Photography in the White Mountains is nothing short of incredible. While it may lack the authority and prestige of places like Yellowstone, I have found it to be the perfect place to connect with nature, with one’s inner artist and with a child-like sense of adventure; all at once. As a life-long Granite Stater, my connection to White Mountains is stark, and my memory is filled with scenes of hiking through deep woods and scaling ledges of granite. As a photographer, I am quite fortunate to be engaged in the creation of an enhanced record of those memories. With regard those meaningful recollections, I’ve decided to start an annual tradition where I look back on the year in hiking and in photography.
First, a short compendium of the year. 2011 started off normally enough with deep cold (I was out in -22 in Jefferson one morning), but seemed to stray off course from the normal weather patterns as the year went on. By the end of the summer, we faced Tropical Storm Irene which devastated homes, business, and hiking trails. Irene also set the tone for one of the most peculiar fall foliage seasons in recent memory. Autumn never really seemed to find its rhythm in the valleys, and one had to travel to the brutal Alpine Tundras to find deep colour. Soon after, winter made cameo appearances the day before Halloween and the day before Thanksgiving, each time dumping well over a foot of snow in some areas. After that, winter never seemed to completely show up in normal fashion. 2011 ended much drier than anyone could have expected, and stick-season (a term we photographers use to refer to the in-between seasons) seemed to never go away.
Despite the challenges there were pockets of brilliance that I was fortunate to be witness to. To that end, I’ve picked my
ten eleven best photographs from the year to share with you one last time as we say hello to 2012!
Beyond a doubt, in photography (as with other aspects of life) it is an important and useful exercise to reflect back every now and then. Picking the best landscape photographs from the past year’s collection helps photographers to allow for the necessary time to feel good about their efforts and their results. This can then help to establish a baseline for the new year, and for new goals. I look forward to sharing more images and experiences with you as we dive right in to 2012.