Brian's Photo Blog — Article 74
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Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest
Saturday 7 April 2012   —   Category: Miscellaneous
Today I’m writing my second “remote” article of the week — no, I didn’t get called back to jury duty! Fortunately, it’s something a LOT more interesting! I’m attending the semiannual Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest (NPPNW) meeting — held this time around on the campus of Lewis & Clark College, just up the I-5 in Portland. I took a quick look at the history of this college, and found out that it was started by the Presbyterians in 1867 — right there in Albany, where I live! Well, whaddaya know!

The main speaker for today is George Lepp. Rather than reinventing the wheel, here’s a bio I found on the Web:
Over the past thirty years, George Lepp, a Canon Explorer of Light, field editor of Outdoor Photographer (OP) and Digital Photo magazines, and popular columnist in OP, as well as an author of many books and thousands of articles on photography, has dedicated himself to helping other professionals and serious amateurs achieve success in their photographic aspirations.
Yesterday I took a look around George’s Web site, and saw that his award-winning photobook — Golden Poppies of California — was being sold at a close-out two-thirds discount! Because I've been a long-time lover of this flower, I thought I would buy a copy of this book before it becomes unavailable. But then I imagined he might have some copies at the seminar for the same price, and I could save myself some time and shipping costs.

So the first thing I did when I arrived was to find George’s book table. Lo and behold, there were a few copies of the book, and at the sale price! I whipped out a $20 bill and secured my copy before they ran out. That’s a good way to start the seminar!

This morning’s presentation is entitled “George Lepp’s Innovative Approaches to Photographing Birds” and his afternoon presentation will be “From Snowflakes to Gigascapes: Maximizing the Creative Power of Today’s DSLRs.” Ought to be good!

This is the NPPNW’s 23rd semiannual meeting — and my first! The auditorium is packed with, oh, I would say, a good 500 participants or so — as you can see from the photo to the right. We’re finding out right now that George Lepp and his wife recently moved from Colorado to Bend, in our very own Oregon.

George’s 90-minute presentation on photographing birds was both entertaining and educational. Now it’s time for a Taco Bell lunch down the hill in Lake Oswego (well, not in the water, but in the town!). Then I’ll take some photos around the beautiful Lewis & Clark campus until the afternoon session starts.

Well, I’m back! Lunch was good, and the picture-taking was too! (You can see the eleven keepers in the Portland Lewis & Clark 2012 photo album.) A large chunk of the program this afternoon is dedicated to showing all the entries of the electronic photo competitions on the big screen, as well as announce the winners in the print competitions. Mixed in with that will be George Lepp’s second presentation. Seems like it’s going to be a long afternoon of sitting in the dark with a belly full of chalupas! At least the large Dr. Pepper was full of caffine!

I just saw some nice plant-life photos on the big screen. It was great to hear George’s comments on the winning photos — more good tips! I really should have entered some photos — I think I have some shots that could have held their own with what was entered. There’s so much to do in life that it’s hard to have time for everything. Snooze ya loose! Well, maybe next time!

This seminar was sponsored by Canon, so it’s not surprising that there was a table — filled with Canon cameras and lenses — near the main entrance, manned by a rep from Canon as well as someone from Portland’s Pro Photo Supply. Downstairs, there was a camera-sensor-cleaning station run by another Portland camera store, Advance Camera. There also seemed to be a table of photo equipment for sale, but I’m not sure who was running that — since it was close to the Advance Camera table, I assume it was part of their set-up.

I wanted to travel light and inconspicuous, so I brought my pocket Canon S100 instead of my big, bulky Sony α77 camera system. It wasn’t until I was at the seminar that I made the connection between Canon being the sponsor, and my camera being a Canon. So I thought that fit quite nicely!

Well, the print competition winners have been announced, and things are winding down. Next stop, Tryon Creek State Natural Area, just down the road!

All in all it was a great seminar, packed with lots of advice gleaned from George’s decades of professional-photographer experience. I took lots of notes — too much to share in this article. Keep your eyes peeled for a follow-up article in a few days. I also took enough photos for a new Portland Lewis & Clark album, as well as a Portland Tryon Creek album — those will be online in the near future. Until then, I have a LOT of work to catch up on!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 74
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