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  I have always enjoyed being out in nature and going to such iconic places as Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone to name a few.  Camping and hiking have been a big part of these experiences, getting out o n the trail and going places beyond where the car can go.  Personally, I enjoy backpacking for extended days and reaching some of those far off peaks and lakes that make up the wilderness of the National Park I am visiting.  Photography has always been a major element of those trips; capturing images of magnificent sunsets and sunrises, remote vistas, emerald lakes and fields of wildflowers has always been one of my many objectives. Scott Kelby once said that if you wanted to be a good landscape photographer, you needed to go to those iconic places to get iconic photographs.  I found his statement to have some profound implications.  For example, I am sure many of us who have traveled to Yosemite National Park found ourselves parked at the Wawona View parking lot watching the sun set on Half Dome and Yosemite Valley.  It is truly one of those iconic moments, so we get out our camera, tripod and maybe a graduated ND filter and take a few photographs.  But wait a minute; did you take a moment to notice the 100 plus other photographers all trying to get the same shot?  How is your iconic photograph any different than the hundreds of thousands of other photographs of Yosemite Valley from the same spot?  So I traveled a lot of miles to go to an iconic place, took some photographs and they turned out really well, but there is nothing really unique from the other gazillions of photographs from the gazillions of other photographers of the same place! Bummer… In February I will be going to Yosemite for three days to do some cross-country skiing as well as photography.  One of my objectives is to photograph the iconic Horse Tail Falls, a shot that was made famous by Galen Rowell.  So how is my image going to be any different than that of the thousands of others?  I don’t know!  But I haven’t taken a photograph of Horse Tail Falls and I want to, and it will be mine.  I will stand with all the other people and we will all be watching for the sun to backlight the falls, turning it into a ribbon of light, clicking away as the moment unfolds.  If I am successful on the first night, then the following nights I have the opportunity to be creative and get another shot from a different vantage point.  I am a fan of the “my own back yard” mentality.  You’re correct that our “backyard” may not have iconic notoriety, but I know that we can get a lot of great photographs from our area without having one of hundreds of thousands of similar photographs taken, and they will be unique… original, creative, thought provoking, inspiring and ours!   Have all the great photographs been taken? Of course not, but we need to be thinking of making it different, being creative and having fun! Speaking of beautiful, inspiring images, Alex and Bruce Woodcock have unselfishly given a lot of their time taking photographs of pets at the Redlands Animal Shelter.  NBC Los Angelus has done a story on what is being done, and you can see this article at https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Shelter-Dogs-Cats-451181743.html.  Redlands Camera Clun is blessed with some great talent and dedicated members, and we want to congratulate Alex and Bruce for their humanitarian efforts!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Thank you Dave Every Day is Earth Day
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