When future generations look back on how Santa Barbara lived through 2014, the record will be dominated by unspeakable tragedy, due to the mass killings that a young madman perpetrated upon the residents of Isla Vista on the Friday night of Memorial Day weekend. Violent incidents will always grab headlines, even in history books, but what may be missed by those looking back at the year that’s passed is how the greater Santa Barbara community coalesced around the rampage and emerged stronger and a bit more together on how to move carefully into the future.
As a casual look through these pages will reveal, the quality of life enjoyed by Santa Barbarans carried forth in the face of such sadness. From our love of the great outdoors to our passion for sports and arts to our limitless appetite for politics, environmental debates, and the unique personalities who make our community thrive, these elements shined with brighter light than ever in 2014, as if to drive out the darkness of May 23.
Take that to heart as you enjoy this collection of our favorite photographs from 2014, almost all shot by our longtime staff photographer Paul Wellman. Then start plotting on how best to enjoy 2015.