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Other interesting pics from 2014

The following may not be my best pics from 2014 -- see this post for those. Still, as we launch into a new year, I think it's important to go back and look at my previous year's work. Specifically, I like to check out and show some images that I still like months after taking them. 

These aren't photos that necessarily attract a lot of eyeballs. Some may even be self-indulgent. Mostly I think they're interesting, whether they succeed or come up short and hopefully show a little bit of my style. Thanks for looking! 

Bee, Huntington Gardens. Not a super sharp image of either the bee or the plant, but the backlight is nice and helps bring out the color. The sum of the photo is better than its parts. 

Tuolumne River, Yosemite National Park. A storm was blowing through during my hike and I was sheltered under trees and enjoying this view looking south toward Cathedral Peak and the river. I initially thought this photo had a little too much clutter but now I think it offers a pretty good summary of the Yosemite High Country.

Shadow Lake, John Muir Wilderness.
Shadow Lake, John Muir Wilderness, Eastern Sierra. This was taken near the lake's outlet looking toward Mt. Banner and Mt. Ritter, the peaks right of center. I think black and white helps accentuate a quiet, cloudy day in the backcountry.

A small cemetery south of Big Pine in California's Owens Valley. I wanted to emphasize the big, strange volcanic landscape and the utter remoteness of the graveyard. I framed the photo to include a touch of the fencing and barb wire that surrounds the place, a reminder that even the dead need protection in such wild country.

Processed with VSCOcam
Lake Powell, Arizona. Shot with the VSCO app on my iPhone5 during a flight in April. The colors, the wild landscape and the jet engine somehow work well together. The photo is a little bottom-heavy -- there isn't much going on at the top of the frame. I took the photo below later in the day as we worked our way east -- I think it was taken above Kansas. 

Processed with VSCOcam

Horse, Los Angeles Equestrian Center. Not much to this photograph, but I really like the colors, the rust and the way the light fades to black in the back of the stall. I've gone back-forth on cropping out the bridle visible on the left side of the frame but have decided to keep it in the frame for now. 

More pics after the jump! 

Old row house, Cincinnati's West End. I spent a lot of time in Cincy this year dealing with parent issues and found a few hours here and there to shoot. The city has a ridiculously high number of buildings dating to the second half of the 1800s and many of them are in severe disrepair or are abandoned, such as this one. I was trying to tell that story with the above photo that includes a broken window and some fine architectural details -- but suggests that the home is abandoned. 

Pleasant Ridge Chili, Cincinnati.
One of my personal favorite photos of the past year -- Pleasant Ridge Chili in Cincy. Much of the city remains frozen in time and this sign harkens back to the mid-1900s. I'm not sure that folks from outside southwestern Ohio would recognize the regional dishes in the sign (chili spaghetti and a cheese coney). The brick, the sign, the hint of street life (or lack thereof) really captures the feel of the place where I grew up.

Shot this for work. The man in the photo is testifying at a public hearing where a fare increase for L.A. area buses and trains was being considered. I love the speaker's pose, the graininess and the range of interest from the audience in the background. The knock on the photo is that you can't see who the speaker is speaking to -- and how different the decision-makers are from him.

Downtown Los Angeles skyline against an interesting sunset, taken last winter. I like photos with a lot of space and context. It's always fun to set a big skyline against something bigger -- the sky :)

Ice skating at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles. I thought this photo nicely captured the mayhem of a public skate involving kids -- most of whom couldn't skate. The girl at left with her arms out and the girl with the giant skates and bow in her hair are nice bookends. I converted the photo to black-and-white to try to give it a timeless feel. 

National Park Service ranger descending to Middle Gaylor Lake, Yosemite National Park. Little people, big landscapes. I love these kind of photos. 

Jennifer Keith performing at Los Angeles Union Station.
Jennifer Keith in the Fred Harvey Room at Los Angeles Union Station. She performs classic American pop music and jazz, thus the reason that I thought black-and-white was an appropriate treatment for this photo. I've gone back and forth whether having the old-timey microphone covering her mouth is a flaw with the image or helps make it interesting. 

Horse along Santa Rosa Creek Road near Cambria, California.
Horse on a ranch near Cambria, California. Nice colors and landscape. I'm a little bothered by the power lines that run along the treeline -- you need to look close to see them. But I like the overall scene and, again, it's a case of keeping the subject of the image small while the backdrop is big. I really dig that. 

Injured barn owl, Devil's Punchbowl County Park. Depressing. And that's the point.

Oak trees, Cheeseboro and Palo Camado Canyon, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. I like the interplay of shadow, tree and grass and I think the photo nicely sums up the oak landscapes native to Southern California. 

Red-tailed hawk, Central Coast. I don't get a lot of birds-in-flight photos. This was probably the best I managed to capture last year although not as good as my best bird-in-flight pic from 2013

Hummingbird, Caltech campus. Small bird, big sky. Yes, yes, yes! 

Allen's hummingbird, Huntington Gardens, San Marino, CA. This is a photo that's really all about the colors, which I think work really well together. 

Cloudless sulphur butterflies, Huntington Gardens. These butterflies rarely stop moving and I was hoping to get a good shot of one of them. I tried concentrating on the plants where they would sometimes land briefly (extremely briefly!) -- and then follow them after they took off. 

In this case, I was following one and managed to fire off a series of shots that caught the butterfly mingling with two others. I had to crop the hell out of the pic, which I like because it's unique even if it's not a super closeup. 

Cheeseboro Canyon. Took this while walking back to the car at sunset. I probably could have composed it better but there's something about it -- it looks kind of like a painting -- that really brings me back to the hike. 

Morro Bay sunset, long-exposure. I really like that there's so much water and sky and just that little strip of land -- the sand spit -- across the frame.

Egret, Morro Bay. Nice pose and background. I shot this from a kayak. It's not easy balancing a telephoto lens while bobbing about, even the relatively lightweight Nikon 70-300mm that I own. That might be my excuse to one day buy a faster telephoto (always be rationalizing future camera gear!). 

Couple hiking the sand spit on Morro Bay on California's Central Coast.
Another one of my little-people-big-landscape photos, taken from the sand spit that separates Morro Bay from the Pacific Ocean. It was nice that the couple had their arms around one another.

Yet another Morro Bay photo -- I spent a few weekends on the California Central Coast this year. There is a lot happening in this photo and I go back-and-forth whether I like the B/W or color version better. 

Butterfly, Huntington Gardens. I like that the entire butterfly isn't visible -- just a peep of it hiding in these shrubs.

The two above photos were taken at a Gladiator run outside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. I really like the top one in which I was laying on the ground and the woman happened to look right at me. Unconventional and, thus, interesting.

Morro Bay and Morro Rock on a foggy June day. The black-and-white conversion emphasizes, I think, the adventure and solitude of paddling the bay on such a gray day. 

Beer league hockey. I think this one nicely captures the chaos that's inherently a part of the game.

I don't have much interest in trying to match or compete with the hard-core macro crowd shooting ultra-closeups of insects. I think it's more fun to show the insects inhabiting their own little worlds, as in the photos above and below. 

Yeah, I missed focus a little (I focused on the shoulder instead of the eyes). But you get the point: my pit bull is a thoroughbred. 

A performance of the Invisible Cities opera at L.A. Union Station this fall. The old ticketing room is a colorful setting but I think the B/W adds a little drama. What makes the photo work, however, is the look on the big guy's face. 

I was going for the cinematic look on this one. I'm slightly bothered by the 'M' being cut off on the 'Metro Rail' on the left side of the frame, but that may be overly nitpicky. 

Broken Top. I have a similar photo taken with my Nikon, but I like the Hipstamatic version better. I really like the colors of the two kayaks set against the red mountain and blue sky. 

California poppies, version 2.

My favorite flower pic from 2014 -- California poppies in Pasadena. 

And that's it for 2014. Thanks again for taking the time to look and read. All my photos are on my main website at, including info on purchasing prints or digital licenses.


All photos above are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.