Saturday, June 20, 2009

PPO Summer School

At the annual Bend Summer School, there were programs on lighting, posing, post-processing, marketing, selling, and so on by various speakers, but the Most Memorable went the sunrise landscape workshop with Adrian Klein. The program said the meeting time for the workshop was at 5 a.m., but the day before at lunch Adrian pointed out a small mistake.

"Sunrise's at 5:10 a.m., so we are going to meet at 4 a.m. so we can get out there and set up before sunrise. How many are still going to go?" About 20 some hands went up.

With less than 4 hours of sleep, I got up and quickly readied myself to meet the other brave souls. At least a good 15 people showed up. The caravan traveled westward from Bend on the Cascade Lakes Hwy towards destination: Sparks Lake. It was mid June and there was still snow on the ground past Mt. Bachelor. The area had also been experiencing unusual thunderstorms and flooding from sudden downpours. Not enough to deter us. Adrian said even if it were pouring we'd still get out there because you just don't know what it's like 20 miles away. We turned off the highway onto a Forestry Service gravel road and arrived at the Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail. It was a short 1/3 mile hike from where we parked. The sky was clear. Almost too clear. We quickly set up our gear as Adrian shared tips and tricks with us. The predawn air was crisp, and the color blue dominated the surroundings in a peaceful way. In the midst of shutter release sounds came occasional wing flaps of water fowls. Fog rolled in as the outline of South Sister and Broken Top vanished from view. Several times we started to pack up, only to be lured into a few more frames by momentary clearing of the clouds. Nutty? You bet. And absolutely worth it. Nothing like photographing in the Studio of the Almighty.

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