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Photographers get ready for picture duty

DARIN OLDE, Sierra Sun

On Sunday, Sept. 17, residents will get a chance to express town pride and cement their visage into the volumes of Truckee history.

While it is a momentous occasion, it’s inevitable some residents won’t be able to attend.

In fact, the Truckee Town Portrait 2000 will be missing at least five residents, because at least five will be documenting the event from behind their cameras.

“It’s too bad because we’ve been here for 25 years so we should be in the picture,” said Laurel Lippert. Laurel will be flying a 1946 Cessna 140 with her husband Tom, who plans to take aerial photos from roughly 1,000 feet above the throng.

“Who knows, maybe someone will look up and say ‘Hey, the Lipperts need to be in here’ and we will get our own portrait to put on the side.”

Tom Lippert, a professional photographer since his days as a ski instructor at Squaw Valley 26 years ago, has been a staff photographer for Ski magazine for 15 years and currently shoots for Smithsonian magazine.

“I’m not going to be hanging outside the plane,” he said. “I’ll shoot from inside. Otherwise the wind will wiggle the lens.”

A professional photographer for roughly 30 years, Tom has traveled all over the world on assignment, including Australia, New Zealand and the former Yugoslavia for the 1984 Olympics.

While it’s hard to top shooting from an old Cessna aircraft, photographer Russell Rosewood of Photo Sensitive will receive his share of the action.

At noon on Sept. 17, Russell will find himself hanging from an 80-foot ladder with $6,000 worth of photography equipment to capture the historic portrait.

“There is a safety belt that hooks on to the rung of the ladder. But my major concern is the camera equipment. I am going to have to work out some type of safety rig.”

Rosewood, also a long-time Truckee resident, said he went to the site with Truckee Fire Protection District to practice climbing the ladder and taking pictures.

“As I climbed out there the fire department lifted the ladder 70-80 degrees until I was about 80 feet in the air.”

Rosewood plans to use Hasselblad 50mm and super wide lenses.

“The super wide lens takes a 90 degree angle of view which is equivalent to a 17mm wide-angle lens on a 35mm camera,” he said.

To add to the aerial display, Larry Prosser plans to hover above the town in a helicopter provided by the California Highway Patrol.

“I have a couple of Heli-Ski clients so I’ve worked from a helicopter before,” he said.

A Truckee resident for approximately 20 years, Prosser’s work has appeared in Ski and Outside magazine. His scenic images have been used for postcards, and have appeared in calendars and books about the Tahoe-Truckee area.

At the throne of the visual display is Tom Echols, a former staff photographer for the Sierra Sun and now president of Channel 6 community television. Tom is also the photography instructor for Tahoe Truckee High School. Echols hopes footage from the event will be available on video by December.

Once the historic shot is taken, organizers will format the image and print posters, which will be available for pre-order at the event for a discount price.

“The Historical Society will be the custodian of the photo,” said Billy Cornell. After 30 days, sales revenue from the poster will be used to benefit the Truckee Historical Society.

For more information about the Truckee Historical Society see the town of Truckee’s web site at http://www.cybertruckee.com, or, call the Historical Society Cabin at 582-0893, e-mail historicalsociety@cybertruckee.com.


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