2019 was a big year for me personally and professionally. This was the year my wife and I welcomed our first child in to our family. Our daughter has been an amazing addition to our lives and we couldn’t be happier as parents. Professionally, my photography business has kept me extremely busy with photo sessions and weddings. Because of this, I have not been able to get out and take as many landscape photos as I did in previous years. But we did some travelling earlier in the year and I was able to get around Door County for some photos.

As I do every year, when a new year approaches I like to take a look at the photos I have taken during the past 12 months. It’s always fun to see what I’ve been working on and the places I’ve visited. I looked through my collection of photos from 2019 and narrowed it down to my top 10 favorites. Here are my 2019 favorite photos listed in order of date taken.

Also, I have to say that it is really difficult to choose only 10 photos! I have so much fun taking photos over the months there are way more photos that I am happy with and proud of. So, I added a few extra at the bottom of this post.

In February I took a long weekend trip up to Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior. This was my first time visiting this part of Minnesota and it was such a fantastic weekend! Split Rock Lighthouse was by far my favorite place to shoot. I spent quite a pit of time in this park. This photo is from a particularly beautiful sunrise.

calla lillies, sunset, big sur, california

In March, Sally and I took a trip of a lifetime. We flew in to San Francisco and drove down California’s Pacific Coast Highway all the way to San Diego. This photo is from an early leg of our trip. Along a roadside creek was a valley filled with Calla Lillies. It’s an example of just one of the treasures you’ll find along Highway 1.

sunset, morro bay, california, beach sunset

Morro Bay was my favorite stop along Highway 1 in California. Partly because we enjoyed the best sunsets with absolutely stunning lighting. The public beach had a lot of very photogenic sand dunes that made for a photographer’s playground.

After our week long trek down the coast, we spent a week with some family who met us in San Diego. This was a week of relaxing on the beach, checking out the zoo, and sightseeing around the city. This photo is from a sunrise shoot along a random lagoon in Mission Bay. It was clear morning to start, then marine fog quickly moved in right before sunrise. As the sun came up, the colors of the sunrise were picked up by the fog creating a wonderful atmosphere of soft color. Couple that with a perfect reflection and I came a way with a photo that I really like.

On a side note, San Diego is a really great city! It’s one of those places I never would have thought to visit until this trip was suggested. Now I would say it’s near the top of my favorite cities in America list!

2019 marks the year I got in to drone photography. I really liked exploring the skies of Door County with my drone. I love how you can see familiar sights with a new perspective without the costs of an airplane.

This photo is from cherry blossom season. It shows a sea of cherry trees in full blossom with a lone green tree.

Cave Point is old reliable when you want to just head out for a simple morning of photography. It’s my go to place only minutes from my house so I definitely am a frequent visitor. This photo is from the main area of the park on a beautiful morning. (It’s also the cover of my 2020 calendar 🙂 )

In late July 2019, the Tall Ships festival returned to the Great Lakes and made a stop in Sturgeon Bay. I was a little bummed that they didn’t come in to town via the canal because I would have loved to get photos of these ships with the North Pierhead Lighthouse, but It was really fun to walk around town and get some photos of these beautiful ships as they were docked.

This photo shows the Bluenose II docked by the Door County Maritime Museum. As I was setting up for this shot, I got lucky and the bridge opened! This is one of my favorite photos if the tall ships’ 2019 visit.

Summer always brings gorgeous sunsets. On a beautiful August evening, I was flying my drone around Egg Harbor and capture this sailboat enjoying an evening sail. It’s just another example of the cool shots that I would never have been able to capture without a drone.

The North Pierhead Lighthouse in Sturgeon Bay is another of my favorite subjects to photograph in Door County. There is so many compositions you can find if you use the elevated walkway. For this photo I used a ultra wide focal length of 12mm to capture much of the structure and beautiful sunrise in the distance. I also went with a really long shutter speed of about 5 minutes for ultra smooth water and clouds.

door county, fall colors, fall colors in snow, potawatomi state park, sturgeon bay, wisconsin

In late-October, Door County was blanketed with a layer of snow. That’s not all that uncommon, but it is not common for the snow to arrive during fall colors season. That made for a very beautiful day of photographs. I went in to Potawatomi Park one morning to capture some snowy fall colors.

winding road in door county

This is kind of a bonus photo. I spend about a year and a half visiting the Jen Jenson Winding Road in Gills Rock to capture the scene in all 4 seasons. I placed my tripod on the exact same spot on the road and used the exact same camera, lens, and settings to capture the scene. I also thought it would be cool to make a composite of all 4 seasons together in one photo.

Best of the Rest

Ok, so I guess I’m cheating a bit by including more than ten photos.  This is becoming more of a Top 25 list.  But I have way more than 10 photos from 2019 that I absolutely love.  Here are more of them.