As the tradition continues, it is time for the year in review and my selection of some of the best images I created this year. Last year I managed to select and share on December 30, but this year I felt that would be too rushed. I really wanted to shoot right through the end of the year and not take some time to go through the reflection and review process. I did give myself a deadline of sharing by the end of January. Here we are, the last day of the month. So, holding to my deadline it is time to "pull the trigger" and fearlessly share with you a bit of reflection, snippets of adventure, and a series of images that I think are reflective of my work and growth this year.
This was my toughest year yet, as I have spent the month reviewing and selecting images and then slowly narrowing down to 12 images. Phew! I have to think that the tougher it gets means 1) I am doing something right; 2) I am becoming a better critic of my work; and 3) I am improving at my craft. In addition to the 12 images, I have 4 additional images that I wanted to share that are particular favorites of mine and personally significant.
I believe that as much time as this takes it is important to review and reflect on the images I took over the year. I made a record number of images and felt that 2014 was my best year yet. I made it a priority that 2014 would be the year that I would grab my camera, hit the road (or plane), and go adventure. The freedom to go and live my adventure life was nothing short of awesome. It had tough moments as life brings a series of ups and downs but honestly it really was a fantastic year.
My travels included a series of Maine adventures. I learned how much I love mini adventures (shorter trips, often local to my home). I flew to British Columbia and embarked on my first weeklong solo trip dedicated to photography, travel, and adventure. I spent time at The Created Image Conference and then travelled along the coastline headed north, including Vancouver Island. I also travelled to California and spent a jam packed five days in Yosemite National Park after attending a childhood friends wedding in San Francisco (and Angel Island off the coast of SF).
Here they are my top 12 of the 2014:
First LightThe first place in the United States to see the first sunrise of the year. Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA. January 2014 © Jlynn Frazier.
I love kicking off the year with a great adventure. I was up in the wee early hours of the morning, while many were still up drinking and ringing in the New Year on January 1st. It was negative 22 or so when I got in my car with James the Adventure pup bound for Acadia National Park. I snowshoed up through the dark and arrived in time to set up and get ready for a beautiful sunrise (this is the first place to see the sunrise in the United States). This was a pretty EPIC adventure and one of my best as the sun just rose up over the horizon. It set the tone for a great, adventure filled year and pushed my personal hiking adventure limits embarking on a solo adventure that I had never done before.
Popham Beach State Park, Maine, USA. January 2014 © Jlynn Frazier.
On a warm day for winter in Maine I headed to the beach and spent time photographing at Popham Beach for the first time. The clouds were phenomenal and the reflections of the sky in the shallow water on the beach sand caught my eye and lead to a series of images. I have a fascination with clouds and this further fed into my obsession with the way they create mood and bring life to landscapes.
Late fall afternoon view of Sunrise Pond near the Visitor Center, Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary, Maine, USA. October 2014 © Jlynn Frazier.
Starting in the Spring I made trips each season to Borestone (in fact my 2015 New Years adventure was to Borestone). It is one of those places I just shake my head and cannot believe I had never visited before this year. It is a nice hike, nothing crazy, but always something to see and enjoy. I say that having my first trip be mostly in the rain when the clouds came in so thick that by the time we reached the top you could not see anything. Oh and did I mention that although spring had sprung it was still icy and super slick there. Well, though it was not for the "faint of hearts" as they say, I loved that day and fell in love with Borestone. This image was captured in the fall on my way back from the peaks. I stopped to take in the late afternoon view from Sunrise Pond and captured the late afternoon sun and reflection in the water.
Reid Beach State Park, Maine, USA. May 2014 © Jlynn Frazier.
Another first was Reid Beach State Park. Again, I could not believe I had never been here. In addition to Borestone, this was the other location that I visited several times to enjoy the beach, run, and create images. I unofficially have my parking spot just outside the gate because I always stay past sunset and am the last one out of the park. It is also dog friendly in the off season which is an added plus since I think James the adventure pup loves the beach as much as I do (and lets be honest he is a golden retriever and loves any adventure as long as he can be at my side). This image was captured at sunset looking out on the wetland fields opposite the beach. It was the tree that caught my eye and I waited it out and the color was a wonderful, hoped for surprise.
Maiden Cliff Trail, Camden Hills State Park, Maine, USA. June 2014 © Jlynn Frazier.
This was one of those I need a mid week adventure days. I raced home from work, grabbed my camera gear and James, and off we went headed for the ocean and the mountains of Camden, Maine. We did not make it all the way to Maidens Cliff on this particular evening but settled in once we reached a spot to watch the clouds and admire the sunset. It was cloudy which I felt added to the mood of the evening. It was a little chilly and cool but the cairn came to life as the focal point that evening.
Cascading waterfall over the land flowing into the glacier at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. British Columbia, Canada. July 2014 © Jlynn Frazier. Snow capped mountains and vibrant blue glacier pools at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. British Columbia, Canada. July 2014 © Jlynn Frazier. Following along the trail at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. British Columbia, Canada. July 2014 © Jlynn Frazier.
The epic hike that was a highlight of my British Columbia solar trip was Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. As I wanted to see as much as I could, sadly I only one afternoon/eventing here. In the height of July it was nice to have a long day of light followed by a magical feeling sunset. I hiked to the three glacial lakes and created a series of images. Three made the cut so to speak as a few of the best of the year. It was one of those days where the trip just went well, the weather was fantastic, and I felt completely in the photo creating zone. I hope to return and spend the night up in the backcountry camping near where I captured the first image of the cascading water flowing down the land toward the glacier lake.
Lower Falls at sunset, Golden Ears Provincial Park. British Columbia, Canada. July 2014 © Jlynn Frazier.
My final afternoon in British Columbia, I arrived back in Vancouver for my flight the next morning. As I approached the city I felt like I wanted to do so much more and thought I was exhausted I was still yearning for another adventure. It was hot, so I decided that it would be a late night but I was going to make it to one more park. I head read a little about Golden Ears Provincial Park so off I went. After a swim to cool off and a short nap on the beach I prepared for an evening photo shoot. I decided to go for a run to check out the trail leading to lower falls to scout it out. I often run to scout out a trail with my iPhone or so enjoy the day when the sun is high in the sky. I was thrilled when I ran up to the falls and knew that based on the time it would be tough to get back here. I knew I had to try and so I raced back to the car to gather my gear and then walk/ran the trail back to photograph the falls. Though I spent only a short time in the park I was so glad I had pushed to have one more adventure. I left British Columbia knowing I had just began to explore but I felt I had adventured the hell out of the time I had spent there. Since I left the park late, I spent the early hours of the morning cleaning up and then packing in a Tim Hortons parking lot. I have to tell you Tim Hortons is the best mobile home base and served me well. They are 24 hours and they have wifi. During most of the trip my iPhone did not work so it was nice to tough base back home so everyone would know I was doing well. Also they do not mind if you are hanging around or in my case sprawling your gear out in the parking space beside your car to get packed up and ready for a flight the next morning. I even brought in my towel and sink bathed. It was so awesome and convenient.
Beech sunrise, Vancouver Island. British Columbia, Canada. July 2014 © Jlynn Frazier.
My final morning on Vancouver Island, I happened along the beach and captured this shot at sunrise. I really was just making my way back to the ferry and got up early hoping to find a sunrise location along the way. It was a little dreary and rainy when I first got up, but the rain stopped and it was a great sunrise. This was just one of those lucky kind of moments. Vancouver Island was awesome (I saw a bear up close early one morning!). I covered a lot of ground in about four days and struggled with the intensity of the sun for most of the day but enjoyed my trip much and would definitely go back now that I have done some great scouting.
Sunset lights up Half Dome from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. September 2014 &© Jlynn Frazier.
The final night that the campground was open up near Glacier Point made a great spot to park for the night for great access to take in a sunset and sunrise the next morning from above looking out across to Half Dome. This image was captured as the sun went down and briefly presented a spotlight on the Half Dome. I made a ton of images, this being my second time here. This was my favorite from both the sunset and sunrise shoot. Half Dome became the epic focal point of the trip. We applied and received a permit and made the hike, climbed the chains up the side of the rock, and summited Half Dome.
Telescope TreeMariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. September 2014 © Jlynn Frazier.
Mariposa Grove was the last stop on the five day trip to Yosemite National Park. After a number of amazing, physically exhausting days of hiking it was nice to slow down and walk through the forest for the morning. So much history here to stop and just soak in the age of the trees towering above. Sitting inside Telescope Tree I knew I wanted to photograph it. Initially I really just thought I have to sit inside this amazingly beautiful tree. Then with my wide angle 10-20 mm lens I worked to compose this image and capture just a sense for what it is like to sit in this tree looking up through the telescope hole.
That's a wrap... wait, just a few more. The next series of four images are personal favorites of mine. These are images I really like and that hold special memories for me. It seemed like this final best of 2014 would not be complete without including a few of these too.
September Wedding, San Francisco, California, USA. September 2014 © Jlynn Frazier. I went to Yosemite National Park to extend my trip to San Francisco where I attended the wedding of Terra, a good childhood friend. She had asked me in the summer if I would be one of the photographers to take pictures. I was terrified, but was happy to give it a try. At the reception that evening I captured this image as Terra and Chris danced the night away. This was my favorite photo and for me really captured the love these two share and hopefully a moment that I have frozen in time so that they can look back and remember it for years to come.
Looking up from Chimney Pond the fluffy clouds overtaking Mount Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine. September 2014 © Jlynn Frazier. This was my first time hiking Katahdin since I moved back to Maine in 2013. On our hike back after summiting with Ben and Jared, two awesome adventure guys, we stopped at Chimney Pond to take a few photographs. I was of course watching the clouds and captured this image of the mountain edge with the puffy white clouds moving in. I believe in finding subjects that you love to photograph and I love to have my head in the clouds- literally and figuratively. I have a personal series of images I continue to work on of my obsession with clouds and this shot really captured this for me on a truly challenging adventure day.
Long stretches of open road on a trip to the County and a visit to Presque Isle, my birth town, Northern Maine. October 2014 © Jlynn Frazier. I went on a short road trip to the County (Northern Maine) with my dad. It was a two day, one night trip to just hit the road and see the country side. My dad grew up in Presque Isle and so it was nice to just spend time with him seeing the landscape and hearing stories. I had my camera but did not take a lot of photos. I did however capture this image which I think really captures the road trip. It was past peak fall colors but it was still so beautiful. Whether a small road trip or just a day, I highly recommend taking time to do this with someone you might miss or want to spend time with. Just get in the car, bring some yummy snacks, and see where the road takes you!
Looking for AdventureThe Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. September 2014 © Jlynn Frazier. Jared was an amazing adventure partner who took a big crazy leap and came to California with me. Traveling with me can be kind of tough, I mean I think I am awesome and fun, but I admit I am a serious traveler. Basically, I like to make the most of every moment which means early mornings, long hiking days, and sleeping most anywhere (often so tired that I crash in the back of the car). I created this image our first day in Yosemite National Park. We had just rolled in and decided to take it a little slow and get acclimated and figure out where we would head for our first sunset (which ended up being the Half Dome photo above from Glacier Point). I noticed the reflection in Jared's sunglasses and asked him to sit tight for a few minutes while I made a few images. This just became one of my personal favorites of the year as I think it tells a lot of little stories in the image. He survived the trip and has become an amazing adventure partner who shares my passion to keep things simple, hit the road when we want, stay close to home here in Maine and enjoy the little things too, and just live an awesome adventure life.
That's it. Really this time! If you made it all the way to here a big kudos to you! I want to say thanks to all of my friends and family who have continued to follow my work. I feel like my photography reached a new level in 2014 and I hope to continue to grow and refine my craft in 2015. Getting my work out there to share is something I take a lot of pride in and I find it can be tough sometimes to just put it all out there. I think it is worth it and I hope something here inspires you to create and tell your story in a way that is meaningful to you. If you are feeling super jazzed up, please share this with your network. It really does make a difference and is much appreciated. Also, I would love to hear from you. Whether you write a message here or prefer to shoot me an email at email@example.com it would be great to get your thoughts, hear about your adventures, and I am always up for travel tips/suggestions.
Cheers everybody! I hope you are all off to a great, adventure filled start to 2015.