Mary’s Favorite Photos of 2022

First of all, Happy 2023. I’m excited for another year of adventure, art and photography. At the end of each year, I have a set of wrap up activities which include finishing a yearbook that summarizes our year. In 2022, there was an entire page devoted to the variety of photography projects we took on over the year – most were specialized portrait sessions, a new genre for us. My collection of 2022 favorite images reflects this variety and appear in no specific order.

Infrared image of palm trees in Hawaii.

This image is from the gardens near Hilo Hawaii, Hawaiian Tropical Bioreserve and Gardens. It is a steep walk/hike down to the water and I realized at the moment where we reached the end that I forgot my infrared camera. Peter let me borrow his, and I snapped one frame. It’s common to hear in photography “to look around, not just in front of you”, I often forget to look up.

Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo

Another color infrared image made my top photos this year, and thanks to a crop by my artist friend Mark McDermott, it became one of my favorites. Liliuokalani Gardens is a special place, especially when it rains and in infrared.

Abstract of agave in my front yard

It was a good year for infrared photography for me. Three out of my 14 favorite photos were infrared images. This one was taking with my Canon G7X Mark ii point and shoot. We were out with friends for a hike near our neighborhood and then back for lunch, and I made everyone wait as I played in the front yard shooting the shadows on this succulent. I’m glad I did, the rodents killed it a few months later. (Note: if you are interested in infrared camera conversions, I have used LifePixel for over a decade. Their website is informative, and their customer service is top notch).

Steampunk Time Traveler Portrait

For the last two years, I have been working on a portrait series about Steampunk Time Travelers. Every guest who spends the night at our house is asked to model. I have many of the outfits and props here, and sometimes people will send their own ahead of their visits, which always makes me smile. This was one of the most complicated images I have made involving compositing several different images together. I’ve started to write a story to accompany the images – its one of those things on my ever-growing creativity list.

Scottish Rite Temple in Santa Fe New Mexico

In June of 2022, I attended a workshop at Santa Fe Workshops. It was my first workshop (for Encaustic and Cold Wax Photography with Jill Skupin Burkholder), and there was an afternoon outing at the temple (by reservation only). I was the only one of about 20+ people that brought a tripod, and I’m glad I did. I was able to capture the window light on these chairs which I think takes the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Small iceberg on the shore of Fjallsárlón Lake on Iceland’s south coast

Iceland was a highlight of 2022 for us, and several of our images from that trip made our top photos of the year. I picked this one not only because of its subject but also the experience of capturing it. It is the only iPhone photo in my favorites for the year. We first arrived to this area during a storm. We wanted to scout the lake for the next morning and it was cold, windy and raining. I didn’t even take my point and shoot, just my iPhone in my pocket. As we hiked down to the lake, I started to feel frustrated I didn’t have a “proper” camera. I was shooting with my iPhone, and really liking what I was capturing. I was unable to recreate many of those shots the next day. Just a reminder to myself, that I will never know what is possible and don’t make assumptions. “The best camera is the one you have with you.” I heard this when I was first starting out in photography (and continue to repeat it to myself even a decade later).

Moonscape in Iceland’s Highlands

I’m not sure I can really explain why I like this photo so much. When I was capturing this color infrared image I remember feeling super excited. There is just something about Peter with his gear walking back to the truck and Mark taking a picture of me taking a picture of them.

Sunset at Reykjavik’s Sun Voyager

This was not the actual experience. There were tons of people milling about, “interacting” with the art (i.e. playing on it), and sitting behind it watching the sunset. It was after dinner and I had my point and shoot in my pocket. I shot over 100 images trying to find the right grouping of people near the sculpture, when these three walked through my frame. It required quite a bit of post processing to remove the other people, and try to sharpen the figures – I was shooting in low light and handholding the camera, bent over so it was ground height.

Sunrise at Iceland’s Fishing Lakes in the Highlands

This was one of those cold mornings when I almost didn’t get up for sunrise…I’m glad I did. When we arrived I was rushing to capture the scene and after 30 minutes I realized the color was still beautiful and I could relax and take my time. The light was so colorful, I had to desaturate my images in post because people would not believe the shot was straight from the camera.

Abstract image of ripples in the mud

We were driving in Iceland’s Highlands when Peter spotted these ripples from the passenger window and started yelling for us to stop. Our guide, Haukur Snorrason (Hawk), thought we had lost our minds as we all scrambled out of the truck and spent 30 minutes making photographs. If you decide to venture into the Highlands we highly recommend using Hawk as your guide. It is not the place where we would have felt comfortable venturing on our own, and it required his specialized truck to get us around. We forded 63 rivers in 6 days. You can find out more about Hawk’s services on his website.

People walking in the fog on Diamond Beach. South Coast Iceland

The rough surf made it difficult for me to find “the zone” and photograph the diamonds on this beach. I captured this image as we were walking to the shoreline for a second time and decided I didn’t really need shiny icebergs on the black sand to remember this experience.

Storm clouds near Godafoss in Iceland

This landscape is near Godafoss, or the God of Waterfalls, in Iceland. It is one of the largest and most photographed waterfalls there. As we were packing up to leave after sunrise I thought I would “just see” what this cloud formation looked like through my viewfinder.

White House Ruins in Canyon de Chelley

This photography trip was more of Peter’s subject matter than mine. We photographed the ruins from the top of the rim, and Peter arranged for a late afternoon tour in the canyon. This is the only way to see the ruins from the bottom, and I highly recommend the experience. We used Canyon de Chelley Jeep tours and had a three hour tour with just the two of us. Its the same price whether you have 1 or 3 people and the tour allowed us to get out of the Jeep and photograph the subjects from different angles.

Old Wedding Dresses

I started finding handmade wedding dresses at Goodwill and wondered what they would be like as subjects for my encaustic wax projects. This image was shot from above while I was laying down on the cold hard floor. My arms and legs were bent at uncomfortable angles in an attempt to convey a feeling of relaxation. A reminder of what people go through to create a visual statement.

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