My favorite images from 2016

The end of the year is always a nostalgic time to look back and reflect on your accomplishments. 2016 officially marked National Parks at Night’s first year in business, and we couldn’t be happier with how it went! We sold out all of our workshops, collectively explored over 20 parks, spoke at five major conferences, presented at countless camera clubs, and taught one of the most popular classes of the year—Night Photography Week—on Creative Live. And in between, we have been scheming to offer even more experiences and opportunities to learn with us in 2017!

As 2016 came to an end, we also did what many photographers do at this time of year: We’re reflecting on our creative endeavors, seeing ways we developed, and looking through our catalog to spot our favorite images. So join us for a stroll through 2016 as we share our favorite night photos from the year.

This image of the Mexican miner’s cemetery in Terlingua, Texas, is one of my favorites of the year for multiple reasons. First, Terlingua and the Big Bend region in general are unique in so many ways, including geology, geography and especially character. It’s one of my favorite places to visit, and this image is special to me because it is a remake of one that I created on my first visit to the area in 2007. The first time there, conditions were very different—the moon was full, and it was just before La Dia de los Muertos, the biggest day of the year in any Mexican cemetery. The original image was my favorite from the first trip, and the new one from this past March turned out to be my favorite from the 2016 trip. The composition is very similar, but the lighting and the sky were completely different. I was also working with my newly found friend, Hal Mitzenmacher, who was one of the workshop participants. The two of us worked together on the shot for about an hour, and I think Hal would agree that this hour was the highlight of the journey. · Nikon D750 with Nikon 24-120mm f/4.0 lens; 30 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 6400. Light painting from behind and from left with a Coast HP5R flashlight, as well as from both sides on the fence in front.

This image from Death Valley National Park exemplifies what I love about night photography. It’s simple, yet powerful. The lone streetlight that illuminates the dirt road leading up to the employee dormitories behind the Furnace Creek Inn takes the strange and beautiful natural landscape and turns it upside down. Why is there a streetlight in the middle of nowhere? It just adds thick layers of mystery and surrealism. As I walked up the pathway and crested the hill, the light came into view and I immediately saw the shot. I made several different versions, but this was my favorite. I love the quiet simplicity of the scene, and the secret knowledge of what lays outside the frame makes it special to me. · Nikon D750 with Nikon 24mm f/1.4 lens; 30 seconds, f/8, ISO 400. Lit with existing streetlight and moonlight.

Check out the other NPAN instructor’s favorite images from 2016.