SUNDAY • SEPTEMBER 22,2002 NOR^VESTER THE HAYS DAILY NEWS C1 Disease has taken Jack Logan's vision, but he hasn 't lost his ABOVE: Logan is pictured with his camera. LEFT: A collection of some of his photographs is spread around the room where he works. ! Jack Logan, Hays, looks at one of his photographs in the room where he works on and displays his photography. Logan, who has been blinded by the eye disease macular degeneration still can see, but his central vision has been taken away by the disease. Legally blind, his vision is 20/600, but he still loves photography. H is_phptographs show the in- "timate QeTaifsoiTnature.'' Bright blossoms pop against their natural backdrops. A sunset's rainbow-colored streaks crisscross the sky. All are images captured by a man with a vision and, he says, an appreciation for the beauty of those natural sights. Yet, Jack Logan nearly is blind. An amateur photographer most of his life, Logan's favorite hobby was threatened in 1991 when doctors detected a degenerative eye disease. First his left eye was struck with wet macular degeneration, a disorder noted by leaking blood vessels underneath the retina. Even after medical RIGHT: Logan uses a large monitor to view photography and to read. The visioh aids allow him to see better with the vision he still has. BELOW: Logan sifts through a stack of pictures he has stored in many locations in a room he and his wife call "the cave." In it, Logan stores all of his slides and pictures. He has two large monitors that enlarge everything from pictures to his mail. treatment, the fluids eventually dry Uv , . leave a scar and causTdistorlionTin vv "" 1998 the disease affected his right eye. His central vision is gone, but much of his peripheral vision remains intact. With a person standing only a few feet from his own nose, Logan said he can sense a person's general shape, but all the details are shaded in gray Still, the loss hasn't stopped the Hays man from toting a camera with him nearly everywhere. "If there's something to shoot, I shoot every day," he said. Colorful sunrises and sunsets regularly draw him out to his front porch with camera in hand. And with a willing chauffeur, Logan still loves to explore all facets of nature. The .area'jB creeks and prairie grasses.are .„ nestihg'piaces fdr many of his*photos" He and his wife, Loralee, travel across the country courtesy of guided bus tours. "I shoot what I like. If you don't like it, fine. I'm shooting for me, not them," he said of potential critics.' Typically an admirer of nature, even some of Hays' most recognizable landmarks, like the tall steeple atop St. Joseph Catholic Church, appeal to Logan. An experimentation with infrared technology one day gave it a new hue. Such experiments are common for photographers, Logan said. But without exceptional vision, a good number of his tests don't ever see the light of day. <„•,*-. " A ,M9.f. the pictures I take are thro'wtaway,"hesaid.''I'irtl!infl have this great composition, and when I come back and look at the slide, it will be horrible." A trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado revealed one of those opportunities for a picture-perfect occasion. He expected to return with one particularly astounding photo. When he looked through his slides, he saw something he hadn't noticed while visiting Colorado — a dead juniper tree in the middle of his photograph. "I never saw it, but there it was, in the middle of every picture," he said of the tree. Never a fan of the chemical work involved in a photo lab, if anything Logan's vision problems have given him a good excuse to stay out of the darkroom. He shoots his film and sends it to a company to develop slides. Then, with the help of'a slate of technological tools, Logan reviews each slide on his computer, A lightbox underneath the slides illuminates each image. A magnifier connected to a closed circuit television then helps him focus and scan each slide. When he finds something he likes, he orders a reprint. Unlike other photographers who might have crates full of slides, digital cards and computer CDs full of taages they've shot over the years but never have printed, all of Logan's favorites are printed — and in fact matted and framed. Dozens cover the walls of his makeshift workspace inside a spare bedroom of-his Hays home. Nearly every inch of wall space inside what he calls "the cave" is blanketed with his work. But the computer equipment inside has been more than a lifesaver for his favorite hobby. It's also helped him retain a level of independence. He uses the same magnifiers to scroll across newspapers, magazines and even the daily mail. "Without these things, I'd be lost," he said. Being known as a blind photographer certainly carries with it some unusual notoriety, Logan said, but he's not interested hi turning his situation into a money-making affair. He's sold a few photos to magazines in the past, and a couple of years ago one of his shots was picked grand champion at the Ellis County Fair. "I sell some stuff, but it:s just a fun thing for me to do," he said. — Select pieces of Jack Logan's work are on display at Sternberg Museum of Natural History In Hays. "Blind Ambition" Is a collectfon of works by blind or vision- Impaired artists. The exhibit will be open through the end of the year. Story byJOYLEIKER STEVEN HAUSLER High Plains OF NORTHWEST KANSAS Former resident describes Colorado wildfires COLBY — Ryan Hale was expecting a "humdrum day" earlier this summer when he reported for regular duty to his emergency medical services unit near Estes Park, Colo. But over the radio, Hale, a former Colby resident, and his rescue team heard a report of a 20-acre fire 8 miles outside Estes Park. "No real significance, except for the fact that we've been in the worst drought in Colorado history. The only reason to worry at that point was that our crew would be called out to do medical coverage for the firefighters and we might miss doing some paperwork," Hale wrote in an article published in The Colby Free Press. The remainder of the.day was spent on stand-by for the fires. The next morning, Hale volunteered to report to a staging area alongside the area firefighters. After watching slurry bombers — the airplanes that drop fire retardant on the flames — fly their missions during the morning and early afternoon hours, Hale said he and other EMTs were shocked when they heard that one of the slurry planes had crashed. "Bomber has gone down... again, we have a downed plane in Hermit Park," they heard. Hale and other EMTs hurried to the crash site, only 2 miles from their staging area. The crash site was about 4 miles from Estes Park. "A giant plume of smoke led us to the spot," he wrote. "We were the first crew to arrive, getting there even before the firefighters." The EMTs split up as they approached the crash site, but eventually the fire from the crash surrounded them and began to cover their paths. They had to retreat to safety, even before they were able to rescue any of the plane's crew. Firefighters drenched the area with water and eventually found the crew later that night. "I remembered the World Trade Center rescue crews saying that they wanted to at least find victims so they could be buried properly," he wrote. 'T suppose at-some point I realized there was no rescue to be made, and I began wishing we could have found them right away for the same reasons. "In EMS you come to expect the unexpected, but I could not have expected this," he wrote. Board considers proposal for home-schooled student OBERLIN — Oberlin school board members are weighing the factors of allowing a home- schooled student to attend art and gym classes at Oberlin Elementary School. Oberlin USD 294 Superinten- ' dent Kelly Glodt told school board members the child travels to McCook, Neb., for gym class and to Colby for art. If the student was accepted into the Oberlin school district, even as a partial-day student, it would help boost the district's enrollment, he said, According to The Oberlin Herald Glodt said that many students who are home-schooled at the elementary level transfer into the district as seventh- graders. If the district wants to gain those students, Glodt said the district should try to get them as soon as possible. Board member Barbara Olson asked if this is the first request of its kind, but Glodt, new to the district, said he was uncertain of that. Board members estimated that there are five home-school families in the district. Such students are prohibited from being added to local sports teams, but Glodt said he was certain students can enroll even part-time for art, gym and computer classes. The board will study the issue and discuss it again Oct 14. Commissioners upset over mail-order purchases OSBORNE — Reviewing regu lar vouchers for department expenditures, Osbprne County Commissioners were "less than pleased" to discover purchases that could have been made locally but weren't, according to The Osborne County Farmer, Almost $250 in vouchers from the sheriff's office were for, toilet paper and hand towels from a mail-order supplier. Those items could have been purchased locally, commissioners said. "It's not right," said Commissioner William T. Kiper. "That's one thing we're going to have to start watching. We try to always buy locally and spend it in the cojnjmini. ties of the countv AH «Vntu> *uu..i,. downtown are struggling, We've got to change some thinning."
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