Ribbon of Gold

My best photographs of 2022

A glance in the rearview mirror

In 2022, I threw my creative energy into several projects, including preparing for my debut exhibit at The Ansel Adams Gallery and writing magazine articles. Gary and I took our Arctic Fox truck camper to Death Valley, and also through central Oregon, and, finally, to Arizona, where we met up with a wonderful group of photographers for a ten-day rafting trip down the Colorado River through the belly of the Grand Canyon.

In September, I taught at my first in-person photography conference since the pandemic began. I then promptly caught Covid-19 at the conference, which I then passed lovingly onto Gary. (There are very few places to hide when traveling in a truck camper.)

When we recovered, we met up with our friends, Tim and Monique Wales, in the Eastern Sierra to photograph and enjoy the last cool days of Autumn. Otherwise, I continued to photograph in Yosemite every chance I got, including a mid-December trip to assist for Michael Frye’s Yosemite Winter workshop, where we experienced some awesome Winter conditions.

Following are some of my favorite photographs of the year. Let me know which ones are your favorites!

Top row: A quick trip to Yosemite Valley; Gary and I put on our best party clothes to celebrate our last evening in the Grand Canyon; Photographing the title picture of this blog post. Middle row: Our rig in Yosemite National Park; friends show up from near and far to attend the opening reception of my exhibit at The Ansel Adams Gallery. Bottom row: Gary on the Swinging Bridge, Wawona, CA; Our first day seeing the Grand Canyon; Ready for my “Meet & Greet the Artist” day  at The Ansel Adams Gallery.
“Sandstorm” — Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley National Park. My camera spent most of this morning safely in my bag, as the wind whipped up sand in my face. Photographically, sandstorms are a thing to behold, but I feared it would not be so good for my gear.
“The Wash” — Death Valley National Park. The wind was fierce this day, softening the distant mountains into painterly pastel shades.
“Deep Within” — Grand Canyon National Park. When we arrived at this lookout in the dark, early morning hours, I waited to catch my first glimpse of the Grand Canyon. As the sun began to rise, this is what I saw.
“Oasis” — Grand Canyon National Park. Of the myriad of beautiful sights inside the Grand Canyon are the many side canyons with hidden treasures.
“Our Way Is Lit” — Grand Canyon National Park. Looking downstream toward our “road” in the early morning light.
“Sacred Waters” — Grand Canyon National Park. Of the many creeks and rivers that feed the mighty Colorado, the most poetic must be the Little Colorado River. The waters from this river can either be muddy brown, or vibrant, turquoise blue, depending on current rainfall and runoff. We were lucky this day to see it at its best.
“Beneath The Oaks” — Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is famous for its towering cliffs and waterfalls, but if I had to name my favorite subject to photograph in the park, I would have to say it is the Black Oaks.
“Misty Morning” — Silver Lake, Eastern Sierra, CA. Having recovered from Covid-19, Gary and I were finally well enough to travel again. We caught the last bit of color clinging to the trees in the Eastern Sierra in late October.
“Winter Solstice” — Yosemite National Park. In mid-December near the Winter Solstice, the sun does not ever reach certain parts of Yosemite Valley, so snow clings to these trees longer than those in other areas of the park.
“Winter Blanket” — Yosemite National Park. There’s nothing prettier than Yosemite Valley underneath a fresh blanket of snow.
“Winter Coat” — Yosemite National Park. A series of Sierra storms coated Yosemite Valley in a soft blanket of snow.
“Raven in the Snow” — Yosemite National Park. Ravens are found in bonded pairs all over Yosemite Valley, working the tourists for handouts. They are incredibly intelligent birds and even recognize certain people. This one posed for me, probably instinctively knowing I’m a bird lover. Or, more likely, that I had snacks in my pocket.
“Bullet” — San Joaquin River, CA. Black Phoebe’s are one of my favorite birds. They are quick as lightening, agile, and aerodynamic flying machines.
“Resilience” — Yosemite National Park. I’m always impressed with the trees in Yosemite, not only for their beauty, but their resilience. The pines growing on this pinnacle must find enough water and nutrients to grow in solid granite.
“Tumbling” — Merced River, Yosemite National Park. Photographing moving water is great fun. Even a small difference in shutter speed will render a completely new image with unique characteristics.
“Misty Aspen Grove” — Eastern Sierra, CA. My friend, Monique Wales, is a talented artist and printmaker. We spent a couple of days exploring compositions among the Aspens, creeks, and willows of the Eastern Sierra. We both found this small Aspen grove to be quite photogenic!
“Starstruck” — Yosemite Valley. Sunstars are perhaps considered to be cliché to some, but it’s hard to resist photographing one when the conditions are just so.
“A Winter Wonder” — Yosemite National Park. I’ve photographed this grove countless times, and still, it never fails to impress me as conditions change throughout the seasons.
“Ribbon of Gold” — Grand Canyon National Park. The title piece of my blog today, this photograph may be my personal favorite of the year. But then, I have some wonderful memories of our ten days on this magnificent river. I usually try not to get attached to a memory or experience associated with my photographs, but watching the light fade on the Colorado was emotional. Our daily existence depended on our crew’s knowledge of the river and the current mood of each of the 80 named major rapids, lest the mighty Colorado swallow us whole. It was a humbling experience.


Charlotte Gibb is a contemporary fine art photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in landscapes of the Western United States. Her images are often taken in familiar places for the well-versed landscape photographer, but she prides herself on her keen eye toward the subtle and sometimes overlooked beauty of the natural world. Growing up among the beautiful mountains of Northern California, she considers herself a student of life, learning about people, nature, music, and photography along the way. But always, her life-long passion for the wilderness shines through it all. Charlotte earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and has exhibited her work in several solo shows throughout California. Her darkroom, long gone now, has been replaced with digital darkroom tools, and her style has evolved from a somewhat journalistic approach, to one that pays tribute to the natural world. 


  • Ed Scheff

    It is a beautiful and engaging collection – with wind, water, ice, plant life, time… – illustrating the very things that shaped the forms you’re photographing.

  • Christa Windefalk Ahlenblom

    Amazing! Your photographs are incredible – no words can describe the magic you capture✨️

    • charlottegibb

      Thanks, Jaime. Resilience was a surprise to me. At first I wasn’t sure it would have what it takes to have the emotional impact that I try to achieve, but then it blossomed in post processing.

  • Joyce

    Our way is lit is my favorite. I like the abstract shapes of the highlights and blues and also the portrait orientation. Beautiful!

  • David Kingham

    Wonderful collection of images Charlotte! I’m so glad we were able to spend some time together in Oregon. Looking forward to staying at Gary’s RV resort one of these days

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you, David! Yes, it was great to spend time with you and Jennifer in Oregon. I’m glad I didn’t give you Covid-19 when you were so kind to give me a ride back to camp!

    • Calvin Mora

      Happy new year Charlotte. Seeing what your eyes have managed to interpret and capture through a year is always a high point for me and this year is no disappointment. If I have to pick “Our way is lit”, and “Resilience” speak the wonder of the places you frequent to me.

  • Barbara Livieri

    Beautiful Charlotte! I think my favorite is also the “Ribbon of Gold”, but “Resilience” is mesmerising, as is “Sandstorm”. Stunning collection, thanks for sharing!

  • Joan

    I am going to answer your question as to which ones are my favorites. First, I must say all of these photographs are remarkable and are so consistent with your unique artistic eye. My favorites are: Oasis (absolutley fabulous!), Ribbon of Gold (almost takes my breath away), Winter Blanket (aah, so beautiful) and Raven in Snow (The textures and your rendition of the essence this marvelous bird intrigue me even more). Looking forward to the magnificent images you will be creatign in 2023.

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you, Joan, for taking the time to browse my collection and pick out your favorites. I have Ribbon of Gold printed and framed in our home as 20×30 (30×40 framed) and it really does have a lot of emotional impact. As for Raven in the Snow, Ravens are incredible birds, and so clever too. To the casual observer, they are simply a large, black bird. But, when you look more closely, you’ll notice the iridescence in their feathers. I love photographing them.

  • Alton Marsh

    I’ve been improving for six years and my photos are still at base camp while yours are at the summit. Very inspirational. My favs are Oasis, Our Way is Lirt, Winter Solstice, Winter Coat, Misty Aspen Groves, and Ribbon of Gold.

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m really glad to hear that you’ve been finding inspiration in my work. Photography is definitely a journey, and it can be tough to see progress sometimes, especially when comparing ourselves to others. But it’s important to remember that everyone has their own unique path and we all have our own strengths and weaknesses.

      I’m glad you enjoyed some of my photos, especially “Oasis”, “Our Way is Lirt”, “Winter Solstice”, “Winter Coat”, “Misty Aspen Groves”, and “Ribbon of Gold”. They are some of my favorites too. Thanks for mentioning them.

      It sounds like you’ve been working hard on your photography for six years, and that’s definitely something to be proud of. Keep pushing yourself, experimenting with new techniques, and challenging yourself to try new things. I believe that with persistence and hard work, you’ll be able to reach the summit with your own photos in no time.

  • Sue Perse

    So lovely as always! You have an amazing ability to capture truly beautiful images! Happy New Year and I wish you continued success in the new year.


    • charlottegibb

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate it! I’m glad you enjoyed the images, it means a lot to me that they are able to evoke such a positive reaction.

      I’m thrilled to hear that you think I have an “amazing ability to capture truly beautiful images”. Photography is my passion and I put a lot of hard work and effort into it, so it’s always rewarding to hear that it’s paying off.

      I wish you a Happy New Year as well! I’m looking forward to seeing what this new year brings for me and my photography, and I’m hopeful that it will be a successful one. Your support and encouragement means a lot to me, thank you again.

  • Elaine Calvert

    Can’t pick a favorite, they are all full of emotion, and reflect your style perfectly. Misty morning feels so much like coming out of isolation so it really speaks to me. I love the textures and flow of Tumbling, the blowing sands caught so beautifully in Sandstorm, the moods and dress of all the trees, and Ribbon of Gold with it’s light leading through the darkness.
    Best wishes for the New Year!

    • charlottegibb

      Wow, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and kind words! I’m touched that my work resonates with you and that you took the time to appreciate each photo individually, it means a lot to me. I’m glad that my photographs are able to evoke such a strong emotional response.
      Wishing you the best for the New Year as well!

  • Kevin Sink

    Stunning work Charlotte; such an identifiable and pleasing style. I always feel a combination of inspired, calmed and awed by your photographs. You can feel the spirit of these places in your imagery. For me it’s not about the photographer but if the spirit of the places shines through, and you do that so well!

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. I’m thrilled to hear that my work resonates with you in the way that it does. It’s a huge honor to be able to share my vision and interpretation of the places I photograph and to know that others can connect with it in their own way. Your words about feeling inspired, calmed, and awed by my photographs is truly humbling. Capturing the spirit of a place is something that I put a lot of focus on in my photography, and it’s wonderful to know that it comes across in my images. Thank you again for your support and encouragement.

  • Irene Searles

    Wonderful year of images! Your work is so gently captivating and gorgeous. I hope you have a great 2023!

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you, Irene! I am glad you enjoyed my work and I appreciate your support. I am looking forward to another great year in 2023. Thank you for taking the time to appreciate my work!

  • Paul Trotta

    Thank you ever so much for sharign these. My favorite iss “Ribbon of Gold” which draws me in into its exspanse light and beauty.

  • Paul M. Kavsak

    PLease conduct a “best of” yearly photo selection, much like Michael Frye’s.

    Beautiful collection.

  • Patricia

    What a year you had! Such a gorgeous collection of images. Very inspiring. It’s really hard to choose a favorite as I love them all! I always love your tree images. So great to see your canyon shots and dunes! Happy New Year!

  • Garry Fritz

    Beautiful photos. Your work is alway stunning. I espeacilly like your “Ribbon of Gold” photo. My wife and I did the same trip in August. The monsoon made for very muddy water but the trip was a bucket list event that was unforgettable. Your photo brings back some great memories.

  • Cathy Gage

    I came to just see if there was anything of importance in my email (all ready for bedey-bye)…then out of the blue was images from you, which I knew would not wait until tomorrow. So, not an early bedtime. As others have said, I have to agree that this is an amazing collection, (as my mind goes directly to OMG)…how to pick becomes so difficult. I loved what Kevin Sink had to say about the spirit that inhabits your photography. And thus, “Oasis” in those side canyons takes my breath away…the layers from the smallest to the largest…the color off the rocks with the movement of the water and accent of the greenery what holds me in the seeing. It seemed to me there were lots that looked more like painting instead of photography (I remember in those long years ago, we had have some kind of app to get that affect)…The Wash was my favorite of that affect. An lastly “Sacred Waters.” The waters and forever the viewer (the raven) are just as grabbing. I could probably go on about all the others, but I do need to sleep…thanks for gifting us with your spiritual sense and mastery of photography. I can hardly wait to go through them much more so I can decide what must stay with me. (Oh, and by-the-way, love the too-too.)

  • Lee Friedman

    My favorites (mind you, they’re all excellent and inspiring) are Resilence and Ribbon of Gold. I kept coming back to them and staring at them for quite some time.

    Love your work!

  • Nick Guilbert

    A spectacular collection, Charlotte! Exceptional work on all of these photos. Picking out a single favorite is very difficult!

    I love the curves and shading in “Sandstorm”, and “The Wash” really looked like a painting at first glance.
    But my favorite is “Resilience” for both aesthet

  • Nick Guilbert

    Wow, sorry about that!

    My favorite is “Resilience” for both aesthetic and thematic reasons. I find great inspiration from the story of those rugged trees. But they’re all magnificent, and I look forward to seeing this year’s crop!

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you, Nick! I’m so glad you enjoyed viewing all of the photos. It’s always a challenge to pick out a favorite, but I’m glad you were able to find one that resonates with you. I appreciate the specific feedback you provided on “Sandstorm” and “The Wash”. They are both special to me as well, and it’s great to know that they stood out to you as well. I’m particularly touched that “Resilience” is your favorite. That photo holds a special meaning to me and I’m glad it was able to inspire you. I’m so happy that you enjoyed the collection and look forward to seeing this year’s work. Thank you for your support!

  • Sarah Marino

    A wonderful collection of photos, Charlotte! River of Gold and Beneath the Oaks are my favorites but really enjoyed the full collection. Despite the unfortunate end to our time in Oregon, it was a pleasure to teach with you and I will always fondly remember that part of the experience. Cheers for a happy 2023 for you and Gary!

    • charlottegibb

      Thanks for taking the time to look through my year-end collection, Sarah. I also will always fondly remember our time teaching together in Oregon. At least we all survived Covid-19, and now have stories to tell about the experience, ha! Gary and I wish you and Ron an excellent 2023 too!

  • Franco Ameli

    Very Very beatifull photos! Delicate, evocative, intimate. You are a gently source of ispiration.
    I saw the collection several times in these dasy and my favorites change everytime; it’s depend on my mood probably that means photos are very intimate!
    Happy New Year!

    • charlottegibb

      I’m very glad to know that my photographs resonate with you and inspire you, Franco! Your comment is a great source of inspiration for me too, and I appreciate the time you took to write. Happy New Year to you as well! I hope that this year brings you joy, peace, and plenty of new inspiration for your own creative endeavors.

  • Greg P.


    You had a very productive 2022 shooting images; I particularly enjoyed “Winter Blanket”, “Beneath the Oaks”, and “Ribbon of Gold”…so, so lovely!

    However what you wrote for “Ribbon of Gold” confused me, and perhaps you can explain it further: “…I usually try not to get attached to a memory or experience associated with my photographs…”

    I am not sure why one would attempt this detachment…if I understand your meaning correctly…isn’t that what good photography is supposed to do, evoke a deep emotional response, or memory in the observer?

    It would seem to me that if an image we created did not evoke some memory or emotional response from either the photographer, or viewing audience, then maybe the experience, and image are better forgotten, all together?

    I look forward to seeing more of your images in 2023!


    • charlottegibb

      Hi Greg,

      Thank you for your kind words about my work and for your thoughtful questions. I appreciate your interest in understanding my approach to photography.

      When I wrote that I try not to get attached to a memory or experience associated with my photographs, I didn’t mean that I don’t want the photographs to evoke memories or emotional responses in the viewer. Rather, I meant that I don’t want my own personal memories or experiences to cloud my judgment when I’m creating the photograph or when I’m editing and sharing it.

      I believe that as photographers, we bring our own experiences and emotions to the process of creating a photograph. If we’re too attached to a particular memory or experience, it can be difficult to see the photograph objectively and make decisions about composition, lighting, and other technical aspects of the image. Similarly, if we’re too attached to a particular memory or experience, we may be inclined to share the photograph for sentimental reasons rather than for artistic reasons.

      I hope that clarifies my statement. Of course, it’s not always easy to detach oneself from one’s own memories and experiences, but I think that trying to maintain a certain level of objectivity can help to create stronger, more powerful images.

      I hope this makes sense to you and thank you again for your interest in my photography. I look forward to creating more images in 2023 as well!

      Best regards,

  • Matt McWright

    It’s just so lovely how the world quiets and my monkey mind settles while looking at your photos, Charlotte. Okay, maybe a little less so with Bullet..! Having just returned from a weekend in the Cascades, I’m partial to your winter shots, Solstice, Blanket and Coat. I feel like I can practically hear them. And just LOVE Ribbon of Gold, including that you shared a perspective shot of you taking that one. So gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you, Matt, for sharing your thoughts about my work. I still have many photos yet unprocessed from my time in Yosemite this Winter, so look for future posts about those pieces soon.

  • Randy Pollard

    Enjoying all of your images and the most that I like is the Oasis and Sandstorm, they are just outstanding but they all are! Can’t wait to see more of your new images soon.

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you for your kind words! I am glad you enjoy my images, particularly the Oasis and Sandstorm. I will continue to create new and exciting images for you to enjoy in the future. Thank you for following my work!