My Favorite Photos of 2022

This colorful sunrise over the Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco is not the very first photo taken during the year but it was early in the morning and February is fairly early in the year.

As I was having lunch with some friends about a week ago, one of them asked me if I’d been doing much photography lately. I replied, “No, I didn’t do much photography in 2022.” And that is what I believed until I sat down to create this post and began to select my favorites. Then, kind of like a light suddenly turned on, I realized that, “Well, yes, I didn’t do as much travel in 2022 as I’ve done in some previous years, but I did manage to do a bit more photography than I thought.”

Before getting too far into this post, here’s my usual caveat about favorites: as the title of the post says, these images are my favorites of the year, not necessarily favorites of yours or anyone else (although, of course, I do hope you enjoy them).

San Francisco

We took a road trip with our travel buddies, Louise & Lew, that started with a stay in San Francisco (with wine country side trips), another few days in Monterey, and finally ended up in Las Vegas, Nevada. That entire trip is reported in my blog post, February 2022 Road Trip. In addition to the photo at the top of this post, my other downtown San Francisco favorite from that trip is this other, even earlier shot of Market Street at dawn. Interesting to me, is the way that early morning “blue hour” light from the pre-dawn sky is completely eclipsed by the intensity of the electric light along the street and nearby buildings.

San Francisco’s downtown Market Street before dawn

Monterey

I took many photos down by the nearby harbor but particularly like this one where I was able to catch the first rays of the sunrise as they lit up the Old Fisherman’s Wharf — especially before it was filled with its daily visitors.

Old Fisherman’sWharf

We also took some day trips around the area while we were there, including the famous 17-Mile Drive (which is mostly along the ocean). Two images from that drive are among my favorites of the year, including this one taken along the southern edge of Monterey Bay, with a good portion of the bay’s shoreline in the background.

Southern edge of Monterey Bay, in the afternoon

The photo below is of the “Lone Cypress” which is also a trademark symbol of the corporation that owns a significant portion of the land along the coast in this area. I’ve always wanted to take a photograph of this tree for myself but I was amazed and sad to see how sorry this famous tree looks these days.

It is clearly being encouraged to continue to grow and live beyond its normal life. You can see that its roots have been protected by a kind of special pot built for it right on the side of this rocky outcropping. You can also see that it has recently lost a major branch. What you can’t see (because I removed them from my photo) is the amount of cabling that is also helping to hold this tree in place and survive the often strong winds coming off the ocean.

“Lone Cypress” (TM) — This tree is commercially protected by trade mark against commercial use.
This photo is NOT FOR SALE.

Las Vegas

It took us an extra day to drive to Las Vegas; we overnighted in Bakersfield. Our friends really like to take advantage of all that Las Vegas has to offer. My interest in being there was both to spend time with them and to take advantage of what nature had to offer, from a photographer perspective. I took the better part of a day to explore just a northwest portion of the Nevada State Park called the Valley of Fire (I’m looking forward to visiting again to explore other sections of the park).

Two of my 2022 favorite photos were taken while I was in the state park. This first was taken from a stop along the White Dome Road. The second was taken from a side road off the White Dome Road in a section called the Fire Canyon / Silica Dome area.

Section of the White Dome Road; you can just make out a car on that road in roughly the middle of the photo
Fire Canyon / Silica dome area

Maui

Regular readers know that we try to get to out favorite place on West Maui every year (except 2020 for obvious reasons). That trip is also described in my Maui 2022 blog post. I only have one favorite from that trip that I took while on an early morning walk around some nearby properties.

Flowering trees season ending (on the Kapalua golf course)

Lake Tahoe

We took two trips to Lake Tahoe this year; one in August and then again in September. Those trips are remembered in two separate blog posts; Return to Lake Tahoe and A month later, back to Lake Tahoe. I found two favorites from each trip.

On both trips I spent time photographing above Emerald Bay (on the California side of the lake) and on the Nevada side but closer to the shoreline. My two favorites from the August trip are both from the area above Emerald Bay. The first one is focused on how low the amount of water is coming down to the lake via Eagle Falls but also shows Emerald Bay in the background.

Top of (lower) Eagle Falls above Emerald Bay showing very low water flow

The other looks away from the lake and towards some of the surrounding mountains.

Sunrise lights up granite mountains and forest growth above Emerald Bay

My two favorites from the September trip include another shot from above Emerald Bay and also one from the Nevada side from a place called Chimney Beach. The one from Chimney Beach shows a bit of the beach with some young women watching another swimming (in extremely cold water on a somewhat cold morning) and the morning sun only reaching other areas of the lake at that moment.

Intrepid swimmer braving cold water while friends look on (swimmer is not seen in the photo but her clothes are visible on the beach)

The other is similar to several other photos I’ve taken of dawn above Emerald Bay but with a different orientation than I usually shoot.

Cloudless sunrise over Emerald Bay (but with compositional focus on the rocks in the foreground instead of the lake)

Thank you for taking a look at my favorites of 2022. If you would like to see these images somewhat larger and with greater photographic color fidelity, just click on this link to my photo website and the What’s New selection. There you will find all of the above favorites along with others taken in the same locations at around the same time. If you agree with any of my choices or find something in my collection that you like better, you can always let me know by commenting in the Reply section below or by leaving a comment on the photo itself while viewing them in my photo website.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a terrific 2023.

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