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Personal Notes (and Thanks)
Through My Grandfather's Lens (Wapato, Washington)
Photo by Dallas V. Hake
My interest in photography can be attributed in part to my maternal grandfather, who - during my childhood, at least - was rarely seen without a camera in hand (especially true with either grandchildren or mountain peaks nearby). He is a man of many slides. Family gatherings often end with a show, and while he is chided for quickly flipping through "people pics" while pausing to recite the names of every lake and flower captured on countless hiking trips, Grandpa's slideshows are a core element of family tradition. Of course, as his shows often come at the end of full days, occasional snores arise. Generally, though, I have been one of the last awake, watching as he flips through one image after another. There have been cases where I outlasted him - and stayed up, perhaps with a lingering sister, to continue cycling through images on my own.
Along with several others in my life, my grandfather influenced my perception of what it means to see. One can hardly make a trip with him into the Cascade Mountains or peruse his photographs without acknowledging his appreciation for natural and human beauty. He's a goofball in many ways - but, I think, a deceptively deep and wise person as well. One of the cool things about this site is that he gets to see it (if, that is, the slow speed of his dialup connection doesn't drive him nuts) - and I get to say thanks. Thanks for sharing a wonderful hobby and teaching me a bit about seeing.
The photograph at right is one of his, taken in the yard at my grandmother's house. I'm not sure how old I was, but he caught me at the right moment in the right light from the right perspective. It has always been among my favorite childhood photos.
Of course, my grandfather has not been the only important figure in my life, nor the only one to influence my view of the world and its beauty. There are many people who've been important and influential over the years. My "bio" is as much about them as it is me. You can learn more about a few of those people by simply rolling your mouse over the photograph at right, pausing for a few seconds wherever thumbnails are encountered.
As for the site, I'm an amateur on all fronts here. The photography and site design are hobbies. Truthfully, I'm unsure how I'll use the site and images down the road. I trust that opportunities will arise to use the venue in positive ways. I'm planning on entering graduate school soon. Until I do, I'll be traveling extensively. Mexico and China (and Cambodia once more) are on the schedule in 2006. If you have ideas about projects - groups that might need exposure, for example - do let me know. I hope to find ways to educate both myself and my fellow human beings - and make a small difference in the lives of others. If you have comments or questions, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks. I sincerely hope you enjoy the photographs - and walk away thinking a bit more about the world we share.
~ Ryker Labbee