Best of Bohan 2013

bohan yosemite fire
I think Joe mentioned once that whenever he puts together a best-of-the-year post he hates his previous year’s best photos. That’s a good goal to have as it would indicate growth as a photographer. I don’t hate all my 2012 stuff, but I do think my selections from 2013 are a lot better. Most of my strongest photos from this past year are also the simplest, maybe nothing more than a single small object surrounded by negative space. As an added bonus, many of the photos in this post link to wallpapers! So without further ado, here’s the Best of Bohan 2013!

In August, Joe, Brandon, and I left for what was supposed to be three days in Yosemite. We knew the Rim Fire was burning in the northwest part of the park, but reports indicated that Yosemite Valley itself was clear. Well, those reports were wrong, but we made the best of it, even if we cut our trip down to only one day. Chase Jarvis even critiqued the iPhone version of this photo during the GeekWire summit in Seattle in September.

bohan mount baker
The year started off where I grew up in Washington. I shot this photo of Mount Baker on January 1st, and realized I could do a 365 project. I’d thought of doing one in previous years, but I’d always missed one or two days by the time I remembered or got reminded. This time I decided to go for it, and as a result I’ve gotten quite a few photos that otherwise would have been missed. Some of these photos were never on Life Blasters because they didn’t belong to any stories, so this will be their first time in front of a wide audience.

bohan sunrise
I decided to climb Mission Peak a lot more often this year. I didn’t do it as often I would have liked, but I did get to see the sunrise up there more than once. In this instance, I was one of six people on the summit, and all of us were shooting east.

bohan moon
I shot the moon a lot this year, but one of my favorites was the waxing crescent chasing the sun to the western horizon.

bohan smoking bum
I wanted to expand my street photography portfolio, so one night Geoff and I hung out near the strip clubs in San Francisco to see who came by. This guy certainly was an interesting fellow. He basically begged me to take his picture. He danced and “sang” and was generally jolly. He didn’t even want any money.

bohan photographer michigan
Videographer Tommy T. Knight trekked across virgin snow on his way to a shooting spot at the Sno*Drift Rally in Michigan. With nothing besides Tommy and snow in the frame, this could just as well have been a scene in Antarctica.

bohan winter sunset
In February Geoff and I went to Yosemite for a day, and after mostly cloudless skies the clouds finally came in right before sunset. I got this shot right before the last hole filled in.

When we got back from Yosemite, Geoff’s house became a live music venue for a night. I’ve never been in a more crowded place in my life. There wasn’t even shoulder room as Rude played their set, but people managed to get rowdy anyway. I held my camera and flash above the crowd and hoped for the best.

bohan baby
All my friends were shocked when I suddenly became a father. I didn’t want to tell people Mrs. Bohan was pregnant at first, then I just decided it would be funnier to not tell anyone at all. Our daughter Katharine was born at 6:11pm on February 19th, and of course I was there with my camera.

bohan twin peaks
My parents came down from Washington to see their first grandchild, so I took my dad around San Francisco one night to see the sights. We made a stop at Twin Peaks, and it was super foggy when we got there but it lifted almost immediately, revealing this classic view.

bohan mint 400
The Mint 400 kicked off the main part of the racing season for me. I went with Larry and Alex and none of us had shot it before so everything was fresh and new. We didn’t know where any good shooting spots were but we managed to find a few. We also learned dry lake beds make a LOT of dust and it looks amazing at sunrise.

bohan checkered flag
Stage rally doesn’t have checkered flags, so it was a nice change at the Mint 400 to see a flag waver signaling the drivers that they had finally finished the race. The dusty air let the trucks’ headlights cast shadows behind the flag in ways I’d never seen before.

Rally America stopped in Oregon in May, and Alex and I were there to capture it. The first four stages take place partly on Portland International Raceway and partly on its gravel service roads, and Ken Block knew just what to do for me as he drove off into the sunset.

bohan higgins rally
Jumps and water crossings are the two coolest features in rally, but water is a lot less common. I made darn sure to find some this time.

bohan grunewald burnout
The next weekend we headed over to Road Atlanta for Formula D. Conrad Grunewald showed us how to do a burnout and my fisheye got up close and personal with some Hankook smoke.

bohan gittin aasbo
Later at that same event, Vaughn Gittin, Jr., surprised Fredric Aasbø by driving over his car. This photo demonstrates the importance of starting to shoot before the shot you wanted actually happens.

bohan gladys
In June, Joe and Justin teamed up with Drift Evolution to throw Bash to the Future in Medford. After the event wrapped up, they, along with Hert from Hoonigan, wanted to go do a photoshoot on the backroads. I hung out the back of a lowered mini truck with my camera just inches from the pavement in order to get this shot.

bohan sutter buttes
On my way back home from Oregon, I stopped in Williams for this moody Adamseque shot of the Sutter Buttes, the smallest mountain range in the world.

bohan fisheye nyc
Last year I shot New York from Rockefeller Center at sunset. This year I wanted to get the opposite shot from the Empire State Building.

bohan rich reflection
While on the east coast, my buddy Rich and I did a loop of New England, with War of 1812-era Ft McClary in Maine as our furthest-away stop. We went down into the Caponier, which was built during the Civil War, and the recent rains had made a perfect mirror on the floor.

bohan seattle sunset twilight skylineI visited Seattle more than any other place this year. In fact, I spent more time in Washington than in California in July and I’m writing this story in Washington right now. All that time up here allowed me to go waste a sunset on another long exposure skyline shot.

bohan seattle airport
On my way home from Seattle, I came up the escalator at SeaTac and was blinded by an immense amount of light. The sun was shining directly into the terminal, reflecting off the tile floor, and reflecting off two airplanes outside. I quickly grabbed my camera and tried to capture the light and the frenzied travelers rushing every direction.

bohan warren hall
Cal State East Bay, my alma mater, had decided to demolish its iconic Warren Hall administration building rather than fortify it against earthquakes. Before they imploded it, they spent months removing furniture, fixtures, interior walls, and even the windows. Pretty soon all that was left was the empty concrete shell and some work lights. I shot the building often to track their progress, and this was one of the most saddening.

bohan warren hall
People were not allowed on campus during the implosion itself, but I was able to go back later and get some close up shots of the wreckage. It also just happened to be the night of a blue moon.

bohan sunrise
On the night the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened, Joe and I went down to the Embarcadero to shoot the western span with no traffic on it. Just an hour later we were in the first group of cars to cross the new span.

bohan los angeles sunset
There was just enough smog in Los Angeles to make the sunset sky bright orange, but not completely obscure the buildings. What I liked the most, though, were all the smoggy layers and shadows behind the trees.

bohan oakland san francisco bay bridge
My parents flew down to visit their granddaughter again, and this time I took my dad to see the recently opened new eastern span of the Bay Bridge. Its ultramodern suspension design is contrasted by the original canteliever-and-causeway span.

bohan warren hall
We also went to the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn’t want a shot that had been done to death, so I shot this rock. Such blue! Wow!

bohan san francisco beach
I hadn’t had much time for model photography, but I managed to squeeze in a hike/shoot day with my friend Gladys. The low tide at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach left wet sand that mirrored the wispy clouds.

bohan bancroft ontario canada
I got roped into going to Ontario for the Rally of the Tall Pines during Thanksgiving week, and while it was very cold, it was also very clear.

bohan yosemite fire
While in Ontario I got my best crash photo of the year. I guess it was worth it, for me anyway. Not so worth it for Ian Crerar or his Evo.

bohan cessna sunset
Sometimes good photos happen when you least expect it. If it wasn’t for my 365 project I never would have dragged my camera outside to shoot the sunset colors from my front yard. I didn’t even know there was a small airplane buzzing by until I looked through the viewfinder.

bohan thunderhill fog
The 25 Hours of Thunderhill is always a great opportunity for photos. Of course race cars will be there, but the track and the surrounding scenery can also offer something cool to shoot. This year it was foggy the morning before the race, and as it was burning off around the track, billowing fog banks could be seen still coving the neighboring farmland.

bohan thunderhill sunrise
Sunrise at Thunderhill is one of the most amazing sights to behold and it never fails to present world-class photo opportunities. The cloud formations this year were very different from last year, but it’s always good.

bohan thunderhill timelapse
And the reason I wanted to get good at shooting star trails becomes clear. I failed at this shot last year, but got a lot closer this year. Even if it wasn’t quite as perfect as I was hoping, it was probably my most popular photo of the year, getting over 500 likes and more than 50 shares on the Life Blasters and Thunderhill Facebook accounts.

bohan thunderhill
I finished shooting the stars around 4am, and it was only two hours until the sky started to lighten. Sunrise was coming soon, and I wondered, “how do the flaggers have hot drinks?” Maybe they have electric kettles in the towers. The flaggers are probably the only people who get as cold as the photographers, but at least we get to walk around. I walked out to Turn 3 to shoot the sunrise and saw this flagger manning his station, silhouetted against the dawn colors.

bohan alaska turnagain arm sunrise
And just yesterday I was in Alaska, where I found an almost-sunrise on the Turnagain Arm just southeast of Anchorage. I say “almost” because the sun never actually got above the mountains. That’s winter life at 61˚ North.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these selections from 2013, and I hope I hate them all by the end of 2014!
instagram: @lifeblasters, @andrew_bohan

35 thoughts on “Best of Bohan 2013

  1. I’ve always wondered where the overhead view of the eastern span can be viewed on Yerba Buena Is. Are you able to share the spot?

  2. Andrew, I really like your work. It is inspiring to the heart and I look to better my work as well. It takes shots like these to make you think what can I do better, what can I do to make my work stand out. You have done a beautiful job and I look forward to your future shots. Thanks for sharing your creative mind, it is a true treasure!

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