A Year Through the Lens – 2014

A Year Through the Lens – 2014

I wanted to combine my favorite photos that I captured of the year into one single place. I like to take a step back at the end of every December and scroll through the past 12 months of photography that I’ve had the pleasure of capturing and reflect on my work. I learn a lot about things I learned and challenges I’ve overcome.

Here are my personal favorite photos of 2014 in no particular order.

“Walking on a dream”

Walking on a dream is a photo that combines different interests for me. My love for photography, my love for adventure and the difficulties that I run into with both of these. This photo was taken on Mt Shasta this past spring. My brother Jonathan was in the training stages to becoming a mountain guide for Shasta Mountain Guides. He’s in the front in yellow and our climbing partner Tracy is behind him. This was our third time together attempting a summit bid on Shasta. I didn’t know it at the time but I would be lugging 10lbs of camera gear for this single photo. When we were leaving the trail-head at 11pm I chose to bring my camera thinking I would document the trip like I had in the past. This round was a bit different though. We were doing the entire hike in a day, rather than two days. So we were pushing our limits in terms of physical strength and focus. I was at least.

This image took a few tries. I lit the subjects up with my headlamp and used my backpack like a tripod. It was so windy and cold that I only had a few tries to get this right. Our body temperatures were dropping, my hands were getting cold and all of our sweat was beginning to freeze before we knew it. I set the camera up for a 2 second delay, 25 second exposure with 4000 ISO.  I flashed the subjects with my headlamp for no more than a second or two in order to expose them evenly.

I didn’t take my camera out of my backpack for the rest of the trip. 6k feet up, 7k feet down and another 12 hours of trekking.

Mt Shasta, Milkyway

This photo was captured on a private beach in Lake Tahoe. I had some family in town that were renting a beautiful house in Incline Village that granted them access to this beach. I was lucky enough to make my way down to the beach in the middle of a rain storm and before I knew it – the clouds began to clear up and I was blessed with this view.

Save the date, Lake Tahoe

A close friend of mine called and said “I need to hire you for photos, I’m going to propose… and I want some surprise photos of the event.”  I had to make the 8 hour trek south to capture this special moment for them. I found myself hiding in a vineyard feeling like a sniper with a huge 800mm lens. Later after we got all the staged and surprise photos taken care of we they were buying some of their favorite wine I found my favorite candid composition of them.

Wine Engagement

My roommate and I are quite the adventurists. Here is a local OHV zone that we frequent for dirt biking. This past spring we headed over after a recent storm and found some fun muding zones. I decided to bring my camera along and luckily got this. I especially like the reflection off the water with this image.

Nissian Titan mudding

This year I took flight in my first helicopter photographic excursion. After shooting the Mavericks big wave surf contest I decided to charter out a helicopter for an evening sunset. I got so many wonderful photographs from this flight it was almost impossible to pick a favorite. I was blessed with rolling fog over the Golden Gate Bridge and an amazing blue hour over the city itself.

You can view the whole gallery here.

San Francisco From Above Aerial

I was asked about filling the end of a hallway for a clients house in Lake Tahoe. I didn’t realize at the time, but I only had printable panoramic photos that were horizontal. Those work great for above beds and couches, but not so effective for hallways. This is my personal favorite vertical panoramic photo that is printable up to 8 feet tall. This one looks absolutely fantastic on the aluminum I choose to print my photography on.

Milky Way, Lake Tahoe

“Lone Burner”

Lone Burner is a photograph of a “burnier” at this years Burning Man (password “theburn”) a city in the desert, a culture of possibility and endless options. The dust storms are pretty insane and the nights are cold. Read about the entire adventure in the above link. It was a wild ride and I look forward to attending this event annually.

Burning Man

Castle Peak is a common place that people go to enjoy back-country skiing and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe. It’s not often when you can snowmobile or split-board your way back into this zone and score fresh snow like we did this day. The stars usually don’t align with weather, avalanche conditions and the right team. This day was one for the books. It was late in the season and we got 12-18 inches of new snow.  We got lucky and the snow had bonded together very well. All of the chutes were filled in and we were even able to snag a few spines.

I haven’t gotten snow this good since Alaska in 2012.

Castle Peak - Snowboarding - Lake Tahoe

The Mavericks big wave event was a first for me this close. I’ve seen the wave break from the shore my entire life. My brother is a water rescue patroler out here and has saved dozens of big wave surfers from this wave. He was also one of two people to be out and survive 100ft Wednesday.

I’ll be back to shoot 2015’s competition again.

Mavericks Big Wave Surf Contest

I’m very thankful to have friends who are always willing to be my subject. This is my buddy Barry diving into Lake Tahoe on a brisk spring day. The water may look calm and inviting but the believe me it was not. Thanks Barry I hope to see you on the cover of a Tahoe magazine in the future!

Diving into Lake Tahoe

My “real” job is the Media Director for Force 12 Media and I get the pleasure of traveling pretty frequently for this job. This shot came from a very common place to shoot in San Diego. I must have been battling my composition with 5 other photographers just to get this photo. This isn’t something I typically do or enjoy dealing with. I generally like being alone or with only a friend or two when I shoot but had to take the opportunity to get this shot while I could.

Scripps Pier – San Diego, CA.

San Diego, Pier, Sunset

2014 was a year I decided to take a bit more of a step into the music scene. This was my 3rd year shooting music and am beginning to figure out my niche and artistic direction with the music scene. This is a member of The Infected Mushrooms. You can view the full album of photos here.

Infected Mushrooms

Adventure and photography are two things that drive me in an artistic direction. Here is a photo of my brother in the Tahoe Backcountry. This is a very important photo to me because it was a big turning point in both my photography and my outdoors. This was the early stages for me in preparation for adventures. We snowmobiled back into this zone just to check it out. We had our eyes on the steeper runs in the left side of the image. I had a realization on this trip that I needed to really plan out my photography like I was planning my adventures if I wanted to be successful. Planning can and does make all the difference.

Doesn’t matter if its in the backcountry or the back of the camera.

Tahoe Backcountry, Snowmobiling

Depending on the subject or adventure I have mentors in my life. This is Bryan and he’s my snowmobile mentor. He teaches me more than I could ever imagined every time we go out together. He explains not only how to ride these machines in various conditions but is consistently testing me with lifelong skills. He’ll subconsciously quiz me on anything from saving my finances to proper avalanche awareness skills.

He also rips on this thing and is always into towing me up a hill and watch me snowboard down.

Lake Tahoe Snowmobiling

This is a sunset location I have been trying to shoot since I moved in Tahoe in 2011. I took my friend Dan Dunn here to catch a sunset with Neil and I and we absolutely scored. The photo as my featured image on the very top of this page was from the same night. I rarely get two photos from the same night that I love so this is special. Two photos hasn’t happened since this night.

Colorful Tahoe Sunset

Going back to the preparation and success with photography. I wanted to push my photography further this year and decided to take a few different approaches to this in both the planning on adventure side of it. This year the blood moon came twice over Lake Tahoe and I was prepared to capture it the second time around. I had the location planed out and even brought a student along for the adventure. Teaching the things I’ve learned over time to another person was a very fulfilling feeling. Here’s my take on the blood moon. This is a composite image.

Blood Moon Lake Tahoe

“Bonsai Cove”

Bonsai rock is a common place that people like to shoot at. I often find myself not wanting to shoot here because of the crowds you’ll likely run into. Thankfully this spring day I opted out of fresh turns in the back-country and came away with something I’m very happy with.

This photo is printed 7 feet long and lives above my own bed.

Bonsai Rock, Lake Tahoe, snow


The back country has become a major passion in my life. Planning, safety and the satisfying feeling of accomplishment is something I’ve began to love more and more. Plus the lack of crowds is always a plus. My brother again…is one of my mentors in this category. Here we scored a memorable run out at the Peter Grubb Hut. We got some corn snow that was as good as the 7 thousand foot decent down Mt Shasta.

Here my brother is in the transition stages from snowboarding back to split-boarding. This sunset was one for the books and my memory as well.

Tahoe Backcountry, Splitboarding

Mountain biking is one of the summer activities I participate in. There is a fantastic 22 mile ride that I hadn’t done until this summer. The Marlette Flume trail. Here is one of those to die for views of Lake Tahoe. Below is Sand Harbor all the way to the Crystal Bay Casino, the Cal Neva, Kings Beach and even Castle Peak in the way way back.

San Harbor, Lake Tahoe

The Lost Trail Lodge was a place I had dreamt of and never knew I would ever actually find myself in. This is one of those little gems I’m hesitant about publicly posting or explaining how amazing it actually is. I’ll be back FOR SURE. Next time in the winter, sled and splitboard in hand…

Lost Trails Lodge

The Chainsmokers were performing at Lex nightclub in Reno right before Burning Man this summer. I met the manager and public relation team and worked my way into a good spot. I’ll be back to shoot more shows at this new club. Here’s a highlight in the music scene for my 2014 year.

The Chainsmokers

This is another one of those spots that I’m hesitant posting about. This place is by Mt Shasta, you have to hike a few miles and cross a few no trespassing signs and you might be lucky enough to stumble upon this beautiful waterfall that comes out of the hillside. The moss and lush green is so vivid here I ended up only shooting for a few minutes and spending the rest of my time just taking it in.

Mossbre Falls

“The Temple of Grace”

This photo was captured after a memorable night at Burning Man. The sun began to rise just as I stumbled into this wonderful piece of art. I was drawn in like nothing I could explain. The blue coming through the windows and openings is the sun rising. This piece was several stories high and only viewable by Burning Man attendees for one week, then burnt down to the ground never to be seen again.

Temple of Grace - Burning Man

Work/life balance is a consistent balance beam for everyone, myself included. I made it a point to use my jeep for what it was built for: The Rubicon Trail. This was actually on my second trip this summer. Minimal damage and maximum fun. The smiles per gallon in this thing are high when we’re on trail and I’m very happy to own a properly setup rig for such a sought out trail. This is one of the few photos I’ve taken of my own jeep. I’m usually in the drivers seat but opted to hop out and let a friend drive while I shot for an hour.

Rubicon Trail - Jeep XJ

The memory creators of Insomniac events put on a show in the San Francisco area called Beyond Wonderland. I was lucky to shoot the event because my friend Dan Dunn had connected the right dots for me. Unfortunately he was injured so he was unable to attend. He’s got some amazing photography and you should absolutely click his name above there. He inspires me to follow my dreams.

Beyond Wonderland 2014

I was shooting the seascapes of San Diego and drooling that I wasn’t out in the water surfing. The waves were coming in nicely and I was afraid the sunset wasn’t going to turn out the way I’d hoped. This surfer caught my eye and falls nicely into the frame during sunset. If I ever don’t live in the mountains I would like to live on a beach.

Surfer in San Diego

The Glitch Mob is a group of musicians that make some amazing music. This year I met their sound guy Ian Hicks at Coachella Music Festival. Ian connected the right dots for me to shoot a show The Glitch Mob was headlining. Ian makes some pretty awesome electronic music that you should absolutely check out here.

The Glitch Mob

I don’t normally shoot engagement or wedding photos but two friends of mine requested I shoot some Save The Date photos for their upcoming wedding. Here is a personal favorite from the day. This photo was taken at the Hyatt in Incline Village in Lake Tahoe.

Save the date, Lake Tahoe

“Look Through”

This is a photo I’ve been looking to capture for a few years and haven’t had the opportunity and right ingredients to make work. This morning was not one of those mornings. I got out of my jeep, hiked across the bridge and down into the location I’ve seen over and over in my head. Waste deep snow and 45 minutes later I got the perfect break in the clouds that I’ve been waiting for.

Old 40 Bridge, Donnor Lake, Lake Tahoe


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