Bits 'n' Pieces: Calendar illustrates man's passion for photography

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photoTyler Mode

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Tyler Mode has loved taking pictures of outdoor settings around the Pacific Northwest since his grandfather lent him his first camera back in high school.

And the Battle Ground 30-year-old, an assistant manager at Safeway, has been selling his work through his own company since he was about 14 years old.

"I took a photography class in high school, and it all just sort of came together after that," Mode said. "Photography is still something I do on the side; but it's something I'm constantly working on."

Clark County residents who check out his 2013 calendar may see some familiar sites through Mode's eyes. Four of the images were taken here, he said.

"It's a mix of weather photography and landscapes from when I go hiking," Mode said. "It's all from Washington, Oregon, Montana and one from Alaska."

Images include waterfalls, mountain landscapes, forests and a shot of lightning striking near the Interstate 5 bridge.

Mode still has the camera his grandfather, Donald Mode, 91, first lent him 16 years ago. He uses a variety of cameras now, but that one still has a special value to him -- even if he's still technically "borrowing" it from his grandfather, he said.

"I saw him the other day and he didn't ask for it back," Mode said sheepishly of the Pentax 35mm.

People can view the images or buy the calendar for $15 through Mode's website.

— Sue Vorenberg

Vancouver USA Singers' winter shows celebrate holidays

Although they come from all walks of life — teachers, butchers, firefighters — the Vancouver USA Singers community choir's shared passion unites them.

"You have all these people that love to sing, as a result they love each other," said Director Jana Hart. "It becomes like family."

Hart said that family spirit comes through in the choir's performances, full of enthusiasm and cohesive precision. They've been prepping since August for the holiday show, "A Star in the East," set for Dec. 8-9 at First Presbyterian Church, 4300 Main St.

The holiday concert will feature a broad selection of festive selections, including medieval and Appalachian carols, a set of Hanukkah songs, Christmas spirituals and upbeat secular classics such as "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer." It ends with a sing-along to "Joy to the World," featuring the JoyBell Ringers handbell ensemble from Camas.

The concert is named for three Appalachian Christmas Carols, which will highlight guest musician Mitch Iimori on hammered dulcimer.

In her third year as director, Hart said she's continually impressed at the dedication of the nearly 100-person choir, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013. Members range from teens to seniors. "Everyone just loves to sing. A community choir is a wonderful thing," Hart said.

The concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 3 p.m. Dec. 9. Tickets are $12, free for children 12 and younger. Buy tickets at Vancouver USA Singers.

— Stover E. Harger III

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.