My Ten Favorite Photos of 2011

I visited many cool places this year and also took many photos along the way. It was tough for me to pick just ten of my favorite photos this year, but I did manage to finally narrow it down. So here are my ten favorite photos of 2011.


The Wave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

2011 turned out to be the year I finally tried to get permits to Coyote Buttes North so that I could visit The Wave. Luckily I was able to get two permits for November and spent a nice day there with Amanda. I also managed to get a few nice photos including this one.


Sun Shield Warrior by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When we went back to Dinosaur National Monument in October one of my main goals was to photograph the panels at McKee Springs again since they are some of my favorites. I had originally planned on driving up there the following morning to try and catch the sunrise, but we finished early in the park and went up there for sunset instead. It was a good thing, because the conditions for photography were just excellent. I love the way the setting sunlight strikes this panel and I couldn’t have asked for a better sky. I’m glad that my original plans didn’t work out!


Colorful Layers by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This photo was taken on my trip to The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park in April. We were camping at Chimney Rock and I used my long lens to compress this scene into layers just before the sun set. This has been one of the more popular images I have taken this year.


Mule Tower Star Trails by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After spending some time in The Maze this past April we headed over to spend a few days exploring Cedar Mesa. On the last night of our nine day trip we headed over to the Mule Canyon Towers to take some night photos. When I started to take some photos to create star trails the sky was perfectly clear, so when the clouds floated into the scene I became a little disappointed. I’m glad I didn’t end up stopping my camera since I liked the way it turned out.


Solstice Snake by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Making this image was a goal that I had made for myself early in the year, before I even knew where this amazing petroglyph was located. I spent a lot of time searching for this site and managed to find it before the summer solstice. Then I had to make the long hike in the heat of the summer and hope that the weather would cooperate. In the end everything worked out great, and I managed to make the image I was after.


The Passage by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This is another image I made while visiting The Wave in November. This one was taken early in the morning while there were still a lot of shadows around. I just love the contrast between the cooler and warmer tones in this photo, not to mention the awesome lines.


Over the White Pocket by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Visiting the White Pocket was actually an unexpected stop on our week-long trip to The Arizona Strip in October. Our plans had constantly changed throughout the week because of weather, so we found ourselves figuring out alternate plans a few times. Besides rescuing a couple stuck in the sand on our drive out there, we also had some great conditions when we arrived. I don’t usually take many photos with people in them, but while we were standing high above the White Pocket and Jared was taking a photo I just couldn’t resist.


Toroweap Sunset by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Visiting Toroweap for the first time was another of my goals this year. We made sure to spend the night at the campground in the park so that we could photograph a sunrise and sunset. I was originally at another location looking east for the sunset, but once the color was gone we packed up and headed for the Jeep. On our way back, the western sky lit up with a golden hue so we both scrambled to quickly find a new location to setup and take a few more photos.


Horseshoe Bend by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I’ve driven through Page a number of times in the past, but had never really stopped and done much exploring in the area until this year. Since we stayed in town when we visited The Wave, Amanda and I went to Horseshoe Bend to catch a sunset.


Snow & Aspen by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This was one of my first photos taken in 2011. I headed up onto the Grand Mesa last January with my snowshoes and hiked the West Bench Trail when I came across this scene. This photo also won First Place in a photo club competition this year.


If you would like to see some more of my favorite photos from throughout the year, make sure you check out all of my 2011-Twelve Photo Project Posts that highlighted my favorite photos of each month this year.

Also, if you would like to see my top ten favorite rock art photos, make sure to check out

Happy New Year! Have a great 2012!