Friday, June 19, 2009

PPO Summer Seminar 2009 - Sunrise Workshop

I want to thank PPO for asking me to lead and speak to another great group of photographers for the Professional Photographers of Oregon summer seminar in Bend at Mount Bachelor Village Resort. My portion of the 3 day event was a sunrise workshop at the majestically beautiful Sparks Lake just off the scenic Cascade Lakes Highway outside of Bend.

The program read that we would start at 5 am, boy was everyone in for a surprise when I said that was too late! We left Mt Bachelor Village Resort by 4 am to make the 30 min journey with some pre-sunrise time to spare. I was pleasantly surprised to see about 15 folks get up this early and attend. I truly have to say I could tell almost all of them enjoyed their time and realized what they miss when they sleep in and pass the golden light in the morning.

I had photographed Sparks Lake the prior couple days and I had no real amazing sunsets or sunrises, then on the morning we had the workshop it was great which I know makes everyone happy. Although I was there helping everyone that wanted it I did manage to get some shots off myself. It's a delicate balancing when teaching a workshop to help out others and shoot yourself but more than one person commented this time that it's important that I photograph as well since seeing me work is just as important in the learning process which I have to agree when I think back to when I was first starting. Here is one of the images I processed from this serene sunrise on Sparks Lake.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Keep California Parks Open

I must say when I heard the Governators recommendation to close over 200 parks in California it really concerned me. I know we are in some unprecedented financial times, everyone of us has been directly affected or knows someone that has during this down economy. However, closing one of the most cost effective vacation and trip destinations available to folks these days seems to be the wrong approach. Americans and people in general need to be connected to nature, more then ever today in our fast pace iPhone, Facebook, Fast food world. Taking that away is moving us in the wrong direction. It's a grave underestimation if politicians think closing the parks temporarily will be only temporary. Closing this many parks will take many years if not a full decade to bring them back up to full running order and the communities around them. Do think someone that has a small business near a park that relies on those visitor dollars to help float the business will stay around? I am sure if they can make it they will, but they may not and then they will leave. It's a change that impacts more than just he many acres in the parks themselves.

There are many unanswered questions that I don't see online anywhere, so like most stories there only seems to be part of it available to the public. I would like to see the full proposal. Will the parks be maintained at all or left to blend back into nature? Can people walk into the parks but not drive in (there will need to be security costs here if so)? Is there not an option of privatizing some of the parks, selling to the highest bidder (not sure on this but I am open to hear all options)? I truly believe there is other pork in the political budget to cut before closing almost 80% of the parks in one of the most populous states.

If you agree on not closing the parks feel free to check out more on this at the California State Parks Foundation site: