Photography, Yearbooks

Twenty Nineteen: In retrospect

Twenty nineteen. I spent a lot less time creating and more time teaching, speaking, and writing about photography. I said my final goodbyes to my dear sister, Nancy. My husband and I said farewell to our software company of 33 years and all our beloved employees. And, we buried our sweet, 18-year-old kitty.

It was a year that brought a lot of change. I fed my soul in Yosemite and the mountains at every opportunity.

There will be some changes in 2020. More laughter. More creating. More learning. More doing the things I love with the people I love.

Below is a collection of some of my favorite photographs from 2019. Which images resonate most with you?

“El Capitan Emerges,” Yosemite
“Decay” — Yosemite
“A Tiny Half Dome” — Lower Yosemite Fall
“Spirit Bird” — Wawona, Yosemite National Park
“Room 504” — Yosemite Valley
“Bridalveil Fall After The Rain” — Yosemite
“The Awakening” — Yosemite
“Speaking of Trees” — Great Smoky Mountains National Park
“California’s Autumn Aspens” — Eastern Sierra, California
“Heavenly Light” — Upper Yosemite Fall, Yosemite
“High Surf Advisory” — Jupiter Island, Florida
“Strident” — Eastern Sierra, California
“Ahwahnee Meadow Cottonwoods in Snowstorm” — Yosemite Valley
“The Shape of Light” — Yosemite Valley
“Bridalveil Fall Winter Into Spring” — Yosemite Valley
“Ponderosa Pines and Dogwood” — Yosemite
“Radiant Life” — Mt. Shasta, CA
“The Water Returns” — Upper Yosemite Fall
“Black Oak Tapestry” — Yosemite
And, finally, “Silver Night” — Yosemite, under the light of a full moon.


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. 


  • Ann Varley

    Incredible collection, but the one that touched me is “Ponderosa Pines and Dogwood.” I could stare into this for hours. The textures, the movement of light across and through, the contrast of the delicate dogwood blossoms against the bark of pine, the towering trees against the petite. It’s glorious! I want to stand there and just simply be …

    Your work inspires me as I hope to improve my own photography of Yosemite this year. –Ann

    • charlottegibb

      I’m really glad to hear that you like “Ponderosa Pines and Dogwood.” I love that piece too, but not everyone gets it. It is such a quiet, contemplative subject and composition. It’s not meant to wow you, but to engage you, draw you in, and provide a place for the mind to quiet itself. That’s how I feel when I’m in Yosemite. Good luck with your own creative journey, Ann!

  • Miles Lowry

    Love all your images, but recognize how tough the Smokies shot was. You gotta be there in Springtime… otherwise its a dense curtain of green.
    Eliiot Porter would be proud of your work!

    • charlottegibb

      Thanks, Miles! Yes, the Smokies were beautiful and a bit challenging. I was there in Spring, which helped, but I had been hoping for fog. Alas, nature provided mostly clouds and rain during my brief visit there. Still, it was lovely and I enjoyed the hiking and exploring.

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you, Rajesh. As I reviewed my images, it seems that I was especially drawn to waterfalls in 2019! I had to leave some images out of the collection because it was getting rather lopsided!

  • Rebecca Latson

    All of these are gorgeous, but the two that resonate with me the most are the El Capitan Emerges and the Autumnal Aspens images. If you asked me why, I couldn’t give you a concrete reason. Then again, there is more of a feeling than a concrete reason when looking at art that resonates with a person, I believe.

    • charlottegibb

      Thanks, Rebecca. I try hard to convey emotion through my work, and sometimes people connect with it, and sometimes not. It’s interesting how we love Aspen trees. I am drawn to them as a subject and have photographed them countless times. Like you, I’m not sure why they resonate so deeply with me. They just do.

  • Sarah

    My two favorites are “The Shape of Light” and “El Capitan Emerges.” In “The Shape of Light,” you capture the edge of light perfectly, but there’s also something in the composition that really emphasizes the epic scale of the place. I assume it’s Yosemite, but it looks even more massive than I would normally think of it. In “El Capitan Emerges,” it’s all about the tones for me. The softness and the hints of pink are so relaxing and mysterious. Makes me want to go back and re-edit some of my images (and do more sunrise shots, which the kids won’t appreciate…ha).

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you, Sarah! Yosemite poses a photographic challenge, for sure. The scale of the place can be difficult to convey in a single image. I’m still trying to say things about the place photographically that I haven’t said yet.

  • Sarah Marino

    Such a beautiful collection of photos, Charlotte. You are a master of capturing grace and elegance in nature. I am sorry for all of the losses you experienced in 2019 and hope that 2020 is filled with more joy and less sadness.

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you, so much, Sarah. Twenty nineteen was an interesting year, with lots of ups and downs. The camera is my therapy and nature is my sanctuary. I’m very grateful for these gifts. I’m hoping we can catch up with one another this year!

  • Claudia

    Charlotte, what a beautiful group of images! Even with the ups and devastating downs of 2019, you’re always able to find and share nature’s beauty wherever you go. Wishing you even more gifts from nature in 2020!

    • charlottegibb

      Thank you, Claudia. Twenty-nineteen was indeed a crazy year, but the gift of nature provided a steady source of peace for me. Twenty-twenty is shaping up to be a pretty good year!

  • Todd Henson

    I love the warmth within the cold of “El Capitan Emerges,” and the quiet music of “Radiant Life.” This is a beautiful collection, Charlotte. I wish you all the best in 2020.

    • charlottegibb

      I’m glad to hear that you like “Radiant Life,” Todd. It’s one of my more quiet pieces from the Mt. Shasta, CA area — the place of my childhood and very near and dear to my heart.