This past year can only be described for me as a slump. January was off to a good start with some pretty wintry weather in the Portland area, but after that my photographic year fell apart. Winter rains were unrelenting, which turned into a lot of spring rain. My kids got interested in Lego now that the older two are 4 and 6 years old, and I had a ton of fun building Lego with them while the rain fell. Once the rain finally left in late spring it was time to coach my oldest child’s tee ball team again, and before I knew it the summer had arrived, which is my least favorite time of year to photograph. I was able to get out a small handful of times in the autumn to some familiar places, most of these to the Ridgefield NWR. It’s always so good for my soul to spend time there, at least until the weekend traffic gets too busy mid morning.
Having a young family has left me little time in the past year for this hobby that I really enjoy. That’s not a bad thing. As much as I’d like to get out and shoot more, I know when my life nears its’ end that I won’t regret the time spent with my wife and kids compared to taking photos of inanimate things and wildlife. However, this left me discouraged and struggling to find photographic inspiration over the past year. But I still had to look at my own favorites, and was pleasantly surprised when I did. While I had only processed 41 images on the year, a shamefully low number, I had still taken almost 14,000 frames, which is more than I have kept from 2013! Given a lot of these are no good, taken just blasting away at the wildlife refuge, but seeing this number of frames quantified made the year feel much less of a loss as I had thought it was.
My goals for 2017 were a complete bust, and I’m not going to even bother making any for the coming year on account of my struggle for free time. I just don't see myself finding more of this precious commodity. Let me correct that, I’ll make one goal, to enjoy photography. After my wife and kids, work at the day job I enjoy, there’s precious little time for getting out to make photos. But I will strive to enjoy it. I did enjoy making photos in 2017, but I think my best work is still unprocessed on my catalog hard drives. This isn’t unusual for me, but it was especially pronounced this past year. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep this website up, it’s getting tough to justify the cost, fun as it may be. With that said, I hope you enjoy my favorite ten photos from 2017 while they are posted here, and thank you so much for following the photos I make in the scenic Pacific NW where I live.