My 11 favorite pictures of 2011

It’s the end of the year, and that means that it’s time to make “best of 2011” lists.  This blog will be no exception.

This year was a year of exploration for me, thanks mainly to my good friend Greg (of Alpenglow Images; he just posted his own top 12 of 2011), who inspired me to push my boundaries photographically, as well as to start sharing my photography online.  But it’s far too easy to ramble on in posts like this. So, here are my 11 favorite images from 2011 (with many thanks to Michael Russell and Mike Cavaroc for inspiring this with their own posts earlier this week).

First, my top three:

Closeup of flower buds on the Agave vilmoriniana inflorescence. (Marc Perkins)
The Future, from my Agave and Aloe series (1 | 2).

I woke up to a foggy morning at Lower Moro campground in Crystal Cove, and found this beautiful little purple and white flower covered in dew.  I love the few strands of spider silk connecting the flower to its stalk, also covered in water droplets.  A botanist friend of mine identified this as _Stephanomeria sp._, a plant in Asteraceae. (Thanks Jeremy!) (Marc C. Perkins)
Foggy Morning Sunshine, from my Crystal Cove State Park series (1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6).

Kira, a brown tabby, relaxing on a shelf next to a brick wall.  I love how she looks mildly inquirous while also looking serenly peaceful and comfortable.  She's also got her paws cutely folded up underneath her.  How cat like! (Marc C. Perkins)
Listening Cat is Happy to Hear About Your Problems – 2 (aka: Kira relaxing), from my cat galleries (1 | 2).

And now for the rest:

Sunset at Corona Del Mar State Beach, seen from a lookout above the beach at Inspiration Point.  I love how the wet beach sand looks golden / silver in color.  Three silhouetted figures stand in the foreground (a photographer, lighting assistant, and girl having quinceanera pictures taken of her in a fancy dress). (Marc C. Perkins)
Metallic Beach, from my Inspiration Point and Corona Del Mar gallery; taken at Inspiration Point in Newport Beach, CA.

Nauset Light at dusk on a cloudy winter night shortly after Christmas.  The light streams out to sea, visible thanks to a light mist in the air.  This image is far better viewed on a solid black background, so the glow of the sky is more visible.  Nauset light is in Eastham, MA on Cape Cod. (Marc Perkins)
A Light in the Dark (aka: Nauset Light at dusk), from an unpublished gallery. Taken in Eastham, MA shortly after Christmas 2010.

Mohammed (Marc C. Perkins)
Mohammed, from my 24 Faces of Occupy Irvine series.

Lucca looking decidedly unimpressed.  This picture reminds me of a typical LOLCat image (e.g.,; I think the caption would be something like "Unimpressed cat is unimpressed", "Meh", or "Is it really Monday already?".  But, sadly, I won't be submitting it to that website, as their terms of service for uploaded images give them way too many rights for free ( (Marc C. Perkins)
Unimpressed Cat is Unimpressed, from my cat galleries (1 | 2).

Nobska Lighthouse in Woods Hole, MA on Cape Cod.  The red-roofed keeper's house and white and black lighthouse are both visible, as the wind blows the flags in front of a clear blue sky. I love how the lighthouse feels like it standing proud; a little bit of Americana.  This image is cropped to be printed at 12x18". (Marc Perkins)
Nobska Light: Classic Americana, from an unpublished gallery. Taken in Woods Hole, MA.

A closeup of a poinsettia flower cluster from the side.  Many people confuse the bracts (red leaves) with the actual flowers; they're quite different.   This macro shot shows multiple pseudanthia  (flowering structures) surrounded by a sea of red bracts (colored leaves associated with a flower; mostly out of focus in this picture).  The flowers themselves are called cyanthia; the green tissue surrounding each flower is an involucre, a cluster of bracts (leaves) fused into a cup-shaped structure that contains multiple male flowers and one female flower within it.  Emerging from the involucre you can see red filaments supporting yellow anthers on the male flowers, and you can even see some of the pollen grains.  Also emerging from each involucre you can see a number of dark-purple structures supported by short stalks (that are about a tenth of the height of the filaments).   The bright yellow, liquid-filled structures attached to the involucre are nectar glands filled with nectar to attract pollinators. (Marc C. Perkins)
Poinsettia Inflorescence Extreme Closeup, from my poinsettia series (1 | 2). Taken at Orange Coast College’s Ornamental Horticulture Department.

A large agave inflorescence that's still growing seen at the entrance to Little Corona beach in Corona Del Mar (Newport Beach), CA just before sunset.  The distinctive arch rock of Little Corona is visible in the ocean in the background. (Marc C. Perkins)
Agave Inflorescence at the Beach 2, from my Little Corona Agave post. Taken in Corona Del Mar (Newport Beach), CA.

A vertical view of the arch rock offshore at Little Corona after sunset, in black and white using a long exposure to make the ocean water silky smooth.  I love the soft curves of the clouds drifting overhead. (Marc C. Perkins)
Vertical Arch Rock and Clouds, from my Little Corona long exposure series (1 | 2). Taken at Robert E Badham Marine Life Refuge in Corona Del Mar (Newport Beach), CA.

Those are my top 11 pictures of the year!

As an encore I’m going to include one more image. While this didn’t make the cut artistically, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and thus seems to belong here.

I'm pretty sure these are two southern pacific rattlesnakes (_Crotalus oreganus_ helleri) mating.  I first noticed the pair when I was only a foot or two away from them on a trail; after moving a bit away I captured this shot of the two snakes wrapped around each other.  Sadly, I think my presence may have interrupted them. (Marc C. Perkins)
Two Rattlesnakes Mating, from my Crystal Cove State Park series (1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6).  Taken in Crystal Cove State Park, CA.

5 thoughts on “My 11 favorite pictures of 2011

  1. A wonderful choice of your photographies. My favs are the Poinsettia Inflorescence Extreme Closeup and the b/w image from the vertical arch rock.

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