Top photos of 2013: Tyler Tjomsland

December 28, 2013 7:32 p.m.  •  0 comments

I can’t say 2013 was at any point dull. From documenting two refugee families’ first steps in our community, to a hectic night spent amid Megaload protestors on the Nez Perce Reservation, to an ongoing attempt at visualizing the dividing line wolves draw between urban and rural communities, my first full year as a staff photographer has been a wild ride.

Thanks first to The Spokesman-Review, for still placing high value on quality photojournalism and for letting me be a part of it. Thanks to the readers for taking the time to look, read, and think for themselves. Above all else though, thanks to the people I have photographed for trusting me to document their lives one frame at a time.

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Service members stand at ridged attention as Major Clarence E. Grimes, 92, is escorted into an award ceremony where he was presented with the French Legion of Honor award on Thursday, October 24, 2013, at Fairchild Air Force Base. Grimes served in the Liberation of France during World War II. He flew 35 missions over Europe, five of those over France.

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Iraqi refugee Yousif Sadoon, left, watches as his younger brother Aymen Sadoon, tosses a piece of garbage in a field behind their new apartment on Monday, February 18, 2013, in North Spokane, Wash. After spending their first week in the U.S. in a hotel room, the family was relieved to be in an apartment regardless of location. The family fled Iraq in 2003 after a militia took over their neighborhood, leaving them without water, electricity or security.

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Anthony Cooper a British Soldier who was blinded and lost both legs in Afghanistan in 2010, laughs after bowling with fellow blinded vets during an event held by The Blinded Veterans Association for their 68th Annual Convention on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at the Valley Bowl in Spokane Valley, Wash.

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Kyler Kostelec, 15, white shirt sitting and his girlfriend Galina Hensz, 16, second from right, hang out with friends at “the planter” a popular spot for homeless youth to hang out downtown on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, in front of the Olive Garden on West Spokane Falls Boulevard at Spokane, Wash.

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Terry Schudel looks at a picture of his son, Nicholas on Thursday, December 12, 2013, at his home in Spokane, Wash. Schudel hasn’t seen Nick since 1979.

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Robert M. Dressel, the father of Mike Dressel, pauses as he talks about his son’s life on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, at his home in Spokane, Wash. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office has labeled Mike Dressel’s death a possible homicide, though medical examiners were still trying to determine the exact cause of death.

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Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers, a non-partisan association in support and defense of the Constitution, is silhouetted as he addresses a crowd of hundreds during a 2nd Amendment rally on Saturday, January 19, 2013, at Black Sheep Sporting Goods in Coeur d’Alene, ID. Rhodes spoke to the crowd about the importance of defending The Constitution, in particular the Second Amendment.

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Dale Ryan, 62, dives as coach Greg Schmidt looks on during practice with EWU’s Aquatic Club on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, at the EWU Aquatic Center in Cheney, Wash.

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Kate Owen, left, 5, smiles at her friend, Liliana as her father Terry Owen, swings her during their first day attending a swing dancing class called “Mommy & Me Swing” on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, at Interplayers in Spokane, Wash. “It’s really fun because we swing dance all the time at home,” Terry said.

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Hosanna Lahaie-Lee and Kat Pinette of Alaska embrace after being wed on Thursday, August 22, 2013, at The Davenport in Spokane, Wash.

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Brandon Metoxen, 24, a member of the Oneida Nation, center, is shown in headlights holding a sign protesting a megaload carrying an evaporator for a Canadian oil rig on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, U.S. Highway 12 outside of Lewiston, ID.

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An activist is arrested while protesting a 300-ton megaload truck carrying mining equipment to a Canadian oil field through Nez Perce land on Wednesday, August 7, 2013, along Highway 12, outside of Lewiston, ID.

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Law enforcement officials examine the scene where a black Audi collided head on with an older Chevy van on Cheney-Spokane Road on Friday, August 23, 2013, near Cheney, Wash. The driver of the black Audi suffered a diabetic episode and crossed the centerline into the path of the Chevy van. The driver of the van was taken to the hospital via Life Flight and the Audi’s driver via ambulance.

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A firefighter takes a break after extinguishing flames that consumed a South Hill home and spread to a neighboring home on Thursday, August 8, 2013, at 19th and Sherman in Spokane, Wash.

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A stand of trees seemingly blends with the waters of Lake Roosevelt on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013.

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A deer eyes the photographer from a field on South Baltimore Road on Monday, June 24, 2013, in Spokane, Wash.

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Grace Hegwer, 4, plays in a field of sunflowers while stopping for a photo op with her grandmother Florence Hegwer and sisters (not pictured) on Thursday, August 8, 2013, in a sunflower field near Deer Park, Wash. The field drew many drivers in with its vibrant colors.

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Noah Beach rides in the bed of a wheat truck as the sun sets, heading to pick up another load of grain cut by his grandfather, Dick Schu and uncle Ryan on Monday night, August 12, 2013, near Oakesdale, Wash.

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Sports

Washington State receiver Gabe Marks slips a tackle and runs the ball in for a touchdown against Idaho during the first half of a college football game on Saturday, September 21, 2013, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.

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Matthew Dawes, 40, of London, wades into the cold waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene on a rainy Thursday afternoon, June 20, 2013, near the starting line of Sunday’s IRONMAN competition in Coeur d’Alene, ID. Dawes, who has done 13 IRONMANs, said this is his first in Coeur d’Alene.

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A runner ducks though the spray of a hose near the top of Doomsday Hill during Bloomsday 2013 on Sunday, May 5, 2013, in Spokane, Wash.

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Jackson LaRue had a family friend shave his team’s name “Nets” into the back of his hair before he came to play at Hoopfest on Saturday, June 29, 2013, in Spokane, Wash.

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Kenneth Sims is congratulated by his father and coach Kenneth Sims, Sr., and mother Tina after defeating Luis Sednado in the 2013 USA National Boxing Championships on Friday, April 5, 2013, at Northern Quest Resort and Casino in Airway Heights, Wash.

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Eastern Washington receiver Ashton Clark (15) hauls in a long pass against Jacksonville State’s defense during the first half of a college football game on Saturday, December 14, 2013, at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.

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Mead goalie Eric Bjerkestrand dives for a ball as a player leaps over him during practice Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at Mead High School in Mead, Wash.

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Washington State receiver River Cracraft (84) is forced out of bounds by Southern Utah during the first half of a college football game on Saturday, September 14, 2013, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.

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Sunnyside celebrates by cutting down the net after defeating Neah Bay during the second half of the 2013 Washington State 2B Boys state final basketball game on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Wash. Sunnyside won the game 44-36.

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A Month in America, Through a Child’s Eyes

The mugshot on Dakie’s United States Employee Authorization card is seen in a shaft of light on Saturday, May 4, 2013, at her family’s apartment in Spokane, Wash. The photo was taken shortly before she left Africa.

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Congolese refugee Dakie Tshilobo, 4, stands, wide-eyed with her mother Jolie Ngenda, 25, and father Patrick Kazadi, 32, after they landed at Spokane International Airport, late Thursday night, Feb. 7, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported last month an 8 percent increase in the number of people seeking asylum worldwide from 2011 to 2012. Last year’s total was the highest since 2003.

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Dakie looks to her parents as her first bus ride takes her through downtown Spokane on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. World Relief, the organization helping Dakie’s family get their bearings has resettled about 12,000 people in the Inland Northwest during the past two decades, about 100 of them Congolese.

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Though trying to process an overload of new information during a World Relief-led tour of downtown Spokane, Patrick pauses to tie his daughter’s shoe, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013.

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On her 5th birthday, after several weeks of living in an intermediary World Relief-owned apartment while the organization searched for a more permanent living situation, Dakie looks in the window and rings the doorbell on a birthday present of sorts: a one bedroom apartment to share with her parents on Friday, February 22, 2013, in Spokane, Wash.

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Dakie watches cartoons with her family on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at their apartment in Spokane, Wash. For many refugees coming to the states, television is both a way to learn English and to learn American culture.

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Dakie stares out the window of her family’s apartment into her new neighborhood on Friday, February 22, 2013, in Spokane, Wash.

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Patrick and Jolie debate who will go to the grocery store for the first time with a World Relief case worker as Dakie pulls on Patrick’s arm wanting to go to the park on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. For her parents, the first weeks in Spokane were a busy time of getting acclimated to the area and a rush of new information.

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Dakie laughs as she rolls on the carpet in her parents’ apartment on Friday, February 22, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. Dakie won’t start school until next fall, so she will spend a large amount of time with her mother in the apartment. Patrick said she often asks him when she will be able to go to school. “I tell her tomorrow,” he said.

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Patrick tends to his daughter as she battles a high fever on Sunday, February 10, 2013.

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Divided We Stand

Braxton Wheeler, 4, of Island Park, ID, presses his hands to the glass and locks eyes with a wolf at the West Yellowstone Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center near Yellowstone National Park on Saturday, May 18, 2013. For those who make the pilgrimage to Yellowstone to see wildlife, the Discovery Center offers a guarantee of seeing one of the West’s most controversial predators.

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Bud Sampson, a hunter and farmer concerned with wolves reappearing in the forests near his home in Colville, Wash, listens with other concerned citizens as WDFW game manager Dave Ware, foreground, fields his questions during a packed town hall meeting to discuss wolf impacts on game species such as deer and elk on Wednesday, March 28, 2013, at the Colville Ag Trade Center in Colville, Wash.

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On land near his Wyoming ranch, Gene Jordan fords an icy river to mend a barbwire fence demolished by snow-melt as his wife Debbie watches from the opposite bank on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, near Riverton, Wyo. Since the earliest settlers arrived on the range, fences have set boundaries and protected assets. While, fences can keep livestock contained, they can’t stop predators. Wolves can easily slip through conventional fencing and swim across rivers. Before wolf reintroduction, Jordan said he typically lost a handful of calves every year to pneumonia or black bears. Now, he usually loses about 25 calves. He doesn’t find all the carcasses in the sagebrush and timbered draws. And when he does find them, they’re sometimes too badly decayed to determine the cause of death. Each calf is worth about $800. If wolves take 20, “that’s $16,000,” he said.

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Rancher Len McIrvin said this calf was bit by a wolf, likely from the Wedge pack, is seen recovering on his property in the fall of 2012 on Thursday, September 25 at the Diamond M Ranch in Laurier, Wash. Many ranchers in the Colville area have struggled with wolves returning to the eco-system. At the time of the photo McIrvin estimated in fall of 2012 he had lost 40-50 head of cattle to wolves. That same fall the state Department of Wildlife issued a kill-order for the Wedge pack. Using a helicopter, the Department of Wildlife had eliminated the pack in a few days.

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Wolf watcher Linda Hamilton, of Green River Wyo., uses a spotting scope to scan the flat plains near the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone, Mont on May 11, 2013. Hamilton and her husband, Larry, said they have come to Yellowstone many times, since wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995. More than 300,000 people see wolves in the park each year, according to a 2006 University of Montana study, which estimated the impact of Yellowstone wolf tourism at $35 million annually.

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Wolf toys await young tourists in the Yellowstone Association gift shop on Thursday, May 9, 2013, near the Gardiner, Mont., entrance to Yellowstone. Most gift shops around Yellowstone entrances sell wolf related trinkets next to other notable animals found in Yellowstone.

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A taxidermized black wolf is silhouetted against a 1930’s Charles Belden photograph of antelope running across the plains near Meeteetse, Wyo. on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at the Charles Belden Photography Museum in Meeteetse. Many hunters worry about the effect of wolves on game populations, while many conversationalists argue that wolves are necessary to thin herds and keep game populations at healthy levels.

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A popular anti-wolf slogan adorns the bumper of a pickup on Sunday, July 22, 2012, at the third annual “Summer Sucks” Grass Drags, a snowmobile race, where competitors run their sleds on an open grass field in 90-degree heat in St. Maries, Wash. Many rural areas have been concerned with the possible influx of wolves from Canada in recent years.

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Dr. Jim Halfpenny holds a wolf skull at his Track Education Center and Museum on Saturday, May 11, 2013, in Gardiner, Mont. Dr. Halfpenny is a professional tracker who had done much work with wolves in Yellowstone, including making a chart for visitors to identify Yellowstone wolves and match them with their respective packs. Dr. Halfpenny has often been called to provide forensic analysis of tracks in cases where human and animal habitats overlap, such as predator attacks on livestock.

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Gene Jordan watches from his equipment barn as a Wyoming storm blows by his ranch home on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, near Riverton, Wyo. Wolves symbolize this greater, ongoing struggle in the American West over how resources will be used, how lives will be lived and who gets to decide, said Susan G. Clark, a Yale University professor of wildlife ecology and policy, in her 2005 book, “Co-existing with Large Carnivores.” “Wolves are going to live in the same landscape as local people,” she said.

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