Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

To Win a Photo Contest it Helps to be Local

With Kayak, Mountain bikes, Backpacks, Daypacks, Walking Sticks, Fishing Poles—and an Airstream Travel Trailer

Bert Gildart: The Northwest Outdoor Writers’ Association, a local affiliate of the national association, inaugurated its first photo contest several weeks ago, and fortunately, perhaps, for me, the annual convention was held in Whitefish, Montana, my backyard. Contest organizers provided participants with a list of five categories that include wildlife, scenic, family camping, and outdoor travel. Participating photographers could win a prize in each category, and then if they placed high in a number of categories, they could win a grand prize for best portfolio. Each participant was given five rolls of film and then we were told we had from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to fulfill the assignment.

The competition was keen, and included participants who had won awards for their specialty, such as travel and bird photography, but I had the home front advantage, and I used it every way that conformed to the contest’s rules. What’s more, I also arranged to have one of the very best of outdoor models, my wife, accompany me, and together, we began what was really a mutual effort to help me win the contest.

We wanted to be on the shores of Glacier National Park, not far from where we’d parked our Airstream in Whitefish, just as the sun was popping over the Apgar Range–with kayak in water, and ready to begin shooting. Luck was with us, for the clouds, sun and water all obeyed my wishes. As well, Janie who had helped me with the pose I’d selected on various other occasions, knew exactly what to do to help me align my kayak with hers. Other efforts fell into place, and worked because we had mapped out a route, and spent much time in preplanning the other pictures.

Because the Flathead has been my home since high school, I knew how much time would be required to go between the sites we’d selected for our pre-envisioned photo opportunities. For a picture of camping, I wanted a campfire next to a tent, and wanted that in front of Lake McDonald. I knew the scene was a good one, because I’d seen it literally thousands of times.

To facilitate my goal we chopped wood prior to arriving and then we used fire starter to accelerate our efforts. And we had a 5 gallon container of water to quickly douse the flame so we could proceed to our next site. Time, after all, was critical.

Our efforts paid off, for although I don’t know for sure how many categories I won, but I must have placed high in at least several for I won Best Portfolio.Grand prize was several nights free lodging in a top Whitefish Hotel and, if we stay there this winter, the prize also includes free ski passes at Big Mountain. Next year, the contest will be featured again, but in Washington State, a place where I certainly won’t have the home front advantage. But I’ll enter again, essentially because I learned so much about quality photography from fellow participants.

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