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2009: Best Articles of the Year

Doomed to be a Photographer

I did it in 2007, in 2008, and I’m doing it again in 2009 — a roundup of the best Epic Edits articles of the year!

We’re also approaching the 3 year birthday for the blog, and I’m super excited that this thing just keeps going. I’m also thankful that so many fellow photography enthusiasts keep coming back to join the conversation and participate in the projects. You guys are awesome, and I’m glad to know so many of you on a first name basis (seriously, I always smile when I see a regular leave a comment on an article).

So how about a few stats to check our progress? In just 2009, we had about 1,500,000 pageviews, 925,000 visits, and 750,000 unique visitors. And in the lifespan of the blog, we’ve had 3,685,000 pageviews, 2,245,000 visitors, and 1,835,000 uniques. We’re also up to about 8,100 RSS subscribers, from 4,600 at the same time last year.

Here are some noteworthy articles that were published in 2009. If you’re new here, check ‘em out!












NOW ON WITH 2010!!!

My Favorite Photos From 2009

Ah yes… another year is coming to an end and it’s time to reflect on what we accomplished in the last 12 months. With photography, it’s pretty easy to look back on our work and pull together a collection of favorites. I did a similar thing at the end of 2007 and 2008. And each year, I’ve been reminded and encouraged to do so by two friends: Hitesh Sawlani and Jim Goldstein.

Hitesh always manages to remind me about the year end photo thing, and I adopted his monthly format that you see below. You can also see his 2009 post on his blog.

Jim also encourages this yearly reflection by hosting a group project on his blog. The idea is to look back on your year and create a blog post or Flickr set containing your best and/or favorite photos from the year. A lot of people participate in this thing, so it’s cool to get in on the action.

And with that, here are my photos that I feel are worthy of looking back on.


I kicked off the year with a photowalk up in Newport Beach with a few buddies and my Son. It was a decent photowalk… nothing huge, just a chance to get out and grab some shots.


Sunny Sailing Beach Photographers Cheese Popular Location Sunset at the Pier

In mid January, I took the Wife and Kids up to North Idaho to visit family (because ticket prices for Christmas time are outrageous). It was good to get back up there during snow season. Did a little landscape photography, skiing (with a camera of course), and relaxing (without cameras).

Dam... That's a Lot of Water

Rough Characters Winter Docks Winter at the Lake The Ride Up
Frozen Fields Take a Knee Casting Shadows Casting Shadows Reach


Went out on a spectacular photo excursion with fellow photographer Richard Wong. We made our way around the Salton Sea and I can honestly say that it is the most surreal place I’ve ever been. Just a strange mixture of beauty and decay all out in the middle of nowhere.

Salton Sea Sunset

Desperate for Attention Trailer Puke Poolaroid Environment Fail Salvation Mountain
Name Forgotten Old Green Trailer Once Upon a Time Underneath It All

Also did more photowalking with the pals up in West Hollywood. My good friend Bryan Villarin was also playing with his band at the Whisky A Go Go that night, so I got a little taste of concert photography.

Cab Plus Two Palm Trees

Broken Phone Bryan Mel's Drive In Smile The Scarlet Paradigm


Had a couple of small photowalks in San Clemente and La Jolla while testing out the new medium format Kodak Ektar 100 film.

La Jolla Pier

San Clemente Pier I Stand Alone The Umbrella La Jolla Coastline


Did a quick photowalk with a friend in Oceanside before heading up to the Grand Prix in Long Beach. Tried out some awesome orthochromatic film I got from my buddy the_wolf_brigade, but ultimately shot 100% digital for the race.

Beach Apartments

Long Beach Grand Prix 2009 Long Beach Grand Prix 2009 Pipeline 489 Shooting the Argus C3
Tires Surfboard Parking Oceanside Lifeguards Bailey at the Beach


My Brother came down to visit and we did the SoCal tourist thing for a few days — San Diego one day, Venice Beach and Hollywood the next. I also took the Wife and Kids on a short trip to the mountains for Mother’s Day for horseback riding and hot springs. Oh, and Memorial Day up at Lake Arrowhead with my Aunt and Uncle.

Do Not Climb on the Sculpture

The "Fly N Lion" Muscle Beach The Friendly Horse Photo of a Street Photographer Harry Perry Watch Your Head Los Calavera
My Bro Uncle Pat Wind-Blown Bailey


Didn’t do a whole lot in June other than the San Diego County Fair. I had a couple of photos in the art display, so it was fun to check them out with the other entries. We probably spent half our day just looking at artwork.

Rides at the Fair

Polish Sausage Win Big Prizes Totally Fried Chevelle Chair in the Grass


Did the 4th of July celebration thing with my Cousin up at Lake Arrowhead… I’m still amazed at how many boats get on the water at one time. I also did a few solo photowalks in Pacific Beach and Point Loma with the TLR.


Homeless, Names Unknown Car in a Cart Pacific Beach Perspective
Bobby The Modern DJ Shine Down


August was mostly family time. The kids were up in Idaho for most of the summer with the Grandparents, so we spent a lot of time with them when they got back before school started. I also met up with Jim Goldstein for a short time while he was down for a wedding — it was good to finally shake his hand and chat with him outside of Skype.


Bailey Biker Mom Venice Beach "Doctor's Office" I'm Broke


Labor Day was the only real photo-op we had in September — with school starting back up and everybody getting into their schedules, we didn’t do a whole lot else.


Two Beers. All Set. Beers at the Beach Mikasa Friendly Gesture


October was filled by a few family visits and whatnot… but nothing really major happened.

Don't Look Down

The Bartender Spin the Rex Backyard Bailey Chevelle


Either I didn’t take many photos in the last few months, or I just haven’t developed/scanned/processed anything. At any rate, I spent a lot of time hanging out with family for Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Honestly, I’m not totally impressed with myself this year. I didn’t do as much photo-taking as I would have liked, and I definitely didn’t do as much photo-printing either. I also felt a fairly large shift in my photographic focus this year. I spent more time just capturing the events and gatherings that I happened to be a part of rather than going out and looking for opportunities… sort of a passive approach I guess. I did a few photowalks and outings, but not like I had in the past.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing… just a different thing. I’m not a professional photographer by any means, so I can afford to drift with my focus and intent. But in general, I’ve keep the same passion for photography that I’ve always had — I’ve just been more relaxed about it. And maybe that’s what I needed this year to motivate me for something new next year.


I’m not sure what the new year has in store for me. I would guess that I’ll be shooting more film and less digital though. I’m also hoping to get the color darkroom set up soon so I can fully utilize my collection of negatives (sucks not being able to print nearly half of my work just because it’s not b/w). I would like to focus more on printing before I fall too far behind on my archives and the whole situation turns into a lost cause.

The Darkroom

For equipment, I don’t plan on acquiring anything new… OK, maybe a large format camera of some sort, but no definite plans yet. And like I said, my darkroom is almost complete and ready for color and b/w developing and printing so I should be fine there (unless I do actually get a large format camera). At any rate, definitely no plans for new digital equipment.

Subject-wise, I’d like to focus more on street photography and street portraits. I did a good deal this year, but I want to get out and do more. Street photography with my newly refurbished rangefinder, and street portraits with my trusty TLR.

And as far as websites go, I do have a joint venture in the works that should launch sometime in January. But I’m sworn to secrecy, so that’s all I can say.

How about you guys??? How was 2009 for you? Is anybody else planning on participating in Jim’s project?

My Favorite Photos from 2008

The “yearly roundup” of best photos seems to be standard protocol for photography bloggers, so here we go! I did a similar thing last year, but with just 10 photos. This year, I took way more photos (somewhere around 12-13K) so there was no way I could keep it down to just 10 — plus I uploaded around 1000 just to Flickr in 2008.

Hitesh had a good idea for breaking things down by month, so I figured I would give that a try. Each month, I picked around 4 or 5 of my favorite photos (though some months have a few more). I’m also writing this article as a project entry for Jim Goldstein — there’s still time to participate if anybody else is interested.


January was a slow month for photography. We had a few family visits and we spent most of our free time hanging out at the beach, going to the zoo, and partaking in various other family activities.

Feet on the Beach
Into The SeaGorilla GazeMormon Temple


February was a little more active with photography stuff. I upgraded from my Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D (6MP) to a Sony a700 (12MP). I was also participating in the February Challenge. I took a ton of photos at the La Jolla photowalk, which had a great turnout.

Wide Open
The Place to BeSimply Religious
Table for OneHostile Takeover


March was super busy. We had two big photowalks (Venice Beach and Laguna Beach), lots more family gatherings, and I managed to go back home to North Idaho for Easter and a bit of skiing. March was also significant because I started shooting film with a camera my Dad gave me… and it’s been all downhill from there.

Abused and IgnoredGraffiti Artists
RadiallyThe Rail


April was a little more relaxed than previous months. I spent a lot of time photowalking by myself in various towns in San Diego County. I was also going full steam ahead with the film camera, and learning the ropes. The kids were up in North Idaho with their Grandparents, so my wife and I got to hang out and pretend to be childless.

My SunshinePatrick
CruisersUncle Pat


May was pretty laid back, not much different from April. Family visits, trips to the zoo, hanging out at the beach, etc. One exciting thing that happened was I picked up my first medium format film camera — my 1956 Minolta Autocord TLR. So yeah, the film saga continues.

The Dock
Chrome SpokesThe Lifeguard
Watching Over the RosesWalking on Water


The start of Summer was certainly busy. I went on two more group photowalks: Hollywood Blvd and Huntington Beach. The Hollywood photowalk was also a photographer’s rights rally, so it was pretty interesting. The one at Huntington Beach was just a few good friends, but we had a great time as usual. I also did a few solo photowalks down in Little Italy of San Diego. Again, lots of film photography — and I picked up a “Polaroid” (it’s actually a Minolta InstantPro) to add to my growing collection of cameras. I believe June is also when I started shooting 110 film (as did my son).

It's Lonely Out Here
3 CopsWarp SpeedO's
Subway ShuffleBig White BoxesMetro Timetables
Darkness Creeps InThe Wind CatcherThe Guys at Huntington Beach


July was a slower month for some reason… I seem to go in cycles, on and off about every other month. No group photowalks in July, just some solo stuff in Little Italy and Ocean Beach.

Surfer and Board
Battling Fuel PricesI'm a Survivor
Ford Mustang SVT CobraCup-O-Barbie


August was again busy. Two more group photowalks: Newport Beach and Long Beach. Plus a solo photowalk at Mission Beach (yes, we have lots of “beaches” around here). August was also the month that I got my Diana+ and I’ve been shooting way too much medium format since then (not that this is a bad thing).

Flying and Floating
Rescue BoardGhosts of Queen MaryWavehouse Surfer
My HefferMerry-Go-RoundCommodore


September stayed pretty busy even though Summer was officially over. I did two more group photowalks with just one or two other photographers. One was all over San Diego with Richard Wong including Border Field State Park, Coronado, La Jolla, and the Torrey Pines Gliderport. The other photowalk was at Santa Monica with my pal Bryan.

The Watchman
On The Other Side of the FenceYou Can Trust MeMarlin
To the WestKiller Whale EncounterI Poop Little People and Ride Away


I kept somewhat busy in October. We did one group photowalk at Venice Beach — which always makes for some good photo ops. I also had jury duty for two weeks and I ended up being an alternate juror. So at the end of the trial I just had to be “on call” while the others deliberated. That gave me three full days to wander around downtown San Diego with some black & white film loaded up!

A Dreary World
Over the CanLow Aircraft #2Moving with the Music
I'm So Hot That I'm RedVj Day StatuePurple Skies


November slowed way down compared to previous months. No photowalks, solo or group. Lots of hanging out with family as we approached round 1 of the holidays. I also got my darkroom up and running in November, so I spent a lot of time in there rather than doing other things — well worth it though! You can see some of my prints on Flickr.

Analog Fruits
Winter BeachThe Little Mermaid
Down the HillRyan


December was also pretty slow for photography. I don’t know what happened, but I got so busy with things and I hardly had time to pick up a camera. I did get one shot that I really like though…

My Girls

My Top 10 Photos from 2007

I’ve already posted my top blog articles from 2007, so now it’s time for some of my photos. These aren’t my top photos based on any kind of traffic or stats; they’re just the ones I like the best (and in no particular order). If you’re interested in seeing my best photos based on statistics, you can check out my “Most Popular” collection on Flickr. This also happens to be an entry into Jim Goldstein’s Photography Blog Project #3: “Your Best Photos From 2007″ — the deadline is January 11th for anybody else interested in participating.