The Best Landscape Photos of 2020 | Max Foster Fine Art
2020 Year in Review | Limited Edition Photographic Art
Each year I like to look back at the photos I published and select a handful of favorites. Capturing a unique and powerful image often takes multiple attempts and lots of disappointments. Other times you get lucky and everything works out on the first attempt. Regardless, the ongoing allure of beautiful locations with incredible scenery and atmospheric conditions is all the motivation I need to keep chasing the light. Each of the images below is available for sale as limited edition museum quality fine art prints.
From Here to Eternity
If the serrated ridges of these Hawaiian mountains look like something out of Jurassic Park, it’s because they are! Much of the movie was filmed near this location, as well as other areas throughout the Hawaiian Islands. We made the trek to this spot two mornings in a row and were fortunate that the second day’s sunrise was calm and colorful.
Of all the Grand Canyon locations I have explored, Toroweap is still my absolute favorite. The remoteness of the location (60 miles down a rugged dirt road) means you have the views to yourself and can soak up the sun in peace and quiet.
Kingdom of the North
Several shots from my recent Alaska trip made the list this year. We visited the Gates of the Arctic National Park in August at the height of fall colors, and were fortunate to have fantastic weather almost every day. This particular morning, we left camp before dawn to make sure we arrived for first light on the peaks. Not a breath of wind stirred the water, creating a perfect mirror-like reflection.
Perhaps the most famous tree in the Pacific Northwest, this Japanese Maple lives up to the hype. With sinuous branches and vibrant leaves, the tree is impossibly beautiful. Over the course of three days, I photographed the maple in varying light and conditions. This vertical captured my attention due to the perfectly spaced leaves and branches.
Palm Trees & Daydreams
Although I usually photograph at the edges of day during sunrise or sunset, I felt the best way to convey the tropical vibes of Lanikai Beach in Oahu was to show it with bright midday sun. I waited until the sun was at my back and then found these beautiful palm shadows that created perfect leading lines. With the bright blue water and inviting clouds, I’m ready to jump in and go for a swim!
Just after Grand Teton National Park opened in late spring after an extended COVID19 shutdown, the park kept watercraft restrictions in place. We explored the park during this time, and were amazed at how calm the waters were without boats. On a windless morning I walked the lakeshore and found this colorful section of rocks. With the sun behind me, the colors were vivid and beautiful. I loved how the the puffy clouds complemented the snowy mountains in the distance.
After a grueling 4 days of off trail bushwacking, we arrived at this magnificent location deep in the Alaskan backcountry. The jagged mountains stodd high above the blue glacial lake, and I found the only foliage in sight for a contrasting foreground. As a storm passed, the mountains were bathed in intense sunlight for a few brief moments. I captured the shot as the skies opened and we were drenched with rain.
Minnesota is a world class fall color destination. The Superior National Forest along the North Shore of Lake Superior up to Canada puts on a show every bit as good as the East Coast. The Sugar Maples are my favorite, as they burst with yellow, orange and red in autumn months. On a foggy morning this year, we came upon this spot and I loved the variety of color and fog in the background.
I have explored many slot canyons in the American Southwest. Many are so tight and narrow that you can barely squeeze through. Others, like popular Antelope Canyon, are wide at the base and narrow at the top. With the sun high in the sky, powerful light beams shine through and illuminate dust particles in the air creating spotlight effects like you see here.
The Tetons are amazing in any conditions, but when there is a layer of fog in the valley they really shine. I photographed for hours on this particular morning, and loved how the atmosphere kept changing. It was late spring so much of the foliage was still bright orange and contrasted beautifully with the green grasses and blue sky.
When I first glimpsed this remote Alaskan valley, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The peak in the center was as sharp as a needle, and the sunlight shone on its face perfectly. I found this small stream to capture the reflection and leading lines. It was a breathtaking scene to witness in person!
One of the most colorful scenes I captured in 2020 was in Grand Teton National Park. The sunset colors perfectly complemented the array of colorful rocks on the shoreline. I used a long exposure to smooth out the ripples in the water and to capture the vibrant reflection.