2018 Photo Highlights
The colors of autumn on full display along Minneopa Creek.

2018 Photo Highlights

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Most Popular Photos

These are my “Top 9” photos from Instagram. I do post to other social media platforms, but popularity of my photos there tend to trend much the same way as Instagram.

#9: Sunset Over Baptism River

Golden hour in Tettegouche State Park just before sunset. The Baptism River flows down from the hills and gorge above Lake Superior, under the old and new bridges for Hwy. 61.

#8: Tree & Minneopa Falls

A shot from one of the last days of summer at Minneopa Falls.

#7: Honor Mother & Father

A memorial was left for a dad on the banks of the Mississippi River in front of the Lowry Avenue Bridge, which was lit up in pink for Mother’s Day.

I went down to the Lowry Bridge on Mother’s Day to capture it lit up in pink, and as soon as I spotted the memorial to someone’s dad below I knew I had found a story in this photo that was special. It must have resonated with a lot of viewers too, since it came in at number 7 for the year.

#6: Tree & Minneopa Sunset

Sunset on the Serengeti? Nope – it’s the bison preserve at Minneopa State Park just outside Mankato, Minnesota.

#5: Triple Falls

The three steps of Triple Falls near Mankato, Minnesota.

Personally, I was very critical of myself on this photo (I don’t like the lighting I had to deal with on a bright sunny mid-day), but after I released a black and white photo of Triple Falls I also took that day, people asked for a color shot too, and it became really popular online – coming in at #5.

#4: St. Croix River Gorge

After a nice autumn day of hiking Interstate State Park, we were rewarded with a sunset over the Saint Croix River gorge between Wisconsin (left) and Minnesota (right).

While this photograph is actually from last year, I was never happy with the original edit I did, so I started over and rereleased it this past fall and I’m much happier with it. It seems like many other people are too since it landed in 4th place and am considering it worthy of prints!

#3: Spoonbridge & Cherry

The iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. I don’t ever do selective color since it’s usually so cheesy – but black and white photos of abstract sculpture with simple bold colors almost crave it.

This is also right up there with the rest of my personal favorites of 2018, and will definitely be added to line-up of prints for next year’s art show season.

#2: Friday Night Storm II

Friday night’s storm may not have been severe by the time it reached Minneapolis, but it certainly brought plenty of rain and lightning! I set up on a hill overlooking downtown, but the overcast skies ahead of the storm limited the view of the approaching storm. I was feeling discouraged up until a low shelf cloud emerged from the dull grey sky. It got dark enough over downtown that the lights came on early (this was about 45 minutes before sunset). The cloud colors changed to a bright aqua-blue top and the bottom was glowing yellow/orange from the city lights right below. I captured a series of shots before finally retreating back to my car after lightning crossed the clouds directly over my head.

This is also my favorite photo I’ve taken this year!

#1: Fall at Minneopa Falls

The colors of autumn on full display along Minneopa Creek.

This also doubles as one of my personal favorites of the year, and will soon be making it available for prints.

My Favorites

These are 9 of my favorite images of this year that did not make it on the Top 9 Most Popular images.

#9: Coachella Valley Sunset

Sunset on my last night in Palm Springs for 2018. Looking for some place new to me, I headed up the Palm to Pines highway on the recommendation from a local friend, and stopped by the Coachella Valley Vista Point, about halfway up the pass. While tempting to try an capture an ultra wide of the whole valley, it gets to be a bit overwhelming. I instead focused on the Salton Sea peeking out from behind the ridge to my right.

#8: Waterfalls of Tettegouche IV – High Falls

The fourth in a series of waterfall shots from my most recent camping and hiking trip to Tettegouche State Park. Continuing up the Baptism River from the Cascades (post 1), and the Two Step Falls (posts 2 & 3), next you encounter the highest of the Tettegouche Falls, aptly named High Falls. It can be accessed from trails on both sides of the river, and at the base, the river very wide and shallow so it can easily be waded across. As you can see in this image, a young woman is piling a set of rocks mid stream below the falls.

#7: Golden Hour Summer Sun

Golden hour summer sun over the Mississippi River and downtown Minneapolis.

#6: Between Two Rocks

The elegant simplicity of nature.

BTW – The title is a play on words from Zach Galifianakis’ YouTube talk show “Between Two Ferns.”

#5: Silver Maple in Black and White

Beautiful foliage shimmering in brief rays of sunlight on an otherwise overcast day.

#4: Skol Vikings

An iconic Vikings purple and gold shot of the Lowry Bridge and Minneapolis skyline from the icy Mississippi.

Yes, I really was out on the ice that night! I got there early and was the first to dare venture out there. By the time I left, several other photographers followed my tracks. This was a rare chance to get the skyline perfectly lined up under the arch, which is only possible from the middle of the channel.

#3: I-35W Bridge in Orange

A rare sight – the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge lit up in orange. It’s only scheduled to be orange twice a year, and on this night I was able to catch the high water crashing over the rocks below.

#2: Rays on the Abandoned Barn

Cloudy skies begin to break up in the early evening over the fields of southern Minnesota, illuminating the abandoned barn and farm site adjacent to my parents’ property.

This barn is the same one featured in “Winter Barn”, the photograph that basically launched my landscape career and is still one of my most popular and successful.

#1: Badlands Hillside

This was shot on the last evening of our summer great American Eclipse road trip. I hiked around the hills of the Badlands looking for the perfect spot to watch the sunset when I came across this spot with hills glowing from the golden hour sun.

Technically, this wasn’t taken in 2018, but I released it in the spring of 2018 and it tops my list of the year because it was accepted into the 2018 Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts competition. This was my first time entering, and was one of only a couple dozen entries that made the final cut out of over 7,000 entries! It also sold the preview night, before the fair even opened. I was elated to have my print on display for the eyes millions of attendees to see – worth far more than a few likes on Instagram. I look forward to participating again this summer!

Thank you all for the support in 2018 and cheers to new adventures and even better photographs to come in 2019!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Andrew, you keep amazing me with your talent to pick out features in nature and landscapes which passes by most of us. I am aware of all the time you spend waiting for the “perfect” photo and then the editing. Was so proud to see your photo at the Minnesota State Fair Arts Exhibit. It’s very difficult to choose a favorite; however, the St. Croix River in the fall is beautiful. Wishing you well when you have your exhibits this spring/summer.

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