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Best and worst of 2011

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I can't believe we are halfway through January already! Some time back I put together a photo gallery of what I think was my best work of 2011 - here's a link to that.

This year, I think I'll talk about some of the hiccups in the year. We'll go chronologically - First, here's a portrait from a story about a basketball family. The subjects aren't the problem, I'm just not a great group portrait photographer. I try to be creative but usually fail. Trying to get the notion of "basketball" in a group setting, we grabbed a ladder and went to the driveway hoop. I'm so glad nobody fell off.

Then during a diving meet at the Wenatchee pool, I tried to get the two top Eastmont divers into one photograph. I guess I shouldn't have expected more - how do you get them in the same shot during a meet? Well, here it is. Bad, dark lighting didn't help either.

It's tough to get a new photograph of Mariachi dancers. The usual take is to use a slow shutter speed, blur the dress in a big show of color. For something different, I attempted to frame one of the boys in the arm of one of the girls. Not so good.

Then there are those days of desperation. Here's a "clever" caption that went with this photograph. "Their goal may not have anything to do with soccer but just filling their stomachs, but this collection of birds were busy on the soccer fields at Walla Walla Point park Wednesday before the grass is covered in snow." Does it work? I can't remember if it got through the word editors.

I thought this was clever at the time. The opposing team had just scored a home run over his head and the Sox lost the game. Maybe its not a good idea to use some of the advertising to make your point. Actually, thinking about it, I kind of like this photograph.

In October I was working on a story about I.C.E. officers being used to nab local criminals. They work undercover so the best we could come up with was a shot from the trial of one of the convicts. He plead on the case so the officers didn't have to come out into the public to testify and I ended up with this pretty static image that says very little about the story.

Talk about desperation, I had over an hour to find a photograph to fill a spot on page A2 - it's a situation we very rarely get put into - and I came up with this last minute picture. At least there was some color in the background.

And if you are still with me, I'll finish off with this one. I went to Manson thinking I was going to shoot an artist doing some cutting with sparks flying, etc., as a mural was being constructed on a downtown building. I ended up involved in a tour of the artist's workshop rather than him working on a "normal" day. After the tour, I went back to where the art work was partially displayed along the sidewalk and waited for pedestrians to walk by. At least it is framed by the bench and the people.

Here's hoping for fewer worst and more best for 2012!