Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

January 4, 2013

Top 12 of 2012

Filed under: Birds — richditch @ 7:16 pm

On an on-line photo critique site where I post many of my images someone suggested putting together everyone’s best images for the year just completed. It sounded like fun so here is a collection of some of my favorites from 2012. It was difficult cutting down from the initial 36 images I first considered. I tried for variety in my final edit down to 12. I’m presenting them from oldest to newest.

1. Tulip



I took this in the house with an ancient 200mm Nikon manual focus macro lens on my Nikon D200 body on 1/12/12. In my early days of photography way back in the 1970’s in New Jersey I did a lot of macro work. I owned Nikon’s 55/3.5 (and upgraded to the 55/2.8), the 105/2.8, and this 200/4 (purchased new in 1983). This was part of a bouquet that I positioned and composed for the simple graphic lines and soft pastel colors.

2. Abert’s Towhee

Abert's Towhee

Abert’s Towhee

Taken 2/2/12 at the Gilbert Water Ranch where so many of my bird photos are taken. I love birds in habitat and I love understated color as seen in this shot.

3. Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird male

Anna’s Hummingbird male

Gilbert Water Ranch again, this time on 2/7/12. Well, the colors her aren’t exactly understated, but at least I’ve kept the habitat understated.

4. Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

7/6/12 at Boyce Thompson Arboretum (my other favorite bird location). A completely unexpected encounter with a recently fledged hawk that was more interested in the food the parent was bringing to the perch than in my proximity.

5. Heart and Initials

Heart and initials

Heart and initials

“Found Art” as such random subjects are known. I noticed this on a granite boulder in front of an office entrance in Phoenix on 7/12/12 and knew I had to get a photo. I try to keep a camera with basic 18-70 lens mounted in the car for unexpected discoveries such as this.

6. Cottonwoods



I can’t resist the way the backlight makes these leaves look. I also like the color contrast with the surrounding rocky terrain. And then there’s all the interesting textures. Boyce Thompson Arboretum on 7/20/12 with my 70-300 zoom.

7. Warbling Vireo

Warbling Vireo

Warbling Vireo

Another bird in habitat with understated color! 9/18/12 at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

8. Willow Flycatcher

Willow Flycatcher

Willow Flycatcher

Another bird in habitat with understated color! 9/18/12 at Boyce Thompson Arboretum (same date and place as the Warbling Vireo).

9. Bert and Ernie

Bert & Ernie

Bert & Ernie

Bert’s on the right, while Ernie is relaxing under one of my shirts tossed on the bed. 9/25/12 using a 19 year old 50/1.8 lens that is my first choice for indoor low light shots.

10. Raccoon Tracks

Raccoon footprints

Raccoon footprints

Taken on 11/29/12 at the Gilbert Water Ranch with an iPhone 3GS. I don’t have cellular phone service, but I do have an old used iPhone that has a lot of useful apps for a photographer. It also has a built in camera that comes in handy when I go to the store to find exactly what I’ve been ordered to bring home (I take a photo of the old product to match on the store shelf). And it covers my need for “normal” shots when I’m out walking about with my bird rig (300mm and 2x). I took this just so I could verify the tracks in a field guide at home and was surprised by the overall quality of the shot.

11. Desert Broom

Desert Broom

Desert Broom

Taken on 11/29/12 at the Gilbert Water Ranch with my bird rig. The 300 and 2x can do some serious macro work from a distance.

12. White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

How could I leave out one of my most photographed subjects from any “best” list? Yes, this White-crowned Sparrow is another bird in habitat shot with understated colors. Gilbert Water Ranch on 12/6/12.

Tell me which of these 12 images is your favorite!



  1. Richard,

    Outstanding set of images! your bird photography is excellence in review, but being an intimate landscape kinda guy, I gotta go with “Desert Bloom” as my favorite. The Raccoon tracks are especially nice too. Wonderful work!

    Comment by Lon Overacker — January 4, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

  2. All excellent, Richard. I especially like the Abert’s; a good bird under any circumstances and the color palette on that one is lovely.

    See you in a week.


    Comment by Wickersham's Conscience — January 4, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

  3. I’m looking forward to your visit and some joint time shooting together.

    Comment by richditch — January 4, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

  4. I love all the shots, but my favorite is Bert & Ernie, followed closely by the tulip. The colors are just outstanding! Thanks for posting your top twelve…

    Comment by Robin McEntire — January 5, 2013 @ 6:40 am

  5. Excellent.

    Comment by Bunn Martin — January 5, 2013 @ 7:28 am

  6. Cool shots, the hummer and hawk are great.

    Comment by Jeremy Medina — January 5, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

  7. The hawk and the sparrow are my favorites, followed closely by the cats and the tulip.

    Comment by Charissa — January 6, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

  8. I can’t pick a favorite Rich, they all appeal to me on various levels. But, if forced I would have to pick the Tulip because it is such a delight to view!

    Comment by Mia McPherson — January 6, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

  9. Hi, found your work through the Nature Photographer’s Net (a fellow camera club member is a member). Hard to chose which one is my favorite, but for “capture the moment,” I’d saw it’s “Bert & Ernie”; for field work, I’d vote for the sparrow or towhee; and for artistic approach, it’s definitely “Desert Bloom.”

    Comment by Loretta from Long Island, NY — January 7, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

  10. All excellent images – great to see your stuff again. It’s been a while for me…

    Comment by tomwhelan — January 19, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

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