Help Pick My 10 Best of 2015

Another year is coming to a close and this is the time I get to reflect on all the adventures we had in 2015. The best part; I get to share my favorite images with you. Looking back through my images I found many ‘favorites’ and fond memories. I narrowed down my selects to 20 and I need your help to pick the top 10.

Take a look, the images are numbered 01 to 20. Leave a comment with your favorites (up to 10) or send me an email. You only need to use the number.

Be sure to put them in the order of your favorite first. I will tally the results and post the Best of 2015 in January. Thanks for your help and I’ll see you in the New Year.


1 - Friendly Face
1 – Friendly Face

This image of Grizzly 610 has been artistically altered. Something I do now and then to keep my creative juices flowing. It reminds me of ‘scratchboard art’.

2 -Red Rock Formation
2 -Red Rock Formation

I love rocks! I also love to photograph rock formations. Recently we visited Valley of Fire State Park in so. Nevada. What fun! Nature gave me hours of enjoyment hiking the canyons and making too many pictures of texture and color.

3 - Feets
3 – Feets

Less is more, I’ve been told. Hope you agree.

4 - Amphibious Flight
4 – Amphibious Flight

This is a bird, a merganser duck. It skims along with its head just below the surface of the water looking for fish.

5 - Baby's First Photo
5 – Baby’s First Photo

How can you not love baby geese? Long lens, laying prone, shoot, shoot, shoot.

6 - Dependent
6 – Dependent

This almost adult Dipper is still being fed by its mother. Moments later it took to the water to try and feed itself. In a couple of days it will be self-sufficient and will ‘fly the coop.’

7 - Chilkoot Lake
7 – Chilkoot Lake

A recent FunShop™ to Alaska to photograph bald eagles presented us with this marvelous vision of Chilkoot Lake. It was very cold.

8 - King of the Road
8 – King of the Road

I saw this Coyote resting on a dirt mound next to the road into Death Valley. It posed for me for some time then showed me its teeth.

9 - Dawn Crossing
9 – Dawn Crossing

Grand Teton FunShop™ did not disappoint, again. This bull elk crossed the Snake River following the harem. Pre-dawn photography is necessary for finding wildlife.

10 - Fly By
10 – Fly By

Winter Wings Festival at Klamath Falls, OR. always gives me plenty of opportunity to use slow shutter speeds on birds-in-flight.

11 - Joyful Jump
11 – Joyful Jump

Another FunShop™ image, this time in Alaska. Finally, after 3 days on the water I got the shot I’d been hoping for. Even if this doesn’t make the cut it will be one of my fondest memories of 2015.

12 - Transition
12 – Transition

Winter came the day after we arrived in Haines AK for the Bald Eagle FunShop™ and blanketed the area with snow. The textures could not be avoided, and I’m glad.

13 - Keeper of the Refuge
13 – Keeper of the Refuge

One of my favorite images this year. Reminiscent of a Robert Bateman painting. The low light of pre-dawn gave this image an almost monochromatic effect. I like the tension of the hawk looking off camera.

14 - Merced River Isle
14 – Merced River Isle

Spent some time in Yosemite for personal enjoyment. It rained a lot and that gave the images a nice soft feel.

15 - Fishing on the American River
15 – Fishing on the American River

I found many photo opportunities hiking along the American River and this one spoke to me.

16 - Mono Lake Strom
16 – Mono Lake Strom

Dropping into Mono Lake on Hwy 395 always surprises. This day in early May screamed Black and White. With a little help from Silver Efex Pro I was able to bring out the feeling I had driving into the storm.

17 - The Offering
17 – The Offering

This red fox was bringing home lunch for its kits and walked right toward me without a care in the world. ‘Look what I caught’ it seemed to say. Or maybe it was saying ‘get out of my way.’

18 - Winter Flight
18 – Winter Flight

As I said in a previous image, it snowed the day after we arrived in Haines, heavy. Made for some great opportunities. You can’t sit by the fire on days like these.

19 - Rise Up
19 – Rise Up

Sometimes it is hard to pick the favorite from a series of images. Some had better wing position, on some the eagle was closer, but this one had the mountain just right.

20 - The Pattern of Flight
20 – The Pattern of Flight

More slow motion birds, one of my favorite techniques. This image is a composite of itself, blending 2 parts of the same image to accentuate the texture and motion.

Well there you have it. A hard choice for me to get it down to 20 and maybe a harder choice for you to get it to 10. I hope you enjoy the challenge. Have a great 2016 and beyond.

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. Judy Lapetino

    Hard to pick the top 10….wish I had just one of these amazing shots.
    1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 15, 17, 19

  2. Al Krause

    Hard to pick the greatest of the greats, but that’s what I would have expected of your work. Thanks for sharing…

  3. Louann Murray

    What a hard choice. In order: 16 Mono Lake Storm; 1 Friendly Face; 18 Winter Flight; 17 The Offering; 9 Dawn Crossing; 13 Keeper of the Refuge; 12 Trasition; 8 King of the Road; 11 Joyful Leap; 7 Chillcout Lake. Wait, only ten top pics? What about 5 the baby geese and 6 the two dippers? Them too. What a terrific collection of shots. Best wished for 2016–Lou

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  4. marcia schultz

    I loved all of them..but here are my top 4 in order…

    #1 is 9,.
    #2 is11
    #3 is 19
    #4 is 7

    Thank you d
    For asking!

  5. Mary

    Ok here it goes… difficult as it is

    17, 3, 9, 4, 11, 14, 19,7 ,8, 5

  6. Josh Benin

    In order: 1,16,4,17,18,9

  7. Carole Baker

    Jim, any one of my top 3 could have been #1:

  8. Jim Baker

    Jim, #4 is my #1- amazing shot, love the eyes under water and the cascade of wave over the head. the rest in order: 13,17,11,8,9,1,19,5 and 6.

  9. Benny Partin

    9, 7, 1, 11, 10, 16, 13, 18, 6, 19 Expect for #9 I could easily change the order. I spent a long time coming up with the list; your just too good!

    I always find your work amazing and look forward to each week’s shot! Number 9 really spoke to me! I could just imagine standing where you were and releasing the shutter. It took a while to take it all in. Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Diana Hamilton

    No order:
    1, 5, 9, & 13.

  11. Leilani

    In order from 1 to 5: 17, 6, 8, 19, 5.

  12. Jeff Bushnell

    Hi Jim,
    My Choices: 9, 12, 18, 16, 19. Love the Eagles in the snow and the feel of the elk crossing the Snake River!

  13. I chose these in no particular order:
    01; 04; 06; 08; 09; 11; 15; 16; 17; 19

    Happy New Year, Jim!

  14. Cintra Warden

    Jim, these pictures are amazing! Really, I cannot choose……..I’m feeling stress!!lol. You are getting better! Anyhow, I just can’t choose, sorry.
    It was good to have the chance to talk and catch up a bit.

    Love to you and Kathy!


  15. sue q

    # 4, 16 and 18 are really amazing! Thanks for sharing. I hope one day to get back out there and start shooting amazing photos too!
    happy new year!

  16. Greg

    Nice Jim as always. Very inspiring.

    8, 4, 7, 9. 11, 18, 15, 7, 1, 5

  17. Al Botello

    Kudos Jim! 1,4,5,6,11,13,15,17,19,20. Good luck!

  18. Elaine


  19. Pete McGing

    Jim – here are my thoughts: 1,6,7,9,11,16,17,18,8,4

    Thanks for sharing.

  20. Richard Eastman

    I hate making such decisions. I love them all for various reasons. But if I have to rank them, you know my preference for birds..

    #4 Because it is so very unique
    #6 Because I crave shots of birds in the acts of living
    #5 Because they are so exquisite
    #18 Because it inspires me to get out in the snow and shoot my favorite baldies
    #15 Because of the artistic composition. Egret in parentheses.
    #13 Because of love of RTH, and knowing exactly where you took it at the SVNWR
    #19 Because of love of baldies
    #17 Such a rare and unique shot
    #10 Because I want to try this next outing
    #1 Because I kick myself for not hiking up to the viewing platform on Pack Island
    #12 Love the majestic eagle put in perspective
    #11 Because I didn’t get this on the first two days out and 500+ shots
    #8 Because it shows how patient and “in the rhythm” you are
    #7 So peaceful
    and, and
    Actually how about Choice=If(Random Number (1-20),1:20,1:20) (Excel code means if a random number is 1-20 pick shot 1-20, repeat)
    Thanks for all you have taught me!

  21. Moana Roberts

    Great photos!
    I LOVE Dawn Crossing the best 9 as my #1 pick.
    17 is #2, 8 is #3, 19 is #4, 11 is #5, 15 is #6, 1 is #7, 18 is #8, 12 is #9.

  22. Linda Rodgers

    Favorites, in order: 6, 1. 3. 13, 20. 10, 7. Good luck sorting out the voting. Looks like we’re all over the place. Thanks for all the inspiring photos all year.

  23. David Ramirez


    Great shots Jim. Number 9 reminds me of our wonderful time in the Tetons. Number 1 also. The rest, well I like landscapes, birds and whales!

  24. Jim Stamates

    Thank you all for the replies. My internet has been down for a few days so it has taken me a while to thank you.
    I’m still getting votes on this blog and via email but there are definitely some front runners.
    I’m heading out for the holidays but will have some internet on the road.
    Have a Merry Christmas.

  25. CJ

    20, 19, 18, 16, 12, 11, 9, 8, 7, 1

  26. Jane Prestegard

    4 – Love the explosive movement, doubly so with the reflection. You nailed the eye!
    9 – Composition – contrast between majestic mountain and elk in mist
    6 – again, composition – love the dippers at that perfect moment with mom seed in beak, babe mouth wide open, tucked between those beautiful textured rocks
    12- Looks like a watercolor, soft colors, gentle silence with the lone eagle
    16 – love how you captured the drama of the storm in b&w
    2- looks like a Georgia O’Keefe painting – and I love rocks!
    17 – This is a very intimate photo – speaks to your being in the rhythm such that the fox is staring at you but keeps right on going on about her? business
    8- Composition again. Can’t believe you (well, yes I can) framed that old coyote with the road behind him leading to infinity.
    2- Great detail, a good chuckle, especially with the name you gave it 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  27. Richard Wong

    Seriously top-notch work Jim. Kudos to 2015 and cheers to 2016!

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