Welcome to Under Pressure Photography’s Top 10 Photos of 2018! Thanks for following along on my adventures. I really appreciate the support you’ve all given me and the words of encouragement! Please let me know in the comments which photo is your favorite and why.
This past year was a little bit of a shift in focus. CrtrGrl and I spent a lot of time building out our FJ Cruiser for overland adventures and we’re still working on the next video and blog in the series. That series has been some of my most popular content.
Our big adventure for the year was taking the FJ out for a two week road trip up through California, Oregon and Washington. We camped in dispersed sites as much as possible (with a little time in an AirBnB in the middle). For me, it was a real test to not have everything planned out and know exactly where we were staying every night. But I grew to love the spontaneity and found that we discovered places we never would have found otherwise.
We also did some small dispersed camping trips out to Anza Borrego State Park, Big Bear, and the Mammoth Lakes area. We learned that 20F temps are the limit of our comfort zone for camping!
On the techie side, I finally set up a Postfix email server on our AWS EC2 instances, so we now have email for each domain that we own, with an unlimited number of email addresses.
Reducing Our Footprint
With the impacts of Anthropogenic Climate Change being felt more and more, we’ve focused on simplifying our life and reducing our environmental footprint. In last year’s Top 10 of 2017, I mentioned that I was inspired by minimalism. This year we took some big steps in that direction with the purchase of a 1993 Carpenter school bus we’ve named Skoolie Woolie. We’re in the process of converting him into an eco-friendly tiny house (see the last pic below). Follow us on Instagram to see the progress! In 2019, we’ll be shrinking our footprint, selling or donating a lot of our things and figuring out what we really don’t need.
Another major project we started in 2018 is the Big Green Heart Movement. Our goal is to make it easier for others to find green, eco-friendly replacements for commonly purchased items. We do a lot of research on each product we purchase and want to share that with everyone. We’ll be adding a product directory to the website and continuing to do lifestyle blogs. CrtrGrl has been busy sharing some of our favorite products on Instagram – @biggreenheartmovement. Please check it out if you’re interested in small/easy things you can do to reduce your impact on the planet.
Top 10 Photos of 2018
And now on to my Top 10 photos of 2018, in roughly chronological order. Let me know if you have a favorite!
Mcarthur-Burney Falls, CA - These amazing falls are our stop-over spot for our road trips north. It's best in the morning, before anyone else is up. This morning, we saw otters diving in the pond beneath the falls.
Multnomah Falls, OR - Surrounded by tragedy from the Eagle Creek Fire, this scenic (and often photographed) viewpoint was saved by brave firefighters. It's bittersweet knowing how much beautiful wilderness burned.
The amazing and beautiful Crater Lake National Park, OR - We had perfect weather in May, even though Rim Drive was only a quarter of the way open due to snow. CrtrGrl and I were blown away by the view and the deep blue color of the 1,949 foot deep lake. This is a panoramic composite of 4 photos, totaling over 13,000 pixels wide. There was just no other way to shoot this grand scene without a fisheye lens.
Anemones in tidepools at Fort Worden State Park, WA - Tidepools are the closest I got to underwater photography this past year and I still love the colors and shapes of these alien creatures.
Hurricane Hill, Olympic National Park, WA - One of my favorite hikes that we did this past year was on my birthday. We took the morning and drove up to Hurricane Ridge - one of the entrances we hadn't visited yet. We hiked up to the peak at 5757 ft and were treated with marmots and amazing snow-capped views of the Olympic range.
Snowpack on Mt Rainier, Mt Rainier National Park, WA -CrtrGrl and my first visit to Mt Rainier National Park this past May was amazing, though too short! The scale of the mountain, the crevasses and the rough, unforgiving terrain made us think of the brave mountaineers who climb up to the peak.We also saw the Nisqually Glacier, or at least where it used to be. Historically, it filled the valley below, but has been retreating every year due to Climate Change. :( We must take action before we lose all of the habitats and communities that depend on glaciers.
Sahalie Falls, Oregon - A magical glade, covered in moss, with cerulean blue water. I could explore this valley for weeks. Sahalie Falls on the McKenzie River in Oregon was one of my favorite spots we visited on our 2 week road trip.
Twilight Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg AFB, viewed from Tamarack State Beach, Carlsbad CA - As the rocket reached the upper atmosphere, the exhaust plume lit up! We saw the first stage separation and saw it turn around to head back to Vandenberg. This is a composite image stitched together from 3 separate long exposure images.
Duck Lake Pass view of Barney Lake and Mammoth Mountain, CA - What a beautiful place! Green forests, blue streams, amber meadows, emerald lakes and crumbling, grey granite peaks. On a day hike, we made it up through Duck Lake Pass to see Duck and Pika Lakes, which scratched the itch I've been feeling to climb the granite mountains of the Sierras.
Our skoolie at Humble Hand Craft, Ventura CA - Part of our plan to reduce our environmental footprint includes converting this school bus into a tiny home. We plan to add solar panels and it will be mostly stationary, except when we need to move.