2/16/09 - Post Winter Wings Festival

2/16/09 - Post Winter Wings Festival

What a great weekend! I'm a bit tired but we had great time. Everything came together and we helped a lot of photographers better learn photography and their cameras.

Thursday afternoon the Canon people arrived and got checked in to their rooms then they came down to visit the store. I had arranged for Jerry Ingram to give the group a tour of the Lower Klamath Refuge Friday morning so I informed them of their schedule. They were excited at the opportunity.

Friday the Canon group went out with Jerry and explored the refuge. They returned about 3pm and picked up all the canon equipment sent from Canon Professional services for loaning out in the workshop class. They took all the equipment up to OIT and we check in and setup in the sunset room. I left them there to organize the equipment and setup for the gear pickup that evening. I finished my day at the camera shop and returned to help with checking out the equipment. A line formed outside the room about 5:30pm. I guess people were excited about getting their equipment and didn't want to be the last ones. The check out went smooth as I interviewed each participant to make sure they got the right equipment. After the checkout the Canon crew went back to their hotel and I went home to get some rest.

I arrived Saturday at 7am just as the OIT facility people were opening our room. I unloaded water and maps for people to use. The Canon crew was not far behind me and they quickly setup their equipment. Participants started showing up around 7:30 and the fun was about to begin. I started the meeting by giving a brief introduction and outlined the day of activities. I passed out the maps so people would know where we going to place the canon tents with big lens. We planned to have two tents with three lenses at each tent. We received two 800mm f5.6 lens, a 600mm f4, a 500mm f4, and two 400mm f2.8 lens. It was an amazing set of lens. Shortly after we got the tents setup people started to show up to try out the big glass. At our first station the wind was calm and the temperature was not to bad. At the second station the wind was a bit strong and it seemed a lot colder but over all the weather held out and people were able to get some great pictures.

Around 1:30pm we packed up the tents and put the big glass away and headed back to OIT for the afternoon of equipment check in and printing. I took a moment to go down the camera shop to get the prizes for the photo contest and delivered the prizes to that event. The displays of photographs look impressive, I only wish I had the time to review them. After delivering the prizes I went back to help cleanup after the workshop and organize the equipment so we could ship it back to the warehouse. After that was all organized some of the Canon crew went dinner and the others went down to the auditorium to setup for Adam Jones presentation. Winter Wings organizers came by and told me we had two cancellations for the Sunday's "Shoot with a PRO" event so we decided to have a raffle for the two spots.

Adam's presentation was great. He started by showing images he shot the day before on the refuge and then showed a wide range of his other bird photographs. He explained the places and situations in which most of the images were taken. The images were spectacular and awe inspiring. We traveled the world with Adam's photos and he talked about what makes his imagery so appealing. After his presentation we raffled off the two openings for the morning outing. We then went out to dinner with Adam after the presentation. It was a pleasure to visit with such a inspiring photographer.

Sunday morning we rounded up the group of ten lucky photographers who were to receive personalized training from Adam Jones. The roads were very slick in the morning but we inched our way down to the refuge. Our first stop was an eagle in a tree. The group unloaded from the van and started to take pictures. The group got pretty close to the eagle who was sitting in a tree. After a good 20 minutes the Eagle got tired of all the activity and flew off. While on the bus the participants were getting tips on how to setup their cameras for bird photography. We stopped several times to take pictures while Adam help people individually. We ended our field trip about 12:30. What a great morning.

It seemed to me to be the best event we've ever done. It was a lot of work but I had a really good time. What can we do next year to top this? Planning will start very soon.