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Saturday, September 25, 2010


A sign (or portent) of things to come?

My uncle Rico, brother Kip and I escaped from work early on a Friday and headed south as far as Eugene. Turning east, we made it as far as Oakridge before we found it necessary to stop for beer.

The Union Brewery features beer, of course, but also a menu uniquely accented with Spam entrees.

Curiously, there is a chart over the men’s urinal that details the thermodynamic conductivity of several types of wire…and Spam (surprisingly, Spam holds up pretty well).

Uncle Rico
Deb: Okay, turn you head on more of a slant... 

Deb: Now, make a fist. Slowly ease it up underneath your chin. 

Deb: This is looking really good. 

Kip: You can say that again. 

Deb: Kay, hold still right there. Now, just imagine you're weightless, in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by tiny little seahorses. 

Deb: [takes the picture] That was the one. I think that's gonna come out really nice. 

Uncle Rico: Ah, how you did it... wow... well I felt really relaxed. Thanks Deb. 
Uncle Rico: You're up Kip. 

 Kip: Is there some kind of vest that I can wear? 

- Dialogue from Twentieth Century Fox’s movie, Napoleon Dynamite 

I thought it took a long time for our two vehicle convoy to span the distance from Portland to Oakridge, but (long, long after sunset) when Uncle Rico finally found the turn-off to his little known campsite, it all paled into insignificance as Kip and I followed Rico's Jeep down overgrown forest service roads laid out in what I’ll generously describe as a diabolical labyrinth.  Scrubby moth infested pines loomed out of the darkness, reaching car-ward with menacing, abrasive branches…as if we had entered a car wash from hell.

Gratuitous giant bonfire

The milky way  (~4 minute exposure)

Morning revealed that we were camped next to a vast alpine marsh, though not so marshy at this time of year.

The water was cold and clear and beneath the surface a whole world danced and undulated in concert with the current.

Kip kept peering into the water and claiming to see big fish. Uncle Rico could see them too…and then to prove it, would catch them. But I never saw any until Rico reeled them out of the water. “You can’t see the fish so much as you can see their shadows.” Kip explained to me.

Here and there, archipelagos of drowned trees testified to former high water levels.

A fence at a bend in the creek seems poorly placed.

The underwater ballet can be hypnotizing 

Kip, practicing to be a cage fighter, refines his sense of balance.

scott and his trusty Tsunami      photo by Kip (all rights reserved)

It amazes me how big these bullets are.

If you were being attacked by a zombie who was trying to throw a propane tank at you, would you aim at the zombie or the propane tank?

A careful scientific investigation reveals…

…that you might be better off shooting directly at the zombie’s head since a dramatic explosive fireball with shrapnel can’t be guaranteed.

Uncle Rico cooks a fresh trout dinner.

Monday, September 6, 2010

‘Celebrate the Gorge’ Photography Exhibition Epilogue

Previously, I presented the two images that were not accepted into the August photography exhibition at the Columbia Art Gallery (

Now that the ‘Celebrate the Gorge’ exhibit is over, I think it’s safe to post the three images that were ‘invited’ to the show.

 Sunrise on Miller Island

 A New Way to ‘Take’

 Looking East

It was my friend Bernadette who encouraged me to enter the show after she saw the ‘Looking East’ photo in my blog post, Cape Horn: What’s In a Name?
The water-level shot pointed up the gorge from the vicinity of the Cape Horn formations seemed to strike a resonant chord within her, perhaps because she also is an enthusiastic kayaker. In any case, she insisted I enter – that picture in particular – and though I wasn’t quite sure how one would go about preparing digital files for a gallery exhibition, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. Besides, I wouldn’t have to print and frame the images unless they made it past the jury.

The opening for the show was on a Friday. Management at work turned out to be supportive of my attempted venture into the world of photography and let me leave early so I could make it to Hood River in time for the opening. On the way, I got a phone call, purporting to be from the gallery. The spokesperson for the gallery told me that the judges had liked my photos and that I had received the first place ribbon as well as the Gorge Guide award (Gorge Guide magazine was one of the sponsors of the show). I was pretty sure this phone call was a deception masterminded by my brother, so I tried to keep my emotions in check until I was sure it was real.

 My brother greeting me with the special 
respect he typically reserves for me

When I got to Hood River, I nervously peeked into the gallery windows to see if the phone call could possibly have been authentic.

 Photo courtesy of Sgt. Rock

Turns out…it was.

 Photo courtesy of Bernadette’s iphone

Photo courtesy of Bernadette’s iphone
1st Place: Scott Dietz, “Sunrise on Miller Island

2nd Place: Lauri Streaker, “Cloud Cap II”
3rd Place: Richard Hallman, “View from the Syncline”
Honorable Mention: Gerard Smith, “The Climbers”
Honorable Mention: Laurie Black, “Gorge Forms”
Honorable Mention: Darryl Lloyd, “Balfour-Klickitat in December”
Honorable Mention: Mike Godsey, “Mild & Wild”
Gorge Guide Award: Scott Dietz, “Sunrise on Miller Island
People’s Choice Award: Mark Lee, “Gorge Morning”

This is the 2010 edition of the Gorge Guide . As part of the Gorge Guide Award, apart from the monetary award, ‘Sunrise On Miller Island’ will be featured in the 2011 edition of the magazine.

 Photo courtesy of Bernadette’s iphone

My mom and my brother were able to attend the opening with me.

As I walked around the exhibit, examining all the other entries – stunned by bold colorful images, novel presentations and technical expertise - I began to feel a little bit like Wayne and Garth standing before Alice Cooper… 

 Wayne’s World    “We’re not worthy”    Paramount Pictures

The opening, like I said before, was on a Friday. But this particular Friday also happened to be concurrent with something the folks in Hood River call First Friday. It was like a giant art, food, music, retail sales and community pride fair or festival.

Transforming a street into a ski slope

It was a good day.

The Narrative Image NAVIGATION AID

Just a reminder:

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