It is that time of year again when many of us not only look forward to new beginnings and making resolutions for the next 12 months, but also look back on the challenges and successes that the previous year brought with it. 2014 was certainly full of both.
Like most full time travel photographers, I spend a good portion of the year on the road, but this year was a bit different. While I was probably gone for the same amount of time as usual (4-5 months in total), I didn’t visit a ton of different locations. In fact, I went back to the same places alot. Why? Because projects, workshops and marketing campaigns kept me exploring and revisiting specific locations. How crazy was it? Ultimately I found myself in Iceland four times, the Canadian Rockies twice, The Big Island of Hawaii twice, Yosemite National Park for a few weeks and spent a month in Australia.
While I certainly have no room to complain as these locations are beyond gorgeous and I was able to get some of the best images of my career, the truth is that I missed the diversity in locations that I am generally used to, something I will certainly change for 2015. In addition, I normally make it a point to cross off a number of “bucket list” locations and experiences each year, even if that means pursuing personal projects over paid gigs. In 2014 I was able to visit Iceland in the Winter (knocking off both the Northern Lights and Ice caves from my list), capture the frozen methane bubbles in Abraham Lake (located in Alberta, Canada), document the incredible light show event of “Vivid Sydney” + explore Christmas Island (home to millions of red crabs), both in Australia and have my first adventure on The Big Island of Hawaii. Of course, even though I was able to cross off these six items from my “bucket list” this year, I also probably added another 50…which is evidence that while I might never complete my “bucket list”…I am certainly going to have fun trying 🙂
So how is 2015 shaping up so far? Pretty awesome so far with most of the year already booked out well in advance. Right now, it looks like I have return trips to: Iceland (2x), Abraham Lake in Winter, Fiji, Colorado for Fall Colors and Myanmar with new trips and experiences in Japan, Norway, Ethiopia, Namibia and the PNW (Oregon & Washington) in the Spring time.
As many of you may know, a good portion of my income as a photographer is working closely with companies, brands and destinations to create digital marketing campaigns (both stills and video) with a focus on various social platforms (G+, FB, Instagram, Twitter). This year I had a lot of fun creating these campaigns and exploring a wide variety of locations in the process.
One of the first campaigns I ran in 2014 was with Visit California with a focus on Yosemite National Park. I spent two weeks in Yosemite in the Spring, bringing a film crew with me, to create content for their massive Dream Big campaign. The result, outside of a large collection of images, was this 2.5 minute film about Yosemite and my family’s history with this iconic park.
To wrap things up, I ran two separate campaigns with Travel Alberta in the Canadian Rockies, one in February in the heart of winter and the other in fall, both of which were amazing and offered unique experiences exploring one of my new favorite mountain regions in the world. While I completed an incredible 4 minute video piece on the Canadian Rockies through these projects, it hasn’t been released publicly, so I can’t share it with you just yet, but it is coming 🙂
This isn’t generally a topic of discussion for my year in review posts but it is certainly worth noting this year. While I continue to use a variety of different camera gear, this is the first year that I have mostly moved to a mirrorless camera system, namely Sony’s mirrorless options (a7r, a7s, a6000). While I have still found myself reaching for a DSLR for certain circumstances, such as wildlife and sports photography, moving to a mirrorless system has greatly helped my photography improve. Not only because I love the sensors that Sony is using these days, but because the gear itself is just so much lighter and more portable than anything I have used historically. This allows me to more easily carry my gear into locations that might of not been possible before, such as when working off the grid or on projects in difficult to reach/travel locations. As technology continues to increase, I have a feeling that more and more photographers will make the move to mirrorless, freeing up space in our camera packs and easing the tension we hold in our shoulders from lugging our gear from location to location.
My Favorite Images of 2014
Here is a collection of 14 of my favorite images from 2014. Ultimately these images might not be my “best” images of the year nor are they images that garnered the most social media love (in fact most haven’t ever been shared publicly), but they do represent the beauty and experiences I had as I explored various different countries and locations this past year. Be sure to click on each image to enlarge it. Enjoy!
Share Your Favorite Images of 2014
If you have links to your favorite images from 2014, leave them in the comments below along with a little details about what you are sharing.
I wish you all happy shooting in 2015!