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Favorite Photos of 2014

Had lot of fun with my photography last year.  Of course, the highlight was the Alaskan trip to photograph brown bear.  Loved Alaska.  At least in the summer.  It reminded me of West Virginia on steroids.  The mountains bigger, the wilderness wilder, the rivers larger, the wild life more abundant and larger.  Also, Alaska like West Virginia is rich in natural resources. They struggle to keep the wilderness from being overrun with the economic development.  

Also, last year, photographed some in Grand Cayman's, photographed a wedding in Nags Head, photographed a body building model, photographed wolves inside the pen at West Virginia Wildlife Center,  photographed West Virginia State scenes, and did some pixel paintography post production images.

Following are some my favorite photos with my thoughts about the image.


Every year I tell myself I'm going to shoot more winter scenes and every year I don't. ..   I have all kind of excuses but only legitimate one I have is.................................................okay, if it just wasn't so damn cold!!!!!!!     

click on image to see more winter scenes.

West Virginia Wildlife Center

I've become friends with one of the biologists at West Virginia Wildlife Center (French Creek Farm) and I get to go inside the pens to photograph the animals.  Last year they got some wild wolves.  (for awhile they had a cross breed of wolf and dog but replaced them with real wolves.)  This picture with half the wolf face hidden makes me think of the disappearing wilderness.

click on picture to see more pictures of wolves.

Sea Turtle

The Grand Cayman was a vacation with my wife and my son and his future fiancee.  Beautiful place to vacation.  Although photography was not the main reason for the trip there were many photo opportunities.  Really enjoyed swimming with the sea turtles and swimming with the sting rays.  Missed a great photo of an Iguana walking (swimming) across on top of the water.  (hate it when I miss the shot.} 

click on picture to view more Cayman Island photos.


Had an opportunity to teach a young man photography.  We spent a weekend in Dolly Sods shooting photographs during the day and then discussing photography during the evening.  My plan was to go to Bear Rocks in Dolly Sods to shoot the sunrise but weather turned bad and started raining so I switched to shooting waterfalls.  It was a great weekend of shooting and with all the rain the small streams turned into big streams which made the waterfalls so much more impressive.  We discovered new waterfalls that I did not know even existed.  The young man I trained turned out to be CEO of Brightline Interactive a cutting edge company that creates, promotes, and installs fun, easy-to-use games, activities, and visualizations that connect people to brands.  Check out his company.  It is impressive.  Of course, once I showed him the basic about the digital camera he took it from there and started creating his own images.

click on picture to see additional waterfall photos.

Purple Fiddle

I seem to shoot the Purple Fiddle every year.  I told the owner, John Bright, he needed to restore some of old lighting because  it helped my photos.  Used to be string of lantern lights that ran across the ceiling.   He agreed but said looking for another solution because the lantern lights were so much trouble burning out too often. It is one my favorite places and blue grass music just makes my knee start moving up and down........

Click on image to view other Purple Fiddle photos with the lantern lights.


Loved photographing these horses on a friend's farm  The first time I photographed them in the field and I was scared to death of them.  The big one kept chasing me around the field.  I'd hide behind a tree until he got tired and would start feeding.  I'd come out from behind the tree to start shooting photos and he come right after me and I'd have to go behind the tree again.  The owner said he was just like a puppy dog and just wanted attention and patted.  So this last year I didn't run behind the tree and stayed out in the field.  This gigantic horse comes running up to me, stops about a couple feet away, and waits.  I reach out and pat him on the nose.  The owner was right.  He just wanted me to pat him and talk to him.  We became buddies.

click on image to see more horse pictures

Brown Bear Photos

  • Mother Brown bear and two cubs resting after chasing salmon
  • Brown bear cub walking up stream trying keep up with mom
  • Big brown bear eating salmon in stream
  • Mother brown bear and her cub Katmai Alaska
  • mother brown bear with caught salmon
  • brown bear walking down stream
  • Large brown bear with telltale signs of salmon on his mouth

The trip to Alaska was a trip of lifetime for me.  Watching these gigantic animals in their natural habitat as they chased salmon and interacted with each other was amazing.   To be that close was unbelievable.  I have to admit, every once in awhile I could feel fear creeping into my skin.  I'd  concentrate on photographing and not let it get to me.  Like I said....GREAT TRIP.

Click HERE to view more images.

Click HERE for Brown bear and Black bear images.

Photos at Homer, Alaska and surrounding area

  • Brown bear heading for place to bed down at end of day
  • Buoys hanging on boat
  • Looking through porthole
  • Grounded fishing boat in Kachemak bay
  • Bald eagle in tree
  • Scenic photo of volcano Augustine
  • Kayaking on Kachemak Bay
  • Eagle taking off rock
  • Brown bear searching salmon in evening

This group includes two bear pictures and Homer, Alaska and the surrounding area.  What a beautiful place with many photographic opportunities.

Click HERE to see more Alaska images

Fall West Virginia Scenes

This Fall I traveled around the state taking "fall" pictures.  Fall does not last long enough.  So many places wanted to be but can't be everywhere at once and then the weather can sometimes mess with you.  I did manage to make it to Babcock State Park,  Cass Scenic Railroad and some other locations.  I actually get anxious in the Fall because so many places I want to photograph.

Click HERE to see more fall images.

Red Tree - Pixel Paintography

This good example of what I call Pixel Paintography.  This started as picture of a tree in the Poconos.  It had pretty red leaves but very distracting background.  I decided to enhance the red leaves and take out all the background.   Sometimes I'll do a composite where I add other  parts of other images to make one image..I enjoy this process and find it exciting and satisfying trying to create new images.

Click here to see more Pixel Paintography images

Photos of Illeana the model

  • Ileana workout and modeling
  • Ileana modeling and working out

Illeana is a body builder that I photographed.  She is a very good model too, and turned out to be a fun job.  The photo in the alley is another example of Pixel Paintography.  It started as a studio photo and I changed the background to a street scene.

Click HERE to see more photos of Illeana

Photos of Wedding in Nags Head, NC

I don't shoot many weddings anymore, but this one was special.  The man is one of my sons best friends and a friend of mine, and the girl is good friend also.  In fact, I introduced them.  It was a location wedding in Nags Head and was a great time, great people, and great location.

Photos from Nags Head NC

While in Nags Head NC for the wedding, I did get out few times to shoot some images.  Love shooting birds on the beach and lot of other people seem to like them also.  Pier photos are fun and although that moon is from that night it was not in that position.

click HERE to view more images

West Virginia University memories

football WVU vs Oklahoma..........copyrighted

Although I gave up selling West Virginia images year ago, I might be getting back into selling WVU licensed images again.  The new owner of Superior Photo and Framing is in process of obtaining a license and if he does I'll be selling images like this one through Superior.

Favorite Photos of 2014

It was  great photo year for me.  Been a photographer all my life and I still enjoy doing it. Course now that I photograph what I want probably has lot to do with my enjoyment.  I keep thinking of new things I want to photograph.   Then if it is warm enough I go and do it.


Dan Friend