Staff Photographer Paul Wellman snaps a shot of pilot Greg Schultz at the Santa Barbara Airport in between hydromulching drops on Sept. 15, 2009

Say Cheese: A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the images enclosed in these pages have the power to encapsulate an entire year. Together with a multitude of camera wielders, Independent staff photog Paul Wellman (pictured) has helped to capture it all. In the following pages, we take a look back at ’09 through the lens and revisit some of the year’s most memorable moments caught on film-from David Bazemore‘s continually moving arts coverage and Kodiak Greenwood’s visual tales from the presidential inauguration to Leslie Holtzman‘s around-town images, Ray Ford‘s harrowing shots from the fire frontlines, and Wellman’s star-studded look at the Santa Barbara International Film Fest. In a year when photography became as easy as using a cell phone, these contributors proved it’s about much more than the ability to point and shoot, and that, in the right hands, a camera can tell a story unlike a text ever could.


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