JCWood|Photography: Best of Nature 2013


I did a lucky amount of traveling these past couple years and 2013 was no exception.  I tried to gather my favorite 15 photos from my own opinions and my fans... It was really hard for me to narrow them down lol, but I think this is a good bunch.  I hope you had many great outdoor memories this year and get out to see this country in 2014, it's amazing what you may find.


Even though I took this photo late in the Fall season, it's still my favorite of the year.  This image was actually a mistake... I was setting up for a sunrise behind me when I noticed the wind gusting through the foggy peaks behind me.(photographers rule; always turn around)  I had the wrong lens on as well, but everything worked out perfectly and I captured the wind better than I ever have before.  Taken in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondack Mountains, NY.


This photo was also taken late in the year, but it's location holds a special place in my heart.  No matter what time of year I visit Malibu CA her famous coastline always shines for me.  This mild morning was no different and I actually took some time just to take it all in without photos.  If you haven't been out there put it on the bucket list.


Everyone who has read my blog probably knows what city this is, but it's my absolute favorite.  This shot is taken from Tudor City facing west right down 42st... The bright lights in the distance are from Times Square and the little bridge crossing the road half way up is grand Central Station.  This is my "Big City Bright Lights". Taken in Manhatten, NY


I spend a lot of time hiking my hometown of Long Valley and the surrounding areas.  Everyone has that one place you can go and feel totally at home... The Black River and surrounding trails takes me back to my childhood and it's the place I taught myself photography.  To me there is nothing that compares to a northeast autumn in full bloom and I spend most of my time here during those few weeks.  Taken at Black River State Park, Long Valley, NJ.


I don't spend too much time in the high mountains so I don't get many opportunities to shoot the layers they create.  I travelled 2.5 hours to get toward the Big Bear mountains for sunrise and couldn't settle on a photo location.  On a hope and a prayer a put I zoom lens on and tried to catch the sun showing it's face through the snow caps.  I turned out with an image that really shows the tones, colors, and edges of this terrain... I really want to print this one.  Taken in The San Bernardino Mountains, CA.


This shot almost didn't happen, but I set my alarm an hour earlier which may or may not have had anything to do with red wine lol.  Since I was there so early I took my flashlight onto the icy cliffs and set up for a long exposure.  I fought the light a little bit on the lighthouse, but eventually I got the hang of it and shot this image.  Taken in Narragansett, RI.


This view is from Rocky Point in northern Big Sur about 15 miles south of Monterey.  The sunset is literally on the horizon during this shot giving the Cali cliffs it's most colorful light.  The Ocean below is like a bull in a china shop blasting anything in it's path.  I have completely fallen in love with this area and I am lucky my wife and I get to go back so frequently.  I still have yet to get "The Shot" in Big Sur so I guess I will keep going till I do lol.  Taken on the epic Big Sur Coastline, CA.


On my first trip to the Adirondacks this year my friend and I had some really great conditions everyday of our trip.  I have been shooting a lot with a telephoto lens and this is one of my first that I really like.  In the mountains the sun goes behind cover before it sets, so you get about a 5 min period of amazing colors.  I couldn't resist the glow of the Sentinel Range before dusk.  Taken at lake Placid, NY.


I have shot sunrise in this location by the Navel Yard in Maryland and both times the sky has been incredible.  Annapolis is a special city and I think this image captures the downtown docks well.  Nothing like having a great meal with the wife and walking the water line.  I have yet to fully explore the area, but if your into old Merica it's a must see.  Taken in Annapolis, MD.


This spot came out of no where on our way to shoot sunrise at Mt Marcy, but we had to stop and explore. Being how remote this area is makes you think of the past and what this may have been.  I really struggled finding the right spot to capture the whole scene but once the light got right I settled in and was happy with the results.  Taken in the Keene Valley in the Adirondack Mountains, NY.


I always thought of Florida as hot and filled with alligators...I knew the beaches and the keys were nice, but Daytona was a big surprise to me.  Every morning was a different emotion and things were rather angry... On this particular sunrise a thunderstorm was rolling in ready to collide with first light.  I stayed patient and waited for the reflection of the storm in the sand... Turned out to be one of the wilder mornings I've had on the coast.  Taken in Daytona Beach, FL


The scary clear skies of Big Sur California illuminate the night like a full moon in a Jersey summer... By far my favorite part of our trips out there.  I took this image out on a farm we were staying at directly through a beautiful redwood groove...  The Milky Way was in full effect that night.  Taken off Palo Colorado Rd.


The coast of Delaware surprised me as well, it's rocky shores make for good grounds to find a shot that shows the temperature.  That big boulder and ice covered rocks really dragged me to this spot...I just waited for the light to get perfect and hear the ice start to crack.  Cold morning but worth the snowy hike... Taken in Narragansett, Delaware.


I always heard the term enchanted forest and never understood how the woods can be enchanting...Well if this isn't an enchanting place then I don't know what is. The experience was one of the best hikes of my life.  The redwood forest was thousands of years old and the trail took you through the best of it...You are treated to heart stopping view of the ocean and coastline a few miles up.  I felt like a kid laying down on the forest floor looking up at the giants, I wanna print this photo too.  Taken at Millwood Creek Redwood Preserve.


If you don't like the weather in Lake Placid, wait five minutes.  The sound advice came true nearly everyday... Our first morning we found this great pine forest overlooking the High Peaks.  Autumn was in full bloom so you can see a little shot of color in the foreground and the pink tone shows some other colors throughout the shot.  This out of all my shots I took up there reminds me the most of my time there.  Taken in Lake Placid, NY.





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