Kocourek's third career is picture-perfect


July 03, 2002|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THEY SAY the third time is the charm -- and for Clary's Forest resident Albert Kocourek, his third career has proved to be more satisfying and enjoyable than any work he has done before. Now a photographer, Kocourek is the featured artist for this month's exhibit at Artists' Gallery in the American City Building.

For years, Kocourek, 58, worked as a systems analyst before making the switch to mortgage banking. When his mother became ill with cancer, he decided to take some time off to take care of her.

"One year became another and another, and I never went back to the corporate world. The other things I've done and have been successful at have enabled me to do what I truly love to do, which is photography," he said.

Kocourek specializes in landscape photography and travels the globe in search of interesting locations. This year, he shot pictures on the Greek Isles and in Turkey. He is planning a trip to Vermont in August. In October, he will visit the Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee.

He said that his favorite location to shoot pictures is a place in the Arizona desert. "A Navajo guide called it `Cardiac Canyon' because he said that you were likely to have a heart attack climbing out," Kocourek said. "It was very steep and there was a lot of loose rock."

The canyon was rich in colors of red, gold and orange, Kocourek said. He described the area as mystical.

"It was a desolate area 15 miles out in the desert. It was so quiet and there were no other voices. You could literally hear the wind whistling over the wings of the birds flying overhead," he said.

Locally, Kocourek enjoys shooting pictures on Maryland's Eastern Shore, specifically in lower Somerset County on the bay. "The little fishing villages there are just exquisite. It's just a fantastic area," he said.

He uses a Hasselblad camera to capture his images. When going on a shoot, he typically carries 40 pounds of equipment.

Kocourek shared a few tips for budding photographers. "The first and foremost is that when choosing a camera, put your money in the lens. If you don't have a good lens, your image won't be good. It's that simple," he said.

He also recommends that when traveling, photographers should choose lodging carefully. "Find hotels that have views that you want to see. In Istanbul, I changed over to a hotel that had a rooftop restaurant where I could take pictures of the Blue Mosque," he said.

Kocourek's exhibit,Walking Through Time, runs through Aug. 2 at the Artists' Gallery, American City Building, 10227 Wincopin Circle.

Information or gallery hours: 410-740-8249.

Parades on the 4th

For the 32nd year, the friendly folks in the Longfellow neighborhood will hold their Fourth of July parade. This year's event holds special meaning for Longfellow residents.

"The parade is in honor of the people who died in the 9-11 attack, the people currently serving in the armed forces and the people serving in the fire and police departments," said Bob Russell, one of the parade coordinators.

Russell said that firefighters and police officers will be recognized at a ceremony at Longfellow Elementary School before the parade starts at 10 a.m.

"The grand marshal this year will be an empty car, honoring Col. Ronald F. Golinski," Russell said.

Golinski, U.S. Army retired, was killed in the attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11. He lived on Paul Revere Ride in the Longfellow neighborhood.

Jim and Dottie Binkley will be honored as recipients of this year's Good Neighbor award.

"They were some of the founding fathers and mothers of the Longfellow Friends of the Traditional Fourth event," Russell said.

No registration is required to participate in the Longfellow parade. "Everybody is invited to come and watch, and if you would like to be in the parade, show up," Russell said.

The parade will go, rain or shine. Participants will line up at the elementary school at 9:30 a.m. The parade route runs north on Hesperus Drive and south on Eliots Oak Road.

The River Hill Community Association is sponsoring its third Independence Day parade, beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday. This year's event honors the Clarksville Fifth District Volunteer Fire Department.

The parade route begins at Clarksville Middle School and ends at River Hill Village Center. Residents are invited to gather along Great Star Drive to see the parade.

To enter your neighborhood or organization in the parade: the village office, 410-531-1749.

Dragons roar

Dragons, as depicted in the cultural traditions of Africa, China, Indonesia and Europe, will come to life at the central library Tuesday. Puppets will be used to perform folk tales about dragons from each culture in a program called "Hear Them Roar."

The program for children ages 6 and older will be held at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the central library. Registration is required.

Information: 410-313-7800.

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