2014 – My year in photos.

It’s hasn’t been easy sifting through 20,000 images to pick a handful that sum up my year in photos. For me, it’s been a year of growth both personally as well as honing my skills as a photographer. I made it a personal mission at the start of the year to focus more on the photography skills as well as maintaining the discipline and persistence to create something that I could be proud of. Overall, I think the patience and time invested into continually learning and striving to be better seems to have paid off with recognition coming in the form of sales of my photos and also some freelance writing work.

I’ve also made some lifestyle changes, such as pulling back on the social life. At the rate that I was ‘socialising’ at the start of the year wasn’t really sustainable in the long term. I’ve actually enjoyed the quiet time to look inwards, embrace my inner introvert and reflect on the time spent travelling as well as what will be required propel me into next year.

Thanks for following me on this journey and instead of writing a monster post, I’ll let the photos to bulk of the rest of the talking.

Jimmy.

Edit: If you want to know what gear I use to take these images, you can check it out at my gear page HERE.

January: Sydney, Australia

After eight months of travelling through Central and South America, I came home for a vacation to see all of my loved ones, enjoy the Sydney summer and to devour my favourite Asian foods that I was deprived of during the previous year. There’s no better place to be than Sydney in January – everybody is still on a holiday high, the weather is at its best and there are a huge amount of free events to attend during the Sydney Festival.

harbour bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge during my final week in Sydney.

February: Cambodia

It was my first time to Cambodia and it was quite an emotional experience learning about the brutal history but also experiencing the friendly hospitality everywhere I went. From the beautiful beaches of the south, to the mighty Angkor Wat, there’s so much to see and do in Cambodia.

cambodian island

A beach on Koh Rong Samloem

angkor wat

The entrance to the Victory Gate at Angkor Thom.

faces of bayon temple angkor wat

Bayon Temple. My favourite of all of the temples at Angkor Wat.

angkor wat

A monk exiting the dark hallway at Angkor Wat.

March: Laos

It was also my first time to Laos, and similar to Cambodia, visiting Phonsavan to learn about the horrific bombings that took place in the country was something that I felt that I needed to do. Much of the country is still littered with unexploded ordinates and it’s a chilling legacy of the war that took place place nearby.

sunset

Sunsets over the limestone mountains of Vang Vieng. It was the burning season in March which made the sunset skies even more saturated.

plain of jars

Site two of the plain of Jars in Phonsavan. The origins of these huge granite jars are still known, but there are many sites scattered throughout the area. However, only three are open to the public due to the unexploded ordinances.

plain of jars phonsavan

We met a group of local geologists at the third site at the Plain of Jars drinking an entire case of beer. Despite not knowing more than a few phrases of english, they still invited us over and insisted we drink with them. After a few large bottles later, many selfie photos were taken.

luang prabang

A monk walking over the Nam Khan river which branches off from the Mekong River. Every year the bamboo bridge is rebuilt after the rainy season it away by the rushing water.

giving of alms luang prabang

Every morning, monks walk down the main street for alms collection. It’s been a long standing tradition, however inconsiderate and disrespectful tourists from certain countries now pose as the largest risk to it.

luang prabang waterfalls

Kuang Si Falls just outside of Luang Prabang.

March: Hanoi, Vietnam

I was struck down with the flu in the last few days in Laos, so I decided to cut short my trip and fly to Vietnam a couple of weeks earlier, where I knew the language and would feel a little more “at home”. I’d end up spending three month there indulging on the bun cha and coffee.

hanoi traffic

This image best summarises the chaotic traffic that roams around the streets.

hanoi trainline

The train line in Hanoi that runs directly through a neighbourhood.

Sapa, Vietnam

sapa trekking

Our homestay host and her grandson where we were trekking in Sapa.

sapa

The rice terraces of Sapa.

Halong Bay

halong bay

Halong Bay, where there are boatloads of tourists, but still a must see for it’s scale and beauty.

May: Myanmar

Myanmar was a country that surprised me. It has only recently opened up to foreign tourism and investment, but many parts of the country still remain off limits. Despite it being under developed with limited infrastructure, I still found it easy to travel around. With a heavy Buddhist influenced lifestyle, I found the Burmese people to be one of the friendliest that I’ve met anywhere throughout my travels. A must go place before the influx of foreign investment changes everything which is my number one concern.

burmese pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Adorned with gold, diamonds and rubies, people come from all over the country to pray here.

golden rock

It’s said that the Golden Rock which has miraculously remained clinging to the edge of the cliff, is anchored by a thread of Buddha’s hair. Buddhists from all over Myanmar make the pilgrimage to the mountain top village of Kyaiktiyo to pray at the site and add a sheet of gold leaf to it.

June: Scotland

Things were becoming hot and rainy in Vietnam as the wet season approached. As it wasn’t the best conditions for photography, I decided to book a last minute trip to Europe, starting with Scotland and ending with Iran in the Middle East. I was blessed with dry and sunny weather most of my time in Scotland which is unheard of. What better way to take advantage of it than to go on a four day road trip up to the Isle of Skye.

sunsets in edinburgh

Calton Hill in Edinburgh.

Old Man storr

Old Man Storr in the Isle of Skye

Quiraing

Quiraing on the north eastern coast of the Isle of Skye. There’s so much drama in the landscape and the clouds there.

Neist Point Lighthouse. This was taken nearly at midnight during the summer solstice.

London, England

I always look forward to going to London. Usually it’s in between places and I use it to enjoy a pint with my mates, but this time I did get out a little bit to do some touristy things.

tower bridge london

Tower Bridge.

westminster

Light trails from a london bus in front of Big Ben.

July: France

It was my first trip to Paris and it was as magnificent as everybody says it is. It’s so easy to become swept up in the food, history and culture and you are not short of things to photograph from the architecture in Paris to the sweeping views of lavender and sunflower fields in Provence.

paris sunset

Final sunset in Paris before the 14th July celebrations

church in lyon

Notre Dame Cathedral in Lyon. I enjoyed visiting the places of worship in Europe.

lyon museum

A fine art attempt at the Gallo Roman Museum, Lyon.

provence sunset

Sunflowers in Provence. This is one of my all time favourite photos from this year.

July: Italy

I fell in love with Italy the first time I went in 2009. Their respect of tradition and the seasonality of food ensures that there is incredible diversity of flavours and cuisine throughout the country. What I wasn’t a fan of was the lack of any form of customer service in most places that I went to. Still, I would return in a heartbeat.

The sunsets during July in Italy were the best that I’ve seen it anywhere, especially in Florence. During the end of my stay there, I went on a self guided three day scooter adventure through the Tuscan countryside. It was at that moment where I realised that I needed to be find adventure in the outdoors more often.

italian riviera

Manarola in Cinque Terre

amalfi coast

Positano along the Amalfi Coast.

tuscany

Sunset in Montepulciano during a three day scooter adventure.

full moon in tuscany

A supermoon rises over the Tuscan countryside.

August: Turkey

My first trip to Turkey was nothing short of spectacular. Earlier in the year, I wanted to visit countries that were rich in culture and with a history that goes back thousands of years and Turkey was my first introduction. From the daily call to prayer and the towering mosques of Istanbul, to the lunar like landscape of Cappadocia, I was in complete awe of the Turkey and its history.

doner kebab in istanbul

The kebab master in Istanbul.

blue mosque

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

blue mosque interior

Inside the Blue Mosque

cappadocia

The martian like landscape of Goreme, Cappadocia.

hot air ballooning cappadocia

Sunrise ballooning over Cappadocia.

Pamukkale

The ruin theatre of Hierapolis in Pamukkale.

night sky olympos

My first attempt at astrophotography in Olympos

September: Iran

Iran has rocketed to the top of the list of places with the friendliest people. Despite what they say on the news, you can’t judge a country based on what’s reported about a regime. With a population mostly comprised of under thirties, it’s a modern, educated and progressive country with history that spans back beyond 4 thousand years. With its stunning mosques, striking bridges, and barren deserts, there is always something to see in Iran. However, it was the people I met and who showed me around that made my time there memorable, and I can’t wait to go back.

hiking mt sofeh

The peak of Mt Sofeh in Isfahan, after a steep climb for a few hours.

iranian desert sunset

A camel ride in the desert.

iranian kings tomb

Dating back 1000B.C, four tombs belonging to Achaemenid kings are carved out of the rock face at a considerable height above the ground.

pink mosque shiraz

It was an image of the Nasīr al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz that caught my interest in Iran a while ago.

October: Vietnam

After an intensive three months of travelling, it was great to be back in Vietnam and enjoying Vietnamese food again. It was now time to head down to Saigon where I’d spent most of the remainder of the year there, but I’d get to see a few places along the way.

500 steps to dragon statue tam coc

A dragon statue at top of the Mua Cave in Ninh Binh.

hoi an

Hoi An by night as lanterns light up the streets along the river.

ho chi minh city sunset

The famous roundabout at Ben Thanh Market in Saigon.

ho chi minh city notre dame

Notre Dame Basilica by night.

November: Thailand

This was a spontaneous trip to visit friends in Bangkok and Chiang Mai during Loi Krathong. Despite it being rainy in Chiang Mai, it was still fun hanging out with friends.

bangkok temples

The iconic Wat Arun in Bangkok.

loi krathong lantern

Making a wish for the coming year and releasing a lantern during Loi Krathong.

December: Singapore

Singapore was a relentless exercise in eating and feasting during Christmas. I spent it with my sister and her family and it was a nice break to be in a place where you could drink water from a tap, the transport ran on time and efficiently and where you could travel from miles underground between multiple train stations and shopping malls without leaving air conditioned comfort the entire time. After a while though, I was missing the chaos of Vietnam.

marina bay sands lights

The daily light show at Marina Bay.

gardens by the bay marina sands

Gardens by the Bay. Quite impressive.

marina bay sands

A closer view of the Marina Bay Sands and the flower shaped Art Science Museum.

If you love any of the photos from this post, you can purchase them from my portfolio site here.

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Comments

2014 – My year in photos. — 6 Comments

  1. Fantastic round up Jimmy! With all of your amazing shots to choose from, I can’t imagine narrowing it down for this post was an easy feat.

    My favourite of the bunch is of the stained glass windows at the Mosque in Shiraz.

  2. Happy new year Jimmy! I was eating snails then too! Here’s to gratitude! It is contagious!!! Cheers! – LB (And gorgeous photos as always).

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