Mike Chowla
Annual 10 Best:

My Ten Best of Images of 2021

Most of us like to think of our lives as continuous upward progress. Being past your prime is often the biggest fear but even dipping below where we were before is a big major concern. My sense is that I've gone backwards photographically. I've done radically less travel since the pandemic started and limited travel opportunities. This year family responsibilities stacked with the pandemic to add up to much less time photographing. And even if I have gone backwards, the challenges of the last two years and forced me to open up some new avenues which will hopefully make me a better photographer in the long run.

At the end of 2020, we all thought the end of the pandemic was in sight because vaccines had just been approved. But it was not to be as the Delta variant and then omicron extended the pandemic. So, I sit here on New Years's Eve wondering if 2022 will be better. I'd like to be optimistic but it didn't work out last year. I also wonder that when the pandemic does actually end, what the post-pandemic world will be. Early in the pandemic, a co-worker said to me, "We all want to go back to the way things were pre-pandemic but that world is gone" and he was prescient. The pre-pandemic is gone and it's not clear yet what the post-pandemic world will be. COVID is the biggest societal disruption since WWII and I expect the post-COVID world will look different in ways we can't anticipate now.

Whatever that world looks like, I hope we get there soon and we can resume being able to travel and experience the world again.