12 for ’12: The Year’s Best

It’s that time of year, once again, when we look back at the year that was and weigh our accomplishments. Well, you always hope that there are accomplishments worthy of looking back on. If nothing else, there’s always weighing the regrets.

Anyway, last year I posted my favorite images from 2011 – Eleven for ’11. Naturally, this year it’s 12 for ’12. They are all favorites of mine for a reason, although the reasons may not be so obvious to everyone else. Nonetheless, I’ll try to give some insight. So here they are listed in chronological order, starting this past January.

“Paradise Found”
Harrismith Beach, Barbados
January 21, 2012

Just another brutal day in paradise, I posted earlier in the year. I think what I liked best about this image is that it was completely secluded. I didn’t have to clone out a single human.


“Ahwahnee Dream”
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
February 15, 2012

One of my favorite things about this image is that it was taken from a very popular vantage point in Yosemite National Park. Still I was able to come away with something unique and original, thanks to the thickening fog in the valley.


“Red Patagonia Dawn”
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
April 6, 2012

The location, the light, and the effort to get there (I led three of my clients who opted for the backcountry extension to the Patagonia workshop up this steep, ice-covered trail to be here by sunrise) were all factors in this image making the cut.


“Crowning Glory”
Arches National Park, Utah, USA
May 18, 2012

The low-angled light sweeping over the textured sandstone, the dynamic leading lines, the cloud movement during this 30-second exposure make this a clear favorite of mine. I don’t practice many black and white conversions but I was surprised to find two in my favorites for 2012.


“Light Room”
Arches National Park, Utah, USA
May 21, 2012

I love night photography and Arches National Park is one of my favorite places to “do it in the dark.” Ok, shameless plug here: Night photography, Arches National Park, November 6-9, 2013. Thanks for listening.


“River of Light”
The Seine, Paris, France
June 24, 2012

Amazing sunset. Paris, France. What else is there to say?


“Chasing Magic”
Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland
July 25, 2012

Persistance. I waited four nights in order to get light that I was looking for at this location. I was prepared for a 5th, if necessary.


“Blood Sport”
Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA
August 23, 2012

The Decisive Moment, as Henri Cartier-Bresson might describe this image. This is only one image frame in an entire sequence I posted back in September: Life and Death in Katmai.


“The Spine of Time”
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, USA
October 23, 2012

If I had a “home” national park, the Smokies would be it. This image captures the essence of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park perhaps better than any other I have taken in the past dozen years or so.


“The Lost City”
Machu Picchu, Peru
November 16, 2012

Rain, rain, and more rain with some impenetrable fog and gloomy skies – but for a brief 40-seconds of optimism. And I was ready.


“Winter’s Blush”
Horgardalur Valley, Iceland
December 9, 2012

This is as much sun and light as you will get in northern Iceland in December. But oh what lovely light it is…


“Midnight’s Children”
Trollaskagi Peninsula, Iceland
December 12, 2012

I had never seen the northern lights before, despite two previous summer trips to Iceland and two summer trips to Alaska. The aurora is what brought me to Iceland in the depths of winter and I was not disappointed.

Thanks for sharing 2012 with me.

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  1. Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:31 am by Ryan | Permalink

    Amazing images. Love them all especially some of the more recent ones as I haven’t seen those until now!

  2. Posted December 27, 2012 at 8:02 am by David Gault | Permalink

    Hi Richard
    enjoyed looking at your 12 of the best pictures ,you have shown what beautiful places you have been to and shown what you have seen , as i always think a picture should tell a story an you have done just that

    Regards David Gault

  3. Posted December 27, 2012 at 9:03 am by rayleana | Permalink


  4. Posted December 27, 2012 at 9:12 am by Robert White | Permalink

    Absolutely beautiful and amazing shots Richard!

  5. Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm by TroyK | Permalink

    Great choices. Those would all look good on my walls. Sadly I have more to hang now than I have wall space. Might have to add a Gallery Room to the house.

  6. Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm by Taylor Roades | Permalink

    Richard the bear shot with the fish is incredible, what timing!! Congratulations on an incredible year by the looks of it and all the best into 2013.
    PS I recently saw the northern lights myself for the first time ever what a privilege it is to explore the world like you do. don’t forget how lucky you are.

  7. Posted December 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm by Nancy de Flon | Permalink

    It’s very hard to pick out a favorite but I think I’d have to go with “Ahwanee Dream” or “Crowning Glory.” Or “The Spine of Time,” there you go, definitely, my Fave. I love the variety of places, styles, etc.

  8. Posted December 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm by Dean Wickstrom | Permalink

    I love the picture from Iceland of the northern lights!

  9. Posted December 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm by Seb | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures !

  10. Posted December 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm by Natalya | Permalink

    super! this pictures inspire me

  11. Posted December 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm by Deb | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing your 12 for ’12. Gorgeous and inspiring images. Thanks too for your blog. Happy imaging creating in 2013 Richard!

  12. Posted December 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm by Lon Overacker | Permalink

    Richard, Spectacular and gorgeous set of images. Looks like one heck of a productive year – a bit of traveling too. Have an even better 2013!

  13. Posted December 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm by Eric Bartlett | Permalink

    Wow! These are all just amazing photos.! Simply put, your dedication to photography can only yield images like these. Thanks for sharing. Excellent work and the best of the New Year to you.

  14. Posted January 5, 2013 at 12:57 am by Ed Cooley | Permalink

    Hi Richard,

    Congrats on another excellent year and best wishes for a baker’s dozen in 2013.

  15. Posted January 12, 2013 at 2:11 am by David Leland Hyde | Permalink

    I’m enjoying the diversity of your photographs and seeing exotic locations I am not used to seeing. You certainly realized the opportunities well that you found through wide travel. I guess that’s what many of the pros are doing these days. I’ve seen a lot of Patagonia lately, but I like your image for going a bit further and capturing that early morning red on the peaks. My other favorites are Horgardalur Valley, Chasing Magic, River of Light and the action in Blood Sport. Great timing there and different than what we usually see.

  16. Posted January 7, 2014 at 9:00 am by Chris | Permalink

    Awesome shots Richard! I couldn’t select a favorite if I tried!

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] had the privilege of capturing some great moments. Every new year one of my former teachers, Richard Bernabe, posts his favorite pictures of the past year. His idea inspired me to do the […]

  2. By 2013 in Retrospect #1 on January 6, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    […] from the previous twelve months here on the Earth and Light Blog. For 2012, for example, I posted a 12 for ’12: The Year’s Best. For this past year, however, I decided to do something a bit different.  Instead of just listing […]

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