Friday was opening night at the Sandhill Crane Festival, and Christi and I took some out-of-town friends to see the show at the Isenberg Reserve on Woodbridge Road.
Our guests Dean and Nancy Eckenroth own the Coronado Eagle & Journal, a weekly newspaper.
Like all weekly newspaper people they are constantly alive for news possibilities and they were the first ones to spot Conrad Tan and his mammoth camera lens.
"That's a $10,000 lens — at least," said Dean. Christi and Nancy talked to Conrad first and he proudly flipped through his shots on his camera's digital screen. Although the sun was setting and the birds were several hundreds yards away, he snapped dozens of great shots.
At Dean's urging I asked Conrad to send us some for use in the paper. He drove straight home to the Bay Area and sent me several shots. I've pasted three of them here. Two will appear on the back of the front section in tomorrow's Lodi News-Sentinel.
I asked Conrad in an e-mail to tell me about himself and his trip to Lodi. Here's his reply:
"I'm an electrical engineer in San Jose and I live in Benicia.
"I've been shooting as a hobby for two years. I first photographed the cranes last year. I've done weddings and landscapes but wildlife and particularly birds are my passion.
"My website if you are interested is www.conradtanphotography.com.
"Thanks for the opportunity, Marty!"
It's my pleasure, Conrad. Hope you enjoyed the festival.