Monthly Archives: July 2012

Treetop Adventure Park

I was able to spend the day at Granlibakken’s Treetop Adventure Course a few weeks ago. This was the first time this summer that I had the chance to shoot and edit some video. I was also able to play around with the newspapers Go Pro for the first time. All of the 1st person shots are done with the go pro. I would have liked to attach it to my helmet but I didn’t have the right gear, so it’s attached to my chest.

In Mourning

On Friday, July 27, the body of Jonathan Blunk, a victim of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting was brought back to Reno. This was the first time I covered anything so closely related to a national story and the first time I covered an event where I encountered so much grieving.

I was told that the Patriot Guard would be escorting the body back to the Mountain View Mortuary along with family, and my plan was to photograph the motorcade as they traveled through one of downtown Reno’s largest parks. After I got my photos there I planned to meet up with them again at the mortuary to get more photos. As with most of my planning it didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped.

Even with all the mishaps I was able to get the photos I needed, and it was definitely a learning experience for situations like this.

Jonathan Blunk’s body is escorted by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department and the Patriot Guard down Arlington Avenue as they make their way to Mountain View Mortuary in Reno.

Members of the Patriot Guard escort Jonathan Blunk’s body down Arlington Avenue as they make their way to Mountain View Mortuary in Reno.

Jonathan Blunk’s casket is moved into the Mountain View Mortuary by Steve Flores (center) and members of the Patriot Guard in Reno.

Debbie Routson (center), of Reno and a Gold Star Mother, is consoled by Paula Fleming (left), of Sparks, and Penny Estrada (right), of Reno, after Jonathan Blunk’s casket is moved into the Mountain View Mortuary. This was Routson’s first time back to Mountain View Mortuary since her son’s funeral services in 2009.

 

 

 

 

Unity II

Here is an assignment I shot a few weeks ago. It was a Burning Man fundraiser/party called Unity II in Reno. It was held at the Salvagery Reno and raised money for two Burning Man art projects, Pier 2 and Burn Wall Street, and the art gallery at the Salvagery Reno. The party started open to all ages with bands, an open gallery, and a dunk tank. Later it moved inside the Salvagery with dancing and shows on the second floor.

A crowd gathers to watch Lina Herrada, of Reno, perform Aerial Arts Saturday, July 14, 2012, during Unity 2 in the Salvagery Reno’s gallery.

Two party goers sit at the top of the Pier 2 Burning Man art project during Unity 2.

Jungle Jim gets a drink during Unity 2.

Big Chief heads to the makeshift Green Room before a fashion show on the second floor of the Salvagery Reno.

The wall of the second floor of the Salvagery Reno is decorated with mannequin bodies.

A model from Unity 2’s fashion show makes her way to the stage on the second floor of the Salvagery Reno.

Models from Unity 2’s fashion show are bathed in red light as they dance back to the Green Room during their final appearance in front of the crowd.

Those attending Unity 2 greet each other at the entrance of the Salvagery Reno’s art gallery.

Those attending Unity 2 move inside the Salvagery Reno to dance.

A dancer enjoys the music as the party moves from the outside into the Salvagery Reno’s warehouse during Unity 2.

Obama visits Reno

President Barack Obama came into town  yesterday to speak at the VFW National Convention, and after a long week of covering celebrity golf it gave me a chance to photograph my first president. My assignment was to cover him arriving at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and leaving after his speech. I was excited to say the least.

It went much better than I expected and I even came away with a few decent photos of him meeting with a small crowd after getting off Air Force One.

Air Force One prepares to land at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport Monday.

Air Force One moves into position.

President Barack Obama arrives at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

President Barack Obama arrives at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and meets with a crowd before leaving for the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

President Barack Obama shakes hands after he arrives at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

President Barack Obama signs his book “Dreams From my Father” at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport Monday.

President Barack Obama prepares to leave for the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Clouds begin to move over Air Force One as a storm approaches.

 

President Barack Obama waves before entering Air Force One.

Air Force One takes off from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mt. Tallac

If you want an amazing view Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area then the summit of Mt. Tallac is the place to be. Monday, July 10, after a week off from hiking I decided to tackle this hike. From Reno it takes about an hour and half to get to the trailhead, which is southwest of the lake. The easiest way to get there is by taking 395 south through Carson City, get onto 50 from there, and finally take highway 89. You won’t be on 89 very long when you start seeing signs for Mt. Tallac. Make a left at Mt. Tallac Road and continue to follow the signs until you reach the trailhead.

If you are just going on a day hike you can pick up your permit and self register at the trailhead. If you are backpacking you have to go to the Lake Tahoe Visitor Center.

I suggest getting an early start on this hike. I got to trailhead at 9 a.m. and the lot was packed already. Plus, this can be a pretty strenuous hike with little shade for the last half, so you don’t want to get caught in the most difficult section during the hottest part of the day. You definitely need a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water for this one.

The trail starts off with a steady incline as it brings you up through a forested area where you will get a pretty nice view of Fallen Leaf Lake. After you pass the lake you dip back down into the trees where you will come across two smaller bodies of water.

This is the first small lake and the second marks your exit from the trees and opens the trail up to side of the mountain pretty hard.

It starts out easy enough as you make your way through slightly rocky terrain, but the rocks form nice steps on your way up.

As you make your way out of this section you come across a large open expanse of land. The photo below shows this, but it’s on the return trip so it’s from above.

After you make it past this section of the trail you begin a steep climb up the side of the mountain. Here you have two options of varying difficulty. The first is a pretty simple continuation of the trail except that you need to pay attention because it will veer to the left. You don’t want to miss it like I did. If you do miss it, or are a little more adventurous, you can take the other path. Below is a photo of what you will be scrambling over on that section of the trail. There is a visible trail as you move up the mountain so it isn’t to hard to follow, but it involves climbing on a lot of loose rocks. I took the easier way down on my way back.

Once you reconnect with the main trail you will continue through another flat area that leads to the final switchbacks before the summit.

As you make your way up to the summit the switchback will end and you are pretty much free to find your own path to the very top.

As you can see this isn’t the soft, relaxing, lazy afternoon summit like Mt. Lola. As I made my way up I half expected the Eye of Sauron to appear at the peak. The tough hike to the summit was worth it for the views though.

And you can’t forget Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake. To get a larger image of the panorama click the photo.

I’ll have some time to decide where I head next, but I won’t be able to go hiking for at least the next week because of my work schedule. I’m going to have to find something grand an epic for my last few hikes.

Eldorado Fireworks 500

This summer has been filled with a lot of firsts but some of the more interesting ones have been the new sports that I’ve been to cover. Saturday, July, 7, went about 23 miles east of Reno to the Tahoe-Reno Motorplex to shoot the Eldorado Fireworks 500. It was the first year for the race and was also on a brand new course. The spectator area was located on a hill looking down on a large section of the course. Luckily this was the case because I was stuck in spectator area for this event.

There was a media safety meeting the night before I didn’t know about so I wasn’t able to get a vest to go down onto the course. I tried to convince them to give me a spot on the helicopter that was following racers through the course, but it wasn’t a big surprise that they weren’t going for that idea.

I also got the chance to shoot some freestyle Motocross before I left for another assignment. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the race.

Tony Murray’s, of Villa Park, Calif., vehicle crosses the starting line to begin the second lap of the race.

Kenny Bell, of Carson City, performs a freestyle Motocross trick for a crowd at the Eldorado Fireworks 500.

Patrick Gailey’s, of Norco, Calif., vehicle (left) and Gary Williams’, of Irvine, Calif., vehicle nearly finish their first lap during the Eldorado Fireworks 500 Saturday at the Tahoe-Reno Motorplex.

Dennis Boyle’s, of Van Nuys, Calif., vehicle makes a landing after getting some air on its way to the start of the second lap.

Fans watch as a vehicle makes its way through the course.

Cameron Steele’s, of San Clemente, Calif., vehicle winds its way down the final hill in first place towards the second lap.

Kenny Bell, of Carson City, performs a freestyle Motocross trick for a crowd at the Eldorado Fireworks 500.

James Horvath’s, of Sylvan Lake, Canada, vehicle kicks up a cloud of dust as it speeds its way through the course.

 

 

Fourth of Juplaya

I headed out into the desert for the first time July, 4, 2012 for Fourth of Juplaya. Camping groups, many of which descend on Burning Man in September, found their way out onto the Black Rock Desert’s playa for the fourth. I didn’t really know what to expect when I got off the paved road and headed into the playa, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was noon so the sun was high and hot, but with the breeze the heat wasn’t unbearable.

Vehicles send a cloud of dust into the air as they make their way across the Black Rock Desert.

Following the tracks left by other campers the writer and I were able to navigate the flat land and make our way to a camp about five miles from the entrance. 

No one we met out on the playa was hesitant to have their photo taken, which was one of the worries that I had.

Jennifer Kesler, of San Francisco, with camp Black Rock Cotillion and Dinner Social stands outside her groups main tent in the Black Rock Desert for Fourth of Juplaya.

Jennifer Kesler and Wayne Thibaudeaux, of San Francisco, with camp Black Rock Cotillion and Dinner Social relax in the Black Rock Desert in their main tent for Fourth of Juplaya.

Gregor Holmes, of San Francisco, with camp Black Rock Cotillion and Dinner Social secures the front of his two level A-Frame tent in the Black Rock Desert for Fourth of Juplaya.

From there we left for another camp not to far away. Where I was able to get some photos of fire spinners practicing during the day. We were directed to a camp that we could hardly make out in the distance.

Katherine Roubos (left), of Oakland, Calif., and Lisa Benham, of San Jose, Calif., practice spinning Poi outside of a camp in the Black Rock Desert for the Fourth of Juplaya celebration.

This camp was called Horizon Wind Oasis and was run by the Department of Tethered Aviation.  We were given a tour of the camp which included a shower, kitchen area, living space, and a public sitting area. The amount of work it took to build this camp basically from scratch was impressive.

A view of the Department of Tethered Aviation’s camp Horizon Wind Oasis.

A chair is displayed outside the Department of Tethered Aviation’s camp Horizon Wind Oasis as an art piece.