From Hurricane Irene to the controversy surrounding the first — and perhaps last — Grand Prix, Baltimore Sun photographers were on hand to capture the stories that had Maryland residents talking in 2011. Hopes were high on the Orioles, only to end with another losing year. The state lost one of its most beloved politicians with the passing of William Donald Schaefer. Baltimore joined international racing with the running of the Grand Prix race through the streets of downtown. This gallery represents a fraction of The Sun's work this past year. Take a moment to reflect on the most striking images of 2011, as selected by Robert Hamilton, The Sun's director of photography.