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A few thoughts on camera bodies

Canon 400D

There was another photographer at the magazine shoot I did this past weekend.  During some of the down time, while waiting for models to finish with hair and makeup, he and I got talking and, as photogs will often do, we ended up chatting about gear for a few minutes.  It wasn’t our main topic of conversation – no “my gear is better than yours!” nonsense – but I was very pleasantly surprised to hear that he shared some of my views on camera bodies.

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Flashes and funny cycles

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I completed my first major photo shoot of the new year on Sunday, a day-long engagement with a group of incredibly talented models and stylists for a local magazine.  Actual photos from the day will have to wait until after the publication date, which is sometime in late February, but will definitely appear as soon as I am able to share them.

Getting ready for this shoot as the same as for any other large photo production: batteries charged, gear checked and readied, bags packed.  I picked up some additional gear, knowing that this day would be long, and would often include more complex, multi-light setups.  Nothing too exciting, just some extra batteries and another speedlight.  Which got me thinking about the strange cycles that move through life.

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Simple Clicks – ice

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The Lackawanna River was lined by these ice formations this past weekend during Shiverfest.  I’ve never seen these before and can only assume that they are a result of the recent weather, with temperatures that swung from above freezing to well below.  However they were formed, they lined most of the course just above water level and were quite lovely.

As I paddled past my wake hit them and flowed through, with a sound like surf on the beach.  It was pretty cool. Read more »

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Shiverfest 2015

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Following weeks of preparation, Shiverfest 2015 is now complete and I can proudly say that I’ve kayaked the Lackawanna River – or at least a small section of it – during January.  This past Saturday, under ideal conditions, we put in at the East Parker Street launch and did 2.75 miles downstream to the take-out near the West Poplar Street bridge.

And it was great!  Exactly what I needed to stave off the mid-winter crazy that starts setting in about now.  Time on the water clears the mind and is good for the soul.  My only complaint is that it was over all too quickly.  At 45 minutes for a run, I’d have been up for a second run, or a longer one.  Maybe a full five miles.

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Dry spell

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My name is Brent, and it’s been four weeks since I’ve picked up a camera.  The title says it all – it’s a dry spell.  Mainly due to the confluence of holidays, illness, and lousy weather.  And I’ll put most of the blame on the weather, which has been a wild seesaw between unseasonable warm and freezing cold, but without snow.

In fact, the only real snow we’ve seen this year was from the Thanksgiving storm.  It was a snowless Christmas this year, otherwise I’d have been out there at sunrise, sniffles and all, making the most of it.

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An ugly box

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Got this in the mail the other day and liked it so much that I snapped a photo of it.  Yes, on my phone.  Fair warning (if you haven’t already guessed) that this isn’t going to be a photo post; we’re talking paddling for a moment.

The Ugly Box, courtesy of Austin Kayak, is one of those nods to environmentalism that I really appreciate because it isn’t just lip-service.  This is a major retailer, I’m certain they do a lot of shipping, so why not reuse cardboard whenever possible.  I don’t want a pretty box when I order something, I just want a box that survives the apes at UPS.  So if the box is re-used, or even a cut-down, rebuilt portion of another box, I am totally cool with that.  I applaud it. Read more »

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Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year!  I’m a day late (what else is new), but it’s for a good reason – spending time with family over the holidays.  But here’s hoping that everyone had a warm, cheerful holiday with good friends and family!

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Covered bridges in winter

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Following my (freezing) visit to West Rutland Marsh, I drove out to Proctor and through the old town, past the buildings where I worked summers while in high school and college, and on out the back roads to the Gorham Bridge, one of several remarkable wooden covered bridges in the area.

Gorham Bridge has always been my favorite, in part because I used to cross it to and from work most days.  I’d drive slow – slower than the already low speed limit – with the windows down so that I could smell the scent of the wood, the scent of the river below.  It was a visceral pleasure on a day that was otherwise spent in a climate-controlled building and a moment I always looked forward to.

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West Rutland Marsh in winter

 

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I’ve shared my visits to West Rutland Marsh over the past few years and talked about how wonderful this location is, so unlike any other place I’ve found, with it’s boardwalk out into the marsh itself providing a unique and intimate access to an environment that is almost impossible to reach otherwise.  Even in the winter, when I have little expectation of finding much wildlife, I still return to the marsh so that I can walk out over the frozen channels, amid the fallen reeds, and watch the warm colors of sunrise spread across the landscape.

My second morning in Vermont was the only one with a clear sky, although it was still mostly overcast as I dragged myself out of bed and bundled out of the house.  It was 11 degrees when I started the Jeep and let it warm up, and when it reached the marsh it was only 9 degrees, although there were still birds at the marsh feeders, and the sky was quickly clearing and beginning to glow with sunrise.

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In the snow

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Although my visit to Kent Pond began under an overcast sky, it deteriorated to snow within an hour.  Having tromped through the snow by the boat launch, over the river (creek) and through the woods, I had returned to the Jeep and took a ride around behind the pond, and ended up coming back over the hill and parking by the dam.

It was snowing steadily by this time, big flakes that showed off their intricate designs against the black fleece of my gloves, and I wished for about the hundredth time that I was able to capture them in a photo (another project for another day).

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