Finding inspiration on the peninsula

Each January for the past five years, Sequim photographer Ross Hamilton and his crew - sales representative and friend Sandy Frankfurth and Tim Dix - have faced a monumental task: sifting through nearly four decades of Hamilton's photographs to find just 12 to use for the following year's calendar.

"We try to give them a good assessment," Hamilton said. "We have such a rich treasury of material here on the peninsula, it's hard to choose."

This year, taking a suggestion from Frankfurth, Hamilton decided to include inspirational words with each month's image, an homage of sorts to the duo's friendship.

Frankfurth met the photographer when she began cooking meals for a number of Sequim-area senior citizens, including Hamilton's parents.

"With each meal, I'd try to bring people an inspirational quote," Frankfurth recalled. "I've been collecting them for years."

Frankfurth said she had the idea to include a quote that fit the image chosen for each month.

For example, Frankfurth and Hamilton turn to the image for March 2009: Lake Crescent patiently waits for winter to turn into full-blown spring, watching tiny bursts of color as a few flowers begin to bloom. The quote under the image, by poet Ann Bradstreet, reads: "If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."

"Quotes are really powerful by themselves," Frankfurth said. "But when you put an image with them, it's even more powerful."

Hamilton said he immediately took to the idea of the quotations because it went along with his vision of the calendar.

"There are two features to the calendars," Hamilton said. "We like to tell people what the picture is, we work at putting in useful captions. But we also like to have people enjoy the peninsula ... that's where the quotes come in."

True to his word, Hamilton also adds a few suggestions for each month for tourists and residents alike to the calendar; March's ideas include "visit Railroad Bridge Park near

Sequim and look for signs of spring" and "drive to Marrowstone Island and visit historic Fort Flagler."

"Ross' calendar exposes people to places to visit," Frankfurth said. "Even locals. We've noticed the postcards and greeting cards appeal to tourists but the calendar appeals a lot to locals."

Hamilton said he was hesitant to do a calendar at first, mainly due to the timeliness of the product, but said fellow Sequimite Bill Littlejohn finally convinced him to take the plunge. Now, he said, he cannot imagine not putting out the calendar each Memorial Day, in time for the holiday tourists and locals alike.

"I grew up hearing the tales of the peninsula," said Hamilton, who grew up in Burbank, Calif., with his Sequim-reared father. "Now we can tell tales through the photographs."
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