2019 In Pictures – I started last year’s post with: “This past year was a big one for me, travel-wise. So much so that I actually think I burned myself out.”
Well, I ended up going even bigger this year driving nearly 14,000 miles and flying almost 40,000 miles… New York, Chicago, Boston, Dubai, Singapore, the Maldives, Hawaii and all my normal camping, hiking, biking, and national parks trips around the west.
Oddly enough though, unlike last year, I somehow didn’t burn myself out. I’m already stoked for next year!
Here are my 19 favorite shots from all my travels in 2019.
(And I’m sure I even have more that would be on this list, but I shot so much this past year that I still have tons of images just sitting unedited on my computer…)
1. Beaver Creek Ski Resort
I’ll start with one right out my front door. I had wanted to get an epic sunset from this spot along Strawberry Park on Beaver Creek Mountain for a while. It took five times before everything lined up.
2. Steamboat Rock
First trip ever to Dinosaur National Monument… Sometimes I do get super lucky.
3. Four Seasons Private Island at Voavah
I’ve been lucky enough to stay at a lot of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and an image of their Private Island at Vaovah in the Maldives has been gracing the cover of their magazine that’s left in every, single room that I’ve ever been in. I always thought it was a stunning shot, and since it rents for $40,000 per night, I assumed it was slightly out of my reach…
We traveled big this fall and were staying at the nearby Lanaa Giraavaru resort in the Baa Atoll of the Maldives. During one of our snorkeling excursions, we ended up at a reef right off of Vaovah so when I realized where I was, I got the guide to agree to let me put the drone in their air for a few minutes and get this unoriginal, but arguably amazing shot.
4. Moose at Schwabacher Landing
I slipped a park ranger a $20 to release the moose at the right time. I should have made it a $50 for a bull… :)
5. Pew Pew, Pew Pew Pew
Each night in at Marina Bay in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel puts on Spectra, a water, light, and laser show. During my first trip to Singapore, I just straight up didn’t have time to watch and shoot it from this vantage point so when I ended up in Singapore again, this shot was one of my goals.
This is the iconic shot of downtown Dubai that every travel photographer seems to have in their portfolio, but for some reason, I didn’t really care to shoot it. I assumed the viewing deck would be super crowded so I actually planned to shoot sunset and the blue hour at a different location. However, that spot turned out to be an absolute disaster with construction so I was left scrambling for a backup shoot on our last night in the city.
This observation deck on top of the Shangri-La Hotel not only turned out to be as spectacular as pictures suggest, but I had the viewing deck nearly to myself.
7. Random Ditch
Super insightful, deep, and artsy title, I know. But I don’t really remember where this was, other than somewhere along the Road to Hana on Maui. I had tried to hike to some waterfall, but I was cut off due to some flash flooding. This random drainage on the hike was my consolation prize and I’m stoked on how it turned out. (Very different than my normal work.)
8. The Tetons
I mean… look at that sky!!
9. Wailea, Maui
Honestly, Maui was a tough spot for me photography-wise. The Road to Hana was gorgeous, but not as photogenic as one would imagine (rain and floods didn’t help), and then the Wailea area was just a pretty touristy and crowded section of beach. For my last sunset along the Wailea Beach Path, I was pretty stoked to turn around and find this composition.
10. The Maldives
In my opinion, a drone is an absolutely essential photography tool in the Maldives…
11. Drunk Aspens
This one was a happy accident. While mountain biking one afternoon, my shutter was still set super slow from the prior sunset and not realizing it, I just took a shot. Seeing that result had me playing around with some pans, purposely abstracting the aspens. (Is ‘abstracting’ a word? It should be.)
12. Hualalai, Hawaii
While on the Big Island of Hawaii, I just really, really wanted to drive up Mauna Kea for sunset – sea level to nearly 14,000 ft in a two hour drive just seemed really cool to me. The cloud inversion was a nice bonus!
13. Top of the Rock
I’ve spent a bunch of time in New York City, but all in my pre-photography days. Back in March, this was my one shot I wanted to get during a long weekend.
14. Thor’s Hammer
Sunrise at Bryce Canyon National Park with a fresh coat of white snow had been on my photography bucket list for a long time… Jackpot.
15. Infinity Sunset
Infinity pools are good for more than just sipping fruity cocktails next to. (the Maldives)
16. The Gooseneck
I had jeeped past the Gooseneck along the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park more times than I can remember, but always during the mid-day light. The sunrise forecast looked promising back in March so I made some early morning moves to get to this spot for some beautiful Moab light above the Colorado River.
I had shot this iconic location in Zion National Park before, but was incredibly disappointed with my pictures. Back in January, I had taken a trip back down in hopes of some snow, but had to settle for this beautiful orange glow.
18. Lake Solitude
The first time I hiked the Teton Crest Trail through Grand Teton National Park, we bailed a day early due to waking up to some unforecasted snow. Cutting that day off bypassed arguably the most beautiful section of trail.
One of my driving reasons for hiking the trail a second time this past year was to experience a sunrise at Lake Solitude in the North Fork of Cascade Canyon.
19. Piney Lake Sunrise
And no year is complete for me without a classic Piney Lake fall-sunrise shot.
And on to 2020…
This is actually my first post in about a year. Behind-the-scenes, I’ve changed my editing techniques and I’m just not pumping out pictures like I used to so getting posts up has fallen to the back-burner. However, I’m determined to start getting back into a routine of posting more often. Stay tuned…