Sunday, July 24, 2005

Watersports on the Prineville Reservoir

Ah summertime...Vacation time. Summer is short in Oregon. It seems we no sooner celebrate Memorial Day and the next thing one knows is that it's time to hand out trick-or-treat candy on a cold, dark 40 degree rainy night. On the west side of the Cascade Range, the good, hot summer weather really doesn't set in until after the 4th of July. But on the east side, on the high plain desert, sunny skies and hot days seem endless. The stark difference in weather between Western and Eastern Oregon is dramatic.

Every year several of our friends pack up their families, camping gear and ski boats and head off to Eastern Oregon for fun in the sun. The whole trip revolves around watersports. For the past few years, the location of choice has been the Prineville Reservoir. It was 5 days of nearly non-stop water sports...water skiing, wake boarding, tubing and jet skiing. With a messed up knee keeping me idle...while everyone played, I shot the action. Over 4,300 frames later, we packed up, pulled the boats in and headed back to work, paying the bills and house chores...Ah vacation time...only 51 weeks and we get to do it all over again.

Condon's Fabulous 4th Kid Races

As part of the Condon, OR 4th of July celebration, the adults had their Fabulous 4th 8K Run and 5K walk in the morning, and in the afternoon the kids took part in the traditional Kids' Races on the High School football field. The event is full of thrills and spills as the youngins competed in sprints, a three-legged race and a solo gunnysack race with distances varying based on age group. It was fun for all, and the victors claimed a shiny new Sacajawea One Dollar Gold Coin as a first place prize, courtesy of the Bank of Eastern Oregon.

See the photo gallery of the Kids' Races here: Condon Fabulous 4th Kids Games.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Condon, Oregon Fabulous 4th Run & Walk

Every 4th of July a small farm-based town of 650 residents in Central Oregon swells three times its size as family and friends gather to celebrate our nation's birth in a style reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting. Surrounded by miles and miles of wheat fields, the town of Condon, Oregon holds on to generations of tradition as modern times challenges the economics of being an isolated town with its roots tied to family-owned farming.

Known as "Condon's Fabulous 4th Celebration," annual events include breakfast in the park, a traditional small-town parade, a soapbox derby race, kids races and an impressive fireworks display at the High School. A couple of years ago a fun run and walk was added to the agenda of activities. The run starts 5 miles out of town at the windmill farm and ends at the town park. This year 15 runners hoofed the rolling road into town while about 25 walkers opted for the shorter 5K walk. It was a beautiful morning in a beautiful corner of the world. Life in Condon doesn't stand just moves at a pace city folks don't appreciate often enough.

See the photo gallery of the run here: Condon Fabulous 4th Run & Walk.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

My first photo assignment: Graduation 2005

Graduation is a time of nerves, excitement and anticipation...but this time I am not describing the graduates' feelings, I am speaking of my own. I was fortunate enough to be asked by the Beaverton Valley Times to cover three graduation ceremonies for their June 16th "The Class of 05" feature section. I photographed ceremonies at Valley Catholic HS, Southridge HS and Jesuit HS in Beaverton, OR. It was a great experience...Definitely a challenge to find the moments, get a good shot and get the personal information from those in a photo. All-in-all, I was very pleased to have 7 of my submissions published. Below are 3 of them with the captions as they were published.

Self Portrait - Valley Catholic High School grads (above, from left) Eric Choi and Glen Thonis take a pre-commencement photo Saturday, June 4, in preparation for their final appearance with their class.

Graduation Scenes - Jesuit grad Sacha Bernards adjusting Chris Dieringer's honor tassel as Laurel Bently looks on.

Ready To Go - Southridge senior designated hitter Cory Bence showed up for graduation Saturday afternoon at the University of Portland still clad in her softball jersey and firstplace medal from the Skyhawks' state title win.