2016 – My Favorite Images of the Year

It is that time of year once again where all of us look back at the last 365 days and reflect on our experiences, adventures, challenges, and accomplishments. For me, 2016 was a year of both adventure and change. I was able to explore countless countries including Cuba, Iceland, Norway, Chile and Argentina while also taking much of the last half of the year off to be with my family as we moved from Boulder, Colorado to Eastern Pennsylvania. After years of extensive travel throughout each given 12 month cycle, it was nice to take a bit of a break and spend more time with those that matter most to me.

While some might think that all of this would have cut into the success and momentum of my various photography businesses, the truth is that my companies made more money in 2016 than any other year previously. It looks like my mantra of “working smarter….but not harder” is starting to pay off! 😉

Photographing glaciers in the South of Iceland this past winter
Photographing glaciers in the South of Iceland this past winter

As for life moving into 2017, I couldn’t be more excited about what is to come. I start off the year teaching a series of new classes on “Social Media for Photographers” with Creative Live (January 18th & 19th) before starting my busy photography workshop schedule: Iceland Winter Wonderland (Feb 15th – 21st), Lofoten Islands in Winter (Feb 25th – March 3rd), Cuba Alpha Universe Experience (March 12th – 19th), Wild Patagonia (April 5th – 14th), two Iceland Summer Adventures (June 24th – July 1st & July 2nd – 9th) and Myanmar (November 2017). In addition, I am working closely with ON1 Software on a number of great projects and I will be rounding out the year creating a number of new eBooks/Video Tutorials as well as working on a few large marketing campaigns for both tech and tourism based entities. I am also looking forward to adding a number of new locations to my passport in 2017, including Uganda, Ethiopia, India and Antarctica.

Photographer Northern Lights Iceland
Photo of me photographing the Northern Lights. Photo by Toby Harriman

I am also excited to see my humanitarian photography company, The Giving Lens, continue to grow and see success. For those that do not know, TGL is an organization that blends photo education with support for sustainable development initiatives in developing countries around the world. We partner with local NGOs that are fighting for a variety of different causes, such as youth education, clean drinking water projects, species preservation, women’s rights and much more. Each trip acts as a fundraiser for the NGOs and communities we work in.

In 2017 TGL is offering once in a lifetime experiences to Peru, Thailand, Tanzania, Cuba, India, Morocco, Cambodia, Nicaragua and Jordan. For more information, be sure to check out The Giving Len’s Website/Instagram/Facebook.

Favorite Images of 2016

After looking back over the 25,000 images I took last near across 4 different continents and a variety of different countries, I was able to narrow down 16 of my favorite images of the year. These photos might not be my best images taken in 2016 nor the ones that brought in the most money via licenses…but I do love how they remind me of the experiences I had that made 2016 unique. I hope you enjoy!

Bruarfoss Waterfall in Winter in Iceland by Colby Brown
Bruarfoss Waterfall in Winter – Iceland
Sony a7R II – Sony 16-35 f/4 FE – ISO 100 | f/11 | 1.6 Sec
Cuban Tobacco Farmer – Vinales
Sony a7R II – Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM – ISO 1600 | f/2.8 | 1/125th Sec
Crystal Ice Cave – Iceland
Sony a7R II – Sony 16-35 f/4 FE – ISO 100 | f/13 | Multi-image blend
Cerro Torre Sunrise Panorama – Patagonia
Sony a7R II – Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM – ISO 100 | f/5 | 30 Secs
Jokulsarlon, Iceland
Sunrise Iceberg Glow – Jokulsarlon, Iceland
Sony a7R II – Sony 16-35 f/4 FE – ISO 100 | f/11 | 1/6 Sec
Aerial Abstract, Iceland
Sony a7R II – Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM – ISO 1000 | f/4 | 1/1000th Sec
Laguna Amarga, Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile
Laguna Amarga Sunrise Panorama – Torres del Paine, Chile
Sony a7R II – Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM – ISO 64 | f/16 | 2 Secs
Grimsey Island, Iceland
Puffin Feeding – Grimsey Island, Iceland
Sony a6300 – Sony 70-200 f/4 FE – ISO 100 | f/5 | 1/500th Sec
Skogafoss, Iceland
Aurora Above Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland
Sony a7S II – Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Loxia – ISO 1600 | f/2.8 | 20 Secs
Sunrise Reine, Lofoten Islands of Norway
Sony a7R II – Sony 16-35 f/4 FE – ISO 100 | f/11 | 2.5 Sec
Highlands Aerial, Iceland
Sony a7R II – Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM – ISO 200 | f/4.5 | 1/1000 Sec
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile - Patagonia
Sunrise Over Torres del Paine, Chile
Sony a7S II – Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Loxia – ISO 160 | f/11 | 1/5th Sec
Sunset over Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland
Sony a7R II – Sony 16-35 f/4 FE – ISO 100 | f/11 | 1/3 Sec
Dead Tree Sunset – Torres del Paine, Chile
Sony a7R II – Sony 16-35 f/4 FE – ISO 100 | f/16 | 13 Secs
Iceberg Sunrise – Jokulsarlon, Iceland
Sony a7R II – Sony 16-35 f/4 FE – ISO 100 | f/14 | .5 Sec
Vesturhorn Panorama, South Iceland
Sony a7R II – Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM – ISO 100 | f/11 | 1/160th Sec

Camera Gear Used

Here is a list of the gear I used to create all of the images in this blog post.



Sony a7R II Sony a7S IISony a6300



Sony 16-35 f/4 FESony 24-70 f/2.8 GMSony 70-200 f/4 FE

Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GMZeiss 21mm f/2.8 Loxia



Induro CLT 304LInduro CLT 104Induro BHL 2 Ballhead



Formatt Hitech 105 CPLFormatt HiTech 6 Stop Firecrest NDFormatt HiTech 2 Stop GND

Colby Brown Photography Landscape Edition Signature Filter Kit

Share Your Favorite Images of 2016

In the comments below, I would love to see some of your favorite images of 2016. Feel free to upload photos in the comments and or leave hyperlinks back to your own collection of 2016 images you are proud of![/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

About the Author

Upcoming Photo Workshop Adventures...

A cheetah image captured in the wild in Namibia by Colby Brown during a Photography Workshop

Namibia Photography Workshop

October 12th – 24th, 2022
Namibia is home to some of the most incredible desert landscapes and wildlife on the planet. From the great sand dunes of Sossusvlei to the remote Himba tribes of Northern Namibia to the amazing mixture of wildlife found in the country, Namibia is a photographers paradise. Here you will find large populations of cheetahs, lions, rhino, elephants, buffalo and much more!

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall Iceland Summer Photo Workshop

Iceland Summer Photography Workshop

July 8th – 13th, 2023
Visiting Iceland in the Summer is one of the best times to explore this amazing country. Not only are lupines in bloom and waterfalls at peak flow, but the midnight sun provides endless hours of soft beautiful light as sunset and sunrise converge, often providing up to 6 hrs of golden light each evening!

Enjoy a Cerro Torre Sunrise at the Patagonia Photography Workshop Adventure with Colby Brown

Patagonia Photo Workshop – Argentina Edition

April 14th – 23rd, 2024
Patagonia is one of the most wild, beautiful & dramatic mountain ranges on the planet. We split our time between the incredible Torres del Paine National Park in Southern Chile and Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, home to both Cerro Torre and Mt. Fitz Roy.

Leknes Northern Lights Lofoten Islands Norway Photo Workshop

Norway Photo Workshop – Lofoten Islands

February 22nd – March 1st, 2025
Join us this February as we explore this impressive series of Islands located above the Arctic Circle. While we will work hard to get you in the right spot for both sunrise and sunset, with over half the day steeped in darkness, we will make sure to chase any and all Aurora activity that presents itself throughout our time in the Lofoten Islands.

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