I really enjoy looking through the retrospective collections that photographers share each year. I always find it interesting to see where people have traveled, how a photographer interprets the places they visit, how a person’s work has evolved, and what images rise to the top of individual lists. Although I have been inconsistent with participating in this activity in the past and am a little late this time around, I feel like I have a bit more to share this year than in previous years, as I can look at my collection of photos and at least say I like them instead of seeing nothing more than flaws and imperfections as in previous years.
I am finally starting to feel more comfortable in my skin as a photographer and am happier with the overall direction of my work. While I think that most of my best images are still sitting on my hard drives ready to become something once I feel motivated or make the time, this group of photos makes me happier than similar groups in years’ past – not completely happy, but at least somewhat satisfied.
In addition to sharing my favorite photographs of 2014 below, I will share a few photography-related highlights of 2014, too.
1) Ron and I got married at the base of Mount Sneffels in the San Juan Mountains, one of our favorite places in Colorado. Since this is a photographic highlights list, it is worth mentioning that right after we married ourselves in a short ceremony, we walked back to our car, changed into hiking clothes, and photographed an incoming storm over the San Juan Mountain Range, epitomizing one of the many reasons I feel fortunate to have Ron as a partner.
2) We published our third e-book, Beyond the Grand Landscape, to a better response than we expected. I am also getting close to finishing up a portfolio e-book featuring about 85 of my black and white photographs from Iceland (the never-ending project that might just end this January – yeah!).
3) We enjoyed productive photography trips to Yellowstone and Iceland in the winter, a spring trip to Arizona, Colorado fall colors, and more than a month spent between Zion and Death Valley during the late fall, plus lots of weekend trips scattered in between. Compared to the last three years, we photographed significantly less in 2014 and missed the ability to have the more immersive experiences that longer trips allow. This realization leads us to the next item on the list…
4) Now that we both have mostly location-independent work situations, we decided to buy an Airstream trailer to allow us to travel more extensively. Our first month-long trip was a good learning experience and with some tweaks, like figuring out a solar energy system, will be a great solution for mixing our need to work and our desire to travel and photograph more. A bonus with this arrangement: our cats can come along and seem to enjoy the experience (minus riding in the car, when their ability to consistently meow is at first impressive and then tiresome for all involved). I regret not keeping a travel journal over the last three years, so I will be starting one up over here if you want to follow along (there will be more content on our travel journal blog in the near future).
5) After realizing that maintaining and promoting four separate photography-related websites is only diluting our efforts and frying our nerves with self-hosting issues, we moved our full web presence to a single website, www.naturephotoguides.com. We are happy to have all of our photography-related endeavors in a single home on the internet and I am especially happy to be finished with tweaking and resizing dozens upon dozens of photos.
Thank you, as always, for taking the time to enjoy my photographs. I sincerely appreciate all of the kind comments and support I have received from fellow photographers, friends, and those who appreciate my work during 2014. I wish you all the best for 2015, including good health, lots of adventure, and the ability to live your life to the fullest.
A note for the calendar-year purists… This grouping includes photos that were taken earlier but processed in 2014 and those taken and processed in 2014.