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Administration Login
Meetings & Speakers - Tom Martens 04/28/2009
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Tom Martens showed a collection of his images from 15 years of work at Lake Tahoe as the editor of the Tahoe World and other newspapers. Although he is primarily an outdoor editor and a writer, he takes photographs to go along with his stories.


Most of the focus of Tom's images was people, the scenery comes with the photographs. In photojournalism, while photographing people, most of the photographs are taken while people are moving or giving an interview. Sometimes they are surrounded by security and a big crowd. You do not have a lot of control over the setting and the light. You have to use a longer lens and you have to be very quick. You can not always rely on available light, some people may be wearing hats and their facial expressions may not be captured. Also relying only on available light means that you have to take multiple exposures and spend more time processing your images, which is very time consuming. This may not be efficient if you still need to work on your story. An acceptable short cut is using a fill flash. Tom recommends to dial the intensity of the fill flash back to get the right light and avoid an unnatural look to your photographs. A light reflector as a fill in source works better if you have control over the setting.


Sometimes you get to a location and you are there only for one hour, you should take the quickest grab shot possible because you can not control what will happen next and you do not want to go home empty handed.


Tom also showed some images he published along with articles in Boating and Fly Fishing Magazines.   


Tom uses a unipod almost exclusively to capture sharper images. He uses 2 Olympus cameras, one with regular and the other with a long lens. The longest lens he uses is 600 mm. He always caries a light reflector.


As a writer and a photojournalist, Tom’s focus throughout his presentation was on the stories his photographs could tell, which has always been the basis of his compositions.


Samer Alassaad

The Photography Club of Davis


   (Tom Martens is a consultant, whose work includes writing columns and stories for outdoor, boating and fly fishing publications, including California Fly Fisher magazine. He provided photographs as co-author of “Five Easy Turns,” a how-to book on how to turn when cross-country skiing.

   Tom Martens writes a monthly column about the Davis Aquatic Masters for the Davis Enterprise.

   His award-winning images have been shown in group and individual shows at Lake Tahoe, including as part of the Tahoe Tallac Association exhibit at the historic Camp Richardson at South Lake Tahoe. His writing and photography have won awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of California, and he was most recently given the “Vision for the Future Award” from the Sierra Nevada Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of small conservation groups he is a co-founder and serves on the organization’s Advisory Committee.

   At South Lake Tahoe, Martens currently manages a project that uses photographs on a web site to document restoration of the Upper Truckee River watershed, which is one of the major contributors of sediment into Lake Tahoe. He headed a similar watershed restoration effort at Ward Creek, located on Tahoe’s west shore.

   He teaches graduate marketing seminars and serves as a thesis advisor and researcher on nonprofit news coverage as a member of the adjunct faculty of the University of San Francisco.

   In addition to serving as executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe at South Lake Tahoe, Martens has worked in similar positions at the California Wildlife Foundation and Friends of the River in Sacramento, Short Term Emergency Aid Committee in Davis, Discover the Delta Foundation in Rio Vista and has held fundraising positions at the Planning and Conservation League Foundation in Sacramento and the Trust for Public Land in San Francisco.

   Martens earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Nonprofit Administration Degree from the University of San Francisco.)