Year in Review: 2022
Well, 2022 has come and gone. Thankfully that meant life started to finally feel like it was returning to normal after a long fight with a worldwide pandemic. COVID certainly changed my business quite a bit in 2020 and 2021, but 2022 definitely felt like those challenges started moving to the rearview mirror.
Although I still spent plenty of time with the large and small mammals of the Rocky Mountains, I wanted to venture out and test my creativity for landscape images. I explored more new trails in 2022 than ever before (although I still chickened out on those solo backpacking trips; trying again this year — wish me luck), and I found a few places I am looking forward to returning to in the future for better atmospheric conditions and to host workshops so others can capture the beauty of the locations. I also finally captured some landscape images of places I have visited over and over yet had never photographed the exact conditions I envisioned (see the image above of an alpine lake at sunrise; prints available).
I also spent a lot more time photographing birds in 2022, with most of my travel dedicated to bird subjects.
One of the best trips of the year was to Washington to photograph bald eagles. Even with a knee injury that happened during that trip that took until the fall to really feel stronger, the trip produced amazing and intense bald eagle photos. (Stay tuned for more info specific about that trip and about private photo instruction coming in 2023 at this location.)
I also revisited a popular beach for nesting birds in Long Island, New York. It is always hard to time the trip because the nesting season runs from late May through early August, depending on which bird is the desired subject. I hoped to photograph the piping plovers, a threatened species in much of their range, and even listed as endangered in some areas. For the trip in 2022, I timed it perfectly to capture photos of the plover chicks just a day or two after hatching. I also had a bonus of seeing two newborn oystercatcher chicks take their first steps after hatching. It didn't take long before they were off and running.
The summer brought many trips into Rocky Mountain National Park to enjoy the time with some of my favorite species — elk, moose and pikas — and other wonderful wildlife destinations in Colorado and Wyoming.
And the highlight of the year was the trip I led to Churchill, Manitoba to photograph polar bears and other arctic wildlife. The weather was extremely cold, causing the ice to arrive a little early. That was great for the bears, which we observed testing the ice. We also saw an abundance of red fox this trip and a special showing of the Northern Lights. Can't beat all that for one week. I will be heading back up in November 2023; dates and details coming soon.
I also had a bit of a mishap with my camera in August thanks to my eagerness to preserve a moment of a little girl in a pink jacket holding a fishing pole. I missed the shot and dunked my camera in the Colorado River instead but managed a perfect series of documentary photos for an article I was working on about outdoor programs for the disabled. The damage to my Nikon D850 was repairable but would take several months due to parts. I needed a new camera and took the plunge into mirrorless and purchased the Nikon Z9. I'll have a separate post about that but let's just say it has been worth every penny of the cost (although I still love my D850 and will continue to use that as long as I can).
This post has just a very small sampling of the images from 2022. Check out the videos I have produced featuring a collection of bird, mammal and landscape photos in each video.
So, here is to a great 2023 with lots of trips, new workshops, plenty of writing and new trails to explore. I need a year with about 400 days on the calendar. Who am I kidding, I would just fill those days just as fast :) (Speaking of calendars, did you order your Rocky Mountain Wildlife 2023 Calendar?)
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Keywords: 2022, Churchill, fox, nature, nature photography, photo, photographer, photography, polar bear, tips, wildlife, year in review
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