My top 10 photographs of 2014

Here we go again. 2014 is history now and it is time to reflect back. It was an awesome year. I made some major trips and some smaller ones. Here are 10 of my images I have taken in 2014. I thought they are good enough to make this list or they have a special meaning to me. Some of them were previously published here, some were not. So have a look and let me know what you think.

Chulu West base camp at 5600m. The day we arrived the sky looked ominous.  The peak on the left is Chulu West. Although weather like this is not good for climbing, it definitely works for photography

Himalayan sunrise is probably my most favorite image of 2014.Taken from village of Chutanga overlooking the deep valley the first rays of sun are hitting the snow capped peaks of Himalayas. Image is very graphical and simple and that is what I like about it the most. Conor version didn't worked that well and I realised the full potential of the image after black and white conversion.

Rongbu Sherpa. I like the lighting on this photograph the most. We were sitting in dining room and he's got really interested in my camera. He wanted to play with it and was reaching up to grab it. As he leaned forward to reach higher his face got into small shaft of light. I was ready and also bit lucky he wasn't tall enough to reach the camera. This is the resulting image. I also thought this worked better in black and white.

Sunset at dusty Thamel streets. I picked the image because of the color.. It is almost entirely monochrome except the bluish water drums mounted on the bicycle. I like how they stand out in the sea of yellow/reddish color of environment. I returned back to this place few months later but road on this street has tarmac on it now and it lost a little of it's "dusty" magic.

Sadhu. These characters can be seen on or near Durbar Square. Be careful, there are some that only dress up this way to lure some money from tourists wanting to photograph them. You can recognise them as they literally follow people and their clothing and face paint are quite clean. This guy was just sitting there, not particularly clean. He seemed to be genuine (I might be wrong) compared to the other guy who followed me for few minutes demanding to take photo of him for money. This would be a standard, i would say "Steve McCurryish" style of travel portrait. There is not too much special about it but I still like the pose, the colors the character.

Photograph of my friend Lina in Cambodia. We were sitting in boat restaurant with my friends enjoying a dinner. It was quite dark to photograph anything even with lens wide open. As it happens a mobile phone is a common companion even on social events. It can be bad but in this case it was so much needed light source.. I thing the resulting photograph is not too shabby for ISO 6400.  What do you think?

Morning at Manang village in Nepal. Old Manang is magical with these ancient stone buildings. Even early morning the light can be quite contrasty. I came to this location and I recognised the play os morning sun rays with dust and smoke. They were creating these nice god rays. So I sat down and I was waiting for few minutes for somebody to walk across the frame to include some human element which completed the picture. Without those two guys the image would be empty. It took almost 10 minutes to wait but patience paid of.

I took this portrait of this little girl during my rest day in Manang village in Nepal. It was lose to noon and sun was relatively high up and very strong creating very unpleasing harsh light. I noticed this girl standing near big bush which in some sort of half shade. some sun still got through to create nice highlights on her hair while her face stayed in relatively even light. It was just right time and right place. One shot after this she moved just ever so slightly and harsh sun poked here face which rendered the following photograph as reject. This one came through quite well.

Upper Pisang village is lit by last sun rays. I like the color contrast on this image, Village is still in the sun nicely and warmly lit what mountain in the background has very little direct sun hitting it. It creates nice contrast between warm and cold color. I simplified the composition by using longer lens and excluded any sky or other elements all together.. I think it works as a nice travel photograph.

Little Mermaid, This is the nickname I gave to this little Cambodian princess. I have more emotional connection to this photograph that the others. I know this little girl through my friend and we spent some of the last days of 2014 in Sihanoukville in Cambodia. It was the first time the was on the beach and was able to play around in the water.. When she eventually got out of the water I was able to capture the joy on her face without harsh sunlight. Although face is in shade there is enough to see that it was a very happy time for her. And that is enough for me to leave this photograph.