My hiking boots have no soul.  I really mean that; I have no traction left on my work boots.  One hundred miles for hundreds of stories.  That’s what we do here in the photo department.

Richard "Joe" Smith the Cahto Tribe Leader uses a net to fish for smelt, Wednesday June 27, 2012, north of Westport in the Westport Union Landing Beach. The Laytonville tribe is attempting to work a deal with the state to take over management of the park. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

There is no easy way to get to Westport.  It’s a long drive from anywhere on the north coast.  Once there, I had to do the actual assignment.  To get this picture, I waded in to the surf (duh) to shoot.  Pretty simple.  All the ticks that clamped on to my pant legs while walking through brush to get to the beach were soon drowned.  Poor ticks.

Richard "Joe" Smith the Cahto Tribe Leader cleanses, Wednesday June 27, 2012, north of Westport in the Westport Union Landing Beach. The Laytonville tribe is attempting to work a deal with the state to take over management of the park. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

The Westport assignment was the culmination of a month of local travel photography.  NASCAR was in town last week and that’s always a different experience.  At raceway Sonoma which used to be Infineon which used to be Sears Point, everything is a loud long walk.  Not for the faint of heart, the track is as long and hilly as it looks on T.V.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. walks back to his car after an interview, Friday June 22, 2011 at Sonoma. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Jr. seemed to not mind having a camera in his face for most of the afternoon and barely noticed me.  Waiting for him to appear from his trailer took a lot of patience.  Which I have TONS of.

Barbeque food during the 24th Annual Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Sunday June 24, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

I like shooting from the overhead position at the track just to mix up the coverage.  If anyone can tell me what kind of meat this is, please share.  Below?  That’s pretty easy to figure out.

Mike Stanton of Hot Dog on a Stick during the 24th Annual Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma Sunday June 24, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Twilight light.  It’s fun light to shoot in.

The 50 Acre lot at raceway Sonoma, a camping wonderland for NASCAR fans, Thursday June 21, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Slow down the shutter speed, pop a little strobe and take advantage of fog rolling in at sunset.  Al in a days work.

Joe DeFreeze of Pittsburg, finishes up flag palcement as he fights with a biting howling wind at the 50 Acre lot, Thursday July 21, 2012, (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

This guy was really tired be the end of the day, I’ll bet.

Donald Stephens of Pittsbug takes home a souvenier of the 24th Annual Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma Sunday June 24, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Legs were the unusual part of the photo below.  I’m sure it happens often at NASCAR races but it’s the first time I’ve seen it.

The pit crew of Juan Pablo Montoya go all out on a pit stop during the the 24th Annual Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma Sunday June 24, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

After running out of fuel on the victory lap, Clint Bowyer of the Five Hour Energy Toyota team celebrated in front of the grandstand after winning the 24th Annual Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma Sunday June 24, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

After shooting the above photo, Bowyer walked to the Winners Circle sans car.  About 100 photogs were disappointed that no car showed up with him.  What we try to do at the paper is show real life as it happens, so I stuck around the finish line after the victory lap (24 years of shooting this race has given me a little experience) knowing full well that he would celebrate.  He did.  And I believe only two other shooters got the peak moment of his celebration. Below is a picture that was staged for the podium photogs.  Now, it’s set-up for photographers on the podium and fans above, does this qualify as “real” picture?  Is it contrived?  Questions I have.  From one standpoint, racing photographers capture everything that moves at the winners circle.  The teams will change hats nearly a dozen times to satisfy sponsors demands as photographers shoot away.

Clint Bowyer of the Five Hour Energy Toyota team celebrates for photographers in Winners Circle after winning the 24th Annual Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma Sunday June 24, 2012. The car was pushed in to the circle after Bowyer celebrated near the finished line. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

 I last photographed the Russian River Rodeo in 2003, so it will be another nine years until I photograph the next one.  Still a challenging shoot to be sure, but once in a while a nice picture is a result.

Derrick Worthen of Reno attempts to wrestle a calf to the ground during the Russian River Rodeo, Saturday June 23, 2012 in Duncans Mills. Alas, Worthen came up with a zero score after the calf slipped away. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

The name of the bull?  Bullseye.

Mike Ward of Healdsburg is in the sights of a bull after being bucked off during the Russian River Rodeo in Healdsburg, Saturday June 23, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

The ballon festival in Windsor is one of the more difficult assignments to shoot.  It may look easy, but with all that color and 30 balloons lifting off nearly simultaneously, trying to make a photo at the apex of the lift off  is the closest thing to running around with your head cut-off.

The Dawn Patrol ascends to kickoff the 22nd Annual Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic at Keiser Park, Saturday June 16, 2012 in Windsor. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

 

Don Oswald in Krayola piloted his balloon in to Windsor's Vintana sunbivison during the 22nd Annual Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic at Keiser Park, Saturday June 16, 2012 in Windsor. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

A Pharaoh showed up to help during the 22nd Annual Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic at Keiser Park, Saturday June 16, 2012 in Windsor. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

The sunrise illuminates bright colors of a hot air balloon as a shadow of an inflated balloon appears during the 22nd Annual Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic at Keiser Park, Saturday June 16, 2012 in Windsor. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Matt and Shirley Boden of Santa Rosa watch hot air balloons ascend during The 22nd Annual Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic at Keiser Park, Saturday June 16, 2012 in Windsor. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

The unofficial start of July Fourth is the Big Rocky Games in Monte Rio. Ice cream anyone?

San Francisco teenager Danny Vreen watches the competition during the ice cream eating contest at the Big Rocky Games during Monte Rio's fourth of July celebration, Saturday June 30, 2012 in Monte Rio. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Kids spalsh their rubber ducks toward shore at the Big Rocky Games during Monte Rio's Fourth of July celebration, Saturday June 30, 2012 in Monte Rio. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Yes, my Canon 5d did get wet on the above shot.

Monte Rio's fourth of July celebration, Saturday June 30, 2012 in Monte Rio. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

The shadows of the Monte Rio Bridge block the sun during Monte Rio's Fourth of July celebration, Saturday June 30, 2012.

The U.S. Open in San Francisco.  Tiger Woods had the largest galleries for nearly three days.  Say what you will about Tiger, but he’s a huge fan draw.

Tiger Woods tees off during the first round of the US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Thursday June 14, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Ddemocrat) 2012

High above the ninth green, spectators watch Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson during the first round of the US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Thursday June 14, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Ddemocrat) 2012

The Olympic Club course acts like a motocross course.  Lots of hills and sand with some very tricky rough. Tricky to walk too.

 

-Kent Porter