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Guest Post: JCWood Photography Crew, Best of 2013

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Most of my local and travel images from my Top Nature Photos of 2013 were taken with one of these two very inspiring photographers.  Roshan John & Drew Damon have been an important part of JCWood Photography this year and I wanted to show off some of there images to my viewers.  Both have worked closely with me in my wedding business, but my favorite times were always on some photo getaway shooting images you have seen throughout the year.  I tip my glass to you boys and your best images of the year...

-Roshan John-

 1

Golden Grenada - My wife and I were fortunate enough to enjoy a second honeymoon in the great countryside of Spain. After years of dreaming of this getaway, we explored a few cities and a couple islands, but  our favorite nights were the quaint city of Grenada. We hiked up some rolling hills, winding roads, and stone laid paths to find this view of the city just as the sun set over the horizon.

2

Catskills Sunrise - I went out to the Catskills for a bachelor party this year.  After a night of debauchery, I met up with Jeremy (who happened to be in the same location for fall leaves photos) for a sunrise shoot. In my stupor, I couldn’t tell if these colors were real or not, but for about 15 seconds, just a few mins before sunrise, we saw some streaks of color on the horizon that I’ve never seen before. I loaded the photos as soon as I got home to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. Probably my most precious sunrise shot.

3

Golden Gate from China Beach- Never turn down a trip to NorCal. These are words I live by. I don’t know what it is, but I’m drawn to that place. I got drenched trying to capture this shot. I’m waist deep in gushing water with the ocean relentlessly coming back at me. I stumbled into the rocks while holding the tripod up in the air a couple times. But getting that splash on the rocks was well worth the beating.

4

The Swirley - An autumn hike in the Catskills took us to this small waterfall with a slowly swirling pool of leaves. I used a polarizer, and an extended exposure to capture the movement in the leaves and reveal a giant, rotating current in the pond. Can you spot Waldo in the photo?

5

Princeton -  I live quite close to Princeton University, and Jeremy and I try our best to capture the rich history in that campus. This photo is just a courtyard in between dorms, but check out those massive trees. We both tried our hands at showing the scale of the pines, but I think keeping Jeremy in the shot shows some good perspective. This was actually a colorful photo around sunset, but I made it black and white to keep your attention on the scale of it all.

6

Algonquin Peak - A steep and treacherous climb up about a mile above sea level. One of the highest peaks in the North East and man, was I ill-prepared for this trek! The photo just barely shows how high we are, but we are literally above the clouds looking down the peak.

7

Stars Infinity - My brothers (Ryan and Timmy) and our good friend Aneesh enjoyed a trip out to Southern Cali for a week. We rented an RV and explored the Left coast. It’s crazy how many stars you can see out in Joshua Tree. It feels infinite - the more you gaze, the more stars that peek through the blue sky.

8 Bonus

Bonus. A Prayer Between Brothers - I snuck this one into the mix. It has nothing to do with nature, but its my favorite wedding photo. Just before the groom walked onto the altar to await his bride, the groom and best man took a moment to say a prayer.

-Drew Damon-

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This was one of my first photos of 2013 and just viewing it brings back the chill of that morning. It sounded like a good idea to lay flat on my stomach and try to pull a frozen puddle into my scene while the sun rose beyond the trees. That is until I realized the ground was a solid sheet of frost. I braved the ice rink of the Jersey plains long enough to get the shot and immediately headed for a tall mug of hot chocolate...with marshmallows of course. Taken near Montgomery, NJ.

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This was taken the morning after a fresh coat of snow had landed in northern NJ. There is just something about the tranquility of fresh snow and the cool bite of the morning air that really draws me in. The snow was up to my knees on this particular morning but worth every step. Taken near Augusta, NJ.

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My first experience inside a mosque and this one happens to be over 1,000 years old. The architecture was truly mind boggling and I feel like a panorama would have been the only way to try to capture that this room appears to go on forever in all directions with this same style and impact. Taken in Córdoba, Spain.

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Fate truly intervened in this photo. My wife was walking ahead of me and for some reason I just thought that the scene ahead of me was very poetic. Without looking I extended my camera down and grabbed a quick photo from ground level and this was the result. I had been walking these cobblestone streets all day and not noticed the water flowing between the stones until this moment. Taken in Andalucía, Spain.

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Of these photos this is the most meaningful one to me. I took this photo the morning after I found out I was going to be a father. There was something about that rope extending into the ocean that seemed like a perfect illustration of my future and how much joy I was feeling at that moment. I sat on the sand and watched the sunrise with this huge smile on my face and this was what was on the other side of the lens. Taken in Cable Beach, Bahamas.

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When my friend and I decided to take a trip to upstate NY I was not fully aware of what we would find. On our first hike of the morning this incredible waterfall was nestled at the end of a short trail and I think I could have sat on that tree all day and been a happy man. There is truly something magical about one of the most wild places in America. Taken in the Adirondack Mountains, NY.

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For those who don't know me I can tell you that I have a very fond love of nature and especially the animals that inhabit it. During this trip my wife and I had the unforgettable experience of actually being able to hold and play with baby lions, tigers and jaguars. There was something about this photo and the connection I had with the tiger on the other side of it that I will never forget. Taken in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

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