Now that 2012 is underway, it’s time to take a look back at a few favorite photos from 2011. The highlights of my year included two trips with my husband, one to the Southwestern US and one to Puerto Rico. Both were new experiences for us, and both left us wanting more. My favorite photos from the Southwest are by far those from Antelope Canyon. While not the most serene to actually visit thanks to the many tourists and photographers, the photos from that visit amaze me every time I look at them. The expanse of the Grand Canyon was breathtaking, and I was really surprised by all of the trees and the surrounding forest. I’d always imagined the surrounding area to be desolate.
While the Grand Canyon was on my bucket list, I must say that I fell in love with Bryce Canyon. The intense colors of the hoodoos against the blue sky was simply beautiful, but the most memorable was the quiet serenity of our day there. We’ll be back for sure with much more time to explore. On a completely different note, Puerto Rico was a fantastic getaway, and surprisingly easy to get to. The ability to be in 2500 feet of crystal clear water in only a 20-minute boat ride was amazing! My favorite spots were the rain forest at El Yunque and streets of Old San Juan with the beautiful architecture and brilliant colors.
As usual, it was hard to narrow my favorite photos down to only ten this year. There isn’t really any rhyme or reason for why these photos are my favorites, but there is something about each one that I love. Enjoy the photos and have a wonderful 2012!
If you are avid reader of the PhotoBlog, you’ve likely been wondering if what rock I’ve been hiding under for the last few months. I wish that I’d been on some exotic assignment taking photos at the ends of the earth but I’ve just been busy juggling too many things at once and something had to give. While photography is my passion, it is unfortunately not how I pay the bills and my ‘real job’ was exceptionally demanding in the last few months. Add to that ensuring that I spent quality time with my family and it left little time for shooting new photos or blogging.
Fall hasn’t been completely devoid of new photos, though. There was a trip to Puerto Rico in mid-October, and a long weekend in Raleigh, NC to see some fall colors a couple of weeks ago. All of the photos from Puerto Rico are up on my website, and I’m hoping to have the fall foliage photos up soon. In the last few months I have also been sneaking in some time here and there to get through a backlog of photos that need to be edited, and feel good that I’m getting caught up.
Now that things aren’t so hectic, it’s time to start blogging again, and that brings me to this photo from San Juan, Puerto Rico. While strolling through Old San Juan and trying to take in all of the beautiful historic architecture, it seems like there was something new to see around every corner. The bright Caribbean colors with bright white trim and were absolutely beautiful and gave each building its own character. While admiring the intense school-bus-yellow on this building, a black and white cat wondered by and added a little of his own character to the photo.
Officially named the Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma after the Peruvian Saint Francis Solano, the Sonoma Mission is located in the heart of downtown Sonoma, CA. The mission is the last in the chain of the 21 historic Franciscan missions built in California. Originally founded on July 4, 1823, the only portion of the original building that remains is the corridor of founder Father Jose Altimira’s quarters. The chapel pictured here was built in 1840 by General Vallejo to be used by the townspeople of Sonoma. There is no active church in the mission today, but it is part of the Sonoma State Historic Park.
Located in New York City, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral hosts over 5.5 million people each year to visit and pray. Opened in 1879, the cathedral is the largest Gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United Sates and holds up to 2,200 people. It’s location on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets is directly across from Rockefeller Center makes it one of the iconic New York landmarks to visit while in Manhattan. While exterior photos that capture the contrast between the Gothic-style cathedral and the modern skyscrapers that surround it are fantastic, I found the ceiling inside illuminated by the soft lighting of the chandeliers to be even more intriguing.
One of the biggest tourist attractions in Manhattan is Rockefeller Center. At its center is the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, easily one of the most famous and easily recognizable office buildings in the country. Opened in 1933, the 70-floor, 872-foot sky scraper is home to the ”Top of the Rock” Observation Deck that allows a unique 360 degree panoramic view of the city. One of the largest and most well known tenants of “30 Rock” is NBC which houses their main headquarters, many of thier New York studios and the live operations for NBC News and MSNBC there.
Located in New York City, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets. Across from Rockefeller Center, Saint Patrick’s Gothic-style sits in stark contrast to the towering modern skyscrapers that surround it. The cornerstone for the cathedral was laid in 1858, but construction was stopped during the years of the Civil War. After construction resumed in 1865, the cathedral was completed in 1879. Officially opened on May 25, 1879, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest Gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United States and was named as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
Officially called the San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission, I found the Carmel Mission to be absolutely beautiful and worth the visit if you are ever near the Monterey Peninsula. This particular view is from the front courtyard looking at the side of the museum building, which once served as the living quarters. This photo was taken on a warm spring day with many fragrant wildflowers in bloom in the courtyard making for a fabulous afternoon.