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2014 was a great year for me and my business. It was my most profitable year yet, with another fantastic international trip, and the addition of some major clients. I opened my first studio, got published in numerous publications, had a great time at some workshops (and even taught my first one, at a world-class art museum), made new friends, and even influenced people. People voted me the best photographer in the area, I hit the big 3,000 fan milestone on this Facebook page, and I launched a new website. Not too bad for a little one-man photography business! So, let’s raise a glass (mine contains tea, right now) to 2014, and have a big cheers to 2015! May 2015 be good to you and yours as 2014 was to me.
One of my favorite images of the year was created in just the first few weeks of 2014. After shooting my (hopefully) last wedding ever, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, I traveled solo around the country for four weeks. Making my way north to Lake Titicaca—the largest lake in South America, which straddles the northwestern border between Bolivia and Peru—I took a boat to the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun). A holy site for the Inca, legend speaks of a bearded creator of the universe, Viracocha, emerging from the waters of the lake and creating the sun on this island.
After spending an entire day hiking from the southern to the northern end of the island, and three attempts later, I finally found a room in the town of Cha’llapampa. As thunderstorms were rolling in, I realized that I hadn’t broken out the tripod I had been carrying the whole trip, that I was high in the Andes at 12,500 feet, and that the stars were magnificent. Using light from my headlamp and a light on a house a couple hundred feet away, I lit the boats during this fifteen-second exposure. Less than ten minutes later, clouds rolled in and hid the stars, and it stormed all night. It was the only time I used the tripod I was lugging around for weeks—but I think it was worth the extra weight.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” — Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It