Beyond the Badge

Nature photography helps CDCR employee maintain work-life balance

Sunset on mountain at Yosemite.
Yosemite National Park's fire fall. Photo by Glenn Robinson.

By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor
Office of Public and Employee Communications

Photos by Glenn Robinson, HR Policy and Procedures Unit

Glenn Robinson
Glenn Robinson

As part of an ongoing series highlighting the activities of CDCR employees outside of their normal jobs, Inside CDCR caught up with shutterbug and nature enthusiast Glenn Robinson, manager of the Human Resources Policy and Procedures Unit.

He’s worked for the department for two-and-a-half years, starting as a trainer in the Office of Personnel Services before promoting to his current position.

A recent outing found Robinson at Yosemite National Park to photograph a waterfall at sunset.

What are your typical duties in your current job? Can it be stressful?

My typical duties include planning, distributing, reviewing, and managing HR-related projects. I read, write, and edit a lot. I also train staff and standardize processes to increase the efficiency of our work.

The ever-changing world of statewide HR policies and procedures can make the job challenging at times. However, I really like my work because it utilizes a lot of my talents and skills.

Why do you enjoy the outdoors?

I enjoy the outdoors because it’s a place to getaway and disconnect from the daily cares of life. When I’m exploring the outdoors, my mind is in the moment, so I’m not worried about whatever else is going on. When I reach a vista or a new scene, I immediately feel rejuvenated and refreshed.

Clouds catch orange sunrise that is reflected in lake surrounded by pine trees.
Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay at sunrise. Photo by Glenn Robinson.

I always tell those who are with me to stop for a second and take an intentional breath or two, to be present in the moment. Nothing clears the soul like fresh mountain air!

Why would you recommend outdoor activities to others?

I recommend outdoor activities because they’re healthy, fun, and interesting. I’m a hiker, and I’d rather spend a couple hours hiking along a trail than jogging around the city because there’s so much more to see, feel, and experience out there.

And if you plan your hikes correctly, you can always have a reward. I hardly ever hike to a spot that doesn’t afford a great photographic opportunity.

Hiking along through the forest to get to an alpine lake, waterfall, or mountain makes the effort worth it every time.

What do you enjoy about photography?

I’m a lifelong artist, so photography allows me to engage with my creative expression regularly. Through photography, I enjoy conveying more than a picture: I like conveying a feeling, a mood. It’s always great hearing how people like my photographs; it’s even better when they share how my photo inspired them to explore and experience the great outdoors like never before.

How has your hobby helped you with work-life balance?

As a husband and father of five, photography and the outdoors have given us many occasions to get out and explore together as a family.

My wife and kids know I love to hike and shoot, and they’re willing to adventure with me. These are some of the best times of life.

When I can channel my creative energies into these activities, it gives me a sense of fulfillment outside of work.

Pine trees line a bright blue river.
Eel River in Northern California. Photo by Glenn Robinson.