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Lecture season launches

The 2012 Library Live! at the Newport public library series kicks off with photographer Peter McBride.

February 02, 2012|By Imran Vittachi
  • “The Loop” is located six miles above the Green River confluence in Canyonlands National Park, 50 miles downstream of Moab, Utah. The river follows an anticline atop 300-million-year-old salt beds buckling against the weight of more recent rock sediments. In 1964, President Johnson created Canyonlands National Park, as uranium prices fell and allowed him to work around numerous mining claims in the area.
“The Loop” is located six miles above the… (Peter McBride )

NEWPORT BEACH — Some people in the audience gasped as the aerial photo flashed on the screen at the front of the room.

They were reacting in wonderment as a color shot came up of the so-called "Loop," a section of the Green River that snakes through Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Two sets of bends in the river, a tributary of the Colorado River, seemed so close to each other in the frame that they almost touched — but isthmuses separated them.

Photographer Peter McBride took the picture from his father's Cessna 180 as part of a project to document the length of the nearly 1,500-mile Colorado River in photos. McBride was curious to tell a story with his camera about the Colorado River, which had irrigated his family's cattle ranch in the Centennial State. He said he wanted to capture through his lens how mankind has altered the great river's natural flow and environment in harnessing its waters.

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"It's not just pretty pictures," Yana Bridle, a Newport beach resident and fellow photographer, commented after attending a slideshow presentation and book signing by McBride at the Newport Beach Public Library on Jan. 26.

"Everybody can take pretty pictures," she said. "He made it meaningful and significant."

The appearance by McBride — an award-winning photographer who has traveled the globe on assignment for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Newsweek, the Washington Post and other publications — formally kicked off the library's 2012 lecture season.

It will run through the spring and build on the library's regional reputation for attracting speakers who are household names and movers and shakers, as well as lesser-knowns who are rising in their respective fields.

Divided into the Library Live! and Martin W. Witte Distinguished Speakers series, the two programs promise to bring a roster of noted writers and speakers to Newport Beach, who represent a range of fields.

They will talk about contemporary topics as diverse as water and the environment, geopolitics in a multipolar world, the power and reach of Google, and a Hollywood studio veteran's insights into the Oscars — just in time for the Academy Awards on Feb. 26.

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