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Thread: On Photography and Mountains

  1. #1

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    On Photography and Mountains

    Ignoring my previous opinions on blogs, I've made my own... In a round about way the blog is about photography in general (actually practical motivation), and in the future will have some more photography related posts.

    For now though, this post may be of interest to some: On Photography and Mountains

    Let me know what you think. Hopefully this was the correct forum...

  2. #2
    4x5 - no beard Patrik Roseen's Avatar
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    Re: On Photography and Mountains

    Josh, I enjoyed reading your 'On photography and mountain'. It certainly reminded myself of times when I have done the same things, although not necessarily on a mountain. Here is one that might amuse somebody ;-)
    One time I went out to shoot a castle and garden close to Stockholm in the evening. I set up my gear and waited for the right evening light. It got colder by the minute. The previous humidity in the air transformed into water and I was litteraly soaking wet as the garden was now filled with evening mist. Then a duck landed and stirred up the pond of water which I had planned to give some nice still reflections. The pond was inside a 'Do not enter-area'...so it did not take long for the guards to show up as I was trying to convince the duck to...(Well, I think you get the picture...)

    The good thing with such an experience is that one learns to plan the 'photosession' in a better way...the bad thing is that it is easy to remind oneself of the sad experiences and change ones mind thinking "well do I really want to bring all my gear and end up dissapointed, I'll better wait a day or two". A combination of planning and risktaking might be fruitful. We will climb that mountain again - with success!
    Last edited by Patrik Roseen; 31-May-2006 at 02:26.

  3. #3
    Stephen Willard's Avatar
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    Wink Re: On Photography and Mountains

    Carrying heavy packs is part of the game and having a good sense of humor can make it a little bit easier. Whenever possible, I will use my llamas to pack camera gear into remote areas.


    A good packing llama can carry up to 100 pounds of gear, eat just about anything that can be found along the trail, and their legs are far less wobbly then humans.

  4. #4

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    Re: On Photography and Mountains

    Josh, beautiful country. I used to live in Phoenix (82-87) and visited friends and worked in the Flagstaff Area. Three miles (one way) for 2,400 feet is quite a steep hike, especially with a 50 lb pack and with a large point and shoot camera too. And all for a few photos. Such is the life of a LF photographer. Isn't that motivation enough?

    I'm not sure I agree about blogs being on a series on a topic, many columnist aren't consistent in their subject, they look at life and events in the world in a general manner and write about that, and sometimes connecting threads most people don't often see. And many columnists turn their columns into book, reprinting columns over years or on specific topics over decades. I've started a weekly blog this month for that specific purpose, mostly short expressions as I work into retirement, for much of the same reason, motivation.

    As I've seen from photo essays on photographers and their life's work, consistency is often seen in hindsight and rarely during the time of the work, so maybe it's best just to do, and see what happens down the road. Every photographer needs to have some themes to focus on, such as areas of interest or type of work, after that you just do the work.

    Good column, I'll keep reading. I loved the country there, but I'll still take the Northwest.

    --Scott--

    PS. You won't get any sympathy from Pat O'Hara. Talking with him a few years ago at the Centennial Celebration of Mt. Rainier NP, I asked him how he carries so much equipment (LF and 35mm) into the backcountry for days, which is often up to 70 lbs for longer trips. He said you simply do what it takes to get the shot, if you can't, you won't get it. To him it's that simple.
    --Scott--

    Scott M. Knowles, MS-Geography
    scott@wsrphoto.com

    "All things merge into one, and a river flows through it."
    - Norman MacLean

  5. #5
    reellis67's Avatar
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    Re: On Photography and Mountains

    Truely, I was just talking to my wife about a llama. Really. No joke. I'm glad to see that someone is using them.

    - Randy

  6. #6
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Re: On Photography and Mountains

    From my (very, very limited) experience with llamas, their major drawbacks are the same as those of a horse, only less so (expense to house and feed, vetrinary costs, etc., but for a much smaller animal than even a rather compact horse), plus the fact they have a disposition not much better than that of a camel, which itself is one of the most unfriendly animals ever semi-domesticated by mankind. If you owned a horse as hard to get along with as the few llamas I've met, you'd happily shoot it and send the remains to a dog food factory.

    If I'm giving llamas a bad rap (and I hope I am), they might be a viable option for folks who live in the country and have space for pasture/paddock, buildings for stabling, and the budget for feed and vetrinary care. Otherwise, folks with somewhat less space might consider a large dog as a pack animal -- they're a lot less "odd" relative to neighbors than a llama, cheaper to obtain as pups, only a little more expensive to feed, and while they carry a little less, they're a lot easier to get along with (though you probably won't wind up wearing their wool as you would with llamas and alpaca). And while a St. Bernard or Newfoundland will drool a bit, they *never* spit...
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  7. #7
    MIke Sherck's Avatar
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    Re: On Photography and Mountains

    As much of a wimp as I am, I truely hate being defeated, especially when I'm losing to myself. I've been in situations before where I was so dog tired that even the effort of taking the camera out of the bag or pack was too much to consider and I've always regretted it later. I make myself go back, better prepared, better knowing what to expect and with a plan as to how to do it right this time. The sense of accomplishment from these returns is gratifying. I suppose that it all boils down to ego, one way or another, and I realize that I'm not God's gift to photography, but I do try to learn from my mistakes. I make plenty of goofs; I don't need to make them twice. Well, most of the time, anyway. Sometimes I can be a slow learner.

    One thing I've learned with advancing age -- unless you're planning a wilderness trip, all off on your own for a few days, there's no excuse for a 50 lb. backpack. You've got too much stuff in there, or the stuff you have weighs too much. You ought to think about how you can lighten your load and then try it again. I'll bet the prints or transparencies you get will make it worthwhile.

    mjs

  8. #8
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: On Photography and Mountains

    "If I thought that the hike up had been murder, the hike back down was torture."

    it's SO hard convincing people of this until they spend some real time in the hills with their too-real packs and knees.

  9. #9

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    Re: On Photography and Mountains

    Mike makes two excellent point and I can only differ on one. My photography is more of being there and images from that are extra to me. I do my best and enjoy the results, but it's more to me about the hiking and seeing, and then capturing images. That's each photographer's perspective, experience and choices.

    I agree about the backpack. I try to keep mine to about 40 lbs. I prefer long day hikes, up to 8-12 miles round trip, so I don't need tents, stoves, etc., only the essential 10 and extra food and clothes with my camera equipment. I usually pick the photography I will do and choose the lens for that than carrying a variety for different interests. I may take them in the car and trade for different shorter trips or just walking off the highway.

    Interesting thread.
    --Scott--

    Scott M. Knowles, MS-Geography
    scott@wsrphoto.com

    "All things merge into one, and a river flows through it."
    - Norman MacLean

  10. #10
    Member: 4X5 ARCA-SWISS User
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    Re: On Photography and Mountains

    Josh,

    Been there, done that, in some of the same areas: Lockett's (?) Meadow, some of the hills around "The Cinders" by Sunset Crater and the areas around Wapatki (sp?) north of there. I've also tried to start a blog about some of my thoughts and motivations, too - but, I'm not sure that I'm putting the link in correctly. And, most of my subjects are closer to Phoenix. (Cost of gas, of course!) Let me know how crazy you think MY musings and ramblings are. Your's are helpful - hope mine are.

    http://spaces.msn.com/ROCKpetroglyph...t&_c02_owner=1

    Motivation is only part of the problem, although it may be the main part. Knowledge and preparation make up the rest.
    Michael J. Hoogendyk
    http://www.mikesfineartphotos.com
    http://www.imageworks.org

    "I really want people to see what I see ..."

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