Daily Ray of Hope

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  • Daily Ray of Hope

    The Sierra Club's Daily Ray of Hope showcases the work of photographers (both professional and amateur) who understand the restorative power of a breathtaking nature photograph. Every day, we deliver one photo from the Daily Ray of Hope Flickr pool to inboxes, as a way to show appreciation for the places and creatures we're trying to protect. To celebrate the photographic community that has supplied us with hope all year, we've compiled a slideshow of some of 2012's highlights. Check out the Flickr group to see more amazing shots or sign up for the email to get a daily reminder that Earth is an amazing place.

    This photo of a great egret was captured with a Nikon D7000 by Ronnie Goyette at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Clearwater, Florida. "I wanted to visit because it sounded like it would be a great place to photograph birds. They treat and release over 10,000 birds a year, it is the home of 600 birds, and they breed permanently disabled birds in the hopes of releasing offspring back into nature," Goyette says. "However, I was very surprised to find a large population of wild birds hanging out on the overhanging trees, fences and other structures. The great egret I photographed was wild, preening on one of these trees. He was quite comfortable having people around and didn't seem to mind me being almost underneath him when I took this photo. Egrets are one of my favorite birds to photograph because of their grace and beauty, and although I have many photos of them, this was my first of this type of pose."

  • Daily Ray of Hope

    Dave Toussaint snapped this shot in Sedona, Arizona, using a Canon 20D with a polarizing filter. He then edited the image in Photoshop for an "high-dynamic-range-type look." The photographer says that "the sudden buildup of clouds was a joy to see."

  • Daily Ray of Hope

    Howard Ignatius, a retired high-tech marketing executive from Morro Bay, California, took this photo of Crater Lake in Oregon after a June snowfall. He used a Nikon D4 on a tripod with a 24–70mm f/2.8 lens. The five-shot high-dynamic-range image was post-processed in Lightroom and Photomatix Pro software. Ignatius shares his love of photography with others through teaching and community service. "My wife, Barb, and I were co-chairs this year for a nonprofit photography event called the Morrow Photo Expo. Most committee members, organizers, instructors, and facilitators are volunteers who share a strong sense of community, a passion for photography, and a love of our area's abundant natural beauty," Ignatius says. "This year, we raised over $8,000 for scholarships and cameras for local high school students, and we purchased equipment for a wildlife educational program run by the Morro Bay Natural History Museum."

  • Daily Ray of Hope

    In May, Steve Corey traveled to Tárcoles, Costa Rica, with friends from the San Luis Obispo Camera Club, where he snapped this image of birds in flight. "We had a wonderful trip and were rewarded with beautiful images from one coastal and two cloud forest areas," Corey says. "And yes, we are all still great friends!" He used a Nikon D7000 camera with a 120–400mm Sigma telephoto lens ("ISO 320, 1/2000 sec, f/5.3, handheld, no flash"). "I used the panning technique with spot focus to track the birds in flight," he says. "It was wonderful to see the abundance of wildlife that is thriving in the forest and wetlands of Costa Rica."

  • Daily Ray of Hope

    When Andy Porter captured this image of the north side of Rock Pass along the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington State's Pasayten Wilderness, it wasn't the first time he had marveled at the region's beauty. "Several years ago I traveled on the route as part of a long trip and vowed to return to this specific section," Porter says. "The sprawling meadows, interspersed with the trees and punctuated by the stark, craggy peaks, beckoned me to return." The photographer used a Canon EOS Rebel T2i with a Canon 15–85mm lens for the photo. "True wilderness is such a valuable commodity," Porter adds. "The peace and beauty of the Pasayten (or any wilderness, for that matter) is the essence of hopefulness."

  • Daily Ray of Hope

    Darrell Wyatt snapped this image near the Columbia River in Cascade Locks, Oregon, with a Nikon D7000. "I was waiting for the sunset when I noticed this family of Canadian geese watching the sunset as well," Wyatt says. "The goslings stuck close together, while the parents kept close watch. As I approached the family, the parents took up their position between me and their offspring. I loved how they were being protective and very suspicious of this 'paparazzi.'"

  • Daily Ray of Hope

    One of Sean Patrick Peck's life goals is to photograph every U.S. national park. During his first visit to Yellowstone, he captured this image with a 10–24 Tamron wide-angle lens (ISO 200mm, f/6.3 and 1/160 sec). It wasn't the image he'd originally set out to capture: "I had spent over two hours in the rain watching a wolf pack across the valley stalk a herd of elk," Peck says. "Eventually, for whatever reason the wolf pack decided not to strike. I decided to return to my campsite. As I was driving, the sun came out enough to light up this valley, and my eyes were drawn to the clouds. Then I saw this pool of water along the side of the road. I pulled over, walked down a small hill, and saw the clouds in the sky beautifully reflected in the water—and snapped a few photos as the mosquitoes bit," he says. "This photo makes me hopeful because, it's one of my favorite photos, and I almost didn't stop along the road. It's those spur-of-the-moment decisions in life that can be so surprisingly beautiful and insightful."

  • Daily Ray of Hope

    On a March morning following a snowstorm, Doug McMillen snapped this photo in Yosemite National Park. "I was standing in the valley, looking up and admiring the granite walls and Yosemite Falls, when the sun came out for a moment, and lit up the scene."

  • Daily Ray of Hope

    Joseph Cator took this photo in the early-morning light at Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota with a Nikon D80 camera, using a Nikkor 80–200mm f/2.8 lens. "There always seems to be a lot of activity along the 'Wildlife Loop' road," Cator says. "This is good place to find the herds of buffalo. Observing and photographing wildlife and foliage always makes me feel hopeful."

    To share your photos with the Daily Ray of Hope community, visit our Flickr group. To receive photos like these in your inbox, sign up for our Daily Ray of Hope email.