Thursday, May 31, 2012

Worth the wait

With all the crap I have to see through the viewfinder I tend to get a little jaded and wonder why I really wanted to be a photojournalist in the first place.  Somewhere between the crime scene tape, the victim of the car crash dying ten feet away from me and having to listen to the hostility of local politics I think I would much rather be photographing the mountains instead of working at a newspaper.  Then I have an assignment like this morning's that makes me remember.

I received an email a couple of days ago about a kindergarten class promotion ceremony.  The hook was one of the students, Brooklyn Johnson would be surprised  her by father Timothy attending.  He was going to make it home from his military posting in South Korea in time to watch her walk across the stage.  And it was all a secret to six-year-old Brooklyn.
As the ceremony started the principal announced their special guest and as her father walked out Brooklyn began to cry.  A quick hug to comfort her and the ceremony could continue with her father joining the ranks of proud parent with a camera filming the promotion ceremony.

So its not the most exciting assignment or the least bit glamorous but the tears and hugs exchanged by a father and his daughter speaks volumes.  Got to say its my favorite photo I have taken so far this year and a relief from the tragedy and bitterness I have had to capture on assignment so far this year.
It was a good reminder that there are special moments in everyday life.  That is the true role of a photojournalist, to capture those fleeting moments to share with a community and world, to show them what life is and to celebrate these moments we have.

It has been a rough couple of weeks behind the lens but capturing this moment was worth the wait.  Look past the tragedy and bitterness and focus on the life around us that's what what this assignment was all about.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Yard work

I found this guy hard at work collecting pollen near the Tracy War Memorial while I was waiting for a Memorial Day service to start.

I'm not sure what kind of bee he is but he was huge.
Quote of the day came from a television station cameraman who saw me taking the bee's photo walked over and said, "Hey no double dipping weather features out here."  Bzzzzzzzzzz.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The road little travelled

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve has been at the top of my list of favorite places to hike for some time.  I have explored much of he park except for portion to the far east of the preserves boundary.  I had read about a nice hike along a lonely stretch of forgotten road and trail.  It sounded to good to pass up.

With Alice we headed to Old Finley Road for an 8-mile hike exploring ridge lines, groves of trees and the occasional grassland.  You have to park outside the preserve along the road and hike almost a mile just to rech the trailhead.  Entering you walk along ranches before turning to the heart of the trail that winds through rolling hills, live oaks and open grasslands as it loops through a portion of adjacent Mount Diablo State Park.

The views along the hike are spectacular.  We watched as fog rolled through and washed over the Diablo summit.  A deer and red-tailed hawk made brief appearances as we wound our way along.  We parked near several cars on the road but only came across a few bicyclists on the trail.  Just like on most of the Morgan Territory hikes I've been on it seemed we had the park to ourselves.

The trail was overgrown in spots leading us to think it was not used that often.  The loop is a moderately strenuous hike that I think doesn't see to many takers.  Even though it has some fairly steep sections of trail the effort was worth the views.

I have one section of Morgan Territory left to explore this summer, but I will still return to these trails, I can never tire of their scenery and gorgeous views.