I was going through my photos the other day, doing a little organizing. So I figured I’d join in on the “Top 2014” posts and post my favorite landscape/outdoor photos of 2014.
How Did 2014 and Photography Go For Me?
Overall I think 2014 was a good photography year for me. I didn’t count how many days I traveled but I was happy that I don’t think it was as much as the years before. Somehow I still ended up with 155,000 miles on Delta last year. I did get to take a couple of trips I’ve wanted to for a long time. One trip was to Oneonta Gorge back in May. Another trip (on the same day) was to Thors Well. And finally, I got to photography Mt. Rainier at a really nice time of year. I also got to take a trip to southeastern Oregon which has been on my list for years. So overall, it was a good year of photography.
Are These My Best Photos Yet?
I don’t think this is my best work ever. I got some great shots, but I’ll probably only use 2-3 of them in my official portfolio. While I got to go to some really great places, weather conditions weren’t always ideal. Lots of clear skies or just blah weather. I’ll even replace a sky when I can, but sometimes it just doesn’t look right. But overall, I’m a happy guy with the results. In fact, putting them on this blog post makes me even happier after I see the collection of all the work and time spent.
Did I Get Better?
Did I get better? Definitely! I really feel like I’ve refined my use of ND filters for long exposure. When I first started using ND’s, I tended to overuse them. But I’ve really gotten a good feeling of when I need them and when I don’t. I also think I my understand of composition has changed. I’m understanding what works in a landscape photo way beyond just the rule of thirds. And as I’m looking for the right spots to shoot, I feel I’m looking at light differently than I had, and how it’s going to affect the photo and my composition.
Most photos were taken with my Canon 5D Mark III kit. I think the Mt. Rainier and Seattle photos were with a Nikon D800.
• My Most-Used Lens: Canon 24-70mm, with the 16-35 close behind.
• Tripod: Really Right Stuff TVC-33 with BH-55 Ballhead
• Filters: Mostly the Tiffen 2,3, or 4 Stop ND Filters
• Filters: Sometimes the Little Stopper 6-Stop ND
The Best of 2014
Okay, here goes. And they’re in no particular order. I’m just numbering them because I’ll forget and post too many or too little. And some people would just count ahead of time and not actually write what I just wrote, but hey… with me… you get it all 😉
(Don’t forget to Click to see each photo larger)
1) Mt. Rainier – Myrtle Falls
This is one of my favorites. To me, it has it all. Good foreground, nice light, wildflowers in the distance, and the first light of the day on Mt. Rainier.
2) Mt. Rainier – Myrtle Falls
A pulled back view of the photo above. The above photo was taken from just to the left of the bridge you see in this photo.
3) Oneonta Gorge
This was a bucket list location for me and did it deliver. I got way more than I expected. I wrote more about this trip here if you want to read and see more photos. It was definitely a fun one.
4) Oneonta Gorge
Another photo as I waded my way toward the falls for the photo above. Again, more photos about this photo trip here.
5) Alvord Desert Sunset
Taken at sunset on a trip with some friends to the Alvord desert. Was a really cool place. We set up camp for 2 days just a few hundred yards from here so it was easy to get in place to shoot.
6) Downtown Los Angeles
This is a pretty popular spot to shoot downtown LA from. As many times as I’ve been to LA though, I’d never shot it before this year. Overall, I was really happy with it.
7) Thors Well
Getting here from Portland, OR is a long drive. And once you get there, you’ve got to make sure you time the sunset to the tides. If the tides don’t cooperate at sunset, then you just get a hole in the ground (trust me, I’ve been there). But we made the trip this evening because we knew the tide would be high enough to get the shot. Getting to this photo also goes down as one of my stupidest moments of 2014 (actually the last few years). I ended up spraining my ankle pretty bad. And believe it or not, 7 months later, I can still feel it. Here’s more to the story if you want.
8) China Walls – Oahu
I got the chance to take a trip to Hawaii this past summer and this turned out to be my first photo shoot of the trip, and one of my favorites. All I can say is that you wouldn’t believe the size of the wave coming at you to get all of that water cascading on those walls like you see here. It’s pretty intimidating to stand there for it, even though I could duck behind the wall you see to the left.
9) Makapuʻu Beach, Oahu
Another shot from sunrise one morning, just about 20 minutes outside of Honolulu.
10) Mt. Rainier
A short hike in Mt. Rainier to this lake treated me to a perfect reflection and sunrise.
11) Downtown Seattle
I photographed this one for my Photography Cityscapes class that just went up on KelbyOne.com. I love the curve of the highway as it goes toward downtown Seattle. The the sunset was gorgeous so I got lucky with some really nice clouds and color too.
12) Honeymoon Island – Dunedin, FL
This is sunset at Honeymoon Island, which is just about 20 minutes from my home. I’ve been there more times than I can count, but never got a sunset, tide and color like this evening.
13) Sandy Beach Park, Oahu
There’s something about the pattern of water coming up toward the camera that grabs me about this photo. And it’s just seconds before me getting really wet 🙂
14) Lanai Point, Oahu
I had to put this in because it’s one of the most beautiful sunrises I saw all year.
Okay, I know I said above that I was numbering them so I kept track and didn’t go over my 14 photo limit. So what do you do when you realize you have more than 14 photos that you like from the year? You make an honorable mention section at the bottom of the post 🙂
Sunset Along the Bay in Dunedin, FL
Wow! That’s Way More Than 14 Photos!
You like how I snuck those extras in there? I literally wrote this post and grabbed photos as I went along, and that’s what happens. Again, I probably shouldn’t write these things and let you think that was all part of the plan. Maybe I could have called the post my best 23 photos of 2014 but that doesn’t have the same “ring” to it 🙂
I guess at the end of the day I have more photos that I like from 2014 than I thought (that’s a good problem right). Anyway, hope you enjoyed a look back through my year in photography. I’d love to see yours so if you have one, just post it here in the comments. And if you don’t have one, well what’re you waiting for! 🙂
Have a good one!