Best Photos of 2014 by Jim M. Goldstein

2014 was a very different year for me in that I spent my time in the field focusing nearly 100% on enjoying nature without obsessing on taking photos. My motivation was to give my oldest son (4 years old) the best introduction to the natural world possible.  Everything this year was the same as years past in regard to my pre-planning for ideal photography conditions I just happened to intentionally leave my pro gear at home. To be honest I couldn’t have asked for better results sharing spectacular wildlife & snow conditions in Yosemite  and perfect Milky Way / night sky conditions in Big Sur to name a couple of noteworthy trips. Seeing everything new through the eyes of my young son was (and continues to be) an amazing experience. I’m hopeful that he picks up as deep a passion for the outdoors as I have. This year was also monumental in that my second son was born mid-year. After that things quickly became a blur thanks to a good deal of sleep deprivation. Seeing that this year was so unorthodox for me I’ll continue that trend and share with you my best photos of the year as seen through my Instagram (JimGoldstein) photos. During this experimental year my iPhone 5S was the only camera I had on hand during my father/son trips.


Adventures with My Son VIII – View from Swinging Bridge this AM

Happy New Year 2014! – On a New Year morning mission

Adventures with My Son IX – Fresh Snow in Cook’s Meadow

Adventures with My Son II – Deer Crossing the Merced River

Muir Woods I – Waiting for Ewoks

Adventure with My Son IV – Half Dome & Gray Skies

Adventures with My Son VII – Gates of the Valley Sunrise & Snow

Adventures with My Son VI – Stormy Skies over Half Dome

Adventures with My Son X – Snowy Sunrise on El Capitan

Wet World I

Fear not I did not give up on DSLRs. Here are some the obligatory family photos with the boys:

The New Addition

Chips Off the Old Block


Jim Goldstein is a professional photographer and author, based out of the San Francisco bay area in California, who specializes in outdoor and nature photography. Passionate about nature and the environment Jim infuses elements of the natural world into his commercial, editorial and fine art work. For more follow Jim on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Subscribe
  1. latoga

    Jim, Congratulations on sticking to your objective of enjoying nature through you’re son’s eyes instead of thru the viewfinder! (the investment is well worth it) Still looks like you have a great instagram year. And thanks for still taking the time to run this blog project! I know all the challenges with all the sleep deprivation of the little one. Appreciate the effort for year #8.

    Wishing you and the family a great (and photogenic) 2015!

  2. jimgoldstein

    Thanks Greg! It’s always my pleasure to run this blog project.
    Of anyone I know you’ll understand the challenges with sleep. Thanks for taking part and happy new year!

  3. Pat Ulrich

    Great collection, Jim, from an inspiring project. It’s a real testament to the fact that being there is far more important than the gear that you carry. Congratulations on such a wonderful year with your family! And thanks again for organizing and running this great annual project.

  4. suzywalker

    Great photos Jim, amazing from a phone! Did you miss your gear at all? I’m in for all the fun of sleep deprivation next year 😉 I seem to have gone off taking pics with my gear too, must be the raging hormones. Got my ‘best photo’ post in this year by the skin of my teeth 🙂 couldn’t miss out on joining in with the yearly fun.


  5. jimgoldstein

    Thanks Suzy! I always have my gear with me so it was a matter of just having the discipline to not use it. It was pretty easy actually as seeing my son take everything in for the first time was really exciting and enveloping. That said my iPhone is full of photos (>10K) taking quick shots of the boys. Most are throw away seeing they squirm so much. Still you’ll find yourself taking plenty of photos even when super tired. Best of luck in 2015. The writing is on the wall that it is going to be an exciting year for you. Congrats!

  6. jimgoldstein

    Thanks Pat! Happy new year!

  7. Richard Wong

    Kudos for being able to keep the gear in the car. Not easy I’d imagine. Super jealous of the reflection shot as I was just down the road when you shot that!

  8. jimgoldstein

    Thanks Richard. The most difficult time I have in Yosemite is picking my spots. In good conditions photographing Yosemite is like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s possible to get a great shot in many locations. The downside to this is being disciplined and decisive enough to know where to go and when. Which reminds me of a story…

    Back in the day my dog Moe, a JRT, was obsessed with tennis balls. So one day I decided to dump 20 tennis balls in front of him and he stood there like a statue unable to pick out a ball to go after. The decision of too many options was disabling.

    When I’m in Yosemite I have to fight to not be Moe. Over the years I’ve gotten better at it, but every visit I start from the ground floor of battling this. 1st world problem I suppose, but an interesting one.

  9. Jenni Brehm

    your images clearly show once again that it is all about the photographer, not the gear he carries. Stunning images and somehow due to the processing probably, they all have a very old-time feel to me which I greatly enjoy (I especially like the one with the deers)

    when on a trip with family I try to only take a small camera or only my iPhone, too. Those trips are not about being a photographer, they are about creating family memories and being part of that.

  10. Katy

    Awesome concept Jim! It’s refreshing to see someone embracing their phone rather than sticking their nose up at it. Certainly it’s no replacement for the good stuff, but it also gives you a freedom that it’s hard to come by carting around the serious gear. Kudos to you for enjoying the great time with your son as well!

    Heres to an awesome new year filled with everyone and everything we all love and care about!

  11. Phil Colla

    Great seeing all the images with your sons, and how you share your adventures with them in YNP. I have tried to do the same with my kids and was glad I did when they were young since some (all?) kids eventually sort of outgrow those times. I like your analogy for Richard about the decision paralysis one can have in a scenic-rich place, drive through the tunnel or wake up in camp on a gorgeous day in YNP and think “where to begin?”. Have a great 2015!

  12. Richard Wong

    That is a great analogy! I feel the same way oftentimes when deciding where to go shoot and end up wasting a lot of time as a result. Hard to go wrong in some parts of this state.

  13. Sarah Marino

    First, thank you for your efforts in pulling together your list of “best of” posts. I have enjoyed finding some new photographers to follow and seeing many excellent, inspiring photographs. I also like your approach to your list, especially the wonderful photo of your bearded children (and the top Yosemite image is pretty wonderful, too). Cheers for a happy, healthy 2015.

  14. Deb

    Beautiful images Jim! And I’m so delighted to see the photos of you with your sons – I applaud your personal endeavor to share your passion for the outdoors with your oldest son, and to explore such iconic places viewing through his eyes! Bravo!

  15. Ron Niebrugge

    Congratulations on a great year Jim! Wouldn’t have any idea those were all iPhone images.

  16. Isabel Synnatschke

    The first Yosemite image is absolutely amazing! Wishing all the best to you and your (bearded 🙂 ) family in 2015!

  17. Angelina Veronica

    All your shared collection is really so awesome. all are so great pictures.

  18. printschema

    That’s are really best photos and award winning.