20 Best Photos of 2018

Year in review time once again. Also known as “fingers-crossed-that-I’m-not-getting-worse-at-this-anxiety-fest.”

It’s amazing how much this annual recap changes from year-to-year. Whether the shift represents an evolving style as a photographer, or just the randomness of trying find time to shoot in the spare minutes between life, parenthood and full time work, it’s always interesting to see the different themes that catch my eye from year-to-year. 

More than anything, this year’s collection is different simply due to geography. The 2017 collection was filled with globetrotting photos from London, Paris, Cape Town, the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. This year, I barely left the five boroughs.

But I made the most of New York - and especially its weather. Lots of dramatic fog, snow and sunset shots made the list this year. I also had a thing for long exposure landscapes and timeless black and white photos. 

One other big shift for 2018 was a big focus on lighting and portraiture. I spent a lot less time taking photos and a lot more time taking photography classes on CreativeLive. If all goes well, that effort will be evident in the 2019 year in review. (If not, I’ll have some lighting equipment for sale on Craigslist.)

Without further ado, here are the 20 (ish) best photos of 2018.  

“White out” January 4, 2018. Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Fujifilm X Pro2, 23mm, f2.5 , 1/1400 sec, ISO 200   2018 began with a boom, er, bomb. On January 4, a winter storm called a “bomb cyclone” (aka “bombogenesis”, aka “winter hurricane”) hit New York and made for some apocalyptic snowstorm photos. Tip your seamless delivery guys, people.

“White out” January 4, 2018. Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Fujifilm X Pro2, 23mm, f2.5 , 1/1400 sec, ISO 200

2018 began with a boom, er, bomb. On January 4, a winter storm called a “bomb cyclone” (aka “bombogenesis”, aka “winter hurricane”) hit New York and made for some apocalyptic snowstorm photos. Tip your seamless delivery guys, people.

“ Neither rain, nor snow, nor bomb cyclone ” January 4, 2018. Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Fujifilm X Pro2, 23mm, f2.8 , 1/1000 sec, ISO 1000   In spite of the bomb cyclone, the mail was in fact delivered. Respect.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor bomb cyclone” January 4, 2018. Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Fujifilm X Pro2, 23mm, f2.8 , 1/1000 sec, ISO 1000

In spite of the bomb cyclone, the mail was in fact delivered. Respect.

“Carroll Street Station” Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Fujifilm X Pro2, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/220 sec, ISO 6400    I see this view of the exit from the Carroll Street subway station just about every day. It’s totally unremarkable. But add some giant fluffy snowflakes and suddenly it’s a scene from a movie.

“Carroll Street Station” Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Fujifilm X Pro2, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/220 sec, ISO 6400

I see this view of the exit from the Carroll Street subway station just about every day. It’s totally unremarkable. But add some giant fluffy snowflakes and suddenly it’s a scene from a movie.

“Dancers” PDN Photo Plus Expo. October 26, 2018. Javits Center, New York Fujifilm GFX50R, 45mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec, ISO 800  Full disclosure. This shot was kind of cheating. I took it at at the  PDN Photo Plus Expo , where Sony arranged lights and dancers to showcase the capabilities of their Sony alpha cameras. But I wasn’t using a Sony alpha camera. I was using the new $5,000, 50-megapixel  Fujifilm GFX50R  medium format camera that the lovely folks across the room at Fujifilm let me play around with for the day. (Sorry Sony.) Underexposing by a few stops made the scene far more poetic than you’d expect for something shot on a convention center floor. Pictured:  @mathildeguerrero_  and  @r0mains0n

“Dancers” PDN Photo Plus Expo. October 26, 2018. Javits Center, New York
Fujifilm GFX50R, 45mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec, ISO 800

Full disclosure. This shot was kind of cheating. I took it at at the PDN Photo Plus Expo, where Sony arranged lights and dancers to showcase the capabilities of their Sony alpha cameras. But I wasn’t using a Sony alpha camera. I was using the new $5,000, 50-megapixel Fujifilm GFX50R medium format camera that the lovely folks across the room at Fujifilm let me play around with for the day. (Sorry Sony.) Underexposing by a few stops made the scene far more poetic than you’d expect for something shot on a convention center floor. Pictured: @mathildeguerrero_ and @r0mains0n

“Thwack!” May 25, 2018. Lower East Side, New York Fujifilm X Pro2, 55-200mm, f/9, 1/1250 sec, ISO 200   I caught some good shots of the handball players making contact with the ball too. But I much prefer the tension, anticipation and gesture in this moment-just-before-the-moment.

“Thwack!” May 25, 2018. Lower East Side, New York
Fujifilm X Pro2, 55-200mm, f/9, 1/1250 sec, ISO 200

I caught some good shots of the handball players making contact with the ball too. But I much prefer the tension, anticipation and gesture in this moment-just-before-the-moment.

“Williamsburg Bridge sunset” February 26, 2018. East River State Park. Williamsburg Brooklyn.   Fujifilm X Pro2, 56mm, f/8, 131 sec, ISO 200  A two minute long exposure turned the East River into an ethereal fog in this sunset shot from the Williamsburg waterfront. The wiggly light trails on the right side of the frame were created by the ferry pulling away from the dock.

“Williamsburg Bridge sunset” February 26, 2018. East River State Park. Williamsburg Brooklyn.
Fujifilm X Pro2, 56mm, f/8, 131 sec, ISO 200

A two minute long exposure turned the East River into an ethereal fog in this sunset shot from the Williamsburg waterfront. The wiggly light trails on the right side of the frame were created by the ferry pulling away from the dock.

“Empire Tribute” September 11, 2018. Rockefeller Center, New York Fujifilm X Pro2, 56mm, f/5.6, 1.5 sec, ISO 200   This is the eighth year I’ve documented the September 11th  Tribute in Light . This year, I tried to get the classic postcard angle from Rockefeller Center. But the fog was so thick, you could barely see lower Manhattan, let alone any lights. Fortunately, the clouds cleared for a moment, just long enough to get this one shot before the lights disappeared back into the fog.

“Empire Tribute” September 11, 2018. Rockefeller Center, New York
Fujifilm X Pro2, 56mm, f/5.6, 1.5 sec, ISO 200

This is the eighth year I’ve documented the September 11th Tribute in Light. This year, I tried to get the classic postcard angle from Rockefeller Center. But the fog was so thick, you could barely see lower Manhattan, let alone any lights. Fortunately, the clouds cleared for a moment, just long enough to get this one shot before the lights disappeared back into the fog.

“City of Light” September 11, 2018. Lower Manhattan, New York Fujifilm XPro2, 14mm, f/20, 10 sec, ISO 200    With thick fog obstructing the Tribute in Light, I realized I had to get as close as possible to photograph the display. This shot was taken from the pedestrian footbridge that crosses the entrance to the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel. I set a ten second long exposure and waited for cars to create the light streaks in the foreground.

“City of Light” September 11, 2018. Lower Manhattan, New York
Fujifilm XPro2, 14mm, f/20, 10 sec, ISO 200

With thick fog obstructing the Tribute in Light, I realized I had to get as close as possible to photograph the display. This shot was taken from the pedestrian footbridge that crosses the entrance to the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel. I set a ten second long exposure and waited for cars to create the light streaks in the foreground.

“Tribute Reflected”  September 11, 2018.  Lower Manhattan, New York Fujifilm XPro2, 14mm, f/3.2, 0.4 sec, ISO 200  This reflection was made in a puddle on the roof of the parking garage where they stage the lights.

“Tribute Reflected” September 11, 2018. Lower Manhattan, New York
Fujifilm XPro2, 14mm, f/3.2, 0.4 sec, ISO 200

This reflection was made in a puddle on the roof of the parking garage where they stage the lights.

“Stock exchange snowstorm” March 7, 2018. Wall Street, New York Fujifilm XPro2, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125, ISO 5000

“Stock exchange snowstorm” March 7, 2018. Wall Street, New York
Fujifilm XPro2, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125, ISO 5000

I love how timeless this snowy image of the NY Stock Exchange feels.

(Except for the very not-timeless banner. I did not add the stock exchange on snapchat.)

I waited for a loooooong time to get someone with an umbrella to cross in just the right spot to cast that shadow in that little pool of light on the cobblestone. When this woman finally hit the mark, I could’ve hugged her. (I didn’t do that either).

“Fleet week” May 25, 2018. Brooklyn, New York Fujifilm X Pro2, 55-200mm, f/4.7, 1/1900 sec, ISO 200  Sometimes your camera auto-focuses on the wrong thing and you get really annoyed. Here I was trying to focus on the naval officer and make the city go soft in the background. So I refocused and took that shot next. In this case, my camera was the better photographer.

“Fleet week” May 25, 2018. Brooklyn, New York
Fujifilm X Pro2, 55-200mm, f/4.7, 1/1900 sec, ISO 200

Sometimes your camera auto-focuses on the wrong thing and you get really annoyed. Here I was trying to focus on the naval officer and make the city go soft in the background. So I refocused and took that shot next. In this case, my camera was the better photographer.

“East River Sunset” February 26, 2018. East River State Park, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Fujifilm XPro2, 56mm, f/16, 14 sec, ISO 200   This shot is from the same sunset as the Williamsburg bridge shot above.

“East River Sunset” February 26, 2018. East River State Park, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Fujifilm XPro2, 56mm, f/16, 14 sec, ISO 200

This shot is from the same sunset as the Williamsburg bridge shot above.

“Only only only” May 25, 2018. DUMBO, Brooklyn Fujifilm XPro2, 55-200mm, f/7.1, 1/3000, ISO 400   The next three shots happened within a few minutes of each other during a walk home over the Manhattan Bridge. This one is taken from the pedestrian walkway looking down Prospect Street, in front of Etsy HQ.

“Only only only” May 25, 2018. DUMBO, Brooklyn
Fujifilm XPro2, 55-200mm, f/7.1, 1/3000, ISO 400

The next three shots happened within a few minutes of each other during a walk home over the Manhattan Bridge. This one is taken from the pedestrian walkway looking down Prospect Street, in front of Etsy HQ.

“Cartwheels and shadows” May 25, 2018. DUMBO, Brooklyn Fujifilm XPro2, 55-200mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO 320   Another shot from the Manhattan Bridge pedestrian walkway. This was looking down over Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO.

“Cartwheels and shadows” May 25, 2018. DUMBO, Brooklyn
Fujifilm XPro2, 55-200mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO 320

Another shot from the Manhattan Bridge pedestrian walkway. This was looking down over Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO.

“Waiting for green” May 25, 2018. Chinatown, New York Fujifilm X Pro2 55-200mm, f/11, 1/450 sec, ISO 400   This one is from the Chinatown side of the Manhattan Bridge. I love the way the sunlight catching her shopping bags made them glow like lanterns.

“Waiting for green” May 25, 2018. Chinatown, New York
Fujifilm X Pro2 55-200mm, f/11, 1/450 sec, ISO 400

This one is from the Chinatown side of the Manhattan Bridge. I love the way the sunlight catching her shopping bags made them glow like lanterns.

“The city is never complete.” September 5, 2018. Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  Fujifillm X Pro2, 35mm, f/2, 1/170, ISO 200   This shot and the following one were taken four months apart, but have the same soul. I like their messiness. I think these are the kinds of skyline shots you start to take when you’ve taken all of the pretty skyline shots.

“The city is never complete.” September 5, 2018. Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Fujifillm X Pro2, 35mm, f/2, 1/170, ISO 200

This shot and the following one were taken four months apart, but have the same soul. I like their messiness. I think these are the kinds of skyline shots you start to take when you’ve taken all of the pretty skyline shots.

“The Skater” May 7, 2018, Brooklyn, New York Fujifilm X100s, 23mm, f/8, 1/120, ISO 200   Earlier this year, I got a copy of Stephen Shore’s  Uncommon Places , and visited his  exhibition at MOMA . This composition was heavily influenced by that work. I love the detail of the lone skateboarder.

“The Skater” May 7, 2018, Brooklyn, New York
Fujifilm X100s, 23mm, f/8, 1/120, ISO 200

Earlier this year, I got a copy of Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places, and visited his exhibition at MOMA. This composition was heavily influenced by that work. I love the detail of the lone skateboarder.

“Verrazano Bridge” June 17, 2018. South Beach, Staten Island.  Fujifilm X Pro2, 14mm, f/8, 241 sec, ISO 200   Staten Island has incredible beaches. Who knew?

“Verrazano Bridge” June 17, 2018. South Beach, Staten Island.
Fujifilm X Pro2, 14mm, f/8, 241 sec, ISO 200

Staten Island has incredible beaches. Who knew?

“Greenport Sunrise” November 7, 2018, Greenport, Long Island Fujifilm XPro2, 14mm, f/4, 84 sec, ISO 200   It’s so hard to get out of bed at 4:30am for sunrise photography. But it’s (almost) always worth it. This minute and a half exposure was taken from the docks at Greenport Harbor on the North Fork of Long Island. The windows of  Barba Bianca  are boarded up due to massive flooding along the waterfront just a few days earlier.

“Greenport Sunrise” November 7, 2018, Greenport, Long Island
Fujifilm XPro2, 14mm, f/4, 84 sec, ISO 200

It’s so hard to get out of bed at 4:30am for sunrise photography. But it’s (almost) always worth it. This minute and a half exposure was taken from the docks at Greenport Harbor on the North Fork of Long Island. The windows of Barba Bianca are boarded up due to massive flooding along the waterfront just a few days earlier.

“Brooklyn Bridge Fog” April 4, 2018. East River, New York City Fujifilm XPro2, 35mm, f/4, 1/1500, ISO 200   There’s usually a whole city skyline in this shot. But on this morning, the fog was so thick, it created a white seamless backdrop behind the Brooklyn Bridge.

“Brooklyn Bridge Fog” April 4, 2018. East River, New York City
Fujifilm XPro2, 35mm, f/4, 1/1500, ISO 200

There’s usually a whole city skyline in this shot. But on this morning, the fog was so thick, it created a white seamless backdrop behind the Brooklyn Bridge.

“Smoke on the water” January 12, 2018. East River, New York City Fujifilm XPro2, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125, ISO 200    More wild weather, this time during my morning commute aboard the NYC Ferry. The low fog combined with mist on the water to make a fog sandwich.  Mmmm. Fog sandwich.

“Smoke on the water” January 12, 2018. East River, New York City
Fujifilm XPro2, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125, ISO 200

More wild weather, this time during my morning commute aboard the NYC Ferry. The low fog combined with mist on the water to make a fog sandwich.
Mmmm. Fog sandwich.

“Live fast” May 11, 2018. Greenpoint, Brooklyn Fujifilm XPro2, 14mm, f/8, 243 sec, ISO 200   This four minute long exposure was long enough to give the clouds over New York an epic motion blur. The semi-circle at the top of the frame was a happy accident - it’s caused by the rim of my lens reflecting back in the ND filter that I added to the front of my camera for the long exposure.  This photo was included in an article in FeatureShoot called  The Magic of Black and White in 27 photos     Thanks for reading! And if you want to see more, you can check out  2017’s Year in Review ,  2016's Year in Review ,  2105's Year in Review , or  2014's Year in Review . Or follow me on  Flickr  or  Instagram .

“Live fast” May 11, 2018. Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Fujifilm XPro2, 14mm, f/8, 243 sec, ISO 200

This four minute long exposure was long enough to give the clouds over New York an epic motion blur. The semi-circle at the top of the frame was a happy accident - it’s caused by the rim of my lens reflecting back in the ND filter that I added to the front of my camera for the long exposure.

This photo was included in an article in FeatureShoot called The Magic of Black and White in 27 photos

Thanks for reading! And if you want to see more, you can check out 2017’s Year in Review, 2016's Year in Review, 2105's Year in Review, or 2014's Year in Review. Or follow me on Flickr or Instagram.