My Favorite Photographs of 2017

Greetings from the Sierra Nevada. It is that time of year again when we all look back at the events of that last year, and look forward to the year ahead. Many photographers have developed the good habit of editing a collection of their favorite images for the year. The process of self-assessment is a vital part of artistic growth. In the day-to-day rush of life, we don’t often stop to see trends in our own image-making. By turning back the clock, we can see if we’re stuck in a rut or are hopefully making great progress.

I have included capture details, date and time of exposure, in chronological order. I hope you will visit my blog and add your comments or favorites at the bottom of the page.

May 2018 brings you joy, peace, and exciting photographic opportunities.

Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year!   Bill

Best of 2014
Best of 2015

Best of 2016

 

Here is the link to my Outdoor Photographer Magazine essay on the subject from 2010:
Best Of The Year
An annual review of your images can point you in new directions of creativity
By William Neill | March 30, 2010

 


Oaks in Snowstorm, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/15 second at f/22, ISO 6400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Oak Branches, spring, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 16-35mm F2.8 G SSM II,
1/160 second at f/13, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Purple Plum Blossoms, spring, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 50mm F2.5 ZA,
1/20 second at f/14, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Dogwood in Bloom over the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Dogwood in Bloom, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/100 second at f/13, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Maple Leaves and Granite Boulder, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/13 second at f/18, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Dogwood and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Salsify Seeds at Sunset, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 50mm F2.5 ZA,
1/160 second at f/2.5, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Salsify Seeds at Sunset #2, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 50mm F2.5 ZA,
1/125 second at f/2.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Two Datura Blossoms, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Pier Reflections, Pismo Beach, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
6 second at f/25, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Boulders and surf, Carpenteria, CA 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
6 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Evening Clouds, Ahwahnee, California 2017
PureShot for Apple iPhone 6s plus, iPhone 6s Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2,
1/300 second at f/2.2, ISO 25
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sunset Clouds, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/1 second at f/13, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sunset Clouds #2, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/40 second at f/6.3, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Grasses. Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/8 second at f/13, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Shells, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/1 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 

ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Nautilus Shell 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/10 second at f/22, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Two Nautilus Shells 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/14, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Sweet Gum Leaves, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/1 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Two Big-Leaf Maple Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Two Big-Leaf Maple Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Autumn Maple Leaves and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1.30 second at f/25, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Autumn Maple Leaves over the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/4 second at f/19, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Big-Leaf Maple Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1.60 second at f/32, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Cottonwood Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sweet Gum Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sweet Gum Leaves #2, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Braken Fern, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/18, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Chinese Pistache Leaves #2, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Chinese Pistache Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/13, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Autumn Oaks, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/6 second at f/11, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Pebbles, Pine Needles and Oak Leaves, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/16, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Ice, Pine Needles and Oak Leaves, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 

Published by William Neill

William Neill, a resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a landscape photographer concerned with conveying the deep, spiritual beauty he sees and feels in Nature. Neill's award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. Neill received a BA degree in Environmental Conservation at the University of Colorado. In 1995, Neill received the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. Neill's assignment and published credits include National Geographic, Smithsonian, Natural History, National Wildlife, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen's Quarterly, Travel and Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Sierra and Outside magazines. Also, he writes a monthly column, On Landscape, for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Feature articles about his work have appeared in Life, Camera and Darkroom, Outdoor Photographer and Communication Arts, from whom he has also received five Awards of Excellence. His corporate clients have included Sony Japan, Bayer Corporation, Canon USA, Nike, Nikon, The Nature Company, Hewlett Packard, 3M, Freidrick Grohe, Neutrogena, Sony Music/Classical, University of Cincinnati, UBS Global Asset Management. His work was chosen to illustrate two special edition books published by The Nature Company, Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder and John Fowles's The Tree. His photographs were also published in a three book series on the art and science of natural process in collaboration with the Exploratorium Museum of San Francisco: By Nature's Design (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1993), The Color of Nature (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1996) and Traces of Time (Chronicle Books / Exploratorium, Fall 2000). A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published entitled Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness (Yosemite Association, 1994) which received The Director's Award from the National Park Service. A retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, 1997) relates his beliefs in the healing power of nature. William has taught photography since 1980 for such prestigious organizations as The Ansel Adams Gallery, the Friends of Photography, Palm Beach Photographic Workshops, The Maine Workshops and Anderson Ranch Workshops. He specializes in landscape and nature photography and is concerned with conveying the beauty seen in Nature. Currently, he teaches online courses for BetterPhoto.com and One-on-One Workshops in his home studio near Yosemite National Park.

52 replies on “My Favorite Photographs of 2017”

  1. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to death at worfk
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  4. I always love your intimate vision of the landscape Bill, and this collection is another fine example. So many striking images it’s hard to pick a favorite. Wishing you all the best in 2018! Cheers, Russ

  5. Another outstanding selection of images William! I always look forward to seeing your yearly review, and your fresh approach to subject matter. Keep up the good work in 2018!

  6. Always an impressive collection of years work William. Thanks so much for continuing to take part in my year end blog project of best photos of the year. It means a great deal you continue to take part. BTW “A Retrospective” arrived and it’s stunning. Congratulations on the release of your book.

    1. Jim, thank you! As you might know, I’ve been advocating for the “best of year” process for many years. See my OP essay from 2010: https://www.outdoorphotographer.com/pro-perspectives/william-neill/best-of-the-year/

      So glad that you are enjoying the book, and honored that you bought it! Unfortunately, it is not yet released for sale in the US. Currently, it can be ordered here: http://www.beyondwords.co.uk/p/3160/william-neill-photographer-a-retrospective

      What Others Are Saying

      YOUR own poetic sensibility has greatly enhanced your ability to create realities that transcend surface realities… Your images have a presence that very few photographers achieve.
      -Jerry Ueslmann

      There is wonder all around us; William Neill translates it all into photographic poetry.
      -Art Wolfe

      William Neill is one of the great landscape photographers of the last hundred years. His images – stunning, haunting, breathtaking, poetic – speak for themselves. There are no words necessary, just admiration. Through, in his own words, “observation and immersion” he has seen and recorded the beauty of the planet. But, more than that, he had captured its spirit. Again and again he shows us “the thread which holds all things together”. This book is an instant classic; truly one for the ages.
      – Dewitt Jones

      William Neill has been an inspiration to me since my earliest days photographing the American West. His quiet and thoughtful compositions always inspire contemplation and solace.
      – Guy Tal

      During a recent workshop someone asked me about my favorite photographers, and one of the first names that came to mind was my friend William Neill. Bill has been producing consistently beautiful and innovative photographs of nature for decades, and his new retrospective book looks wonderful.
      -Michael Frye

      Though Bill is a consummate artist, his drive is not to create art. Bill’s drive is to communicate the importance and fragility of nature. He does so through intimate details and sheer majesty. But photography, for Bill, is not the end in and of itself, but a means to his end, a tool. He has devoted all of his unique skill, and his entire life, to connecting people with our endangered natural world.
      -John Weller, former assistant, Pew Trusts Marine Conservation and SeaWeb Fellow

      William Neill is widely recognized as one of America’s finest landscape photographers. Widely published and exhibited, his work is truly inspirational.
      -Michael Reichmann, Founder of The Luminous Landscape

      Neill is a master who has been an inspiration to me for over two decades. His images have a delicate elegance that few others achieve.
      -Sean Bagshaw

      William Neill presents photographs that go far beyond mere “pretty pictures.” His work reminds us of our deep connection with the planet, inspires us to seek the beauty of nature for ourselves, and encourages us to see with greater intimacy the beauty that surrounds us wherever nature flourishes.
      -Brooks Jensen, Lenswork Magazine

      “William Neill is one of my favorite living photographers. His images express great sensitivity and clarity, and speak to my vision of the possibilities inherent in our world. His new retrospective book is a true labor of love, with impeccable presentation of Neill’s work across many years, and featuring many kinds of natural subjects. Anyone interested in photography, or in the visual arts generally, would do themselves a favor by picking up a copy.” – Harold Davis

      I first became familiar with William Neill’s work as a teenager when I saw it exhibited at the Boston MFA and after almost twenty years of working as a conservation photo editor, I am convinced that his photography, as it was then, is still the best. He doesn’t take landscape photos. He makes them. Photography is his instrument and nature is his muse. I have always been amazed at his ability to turn the chaos of leaves and trees in a snowstorm into a piece of powerful fine art. “A Retrospective” showcases a healthy sampling of William Neill’s breathtaking photography and I hope there will be “A Retrospective II.” -Miriam Stein Battles

  7. “Hi!” Again today-tonight, Bill!
    2/ Oaks in Snowstorm — very NICE, a mesmerizing gossamer effect 🙂 !
    Purple Plum Blossoms — we have lots of opportunity for these in Japan 🙂 ! I like the blue sky background and the long vertical, Japanese-Chinese effect
    Dogwood in Bloom — too much river 😉
    Dogwood in Bloom — NICE
    5/ Two Datura — Exquisite, captivating !
    1/ Pier Reflections — GREAT MAKE 🙂 !!
    Boulders and Surf — I like this one
    Nautilus — I have one, I’ll have to try it, Mr’Weston 🙂
    Autumn Maple Leaves (blurred) — Nice Abstract
    4/ Autumn Maple Leaves — VERY NICE !
    Chinese Pistache Leaves #2 — the only one of all the leaves I really cared for
    3/ Autumn Oaks, Ahwahnee — Almost abstract, mesmerizing
    You have me thinking to go through my year and picking out my favorites! I take a lot for publicity and a diary, but also I am always working at being artistic. “Thank You!” for sharing your photography this was for all to enjoy. I did my master thesis on Ansel who read my draft, gave me high marks but passed before he could receive his bound in AA’RED copy! ~~my’BEST, Paul

  8. It would be hard to pick a favorite….as mentioned they are all great. Salsify seeds at sunset #2 I really like as well as the pier reflections. Great work. I always enjoy your newsletter! have a great 2018.

  9. Hi Bill,
    Once again, I’ve enjoyed looking at your work for the year. I particularly like the Maple Leaves on Granite and Dogwoods on the Merced. The naturalist in me likes the leaves and shells on a white background. Editing my photos from the year give’s me a little bit of meaning to my obession of taking photographs. Beautiful work!

    Here is my collection of favorites from the year: http://www.yosemitecollection.com/Best2017

      1. Hey, thanks so much for the feedback. Have a healthy and photographically productive new year!

  10. Hi Bill,
    I enjoyed looking at your images from 2017!
    I chose a few favorites: Dogwood Bloom over Merced
    Salsify Seeds #2
    Pier Reflections
    Sweet Gum Leaves
    Cottonwood Leaves

    Have great year in 2018!

  11. William,
    As always, an inspiring set! Love the first image, the pier reflections, and all the macro work with leaves, pebbles, etc. Couple gear questions: see you have tried the new 24-104 f4, and knowing how Canon’s version was a workhorse of yours, wonder how you feel the Sony compares. Also, was a little surprised at your 70-200 choice; since I’ve rarely noticed you using a wide aperture, why the 2.8 version? Better IQ than the 4? Again, thanks for sharing!

    1. Well, it turns out that My Lightroom plugin pulled the wrong data for the lenses used. I only have Cano lenses at this time. Thanks for pointing that out.

      My 70-200mm was purchased in 1995! I use f/2.8 because I’ve needed the faster lenses for my travel photography when I visit India.

      Thanks for commenting here. Cheers.

  12. William,
    I love all your images, and find for me it’s a great inspiration to do a yearly retrospective of your work from you website gallery, and, of course, the prints of yours I have hanging at home.

        1. I came to your home for an open studio and purchased 2 of your color abstract fine art prints.
          I was wondering what are your favorite papers for making prints of your landscapes?
          Thanks.
          Andy

          1. Hi Andrew, Thanks for your question and past purchase! I like to use Hahnemuehle Photo Rag for my Impressions of Light prints, and Ilford Gold Fibre Silk for most other images.

            Cheers, Bill

  13. Of the 35 you posted, I chose 6: first one (Oaks), Salsify Seeds #2, Pier Reflections, Two Big Leaf Maple Leaves, Autumn Maple Leaves over Merced, and Autumn Oaks. Picking one favorite difficult, but I really, really like Autumn Oaks.

  14. Heh Bill, always lovely to see your faves, many of those are now ‘ours’, too! Like the backlit shells and leaves series you are doing. Of course the Yosemite pics are also wonderful! Cheers for the new year ahead!

  15. Thank you for sharing this collection of your brilliant fine art photographs. I find them inspirational and can get a sense of your heartfelt vision when looking at them. Stunning work. The Oak Branches, spring, Ahwahnee, California 2017 and Pebbles, Pine Needles and Oak Leaves, Ahwahnee, California 2017 really speak to me.

  16. Dear Neill
    I am following your photographs. All of them fantastic. As a nature lover, they give me tranquility. They inspire me about my photography tours.
    Best regards and happy merry new year.

  17. They are all so very beautiful, each in their own most perfect way. My favorites are Oaks in Snowstorm, Salsify Seeds at Sunset #2, Nautilus Shell and Pier Reflections at Pismo Beach. You are so gifted and I always appreciate your sharing! Happy New Year to you and Sadhna!

  18. I have three favorites – Autumn Oaks, Dogwood in Bloom and Autumn Maple Leaves and Merced River. I love the colors and the intricate details in the first two. I like the colors the peaceful feeling of the Autumn Leaves image.

  19. Just lovely to see your beautiful landscape and nature pictures. Thank you for sharing them.

    Have a great time in 2018!

Comments are closed.