I need your help!

The link is here.

After four years of work on my documentary photography project on The Owens Lake Project, I’m finally on the verge of showing it to the public in the form of an exhibit.  Beginning June 10, renowned environmental photography gallery, G2 Gallery – Second Chance: The Owens Lake Project in Venice, California, will be showing my Owens Lake Project in their beautiful exhibition space.

Mounting an exhibit is always an expensive affair, and this one will require between $2,000 and $3,000 to print and frame the prints for exhibit.  This project has always been a labor of love, with all of the associated expenses up to this point coming out of my own pocket. If you read the “about” page for the project, you’ll understand why I consider this project so timely and important.  We’re in the middle of a three-year drought in California, and water issues are more important than ever.  Most of the people who live in Los Angeles are completely unfamiliar with the Owens Lake and its connection to their water, and have no idea of the critical wildlife habitat that exists at the lake and which needs protection and preservation.  My hope has always been to educate people on what the lake is really like, and why it is so important that we continue restoration efforts there.  This exhibit will go a long way in doing just that.

Our partner for the exhibit is Audubon California, who will receive a portion of sales during the exhibit, and once the exhbit has ended (including any subsequent showings in other locations), the collection of images will be donated to the Eastern California Museum in Independence, California.

This weekend, however, a major complication arose.  After returning home from a four-day hike of the Owens Lake perimeter to conclude my photographic work for the exhibit, I discovered that my external storage drive that contains all my image files–including several destined for the exhibit–had died, and taken all those images with it.

I’m now faced with the added expense of over $1,200 (at least) to have the data recovered from the hard drive, and it’s an expense that cannot be put off due to my need to recover images for the exhibit.  This is why I need your help–I need to raise funds to recover my images and to cover a portion of the printing/framing expenses for the exhibit.  Any amount you can donate will help, and be GREATLY appreciated.  As an incentive, those who donate $100 or more will get their choice of any of my images (excluding panoramic images), matted to 11″x14″ and ready for framing.  You can check out my images on my website at Robin Black Photography or Robin’s Flickr photostream, and choose whichever one you like best!

I am so very grateful for your help, and donations in any amount are appreciated!

One thought on “I need your help!

  1. April Zrelak

    Robin,
    Beautiful pictures and words regarding the area, history and dust mitigation! I look forward to seeing the final product and reading the text in total. I work for the Lone Pine Tribe, located 5 miles from the edge of the dried lake. We are involved with the Owens Lake Master Project (Plan).

    You stated some common misconceptions about the opposition to the Project/Plan. Habitat enhancement with water reduction and dust mitigation were not the controversial issues. These appeared to be the common ground. Rather, it is what LADWP inserted into the Plan that caused the breakdown. LADWP stands on contingencies that are unacceptable to most of the committee members; the difference in interpretation being whether the “must haves” are actually that. Yes they are. The month following the “must haves” announcement , a letter from LADWP (March 26, 2013) abandoned the committee, inviting us to comment at some future date on their own Master Project. Groundwater pumping was never acceptable as a necessary part of the Plan, as far as the group was concerned. The City refuses to separate that feasibility from ALL future projects. Allowance to violate air quality standards during transition phases and other unacceptable demands are includes in the “must have” list presented to the committee. So, you see, the controversy is much bigger, with a century of mistrust and deceptive tactics from LADWP. It doesn’t matter to us that the habitat enhancement is not the driving force or a change of heart from LADWP. It is the water savings that counts to them, not the biology. This was stated very clearly in meetings where LADWP officials said the Project requires a minimum of 50% water savings of it will not go forward. (water for use as dust mitigation was never REQUIRED as a control measure. Great Basin does not dictate which measures to use, only that they meet the mitigation requirements. We are happy that water resulted in a return of wildlife.)

    The Lone Pine Tribe has remained engaged within the groundwater work group that is tasked to write the recommendations and resource protection criteria for pumping. We intend to pressure the City to do the right thing by avoiding negative impacts that may occur if groundwater is developed for dust mitigation and habitat enhancement on the lake bed. I can state we have made some positive contributions to the documents so far, but are skeptical that LADWP will manage the groundwater extraction in a sustainable way. History. Then, there is the connection with the Lower Owens River Project (LORP) changes, too.

    So, we read quite often about the issues of this area from people who do not have the correct details. You seem to have some influence in the Los Angeles area and an appreciation for this landscape. Anytime you are in the area, please stop by the Lone Pine Tribe’s environmental office on E-Sha Ln. We share a love of this place and a hopeful view of the future.
    Regards. -April

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