5.  Plum blossoms, Ahwahnee, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/180 second at f/2.8, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


6.  Plum blossoms in late afternoon light, Ahwahnee, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro,
1/250 second at f/2.8, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


7.  Purple plum blossoms and curtains, Ahwahnee, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/8 second at f/32, ISO 400
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


8.  Cottonwood Impressions, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/3 second at f/5.6, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


9.  Palm Fern Triptych, La Quinta, California 2013
Apple iPhone 5
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


10.  Creosote patterns, Ahwahnee, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
15 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


11.  Sunbeams and waterfall, Sierra Nevada, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1.50 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


12.  Wind-Blown, Bridal Veil Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM +2.0x,
1/3000 second at f/5.6, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


13.  Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/4 second at f/9.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


14.  Dogwood Forest and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
6 second at f/16, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


15.  Dogwood Blossoms, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
2 second at f/11, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


16.  Dogwood and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1.50 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


17.  Morning Mist over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/10 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


18.  Morning Mist at dawn, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/90 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


19.  Dogwood and Morning Light, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/32, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


20.  Black oaks in spring, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/4 second at f/19, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


21.  Dogwood Blossom, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1 second at f/32, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


22.  Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__50 mm__EF50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro
2.0 sec at f / 32__ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


23.  Two agaves, Standford University, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/20 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


24.  Pier Reflections, Pismo Beach, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
10.00 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


25.  White Roses, Trader Joes, Fresno, California 2013
645 PRO for iPhone,
1/120 second at f/2.4, ISO 64
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


26.  Half Dome and Lightning, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/15 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


27.  Sweetgum tree in autumn, Ahwahnee, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/8, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


28.  Snowflakes and cedars, Yosemite Lodge, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/3.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


29.  Autumn Oaks and Snowstorm, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/15 second at f/6.7, ISO 400
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


30.  Clearing Autumn Storm, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/180 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


31.  Cottonwood leaves and cloud reflections, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/60 second at f/16, ISO 400
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


32.  Cottonwood leaves and cloud reflections in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/20 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


33.  Autumn Sunset, El Capitan and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
2 second at f/13, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


34.  Black oaks and granite wall, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/3 second at f/13, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


35.  Dogwood and Forest, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/3 second at f/8, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


36.  Autumn leaves on the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/6 second at f/16, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


37.  Cloud reflections, the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/350 second at f/22, ISO 800
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

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52 Responses to “My Favorite Photographs of 2013”

  1. Daniel Leu says:

    Nice work, Bill!

    I like the idea of going through my past images to select my favorites of the year. I completed my personal selection last night and it was tough to cut some of the images. But my target was 10 and anything beyond had to go….

    I really enjoyed going through your favorites. My choice would be: 8 10 16 17 26 28 33 35 27 15

  2. BillV says:

    Great idea to go through the year’s pictures! You sure have picked a beautiful set! I love seeing your Yosemite work too. I first met you back in the mid-80s when I tagged along with my sister and her husband when they did a workshop with you in the park. Loved your work then and still do!

    Bill

  3. Many beautiful images but if I had to pick one I’d say #31 cottonwood leaves, just love the contrast in color and light. Half Dome & Lightning is also spectacular, must have been exciting to be there.

    • Thanks Randy! I love that one too, as I prefer those intimate details more than the “bog” landscapes. For the lightening image, I didn’t see it but my camera did! I was helping my student at the time…

  4. Happy New Bill,
    I always look forward to this exercise. There are a lot of great images to choose from. My favorites are 2,11,14,15,16,19, 27,29,33,35. Can’t wait to see the final choices.

  5. As always, great photos. Cannot pick a favorite, although I really like the dogwood blossoms, and the morning mist over the valley.
    Thank you for sharing!

  6. Larry says:

    Beautiful photos, each and everyone could be the number 1. But I have fallen in love with 33, my favorite.

    Larry

  7. Hi Bill – this is very difficult, as usual. My pics are 5,18,19,22,24,27,29,33,35,37. #18 is my #1 favorite – it’s magical!

  8. Mark Friedman says:

    Hi, there really isn’t any one that I do not like or wouldn’t have liked to have taken myself. But these are my favorites 2, 8 13 17 29 34 35. And among these I like numbers 2 and 35 the best. If 29 had been larger vertically that also would have been among my very favorites.

    A good year and I wish you a Happy and productive 2014.

  9. David Black says:

    Many great shots. Tonight I select 18,23, and 26 as my favorite 3. But tomorrow is another day, with new reactions.

  10. Rona Schwarz says:

    Hi Bill,

    Lots of wonderful images, as always! I tend to gravitate to your more abstract work which I find so magical and inspiring. So my top 10 are as follows: 7, 8, 13, 18, 22, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35. And of those, my favorites are 8, 27, 28, 34, and 35. I can’t decide which is my ultimate favorite – either 8 or 35 – I love them both.

    Hope you have a happy and productive 2013! I plan to take your Portfolio Development class in the spring which I am eagerly anticipating.

  11. Awesome images as always. Love your details, as well as the great light on your Autumn Sunset @ El Cap and the Bolt on HDome. Never tire of seeing your work.

    Btw, as an aside, can you tell me where you got that great Form Spam challenge with the 1x=3? I’d love to have something simple like that on my blog without those crazy captcha letters.

    Hoping you have an awesome 2014!

  12. Thomas Folke Andersen says:

    Hi Bill!

    Happy New Year! Great images as always. My favourites are 18, 22, 26, 26, 29, 33, 34, 35.

    Happy shooting in 2014!

    Cheers,
    Thomas

  13. My favorites are 2 and 33. Being an Australian I visited and fell in love with Yosemite, lying on the meadow and watching climbers scale El Capitan.

  14. Carolyn says:

    17 and 33, hands down! I also like 30 a lot.

  15. Salwa Afef says:

    Hi Bill , It’s always time of beauty to watch your work .
    Love your abstract and artistic vision.
    My favourites 10 are : 2,3,4,7,12,17,18,21,29,27

    But can i say that ( No 77 Purple plum blossoms and curtains ) is more than stunning ,caught my eyes light ,color and shape,they play well together and the brave exposure also f23 400 iso ! very great one :)
    Wish you the best ,
    Salwa

  16. David Bogard says:

    All are nice but my favorites are 23, 27, and 33. Keep up the good work!

  17. Richard says:

    What a great collection of images, just gorgeous. My personal favorites are:
    2, 11, 14, 16, 17, 19, 22, 30, 33 and 34.
    11, 17 and 33 would be top of my list because the light is fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring.

  18. goldie says:

    They are all magical but Number 2 is my favorite.

  19. Kevin Ebi says:

    Bill,

    Congratulations on a great year. In particular, your plum blossoms and creosote images are especially striking. I have always been struck by your eye for the little details. My top 10 favorites of yours are: 5, 10, 12, 18, 4, 26, 31, 35, 3, 29

    My own top 10 is here:
    http://livingwilderness.blogspot.com/2014/01/best-of-2013.html

    Kevin

  20. Diana says:

    Stunning collection which makes it difficult to vote.
    Limited myself to a dozen. Top 2 are: 22, 33.
    the remainder are 2&3, 11,13,15,18,20,30,34,36
    Thank you , I go away inspired and seriously considering your portfolio class.
    Diana

  21. Fay Henexson says:

    What a dilemma! So many strong, beautiful images. I think my top five would have to be –
    4 – Stone and pine needles – just love the metallic, liquid sheen, and the composition
    8 – Cottonwood impressions – simple and delicate
    18 – Morning mist at dawn – a familiar scene, but the dark moodiness of the light and shadow is really outstanding
    31 – Cottonwood leaves and cloud reflections – yes!!! the delicate tracery of the leaves and stems, the way the clouds look like brushwork – I love the simplicity of this. I think this is my favorite.
    33 – Autumn sunset – beautiful textures and colors, especially the way that the light on El Capitan echoes the color of the fall foliage
    35 – Dogwood and forest – wonderful impressionist feel, very moody, and lovely use of complementary colors
    (OK, I lied, that’s six, not five) And by the way, in case anyone else reading this is thinking of taking your portfolio class, I took it a couple of years ago and recommend it highly!
    Regarding the year-end review – I did the same thing last week, selecting a few of my own favorites from 2013 – it was very instructive to look over what I’d done during the year – http://henexson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/12/favorites-from-2013-for-auld-lang-syne

  22. Nubia R says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful work. Happy New Year!

    I chose some images that in my opinion had a more creative , nonconventional impact and approach, and other images considering the more conventional composition, design and exposure. And always the light.

    My favorites are 2 4 5 8 11 17 18 27 29 y 35.

    35 is my favorite, it has it all plus mood.

    Nubia

  23. Greg Vaughn says:

    A masterful set of photos, as always.

    My top favorite is #33 – Autumn sunset on El Cap.

    Also really like 2, 9, and 35.

    Happy New Year.

  24. My favourites are 1, 8, 18, 23, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37. I think I’ve gone for those that struck me as more mysterious, or a fresher perspective on the subject. But of course they’re all good.

    I’m working on a faster workflow: even though I didn’t do much photography last year (I had to move house), I’ve still got more than 3,000 images to sort. I’ve got to get faster!

  25. Hi Bill,

    Happy New Year!

    I enjoy this exercise, and it plus your portfolio course have inspired me to do this myself. I am almost finished, still whittling it down.

    My favourites of yours are: 7, 8, 9, 11, 15, 18, 19, 26 (of course! I was there for that capture attending your excellent and highly recommended one-on-one workshop and your print hangs in a special place in my home), 27, 33 (my favourite of the year because of the beautiful light on El Cap).

    Kind regards,
    Kayla

  26. Greg Russell says:

    Wonderful images, Bill. It’s difficult, if not impossible to choose a single favorite or even a group because they are all charming in their own way. I always enjoy your waterfall images, though, and the dogwoods and Merced River are very nice.

    You asked for links to our own 2013 retrospectives; here’s mine:

    http://www.alpenglowimagesphotography.com/blog/2013/12/2013-year-in-review/

    Hope you enjoy it, and thanks for sharing these images! Best wishes for a great 2014.

  27. shooter says:

    What a superb collection of images I love them, in no particular order 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 17, 27, 28, 29, and last but not least 35, wonderful stuff.

  28. Bill, this is so difficult because all your pictures are so great! After looking them all through once I decided to go back and not be analytical but simply go with my gut reaction. Here they are in numerical order: 6, 8, 15, 16, 17, 20, 25, 30, 33, 34, 35. If I had to whittle it down, say, to three? Nah … I’d be up all night. But I do wish you’d put out calendars again, don’t think I’ve seen a new one in a couple of years.

  29. Tom Whelan says:

    I particularly love the waterfalls (11-13), the valley mist images, and 33. Quite a year.
    I’ve posted a dozen of mine from 2013 at my blog – I’ve been doing it for a few years now, it’s a great way of reviewing the year and deciding where to go next, photographically.

  30. Lucy Lowry says:

    Bravo! I especially appreciate you for braving the cold and getting the snow and ice formations in Yosemite. I was taking down numbers, but since there were over ten “favorites” I decided to submit congratulations instead. I look forward to seeing more beautiful images in the year ahead.

  31. This is a wonderful and educational practice. I will give it a try for 2013 pictures. My favorites : 4, 11, 16, 24.
    I would like to get to your location next fall for 2 days this year (one day field and one day processing).

    Dennis

  32. Ann Lyssenko says:

    Such beautiful work Bill! I love the range of subtle feelings that you capture in your images. I am especially drawn to 9, 15, 21, 27, and 35. The blurs/impressions come from the mystery of the moment. Thanks for sharing! Hope your trip to the bottom of our world was spectacular! Ann

  33. Pete Miller says:

    Hi Bill,
    As always, you have quite a collection! 2013 looks like a year where you explored the abstract and impressionist genre a fair amount.

    My favorites from your collection are 2, 10, 11, 15, 17, 26, 28, 33, 35. Of particular interest were 10 and 33. Food for thought in my own pursuits for 2014.

    Looking forward to more spectacular work in 2014!

    – –
    Pete

  34. Kevin O'Neil says:

    31 & 18

  35. Steve Hilmer says:

    Easily my favorite is #18. The weather you captured is so often ignored but this image shows that even in stormy weather, Yosemite is a miracle.

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