2017 Year in Review!

This past year has been a lot of fun! I made it to Kauai for the 2nd and 3rd time, the Big Island for the 4th time, Banff for the 2nd time, California for the who-knows-how-manyieth time, and we got to spend an entire month if Germany and France (two new countries to check off the list). Through all of that, I created a surprisingly small amount of “portfolio quality” images. This is mainly because for most of these trips I was either leading workshops (where creating images isn’t my first priority) or with my family. All in all, I added 41 new images to my portfolio. Here are some of my favorites with a brief story about each one. Thanks so much for following along and hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

This was taken on my second Kauai Workshop in February. We almost made it to the end of the Na Pali Coast when a rain storm moved in and cut our sunset cruise short. I don’t think any of us minded though, as a brilliant rainbow formed right as we started to turn around. And, as luck would have it, another catamaran (WITH A RAINBOW ON THE SAIL) was sailing right beneath the arch. So awesome!

On my last morning in Banff, I went out to Two Jack Lake to shoot sunrise with my friend Mike and his girlfriend. Sunrise was a total bust but as we were headed back to town for some breakfast, I spotted some elk through the trees across a little outlet from the lake. We got to photograph a group of 5 or 6 bull elk as they fought on and off for nearly an hour. It was absolutely incredible and something I’ll never, ever forget.

Our trip to Germany was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up. We got to swap houses (and cars) with a family from Ettlingen for an entire month. We were less than 30 minutes from the border of France and since our oldest son Isaac has been obsessed with the Eiffel Tower since he first saw a picture of it, we just had to make a trip down to Disneyland Paris. This was taken the first night of our side trip. I’ve taken many pictures of the fireworks at Disney World, so this was pretty exciting 🙂

Our little boys loved exploring all the castles throughout Germany and France. This one was located on the Rhine River and was the biggest in all of Germany. We explored so many that I can’t even remember what this one was called!

Another first for me was getting to photograph lava entering the ocean on the Big Island of Hawaii. This was one of the top 3 coolest things I’ve ever seen or experienced. The sound of the lava hissing in the water, the heat on my face, the smell of the steam and water, the motion of the boat…it was sensory overload and I loved every second of it. I’m going back in just a few weeks so really hope it will start flowing again!

I only made it out to chase storms twice this past spring, and one of those was just a quick chase of a fast moving storm near my home. This one was somewhere in east Texas. It was tornado warned for a while but as we got closer to it the structure began to fall apart. Still good to get back out there and experience mother nature doing her thing again.

In April my wife and I took the kiddos out to California to visit Kristin’s family. I just had to stop at my favorite spot in Templeton and photograph the Milky Way rising over those hills peppered with old oak trees.

Back on Kauai, I got this jaw-dropping view of the Na Pali Coast from our sunset cruise as a helicopter tour passed by in the distance. It provided the perfect opportunity to show the incredible scale of these cliff faces. This island is so incredible.

In Germany, we took an overnight trip to the Rhine River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We got there right as the fall colors were peaking which meant all the vineyards throughout the gorge were covered in bright yellows and oranges. This entire area just left us all speechless. This was the view from another castle we explored looking across the river.

Banff National Park might as well be called Narnia National Park. If they changed the name and made it official I’d be like, “Yeah, that makes sense.” Everywhere you turn there’s a new composition and new scene that will take your breath away. This was taken at sunrise at Two Jack Lake, looking out across the (mostly) frozen lake and the backside of Mount Rundle.

And one more from Kauai! This was taken from the air towards the other helicopter which held the other half of my workshop group, right as we were flying past Tunnels Beach and Ke’e.

That’s all for now! I could post more but it’s New Years Eve and time to go play with the kids :-). Here’s one last shot from a forest in Germany. We were trying to find a way to photograph (yet another) castle for sunset but there was a mountain in the way so we just explored the area and played in the leaves instead.

Happy New Year from Isaac, Levi, Kristin, and me!


  1. The second-to-last photo looks like it should be in the intro for Magnum P.I. Great shots!

  2. It’s great seeing the world thru your eyes. Loved the photo of the Rhine vineyards. But, for some reason, the one that struck me the most, was the family shot at the end. And I am the guy who would rather not have people in my own shots 🙂

Leave a Comment