I have just started readingGo set a watchman So when I saw To kill a Mocking bird on Netflix I decided to watch it. I had not seen the movie in 30 years and more importantly had not seen it since I started photography. Bearing that in mind I never realized just how perfect the movie was shot. Forget all these classes on how to shoot all you really need to do is watch this movie. Just break down each scene of Russell Harlan’s cinematography to use in your still work. He shows all the best techniques in photography for Framing, focus, leading lines, Lighting, posing, dramatic camera angles, and depth of field. Most of the old black and white cinematographers understood their cameras more than anyone shooting today. I guess the take away of this is forget taking online classes and start watching old black and white films. Pick out scenes and try to recreate them you cannot help but to get better. You will also get to see some of the best movies ever made. Films with heroes, great word play, humor, and massive creativity. Most importantly enjoy your shooting.
My leg is killing me! Normally I’m hobbling around on it most of the day and that seems to keep it from cramping up. Shooting what is in front of me puts all my focus though the lens so there is nothing left for my leg. Without my camera there is no purpose in walking. I need a purpose something to work towards its how I am built. I have cut myself back to one meal a day so I can save every dime I can for camera equipment just need to get my life back. I am really not fond of the Seattle area so one the 3rd I’ll be heading back toward Wyoming That area of the country the people are just real. They make you feel welcome no matter who you are. Where here in Seattle if you can’t help them move their own agenda forward the people would just as soon spit on you. Also if I’m in the Yellowstone ,Teton area even without my camera I can still get out and commune with the wildlife.
I woke to a horrible Dream this morning. I was trying to shoot photos of a baseball team. Because all gear had been stolen I was using an old xti with a cheap kit lens. I’m trying to stack people so I can fit them into the frame. Has I’m doing that I keep hearing cheering and I’m spinning around to catch action shots on the field but my lens is not long enough to get in on the action. Then back to the team shot but I just cant get everyone into the frame. Back to the game and nothing over and over again.
Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant will recognize the dream. Where the customers just keep coming and you’re taking orders just as fast as you can. But nothing is coming out of the kitchen or bar. You’re yelling at them but they just look at you with that what do you want me to do about it look while the hostess tells you just got sat again. So you run out to greet them and all your old table are demanding their food and it just keeps going and going until you wake up gasping for breath with your heart pounding.
Never thought I would have that kind of dream with something I love as much as photography. The stress of having all my gear stolen and not being able to shoot every me. With it being world photo day it is just a punch in the gut day is getting to every time I get an e-mail about it.
If anyone wants to help me get gear back they can go to http://www.gofundme.com/tresschapin or if you have good used gear you would like to donate to the cause just contact me.
Well it’s been a month since all my camera gear was stolen here in the Seattle area. I have been fighting a severe depression ever since.
All this started with a small motorcycle accident breaking my leg. Then a Navy doctor that apparently could not read an X-ray crippled me for life. I tried to have it rebuilt now all my bones are filled with titanium they can’t repair the nerve damage this guy caused. Now I have to live with nonstop pain and my leg just stops working at inopportune times causing my nose to bounce off the ground. They told me I would never be able to work again or even stand for more than 5 minutes. Not being one to give up on life I decided to take up Photography figured I could do that on my own terms. I spent the last of my money on a camera and lens and took off for the west. With my disability I figured I could just make it through the month as long as I cut back on extravagances like food. I figured what the hell my favorite thing to do before the accident was running which I did everyday for 2 hours at least. It cleared my head and left my body feeling alive so if I was not running I could eat less it would all work out. Sure it would mean I would be homeless but I had a purpose besides it amazing how fast all your friends disappear when your poor and crippled so there was no reason to stay in one place.
Well its been several years now of being on the road. I have found that with my camera in my hand I was so focused on life through the lens I could put my pain in the back of my mind. I stopped caring about what I left behind all that mattered was that next picture. I didn’t care if I had to fast the last week of every month because I ran out of money because I had my art. Whenever I was able to save money I bought a new piece of equipment all I wanted was to get better. One of the few expenses I kept from my old life was my phone. I don’t know why I call it a phone I just use it for internet it has only rang 3 times in the past 2 years. So I’m out here poor hungry alone but I was happy with my camera in my hand.
My son had a baby last year and I really wanted to see my Grandson so I sold my last motorcycle so I would have the cash for gas to get to Seattle. Arrived on the 4th of July and had a wonderful time in Seattle and shooting the fireworks while playing with the grandson. The next day we went to the bookstore and ran into Starbucks for a cup of Chai . We could not park in the handicap spots because they were all filled with cars without handicap tags so we had to park further back in the lot. That’s when my life ended. While we were in enjoying a beverage someone smashed out the window of my son’s car and stole my camera bag. We called the police when we found it and were told they would not send out a car I had to file a report online and hung up. I called back and got belligerent till they sent someone out the officer acted like I was bothering him by being robbed. I called the number the next day to give them the serial number off the camera no one answered or got back to me. I called and emailed for over 2 weeks before someone got back to me. If I could have parked in front of Starbucks in the handicap spots this never would have happened but I did not blame them until I saw the article about the customer in Florida that would ask non handicapped customers to move their cars and was banned from Starbucks. Now I say if Starbucks does not give a shit about handicapped customers boycott Starbucks.
So in the last month I can’t tell you how many times I have reached for my camera. Without it there is nothing to distract me from the pain which is just eating away at me its amazing how the mind works. The biggest thing though is that now I am completely worthless as a human being I’m giving nothing back. Yes I know all the psycho babble but I am a guy and we judge our self worth by what we do. I tried the Go Fund Me route but of all the people I know and that follow me none of them could even give a dollar except for a great young German couple that I showed around Yellowstone a few years ago when their car broke down. There is no way I can replace what I had on what little disability I get so the plans for the rest of my life are done. I have fought and fought through all the hardships that have been thrown at me clinging to what little I had left. With one broken window that little bit I was clinging to was stripped away. Now I’m a runner without legs, a romantic all alone, a photographer without a camera. I have 3 weeks left to decide where to go and I just don’t care anymore.
Are the police necessary in today’s society? A couple of things that have happened within my world have really gotten me questioning just that. The most recent was on a trip to the Seattle Area I had the car window smashed in and $10,000 dollars worth of camera gear stolen right in front of a Starbucks in a Barnes and Noble. Being disabled there is no way I can replace what I lost 10,000 being what I get in a year in disability. I called 911 and was told that they could not send out an officer that I should just go home and file a report online then hung up on. I had to call back and was forced to get belligerent in order for them to send a car out. A couple of hours after my first call a car finally shows up and the officer acts like I have ruined his day by having my camera gear stolen. Finally I get a report number so I can call in and give them the serial number off the camera when I get it. This then becomes another struggle I start calling the next day with the info no one answers the phone or calls me back I send a few emails and do not get any reply for 2 weeks.
The other incident was a close friend of mine was out the night before Easter in Syracuse he blew off some kids panhandling on the street corner on his way to one of the clubs. One of the kids came up behind him and stabbed him in the kidneys. Everyone standing in line witnessed it as did the bouncers at the club and his friends. They flagged down an ambulance and called 911. The police never came to the scene to interview anyone. They showed up at the hospital the next day to ask my friend questions he gave they all of his info including names and numbers of witnesses. Before they left he came right out and asked them are you going to catch him the officers just turned to him and said NO. They never interviewed anyone or did any follow up. My friend spent a month in the hospital and still has problems till this day.
Since my robbery I have heard from hundreds of people who have been robbed and received the same oh well what do you want us to do about it attitude from the police. Not one person has said that the police in any way shape or form help to get their stuff back.
Ok so they don’t solve small crimes that must mean they are working on the big stuff like murder. Well since 1980 there have been over 200,000 thousand unsolved murders in this country. In only about one third of all murders is an arrest even made.
Well then they must be going against mass shootings. Wrong again not one mass shooting in this country has been stopped by the police. The person either kills themselves or an ordinary citizen stops it.
Terrorists that’s who they are going after” yea no” The terrorist activity in this country since 911 has been orchestrated by the FBI here is a link to a great Ted talk on it http://www.ted.com/talks/trevor_aaronson_how_this_fbi_strategy_is_actually_creating_us_based_terrorists/transcript?language=en
Domestic disputes? Every study ever done shows police involvement only makes the situation worst. Ask any women who has ever had a restraining order just how much weight it carries with the police they don’t even do anything when that women goes into the 200,000 unsolved murder category.
The only 2 things the police seem to still be doing is low level pot arrests and traffic tickets. With more and more states making pot legal there goes the majority of criminal arrests in the country. So they are left with just writing tickets. This brings us to technology intersections and highways are being filled with cameras. California is looking into using you cars own computer against you when you go in for your registration they will down load all the info and say oops your taillight was out or you were speeding here is your ticket.
So I ask you again do we still need police in today’s society. It seems the quote “Protect and serve” on the side of the cars only applies to the criminals.
Next time you see a budget incress on your ballot ask yourself what do they really do and do we need them at all
I came out to Seattle to visit my son and new Grandson this week. I got to shoot the Fireworks downtown on Saturday then Sunday afternoon we stopped at the Barnes and Noble in Federal Way. While we were inside someone smashed out the window of my sons van and stole my camera bag with over $10,000 in equipment in it. Calling 911 we were informed that they would not be sending anyone out to file a report we would have to do that online. I was giving a number to update my case when I had the serial number and have been calling it all day but no one answers or calls me back. I want to know what we are paying the police for apparently its just to shoot blacks they don't seem interested in taking care of crime anymore. Being disabled there is no way I can afford to replace all my camera gear So this looks like the end of my Photography dreams. I hate to say but it has also left a very sour taste in my mouth for Seattle.
One of the hardest things to come to terms with in the past few years was just how many people are in the same situation as me. The National parks and forests are filled disabled people. As I write this there are 6 disabled people in this one camp ground. Yes they are all homeless but not the kind you will see they don't run around drinking and begging money they have too much pride. Each of them had a good job before an accident. 2 of them severed their spines in car accidents and are in wheelchairs. One put up cell towers until he fell. One was a landscaper until he had the nerves in his arm severed with a machete. And two motorcycle accidents. The common thread is that their disability does not pay enough to live on. Without family and friends they were forced to become homeless. Even then its a struggle to get to the end of the month with any money left at all so trying to get out of the situation is next to impossible. These are good people who fight everyday not to get bitter. Even though they have nothing Each and everyone will offer you a meal from the goodness of their hearts sure its going to be just a cheap starch and probable a hot dog but its usually a meal they are going to have to give up latter and not one of them would think twice about offering it to you. Now this is just one campgrounds you will find them In each one across the country. Life is a nonstop struggle an illness or a problem with a car and what little they have comes crashing down around them.
When something like the earthquake Napal happens and the government and individuals give billions it is hard not to wonder why the government can't give their own taxpayers enough to live on. People gave the Bush and Clinton charities Billions for Haiti and the money never made it to the people it just stayed in the pockets of the rich. If you want to give, give on an individual basis Help change one persons life it will be much more rewarding and you can see your making a difference.
I moved a little north to Salt Springs this week hoping for a little more wildlife. No real towns or anything around there. Absolutely no phone service in the area which normally is a good sign for wilderness photos. Not this time the area has a state park look lots on concrete the swimming area and the Rv section are very handicap accessible not so with the tent area though its all loose sand and would be very difficult if not impossible to get around in a wheel chair. this surprised me quite a bit most of the rest of the areas within Ocala National Forrest are very handicap friendly all the way around. Not that there was anything to see wildlife wise so after 2 days I packed up and went west to Fore Lake.
I really enjoyed Alexander Spring the people working there were so very friendly and really made you feel at home. I will miss Shanghi Restaurant in Umatilla I'm a huge fan of Hot and Sour Soup theirs is just heaven everything on the menu is great combine that with the friendliest people and you have a winning combo. Also Essex House in Astor I spent a lot of time in New England and this is that North Shore Flavor though and though at a very good price. The weekends when the Forest is overrun with drunk visitors I would run away to Mt Dora. (The one thing I will never understand is why people go to a National Park or Forest to get shitfaced and ruin others experience Just stay home and get drunk) But any way Renningers Flea Market is in Mt Dora and they always have something going on there from a photography standpoint I was like a kid in a candy store. in just a couple of month s I shot a Steam punk Fest, Civil War reenactment, A Pow Wow, a huge antique show and vintage garden show along with all the other stuff they have every weekend already craving one of their baked sweet potatoes.
Now if you are planning on doing any work do not even consider any of the Libraries around the forests their internet is just appalling it really is unusable. you will have to find a coffee shop or restaurant which are few and far between with wifi . In this day and age you would think businesses would realize the benefits of high speed wifi for its customers. Visitors from out of the country need to contact folks back home just for one and they will eat where they can get on their phones and send a text.
Today has been god awful hot in Florida. I have been out several times today but no creatures have been out and about. So I try right before dark when it is a degree or two cooler. I am rewarded with a pair of Barred Owls. trying to get the right camera settings is a chore. The hammock is getting dark and the sky that I'm shooting up into is still very bright. doing the best I can without a tripod I'm at least having fun. Then crashing down the trail come 3 drunk people. Then my ears perceive the call of the urban idiot "WHAT ARE YOU TAKING PICTURES OF" as the owl flies back further into the trees. I tell them I was shooting an owl and point him out back in the hammock. The guy states he is going to get a picture of the owl with his phone and steps off the trail. I call after him "wait don't go though there". He spins around and screams" who the fuck are you the king of the forest I'll go where ever I want" one of the girls with him yells "Yea Fuck You". So I shut my mouth and watch the 3 of them in their shorts and flip-flops stroll though a huge patch of poison oak. Strange even though the tag on their camp site said they had taken it for the week they had packed up and left the next morning. They must have gotten the itch to travel more
There are many things I imagined in my life ending up homeless was not one of them. I've worked hard all my life. Then the accident the worst part was I saw it coming when I was asked to go into NC riding I keep turning it down I knew something was going to happen but I could not put my finger on it. Multiple surgeries later when they told me I would never walk again or be able to stand for more than 5 minutes I saw my whole world crumble. My thoughts kept running to the old gentleman my mother used to look after. He had given up and stopped doing anything except wait to die. That kind of life scared me more than not walking. The one thing I had always wanted to do was Photography so i started the next chapter in my life.
I spent the last of my money on a Canon 7D and a 70-200 lens. after doing a lot of studying I determined they were the best use of my limited money. Every chance I get that I have internet I watch whatever Creative Live shows I can so I can become a better photographer. About my only other expense was a Black Rapid strap If you don't own one buy one today it is the best camera accessory you can get. Believe me if I did not have it my camera never would have survived trying to shoot the wilderness on crutches. You may be of the same opinion as everyone I know that I could not picked anything stupider to do than run around the wilderness on a broken leg trying to take pictures of things that can kill me I can't out run. To me it made perfect sense refusing to believe that I would never walk again I had to push myself. So I would hobble till I thought I could not take the pain anymore. Standing in the middle of nowhere forced me to walk back out. With time I have been able to compartmentalize the constant pain I live in. Over the next year I was able to build back up the muscle in my bad leg. Yes it still goes dead on me and collapses but most of the time I can catch myself on my cane and I'm down to only about twice a week bouncing my nose off the ground.
I have a life doing what I love sure disability does not pay enough to live on when on the road. The thing is it does not pay enough to live in one spot either without giving up on life. Every day is a struggle trying to budget every penny and make it though the month when at the beginning of the month I all ready know I am a couple hundred short. You think you have family and friends but its amazing how fast they vanish when you cant do all the things you did before.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people saying the will pray for me. I run into this female minister who asks if she can pray for me. Still being naive I consent and she grabs a hold of my foot and starts waving her other arm around praising Jesus and lifting my foot higher. She becomes more and more animated. When she has my foot about even with my waist I go over backwards and split my head open on the stone wall behind me. The sad fact is when someone wants to pray for you they just want to make themselves look good so people will say what a good and caring person they are. The thing is the Bible does not say pray for those in need it says help those in need.
This past week I got some good shot and met a very nice young couple from the UK. They were spending their last couple of days in the forest because they had run out of money and still had a couple of days before their flight out of Orlando. They found out like everyone Florida is not that cheap. We started talking over the girls camera she still was not sure how to properly use it being a gift from her father just before they left. So she started asking me questions and because it was a Canon I could help her. The conversation shifted to England and where to shoot more things here in the states. Found out their names were William and Mary so I promptly told them I loved their college. Of course being from the UK they had no Idea what the hell I was talking about. The rest of the conversation was great though when I found out they were down to last couple of granola bars I dragged them back to my camp site and made them dinner it was nothing fancy but I could not let them go hungry. I also made a point to feed them the next day. it was at the end of the month so it used the last of my stores but if you can't help someone when they need it you are no longer a human being. Missing a meal or two is not going to kill me giving up my humanity will. Sure I'm homeless but I'll help anyone I come across if they need it I share my knowledge and try to give back though my pictures and guide books. That is why I say I am homeless with a purpose.
Another sleepless night. I've been using Coleman slim twin air mattresses because they fit the spot I have but they don't last more than a month. Either they stop holding air (no visible holes they just go flat over a few hours) or the quilting inside the mattress gives way so you get these big bubbles in the Coleman slim twin mattress. I used to be a big fan of Coleman I have used their products all my life and liked them. So when I started this National Park project I turned to them first thing. Boy has my opinion changed first was the tent. Within a half a dozen times setting it up the poles started to splinter So I started to wrap them in duck tape until they were so covered in duct tape it was hard to slide them into the tunnels any more. Next was a Coleman single burner propane stove which does work good but the canisters are hit or miss. Some have bad threads some only last a couple of uses I find the cheap canisters I get at Wal-Mart are much more reliable. With the mattresses they have an enclosed note saying do not return to store send back to Coleman. Well I'm on the road all the time so where the hell are they suppose to send a replacement. So in no time I have gone from fan boy to actively telling people in stores not to buy their products. I say the same thing to you there are much better products on the market that will last a lot longer save yourself the aggravation and do not buy Coleman products.
I run out to shoot like everyday even though I don't have high hopes way too many people running around today. Pushing down a side trail trying to get as far from the swimming area as possible. Upon reaching the end of the trail I run into a church group. Pouncing on me like a bobcat on a mole one of the gentlemen starts asking me a thousand questions about my camera. While answering him the kids start gathering around with rapid fire that would make any AK owner Proud they start a barrage of questions of their own. Never being able not to answer a child's question I tell them all about the camera show them how and let them take some shots. All the while the first gentleman is peppering me with questions on how to set up his camera. Not being a Nikon shooter I help him the best I can. between teaching questions one of them asks me what I'm doing out there. Sharing with them my National Park Project each and everyone tells me what a great Idea it is and how they are all going to support it. I'm thinking that's wonderful my hour and a half of teaching has not been in vain. the flow of the crowd starts walking back up the trail. within a hundred yards something snaps in my ankle. With all the damage done to my leg this is nothing new but I can't put any weight on my bad leg again. The group huddles round me all of them to the man exclaim how they will pray for me. this affirmation continues as they walk off down the trail. Ok so not one person offered me a shoulder for ad at least its not raining and its only 3/4 of a mile to hop back over roots and logs. An hour later I reach the swimming area again the group is swimming and barbecuing the gentleman with the Nikon who is now working the grill assures me has I hop by that they are praying for me. I just bite my lip and hop up the hill toward my car. I'm sure it does not need to be added but not a one supported my project.
Out in the wilderness I'm pretty much fearless. I've had bears swipe at my tent a buffalo shove his head inside that same tent when I was unzipping it. Been pinned to a fence by an elk had a coyote sniff my bad leg none of which bothered me at all. In the everglades one night after shooting close-ups of crocs I go back to the campsite for a little sleep. I get up and go to the car for a beverage when I open the door something in the dark hits me in the face. Its pulling at my eyes and skin I can't shake it off. Dropping what I had in my hands I start clawing at my face in complete panic mode. It pulls my eye lids so far from my eye its really painful. Finally throwing it away from me my heart is beating 200 beats a minute I can't think straight or calm my panic. I grab up my flashlight from the ground and start swinging the beam around until I find the creature that was so close to taking my life. There on the car window is a little green tree frog. Then I'm just thanking all that is holy that it was dark and no one could see me thrashing around like a 6 year old girl being chased with a snake at summer camp. Think I'll stick with the bears.
So I get to the Everglades just before Thanksgiving and I'm really excited even though I live in Florida I've never been there. I have been to Miami 3 times Coral Castle 4 times I never got to the Everglades National Park. Let me take just a moment to say if you have never been to Coral Castle go you don't know what you are missing the place is amazing. One man moved tons of coral blocks by himself and built this unbelievable complex. Then to top himself he packed it up and moved it to the next town. I find myself wandering around inside just dumb struck the web site is http://coralcastle.com/ so you can learn more.
My first stop in the park is the visitor center so I can ask a lot of questions. I just get stared at which is OK you can't expect everyone to know everything about the park I'll just keep asking. Keeping with the theme they just keep staring. The other national parks I have been to the people there have had a passion about their park not so here everyone seemed bored with it and could not be bothered to find out information. I quickly understood I was on my own. My expectations were a little crushed when I found out everyone was really excited about one Flamingo being sighted in the bay the week before I got there.
Now the sunrises and sunsets that were over the bay where spectacular. To get anything else I needed a canoe or a kayak the rentals were way out of my budget so I ended up buying a kayak. If you really want to see the park bring your own trust me you need it. Bird's crocs and gators abounded even if I kept being told I was there at the wrong time of year. I was worried about thanksgiving people being on vacation and all. I asked over and over again if it was going to be busy that week and the answer was always no we don't get busy till mid December. Then when I tried to book my site for the week I was told I could not. That they had reservations I would have to check every day to see if a site was available. I just looked at the guy and said "I thought the web site says 30% reservations 70% first come first serve" "There are only 5 campsites taken today and 4 of them I know from chatting with them are not staying.
My life then became a waiting game instead of taking pictures I had to wait till noon everyday just to see if I had a site. One evening I come back from shooting late and someone has taken my camp site so I had to use one that was a mud hole then they tried to charge me for the second site. Complaining to the guy that I had already paid for my site and could not use it he informed me He could not deal with me because power had gone out to the RV section and they had been without AC all night. Well whoopee friggin do the poor babies. It was later in the week that one of the kids working there informed me that if a RV wants my site they get it. I'm sorry I don't remember the National parks being set up for the rich I thought they were for all the people. Another point on how it was run if you will indulge me. I get up early one morning to shoot the sun rise. On the edge of the bay is this great wind bent tree I want in the foreground so in the dark I set up my tripod attach the camera then shift to my right so I can grab my backpack stepping right in the middle of a fire ant mound in my sandals. Doing what they do they start to bite me I jump into the ocean which is right there very ungracefully I might add. My thought was just to get them off me what I did was wash them up my pant leg. There I am thrashing around in the bay like a wounded wildebeest while the sun comes up and it's beautiful of course. At that point it dawns on me that my camera tripod and back pack are still sitting over the fire ant mound. OK you can do this just run out grab them and jump back in. Except with my bad leg I don't run anywhere but I give it my best. What it ends up looking like is Frankenstein walking on hot coals. With my gear held above my head I stumble back into the bay now I have no hands to swat with so now I'm Frankenstein stomping villagers. The sounds coming out of me fit the visuals. Thank god the beach is empty so it's not up on YouTube. The next week was filled with burning and itching I scratched skin off in my sleep which gets infected. Who knew open wounds and climbing in and out of swamps would cause an infection.
The ants I can deal with it's the cost of doing what I want what made me mad was informing the park people about them. Their comment was yea there is a bunch over there but it was just a tent site so they kept letting people set up camp no one stayed more than an hour. I was so worried about kids getting attacked it took them a week to close it off.
Here I am again working on documenting national parks. For new people let me give you a little background on me. A few years ago I shattered my leg and a doctor in NC crippled me for life. When the doctor that tried to rebuild my leg told me I would not walk again and standing for more than 5 minutes would be too much the first thing I did was PANIC! Took me a while to remember the words of Douglas Adams" Don't Panic". I sat back and said to myself "Ok you can't work you have no money coming in you saving is dropping fast what are you going to do". I had always wanted to do photography but did not have the time and being a single father could never justify spending the money. Now that I had the time but no money I decided to take up the most expensive hobby out there. In order to do it I started studying everything I could on line I spent the last of my Money on a Canon 7D and a 70-200 lens thought it would give me the most bang for my buck. When I finally got my disability I took off for Yellowstone on my crutches. With only $900 a month in disability I was not sure how I was going to survive but figured the adventure would help fight my depression that was getting pretty heavy with my situation. I have never been able to carry money over to the next month. Many times I have had to cut my food intake to almost nothing to make it through but my happiness quotation has gone way up. The other advantage to living my life the crazy way is that I started on my crutches moved to 2 canes then one I am doing things they said I would never do again. even though I live in more pain than I have ever had in my life I am living life to its fullest. Hell I even decided to do some writing with my dyslexia this is probably the hardest thing I have done. Really going to put Word to the test.
The next part of my adventure is being pushed by the fact that I'm hating the cold so I'm going back to Florida to shoot. The Everglades seemed like a good place to start. Little did I know the problems I would face.
I’m up before dawn so I can run out to Bear Lake and get photos. They have been doing construction on the roads so your time is limited to go out there. It’s a hike of only a couple of hundred yards so I think I can make this one pretty easy. If the car was not bouncing all around it would be a very peaceful drive. When I get to the lake there are a few people wondering around and a bus with a photography class. Finding a spot I like I start for it. it’s a semi flat rock about 12 feet out into the lake. That’s when to multiple sides of me start arguing accident guy starts bitching that I’m going to break my leg again complaining that the metal is already cold and he does not want to fall in the freezing lake. God I hate whiners so I don’t listen to him and step out onto the first rock. With the dexterity of an elephant on stilts I reach for the second stone. Practical guy reminds me that if I drop my camera in to the lake I’m done. I firmly inform him that if he wanted to put his 2 cents in he should have done it before I started this whole adventure and kept me home. Rock 3 Its to late now so kindly keep your thoughts to yourself and besides I bought the protection plan and hate to see that money go to waste. He forgets the lenses are not covered and I don’t bring it up. And rock 4. Finally photo guy says it sure is beautiful here good choice. I step triumphantly on the big flat rock chest swelling with pride has I stumble to the far side of the rock. Staring at the water photo guy pipes up and asks “who’s the idiot that picked this spot”.
But I’m dry camera is dry what more could you ask for. Strip off the tripod set it up camera on and change the lens. While I am picking my spot the guy running the camera class is going from student to student telling them how to shoot the lake. What he is telling them is completely different from what I have heard on TWiT.tv/photo and reading. I frame up and start shooting test shots trying to get my settings right. I here behind me “can I help you out”. I turn to him and tell him I’m good but thanks. When I start to turn around he says I see you are shooting already. Turning back I say yea well bits are cheap. In a huff he Pronounces “ a real photographer waits for the right moment and takes one picture”. Shaking my head I let him know I’m going to shoot the shit out of this lake and get a few shots I like and learn more than his class ever will. I stuff the ear buds in my ears and go back to listening to Penn Jillette’s God No.
I did get some shots I liked not enough drama for me.
Note to self Must learn a cloud dance. After I walked around the lake and decided to go back and take a nap. Of course I have to stop and read every sign I see. This one says a waterfall this way under 2 miles. No too tired I need to take a nap. Hello your already half way there. Well in that case I’ll keep going.
If you have children under7 don’t bring them to a national park. They are to small to do all the hiking. I saw 3 families turn around today alone. I don’t know who thinks their 5 year old is going to enjoy a 5 mile hike up hill in the sun getting bitten by bugs. Well they will not! The only thing they care about is the animals. So take them to wild Adventure see the animals then maybe go to the water park. Don’t make them hate the outdoors because they can’t keep up with you. When they are older you can have your life back.
Well the 2 miles just about doubled because of taking extra trails for excitement.
I did enjoy the hobble the falls were beautiful.
But that did take the rest of the day. There had been a cougar hanging around the campgrounds so I spent the night looking for her to no avail. There is always tomorrow or I could tie a piece of bacon to me toe while I slept. Only kidding if I had bacon I would fight her for it.