It wasn’t easy, choosing a single photo out of all those submitted to ADVrider’s Photos of the Week page.

Skimming through hundreds of pictures submitted in 2023, we found ourselves stopping and admiring individuals many times. Some photos were startling in their intensity or subject matter, some were funny, some were examples of thoughtful composition and others were brilliant in their use of light.

But what IS a good photograph? Newspaper and magazine editors have struggled with the concept for decades, and the precise definition is elusive. It should catch the eye, sure, but it should also say something about the subject of the moment, and say it in a unique way. For us at ADVrider, it came down to three functions: it should be beautiful, it should tell us something about adventuring aboard a motorcycle, and it should teach us a little geography, or maybe geology.

We started with those criteria, and then added a couple more: it should have a motorcycle in the frame, somewhere, and it should not be a selfie, not something shot with a phone using its back-side camera. And with those rules laid out, we started selecting pictures from the past year of POTW. The title shot, by @PvtPts, appeared in the March 3 edition of Photos of the Week, and we selected it because it stood out brilliantly against the other photos, and also against the land and sky masses around it. @PvtPts shot the pic in October 2022 on a dual sport ride in Utah, on a trail named M&M, a location suggested by a park ranger on a Husqvarna. In this shot, you get a sense of the vastness of Utah’s landscape, and you get the light, captured in that brilliant red dirt and those dark-bottomed clouds spreading across a wonderful blue sky.

The winning shot is, of course, not the only really good photograph submitted to ADVrider in 2023, and may not even be the best—it’s simply the photo that we chose after blurring our vision across hundreds of pictures. We think it’s a standout, but you may have your own opinions about the photos in this part of ADVrider’s site. What do you think? Let us know if you agree with us, or if you like one of the following images better.

We picked out 12 photographs and from those we did our best to select a winner. You might like another among this group, or even a POTW photo that you spotted some time in the past year that we didn’t select, for whatever reason. And please let us be clear about one thing: if a photo didn’t make it onto this list, that does not mean it isn’t a very good picture; it just means we didn’t select it, and we are not perfect judges, so if you think the best photo of the year lies elsewhere in these pages, you might be right. Let us know what you think!

Here are the other 11 pictures we struggled to choose from.

From @boozewz, a shot taken in Saudi Arabia on a seven-day off-road tour. This photo appeared in the Feb. 10 POTW.

From @Gemel, a shot taken in 2022 on a three-week ride to Napa, California.

@Gladdy_moto submitted the following shot, taken on a Sunday ride to the Crazy Mountains in Montana.

Here is one from @Lapchik, taken in Maplewood State Park in Minnesota. On the way there, he had just stopped to help a small turtle make it across the road.

Here is a shot from @Out4adv, taken in France while riding the cols.



Below, a shot from @Peter640, taken recently in the Italian Alps.



And another from @Peter640, also taken recently in the Italian Alps.



From @Shaggie, a photo in the Akaroa Harbout area of New Zealand.



From @Zubb, a shot of a blow hole in the northern Baja peninsula. “Standing next to them as they rumbled and blew was an experience I’ll never forget.”



Overlooking Lake Powell from Alstrom Point in Arizona. Submitted by @Skunk-Works.



And finally, a night at Joshua Tree National Park in southern California, the shot submitte by @ Scotty707.



And there you have it: our choice for picture of the year. What do you think? Let us know if we got it right, or if you have another image in mind for the title of ADVrider Photo of the Year.


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