A 30 second exposure on a clear summer night in Cuyama Valley shows off the Milky Way, a meteor passing by, and a cabin illuminated with a small flashlight
Paul Wellman

For the writers and editors who dominate the editorial side of the building at the West Figueroa Street offices of The Santa Barbara Independent, the world revolves around words. When we link our words together properly, we can carefully describe the scene of a crime, eloquently reveal the nuances of a political campaign, and deftly break down the complicated details of sordid scandals.

Yet as we toil as a team at our modern digital typewriters day in and day out, there is but one man responsible for delivering the other half of our newspaper’s package: Paul Wellman, who’s been expertly capturing photographs for The Independent since 2001, each week providing the images that draw people in to actually read all those words we care so much about. Without his work — as well as the occasional images shot by Santa Barbara-based photographers, most notably David Bazemore — no one would bother picking up the paper, one of the few things our diverse staff can all agree upon.

With that, we unveil the best of the best photographs from the archives of 2013, including the shot (above) Wellman took above of his family cabin deep in the Cuyama Valley. Enjoy, and get ready for many more words and pictures in 2014.


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