Perhaps my favorite image from this year did not come from Patagonia. It didn't come from backpacking in the high and cold for weeks alone. It didn't come from some crazy adventure at the ends of the earth and it didn't come from any place I had seen before. It came from a place of warm ocean winds off the trails in a lonely woodland on the California coast while I was taking a walk with my 4 year-old son.

You need not travel across state, across country or across the world to find beauty in nature.

On this evening, I was having a wonderful time and I couldn't help but be taken by the beauty of the place. I photographed it with my D800 which can, remarkably, handle even this much dynamic range in a single file. Choose to blend a little more for the shadow details only though, just to keep image quality as high as possible and after adding a little selective diffusion and color adjustment that was pretty much it.

Hopefully the compression used by this site now still allows for decent viewing of the sharp details in this image. Thanks in advance for any commentary.

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