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A year of wide angle selfies

Story by Dan Bretl February 16th, 2017

Two years ago - just before my 30th birthday - I started a project taking selfies with my new 24mm f/1.4. At least once on every hike, sightseeing, or adventure, I'd turn the camera on myself and take the same arm's length centered self portrait. I liked the results from the first year, so I kept it going in the next. The results are below - from day zero to day three hundred sixty five - providing a view of my year as a thirty one year old.

Catie and I started and ended another year in the same apartment in Capitol Hill. It's the longest we've ever stayed in the same place.

31 years, 0 days - Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA

Though we've been in Seattle for over two years now, we still have a lot to explore. We visited a couple more city parks for the first time.

31 years, 4 days - Seward Park, Seattle, WA
31 years, 4 days - Seward Park, Seattle, WA

On the rare occasion the sun comes out in Spring in Seattle, you've got to take advantage of it. We like to take hikes to high up places and soak it in.

31 years, 53 days - Goose Rock, Deception Pass State Park, Whidbey Island, WA

I strained a calf muscle while playing tennis and was fairly immobile for a couple weeks. It forced me to use the apartment building elevator more than usual, but I tried not to let it keep me down. Gas Works Park is a great place to lay in the grass and watch the world go by.

31 years, 74 days - Gas Works Park, Seattle, WA
31 years, 74 days - Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA

My parents came out to visit us in Seattle for a week, and we all spent a couple days on the Olympic Peninsula. The beaches were incredible.

31 years, 97 days - Ruby Beach, WA
31 years, 97 days - Ruby Beach, WA

Maybe my favorite spot around Seattle is Double Bluff Beach on Whidbey Island. It's the only off-leash dog friendly beach anywhere near the city, and it stretches on for miles.

31 years, 99 days - Double Bluff Beach, Whidbey Island, WA

I was nervous to suggest to my parents the steep climb up to Rattlesnake Ledge, but they actually scampered up the trail faster than I did!

31 years, 101 days - Rattlesnake Ledge, WA

Catie and I tried out some new trails east of Seattle along I-90. It's a nice area with some massive lakes.

31 years, 104 days - Lake Easton State Park, WA
31 years, 104 days - Lake Easton State Park, WA

Just remember as you head east - watch out for spiders!

31 years, 109 days - Keechelus Lake, WA
31 years, 109 days - Keechelus Lake, WA

Catie and I had a goal to climb Colonel Bob Peak over the summer. We unfortunately chose an exceedingly wet day to make our attempt, and had to turn back halfway up. Better luck next year!

31 years, 116 days - Colonel Bob Peak, WA

The day after our soaking wet hike, we went back to Kalaloch Beach (and enjoyed a delicious brunch at the lodge).

31 years, 117 days - Kalaloch Beach, WA

We found a new go-to hike up to Poo Poo Point. It's only a half hour drive from Seattle, and it doesn't take long to get up to the top. We went there after work on the summer solstice and watched the sunset while we drank wine and ate cherries.

31 years, 125 days - Poo Poo Point, WA

In an attempt to avoid fireworks (on behalf of the dogs), we once again retreated from Seattle and went camping east of Mt. Rainier for the 4th of July weekend.

31 years, 137 days - Sourdough Gap, WA
31 years, 137 days - Sourdough Gap, WA

We've visited the Naches Ranger District a number of times now, but we're still managing to find new hikes there.

31 years, 138 days - American Ridge, WA

On the 4th of July, we hiked roughly ten miles! The trail kept you guessing - we hopped over downed trees, crossed a river, and admired a couple waterfalls.

31 years, 139 days - Mesatchee Creek, WA

When the heat of summer really kicked in, we went back to my favorite hike from last year and enjoyed a swim in Dewey Lake. We also made great use of our hammocks!

31 years, 155 days - Dewey Lake, WA
31 years, 155 days - Dewey Lake, WA
31 years, 155 days - Dewey Lake, WA

Alpine lakes really are the greatest.

31 years, 156 days - Tipsoo Lake, WA
31 years, 156 days - Sheep Lake, WA

Our big trip of the year was to Iceland. It had been near the top of both Catie's and my lists for a long while, and we were both super excited to finally make it happen. It's just a seven hour direct flight from Seattle to Reykjavík!

31 years, 199 days - Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

We packed about a four week Iceland vacation into less than two weeks of actual time. It was exhilarating and exhausting.

31 years, 200 days - Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Iceland
31 years, 200 days - Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Iceland
31 years, 200 days - Svartifoss, Iceland
31 years, 200 days - Jökulsárlón, Iceland

We managed to drive around the entire island while we were there!

31 years, 201 days - Driving Höfn to Lón Beach, Iceland
31 years, 201 days - Driving Höfn to Lón Beach, Iceland

A lot of the most beautiful sights were found by simply pulling off the road while traveling from place to another.

31 years, 202 days - Driving Berunes to Reyðarfjörður, Iceland
31 years, 202 days - Driving Berunes to Reyðarfjörður, Iceland
31 years, 202 days - Driving Berunes to Reyðarfjörður, Iceland

We must have seen hundreds of waterfalls all over Iceland, but they really never got old.

31 years, 203 days - Seyðisfjörður, Iceland
31 years, 203 days - Álfaborg, Iceland

The variety of natural features in Iceland is overwhelming. It truly is an otherworldly sort of place.

31 years, 204 days - Borgarfjörður Eystri, Iceland
31 years, 204 days - Leirhnjúkur, Iceland
31 years, 204 days - Dimmuborgir, Iceland

It was not uncommon to layer two raincoats one on top of another while fending off the elements in Iceland.

31 years, 205 days - Dettifoss, Iceland
31 years, 205 days - Vesturdalur, Iceland

I'd never seen such huge waterfalls!

31 years, 206 days - Goðafoss, Iceland

The people in Iceland were exceedingly nice and generous. Folks that we stayed with gave us all sorts of tips on what not to miss across the country.

31 years, 208 days - Hamarsrétt, Iceland
31 years, 208 days - Hvítserkur, Iceland

Once back in Washington, we returned to Lanham Lake to see what it was like when it wasn't covered in snow and ice. It was just as beautiful in the Fall!

31 years, 249 days - Lanham Lake, WA
31 years, 249 days - Lanham Lake, WA
31 years, 249 days - Lanham Lake, WA
31 years, 249 days - Lanham Lake, WA

I was granted some extra time off for Thanksgiving, so Catie and I decided last minute to join her extended family for a week on the big island of Hawaii. Best last minute decision we've made in a while!

31 years, 282 days - Honomalino Beach, HI
31 years, 282 days - Honomalino Beach, HI
31 years, 282 days - Honomalino Beach, HI

I made good use of my chakra glasses. Everything looks better through orange.

31 years, 283 days - Makalawena Beach, HI
31 years, 283 days - Makalawena Beach, HI
31 years, 283 days - Makalawena Beach, HI

Things look pretty good poolside through purple too.

31 years, 284 days - Hualalai Colony, HI

Catie and I agreed that Papakōlea Beach was the all-time worst hike we'd ever been on, but we had a great laugh about it.

31 years, 285 days - Papakōlea Beach, HI
31 years, 285 days - Papakōlea Beach, HI

There are beaches everywhere in Hawaii. (Shocking, I know.)

31 years, 286 days - Hapuna Beach, HI
31 years, 286 days - Hapuna Beach, HI
31 years, 286 days - Hapuna Beach, HI

It actually snowed in Seattle several times this year! I didn't believe it was possible, but it really happened. It would even stick for a day or two (before the next wave of rain washed it away).

31 years, 296 days - Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA

I only spent a few days in Minnesota for Christmas break, but I managed to get in a couple dog park visits with my parents.

31 years, 315 days - Jidana Park, MN

When you want to get outdoors quickly and you're not sure what to do, just head back up to Poo Poo Point!

31 years, 319 days - Poo Poo Point, WA

We had a lofty goal of going snowshoeing every weekend this winter. We didn't quite achieve that consistency, but we did get out more often than not!

31 years, 327 days - Wenatchee Crest, WA

Magnuson is our dog park of choice in Seattle proper. I usually only have my iPhone with me, but every once in a while I bring the Nikon.

31 years, 339 days - Magnuson Dog Park, Seattle, WA
31 years, 339 days - Magnuson Dog Park, Seattle, WA

It always seems difficult to figure out new snowshoe options, so we often end up heading back towards Lanham Lake. It's a great trail.

31 years, 341 days - Lanham Lake, WA

We don't always make it all the way to the lake, but the reward is great whenever we do.

31 years, 355 days - Lanham Lake, WA

I love that from Seattle you can easily go snowshoeing in the mountains one weekend and strolling on a long stone beach the next.

31 years, 362 days - Double Bluff Beach, Whidbey Island, WA

It feels strange having another year go by in my thirties. I still don't think I feel like an "adult", but maybe I never really will. I'll just keep wearing bright colors and trust that everything will sort itself out over time.

32 years, 0 days - Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA