Tahoe’s Jim Markle to lead ‘social photography event of the year’ | SierraSun.com

Tahoe’s Jim Markle to lead ‘social photography event of the year’

Toree Warfield
Special to the Sun-Bonanza

A view of Rabe meadow looking west toward Lam Watah Trail in Stateline, Nev, near Lake Tahoe's south shore.

LAKE TAHOE — If you like hiking with other people who appreciate nature, and love taking photographs of interesting things you find in your travels, an opportunity is coming up that you might not want to miss.

Local photographer Jim Markle will be leading a photo walk along the Lam Watah Trail at Stateline, Nev., as part of one segment of Scott Kelby's "Worldwide Photo Walk," presented by Kelbyone.

Billed as "the social photography event of the year," this is the eighth-annual photo walk supporting the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage, currently home and haven for about 50 children in Kenya.

Last year the walk raised $34,000 for this small orphanage by asking participants to donate an optional $1, or more, if you wish. The goal this year is to raise $50,000.

Jim Markle, as well as taking fabulous photographs of the Sierra Nevada, wildlife, flowers, people and events, conducts guided tours for the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, where he helped produce a 3D movie about Lake Tahoe.

The Center is located on the campus of Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village.

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Jim contributes photographs to the Lake Tahoe scenic calendar, available for purchase in stores around the lake and also on the website tahoetshirtsandgifts.com, where you will find Jim's wildflower poster. Look for both under "The Book Store" tab.

As a photographer, he loves to lead field trips to help others make the most of their photography experience. When contacted about leading a walk at Lake Tahoe for the Worldwide Photo Walk, he was pleased to seize the opportunity.

Last year, Jim led a walk along Tunnel Creek in Incline Village with the goal of reaching the spot where Mark Twain, who went by Samuel Clemens at that time, first saw Lake Tahoe.

If you've ever hiked the Tunnel Creek Trail, you know how steep it is but up they went, even the youngest participant at age seven made the climb. Jim likes to take his time, commenting about photography, the environment and historical notations along the way.

For this year's hike, Jim has chosen a short, lake-level hike which ultimately leads to Nevada Beach. He plans on discussing some of the history of Lake Tahoe, including tales of the Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada, who were early inhabitants of the region 6,000 years ago.

Not all the photo walks are about nature — in fact, many focus on city life in areas such as London or downtown Tokyo, or ocean-lying areas such as Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates.

There are even walks occurring as far north as Greenland, and as far south as the southern tip of Chile. This is truly a global event and one in which we can all take part.

Currently, there are 750 or so walks around the globe with more than 10,000 individuals signed up, but that will surely change as the event is still two weeks away.

Although each Worldwide Photo Walk is limited to 50 participants, Jim likes to keep his groups small so he can better interact with all the participants, both children and adults.

While learning tidbits about Lake Tahoe, perhaps doing some bird-watching or identifying plants and trees, participants will also be taking photos with the chance to win prizes.

Entering the photo contest is optional but what fun! Just maybe you will capture the best photo out of all the participants world-wide and you will win a Canon DSLR camera.

To see a list of prizes, to find out more information about the event and to sign up for the local photo walk led by Jim Markle, head to kelbyone.com/photowalk and click on the tab "Find Walks."

Once on the Stateline walk page, click on the button "Join This Photo Walk," fill out your information and you are in. After the walk, you will come back to the website, login to the account created when you signed up, and enter your best photo into the contest, if you choose to do so.

Only a few people world-wide will actually win prizes, but really, everyone wins. It's an opportunity for amateur photographers and hobbyists to mingle with the pros, a chance for local people to get out and meet other people with similar interests and perhaps learn a thing or two about photography, Lake Tahoe or both.

And of course, the children in the orphanage being supported by the walk will benefit from whatever money is raised from the event.

Toree Warfield is an avid nature lover, and writes this column to teach and stimulate interest in the marvels that surround us. See the new website: saveourplanetearth.com to read columns and to find links to bird song recordings, additional photos and other content.