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Thread: Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

  1. #1
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

    Like many here, you've probably suffered a calamitous moment or two in LF.

    If so, it was probably a traumatizing experience (in an emotional sense), and the road to recovery was none too easy ... but now you're healthy again – and a little bit wiser, too.

    Perhaps part of the healing process was creating a simple, concrete tip so others might avoid your misfortune. Call it a way to lick self-inflicted wounds, and protect others from a similar fate.

    Exhibit #1

    Before you drive away from your shot location, double-check the ground on the passenger side (i.e., hidden side) of your car for any LF gear you may have put down while loading.

    Let's just say that a Ries tripod is a terrible thing to abandon by a forest service road. You can imagine my horror when, many miles down the road, well after sunset, soon after switching on my headlights, I noticed the empty seat behind me. Distraught and agonized, I returned for the rescue, prepared for the worst. I remember the dread I felt with each winding curve. I was lucky this time – there it was, in the growing darkness, exactly where I'd left it (though someone had apparently inspected it and moved it away from the edge of the road). The lonely tripod looked just as traumatized as I was. After promising I would never leave it behind again, it seemed to forgive me. I haven't forgotten it since – and I hope by sharing this that you won't forget yours either!

    Please tell us about your #1 tip – and, if it was born out of a trial, maybe there's an entertaining story to go with it. Veterans who are grey want to hear it; so do beginners who are green.

    So much to learn for a lifetime in our work...

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

    Don't trust a waterfall to keep falling in the same place just because you asked it to pose for you.

    Photographing near the base of Bridalvail Fall in February, I had the water nicely focused on the 8x10 GG. Then it disappeared. I took my head out from under the darkcloth, looked up and saw the water heading straight down at me. I just had time to cover the whole camera with the darkcloth and close the pack cover.

    That was a lot of (cold) water! And in the shade! Thank goodness for the relative low-flow of winter! Happened two more times before I could get the film exposed. We spent lunch time just up the road with my camera gear (and me) drying in the sun on a rock wall.

    I was set up in about the same spot as in this photo, but this photo was in October...even lower flow. 8x10 Carbon print.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BASE OF BRIDALVEIL FALLS.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #3

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    Re: Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

    Waterfall Safety. The Moss is like grease. If your still standing it is luck not skill.

  4. #4
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Photographing near the base of Bridal Veil Fall in February…
    That stunning boulder-filled shot reminds me what I learned, growing up, about hiking over rocks, wet or dry!

    Lots of falls – skinned knees, sprained ankles, bruised shoulders (no broken bones).

    As an adult, if I have to climb over uneven rocks (and there has to be a very good reason), I disassemble my Ries (J600) and strap it vertically to my Kelty Redwing pack...

    However, if the going's not too rough, it's astonishing how well an assembled tripod, carried in hand, works as a "balancing pole" or "ballast." It becomes second nature to know where its weight is needed w/ each step.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

    Actually, my A100 Ries is a major climbing tool for me. I am always going off-trail. So what does one do with a 45+ pound 8x10 pack and a 4 foot drop? Put the legs of the pod (I always carry it with legs extended) on the lower level and put my weight on it for a controlled 'fall' down to the lower level. But yes, the weight of the pod becomes part of the balancing act!

    Going up, I need to be able to set or toss the pod (gently) up to the next level if I need both arms/hand to climb up. Another thing I have learned when I have a large step to make (either going up or down) is to plant the pod at the next level before making the step -- that is 17 pounds I do not have to lift up with my legs, or have as a load on my knees going down.

    Hiking in creeks, the pods helps to steady me and checks for water depth.

    In the forest, etc, the pod gets held in front of me (vertically) to help part the "green shit" (berry vines, spider webs, etc) as I push my way through.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #6
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

    Stay off the ice in the spring. Especially if the water level in the river has changed.

  7. #7

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    Re: Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

    I've never had a calamitous moment with LF, but my fair share of epics when hiking and climbing. My three top tips would be:

    1. Don't assume other people are as motivated as you are.

    2. For gear, take generalist tools - on-site improvisation beats theory-based shopping.

    3. Any fool can be uncomfortable - dress and eat well.

  8. #8

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    Re: Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

    1. Before making the picture you have framed, turn around and look behind you. There's probably a better one there.

    2. When you start out photographing for the day, look at your watch, and after exactly 5 minutes, stop and make the best picture that you can, even if it's not wonderful. You'll see more and better pictures for the rest of the day.

    That's 2. I can't decide which one is more important.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barlow View Post
    1...2...
    I have found both to be true. With #2, I usually do not have to actually expose a sheet of film -- just setting up the camera and studying the GG is enough.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #10
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Your #1 tip that even grey-templed landscapers might adopt

    Its a bit like fly fishing. While I prefer to catch a few fish, its not essential for a truly perfect experience.. There is something exquisite and deeply satisfying about a perfect cast.
    Last edited by Kirk Gittings; 10-Feb-2014 at 10:56.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

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