These are not necessarily the ten best, but they are my ten personal favorites of all the thousands of pictures I took over the past year. And since nobody is paying me to take them, and thus nobody's opinion matters but my own, I guess they are the ten best.
(Taken on September 16 in Shoreview, Minnesota)
This one is not terribly original, but rich in symbolism. It was week 2 of the NFL season and I was beginning my quest to go through the entire year without watching one second of football. Some friends and I were enjoying a picnic by the lake on a Sunday afternoon, far away from a television set. Yet I realized that even though I was not there, the game would still go on. Hence the photo.
(Taken on April 29 near Tomahawk, Wisconsin)
This one's a bit out of focus and I wish I could do it over again, but I still love it. That's my grandpa and my cousin sitting on the dock watching the sunset over the lake.
(Taken on October 16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota)
The basement of my work got flooded one night and I went down to check it out at about three in the morning. It was the first time I had ever been down there and I fully expected to see the corpse of Mrs. Bates greeting me on the other side of this door. I quickly ran back upstairs and grabbed my camera.
(Taken on July 27 in Bucksport, Maine)
I woke up early one morning and waited for the sun to come up over Penobscot Bay. I snapped this one while I was just killing time waiting for the main event. It turned out to be too foggy to see the sunrise. I will forever wonder if this picture would have been better or worse if the sun had come out.
(Taken on September 9 in Stillwater, Minnesota)
This was a day I'll never forget. Week 1 of the NFL season and I was doing everything I could to avoid acknowledging it. I snapped this shot of one of the many antique shops in downtown Stillwater and really didn't think much of it until I tried it in black and white.
(Taken on April 29 in Duluth, Minnesota)
My first, and still my favorite sunrise photo. It could've been better, but what I remember about this is that I had just recently bought my first digital camera and had no idea how to do anything other than auto. There were a couple of photographers in this same spot with their big expensive cameras and their tripods and the whole nine yards sitting there waiting and trying to find the best angle while I just drove up, got out of my car, snapped a couple shots in auto, and then drove off. For that, I think it turned out alright.
(Taken on July 29 from the Penobscot River in Maine)
I snapped this one as our tour boat passed under the bridge(s). The old bridge, which was built in the 1930s, is no longer in use. The new bridge was just finished a year ago or so. It would be perfect if the top of the boat wasn't in the way.
(Taken on July 8 in Winona, Minnesota)
This is still my favorite photo of all-time. As a friend and I were snapping photos along the Mississippi River this old couple came walking right by and sat on the bench as if they were posing for me. They were just chatting away while happily enjoying the summer afternoon, as peaceful as could be, and completely oblivious to my presence. So I snuck up behind them and snapped several pictures while thinking to myself that if I am ever married, and if I live that long, I want to be that.