When 13-year-old Brianna Soto recently snapped a photograph of an Atascadero landscape dotted with trees, she said she was drawn to the many shades of green.
Brianna is one of 12 members of Atascaderos Cerro Alto 4-H club who are creating a photo book of spots around town to send as mementos to military service members overseas. The project would fulfill the community service aspect of the groups many goals to shape young leaders.
There are a lot of people who do military service, and some might get homesick, Brianna said. And sending the photo book might make them feel good inside.
Thats the idea, club leader Leslie Bryson said, adding that the books will be donated to local military families so they can mail them to loved ones overseas, hopefully by the summer.
Brysons group, with kids ages 10 to 17, have been busy photographing locations such as the Charles Paddock Zoo, Carlton Hotel, Sunken Gardens fountain and the veterans memorial off Highway 41 all spots they think best represent the city.
In all, they say the group has about two dozen places captured.
I think they might appreciate that were taking pictures, 14-year-old Sarah Nuñez said. And when theyre overseas, I hope they know we appreciate them.
Sarah said she also chose to shoot the citys new Rite Aid store, as its reminiscent of all the yummy ice cream she buys there on hot summer days.
17-year-old Caitlin Neely chose pictures of a Dennys restaurant recalling the happy memories of her father taking her there as a kid. She also shot the In-N-Out Burger restaurant and Atascadero Bible Church.
Its (about) personal memories, Caitlin said. I have tons and tons of pictures.
13-year-old Nicholas Lopez is learning about the different angles and textures he can capture on film. He chose to shoot spots around Atascadero Lake.
I love the veterans memorial with the lights on at night and the flags blowing in the wind, he said excitedly, camera in hand.
Kandi Quick says her 12-year-old daughter, Amber, has learned a lot through the book exercise.
Its been so fun for her, Quick said. Shes seen pictures in a whole new light. Well pass something, and (Amber) will say, That would make such a great picture! I wish I had my camera!
Amber chose to feature her favorite animal-related locations, such as the Wranglerette Arena near Curbaril Avenue where she rides her pony, Sunni.
You can see her ears here, Amber said with a giggle as she pointed a little finger to the screen of her digital camera that showed the rustic arena from Sunnis point of view the tops of the ponys blond ears poking from the bottom corners of the frame.
For 17-year-old Amelene Bartlett, the exercise is all about capturing change for those serving away from home.
The people from here may not think about how things changed because theyve been there for so long, she said.
Hopefully, they can see how things change through my pictures.