In 2014, I had the great fortune to travel and photograph a wide variety of places on our great planet. I saw ancient sites like Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple that is over 1000 years old. I saw places like Glacier Bay that were buried under ice only 200 years ago. In between, I saw Indonesian beaches, Komodo dragons, autumn leaves in Vermont and frenetic cities like Hong Kong and Bangkok. It was a great year.
As a look back, I have compiled 10 of my best photos of places. Please vote for you favorite photo in the poll and I’d greatly appreciate it if you left a comment telling my why and how you voted.
Note: Stay tuned for my Top 10 Photos of People
1. Broad Pass Sunset
Everything came together perfectly for this photo taken on Broad Pass near Denali National Park: the fall colors were at peak, the lakes were still as glass and sun rays lit up the clouds in an interesting pattern.
Note: This photo won an honorable mention for the Alaska Tour and Travel photo contest.
2. Northern Lights on the Parks Highway
On September 12, a coronal mass ejection, or a solar storm, created a stunning northern lights show. The solar storm was so powerful, it was visible in the lower 48! This photo was taken about 30 miles north of the Denali Park entrance in central Alaska.
Note: My northern lights photos were featured on NBCnews.com.
3. Mirror Meadow in Black and White
Some photos take skill, persistence, timing and patience. The above photo required none of that. After weeks of heavy rain, I was driving down the road and saw this scene. This spot, which is normally a flower-filled meadow, was full of water and transformed into a giant mirror. I simply snapped the photo and went on.
Note: My post, Snapshots of Alaska in Black and White, that was featured on Freshly Pressed.
4. Hong Kong Panorama
I love panoramic views of cities. There is something peaceful and thought-provoking about getting above the fray and watching life go on below.
5. Fishing Boat and Rainbow at Otto Lake
Due to long hours of low angle summer light and a propensity for rain, Alaska is a rainbow breeding ground. I saw this rainbow, drove 20 miles to my house to get my camera, drove back, and it was still there. It lasted for about two hours. Only in AK!
6. Labuan Bajo Sunset
Labuan Bajo, on the western end of the island of Flores, is the gateway to Komodo National Park. It was one of my favorite places in Indonesia, in part because of the nightly technicolor sunsets.
7. Sunset at Glacier Bay
This was one of the most eerily beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. Overhead, the clouds were portentous and black; an ominous, orange light flooded the air. Out on the horizon, it looked like a sunny, peaceful day.
8. Incoming Storm
An afternoon thunderstorm rolls into Pantai Bira in south Sulawesi. We were in Indonesia at the start of the rainy season and experienced some intense downpours.
9. Kowloon at Night
After a month in rural Indonesia, Hong Kong was a shock to the senses. Neon lights, the overpowering smells of street food, hookers on every corner (we accidentally stayed in the red light district) and the frenetic buzz of the city jolted us into the modern world.
10. Railroad Crossing
There is no substitute for great light. In September, while visiting family in my native Oklahoma, I happened upon this scene at sunset on the backroads west of Weatherford and took what turned out to be one of my best photos of the year. It proves that beauty is all around us if we look for it. We don’t have to go to Indonesia or Hong Kong or Alaska to make great photos, but I plan to continue doing so anyway.
Thank you for voting and for the feedback. Have a great 2015!