Your four best images from 2023?

What are your four best images taken this year …and why? Post them here! (feedback welcome)

I’ll admit there are several others that rank relatively within 0.001% of these – i.e., within my context, not in general. As a result, this group of four will change on any given day. That said, here goes what I’m thinking right now, in no particular order…

Sunrise on Star Mountain, viewed from Wild Rose Pass – Fort Davis, Texas (July)

Why? First off, I love this country – It makes me feel good to just be there. Specifically about this image, it communicates the size and visual impact of the landscape. I like the depth and volume, the warm side-light and sculpting shadows. Compositionally I like the way the highway is literally a road for the eye to follow (and I usually prefer to not have roads in my shots). Also, I was pleased to get an interesting landscape shot on such a severely clear blue-sky day.

Fall colors on Rigolette Bayou – Pineville, Louisiana (November)

Why? I got lucky on this shot, I’ll admit that. The bird, the colors, the light… But despite being a bit “down home” (rather than more distant / exotic) in terms of subject matter I still like the way it ended up. There’s visual motion, a bit of mystery and it kind of tells a story I guess.

Foggy trees at the White Horse Christian Retreat Camp – Sandy Hook, Mississippi (November)

Why? This is a little more “storybook” than my usual photos and it seems to work, so I like it for that aspect. But the combination of the mystery, warm fall colors, cooler blue sky and interesting clouds… It just all seemed to come together.

Big sky but little water in Little Lake – Between Archie and Whitehall, Louisiana (December)

Why? I’m going out on a limb here, choosing a two-day-old shot as one of my best, but I’ve really come to like this one. It’s simultaneously pastel, graphic, minimalist, empty, big and interesting. I may well one day look at it and “see” something really off but it hasn’t happened yet. The zig-zagging, highly-foreshortened water is interesting and graphic. The green algae is a nice counterpoint to the dead reddish foliage. And the few bare cypress trees add interest. Plus I like the subtle orange / pink tones in the sky and reflected in the water. All in all, it just feels really different from how it did in person and in this case, that’s a good thing.

OK, who’s next? :slight_smile:


Thanks for extending the invitation and getting the ball rolling. A question that occurs to me:

Should this rather be in the Showcase category?

You’re right – I’ve moved it.


Thank you for the idea, Len. It turns out 3 of my 4 I have shared previously here, 2 in showcase, 1 in playraw. In chronological order:

February: Southern Cross Station - Melbourne, Victoria.

Why? It just grabs me. I like to capture architecture on occasion, but have not consciously pursued it. This was just whilst waiting for a train. The multiple parallel (but not straight) lines - the tracks, the white line, the yellow and red rubber tactile lines, the escalators - all draw my eye towards the iconic, wavy roof, with its own non-straight parallels perpendicular to the first lot.

July: Once More the Breach - Platypus Bay off K’gari (Fraser Island), Queensland. Originally here

Why? This is where I got lucky. With fast-moving wildlife, sometimes you just need to take a lot of exposures, with 90% being duds. The framing was often difficult, as the whales were often too close for my lowest focal length of 150mm. Add in a rocking boat (sometimes being bumped by the whales), and many other keen tourists like me, and - you get the picture. Or not. A bucket-list capture for me, that’s why.

August: Milky Way over Coolum - Coolum, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Originally a playraw

Why? This is where research (using photopills to determine opportunity when travelling to a goodish astrophotography area), preparation (packing tripod, tracker, appropriate lens), and luck (benign weather) came together for me. The imperfections of the capture notwithstanding, I was pleased with the best astro-capture I’ve ever made by a considerable margin.

September: Unimpressed Seagull - Raumahunga, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand. Originally here

Why? Wildlife in general, and birdlife in particular is my go-to subject-matter. I was pleased to be able to find punchy colour and contrast with background water and distant (5km +) land. And the seagull was very obliging as a subject.


I second your opinion - there is so much to feast the eyes upon!

Oh… Mate!.. It’s so hard to pick just 4! :sweat_smile:

It’s great that you started this thread - it’s a real exercise and a motivation for me to go through my images.

Modern architecture in Woden, ACT (May)

Why? I like the symmetry and abstract nature of this one. I snapped it on a 45min photo walk I took to pass the time waiting to pick someone up from an appointment. This was about halfway through - I was stumping along the pavement, feeling a bit hot and discouraged, but happened to look straight up, snapped a few trying to get as central and square as I could. It was only later at home that I really liked it.

Brad and Hunter Goldsborough take 2nd place at Rosewood (September)

Why? This one is just a nice shot, but it’s special to me as it’s one of two images from my first real publication (in Auto Express magazine)

Crowds on the pit lane at the Bathurst 1000 prizegiving

Why? To be honest I’m not quite sure why I like this one so much. I think it’s mostly that for me, it really captures the atmosphere of being there, squashed in the crowd, at the end of a long and hot weekend. And I don’t even like crowds normally! But somehow this one was special, at least in hindsight.

Looking Up (at misty eucalypts) - Glen Bog State Forest, NSW (December)

A recent one here! I just love the image - the lush ferny undergrowth, the straight trunks just soaring upwards into the clouds makes me feel happy. Oddly enough, I wasn’t really feeling it when I was there - I was actually a little stressed and just trying to find an image while unwinding a bit. Sometimes it works.
I also find it pleasing that it was shot using old, cheap gear - might just be me but it adds an extra bit of pleasure to looking at a nice result. Obviously that doesn’t translate to others viewing the image though!


Well - what is the best image?
Sometimes it’s not the technical perfection, but the emotion.

Why? It’s about cold, loneliness and sadness. You don’t need a human to express this.

Why? It’s the mood of a foggy morning on the River Rhine near my hometown.

Why? Without the opened eye it wouldn’t be half as good. This little eye looking at the observer.

Why? I love the almost perfect black and white, keeping the details of the tree.


This is my fave of the four. There are many good transitions: low to high, warm to cool, hue to tone, complex to simple, sharp to soft…

Also I like the “old gear” aspect as well. Not that I want all old gear, mind you! :slight_smile: I just want the latest gear with lots of vintage gear as well! That’s one thing I like about my final image – it was shot through an older manual nifty fifty.

Good stuff!

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Let me start by saying that A) 2023 was a slow photography year for me, and B) I don’t like posting pics of family members, which most of my images are of. So instead, I am going to post 4 pictures from the one real vacation I took that was in 2023. Even then, choosing just 4 is difficult. All were processed in RawTherapee.

Garden of the gods
I’m sure its a very common photograph as it was taken from the lookout of the visitor center, but I really like the vastness of the landscape and the richness of the colors in both the sky and land.

Lake Estes
We stopped here for a picnic by the shore of the lake. Some ducks came by so I ran back to the car to get my camera. I really like the how the duck is perfectly exposed, but as the water goes back, it fades away into over-exposure.

Alpine visitor center parking lot, Rocky Mountain National Park
We took a Jeeping tour through Rocky Mountain National Park, and the weather was not the clearest that day. It rained on and off, and by the time we got to the peak, there was very dense fog. While we didn’t get to take in the views, I captured one of my favorite pics of two birds interacting on the fence. It took a lot of contrast pushing in post to even get these silhouettes as the fog was very dense.
P.S. It is fun to imagine what they are conversing about :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Sprague lake
For this one, I love the symmetry of the reflection, and how the sun peeking through the clouds gave a two-tone layered look to the foliage.


I love this one :heart:


I like that last one. I took a shot from almost the same location, kind of “around the back” on the perimeter trail.



Not that much the shot itself (not that bad, though), but all the post-processing, from this:


… to this:

(complete with author’s casual Hitchcockian cameo on the tank).


Here are some of my favorites from 2023. I’m not sure, if these are really my best, but I like them.

The first one is a dragonfly I shoot at a small stream close to my home.

demoiselle in the mirror

The next images are all from my vacation on Hallig Hooge (small island in the North Sea, Germany).
This one a typical sunset image, which I developed somewhat untypical in black and white.

Westerwarft at sunset

This one I shot during breakfast from the window of our apartment with my 500 mm telephoto lens. Wonderful pastel colors. The little island (Süderoog) is partially mirrored due to a Fata Morgana.

Süderoog, mirrored

The last one was taken, when rain was approaching and the sky was getting quite dark while the pasture was still in the sun.

waiting for the rain


These are all beautiful, very well done.

I agree, I enjoyed a lot of your photographs this year but I believe this one is probably the best, for me at least. Very serene and everything just works.

I had 0 photo organization this year but I’ll see if I can ‘gather’ something up in the following days, as everyone is sharing as well :slight_smile:


Amazing what happens at 12k+ feet, eh? :smiley: It was broken / overcast when we were there,

But I got my two (overpriced, I’m sure) brown 16oz RMNP coffee mugs from the gift shop! Plus my wife got an allegedly moose sausage sandwich. I opted for the regular old BBQ sausage. We ate them from a table with a window overlooking the end of the old dirt / gravel Trial Ridge Road. We could see the cars huffing and puffing their way up that road.

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Wow this is a challenge. I normally take a long time between shooting and processing and often don’t know which images I like best until I’ve finished processing them all. At the moment I’m still processing images from 2022 so this is a quick take of some of my current favourites from 2023, based on a first pass culling.

Top of the world – The London Eye (February)

As soon as I got up close to the London Eye I knew I wasn’t going to be taking pictures of the view. The engineering is really impressive up-close and the complexity and changeability of the geometrical structures formed as you go round is hypnotic. I spent most of the time lining up structures and finding neat compositions. This is my favourite (at the moment) because it combines a complex geometrical composition with both the general landscape of London and the activities of the other tourists in the next capsule, but my eye seems to see them one at a time, almost as a sequence of separate images.

Obelisk – Clifton Cathedral, Bristol (April)

This was one of my first photo walks after replacing my Canon DSLR gear with a FujiFilm camera and I was still getting used to my new kit. It being a very bright sunny day I happened to put the camera to my eye and automatically adjusted the exposure for the sun, which was almost in my shot. The resulting high-contrast shot took me by surprise – something I never would have even thought of with the optical viewfinder on my Canon. It was both a simple geometric shot (which I love), abstract (it being a brutalist affair it’s really hard to know it’s a cathedral) and entirely accidental.

Shapes and Reflections – Bristol in Infrared (September)

I love finding new ways to see the world. I enjoy photography with my LensBaby optics (and I’ve posted some of those images in other threads on pixls) and I have been playing with infrared photography for a few years. This was my first outing with my latest infrared camera and the reflections in this building were somehow given extra contrast through the IR filter. I walked around this area for about 30 minutes and this is my best image. Its multi-layered nature keeps bringing me back to it – I look at the textures of the sculpture first, then the way that its shape interacts with the circular and semicircular shapes on the building, and finally I explore the reflections and come right back where I started.

Spiral Heron – Bristol (December)

I love herons and there are a few places locally where I’m almost guaranteed to see one. Often the herons are the only subject worth photographing and a nice heron image frequently saves an otherwise disappointing trip out with my camera. Most wildlife photographs are a spray-and-pray affair, and so I have hundreds of heron images, most of which go straight into the discard pile. This is one that I only discovered on review and I love that it’s not a “bog standard” heron shot, I love the spiral shape, and the fact that it takes a few seconds to work out where the head is!


I love the spiral heron!

Model at the Isis Flores Fashion Show

I took this picture of one of the models at an event where the main thing was a video clip that was being made and I was just documenting the models’ performance.
(February, 2023).

Guane, Pinal del Río

Country scenery in a province of Cuba, during a trip to visit relatives.
(May, 2023).

Under construction

This photograph is the site of what in the future will be a hotel in the historic center of the city.
(June, 2023).

Greetings from Havana, Cuba.

Note. I forgot to upload the last picture. :grin:

This was a photography session to a young model in the “Sloppy Yoe’s Bar” at the Old Havana. (July 2023).