Today we are going to step back 365 days…..
I made my first visit to the Windy City back in July. My wife and sons have already spent time here before so this was unchartered territory for me. We were staying with family in one of the suburbs of Chicago and rode the Metra into the city the several days we were there. We navigated the city by either walking or riding the subway which is affectionately knows as the “L”. Riding the “L” opened up a whole new perspective on photography for me. I instantly fell in love with the intricate infrastructure cramped between towering buildings, parking garages and everyday life below. The photographic possibilities are endless and all you need is time.
Prior to my arrival in Chicago I had done absolutely no research on this gem so I was totally in the dark as to the “Prime” locations in which to photograph. The day I made the most of my images started off bright and sunny with weather conditions crumbling like an old building as the day progressed. I believe I have created several images that convey mood, as most of these were grab shots. I particularly like the ones where I was shooting out the front window as we rode the “L”. I shot color slide film but really liked them even more converted to black & white.
The other day I had mentioned to my wife how we need to return so I can spend a good 3-4 days photographing the “L” now that I have done my research.
Here you’ll find a link to an image from Lake & Wells on the Chicago “L”. It was photographed from either a parking garage or rooftop. However it gives you the perspective of its complexity. I love it! https://flic.kr/p/rUyXih
Cool and crisp as an Autumn morning should be. This morning my cars thermometer read 38 degrees as I drove the backroads to Nanticoke lake. Arriving under a blanket of fog and now 35 degree temperatures it was time to unload my canoe and hit the water. My friend Don from Ithaca who I met last summer while paddling another area lake was joining me as well on this small hidden gem near Center Lisle. The fog seemed to roll across the lake as a slight wind kept the water from being glass like. Right before the 0659 sunrise the Canadian Navy (Canadian Geese) were doing maneuvers as well as the local beavers. One beaver in particular wasn’t too fond of me being close to his lodge and thought it would be fun to try and splash me with a few “THWACKS” of his tail, he was unsuccessful! I did however slowly back away to witness the three of them playing and pushing one another around for a short while.
The sun had finally broke over the tree tops creating pockets of beautiful color along the shoreline. The color is definitely beginning to show here and it made for a nice backdrop for a beautiful setting.
At 46 acres with a maximum depth of 20 feet, sitting at 1,400 feet of elevation, Nanticoke lake was originally constructed in the 1970’s with the intention of establishing a wild, self sustaining brook trout fishery similar to those found in the Adirondacks. Unfortunately, due to low dissolved oxygen levels in the summer months, brook trout survival was extremely limited.
Notes: From the parking area to the lake is a 1/4 mile carry on a well maintained trail. Having a 17lb canoe made this extremely easy, however Don used a set of canoe wheels to wheel in his canoe into the lake.
This weekend up in Old Forge is the annual Paddle Festival sponsored by http://www.mountainmanoutdoors.com
Julie had plans to head north for the day, check out some new canoes and kayaks and do a little paddling ourselves. The weather wasn’t perfect but it was warm and we had no rain. Upon arriving in Old Forge we made our way right to the waterfront where all the boats were and the test paddling was taking place. Julie quickly fell in love with a very light weight Swift Kayak http://www.swiftcanoe.com/#!adirondack-12-lt/c1wd4
This boat is beautiful and pricey so she is keeping it in mind for a future purchase. After spending time Oohing and Awing at all the beautiful products it was time to take “Elsie” off the car and hit the water ourselves. We launched on Old Forge Pond and paddled the channel to First Lake where we would take in the views and the homes that dotted the shoreline.
A few hours later we were back on dry land and hungry. No trip to Old Forge would not be complete without a good meal at Walt’s Diner. Now that we were fed it was off to Mountain Man to see all the other cool products that were part of the weekend. There were lots more canoes and kayaks, shoes, clothing, paddles, etc. However there was one thing that caught our attention quickly, a Sylvan Sport camper http://www.sylvansport.com We absolutely loved it and are seriously considering one of these in the near future.
To finish out the day we took a ride north a few miles to Inlet, NY where we spent a little time taking in the views of Fourth, Fifth, Sixth & Seventh lakes. While stopped at Seventh Lake we bumped into an extremely friendly local resident. I didn’t notice at first but eventually I realized she was wearing a 2016 Binghamton Bridge Run shirt.
Our day was long but extremely fun and we scouted some new places to paddle on our next trip to the Adirondacks.
For the first time this year I was able to finally get out in my canoe this evening. I made the 40 minute trip to Long Pond near Smithville Flats. Launching my boat I made my way down the pond. The water was placid and the surroundings quiet only to be disturbed periodically by the chorus of song birds. Looking off to my right I noticed a female Canadian goose sitting atop a mound. I instantly realized that she was with her young.
Moving on quietly the silence of Long Pond was interrupted by a fisherman hacking his brains out as I watched him return his cigarette to his mouth. I paddled into a cove on the east end only to be greeted by two more fisherman sitting along the shoreline. After a few words I was on my way again slowly paddling along the shore.
I paused for a few minutes in an attempt to photograph a Northern Flicker but it proved fruitless. Then I caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of my right eye. Slowly I turned and there I spied a beaver having some dinner. I dipped my paddle in the water and turned my boat cautiously toward him. A few soft paddle strokes to move closer. This beaver has yet to notice my presence as I ever so slightly reach for my camera. Click, click, click and he still does’t know I’m there. Click, click, click and now his attention turns to me and he disappears into the brush.
I patiently waited to see if he would return but to no avail. I returned back up the pond to the launch site feeling excited about my return to Long Pond.
I began shooting slide film around 1990 but most of the images I made at this point were mostly captured on print film, something I regret. I didn’t really begin to convert solely to slide film until early 1992 and have been shooting it ever since. I’ll admit that in 2005 I was intrigued by the digital camera and purchased my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. I enjoyed it and made some great images with it as well. I loved the instant gratification of viewing the picture immediately. I also liked the fact that outside the camera and flash card there was no additional cost of film purchase and processing. I vowed to never shoot another roll of film again.
That vow would only last about 6 months before I found myself lacking in something I craved the most. A tangible asset. I would go on to own more DSLR camera bodies as well as film bodies. I spent several years arguing the film vs. digital argument only to realize that it all boils down to preference and what your goals are. There is room in my camera bag for both film and digital.
Our world moves at the speed of now and that is why I carry a DSLR with me most of the time. News happens at a moments notice!
A passion of mine is to preserve history and I choose to do my preservation through photography. No matter the subject matter or the camera you use every click of the shutter captures a moment in time, a piece of our history and for me that is most important. Over the past 24 years I have been documenting my career mostly on film but I do have several hundred images made with a digital camera. I have also been documenting our family as well which is 90% slide film and 10% digital. Without an actual physical count I’d have to estimate my family slide collection hovers somewhere near 8,000 images of which only half have been filed. I just received another 216 slides the other day from the holidays.
Another reason I still shoot slide film is because of monetary value. Collectors want originals. I’ve sold older slides from my collection on Ebay for some serious amounts of money. As a matter of fact I know people who do it for a living. They buy slide collections and break them up. This is both sad and fascinating as well. I’ve slowly been acquiring slides that I hope to flip in the near future but only time will tell.
Since Kodak has exited the slide film market entirely there are only several choices left in which to buy it. Agfa Photo has recently restarted its slide film business and I’m glad because I love the stuff compared to Fuji’s. Its comes done to personal choice. Also Kodak does not process film anymore and most film (Print) is either processed in house at local photo labs or stores like Walmart or CVS. Slide film processing is only done at a handful of locations around the United States with the most popular being Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas.
Although those yellow Kodak boxes of joy that came in the mail are no longer I still get excited for those Red, White & Blue boxes from Dwayne’s!