Joel Reichenberger: Local photographers an amazing resource

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Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat Pilot & Today sports reporter and photographer Joel Reichenberger can be reached at 871-4253 or jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Joel here.

— Nothing makes me feel lazy quite like talking to Steamboat Springs photographers.

Let’s be clear: I am fairly lazy some of the time. I sleep in on my weekends and even when I take the initiative to scribble out a to-do list, many of the non-necessities often go un-crossed-off.

So much about Steamboat Springs can make someone embarrassed to waste time. No doubt, stepping outside for the first time at 1 p.m. on a beautiful sunny day brings a certain disturbing feeling to the gut. Ticking off a great bike ride or finding an incredible view on an awesome hike makes one regret those mornings spent reading a magazine or, more disturbingly, watching horrible sitcom reruns.

But more than the activities, there’s the people. Steamboat residents simply don’t let days slip by, and that can be awe-inspiring.

There’s no better example than this week’s Rabbit Ears time trial, which took place Wednesday. It was raining and snowing, but 20 riders showed up to take part in a generally meaningless race. The event does raise money for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s competitive cycling team, but, come on people; it was snowing. Mail a check and call it good, right?

No. These people don’t waste days, even when it snows. I dropped the “crazy” bomb in the story I wrote covering the event, and I hope it was understood in the best way possible. It was crazy and amazing.

I’ve never fancied myself an intense cyclist. I do, however, occasionally consider myself a photographer. Talking to real pros can be equally inspiring. I’m not simply talking about professionals — I’ve cashed a number of checks thanks to photography; it’s a major part of my job here — I’m talking about pros, who work hard and long to perfect their art and who don’t settle for “good enough.”

Rod Hanna and Judy Jones, who I hit up for help with this week’s Outdoors story, are pros, and in an age when everyone seems to have dropped a few thousand dollars on a camera and considers him- or herself a professional, it’s real pros like Hanna and Jones who offer inspiration.

Their tales of shooting Fish Creek Falls are proof. Fish Creek is a perfect example because it’s not the kind of feature one can just show up to shoot on a lunch break or on the way to a hike. If you do that, don’t expect anything spectacular.

To get spectacular, you have to go, go back and go back again. You have to try when the sun is high and low, the sky clear and clouded. Want a great picture of Fish Creek Falls? You’re going to have to work, even starting out with the great tips the two residents offered in this week’s Outdoors feature.

Steamboat is a town that at times seems to physically grab your butt off the couch, but nothing quite motivates me like talking to our photographers. They’re a local resource as amazing as any waterfall, so anyone who aspires to take photos on something other than their phone would be wise to soak up whatever wisdom they can.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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