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2018 in photos: Tribune photographer Joe Johnston shares his favorite images

A cheerleader peeks out from inside the entry tunnel for the Paso Robles High School football team before their game against Fresno’s Central High School.
A cheerleader peeks out from inside the entry tunnel for the Paso Robles High School football team before their game against Fresno’s Central High School. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The last year has been filled with memorable images from newsworthy events around San Luis Obispo County.

Photographer Joe Johnston has been telling SLO County stories with his camera for 35 years.

You can follow him on Twitter @SLOJoeJohnston to see the best of next year’s work as it happens.

From protests against gun violence to the reopening of Highway 1 to an intimate story about one San Luis Obispo woman’s fight to die on her own terms, here’s a look at some of Joe’s favorite images from 2018.

Bite out of the moon

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A super blue blood moon sets in partial eclipse over Shell Beach on Jan. 31. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Too close for comfort

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A pair of female elephant seals clash amongst a packed beach at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. The whole rookery’s population is estimated at 20,000 making it the largest mainland rookery in the world. Photo by Joe Johnston 01-19-18 Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

There goes the steeple

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The top half of the steeple dangles from a crane as part of the process of removing the old steeple at St. Stephen’s Church in San Luis Obispo after nearly 50 years. A fire in the 1970s destroyed the original steeple, and the current one needed replacing. Photo by Joe Johnston 02-19-18 Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

In the wake of Parkland

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Senior Rutik Shinglot speaks to the Hundreds of students who walked out of class at San Luis Obispo High School as part of the National Walkout for Gun Safety on March 14. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Protest for Andrew Holland

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On March 20, protesters at the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors’ chambers demanded justice for the death of Andrew Holland, who died in County Jail custody after 46 hours in a restraint chair. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Fire at the Madonna Inn

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A couple watches as firefighters respond to a fire at the Madonna Inn on April 26. The blaze that started in an overfilled laundry room dryer was quickly extinguished with no injuries and only minor damage. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Road to Big Sur reopens

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The first cars drive along the newly opened section of Hwy. 1 across the Mud Creek Slide on the Big Sur coast on Wednesday morning, July 18. Joe Johnston AP

Refilling the Neptune Pool

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The Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle in San Simeon was refilled with 345,000 gallons of water in August 14 after a $5.5 million renovation project which began in mid-May 2016. Joe Johnston AP

Fight for her death

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Christine Whaley of San Luis Obispo died in August of terminal melanoma after struggling to find a way to end her life on her terms. She had to leave the county to get the prescription she needed, exposing a gap in the local health care system. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Rivalry win for Cal Poly soccer

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Cal Poly senior defender Nick Carroll celebrates with fans at Alex G. Spanos Stadium after the Mustangs beat UCSB 1-0 in front of a sellout crowd in their Blue-Green rivalry series opener Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. Photo by Joe Johnston 09-30-18 Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Pismo Beach Pier ready for visitors

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A drone photo captures the newly renovated Pismo Beach Pier, days before it reopened in October in time for the annual Clam Festival. The pier closed in March 2017 as part of an $8.7 million overhaul of the aging structure. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

SLO mayor wins big

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San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon watches as the early returns come in during her election night party on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Kreuzberg Cafe in San Luis Obispo. Harmon wound up winning a second term. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Protest in downtown SLO

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Protesters hold signs and gather Nov. 8 during a rapid response protest in San Luis Obispo, the day after President Trump forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. The action was seen by many as an attempt to impede the Russia investigation overseen by Special Council Robert Mueller. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

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