AT A MOMENT in our culture when generalism is shunned and niche interests are celebrated, The Seattle Times still strives to be all things to all people. For proof, look no further than the images captured by the paper's photographers during a year that was rich with fascinating subject matter.
















































































































































































AT A MOMENT in our culture when generalism is shunned and niche interests are celebrated, The Seattle Times still strives to be all things to all people.

For proof, look no farther than the images captured by the paper’s photographers during a year that was rich with fascinating subject matter.

While exploring the breaking news of this topsy-turvy year, the idiosyncrasies of our region and the particulars of the human condition, they have managed to tap into the universal: Joy and pain, elation and sorrow, achievement and yearning, amusement and no small dose of wide-eyed wonderment.

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Steve Ringman’s portrait of grief from a memorial service for the victims of an apartment fire in the Fremont neighborhood this spring, for instance, touches the soul not just because it’s an arresting composition. It touches us because we all can relate to the agony on display.

In Erika Shultz’s quietly moving portrait of a Haitian mother and her two sleeping sons on a refugee flight out of their earthquake-ravaged homeland, we sense the psychic toll that a natural disaster and subsequent dislocation can take.

Similarly, Jim Bates’ image of a police officer moving in to stop a street brawl after last call in Belltown this summer taps into our shared sense of outrage over public-safety problems in an otherwise law-abiding city.

At the other end of the emotional spectrum, who can’t root for Snohomish High School football player Ike Ditzenberger, who has Down syndrome, after seeing Mark Harrison’s joyous image of him celebrating his touchdown for the Panthers?

Likewise, the excitement captured by Ellen M. Banner of newly minted U.S. citizen Kadhimia Shuhel, an Iraqi native, during a naturalization ceremony on July 4, is infectious.

And even if you don’t follow sports, it’s easy to identify with the sense of shared accomplishment in Dean Rutz’s shot of fans grasping at the Seattle Storm’s WNBA championship trophy.

The mark of great journalism is not just great newsgathering.

We also have to be able to see what our subjects see and feel what they feel, then depict those things in such a way that you, the reader, see and feel them, too.

Tyrone Beason is a Pacific Northwest magazine staff writer.