The best photos so far — 40 Comments

  1. Good morning Mary!

    OK, this is such a rich topic and post that is very near to me. First of all, your thoughts here reach so many of the arts (all of them, really) because if it’s true art, there will always be so many perspectives, doubts, triumphs, values, questions, like the ones you pose here. But one of the main questions you have asked here that I believe is the one constant that makes art SPEAK to the viewer is “Does it connect to the audience?” I have learned time and time again that even literature, film, art or music that someone may not like needs to be examined at least to ask the question, “Well then, why does this piece of art NOT work?” I have to do this with my students all the time who say, “I hated that movie, or that book was awful.” Then in the explaining of it, they at least examine it and find the elements in it that function and speak. They don’t always walk away liking the piece, but at least they gave it a chance to respect the mediums used to communicate the message.

    But in photography, there are so many different elements necessary to grab a viewer’s attention. I am learning that as well, and also learning to appreciate my work for the progress. You have far surpassed me for I am still at the stage of focusing my camera properly! These have to be some of my favorites of yours, including that darling BUG! I think for you now, is continuing to find “your voice” and expanding out… technique, in your editing….I LOVE THESE, but for yourself and for self-satisfaction, the only way to grow is to expand, and that is what I’m doing now in my poetry writing. It is a lonely path, a difficult one, but worth all the revision and searching for the right “light” of vocabulary. YOU ARE THERE!

    • I’ts interesting you mention “finding my voice”, because that is exactly what I’m trying to do. I follow a blog written by a photographer, and teacher of photography. He frequently talks about this, and it’s a big part of his workshops. It’s also something that just evolves, and can’t be pushed, which I completely agree with. For you as a writer, finding that voice is the same, but different.
      Being so immersed in the art world with Al’s work, and now mine, I have learned a lot through observation. And Al, and his very knowledgeable cousin have taught me so much about what works, what doesn’t, and why.
      We are on a journey Anita, parallel paths to the same place.

  2. Wow, gorgeous images.. Every one! The sky shots are just stunning.. Well done! Have a happy day and week ahead!

  3. a great set of images, and I suspect that by the end of the year you will have a tough time narrowing it down to just 10 favourites. thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. it lead me back to you! I love the image of the dog on the sand dune.

  4. The first one blew me away and drew me in, but the others are wonderful, too. Maybe i will try this with my little collages – sounds like a great idea…

  5. I can see why you chose every single one of those photos, but I don’t know how on earth you could narrow it down to ten. Or even twenty! I could never choose a favorite from among your photos, they’re all so gorgeous in different ways with different ambiances. Keep ’em coming – I’m looking forward to the Wyoming pics! :D

  6. I think the photos are all great. Truthfully you’ve never posted one where I thought, “gee what does she think is great about this?” You have a real eye for finding and photographing beauty Mary.

  7. You do have a bunch of beautiful contenders. I feel like a broken record, but Arizona has the BEST sunsets as your photos have proven. I just downloaded Lightroom… let the learning begin!

    • I am missing my Arizona sunsets SO MUCH!! Lightroom is awesome, check out They have useful stuff sometimes. And of course Adobe has tons of info.

  8. You’re right, photography is an art. As such, I think the most important thing is that YOU feel something for the photo, before you bring anything else into the equation. I can feel that you like these photos, and that makes me enjoy them even more since they showcase your passion. Nothing is more beautiful than passion, and it can make a compositionally “eh” photo into something spectacular.

    From a technical standpoint, I like the sunset right before the wasp/bee one best. Personally though, the first two speak to me much more. The first because the colors are so alive and vivid, and the second because Torrey looks so intent and happy, and reminds me of Pike there.

    • The sunset before the bee photo is one of my favorites for sure. Those colors were amazing. And yes….art is 99 percent passion, and hopefully the viewer picks up on that.

  9. Beautiful! It must be hard to narrow so many photos down to only 10. Love the one of Torrey – there’s so much movement. And the one of the bug in the flower is just beyond cute. Also love that last cactus shot. I don’t know what that one type of cactus is called (the little one) but I love those – they end up looking fuzzy in some pictures if the light is from behind. Fabulous shots!

      • “Teddy bear cholla”?! OMD, I love that name. Now I have even more reason to love those little guys. I think the one in that last cactus shot above looks a little fuzzy. Like a teddy bear! :)

  10. I’d like to see you top those! :) Gorgeous photos. I do think this same principle could be used for writing and blogging. It would be fun for me to look back and try to figure out what my 10 best posts for the year were. Sometimes when I look back at my writing, I’m surprised by how good it is, and other times I’m just like “What was I thinking?” LOL. I think it could be a good exercise. I’m trying to improve my photography too, but finding it very challenging.

    • I think self evaluation of writing, photography, or anything else for that matter, helps us to be better. We are our own worst critic.

  11. I just read about your blog on Ingrid’s post. I am in awe of the beauty you have captured with your lens.

  12. Lovely photos, especially the one with your dog walking across the sand:) Question…are these photos directly from the cameras or have you manipulated them some?

  13. Those are some tough questions. I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder for photography. There’s so many different styles. I happen to love your style and I’m pretty sure I get it. :)

  14. One of my favorite things to do after a photo shoot or vacation is to narrow down the images. It’s kind of like treasure hunting through digital files. A lot are blurry, not exposed just right or the composition isn’t great…then you click ‘Next’ and discover the perfect gem! It also feels good to purge away the bad images. You have some truly amazing gems here already this year!

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