Adventure: Those Small Things

There are certain moments of certain days that remind me of certain other places, like Wyoming. The feel of high, dry air in my lungs. The smell of pine. The sound of the wind. It’s not exactly the same but it’s close. Without fail it makes me question why I did what I did and where I lived for so long. Why, if these small things were seemingly so important, did I not return to them sooner? Still, I have no answers.

The trusty XT2 sputtering its way through the wilderness. I set the “Peak Action Indicator” then sleep in.

Today we are hot. Two days from now we are expecting snow. Seasons change but some are subtler than others. A fight, a struggle between siblings. Summer to fall to winter and so on. And during the in-between times, each can flex the muscle they are so known for, reminding those of us outside the bounds of control that we are the pawns in the chess game of Mother Nature.

The pandemic continues as some learn to live with it and others do what they can do ignore or wish away. This isn’t the first time our species has had to deal with such a thing. Track records live for those who want to know. We like to tell ourselves we are special, different, or better than our ancestors, and in some ways perhaps we are, but mostly we are the same. We want happiness, health, success, and calm, at least in theory.

Anyone know what flavor of hawk this is? I could not identify.

Maybe what we have to consider is how wonderful our now smaller worlds really are. What lives in our immediate circle? What happens on a daily basis? What have we learned to overlook as we spend our lives in front of screens? When DID the season change? What minute of what day or week or even month? Were we paying attention? Most often, me included, probably not. Too busy covering bases, doing duties.

Smoke from the fires hangs in the valleys. Old bombers with orange bellies fly low and slow, massive plumes of thick vapor falling in streams toward the hot Earth. Inch by inch, branch by branch, flames licking, and then falling back. Licking and then falling back. A natural pattern disturbed by the jackhammer and the smell of kerosene. “What can you do to stop it?” he asks. Again, I have no answers. Be patient.

Now that you mention patience. We redefine. What once was now isn’t. What’s now is new, or is it? Imagine cresting a hilltop, alone, on horseback. Staring out at the entirely unknown. Nothing came fast except those things most dreaded. No, the daily pace was slow. One foot in front of the other and that was just fine.

En fuego. Wet wood does burn.

4 Comments on “Adventure: Those Small Things”

  1. This resonates. I think I’ve mentioned that I shoot Fujis. I’m not gear obsessed. I like the Fujis. If I had a reason for switching, I would, but it’d have to be a really good reason. My brain is at tech saturation as it is. Do you shoot RAW? I ask because I have heard people say that Fuji RAW and Lightroom do not play well together. My eye isn’t sophisticated enough to spot the problem, and I like the JPGs anyways. Your eye, however, is sophisticated enough, so I was wondering if it’s something you deal with.

    Were you shooting a time lapse in that first photo? I have briefly messed with the intervolomothingy a couple of times, but nothing serious. I would like to put in the time to get a couple of good Seattle time lapses before I leave.

    Last question for today – how does the ProMaster do in snow?

    1. PS – I know you don’t shoot environmental portraits, but I just stumbled on a photographer named Wesley Verhoeve who is really interesting and talks about some of the things you talk about. The internet world of photographers seems small sometimes. Willem Verbeek did a YouTube interview with Verhoeve about taking photos of strangers. It goes far beyond that, though, into projects, access, and a subtle championing of printed work. I say the world of photographers seems small sometimes because I watch Verbeek’s video about developing with Cinestill’s Monobath every time I’m returning to home developing after a long absence.

      https://wesley.substack.com/about?utm_source=menu-dropdown

      1. Scott,
        I’ve shot NUMEROUS environmental portraits over the years. And still do from time to time. But, rare I shoot anything these days. The film processing world is like another language, each with its own dialect…

    2. Scott,
      I always shoot RAW. I’m sure Capture One does a better job with conversions but I really don’t make anything super serious at this point so LR works just fine. No time lapse for me. Unless accidental. Promaster is front wheel drive, so with good tires, it does well in the snow. Better than rear-wheel drive sprinter.

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