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View Poll Results: Location for 2009 Gathering (see post for details) Votes are public. You can choose 2
Maine 327.27%
Maryland's Eastern Shore 763.64%
Virginia Presidential Pass 218.18%
Other (Please post) 545.45%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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01-09-2009, 12:55 AM   #1
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2nd Annual Gathering; 2009 (eastern US still, OPEN TO ALL)

Gathering Quick Details:
Explore Blackwater Wildlife Refuge photographing birds, wildlife and landscapes. Additional trips to Ocean City's board Walk on Sunday, and Morning Sunrise shoots along the Water both days. Participants will learn how to photograph wildlife, people in natural surroundings and at the beach, along with sunrise/set techniques.

This page will be updated from time to time with the latest Information links.

Sponsors:
Pentax Forums!
Kingston (4gb SDHC class 6 Cards for all who has confirmed as of 6/3)
ACDsee (photo software)
Expo Imaging (ExpoAperture2 Depth-of-Field Guide)
Sigma (Loaner Lenses including a 150-500mm!)
Lexjet (Paper for 16x20's)
Joby (Gorillapod)
LowePro (TopLoader AW to raffle off)
P3 Imaging Inc. (My Co. for Ink, snacks, projector, lenses, bodies and other expenses)
Matter Communications

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Update 6/19
T-shirts are designed, Sizes needed ASAP (by Monday 6/22) Look here

Equipment checklist updated! HERE

Sample Photos from the final scouting of the region HERE

Menu coming soon, Restaurant will be Old Saltys on Hoopers Is. (sorry the place does not have a website, but all the locals recommend it)

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Update 6/2
Hotel Booking info has been sent out.
We still have workshop space, but you will have to find your own hotel as the confirmed members got the last of them!

Workshop cost:
Full 3 (2.5 really) days $125 before, $150 on site (Includes M&G food on Fri. Workshop giveaways, t-shirt, dinner sat. and 16x20 print)
Saturday Only with Dinner and t-shirt $75
Sat only, w/ t-shirt No dinner $40
Dinner only (for spouses) $40


Tentative schedule will be...
Friday We can shoot around the refuge/sunset etc. I will figure a good place. We will do a M&G again, We will probably have a Pizza Party!
Saturday Sunrise! for anyone interested... I have never shot sunrise in the reserve so I can’t say around there, but their are many places we can find water to shoot over
Breakfast (at hotel) Fig around 7am-ish (depends on sunrise, again I fig someplace close) than after breakfast off to the refuge for a day of shooting etc. (we can head into one of the towns to shoot for a bit mid-day too if you like) After I am trying to find a place for a group meal, than another slide-show of the days works back at the hotel
Sunday Sunrise??? Breakfast, checkout than off to OC for a day at the beach, dinner? (Dutch treat at the beach) than home

Workshop form HERE
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Update! 5/28
I need you to confirm HERE: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/gatherings-events-photo-trips/61733-sprin...tion-list.html
And decide hotel location
I personally am leaning to the Cambridge location as its only $30 more/night and we have better sun rise/set photo opps

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Location Set!

So STAGE ONE, Location: (CHOSEN as of 2/1/09 MD Eastern Shore)
We have a few options for location as I don't want to just repeat last year. All locations will require you to be able to walk max of 2mi and be on your feet for up to 2hr, handicap access is not always possible in nature or all locations. Only able body persons should attend!

Now, Please see poll for tshirt color and Dates for workshop here https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/gatherings-events-photo-trips/55322-2nd-g...info-poll.html

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After such a great response last year I thought heck, let’s try again right, Maybe get more people and some different faces too. Sponsors were lavish with free swag, the learning was vast, and most importantly the LAB'ing was at all time high's (Ok friendship was great too)
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/gatherings-events/21324-spring-summer-eas...gathering.html
I need to firm up a location by the end of this month, than we can build the trip from there. Estimated time would be June or July depending on availability concessions.
Hoping for another 10-15 person group

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I threw this first BIG option out at the end of last years and will offer it...
1: MAINE!
Yes the beautiful coastline and lighthouse filled Maine. (Most driving and costly probably)
3-4 days Est: $7-800 pp MAX of $1000
I looked into doing a roving light-house tour type thing and that was just too complicated so I settled in the best area, Bar Harbor, home to Acadia National Park, and within 1hr or less of many other lighthouses, majestic coast lines and yes, the historic LL Bean store in Freeport.
For this option I do recommend that this be at least a 3-4 day event
Lodging can be ala-cart as per last time, or I was looking into a rental for a week (I have found some rentals that will hold up to 10 in beds, can do extras on cots/couch etc) We could also look into "taking over" a B&B for the few days

2: Maryland's Eastern Shore with Ocean City MD Day trip
2.5 days Est: $350-500pp
Explore Blackwater Wildlife Refuge from both car/foot and a paddling (canoe) tour some time on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, Possible side trip to Smith Island. Ending with a "day" in Ocean City Maryland on the beach and boardwalk.

3: “The Presidents' Pass” tour to Monticello, Ash Lawn-Highland, and Michie Tavern's Tavern Museum All in Charlottesville Virginia area
2.25 days Est $350-500pp
We would centrally locate in one hotel or B&B and fan out to do the 3 locations for a history and photo filled expose of these historical places Please note all 3 places have various limitations on photography and these photos can be for personal use ONLY unless we pay a fee etc. I am not getting into complicated things like this so while they are very photogenic, this is not the best option if you plan on wanting heavy instruction and turning these photos into a book, this may not be the best. If you want to learn history, have great photos and fellow LBA sympathy it’s a great option.

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The fine print:
Please Note with all estimated prices (with lodging) not all meals are included, transportation to/from not included, Days are to be centered around a weekend. I am trying to make it so I don’t “loose” money this year (last year I only charged $75 which included a shirt from the event, 2 meals, snacks instruction etc, lodging was Dutch. I do hope to at least cover ¾ my lodging costs in addition to the shirts and food for everyone else. I think it only fair as I am setting this up) Depending on what everyone decides if I just arrange some meals, tours and other fees and the t-shirt I will charge this flat “fee” again but it will probably be around $125-150 (you must arrange lodging)
As per last year I will need some assistance with transporting the group in a few cars (You will get something for this) and hope to do a “cook out” at some point in time, along with a projected slideshow of every ones stuff.

Spouses will still be welcome; discounts on the flat-charge may apply. Pets are not welcomed (sorry, most areas do not allow pets, even on leases, so leave sparky at home)

As for now I am only doing east-coast. I am considering (if all go’s well) a “high-adventure” Desert spring-bloom trip next year to Arizona and this can be the “3rd annual” location, but it is rustic (no facilities) Camping ONLY most days, HOT, and you have to have a 4x4 in some places (IE I have a truck, and will probably have 1 with me, I will be the official “support” vehicle but everyone must make their own special arrangements for transportation (rental car companies don’t like renting for this, though I have done it)

If anyone is interested in working with me for a mid-country/west coast thing for 2010 I am in, but only know so many places/comfortable enough to organize a trip to.

Please, Serious Participants ONLY


Last edited by BrendanPK; 06-19-2009 at 10:19 AM.
01-09-2009, 12:56 PM   #2
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Brendan,

I'f I might offer an alternative desination. Ricketts Glen State Park, in Red Rock, PA (about 30 miles WSW of Scranton or 30 miles east of Williamsport).



From their website:

QuoteQuote:
Ricketts Glen harbors Glens Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark. Take the Falls Trail and explore the Glens, which boasts a series of wild, free-flowing waterfalls, each cascading through rock-strewn clefts in this ancient hillside. The 94-foot Ganoga Falls is the highest of 22 named waterfalls. Old growth timber and diverse wildlife add to the scenic area. Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania. This large park is comprised of 13,050 acres in Luzerne, Sullivan and Columbia counties.
Ricketts Glen is about 20 miles from my mother's property (45 acre farm) near Bloomsburg and would you believe I have never been there. If people were willing to do some semi-camping we might be able to be real cheap and stay on the farm.

This could offer a slightly less expensive option as hotels in the area are pretty cheap if people don't want to rough it.


Last edited by MRRiley; 01-09-2009 at 02:39 PM. Reason: added area map
01-10-2009, 02:19 AM   #3
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Nice Idea, PM sent
01-11-2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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Further down Eastern Shore

Hi!

Assateague Island would be a really cool place, too.

Assateague Island National Seashore Visitor Services


Maine sounds wonderful, but I doubt I could get away for that kind of trip.

Looking forward to whatever is decided!

01-11-2009, 12:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by photo_mom Quote
Hi!

Assateague Island would be a really cool place, too.

Assateague Island National Seashore Visitor Services


Maine sounds wonderful, but I doubt I could get away for that kind of trip.

Looking forward to whatever is decided!
Yes it is a nice place but limited... and more horse flys and squitos than anywhere I have ever seen. Blackwater is bad enough... Assateague if you get caught on after sundown, your going home a few pints lower
We could do this instead of OC if we chose this option. I thought OC would be a nice day thing for the beach and boardwalk photo opps and ofcourse the fischers popcorn and thrashers fries
01-11-2009, 12:45 PM   #6
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I like the idea of going to ricketts glen, but I heard the terrain can be quite challenging even for a regular hiker. I'll put my vote for Maryland Eastern Shore.
01-11-2009, 09:46 PM   #7
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I try and choose places for this Gathering that allow most to attend and unfortunatly that often rules out heavy hiking and camping
As I stated above I am in the process of planning a trip next spring (late feb-march) to the desert of Arizona (KOFA NWR to be exact)
Kofa NWR
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and Palm Canyon, Arizona

This would be a very high-adventure-type of photo expidition, however sacrficing common things like tolets, beds etc are 300% worth it if you want to get some of the best desert bloom photos around. I was there in 2001 and have been dying to get back

Last edited by BrendanPK; 01-11-2009 at 09:51 PM.
01-12-2009, 05:18 PM   #8
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I am partial to Maine, only cause I live here, but might be interested in the New England region.

01-12-2009, 08:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrendanPK Quote
Yes it is a nice place but limited... and more horse flys and squitos than anywhere I have ever seen. Blackwater is bad enough... Assateague if you get caught on after sundown, your going home a few pints lower
We could do this instead of OC if we chose this option. I thought OC would be a nice day thing for the beach and boardwalk photo opps and ofcourse the fischers popcorn and thrashers fries
Yes, those 'squitos' are plentiful and vicious. Good call on that. Photo_dad compared them to swarms of bloodsucking birds - that's how big they are. But I was thinking of the ponies and the seashore when I made the suggestion.

Never been to Ocean City, so that would be cool.
01-14-2009, 01:01 PM   #10
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yes the ponies are beautiful however I just have never been a huge fan of the island.
Hey who knows if we end up at blackwater I might have to try and get Pentax to send us a nice "birding" lens for the weekend say something in the 600mm range LOL if they even had one to send, but who knows maybe that new "super-tell" may be out by than.
AND maybe Pentax will actually sponsor the gathering this time too.
01-15-2009, 07:45 AM   #11
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Blackwater NWR could be fun as I've never been there.

Eastern Neck NWR is another option (which I believe is a bit larger) which is a complete island just north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Both are part of the Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex but it would be difficult to do both due to the distances required to get around MDs river and road network.

Last edited by MRRiley; 02-12-2009 at 09:11 AM. Reason: corrected hyperlinks
01-15-2009, 02:19 PM   #12
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yes, So far its looking good for the eastern shore. I will start to do some more reseach for you all
01-16-2009, 08:42 AM   #13
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Ricket's Glen is a great hike to visit if anyone gets a chance. There are always families with kids hiking the trails so its not that difficult, but it will make you tired. So many water falls in such a small area is quite the sight.



I've always wanted to see Maine too, though I undertand it would be a long trip for a lot of people.
01-17-2009, 01:32 PM   #14
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Out of the suggested places, I'd be OK with Maryland, as my sister lives in Odenton. In that case, I would combine this, plus a visit with her. I might even get my husband to come along, as he's interested in checking out the Eastern Shore area.

Another suggestion that I would make is to move it further south, so those of us in the southeast could attend without having to shell out for a plane ticket or having to drive 2 days to get there. I would be interested in places like Charleston, SC or Savannah, GA + the outlying islands on the GA coast.

I'm wondering if it might be better to do regional get-togethers, so nobody has to come too far to participate. It would make it financially easier, as well.

As for timing, my preference would be late summer/early fall, as I've already forked out $500 for a workshop at GSMIT (Spring Photography Program at Tremont in Great Smoky Mountains National Park) and probably wouldn't be able to afford anything else until at least then. By then, the weather will start to be cooling down, as well.

Just my 2¢...
Heather
01-17-2009, 02:13 PM   #15
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I suggest the AZORES ISLANDS
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