The 2017 Annual Ten

Once again, it is time to review the photographs made this year, and select my favorites.  We have been doing this for the past several years, and I look forward to it every year.  This year, I started with over 50 photos, and after making several passes through the collection, and making some tough decisions, I selected the 10 photographs that gave me the most joy and satisfaction when I made them, and continue to do so now.  Here are my Favorites for 2017, in roughly chronological order…

  1.  In Spring (Natural Dam)
    In Spring

    Natural Dam f/16, 1/2 sec, ISO 100, 24-70 Zeiss set to 34mm

    In the spring, with normal rainfall, all of our waterfalls are flowing.  Natural Dam is near my home, and always has a photograph waiting for me.  On this day, there was indeed a good flow of water, and I tried to locate the camera so the water was all around it…

  2. Wild Roses and the Mulberry River
    Wild Roses

    Wild Roses over the Mulberry River f/8, 1/30 sec, ISO 100, 70-300 zoom at 250mm

    Also in the spring, I found this wild rose bush growing on the bank of the Mulberry River, at the High Bank Canoe Launch site.  From the parking area, I used a long lens to isolate this branch with the River in the background.

  3. The Emerald Lady
    Emerald Lady

    The Emerald Lady Orb Weaver spider, f/11, 1/30 sec, ISO 800, 90mm macro lens, Sony Alpha 6500

    In June, I spent a few days in the Beaver Lake area.  While hiking a trail near the lake I saw this Orb Weaver spider, one of the most beautiful spiders I have ever seen.  Not a large spider, but delicate, colorful, and wondrously patterned, I called her “The Emerald Lady.”

  4. Morning Dew
    Morning Dew

    Morning Dew, Cherokee Prairie, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO 400, 100mm macro, Alpha 7R

    On a July morning, the Cherokee Prairie Heritage Area was very wet, with dew and fog.  Walking through the grasses, I found this water drop with a refraction of the black-eyed Susan coneflower in the fog.  Using a relatively large aperture blurred everything that was not on the same plane of focus as the water drop…

  5. The Garden Spider
    Garden Spider

    Garden Spider, Cherokee Prairie State Heritage Area, f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO 500, 100mm Macro, Sony Alpha 7R

    I visited Cherokee Prairie again in early September.  The wildflowers were gone, for the most part.  I walked by a patch of gone-to-seed stalks of lyatris, or gayfeather, and saw a large spider web spread across the space between them.  In the center of the web was this large orb-weaving Garden Spider.  As I approached her web, she ran to this stalk and waited – as if to say, “that’s far enough!”  The gayfeather stalks are more than an inch in diameter, just to give you an idea of her size…  Another interesting and beautiful spider…

  6.  Frost Aster Flowers
    Frost Aster

    Frost Aster, Van Buren City Park F4, 1/750 sec., ISO 200, 100mm macro, Sony Alpha 7R

    Frost asters bloom late in the summer and into fall.  Very small, but they bloom in patches and are a lovely little flower.  An f/4 aperture gradually blurs the rest of the bunch of flowers behind the front bloom…

  7. Friends in the Forest

    Mushroom Friends, Yellow Rock Trail, Devils Den State Park, f/22, 4 seconds, ISO 400, 100mm macro, Sony Alpha 7R

    While on our Autumn Landscapes Workshop, we were on the Yellow Rock Trail in Devils Den State Park, and we saw these mushrooms growing on this old stump.  One of my friends in the group may, or may not, have added the acorns to the scene…

  8.  Autumn Green
    Autumn Green

    Trees in Lee Creek Valley, Devils Den State Park, f/4, 1/125 sec., ISO 400, Sony 16-70 lens set to 70mm, Sony Alpha 6500

    In late November, the trees in the Lee Creek Valley still had some soft pastel color, with bare trunks and branches creating lines drawn against the colors.  We do not think of the color green in the autumn, but it is here in this photo, pale and soft, along with a more seasonal orange…

  9. Winter Cascade
    Winter Cascade

    Natural Dam. F/16, 2.0 seconds, ISO 400, Sony Alpha 7R, 24-240 at 24mm

    On another visit to Natural Dam, at sunrise, my favorite time of day, it was cold and ice formed wherever the water was not moving, and a little fog and mist rose from the stream.  As the sun began its ascent to the horizon, colors and details and shapes also began to appear from the night…

  10.  Frost Flower
    Frost Flower

    “Frost Flower”, Lee Creek, Arkansas, f/5.6, 1/125 sec., ISO 100, 100mm macro lens, Sony Alpha 7R

    “Frost Flowers” form when the air temperature is well below freezing and the moisture in the plant stem freezes, and forces its way out of the stem, looking like ribbons, or flower petals.  This day was the first hard freeze of the winter in this area.  When I saw this one, backlighted by the morning sun, I could hardly set up the tripod fast enough!


    Selecting your Favorite 10 photographs is a fun exercise, and if you have not done so, give it a try – even if you do not publish the list.  It is revealing to recognize what you like and what you are most proud of and what it is that makes you smile with satisfaction and joy.  And, be sure to check out Jim Goldstein’s Blog Project: Your Best Photos From 2017 to see more like this – and maybe add yours!

    Have a Great 2018, everyone!


16 thoughts on “The 2017 Annual Ten

  1. A glorious collection, Larry. What a year and your love of nature shines through. A terrific diversity of images– your beautiful spiders, close-ups and landscapes. I would love to see a frost flower someday… Wishing you an inspiring 2018 and I am looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful work.

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