Top 12 of 2013

I know this is late, but now that I have a fully organized, working and backed up computer I figured it was time to finish up this project I started shortly after Christmas before my computer went kaput!  Back in October I spoke to someone about how I was a little disappointed with my year as a “photographer” because many of my plans never came to fruition.  The conversation just left me a little hollow, because it was then I realized I was just letting a few of my life’s hardships put a damper on my overall view of 2013 .  In reality when I look back at the images I have captured and created, it has been a very good year for me photographically speaking. Throughout last year I continued to learn a lot by trial and error, reading, and tutorials.  I spent the majority of my camera shooting time at a local high school shooting sports.  So even though I might not have checked off places I wanted to get to this past year, I really did have a good year shooting, and I feel like I am advancing. I am eager to see where I am at this time next year.   I chose these 12 because I just like them… and because they have a little of me in them.   Thanks for having a look!

Click on any of the images to view a larger version.

1.  Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, CA 

Divine Romance

When I arrived at the dunes, I had no idea what was in store for me that night. This was my best night in 2013 hands down, not just because of the gorgeous light show that I witnessed by because of who I was with.  I am never alone, and this night I was happy to just be with my Creator.


2.  The Valley of Fire State Park, NV

Life is a Highway

I need to go back here… This road is crazy fun and I hope to ride it on a bike one day! I wanted to do something different from just a normal road shot to show off how fun it  really is.  This photo is also my first photo EVER to be published! woohoo! Check out Camerapixo’s HotShots Vol2. I’m on page 41 😉

3. The New River Gorge, WV along the Big Branch Trail

Water Play

This is my favorite picture of the year.  🙂 After a very busy few months last spring and then watching my eldest son graduate high school, this was just the spot I needed to chill out and play a bit in the water.

4.  Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Old and New

My medal of the day… I love what the weather and wind has done over the years to create beautifully shaped trees and canyons. On this day I wanted to hike in some snow and I got snow! I even bought those spike thingies you put on your shoes so you don’t slip… and lo and behold, they worked! I didn’t fall into the canyon at all! Amazing.  This was a great spot to stop and just capture the peacefulness that comes with a snowfall… as well as capture my breath because my husband speed hikes.  I swear we were hiking to win something at the pace he was setting that day. I expected a medal at the end of the trail.

5.  Las Vegas, NV

Vegas Baby

Vegas, Baby!!  My husband and I have two totally different opinions on Las Vegas, He hates it and I love it! I love a city with showy lights and traffic at night! I know, I know… “the creeps come out at night.”  But hey, I was out at night, so I guess he married a creep.  This was my first time in Vegas and my first time to shoot a city at night, so I am kind of partial to it. Hopefully I will be able to go back maybe in 2014 for the Rock-n-Roll Marathon and then more night shooting and long exposure images… and some fun.

6.  Zion National Park, UT

The Three Patriarchs

The Three Patriarch… My husband and I had just finished up a hike up to Angel’s Landing and were calling it a day. I had pretty much put the camera away because it had been raining most of the day and I knew there wouldn’t be a sunset to speak about… ok truth be told I was freezing and I just wanted a margarita at a local restaurant that was calling my name!  However, on leaving the park to get me a delicious margarita… the clouds parted and I knew this was my only night to get a sunset shot in Zion so it was now or wait until the next time I came back.  I grabbed my camera and left Scott to defrost in the car.  I got myself into my wandering mode and  I ended up here and a pretty happy girl. No sunset to talk about, but  I got a non-rainy picture in Zion plus my margarita later on!  All was right with the world… until we hit and killed a big Mule Deer.  Can you believe he was even at the Mule deer caution sign!

7.  Valley of Fire State Park, NV


I love this picture for two reasons, the moody clouds and what this picture screams at me whenever I look at it. I see everything I did wrong in this picture. So why does it make my Top 12 of 2013 list? Well that is why. Lessons I learn from this picture will make me a better photographer in 2014!  Biggest lesson here for me … Don’t be too focused on your objective that you forget to look behind you because it could be just as beautiful if not more so…(now the screaming part)… and speaking of FOCUS… “get your camera focused and learn your DOF ding dong!”

8.  Carlsbad, CA

Times like These

It’s times like these that I thank God for His Grace and Mercy… they are new every morning.  Lamentations 3:23  Most everyone knows that by living with people you often hurt them the most. Being able to spend time with my sister is a blessing to me.  As I sat at her hometown beach the morning I said goodbye to her, I was full of thankfulness that we have come so far in our relationship. Relationships are complicated, because each one of us is a complicated being. But when you find peace, it simplifies the most complicated situations. I love her and love being apart of her life… This one is for her!

9.  The Great Smoky National Park, TN



Going to the Smoky’s in the Fall is always a highlight of the year for me. My son actually picked this image out to go in the Top 12. I am thankful for his input and his support of me taking off on my own little adventures. Hopefully I can talk him into going along with me one day soon.  This one is for him.

10.   The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, TN (Cades Cove)

Misty Morning

This is of Spark’s Lane in Cades Cove. It is such a pretty lane in the spring all decked out in new Spring colors. I will find myself here for many Springs to come!

11.  Roan Mountain Highlands, NC

Jane Bald

This was a new place for me to explore this past year and I loved it, even though I was a week too early for the blooming rhododendrons.  I almost drove off that morning because it had been raining for two days straight in the area and was calling for 80% rain  on this day as well. But I waited it out for a bit and I am glad I did.  It is now on my bucket list to trek this section of the APT.   No camera, just me, my shoes, and water.

12.  Bryce Canyon National Park, UT


Standing tall…well trying too anyway!  and Yes, that snow was deep. Thigh deep on me in places.  But I am short so maybe it really wasn’t all that deep.

Hope you enjoyed!

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7 thoughts on “Top 12 of 2013

  1. schea

    Wow is all I kept saying over and over! It’s rare that I ever feel like the picture really captured what I saw in person but you totally did it.

  2. Pingback: My Favorite of 2014

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