June 2018 v5

Once again too much time has passed since my last newsletter. It has been a busy time with lots of traveling. I will try and write in short segments with images from each part of the year.


I decided to leave Arizona for a while and move up to Merlin Oregon to help my mom with her home and nearly 4 acres. It was time to spend some quality time with her and allow me to make this my home base for travel. And travel I have. Visiting and helping friends out in Seattle, camping on the N. California and southern Oregon coast, a road trip to Santa Cruz CA where I grew up, then on to Phoenix to teach and do photo demos at the Capture Photo Con. From there I drove back to Oregon via the eastern side of the High Sierras, visiting places like the Bristlecone Pines, Tioga Pass and Tuolumne Meadows, Mono Lake and Burney Falls (Lassen National Park area). I have also spent time in Mt. Rainer National Park.

Along the way I did an interesting photo project using sparks and a bottle of Don Julio 1942 Tequila.

Let’s start with the Tequila.

Hanging the bottle by it’s neck, using a device I created, I used a small grinder to send sparks flying up from a piece of metal. Hours of work went into the setup, lighting and finally the live shots with sparks.

(yes, I had a pillow in a box under that expensive Tequila bottle)


Snow fell in Merlin and I dashed down to the Hellgate Overlook on the Rogue River. 6 inches of fresh untouched snow was all mine.

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Taking some time to go visit the Redwoods, I camped at Jedediah Smith State Park. A 2 hour drive down the Smith River and just outside of Crescent City. I went a few weeks before Memorial Weekend to avoid the summer crowds. Driving up and down the coast, hiking out to points near Klamath and hikes in the redwood groves, the weather was perfect. I only wish I had stayed longer than 3 days. Driving back to Merlin I stopped and visited the Oregon Caves. I will return to the coast as it is virtually in my backyard.

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Being asked to return and speak at the Capture Photo Con in Phoenix, I planned a two week road trip. Arriving in Santa Cruz CA, I stayed with several friends in Aptos. Visiting the old home town on some family business as well as a chance to get together with my old surfing buddies and their wives was something I had to do on the trip. This worked out perfectly and fun was had by all. A short trip to the beach and some photos of the cement ship, the Palo Alto, that we played in as kids. It is now broken and unsafe.

I took two days to drive to Phoenix. Palm Desert was the first stop after braving the LA traffic over the Grapevine and across to the east from Burbank. Arriving in Phoenix, I stayed with my friend Patrick and his wife. Always great as we talk food, wine and photography. He even developed some old film in a solution of instant coffee and vitamin C, with a second solution of washing soda. Hey, it works!

The Capture Photo Con is a convention on all things photography. Not only do I get to teach several classes and do studio lighting demos with my favorite models, I also get to attend other classes and demos from other wonderful photographers. Going out to dinner and hanging out with friends.

I taught a class on a technique called Focus Stacking for complete in focus image using Macro Lenses or shooting Landscape images. The second class was on product photography and the basics of lighting and making a beer glass and beer look cold, wet and frosty. Both classes had more sign ups than seats. We made room for all in these overbooked classes.

Down on the main floor with all the vendors I did Film Noir style lighting demos in the full daylight of a basket ball court with windows and skylights! I had no idea what model were scheduled for that time. To my surprise 3 of my favorites showed up ready to play and shoot in the studio lights. Aurora O’Brien, Kim Wright and Lindsey Lockwood. Fun was had by all and it was a great reunion. I’ll let the photos tell the story

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Too soon it was time to head north again. My first plan was to drive all the way from Phoenix to Bishop CA. This would set me up for several short driving days with lots of time to explore and do recon for future trips. Driving over a pass from Beatty NV to Big Pine CA I suddenly realized I had been there 45 years ago while in College. I thought the Bristlecone Pines should be near. As I rounded the next corner there was the sign for the park! Up I drove to nearly 11,000 feet. I got a good look at these most ancient trees. But alas, it was cold and raining up there. Photos had to wait for another time. Besides, it was getting dark.

The next few days were magical (not that the rest of the trips wasn’t!) as I drove up past Mammoth and over to Mono Lake. No wind on the lake gave me great reflections of the Tufas and the clouds handing over the High Sierras. Just a few miles down the road is Tioga Pass, the eastern entrance into Yosemite National Park. Just 12 miles uphill from HWY 395, I looked at my clock and as Mr. Incredible says in the first movie: “Yeah, I still have time”. So up I went over the top. My Senior Pass getting me in to the Park for free. Yes, I have the $10 lifetime pass… I drove to Tuolumne Meadows and then back over the pass and up to Susanville.

The last day I drove to Lake Almanor to do the drive through of Lassen National Park. To my dismay the road through was still closed due to so much snow this year. Back I went 20 miles and cut over some back roads and headed for Burney Falls. So much for doing my due diligence! I got some good images of this falls by hiking down to the bottom. All the other falls I planned on that day didn’t happen as the light was not good nor was there time to hike down to the the best shots. Guess I have to go back to the area.

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Arriving back in Merlin my mom had put a newspaper article on my desk about the need for volunteers at the upcoming Balloon and Kite Festival. I call in and was put on as a balloon crew person. No garbage collecting for this boy. I have some experience with hot air balloons via my friend, Canon Explorer of Light and balloon pilot, Ken Sklute. Now now I would get 3 solid days of ground crew and chasing, setting up and taking down the balloon up to 3 times a day. Days were 5 am to as long as midnight. I took naps but it was exhausting! I ended up as crew chief for Peggy of the Starlite balloon from Santa Paula CA. A great experience for sure!


Back up in Seattle helping some long time friends out and visiting the area, I took a day trip on Fathers Day to Mt. Rainer National Park. 40 minutes in line just to get into the park was well worth the wait. I visited several waterfalls, Paradise Village at the base of the glaciers and did some hiking too.

What’s next? It is now the end of June. I am working on plans to go back to the High Sierras, a music festival and crewing for Peggy at the Reno Balloon Races in September. As always, my camera will be at the ready and free time will be built into each trip to find more amazing places to experience and share with you.

I’m working on printing more of my work for my walls and to show. My good friend Patrick handed me a roll of 100 T-Max 35mm film. It’s Black and White film. I put it into a camera I shot as a teen, the Kodak Signet 35 rangefinder. Now all I need is some coffee, vitamin C and washing soda….

Adventure is Out There ! ——>

Larry Pollock Photography


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