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2021, In Retrospect

It’s been a ride

I was cautious going in to 2021, and rightly so. But I was also hopeful, rightly so. 2021, in retrospect, was a year dominated by hopeful caution. Hopeful for a vaccine, hopeful for protection from the vaccine, but cautious enough to not jump into our old, pre-pandemic lives. It’s so hard to wrap your head around all of the probabilities (getting COVID and spreading COVID and everything in-between), and I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone but me. So…caution was and is my middle name.

Going through my photos, it struck me how much nostalgia played a role in my happiest moments and that the nostalgia was balanced by some really incredible firsts. So, it’s been a ride. Feeling the warmth of good memories along with the sadness of time passed, things and people we’ve lost along the way and the flipside of feeling the exhilaration and joy, and I admit, a tad bit of fear as I tried some very new things and adventures, all against the backdrop of a pandemic.

As 2021 was coming to a close, I found I was reflecting less and looking forward more. That’s also part of the ride. Healing from the devastation a pandemic has wrought. Experiencing a year that overall was good. Allowing myself to look forward with more hope and bigger dreams for the next year.

Photography in Phlux

It’s also interesting that my photography has been on quite a ride as well. I use my phone more. I’m experimenting more, trying more new things and trying to learn more (via Creative Live and 52 Frames, check them out!) In a previous post I talked about a seismic shift and some revelations in finding my photographic voice. I finally gave myself permission to quit being something I’m not, and I’m still on a path to discovery. In looking through a year’s worth of photos, so many are snapshots, and I don’t care! I didn’t use a ton of photography gear to create every photo, but I recorded the moment and it’s just as important to me as my attempts at being an artist. Now, there’s a revelation for you! Freedom from my very own, self-imposed-for-no-good-reason constraints is a very good thing.

Without further ado…

2021 – My Year in Photos

Note: Click on the first image to see full sized images and captions.

My 2021 Photo of the Year

This one is tough. 2021 was a year marked by a pandemic AND wonderful adventures, so it’s hard to pick THE quintessential image from the year. I was tempted to choose a pandemic-related photo. But I did that last year, and we all desperately want to move on.

So, this is the one. It’s nostalgic for sure; an old enter sign, from a bygone era. It’s late in the day, or it’s late in the year. The sign is pointing to the lower left while being in the lower left and it points to nothing. Or…everything. The moon adds visual weight to the left instead of balancing out the image, but that’s okay. The moon has always pulled at us from afar. This photo is a compositional no-no. It’s edgy, uncomfortable maybe. A real rule breaker, this one. And that’s why I like it. This image is not only representative of my 2021, but it is also a reminder to me, don’t go or look back. Go forward. Enter. And make it a grand, rule-breaking, edgy and off-balance entrance. Life is short. Make it exciting!

Enter! Boldly go where you have not gone before.

Happy New Year!

This is where I’m supposed to get sappy and wish you all health, happiness, prosperity, blah blah blah. And I do! But I think Neil Gaiman has the right of it:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”

Neil Gaiman
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5 thoughts on “2021, In Retrospect”

  1. Wow another incredible post, reminds me of all the fun things we did and the places we saw. Looking forward to another year of exciting adventures.

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