2017 was a strange year for me photographically. I started out feeling like I was turning out crap, unmotivated, a bit burned out. I did very little photography early in the year and didn’t really miss it. As we headed into fall, however, I started thinking about shooting again, and I ultimately went down to spend a few days in Morro Bay trying to refine my love and interest in the camera.

That trip did wonders for me and I created a lot of really good work, and that really jumpstarted me back into wanting to shoot, enjoying the process and liking the work I was creating. I realized I’d allowed myself to get into bad habits and settling for what was easy and “good enough”, and that I needed to get back to trying to find the great work and not simply the good.

I think that mental shift shows in my work: all of these images were shot in August or later, and seven of them during or after that Morro Bay trip. I’ve talked about each of these works individually in the last couple of weeks, but I wanted to pull the year together and do this summary post about it as well. If you want to explore the images I’ve picked as the best of my year, you can do so watching the slideshow above, or go explore them individually on my Smugmug site.

Sunset at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

Northern Harrier

Sandhill Cranes Dancing

Sea Otter Mom with her pup at dawn, Morro Bay Harbor

Morro Bay Harbor at Dawn

Sea Otter Mom with her pup

Morro Bay Harbor and City Sunset Panorama

White-faced Ibis


Brown Pelican

Moss Landing Harbor


When considering what images to choose for my final list, I ended up with another set of about 20 images that I considered but ended up not choosing. I’m quite happy with all of these, so I thought I would show them as well. It was fairly easy paring this down to the final 12, but I’m still rather happy that despite how poorly the year started, I still come away from the year with 30 images I’m proud of.

You can also explore each of these images individually on my SmugMug site.

I hope you had a great year photographically in 2017, and may 2018 bring you even better images.