OUR FAVORITE PHOTOS FOR 2018
By Team Think Orange
Another year is slipping away. And what a year it’s been!
2018 has been a wild ride, with plenty of ups and downs, sudden turns and abrupt stops. But despite all the craziness, we’ve managed to visit some amazing destinations this year. And we have some incredible photographs to show for it. We’re sure you do too.
Like most people, at the end of the year we like to sort through all our images, and pick out our favorites. Some years, it’s harder to do than others. This was one of those years. But we still gave it a try! Here at Photo Workshop Adventures, we have a crack team of photographers that have done just that, and shared their best here. Herewith are our favorite photos for 2018. Enjoy!
This photo was taken in Washington DC during the Cherry Blossom Workshop Adventure. This particular time of year is very busy with tourists so in order to get a shot like this with no people, you have to arrive before sunrise. There are no tripods allowed inside the Lincoln Memorial, so I had to sneak in my tripod. Luckily the security guard was on the other side of the large pillar on the right, looking towards the Washington Monument. I setup the shot knowing blue hour will give me the sky color I was going for. I positioned my Fuji X-T2 with a 16mm Fujinon lens and tripod in the center as to get the triangular shadows and light in a symmetrical pattern.
With so many trips to so many different countries, it’s always difficult to select just one favorite photo.
When editing, my first criteria is to select an image that really stands out from the rest. Second, it must evoke emotion. Either immediately grab you, or mesmerize you until you succumb to its allure.
After much debate, I had to go with my desert experience during my scouting trip to Rajasthan, India. On this trip I had pushed myself to the farthest reaches of western Rajasthan, past the ancient city of Jaisalmer (known as the Golden City). This once wealthy enclave was a successful spice route outpost in the Thar Desert (also known as The Great Indian Desert).
My Indian guides and I pressed deep into the desert, just 30 km from the Pakastani border where we would encounter nomadic tribespeople. We used jeeps and camels to explore the area. There I found the perfect desert shot I had envisioned.
Photographed using a Fujifilm X-T3, f/8 at 200mm, 1/1000 sec. Note: the white background is natural, the result of a very bright and hazy desert sun.
It was hard to decide which image I felt was my favourite taken in 2018, considering all the marvellous scenes I witnessed while guiding our guests for PWA in various countries. Ultimately, I decided on this image of a young Bedouin Shepherd boy in the Negev desert of Israel. There are a few reasons I thought this image stood out.
Firstly the subject: The harsh life of the Nomadic Bedouin people is illustrated here. Only the Bedouin would be able to find water in this environment.
Secondly, I also like the symmetry of this image. I was watching the boy and his sheep descend from the mountains in the background. And then as luck would have it, the sheep lined up in a row across my frame, while the boy, standing in the middle of the line, held his stick in both hands above his head. Such a great moment.
After several weeks of exploring the Sultanate of Oman, we were finally relaxing at a resort in Salalah. But there was a commotion down the beach. I rustled myself up from my comfortable chaise lounge and instinctively grabbed my camera.
As I walked the 100 meters or so I could see lots of people in the water and several pickup trucks a few meters from the water’s edge. But the area was surrounded by onlookers so I didn’t know what was going on. Once I broke through the line, I saw an incredible scene with dozens of fishermen surrounding a red net chock full of sardines.
One by one, a mesh bag was loaded up, and the heavy weight took three men to sling over the shoulder of someone who would make the short but arduous slog through the surf to a waiting pickup truck.
Shot from 2 meters away with Nikon D850 @24mm ISO 200 f/9.0 at 1/500 sec
Secrets abound in the old copper mining town of Jerome, Arizona. If you ask residents of this hilltop town about the old miner’s graveyard, they’ll tell you that it’s somewhere on the side of Cleopatra Hill, off the road where a vacant, shimmering-roofed building stands. The area around it is alien; red sand, flora and fauna surviving the sun and each other as residents forge ahead regardless of terrain. This town, like New Orleans, where I live, has everything I need for a travel photography shoot.
Attilio Di Giangiacomo
The photo that I like the most for 2018 was taken in Iceland. The location is called Grundarfjordur and the mountain in the background is called “Kirkjufell”. This shot is important for me because I have been 6 times in Iceland and every time in this location I encountered bad weather! Finally this year I had the best moment to take the shot. It was a rainy day, as always. We were driving around this peninsula looking for nice composition and waiting for a moment without rain. Finally, after one hour in the late evening, the rain stopped and the clouds moved to create a hole and give us this amazing situation with crazy light for over one hour!
For this shot I needed several minutes to create because it is a pano of 180 degrees. There are 14 shots for the different light — 7 for the background with the highlights and 7 for the foreground with the shadows. The final result gives me satisfaction, because I finally have the location with the perfect light!
What I love about this photograph from Kerala, is the pattern that looks like a fingerprint. I love taking photographs with symmetry or patterns which lead the viewer into the picture. There are some perspectives which only photographers can reveal to others. This image was enhanced by including the tea pickers for scale, and adding a human touch. The fingerprint pattern, which can only be revealed by aerial shooting with my drone, is a view not many would be able to see.
I like this particular photograph of Fitz Roy Mt. and Capri lagoon at sunrise, because we had to walk in the dark along the mountains and through a forest for two hours. It was a very quiet night and a very rare one, as there was almost no wind at all. That is something uncommon in Patagonia.
Once we arrived at the lagoon shore, there was just the three of us. We stood in silence for a few moments, contemplating that quiet stone giant, surrounded by a dense forest, reflected in the smooth lake mirror .
We could barely see enough to set up our tripods on the shore of the lake. After a few minutes of peaceful wait, the light of the incoming sunrise was strong enough to make the camera adjustments. We had just to wait long enough for the first orange rays of the sun to hit the mountains.
When it happened, it was sudden and quite fast. I took a few shots when the orange light was still strong enough to contrast wonderfully with the surrounding darkness. The result was this peaceful scene, with such wonderful colors, and all reflected in a calm lagoon, which duplicated those vibrant colors like a natural mirror.
Maybe it s not the most spectacular photograph of this trip, but the peace and stillness present in that moment, together with the wonderful company of great people, made it the most enjoyable one.
Canon 6D, 28mm, 5 sec, f/22, iso 50
To choose a “best photo” can be a challenge. For most, your best photo is often combined with a memory of a great moment. This is why I chose this Milky Way panorama from this summer. I absolutely wanted to see the Perseid Meteor Shower in August this year and I chose one of the most beautiful places I have ever been for stargazing. I spent this great night at 3125m above sea level at The Gornergrat, located in Switzerland. The view of the Matterhorn, the Monterosa and its glaciers is absolutely stunning. This area is reachable even for non-climbers as there is a train that goes up there. This photo is a 360 degree panorama out of 50 photos. The photo with the selfie is made with a wireless remote control and a flash.
Can you spot some falling stars above me?
Ian Robert Knight
For many people in Bhutan, life is a simple one. They don’t have a lot of needs, or a lot of possessions. They have the basic necessities of life – like a roof over their heads, a warm fire, food on the table, and their loved ones around them. This plays out all over the country, and you’ll see it everywhere you go in Bhutan.
We were invited into a farmhouse for lunch, in the central Phobjikha Valley part of Bhutan. The family that hosted us were proud of their home, and prepared lunch for us. Admittedly, the food was not great, but the generosity and friendliness was in abundance. The farmhouse was likely in the family for generations, and would remain that way for many more. The walls were blackened by soot from cooking over a fire for countless years.
What makes me like this photo so much is that it represented a moment in time that is typical for a family in Bhutan. The kitchen is the focus of the farmhouse, and most activities take place in it. Lunch was offered to guests, like they were family. A discussion about daily tasks takes place, while Grandma stares for hours at a television screen. Kale dries on rods above the stove. A regular day for regular people, in Bhutan.
Fujifilm XT-2, 18mm, f5.6, 1/80, iso 8000
This Photo was taken in the village of Vernazza, Italy It is part of the Cinque Terre area and National Park in Italy.
It was beautiful weather and blue hour time in September 2018, about 8:20 PM, for this photo I used Pentax K1II camera 24-70 lens and settings on the camera is ISO100, 250sec, F8, “36mm, and ND filter 6 stop. There is a nice light hiking path to get to this location, but at this time of the year there is a lot of photographers. It’s not easy to find a spot for a tripod.
This is one of my favourite shots of the year. The image shows a Brown hyena which is quite a rare species and relatively hard to get to see. It is a species considered to be Near Vulnerable and the population is in decline. I went for a slightly slow shutter speed and a black and white conversion to add to the mood.
I have been lucky to lead the Cuba Workshop for a few years now, and this year I was there in early January, only a few months after Hurricane Irma hit the island, taking 10 lives and destroying 100,000 homes. When I visit Havana with guests, I am always struck by how resilient and ingenious its people are, but their resilience is tested more and more. In a country that is increasingly moving toward a twin, parallel economy, a lot of people are feeling the sting of climate change, particularly those who aren’t included in the tourism industry or its downstream effects.
This past January, some storms lingered, closing the Malecón to traffic, and waves crashing over the seawall, giving us the chance of mindlessly walking in the middle of its roadway. Reflections in puddles, dramatic sunsets, we and the locals were enjoying the bright side of the storm. Winter in Cuba is a different experience, one that show the limits of the government’s effort to mitigate the rising sea level. Cuba is a very unique place, unlike any other Caribbean country I know. We should enjoy this fragile, magnificent, inspiring and endearing place now.
A Time to Reflect
As 2018 comes to a close, we hope you take the time to reflect on your photographic experiences from the past year. What new skills have you learned? Where did you go this year that was new to you? Did you make some images that you’re proud of? Leave us a comment below, and tell us how 2018 was for you photographically.
And happy travels to you in 2019, from Photo Workshop Adventures!