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The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Best of 2017

Each year I publish a year-in-review which shows the highlights of my year in photography.  2017 is a year I am very happy to see end; it has been the most challenging personal year of my life, bringing bad news and personal injury which unquestionably held me and my photography back this year.

As some of you may know, I fell and tore a ligament in my knee in May, which culminated in surgical intervention to replace the ligament in October.  Luckily I have an excellent surgeon (he served as Surgical Team Chief for President George W. Bush while he was in office) and I am still reportedly progressing well through physical therapy.  I am doing well now, but being knocked off my feet for a month after the injury and for two months after surgery took a serious toll on my work and morale.  I am expected to make a full recovery and be back to normal mid 2018, but this injury with such a slow recovery time has been very disheartening, even with a cutting edge new surgical method employed which was less invasive and is allowing for a quicker recovery than previously able with this relatively new ligament reconstruction I've had to have.  This is why I haven't posted too many pictures this year; most of my work has been straightforward photoshoots with existing clients since I've had to be selective with what photoshoots I've taken on during my recoveries.   If my 2017 can teach you anything it is don't dislocate your bones and tear ligaments - 0/10, would not recommend.

This isn't to say 2017 was all bad; I did quite a bit of great photography before, and after (and during, for that matter) my various adventures in knee problems.  I spent about ¼ of the year recovering from knee injury and surgery, but the other ¾ of the year had quite a lot of photography.  2017 was a year about change, and that change began in January, even before the 20th, which began bringing even more change and seemed to set the tone for the rest of the year.  My knee didn't change until five months into the year, but every month held some kind of change; just two months after that quite possibly the biggest thing that has happened in my photographic career happened, pointing to the future from my past; 2018 is here, and I am eager to move forward to that future beginning now.

Washington Dulles International Airport Manager Christopher U. Browne addresses Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority guests as he "Departs the Pattern" and steps down as Airport Manager after 29 years with the Airports Authority.  Chris is now Deputy Director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Washington Dulles International Airport Manager Christopher U. Browne addresses Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority guests as he "Departs the Pattern" and steps down as Airport Manager after 29 years with the Airports Authority.  Chris is now Deputy Director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

A protestor gives a white rose to an arriving international passenger.  White roses are traditionally known to represent purity, innocence, sympathy, and spirituality.  Following President Trump’s executive order implementing a travel ban on seven countries, protests initiated at international airports across the United States where individuals affected by the rapidly enacted ban were detained. The Trump administration justified the executive order as part of the “extreme vetting” of immigrants promised during his campaign, while those opposed to the ban question the constitutionality, motives, and execution of the ban. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) was on-site denouncing President Trump’s travel ban in a press conference.

A protestor gives a white rose to an arriving international passenger.  White roses are traditionally known to represent purity, innocence, sympathy, and spirituality.

Following President Trump’s executive order implementing a travel ban on seven countries, protests initiated at international airports across the United States where individuals affected by the rapidly enacted ban were detained. The Trump administration justified the executive order as part of the “extreme vetting” of immigrants promised during his campaign, while those opposed to the ban question the constitutionality, motives, and execution of the ban. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) was on-site denouncing President Trump’s travel ban in a press conference.

Internationally arriving passengers exit the International Arrivals Building to a sea of cheering protestors welcoming their arrival after clearing customs.  Following President Trump’s executive order implementing a travel ban on seven countries, protests initiated at international airports across the United States where individuals affected by the rapidly enacted ban were detained. The Trump administration justified the executive order as part of the “extreme vetting” of immigrants promised during his campaign, while those opposed to the ban question the constitutionality, motives, and execution of the ban. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) was on-site denouncing President Trump’s travel ban in a press conference.

Internationally arriving passengers exit the International Arrivals Building to a sea of cheering protestors welcoming their arrival after clearing customs.

Following President Trump’s executive order implementing a travel ban on seven countries, protests initiated at international airports across the United States where individuals affected by the rapidly enacted ban were detained. The Trump administration justified the executive order as part of the “extreme vetting” of immigrants promised during his campaign, while those opposed to the ban question the constitutionality, motives, and execution of the ban. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) was on-site denouncing President Trump’s travel ban in a press conference.

Tom Veirs, in his glassblowing studio, giving a demonstration on how patterns are made in extruded glass, such as wine glass stems. Tom retired in May, 2017.

Tom Veirs, in his glassblowing studio, giving a demonstration on how patterns are made in extruded glass, such as wine glass stems. Tom retired in May, 2017.

Captain John Prater with a ceremonial cigar in the cockpit of his United 787 Dreamliner upon landing his final commercial flight before retiring.

Captain John Prater with a ceremonial cigar in the cockpit of his United 787 Dreamliner upon landing his final commercial flight before retiring.

Adrianna McVay graduates with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology from George Mason University.

Adrianna McVay graduates with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology from George Mason University.

Jockies on the main straightaway approach the finish line at the Virginia Gold Cup.  2017 hosted one of the rainiest, muddiest Gold Cups of recent history.

Jockies on the main straightaway approach the finish line at the Virginia Gold Cup.  2017 hosted one of the rainiest, muddiest Gold Cups of recent history.

Myself wearing a knee immobilizer at a portrait photoshoot two days after my initial knee injury.  The next day I would meet my orthopedist and find out the extent of the damage.  The doctor told me I was truly lucky that I'd only torn one ligament and had no other damage; the MRI showed no loose bodies, no damaged cartilage, and no torn menisci; all extremely common injuries with the type of fall and injury I experienced, but was able to avoid from sheer luck.  In October, later in the year, I would undergo a successful MPFL reconstruction surgery to stabilize the kneecap and prevent future dislocations, instability, and additional damage.  While this picture may be a personal low point ironically placed in a "Best of" post, this was a life-altering event, and more than qualifies in this "Year in Review."

Myself wearing a knee immobilizer at a portrait photoshoot two days after my initial knee injury.  The next day I would meet my orthopedist and find out the extent of the damage.

The doctor told me I was truly lucky that I'd only torn one ligament and had no other damage; the MRI showed no loose bodies, no damaged cartilage, and no torn menisci; all extremely common injuries with the type of fall and injury I experienced, but was able to avoid from sheer luck.

In October, later in the year, I would undergo a successful MPFL reconstruction surgery to stabilize the kneecap and prevent future dislocations, instability, and additional damage.

While this picture may be a personal low point ironically placed in a "Best of" post, this was a life-altering event, and more than qualifies in this "Year in Review."

Michaelangelo Pistoletto's "Venus of the Rags" on display at the Smithsonian's Hirshorn Museum.

Michaelangelo Pistoletto's "Venus of the Rags" on display at the Smithsonian's Hirshorn Museum.

Succulents growing in a flowerpot in Washington, DC.

Succulents growing in a flowerpot in Washington, DC.

Bokeh of exhibit lighting inside the National Museum of the American Indian.

Bokeh of exhibit lighting inside the National Museum of the American Indian.

An Operations Manager listens to an airfield radio while walking between two Plane Mates at Washington Dulles International Airport.

An Operations Manager listens to an airfield radio while walking between two Plane Mates at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Terry McAuliffe, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, speaking at Air India's inaugural event at Washington Dulles International Airport; "We don't believe in walls; we believe in bridges."  The comment alluded to President Trump's recent efforts to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico.

Terry McAuliffe, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, speaking at Air India's inaugural event at Washington Dulles International Airport; "We don't believe in walls; we believe in bridges."  The comment alluded to President Trump's recent efforts to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico.

Air India's 777-200LR departing Washington Dulles International Airport for the first time.

Air India's 777-200LR departing Washington Dulles International Airport for the first time.

Polo players competing at the Great Meadow Polo Club.

Polo players competing at the Great Meadow Polo Club.

"A Planespotter’s Dream Gig: A Look into the Life of an Airport Photographer;" an article on AirlineGeeks.com profiling my work as an aviation marketing photographer.  Although my photography has been featured in many articles and publications, this marks the first time a publication has written an article specifically about me and my work.

"A Planespotter’s Dream Gig: A Look into the Life of an Airport Photographer;" an article on AirlineGeeks.com profiling my work as an aviation marketing photographer.  Although my photography has been featured in many articles and publications, this marks the first time a publication has written an article specifically about me and my work.

A nighttime aerial image of T. F. Green Airport in Rhode Island.

A nighttime aerial image of T. F. Green Airport in Rhode Island.

Grapes growing on 200 year old vine at Newport Vineyards, a winery in Newport, Rhode Island.

Grapes growing on 200 year old vine at Newport Vineyards, a winery in Newport, Rhode Island.

Fishing vessels docked at Galilee Salt Pond Harbor in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Fishing vessels docked at Galilee Salt Pond Harbor in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Alyssa McGuire posing with a moped on her birthday on Block Island, Rhode Island.

Alyssa McGuire posing with a moped on her birthday on Block Island, Rhode Island.

A blood red sky at sunset in Fairfax County, Virginia.

A blood red sky at sunset in Fairfax County, Virginia.

In Niotta, Tennassee a man uses a paper plate to safely view the projection of the 2017 solar eclipse after the solar filter for his telescope broke mere days before the eclipse.  Solar filters were in high demand, and became unavailable months prior to the day of the eclipse.  The ray of sunlight emitted from his telescope's eyepiece was hot on the skin when placed in the beam.

In Niotta, Tennassee a man uses a paper plate to safely view the projection of the 2017 solar eclipse after the solar filter for his telescope broke mere days before the eclipse.  Solar filters were in high demand, and became unavailable months prior to the day of the eclipse.  The ray of sunlight emitted from his telescope's eyepiece was hot on the skin when placed in the beam.

The sun half eclipsed by the moon as seen from Niotta, Tennessee.

The sun half eclipsed by the moon as seen from Niotta, Tennessee.

Totality of the 2017 solar eclipse as seen from Niotta, Tennessee.

Totality of the 2017 solar eclipse as seen from Niotta, Tennessee.

The Washington Redskins Burgundy & Gold Club restaurant and bar at Washington Dulles International Airport.

The Washington Redskins Burgundy & Gold Club restaurant and bar at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Portrait of Ryan Ewing, owner and founder of  AirlineGeeks.com .

Portrait of Ryan Ewing, owner and founder of AirlineGeeks.com.

Ryan Ewing, owner and founder of AirlineGeeks.com, walks on the airfield at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Ryan Ewing, owner and founder of AirlineGeeks.com, walks on the airfield at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Local DC Brau and Atlas District Common beers on display for sale at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Local DC Brau and Atlas District Common beers on display for sale at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Portrait of Cyrina Yarbrough, Marketplace Development Marketing and Customer Service Manager at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Portrait of Cyrina Yarbrough, Marketplace Development Marketing and Customer Service Manager at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Orville, NASA's flying squirrel mascot, marshals in a Southwest Airlines 737 at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Orville, NASA's flying squirrel mascot, marshals in a Southwest Airlines 737 at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Executive Order Travel Ban Protest - IAD, January 30th, 2017

Following President Trump’s executive order implementing a travel ban on seven countries, protests initiated at international airports across the United States where individuals affected by the rapidly enacted ban were detained. The Trump administration justified the executive order as part of the “extreme vetting” of immigrants promised during his campaign, while those opposed to the ban question the constitutionality, motives, and execution of the ban. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) was on-site denouncing President Trump’s travel ban in a press conference.

I captured these photographs while on-site for an unrelated meeting.  During the several hours I spent watching the protest and presser, there were no Trump supporters visibly present; reportedly only one had been there in the morning, and only a handful over the weekend, and some cases MWAA police had to move in to ensure the supporters' safety as tempers of the crowd were exacerbated.  During my time on-site, I witnessed only one individual lose their temper; a lawyer, who eventually calmed down when others spoke to them and explained they had already taken the necessary actions.

I am presenting these images and my account for the importance of photojournalism and documentation.  Captions below each image briefly explain what is being seen in each image.

Do not use these photographs or videos without express permission of J. David Buerk.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport and speaks with legal counsels volunteering on-site.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport and speaks with legal counsels volunteering on-site.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) addresses media to discus legal action the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking in opposition to the travel ban.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) addresses media to discus legal action the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking in opposition to the travel ban.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) addresses media to discus legal action the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking in opposition to the travel ban.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) addresses media to discus legal action the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking in opposition to the travel ban.

A Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officer directs passengers' traffic as they exit the International Arrivals Building after clearing customs.  Protestors fill both sides of the exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.

A Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officer directs passengers' traffic as they exit the International Arrivals Building after clearing customs.  Protestors fill both sides of the exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.

A protestor gives a white rose to an arriving international passenger.  White roses are traditionally known to represent purity, innocence, sympathy, and spirituality.

A protestor gives a white rose to an arriving international passenger.  White roses are traditionally known to represent purity, innocence, sympathy, and spirituality.

Internationally arriving passengers exit the International Arrivals Building to a sea of cheering protestors welcoming their arrival after clearing customs.

Internationally arriving passengers exit the International Arrivals Building to a sea of cheering protestors welcoming their arrival after clearing customs.

A young protestor offers Loudoun County and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officers donuts and water and thanks them for keeping the demonstration safe.

A young protestor offers Loudoun County and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officers donuts and water and thanks them for keeping the demonstration safe.

A young protestor offers volunteer lawyers donuts and water and thanks them for donating their time.

A young protestor offers volunteer lawyers donuts and water and thanks them for donating their time.

Protestors of various backgrounds were present to display multicultural unity in opposition to the travel ban.

Protestors of various backgrounds were present to display multicultural unity in opposition to the travel ban.

NBC News4 Reporter Julie Carey preparing for a live hit.

NBC News4 Reporter Julie Carey preparing for a live hit.

Some protestors' signs were artwork without words.

Some protestors' signs were artwork without words.

Protestors fill both sides of the International Arrivals Building exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.  Greetings and welcomes were given to each individual arriving passenger, with cheers each time the IAB doors opened.

Protestors fill both sides of the International Arrivals Building exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.  Greetings and welcomes were given to each individual arriving passenger, with cheers each time the IAB doors opened.

Protestors fill both sides of the International Arrivals Building exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.  Greetings and welcomes were given to each individual arriving passenger, with cheers each time the IAB doors opened.

Protestors fill both sides of the International Arrivals Building exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.  Greetings and welcomes were given to each individual arriving passenger, with cheers each time the IAB doors opened.

Some protestors brought their children along to teach them about political activism firsthand.

Some protestors brought their children along to teach them about political activism firsthand.

NBC News4 reporter Kristin Wright preparing for a live hit.

NBC News4 reporter Kristin Wright preparing for a live hit.

ABC 7 / NewsChannel 8 reporter Ryan Hughes live on the air.

ABC 7 / NewsChannel 8 reporter Ryan Hughes live on the air.

FOX 5 reporter Ronica Cleary preparing for a live hit.

FOX 5 reporter Ronica Cleary preparing for a live hit.

A woman waves an American flag as arriving international passengers are greeted by the crowd of protestors.

A woman waves an American flag as arriving international passengers are greeted by the crowd of protestors.

A woman shows a peace sign while holding a sign; "ALL are WELCOME here."

A woman shows a peace sign while holding a sign; "ALL are WELCOME here."

"Love Trumps Hate" is a play on words that has been used as a rallying cry and hashtag in opposition to President Trump since almost the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2016.

"Love Trumps Hate" is a play on words that has been used as a rallying cry and hashtag in opposition to President Trump since almost the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2016.

Hashtags are used on protestors' signs to aid in spreading their message and promoting online unity.

Hashtags are used on protestors' signs to aid in spreading their message and promoting online unity.

Vice President Mike Pence's December 8th, 2015 tweet, "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional" printed on a protestor's sign; the widely circulated tweet is seen as directly contradictory to the Trump administration's travel ban rolled out just over a year later.

Vice President Mike Pence's December 8th, 2015 tweet, "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional" printed on a protestor's sign; the widely circulated tweet is seen as directly contradictory to the Trump administration's travel ban rolled out just over a year later.

Internationally arriving passengers exit the International Arrivals Building to a sea of cheering protestors welcoming their arrival after clearing customs.

Internationally arriving passengers exit the International Arrivals Building to a sea of cheering protestors welcoming their arrival after clearing customs.

Many of the protestors present also took part in the Women's March on Washington on January 21st, 2017; the day after President Trump's inauguration.  Some of these protestors brought their signs from that protest to use at this one; this sign is an original artwork.

Many of the protestors present also took part in the Women's March on Washington on January 21st, 2017; the day after President Trump's inauguration.  Some of these protestors brought their signs from that protest to use at this one; this sign is an original artwork.

Many of the protestors present also took part in the Women's March on Washington on January 21st, 2017; the day after President Trump's inauguration.  Some of these protestors brought their signs from that protest to use at this one; this sign is an original artwork.

Many of the protestors present also took part in the Women's March on Washington on January 21st, 2017; the day after President Trump's inauguration.  Some of these protestors brought their signs from that protest to use at this one; this sign is an original artwork.

Volunteer lawyers and translators held signs to readily identify themselves to passengers and family who need legal counsel.

Volunteer lawyers and translators held signs to readily identify themselves to passengers and family who need legal counsel.

Even some arriving international travelers had signs in protest easily in view as they exited the International Arrivals Building upon clearing customs.

Even some arriving international travelers had signs in protest easily in view as they exited the International Arrivals Building upon clearing customs.

Reunions upon clearing customs are often emotional regardless of residency, citizenship, and immigration status.

Reunions upon clearing customs are often emotional regardless of residency, citizenship, and immigration status.

A man holds a sign in (language confirmation pending) outside the International Arrivals Building.  (Translation pending.)

A man holds a sign in (language confirmation pending) outside the International Arrivals Building.

(Translation pending.)

Water, food, and other supplies donated to sustain the protestors, lawyers, translators, and legal observers.

Water, food, and other supplies donated to sustain the protestors, lawyers, translators, and legal observers.

A Black Lives Matter protestor and attorney speaks with an ACLU legal observer while holding ACLU legal advice pamphlets.

A Black Lives Matter protestor and attorney speaks with an ACLU legal observer while holding ACLU legal advice pamphlets.

A woman holds a sign that simply reads, "Don't be Mean."

A woman holds a sign that simply reads, "Don't be Mean."

Protestors who came together hold signs which complement one another's messages.

Protestors who came together hold signs which complement one another's messages.

Volunteer lawyers stand close to the International Arrival Building's exit with clearly legible signs reading, "FREE LEGAL HELP."  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers and translators converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

Volunteer lawyers stand close to the International Arrival Building's exit with clearly legible signs reading, "FREE LEGAL HELP."  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers and translators converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

Four women hold signs next to the International Arrival Building's exit; one woman's sign had flashing lights, reading, "Actions Speak Louder Than Words."

Four women hold signs next to the International Arrival Building's exit; one woman's sign had flashing lights, reading, "Actions Speak Louder Than Words."

Excerpt from Emma Lazarus' "The New Colossus;" a sonnet written in 1883 to fundraise the Statue of Liberty's pedestal.  The poem became a permanent part of the Statue of Liberty when it was mounted to the statue's pedestal on a bronze engraving in 1903.

Excerpt from Emma Lazarus' "The New Colossus;" a sonnet written in 1883 to fundraise the Statue of Liberty's pedestal.  The poem became a permanent part of the Statue of Liberty when it was mounted to the statue's pedestal on a bronze engraving in 1903.

One of several lawyers tables set up around the International Arrivals Building to aid travelers and their families in need of legal assistance.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers and translators converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

One of several lawyers tables set up around the International Arrivals Building to aid travelers and their families in need of legal assistance.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers and translators converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

Leftover and abandoned signs collected and stored behind the Lawyers for Good Government's table, available for anyone to choose from and use to protest.

Leftover and abandoned signs collected and stored behind the Lawyers for Good Government's table, available for anyone to choose from and use to protest.

An American Civil Liberties Union legal observer in a blue high-visibility vest.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers, translators, and legal observers converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.  The ACLU was quick to file a lawsuit in opposition to the executive order, resulting in an emergency stay granted by Brooklyn Federal Judge Ann Donnelly late Saturday night, which allowed travelers caught in the ban's rapid rollout to be released from detention.

An American Civil Liberties Union legal observer in a blue high-visibility vest.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers, translators, and legal observers converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.  The ACLU was quick to file a lawsuit in opposition to the executive order, resulting in an emergency stay granted by Brooklyn Federal Judge Ann Donnelly late Saturday night, which allowed travelers caught in the ban's rapid rollout to be released from detention.

A group of volunteer lawyers working in the baggage claim area of Washington Dulles International Airport.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers, translators, and legal observers converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

A group of volunteer lawyers working in the baggage claim area of Washington Dulles International Airport.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers, translators, and legal observers converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

A short video of footage I collected while on site Monday afternoon.