Best Photos of 2014

December 28, 2014  •  1 Comment

I have not taken time in past years to post my favorite photos and trips at the end of the year. That is until now. Yes we have the Photo Cascadia best of slideshow yet that only covers some of my favs for the year since it's a group of us we try to keep it limited. It was another decent year visiting scenic places whether new or return visits, good times whether with friends or family or solo, and coming home with a few winners. For your viewing pleasure here they are, at least what I have processed. I know there are more I have yet to get to. Keep your eyes open for them in 2015. Thank you to all viewers, my supportive wife, clients and fellow photogs for a good 2014! I am excited for the new year and new adventures. May the new year be all that you are looking for and more.


The year started out well with our awesome family trip to Kauai for close to two weeks. Here is sunrise on New Year's Day 2014. I certainly felt very fortunate to enjoy a start like this. The beams shined for me to provide a magnificent show. Very nice of them to do that.

Kauai New Year's SunriseSunrise morning along the shore in Kauai, Hawaii While in Kauai I did a day trip with my daughter to one of the arboretum gardens to check out the eucalyptus trees which I had not seen up close before. Although we missed visiting right after a rain shower they were still very pretty cool. Looks like a gang of crazy squirrels scratched the heck out of the bark before showed up.

Eucalyptus TreeThe rainbow colors on a eucalyptus tree in Kauai, Hawaii

One afternoon I made the drive to the North Shore for a short hike along the first part of Kalalau Trail on the Napali Coast. I found a nice spot and waited until sunset to enjoy the view before hiking out in near dark conditions. This was a reminder to always carry business cards everywhere. Had many people passing me asking what I was photographing. If they could only see the final piece.

Napali CoastThe cliff edges and sky light up in a orange yellow hue at sunset along the North Shore of Na Pali Coast in Kauai. A short morning hike just before sunrise brings me to this fine view along the South Shore. I was hoping for just enough clouds to add to the atmosphere yet not shut out the big round glowing ball we call the sun. The stars were aligned this day.

Sunrise GoldThe rocks and water light up in gold tones in Kauai at sunrise along the South Shore. A classic view of Cape Horn turned out to be rather nice on Easter Morning. Rolling green hills, vibrant sun glow and train winding it's way through the Columbia River Gorge. I searched for the Easter Bunny yet no luck. Maybe next year.

Cape Horn, WashingtonThe sunlight breaks through the thick clouds on Easter Morning from Cape Horn viewpoint in the Columbia River Gorge.

Elohaw Falls as spring green buds start dotting the trees and bushes. I never tire of the color green, especially the lush green of the Gorge. It's like a green traffic light signaling go time for nature. Without spring greens we could not enjoy yellow autumns.

Elohaw Falls, OregonThe long veil of Elohaw Falls hides behind a tree, moss and bushes in the rainforest of the Columbia Gorge during spring.


Only the sounds of nature and a gentle breeze while we stood watching the moon rise and the colors of the change for sunset. Three hours prior I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the city. Talk about relaxing. This is, not the traffic in case that was unclear.
Prairie Moonrise The moon rises at sunset in dry central oregon while looking down a deep canyon to a endless winding river below.

Before the desert gets unbearably hot for summer it's nice chance to enjoy the peace and solitude of the Badlands Wilderness outside of Bend, Oregon for an overnight trip. Today wilderness camping with wonderful storm light, tomorrow breakfast and coffee at Strictly Organic . Yum.

Badlands, OregonThe badlands wilderness in central Oregon lights up under stormy skies at sunset.

Sometimes nature needs to remind us just how small we are in the spectrum of all the natural wonders earth offers. In this case it's  beautiful Elowah Falls in spring with a hiker near the pool below. A human is merely a single pixel in the sensor of a large format camera.

Feeling SmallA hiker stands at the pass of Elohaw Falls in the Columbia Gorge showing just how small humans can be next to mother nature.

My good friend Josh and I took advantage of the extra light on summer solstice for a hike to the summit of South Sister. It was very nostalgic as neither of us had done it since the several times together many years back. This was our camping spot looking to Mt Bachelor at sunset after a long fantastic day. Let no Bend trip be complete without a visit to 10 Barrel Brewing. Good times. South Sister CampingView of Mount Bachelor while backpacking on South Sister in Central Oregon. I escaped early one morning during a trip with extended family to the Oregon Coast for sunrise on Cape Kiwanda while watching the dory boats make there way out to sea. It was pretty amazing to come across Thor's Fist. What a discovery.

The lone HoodooFinding Thor's Fist at the Oregon Coast. On my visits to Cape Kiwanda I get mesmerized by the waves swish swashing around and think this must be what it's like inside a giant washing machine. That sure would wash a lot of clothes. This was a race against the clock yet I snapped when the light was still fine. Minutes later it went dull.

Washing MachineThe ocean swishing around like a washing machine along the Oregon Coast.

Sunset along an unknown lake in Mount Adams Wilderness during summer backpack trip. I had great company, my good friend David Cobb introducing me to this spot. Yes that is a white man's fire starting up in the woods. Could not see the campers but could see their fire.

The Forgotten LakeThe Forgotten LakeStanding along a calm lake shore in the backcountry of Mount Adams Wilderness in Washington at sunset.

Me enjoying oatmeal and coffee with a very grand view at the same lake as prior photo yet obviously very different lighting conditions. Very few views from any corporate office can compare, nor do they have biting flies.

Mount AdamsBreakfast with a view in the wilderness Same lake as prior two shots yet on a different backpack trip. It was early fall so the greens were different along with splashes of yellow along the shore. Do you get the feeling I liked this little lake? You'd be right if you said yes. As my daughter pointed out while I was processing it, X marks the spot with the logs. Is there hidden treasure? I hope we beat the pirates to it.

Unknown LakeA quiet serene sunset at an unnamed lake in Mount Adams Wilderness of Washington.

A night time shot in the Mount Adams Wilderness of well you guessed it Mount Fuji. Okay you got me, yes it's Mount Adams. I took this just before turning in for the night. My buddy Josh already in the tent trying to get some shuteye after a long day of backpacking, exploring and soaking in a lake with floating ice bergs. Ah I can still feel how cold it was. Fantastic.

Starry NightThe night sky fills up with stars during a backpack trip in Mount Adams Wilderness.

On this day fall colors were leaving me high and dry after a fair bit of searching in the Columbia River Gorge. I decided to stop by this viewpoint. Low and behold it was peak color with nice lighting to boot. Mother nature I bow to say thank you.

Spotty FallFall colors and evergreen trees along the Columbia River in Oregon.

And lastly I leave you with a photo from my visit to another planet. The rocks were out of this world. Well okay they were truly in this world yet have a from Jupiter or Saturn vibe to them. A more intimate scene from my Southern Oregon Coast trip with my Photo Cascadia peeps.

Space RocksRocks along the shore at the Southern Oregon Coast.


Mike Matenkosky(non-registered)
What a great collection of images, Adrian! Have a great new year!
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