OUR BIG SHOT: It’s been more than a decade since our big-shot photographer Paul Wellman started snapping pics of our region’s newsmakers, which means that the Santa Barbara native — who grew up for a time on the East Coast, returned to finish high school, and then worked for many years at Morninglory Music — has probably seen more of the good and bad sides of town than anyone. Highlights have included shooting from vintage jet fighters, helicopters, hot-air balloons, kayaks, fishing boats, a blimp, an aircraft carrier, a circus trapeze, the rooftop of the Old Mission, and the ceiling catwalk in the Arlington where they change the stars’ light bulbs. “It’s mostly like I’m paid to be a tourist in, and student of, one of the most beautiful places in the world,” said Wellman, but he admits it’s not all glamour. “Not everyone is thrilled to be recorded for posterity, plus there is a lot of hurry-up-and-wait. School board meetings and court cases can absorb the time I would take to learn to play the piano, or a foreign language with a different alphabet, not to mention get a decent lunch.” Click here to see Wellman’s best work from 2011 as part of our annual Year in Pictures edition.