Ridgway, Colorado
May 15
A sometimes artist and photographer, sometimes I write too.  


DECEMBER 31, 2011 11:00PM

My Favorite Photos of 2011

Rate: 38 Flag

Here are a few of my favorite photos from 2011. There are many more than these, but the ones shown here have a little more meaning for me, though I like a lot of the others too. (I took more than 8,000 photos in 2011—there are going to be some likable orphans.)


I present these without context or commentary, please enjoy the thoughts they engender. Some of the images can be clicked through to Flickr where a larger version can be found. They are pretty much in chronological order.


Many thanks to friends and visitors during this past year, I hope your 2012 is what you wish or need it to be for you and your loved ones.




Caveat lector This is a lengthy post, but once the images load you can zoom through them.




Harpy Eagle


White-crested Laughingthrush


Cancun tchotchkes


Bougainvillea and El Caracol


the view from our room


one of those infinity pool things




Temple of the Wind


Temple of the Descending God






Do Not Touch










Tent Rocks


looking up



cadillac ranch 


Old time Phillips 66 Gas Station




view from the west


Popper favorite thing No. 1



awning typography sun shadow art



Honeysuckle on Ernest Wilhelm's stone


Duncan Nash Becker 4





Cafe du Mond


Navy trainer

Well, this one's painful



Carolina Chickadee



Roadside sage 




Have a drink


come sit a spell






Dawn at Davis Mountains State Park


Indian Lodge just after dawn




Needs some stain



strategically placed


Owl Butterfly


Christmas Eve dinner


trapped in a different time




Thanks for visiting...and thanks for everything else. Have a great year.





all photos copyright © 2011 by barry b. doyle · all rights reserved





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Nice summary selection Barry. I remember all the trips and another good reminder ride here!

And looking forward to another year of your travels , stories, photography and friendship - Be blessed in 2012 Barry...
Great collection. I like cats too.

So hard to pick a favourite but I am partial to the outdoor shots ... especially 'Temple in the Wind', 'Drips', and 'Dawn on Davis Mountain'.

Wow. Just wow!
Jim, your friendship has been so special down through the years. I'm not sure I can think of a finer guy than you with all you do for your friends. Thanks and best to you in the new year.

Jan, I'm not surprised you like cats. I like to think the smarter folk do.

Kate, thanks so much, I like those a lot too. You're a bit ahead of us now that you're in the new it safe to come out? xo
Yes, Barry! All's well on January 1st, 2012!

We're waiting for you!
These are amazing, and I remember some of them. I think you are one talented fellow. Happy 2012.
Thank you Barry - I couldn't have wanted a nicer compliment to end 2011. We're in 2012 by just 8 minutes now and it's good so far ;)
Great picture. Looking forward to this next year's crop.
And thank you for sharing your awsome talent with the rest of us. I swear, every time I look at your work I want to pick up my camera again.
Kate, Terrific video on your site of the fireworks at the Harbour Bridge.

Brazen, thank you so much for that, and happy 2012 back to you.

Jim, you're one special guy.

Myriad, thanks so much! Stay warm!

David, I think you should, and then share. Thanks for the kind words.
You can take photographs, my man. Congrats and onward to 2012. (Love the Hamilton Pool photos particularly...)
Helvetica (actually the font I use to compose my stuff on OS--not Helvetica Neue, Helvetica Olde at 14pt), Thanks dear, I like Hamilton Pool too and glad you do as well. It was a serendipitous find for me, so I felt very lucky to have made the choice to visit.
Great photographs -- I really like the pick-up -- love the lines
Beautiful, inspiring, thought-provoking. I am grateful for being your friend, thanks for sharing your art and your kindness. Happy New Year!
What a great year! You're such a versatile photographer. All the best for 2012!
MH, I like that one too! Thanks for stopping by and best to you both.

Diana, the pleasure is mine in getting to know you better this year. Thanks for all you've done for me. xo

Grace! So nice to see you again. I've missed your writing and hope you will post more often. Your piece on Locke is one of my all time favorites. Thanks so much for your lovely words. xo
[r] these were a joy to behold. i thought you had a good selection eye. did not realize they were yours until copyright note. you have a real artistic eye. bravo. libby
Libby, yeah, they're all mine along with a bunch of others for this year. The majority aren't worth a flip, but I did get some good ones in all that. Thanks for your lovely words.
Libby, yeah, they're all mine along with a bunch of others for this year. The majority aren't worth a flip, but I did get some good ones in all that. Thanks for your lovely words.
it was a good year for photographs, wasn't it? looking through these reminded me, of course, of the longer pieces that most of them came from, and that made me smile, remembering. popper is one of my always favorites (but not the one where she's making that weird face!!) and the very first one of her with her eyes closed is so popper and therefore wonderful. don't tell her, but if i had to choose a favorite from this sequence, it might be dorothy and her friends in the santa fe shop. happy new year, barry.
How very nice, I remember some of these, Barry. A joy to see again. I have been putting together a similar folder from last year, but I'll call it a day after this treat to my eyes. Happy new year. ♥
Good work Barry! thanks again for sharing your art with us, making us see with more discriminating eyes... oxoxo
Candace, thank you. It's been a good year in large measure because of you and your friendship. You are extraordinarily talented in many ways, but one of your best things is your fierce devotion to your friends. Combine that with a loving spirit and an artist's soul and eye and that adds up to something special. Thanks for everything dear. xo

Füsun, thank you for that. There are a few shots above sprinkled in that never made it to an OS post before this. One of my favorites out of that group, which wouldn't make anyone else's list, is the shot of the Apollo 6 Command Module hatch door. The reason is that it was technically very difficult to get both shiny and matte in what turned out to be the right choices for the available ambient light. It represents a distillation of experience and muscle memory and intuition. I'm looking forward to your photos, and thanks so much for stopping by.

Gary, you've been such an artistic mentor in so many ways, I can never thank you enough or properly. Best to you always dear friend. xo
Great fun! The periodic Poppers had me laughing. But I want to pick your brains sometime on a few of your choices here. I think too much inside the box.
Anytime Harry, give me a call. I like that you like Popper so much. =)
They're all stunning. How you managed to pick just a few from over 8,000 is beyond me but I'm guessing any of them would have been equally at home here.
Thanks Margaret, and thank you for all your words this past year. You've been consistent with your support and encouragement, I'm glad that I've done stuff that you've liked. I just got through reading your latest piece, The Nature of the Beast, and have to confess I'm still processing it. It is do that and the other end of the spectrum as well. I'm not sure yet what to say, except that an unintended consequence is your specializing in gobsmackery. Stunning stuff. Hope you and all of your loved ones have a great year, which is now here. xo
What an interesting year! Lovely images, as usual. I've been going through my year for other sites that I post on .. it is so hard to whittle them down each one brings back something, a moment, a day, something learned or something experienced.

I am in awe - you met the most interesting man in the world!! How can you top that in 2012?
Wow I am so glad to see this. You have a such an eclectic collection but several of these are just real winners by me. The heart shaped leaf, The Nun, Fried Butter and Stardust are just so superb. I like the fact that these images tell stories and strong emotional feel to them. You really are on top of your game and I look forward to another year from your wonderful eye and talent to be presented here with great style and prose.
More felines please. They never get old.
Fabulous Barry. I've enjoyed your photos so much all year...and have one of my own to enjoy all the time (thank you again). Looking forward to another year of more fantastic pictures. Happy New Year to you and yours.
I'm with MH. The bed of that truck- sublime art. And you cat and then the two little girls who look like they just told one another a secret.

The others were striking. Masterful selection and that dern cat- so little with so much personality was infectious!
All of them are favorites of mine. Your photographs continue to blow me away, Barry. Happy New Year. I can't wait to see what you give us in 2012. ~r
Kai, yes, meeting TMIMITW was a highlight, and the backstory is pretty interesting. Of course that's my bride there whose hand is being held. As I was taking the photo, the photog who was hired by the event staff to take pictures for the clients to have tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to a woman seated stage right. She wanted a word. It turned out that she's TMIMITW's wife and manager and wanted to know what I was going to do with the photo...she was protecting their assets. I had an interesting conversation with her which included her assertion that if you take out the hyperbole in the commercials, that Jonathan Goldsmith, his real name, is exactly like the character he plays in the Dos Equis commercials. Thanks for stopping by!

Algis, thank you so much for your kind words and affirmation, and you know more than most that the slices of time that the photos represent all have backstories that have some meaning. Thank you again for your lovely and wonderful words. May you continue to bless others with your own extraordinary talent.

Dandy, there was a Flickr meme, long before meme was even a coalesced concept that was used in many different situations. It was "Bring on the kittys!" Covers a lot of ground. Thanks!

Trilogy, thank you dear for your friendship and support. Your words mean a great deal to me. I'm the one who should always be thanking you.

Mango, thank you so much. Popper is a big part of my life, a rescue cat who has adopted me in spite of all the personal quirks she has, she's a lovely friend, codependent and aloof all at once.

Joan, your own talents, multiple and multidimensional, are inspiring to me and to countless others. You see the world in a beautiful way, one that demonstrates fundamentally what a beautiful heart you have. Thank you for all things.
Great food, cute kids and kitties, gorgeous natural vistas. If the computer was burning down and I could only get one of these images out, I'd grab that small red heart shaped last leaf! Nice work, sir.
Gorgeous as usual. If a picture is worth a thousand words ...
Thanks for sharing so many moments of beauty. The picture of Popper playing with the sprinkler is a sentimental fave.
greenheron, thank you. I like that heart-shaped leaf a lot as well...a metaphor for so much.

Scarlett, yes indeed—if true I would be awfully blabby. Thank you for your connection this past year. xo

Anne, your friendship to me and your affection for Popper means a great deal to me. As she assigns to me good wishes to others since she is often occupied, we both wish you and your husband good health, safety and happiness.
Excellent! It's hard to take this compilation of your favorites and further break it down to my own single favorite, but I will anyway. It's the closeup of the barbed wire fencepost. I love it. And I'm also most impressed that you were able to shoot a photo of the "most interesting man in the world"!
Steve, thanks so much for your kind comment. I love that fence post shot as well. It was taken on the hilltop above Indian Lodge in Fort Davis looking toward the Davis Moutains. The observatories are a bit to the north of the picture which is looking westward, My Fowlkes and Mt Locke are not quite in view, well, it's a bit hard to tell now. You can see a pano of near the same spot here:

It's a big image, full size is more than 18,000 pixels wide (about 187 inches) but it's an interesting shot.
Oh, and here's a bit more on the backstory on TMIMITW:

with a comparison between a "professional" photographer and me =)
Excellent images~
All the best for 2012
Thanks for this montage. Love all, but esp the moth. Happy NY, Barry. (And thanks for the photos!)
As always, I look at your photos and find myself smiling. Your photo of the winding river and the side mirror -- I'm interested in why you chose to have the sharp focus on the mirror. As it turns out, besides the mirror, the side of the vehicle reflected in the mirror is in focus. It's the whole landscape, both the river and its beds, plus the landscape behind the vehicle that stays out of focus. All of which you already know. You made an unexpected choice that really caught my eye.
MCS, thank you and best wishes for your new year.

Lea, I love that Owl Moth too...such a beauty. Happy New Year to you as well. xo

Stim, there's an explanation for that photo in a previous post of mine, you'll remember it I think because you did post a lovely comment. The image represents a self portrait, but the better explanation is on that post, found here: link

The setting is on the banks of the Chama River in north central New Mexico not far from O'Keeffe's Abiquiu. I often stop and think quite a bit on my photo journeys, this was one of those times.

Thank you very much for your thoughtful and gracious comment. I'm delighted that you like that image. There's a link below the image on that other post to see it in a larger size.
I should use my camera more. r
The shot being a self-portrait makes it even more interesting.
It is absolutely impossible to pick a favorite. If I were forced to at gunpoint, I might say the views of the pool with the curving rock wall over it, but then there's the Stardust Motel and the turquoise truck with wood bed and of course Prada Marfa and the Mayan pyramid and the fairytale gas station and the cat in the sprinkler - oh, forget it. I cannot choose. Because there's also the tufted titmouse and the cat in the blanket and...I give up.I look forward to seeing many more bbd photographs in 2012. Thank you.
As someone who is studying and preparing herself to take pictures professionally, I truly enjoyed this post! I do have one question. I thought a subject wasn't supposed to be in the center of a picture, but I noticed that you've put the subject in the center on more than one photograph. Would you please explain why you did that? Also, I have one more question. I've narrowed down my choice of dSLR to Canon or Nikon, but don't know which model. Do you think it's better to buy a low end professional camera or a high end consumer model? The choices are overwhelming!
lefty, I think you should, and I think you should share. I for one, and I'm betting there would be many more, would enjoy a branching out of your blog to show the rich, redolent, beautiful place where you live in detail. Restaurants, mercados, bodegas, the people and places of your adopted home would be most interesting.

Stim, thanks for taking the time to look at that...I treasure your thoughts.

Mumblety, it means a lot to me that you enjoy the photography, but that you also recognize a lot of the backstories is also something I really like. Now, having seen hints of some of your own photography, I hope you'll be more sharing will all the folk here who love to read your words and with the added benefit of your artistry.

Patricia, thanks for stopping by and for your questions.

I think your comment "I thought a subject wasn't supposed to be..." is something that you might have picked up in your photo education. I would be careful about absolute proclamations, even by respected teachers of photography, because I think the bottom line should be about pleasing your own artistic sensibilities first...and those sensibilities come with time and experience.

You're probably referring to the "rule of thirds" and while it is a good compositional technique that often has value both in how a shot is structured and the subliminal effect it might have on a viewer of the photograph, it is never an absolute rule. In fact, I did a post on photography, appropriately called On Photography, where I discuss the rule of thirds, the fibonacci sequence, the golden mean or rectangle and other aspects of deliberate choices a photographer can make when composing a shot...and one of the most important things I said about those and other elements is that it's more important to know what the rules are, and how to use them, in order for you to effectively break those rules.

That post can be found here:

If you look at the side column links on any page of my blog you'll see a subheading with links on it that refer to my "On Photography" posts covering several topics.

As for the equipment, I think it's probably a wise choice to stay with either Canon or Nikon as they are the most ubiquitous brands and that has certain advantages for the consumer. That's not to say that other brands aren't excellent, but it's what I normally advise.

As to which to use there are a couple of considerations.

First, there are generally three levels for DSLRs: consumer, "pro-sumer" and pro. I have two cam bodies, a Nikon D300 and a D3s. The D300 is a prosumer body and the D3s is a pro body. When new they represented $1900 and more than $5000 respectively for just the bodies alone, no glass. I think you should start out at the consumer level and work your way up. If you wish to have a better camera to start out with then perhaps the Nikon D7000 would be a great choice. It's not too expensive and has very good features. I'm sure there's an equivalent for Canon, but I don't track their hardware so I can't advise.

Next, the most important, and the most expensive part of your equipment or kit will be your lenses. Consumer and prosumer bodies can be purchased with one or two lenses in a kit, but those lenses are at the bottom of the lens spectrum for quality, build and performance. Do a search on Craigslist in the photo/video section and you'll see those "kit lenses" for sale in abundance. I would suggest you buy the body only and get a 50mm lens, either the f/1.8 or f/1.4. It's a prime lens, which means that it is not a zoom lens and has a fixed focal point. What that means further is that you will be composing with your feet, moving back and forth to compose your shot, instead of standing in one spot with a zoom lens and just moving your wrist on the zoom barrel. One of the greatest lessons on composition is using a prime lens. It forces you to move and to think, it forces you to make artistic decisions.

Just as in camera bodies, there are consumer lenses and pro lenses. Lenses that have zoom and a range of focal lengths, such as f/3.5 -5.6 means that not much light is getting into your camera to your sensor. Lenses that have a fixed focal length of f/2.8 or smaller (meaning a larger aperture for more light, are more expensive, and much much better lenses in a range of measurable performances.

Lenses are also made in two modes, one that fit a cropped sensor--1.5 for Nikon and 1.6 for Canon and lenses that are designed for full frame or FX bodies. Know the difference. On Nikons, lenses for the prosumer body are known as DX, lenses for the pro full sized sensor are FX. If you use a DX lens on an FX body, for example, it will self crop to half the resolution or so and probably give you dark corners.

So, the first question you have to ask yourself is do you have or do you have access to, any lenses for either the Canon or Nikon? Is there a family member or relative that has a collection of lenses in either brand that you can borrow while you continue your photo education? If so, then I would go with that brand. A caveat though is that Nikon is much better at you being able to use much older legacy lenses than is Canon. Search on for "lens compatibility chart" and you'll see all the lenses made by Nikon and any limitations on modern bodies.

Lenses are expensive, as I've mentioned, it's better to get good glass and a medium body than an expensive body and poor glass.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "low end pro camera" unless you understand the difference between FX and DX and the limitations, differences and strengths between the two. Once you get a handle on what each will do and what each won't, then it will help you decide.

For example, a 50mm lens on a DX camera will give you the same view as a 75mm lens on an FX camera. Again, it has to do with sensor size and the crop factor. A 70mm or 85mm lens on a DX body is considered an ideal focal length for portraiture. On an FX body, you would need a 135mm or 150mm to get an optimal portraiture lens.

Hope that helps.
A very enjoyable photo compilation.

When I think of your photos, I think of what you do with color, and how often color shows up in interesting and sometimes unexpected ways in your photos. Sometimes the color hits you in the face (the "fried butter" sign), sometimes it's gentle (the light-olive cat eyes), and sometimes you have to look for it (the tiny red square on the side door of the gas station). It makes for interesting photos, and you have to spend time with each photo to see everything that's happening in it (I had to look at an enlargement of "Art Gallery" in order to see whether the lady had polish on her toenails. It turns out that she doesn't, but you never know . . . .).
Mishima, I think too few on OS know of your exemplary photo skills, because of our connection and correspondence, I've seen some truly gorgeous and exemplary black and white images from your hand and talent. Your iPhone photos are among the best I've seen and you only do the barest of post processing with them which indicates a compositional ability.

I'm delighted too that you took the time to explore and think about the photos, which in fact mirrors my own process in carefully thinking about the compositions before I ever bring the camera to my eye. And then because of my poor eyesight (was at the ophthalmologist today for some pressure maintenance--and the right eye, my dominant side, was improved to 20/200) I really have to rely on experience and settings in the field since I can't really tell if it's going to be a good shot...well, I'm just pleased that someone with your photo aesthetic would take the time to contemplate on what you were seeing.

I had to go back and look at the original of the Art Gallery photo because I couldn't remember if my friend and frequent photo sojourner and former OS resident Julie Delio had polish on her toenails. In fact, it looks like she doesn't because of ambient reflection, but if you look at the original resolution found here:

you'll see that she does indeed have a muted rose color on her nails.

And I just love that shot. The awning above the doorway was thick flat rusted sheet steel that had the letters cut out so that for a short time during the midday sun, it would advertise on the sidewalk what was inside. It's a favorite little gallery and we were there for a particular show. The place is called PDNB which stands for "Photographs Do Not Bend" and is a place for fine avant grade photography.

Thanks Mishima, you made my evening.
Of course, autocorrect changed "garde" to "grade."
No raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens
No bright copper kettles nor warm woolen mittens
But Prada in Marfa and notes re James Dean’s
These are the proofs of his favorite things!

Vases and beaches and steps up to icons
Sideviews and cheetahs through Canons or Nikons
Corn husks and beignets and two smiling girls
There are no limits to scenes he unfurls!

Girls in white dresses and Eve with Dos Equis
Nehi and gas tanks and nuns towling nippies
Sunlight in canyons and birds with tucked wings
These enter lens then to our screens he brings!

When our blogs slow
Art James’ woes grow
And we question God
Just go and access BBD’s favorite shots
Then sit and enjoy being awed!
mh, I want you to know I didn't read that, I sang it. Merci merci. xo

(I sounded pretty good too.)
Awe. Mercy. Oh, Mary. bbd Barry D.
Woe is Kerry. If he Kerry Santa Cause-
Santa don't need to stuff any pillow.
Kerry goes ho ho ho and I groan a`
Cheery heehaw. Can Kerry read?
He hasn't seemed too courteous.
Maybe Kerry be nice on feast day.
I assume I can wait - Rosh Hash-
He blow a shofar and repent.
He be penitent. Yom Kippur.
When will he begin behaving?
Woe is Kerry. Hoe 5th Avenue.
He need a Heehaw plow mule.
Stunning photos...gorgeous family!
test? I am reading back post to read comments.
Earlier my comment button wouldn't work`gin.
Gail? I am not trying to annoy. Pure intentions.
This is only for Open Salon's Gail. Gail is helping.
I've been emailing her seeking courteous replies.
The "square" comes often without my initiation.
That's when No comment leaves the OS scroll.
Square seems to have vanished. It's confusing.
Barry, I just had to visit the truck bed again...Stunning work, with the richness of the aqua with the rotted floorboards...Beautiful!