Yet another year has passed and keeping with previous habits, I bring to you a 2014 Photographic Year in Review. My Lightroom catalog tells me I kept around 10K photos out an untold quantity destined for the photographic graveyard. Distilling my year into a short series of photos isn’t exactly easy, but it’s a worthy task which helps me reflect on a year past.
As a (frustratingly) varied artist and naturalist, I definitely haven’t chosen a typical path (not to suggest I am in any way unique), and can easily wander down a path of fretting over “progress.” However, in reviewing my images, I see I’ve improved and progressed. Besides acquiring new equipment over the past year, I’ve continued to refine the various crafts I’ve thrown myself to. Additionally, I’ve reinvigorated myself with reminders of what a year can and can’t accomplish, images of the places I visited, and projects left by the wayside.
Annually, come January, I start thinking that I haven’t done enough. My only life birds of the past year were in Mexico, largely because I didn’t have time, enthusiasm. or ability to chase rare birds in the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t hike trails I intended to. I didn’t write nearly as much as I wanted. Lots of disappointments brought on by too much ambition, too little time, and possibly Netflix.
However it’s also true I got to know the birds of my area much better, as time always reveals facets that curiosity and contemplation mine. There’s evidence I’m improving at my crafts. And let’s be honest, the trails are still there for a new year.
I had challenges of course. I moved three times. I worked excessively for months and then had little paying work. Things didn’t pan out in some professional capers. I found that not everyone appreciated what I had to say.
With hard work and challenges are often followed by rewards too. I learned about new marine invertebrates. I had close encounters with whales. I kayaked broad distances. I learned to respect the Salish Sea in a non-powered craft. I went to Mexico and traveled from the tropics to the temperate world in a day. I held sleepy boas. I crashed through cactus forests. I explored canyon bottoms lined with enigmatic tropical deciduous forest. I laughed riotously with all manner of people. I romped about an island I love with my best friends. My work found its way to magazines, newspapers, and individuals as art and information. I learned to accept the artistic compulsions I have as worthwhile endeavors. I read lots of books.
I did a lot; probably just enough. I’ll say it was a good year. Originally I wrote 3000 words describing these photos but scrapped them, another thing I got better at, brevity. Instead I decided to let the images (mostly) speak for themselves. What do you think?