Around this time of year I always take a moment to reflect on how my last year went, whether I did the things I wanted to do, whether I am living the life I want to live, and whether I grew as a photographer.
But I have this tendency to see only the negative things in life. For some reason, the negative things just stand out much more than the positive things, which are sometimes invisible.
Looking back on last year, I couldn’t help but think that it kinda sucked. I had some lingering medical issues that made me feel sick for much of the first half of the year. In the spring, my Mom was diagnosed with ALS. Then in the fall I had my “trip of a lifetime” to Africa, which turned out to be hugely disappointing not to mention expensive, although I got some good photos despite all the crap that happened on the trip. When I got home I felt like my dream had been crushed. Then at Christmas time my Mom was hospitalized due to the ALS, and she’s still there now.
It was a tough year.
But when I started to put my top 10 list together, I began to realize that I had some good times too. In fact, there were some really good times! I revisited many of my favourite haunts in the American Southwest, I had a great summer playing with the whales and dolphins in British Columbia, and I discovered some new places along the way too.
So this year, doing this exercise has reminded me of why I do photography in the first place. Because it helps me to see the good things in life. It’s easy for me to look back and think that everything was bad, but when I look at these photos, I have to admit it isn’t true.
Like last year, I have two separate top 10 lists: one for landscapes and one for wildlife. As usual, I didn’t choose them because they are popular or because they are technically the best. I just chose them because I like them the most.
Here are my top 10 landscape photos of 2014.
1. Sunset at Jumbo Rocks
At the beginning of the year, Ray and I returned to one of our favourite National Parks in the USA, Joshua Tree, where we were treated to one of the best sunsets we have ever seen.
2. Joshua Tree Sunburst
Joshua Tree strikes again. I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of sunbursts!
3. Southwest Blue
Taken just down the street from my campsite in Quartzsite, Arizona. This photo was chosen by Topaz Labs as a featured photo for their plugin Topaz Clarity!
4. Superstition Mountains
One of our new discoveries last year in Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona. It was just a day trip so I am hoping to return this year to explore it some more.
5. Fire Wave
The Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada is becoming a regular stop!
6. Arch at Whitney Pocket
Also in Nevada, there are some fantastic rock formations and lots of exploring to do at Whitney Pocket.
7. Alabama Hills
Near Lone Pine, California, this is my favourite new discovery from last year! I love finding places out in the wilderness where we can camp away from all the people and enjoy the peacefulness of nature.
8. Cannon Beach, Oregon
We always stop at Canon Beach on our snowbird trip both going south and again going north. I can’t get enough of this magical spot.
9. Estuary in Campbell River
This is the view out the back window of my summer campsite in British Columbia!
10. Baobab Tree
I still have tons of photos from Tanzania still to process. This is one of the few landscape images I have processed so far.
Later this week I will have my top 10 wildlife photos from 2014.
Have you collected your favourite photos from 2014? If so, feel free to leave a link in the comments below. I would love to see them!