Time for my annual look back at the monthly highlights during the past year! 2014 is of course the year of my ”365 pictures” project, but it wasn’t much of a success and I can say straight away that none of the pictures in this year’s selection is directly from this project.
I was very productive last year but I can’t help but feel that I have allowed quantity to take over quality. I hope I can restore the right order of things in 2015, I have some big plans and exciting trips lined up already! The biggest adventure takes place in May – I will be going to Greenland, for a workshop which is led by Hans Strand who one of the best landscape photographers in Sweden. Now how cool is that?
Winter 2013-2014 was not a good one. It started out without snow, but by the end of the month, it was looking like winter again. As it happened, the best snowfall of the month (the winter) happened just after I had received my new little camera (Olympus OM-D E-M5) and this was the first picture I shot with it.
Just to prove that the winter wasn’t any good, it started to fade out already in February. By the end of the month, it looked like April, and it’s hard to do good landscapes in those conditions. I selected this aurora picture, not so much for the aurora itself but for the trees, actually.
The thing I will never forget about March 2014 is the epic skiing trip we did. We had hoped for nice late winter weather but we got snowed under and blown over. My frost bites have faded, but somehow I still can feel them in cold weather! I think I took some better pictures than this one, but all things considered, it would be wrong to select anything but a picture from that trip. The conditions may not look so bad here (it was just very cold) but by the next morning, we couldn’t even see this mountain any more for all the snowing and wind.
April 2014 was actually one of the better Aprils I’ve experienced. The highlight was undeniably the Easter break when I got some really good skiing done (direct opposite of the March trip) with glorious sunshine!
It doesn’t happen often, but May was not actually as good as April. I took a lot of pictures but they are just so… so. The picture of the month is from a nice cycling trip in t-shirt weather, which is not something you can take for granted in May.
It was a funny month. It started out nice, but things soon turned ugly. I managed to squeeze in three visits to the cabin, the first one was dedicated to painting the windows but on the second visit, I was out on the tundra every day. The ugly part of the month is that it was viciously cold – it snowed during the hike I did on midsummer eve, and the next day I was shooting snowcapped mountains! I have never seen that before.
We got compensation for the cold weather in July. Looking back at the pictures, it looks like almost the whole month was warm and sunny. I burned my skin on a hike to Blåstöten (the mountain I’ve wanted to conquer for many years now), but I also hurt my knee on the same hike which limited my hikes for the rest of the summer. A road trip was more suitable, but of course we had just about the only bad weather of the month on our trip to Norway. The month’s pick however is from close to home – I found a great spot for shooting white waterlilies and regular readers should know by now how much I love this flower!
August was really nice as well, photographically the best August I’ve ever had. More trips to the mountains, a visit to the Frösö Zoo and a boat trip in the archipelago north from Stockholm. I have some other strong candidates for the month’s pick, but I was so happy about getting pictures of a lion in the zoo that I had to go with it.
You would think that my pick for the month is from the long-awaited Iceland-trip, but September was a great month long before Iceland happened. The definite highlight was the hike to Helags and witnessing the best display of aurora I have ever seen. To see the aurora right above my head, I didn’t even know it was possible at these latitudes! But even so, my pick of the month is the beautiful sunrise we witnessed on Kappruskaftet.
I really struggled with seaside photography in Iceland. It was the same story every day, I just couldn’t figure out what to do with the shore and the rocks and the ice and the waves… even when I thought I had it, the pictures didn’t hold up for closer inspection. Until on the very last day, our last session by the sea, and I got this one.
Even if I thought it was difficult to shoot by the sea in Iceland, it did make me want to try it some more. I think the coast provides a lot of opportunities to create the kind of pictures I like, so I spent a day on Hornslandet and got some nice ones.
We didn’t get any snow until just before Christmas, so I was still able to shoot greens in the middle of the month. I have spoken about this technique before but despite my reservations about it, I can’t help but like the result.