reflection {17}

December 26, 2011


As I posted on Twitter last week, this has been a year of beauty, profound happiness and deep sadness. It has also been a transitional year for my photography. I started the year ready to charge ahead on the Columbia River project, but I really couldn’t get it off the ground, largely due to circumstances outside my control (and ones that I won’t go into here). I still have a sense of where I will go with the project, but most likely it will be 2013 before I get a chance to put it into gear.

I spent a lot of time with a camera in my bag or pocket, but I took far fewer photos this year than last. I’d like to say that this is because I was more judicious about my shooting, but that’s not the case. I honestly found it hard to find the mental energy to compose properly. There were times when I deleted whole shoots’ worth of images after going through them, something I haven’t done in years.

The funny thing about all this is that, while I generated unnecessary angst over the Columbia project and my creative blocks, the year really wasn’t a bust. Some of my favorite images were taken this year: Water Avenue Coffee; Abstract {767}; Sunset Ka’anapali; Bradford Pear, Golden Hour; and Railbed, Morrison Bridge. Whether they’ll be there at the end of next year is a question I don’t have an answer to, but I’m proud of those images–and a few others–and there’s only one or two photos I put up here in 2011 that I’d take down.

At this point in 2011, I expected to be finishing a movie of photos shot along the Columbia River, but I ended up with a completely different theme for the year. I look through my 2011 photo library, in the 71 images posted here and the others elsewhere, and I feel that, when I was successful, I was keenly focused on tranquility and peace1. When I picked up the camera to actually shoot–as opposed to running through the motions–it was to find solace from the heat that comes from constantly stoking the furnace of our lives. And I’m more than ok with that.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and took a look, or even commented; it’s much appreciated. I wish you all the best for 2012.


(The shot above is an alternate version–taken with the Lumix GX1–to one posted on Insta.gram last week.)

  1. One image, Beacon Rock, Fall 2011, exemplifies this for me. It is one of the most personal images I took this year, and it’s the one I have on the wall in the dining room. Just looking at it is like a mini-meditation for me.

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  • Reply Mike Rodriguez December 28, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Thanks for the images, the transparency, and the friendship, Rick. Stopping by your blog is one of my favorite things to do.

  • Reply Julie January 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Your blog has been a spark for my creativity this year and I thank you for that. I am never as introspective about my photography as you are about yours and your reflection here has inspired me to take the time to think about where I want to go with it this year. For the first time ever, I’ve set myself some goals and even posted them publicly in hopes of making myself a bit more accountable.

    Happy new year, Rick. I hope 2012 gives you more opportunity to pursue all the things you want to do.

    • Reply rick January 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks, Julie — that means a lot to me. I’ve been quite a fan of your work, especially much of what I’ve seen you do this year. Here’s to a productive year this year!

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