Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon EF 24-105 f/4 L, 0.8 sec, f/22, ISO 200
It was difficult to select a “best” photo of 2016 because I had the opportunity to photograph in several wonderful locales this year, including the Grand Canyon and other areas in my home state of Arizona, Death Valley, Yosemite, and Zion. But I eventually opted for this image from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, taken during a photo workshop that my brother and I did with Richard Bernabe, for a couple of reasons. I wanted to remind myself of the varied beauty of the Smoky Mountains following the tragic wildfires experienced this fall. But I wanted something other than the iconic rows of ridgelines, fiery sunsets, or stream cascades strewn with fall-colored leaves. I was drawn to the abstract qualities of these trees reflecting in a quite section of the Little River, but with the touch of realism created by the two small boulders. If time had allowed, I could have sat on this riverbank all day enjoying the Zen-like setting.