As 2015 is just around the corner, I took the time to look back at this awesome year, all the trips, all the amazing people I met during the trips, all the stories and photographs. I could not feel more grateful for all the places I visited this year and all the experiences I lived.
For the next 10 days, until December 31st, I will be posting here each day one personal favorite photograph of the places I’ve been in 2014 and bring back all the memories I have from all these awesome locations.
2014 could not have started better. After a long time I had finally been to the place that was sitting on the top of my bucket list over the last few years: the aurora borealis (or northern lights) in Tromsø, Norway. I guess I can easily say that this was the highlight of the year for me, even though it was still only February when I’ve been there.
I spent a good few months researching to be thoroughly prepared to see and photograph the Northern Lights. It totally payed off. Already on the first night I got to shoot a few photographs of the aurora, which eventually landed on the cover of the Astronomy Ireland magazine, and also a time-lapse video over six nights. This image shows exactly the very first time that I saw the aurora dancing in the sky, an unforgettable and emotional experience. I call it The Aurora Tornado :)
What was as incredible as experiencing the aurora dancing in the sky was, a few months later, to have an article about my trip to Tromsø, Norway and my time-lapse video featured on the polish National Geographic website. Awesome!!!
I had the opportunity to spend a weekend in Milan, Italy in april this year and what a fantastic city. The Duomo di Milano is its main attraction, located at the very center of the city at the Piazza del Duomo. It is the fifth largest cathedral in the world and the largest in the Italian state territory. Nearby the Duomo it is also the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II with its stunning glass dome and it is home to some of the trendiest shops.
The Piazza del Duomo is usually extremely crowded during the day and it is very hard to photograph anything there without one million people in front, sometimes even during the night. This one night I was lucky to have the whole place for me and my camera, I couldn’t get tired of standing there admiring every little detail of this stunning facade :)
Berlin, also in April, was great! It was my second time there and as I have good friends living around I got to visit them and also explore the city.
Certainly a lot of history in Berlin, which makes me enjoy even more all the places I photographed over there. One place that I didn’t know and it was great to visit was the Soviet War Memorial at the Treptower Park opened four years after World War II. Thanks to my friends Hammer and Toni for taking me there :)
One of my personal favorite photographs taken there is this one of the Brandenburg Gate. I planned to photograph it at night as I think that the artificial lights really make this landmark stands out even more. It was raining when I was on my way and I was concerned that this would ruin the photograph, but what happened was just the opposite. The wet ground in front of the landmark created this awesome reflection and really added up to the photograph’s final result.
Oh Paris! It is definitely the city that I’ve most visited in Europe. And there I was again earlier in June.
The Louvre Palace, which houses the famous Louvre Museum, is by far my favorite building to photograph in Paris. Specially at night, I can spend hours exploring all the different cool symmetries that you can get with the pyramids and the building itself. It is already confirmed that I will be in Paris again in 2015 and I’m already looking forward for more photographs, crepes and wine :)
Jacobite Steam Train, Fort William to Mallaig, Scotland
I was very excited to go to Scotland for the first time earlier in July. Starting in Glasgow and driving up to the Scottish Highlands, passing through nice little towns like Oban and sailing on the famous Loch Ness was an incredible experience. I also had a lot of fun going on this awesome journey with the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig and passing by the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a spot more than familiar to any Harry Potter enthusiast. I can’t wait to go back to Scotland and better explore the Highlands and Isle of Skye.
Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland… a country that I love to visit and, in fact, a country that I can visit very often as it is just a short drive away from Dublin, Ireland.
What I most like to do is to drive through the coast of Northern Ireland from Belfast to Londonderry. This 120 miles (190km) route is known as the Coastal Route and brings you to stunning locations like the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, the Dunluce Castle, Mussenden Temple, the world famous tree tunnel known as the Dark Hedges and much more.
The top attraction though is definitely the Giants Causeway, an amazing volcanic rock formation area that is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. As in any other part of the island you have to be lucky with the weather though. I’ve been up there many times already and probably experienced everything from a beautiful summer day which almost makes you want to go for a swim to a 15 minutes visit due to heavy rain storm haha. One of these days in the summer though I got this beautiful sunset accompanied by a small rainbow, which became my personal favorite photograph of the Giants Causeway :)
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Yes, I know I am living in Ireland… it’s been 4 years now actually, but I couldn’t leave Ireland out of this post.
It is not just because I am living here at the moment, but Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries that I’ve been. Yes, it rains A LOT, but when you are out there photographing, these climatic events together with the stunning locations also provides you awesome landscape photographs. Like this one I shot at the Cliffs of Moher earlier this year, allegedly the most popular touristic attraction in Ireland. I lost count already of how many times I’ve been here, yet it never fails to impress me.
As a Brazilian, I guess there is no other country in Europe that makes me feel closer to home than Portugal. The people, the culture and the food… I always come back weighing a few more kilos after a trip to Portugal :)
I spent a few days in Lisbon earlier in September and was happy to catch this wonderful sunset at the Belem’s Tower (Portuguese: Torre de Belém). I was actually heading to photograph the Monument to the Discoveries using that beautiful sunset golden light, but as I looked back and saw the sun setting beautifully beside the tower I immediately decided to go for this shot. What a great day! I already miss you Portugal! :)
Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre was on my bucket list for a long time and I finally managed to visit those beautiful villages. I spent amazing days in Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Manarola and Corniglia having awesome food, wine and snapping some photographs once in a while :) The last day in Monterosso was actually the only day that I left my camera at the hotel during the entire trip as I decided to focus 100% on having a fun time at the beach :)
My favorite photograph of this trip was taken in Vernazza at the dusk hour. I just love the way that the artificial lights blend with the natural light of the day at this time. I also can’t forget about the heavy rain storm that caught me when I was up there with my equipment all set up a few minutes before I’ve taken this photograph, but as always it became a fun travel story to tell, I will leave the details for another time though.
There was no better way to end this year than with a short trip to Barcelona, Spain. Those who know me for some time know how I love Barcelona, not only because it is just an awesome city but because I am a big FC Barcelona fan. In fact, after 2 years, I was able to watch another match at the Camp Nou and this time a UEFA Champions League match. Needless to say I was stoked during the whole match :)
I also managed to enjoy the other aspects of this city that I really love, I just never get tired of admiring the architecture and the work of the amazing Antoni Gaudí. One of my favorite spots is the view from the top of the Parc Güell at sunset, whenever I am in Barcelona I always save time to come here.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this post as much as I did enjoy looking back at all the awesome moments and places I visited in 2014. Now it is time to start planning the trips for 2015 and I am already looking forward to continue photographing beautiful locations in our wonderful world.
Have a happy New Year everyone!!! \o/