My Favorite Images of 2016

Well, here we are again. The end of another great year of wild experiences. Thanks to the encouragement of my colleague Jim M. Goldstein @ JMG Galleries I have selected some of my favorite memories. Jim hosts his popular Best 10 Photos of the year project on his site. The idea is to get us to look back at our images from the past year and find our favorites. Then we post a link on his site and the world can see what we’ve been doing. More importantly we can see what we’ve been doing. It is easy to lose track of our adventures and all the good things that happened in 2016.

This year is heavy on Africa as it was not only recent but a huge trip for us. There were a lot of other exciting and important trips as well, including our FunShops™. That’s were we meet new enthusiasts, make new friends, and where I can share my years of photo experience. So here we go, my favorite images (in no particular order) of 2016. You can click on image for larger view.

Enjoy, share, and comment.


We found this cheetah feeding on a Thompson’s gazelle late in the day. Losing light fast, still 30 minutes from camp, every once in a while he would lift his head and pose. D500 300mm pf f4 @f4 1/320s ISO 1600


This was a rare sighting at Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe. Challenge: the only lens I had with me was a 70-200mm. I had to shoot 3 sets of 9 vertical images and stitch them together to get this image.


Mother and her young posing very close to our Safari Vehicle. D810 70-200mm 2.8 @ 140mm f5.6 1/400s ISO400


This group of elephants were sucking up sand and blowing it out. The bird on the left is a hamerkop. There is so much going on in this image and yet it is a simple composition. D500 300mm pf f4 w/1.4x @f5.6 1/1250s ISO 400


This leopard was resting in a tree. Nearby were 2 lions that didn’t like the leopard being so close. They approached and the leopard wasn’t happy. Although it appears the leopard is looking into the camera it is actually looking at the lions. D500 300mm pf f4 @f7.1 1/500s ISO 800


This lioness walked very close to our vehicle. I hung out the window to get this intimate view. As she got closer I retreated into the safari vehicle.D500 300mm pf f4 w/1.4x @f5.6 1/1000s ISO 800

Mating Ritual

We saw 7 different sets of lions mating. This is my favorite. Eye level, facing towards us, nice light. D810 70-200mm f2.8 @180mm f5.6 1/400s ISO 400


Pangolin, the rarest sighting of all. This is the most poached mammal in the world and one of the most endangered. Nocturnal, it is seldom seen. First time for our guide, first time for us. D500 300mm pf f4 w/1.4x @f5.6 1/1000s ISO 800


Sometimes the gods smile upon us. This was one of those times. Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton NP during our fall FunShop. Could you ask for better light? Sure, but you won’t get it. D810 70-200mm 2.8 @82mm f4.5 1/800s ISO 400


Where did that shaft of light come from? It appeared to come right out of the cloud. Or was it coming from the ground like the batman spotlight? Was it telling me to hike the mountain? I didn’t. D810 70-200mm @ 70mm f2.8 1/1250s ISO 800


Shooting very low using the flip up LCD to compose. A friendly coyote in Death Valley NP. D500 70-200mm @f5.6 1/800s ISO 800


This is one of my all time favorite shots for the year, not because it is a bobcat, not because it is in the snow, and certainly not because it is all that great, but because it was in my backyard shot from my deck. I wrote a blog about it earlier this year. D810 200-400 f4 @f5.0 1/4000s ISO 800


Yes, we trekked gorillas this year. What an experience! I was hoping for overcast skies which makes jungle photography much easier but the sun lit this young gorilla just perfectly. D500 70-200mm @f2.8 1/400s ISO 800


This is one of Kathy’s favorite images of 2016. A great way to end this series. D500 70-200mm @ 175mm f3.2 1/400s ISO 800


  1. Jeff BushnellJeff Bushnell01-01-2017

    Bobcat and Oxbow Bend are my favorites. Where is 399 standing right next to your van? Id say that is a winner.

    • Jim StamatesJim Stamates01-11-2017

      Thanks Jeff,
      Too much fun in Africa, had to limit my selections. See you in Spring.

  2. Dave JohnsonDave Johnson01-02-2017

    I like the Emerald Bay Rainbow, the Oxbow Bend Rainbows, the Gorilla with natural light in eye and, of course, the Bobcat.
    Happy New Year to all!

    • Jim StamatesJim Stamates01-11-2017

      Thanks Dave, you have a great 2017 as well. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Jim GoldsteinJim Goldstein01-09-2017

    Beautiful photos Jim! Always a pleasure to see your year end photos. This year looks to have been especially fruitful. I really appreciate your participation in this years Best Photos of the Year blog project. I hope you have a great 2017!

  4. Todd HensonTodd Henson01-11-2017

    Looks like you did have a great year, Jim. Great collection of photos! I love the coyote image in Death Valley. And of course the intimate portrait of the gorilla is very nice, lots of emotion in that one!

  5. Jim, wonderful images. The lioness and bobcat are exceptional. Looks like you had a great year overall. Wishing the best for 2017!

    • JimJim04-19-2017

      Thanks Derrald, appreciate your thoughts.

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