2015 Year in Review (Sarah)

In looking back on my life 6 or 7 years ago, it is still a little hard to believe that 2015 took the form that it did. Back then, after finding myself in a variety of unpleasant personal and professional situations, I started talking about the desire to travel more, with the vague idea of travel representing an opportunity to live a more fulfilling life. While this process took years to fully realize, 2015 feels like the culmination of a lot big decisions and changes that together, feel like a much better path.  

When we bought our Airstream trailer in late 2014, we set the loose goal of living a semi-nomadic life by traveling for about half of the year. For 2015, we slightly exceeded that goal. We visited Joshua Tree National Park, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Organ Pipe National Monument, Olympic National Park, the Oregon coast, Redwoods National Park, the Alvord desert (southeastern Oregon), southwestern Colorado (around Crested Butte, Ridgway, and Telluride), Iceland in autumn, Californiaโ€™s Eastern Sierra, Yosemite National Park, and Death Valley National Park, plus some time in Houston and San Francisco for work-related travel. We spent at least a week (and often much more) in almost all of these places, photographing most days.

While seeing all these places has been an important part of our experience, the best part has been feeling like I am living the life I want to live. Being away from home and the routine that comes along with it has brought a lot of clarity about what aspects of life are most important and how I can better align my time with those priorities.

If 2015 was a year of transition, adjustment, and learning, I hope that 2016 will be a year of refinement. I still have not figured out how to balance travel with the need to get work done since having nature right at our doorstep can be distracting (like right now: dramatic, textured storm clouds over Death Valley are calling my name!). My backlog of images gets more overwhelming by the day and I have not figured out a good way to keep up with processing photographs, writing, and meeting some other goals (I am great at taking photos but not so great at the parts that come afterward). And, importantly, finding the confidence to try photography as a full-time professional endeavor has continued to be elusive, but this might just be the year where I finally decide to make that transition as well.

ABOUT THE PHOTOS

Since I have not processed many of my potentially favorite photographs from 2015, this selection is meant to be a small representation of some of the places we visited and photographed. If you have any particular favorites, please let me know in the comments. It is always interesting to see which photographs resonate with others.

And, finally, cheers to a happy 2016 and thank you for your continued support of my photography. 

1. Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park

1. Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park

2. Mono Lake, California

2. Mono Lake, California

3. Redwoods National Park, California

3. Redwoods National Park, California

4. South coast, Iceland

4. South coast, Iceland

5. Spiral Aloe

5. Spiral Aloe

6. Autumn Medley, Iceland

6. Autumn Medley, Iceland

7. Alpine Garden, Colorado

7. Alpine Garden, Colorado

8. Autumn trees, Eastern Sierra, California

8. Autumn trees, Eastern Sierra, California

9. Illilouette Creek, Yosemite National Park

9. Illilouette Creek, Yosemite National Park

10. End of Autumn, Yosemite National Park

10. End of Autumn, Yosemite National Park

11. Cactus Medley, Organ Pipe National Monument

11. Cactus Medley, Organ Pipe National Monument

12. Organ Pipe cactus, Arizona

12. Organ Pipe cactus, Arizona

13. The Tree Brothers, Yosemite National Park

13. The Tree Brothers, Yosemite National Park

14. Shadows and Light, Iceland

14. Shadows and Light, Iceland

15. Vik, Iceland

15. Vik, Iceland

16. Small scenes from the Pacific Northwest

16. Small scenes from the Pacific Northwest