My Favorite Photos of 2014

2014 marks the 8th year of reviewing and posting my favorite photos from the past year, you can find previous entries under the Favorite Photos tag.  This has become part of my year end ritual thanks to Jim Goldstein’s annual blog project. Photographically, this past year had bursts of activity that wasn’t always reflected here on the blog. With the kids getting older the camera is coming out more often for more than just family photos. In retrospect, 2014 was a year with deeper valleys than higher peaks with two losses in the immediate family. However, taking the time to review the year helps to maintain perspective and remind us of the joys through the year.

Below are my favorites from this past year. I look forward to hearing your comments on which might be your favorite as well. All of these yearly favorites can be purchased as art prints or licensed for commercial use by clicking through on the photos.

Note: This post also officially launches the new website design that I soft launched about a month ago.  To maximize your viewing pleasure make sure you maximize your browser to your screen size, all photos will automatically resize. The new design will automatically adjust for viewing on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.  I appreciate your feedback on the new design as well!

Photo #1

2014 Bouquets to Art Opening Night Gala at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

2014 Bouquets to Art Opening Night Gala at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

2014 was the 5th year that I have photographed the annual Bouquets to Art event at the San Francisco De Young Museum.  Bouquets to Art features floral art designs by local floral designers paired with artwork from the museum. This year happened to be the 30th anniversary for the event and this multi-layered photo is from the opening night gala.  The layers of activity that are reflected in this photo is what made this one of my favorites.

Photo #2

The Tompkison Group installation from 2014 Bouquets to Art at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

The Tompkison Group installation from 2014 Bouquets to Art at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

The hard part about choosing a favorite from my 2014 Bouquets to Art photos was make sure that the photo itself was what made it a favorite and not the artwork or floral design. The abstract nature of the this installation from 2014 Bouquets to Art matches the abstract painting so well that in this particular photo they appear to merge together, balancing and complimenting each other to create an abstract that is greater than the two parts.

Photo #3

Flair installation from 2014 Bouquets to Art at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

Flair installation from 2014 Bouquets to Art at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

Similar to the previous photo, this particular photo from 2014 Bouquets to Art combines the opposing abstract nature in the floral design layered with that of the artwork create an image that seems to pull me in.

Photo #4

Panoramic of fisherman floating in North Lake  under colorful Autumn Aspen near Bishop, California.

Panoramic of fisherman floating in North Lake under colorful Autumn Aspen near Bishop, California.

This panorama was taken in early October in the Eastern Sierras at North Lake above Bishop, California. Unfortunately, I arrived about a week late to capture all of North Lake’s fall splendor. As I walked out to the lake’s edge to join a small group of late day photographers, I noticed a gentleman about to enter the water with his fishing float tube.  I waited for and utilized this fisherman as part of the scene versus complain about him ruining the scene (as most of my fellow photographers did).  Another example of keeping your mind and options open while resisting target lock.

Photo #5

Yellow aspen ring a water fall along the South Lake Road near Bishop, California.

Yellow aspen ring a water fall along the South Lake Road near Bishop, California.

While it would have been easy to drive right past this view, it was morning and this grove of trees and waterfalls were still in the shade of the canyon, the reflected morning light filling the scene called to me.  As did the way the grove of Aspen seemed to embrace this waterfall.  Now, just imaging having this as the view out your backyard

Photo #6

A beam of sunlight strikes Aspen in their Autumn glory within McGee Creek Canyon in Mono County, California.

A beam of sunlight strikes Aspen in their Autumn glory within McGee Creek Canyon in Mono County, California.

I have been to McGee Creek a couple of times before, but for some reason had either always taken the wrong trail (hint: you want to take the upper trail) or just never hiked in far enough to realize that the valley bends behind the shoulder of the ridge.  This means that most of this fall grandeur is hidden from view at the trail head.  You don’t get to see this view until about 2 miles in on the upper trail. On this particular day my friend and I got lucky as that storm on the horizon never developed into anything that directly impacted us, so our hike didn’t end until further past the shoulder you see here…

Photo #7

Reflected sunrise illuminates Lodgepole Pines (Pinus contorta) along the edge of Mack Lake in the Little Lakes Valley of John Muir Wilderness, California.

Reflected sunrise illuminates Lodgepole Pines (Pinus contorta) along the edge of Mack Lake in the Little Lakes Valley of John Muir Wilderness, California.

As another example being aware of all the scenes around you, I was able to spot this potential scene while from atop the cliff that borders Mack Lake.  It was early morning and we were focused on the view to the right of this scene, looking down the length of the lake to the mountains being illuminated by sun rise.  As the sun illuminated us on the cliff, I knew waiting would reflect the light off the cliff onto the far shore of the lake.  Giving me these soft reflections in the still dark lake surface.  Patience and planning paid off.

Photo #8

Campers at Heart Lake in the Little Lakes Valley area of John Muir Wilderness, California.

Campers at Heart Lake in the Little Lakes Valley area of John Muir Wilderness, California.

Never having visited the Little Lakes Valley before, the vista around every corner of the trail was brand new.  A fellow hiker the day before suggest the trail and I’m glad we followed his suggestion.  Being the first hikers on the tail after a very chilly dawn, I was surprised to find this couple that had wilderness camped at the edge of Heart Lake.  A very cold night’s sleep in October, but oh what a sunrise they must have enjoyed from the warmth of their sleeping bags!

Photo #9

Close up view of a color graduated Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) leaf.

Close up view of a color graduated Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) leaf.

Fall is a great time to practice Macro photography and thanks to a personal challenge from a few colleagues, and some ideal fall weather around home, I was able to practice in my own backyard (and side yard).  My neighbor’s Japanese Maple is always in peak right around Thanksgiving.  This year, I noticed this wonderful graduated color change that I had never seen before.  Sometimes the best fall foliage is just out your front door…

Photo #10

Close up view of succulent (Sempervivum Calcareum).

Close up view of succulent (Sempervivum Calcareum).

This year’s big (non-photographic) project was re-landscaping our backyard.  That investment paid additional dividends when I discovered a few photographic plants that my wife had chosen.  The above succulent is literally right out side our patio door!

Here’s to a wonderful and photographic 2015!

7 thoughts

  1. Looks like you were able to get out for some fine photography this year Greg. I made a note to myself should I ever be around McGee creek! Take the upper trail. 🙂

    [Reply]

    latoga Reply:

    @Mark, the year had spurts… If you ever plan a trip out west to Eastern Sierra you have a large network of location advisors! I may have to hit you up for same soon as May 2015 has a trip to Midwest on the calendar. 😉

    [Reply]

  2. Pingback: Thought’s on Jim Goldstein’s Best of 2014 project

  3. Pingback: Thoughts on Jim Goldstein’s Best of 2014 project | Chuq Von Rospach

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