Discipline

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Zebra, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. Zebra

    Zebra Member

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    So the brains of the family, my little sister, comes out to Asheville to smell the mountain air, commune with the youngsters in the way all aunts should, bearing sugar and too much of it, with the sole intention of adding more stress to the first week of school than one man should have to endure. Little did she care as she was out of the Texas heat on her way to a 10 week fellowship at Emory in the nursing department. Its not like she would have to deal with the sugar crash after she left so what the hell--anyway she says she wants to go into the Smokies. Nevermind the masses have come to the collective Intel that this will be the last week that they can decsend on Cades Cove in unison for that exhilarating one and a half mile per hour exhaust filled look there's a deer joyride. So being the dutiful big brother I say sure, I haven't pulled my fingernails off in a while, lets hit it. But lo and behold I had a moment of clairvoyance and I decide to make good on the promise I made to myself when I bought THE DON (as in Quixote, a 20 x 24 monstrosity) that I wouldn't allow the beast to reside only in the studio or within dropping distance of the car. Nay, it would take some effort but I would take him places, allow him to see the world, make me a better photog that I would be without him (where were all you appugers when I needed you to tell me bigger doesn't make me better, oh wait yeah you were there 1000 strong, I just ignored you). So I delay the trip by 45 minutes accumulating the three holders, (only two of which are film holders, the other being a wet plate holder which you would have thought I would have left behind, but hey I already copped to who was the brains of the family), Ries building, er tripod, meter, King size bedspread that doubles as my darkcloth, 6 lb lens and photo dolly that was designed to go from the car to an airconditioned studio with a Mamiya RZII loaded up and head for Laurel Falls with its paved trailhead listed as moderate in the Smoky Guidebook. First of all, lets make an effort guidebook writers to handle our rating system with a bit more responsibility-- the 800 ft elevation gain over the one and a third mile doesn't rate as moderate as least with over a hundred pounds of gear (I'm quite sure that it is not over 800 feet and that it only felt like it but until someone here takes the time to correct me it was over 800 hundred feet. If you do feel such an urge to correct me please go ahead and save everyone else the trouble of posting and go ahead and correct all my spelling errors, grammatical snafus's and an annoying habit of digressing with far too many parenthetical tendencies). So back to my promise to myself--I load up the dolly noticing rather blatantly that its buckling a bit at the knees there in the parking lot and head out with my sister looking on like 'thank God I didn't turn out this stupid', and we head out. Some might have turned back when they were gawked at, some might have taken heed with comments launched at them within the first 200 yards 'that you aren't going to take all of that UP THERE ARE YOU!. Some might have clued in when halfway up they were told that there wasn't any camping allowed up there. Not me, I merely dropped an occasional line of 'hey I think I saw a bong get dropped down the trail about 300 yards' and enjoyed my new found silence. You might even be thinking to yourself, man I've been up to Laurel Falls in September, its hot and after a summer of hot humid weather its not that full of water, in fact its could almost be considered a trickle of water more than a waterfall. Not me I had a promise to keep and a cliche to add to the gunbelt so onward I marched, pushed, grunted, almost lost over the edge, realized in every pothole that our national parks are grossly underfunded and reached the top drenched and looking at 15 faces that seemed to say 'yeah we were expecting a little more water too, but at least we weren't so damn stupid to have pushed all that up here'. My sister laughed and asked if I was going to take the picture anyway.

    And to my everlastin' everlovin' pride I said no.

    Discipline baby, discipline. I wasn't about to add salt to my open wound with MORE disappointment by developing a worthless negative. Yeah I know I can hear it now;

    a real photographer would be able to find something and see a picture by taking the time to look past the obvious.

    If I have established anything in the previous 10 minutes of reading its that I'm not a real photographer so that should answer that question for you.

    Been chasing any windmills lately in your ULF pursuits? More importantly I hope you have a Sancho to haul your gear.

    later,

    Zebra
     
  2. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    I feel your pain. I recently did a 10 mile hike and returned with nothing but splintered shins and blown Asolos. I guess I'm proud I wasted nothing but myself! Cheers.

    ...of course, my wee 5x12 isn't ulf (only 1/8th the size of your 20x24!), but your story does strike a fresh chord.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2007
  3. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Holy cow!

    And I've been worried that my soon-to-arrive, miniature Calumet C1 would be a pain to drag around. Foolish I.

    Sir, I avert my eyes in your presence. I am not worthy to stand basking in your reflected glory. I am humbled even in my typing of these words...

    Ken
     
  4. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

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    Everything about LF from 4x5 up is about discipline. Not taking the shot is as much discipline as taking the shot. I've done it myself but not with a 20x24.

    Steve
     
  5. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Monty....You may not be a "full time" photographer but you are a part-time photographer with "full time" vision. You need not offer excuses as your work to date with all formats speaks for itself. Keep pluggin' along.......

    Tav
     
  6. Dinesh

    Dinesh Subscriber

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    That was a marvellous impersonation of Sisyphus! :tongue:
     
  7. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Member

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    Rough Tough Love

    Disicipline:

    1. Cleaning and loading film holders the night before.

    2. Put each holder in zippered container bag with note pad-one pad for each film holder...
    3. Check and pack 3 lenses-
    4. Check the Majestic tripod geared rise and tilt head and pack-off the tripod legs..
    5. Pack filter
    6. Check and pack 2 cable releases
    7. Pack the nikon (I really like the meter)
    8. Pack the minolta light meter...
    9. Load the cooler and ice down the water, at least a 12 pack.

    10. open the 14 x 17 point and shoot and run to full extension, check bellows and screws, nuts and bolts...

    11. Pack the "point and shoot" in travel case...

    12. check and pack the bogen 3251-just in case

    13. The food cooler, fill it...

    17. Secure the 38 and take 5 or 6 rounds of snake loads...

    18. get up early and load all in back of 4 x 4 diesel, put the small step ladder on the roof rack....Idle her up for about 10 minutes, fire up the air conditioner, put the coffee in the cup holders.

    19. Load the cd--Vivaldi, Wagner,Mahler, Miles, Basie and Jimmy Buffet and maybe one Mills bro's.

    20. Head out into the Nevada BLM, if I can get a wheel on it I can get there..to places you all have never seen! Wanna go?:smile:
     
  8. thebanana

    thebanana Member

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    I'm absolutely in for one of these excursions! Bring lots of ammo, cause I really hate snakes. I'll chip in some high test rum, cola and limes. Now...to win the lottery:D
     
  9. freygr

    freygr Member

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    We all wish to win the lottery :wink:

    But today I had liquid sunsine :sad: in the afternoon.
     
  10. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Dave! Just one spare tire?? Mercy! In Nevada you need 3 :surprised: Put that on the list as no. 21. No. 22 is when I'm down to 1 spare it's really time to turn around and begin the descent.
     
  11. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Monty, you are the man. The one shot that may have made it worthwhile would have been a self-portrait, dripping with sweat and the waterfall in the background flowing less water than was coming off of you!

    You f-ing maniac!
     
  12. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    good form monty.

    failure is strength :smile:
     
  13. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Okay, I had lunch with Monty a few days after this event, and now I know why he practically glowed with good health and overall ULF buffed-out-edness.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2007
  14. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    Nothing can possibly compare with shagging a 20x24 up the mountain. But I did have a similar experience about twelve years ago when I went for a hike along part of the Tanawha Trail (also in the NC mountains). I didn't have a 20x24. No, it was only an 8x10. But it was a Wisner Traditional which weighed about as much as a 20x24. And a Ries A-100 which is always heavy whatever the format. And yes, my sister was there, too, to add spice (and ridicule) to the adventure. Hauled that mess up what felt like (but wasn't nearly) most of Grandfather Mountain and never took a single photograph. Never saw anything worth spending the film on. But I was ready if there had been!
     
  15. PBrooks

    PBrooks Member

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    Dave I'm with ya, when do we go. Got the 14x17 and 4x4 ready!
    PBrooks
     
  16. photobum

    photobum Member

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    Always seemed to me that the waterfalls right along Little River and Laurel Creek Rd. were very nice, what with all those parking spots within 100 feet. I also like all the farm buildings along Cades Cove and going to Orchard/Roaring Fork when avoiding that weekend traffic. All with nearby parking.

    When your that far in the woods how do you out run the bears with a 20x24?
     
  17. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Member

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    You get inside the camera and give him the big evil eye.:surprised: :D
     
  18. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    Chasing professional basketball players up and down the court for a living probably does not hurt the cause....

    That which does not kill me makes me stronger
     
  19. Sharadn

    Sharadn Member

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    Are you a writer or a photographer?
     
  20. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Member

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    :smile: :D
     
  21. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    He's both.

     
  22. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Member

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    :D :D :D
     
  23. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    ......He doesn't have to out run the bear. He just has to out run whoever is with him.
     
  24. bobherbst

    bobherbst Member

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    Discipline?????????????

    Zebra,

    Unless changing light is an issue, next time consider doing the hike to check out the scene before hauling all of your gear to the location. I used to hump all of 12x20 gear (100lbs.) on my back without a cart as I searched for a shot including as far as 1/2 mile up a sand beach. (try that some time!). In my youth, my wife and I went on extended canoeing expeditions in Canada on which I carried the 85 lb aluminum canoe and my 25 lb camera pack on the first leg of portages that varied from 100 meters to 7 km while my wife carried the food pack, paddles etc. I never thought twice about it. Last September I did the White Rim Road in Canyonlands National Park with the 12x20. I used a cart to get the gear from the vehicle to the shooting location as you did but first checked out the location before committing to getting the gear there - not a small feat in Canyonlands with only partial use of one leg. A good friend helped me with the gear. Last December I had major back surgery and although I have no regrets of all the adventures I've been on and things I've done, I am now very aware of the impact on my body of my activities over the years – the damage to my lumbar spine was cumulative not a one-time event. Getting all of that gear to the location you mention may make a good story, but it's not worth it if you lose the use of a leg and the ability to walk as what I was dealing with before surgery. The good news is that the surgery was successful and I am now regaining the use of my leg. I've only worked with the 12x20 in the field 3 times since and make multiple trips or have a friend help me with the equipment.

    I think about these things every time I see a post like yours or others I've seen on this site about backpacks for 12x20 or larger cameras. Machismo is nothing but bragging rights if you can't walk any more.

    "Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth."

    From "Desiderata", Max Ehrmann, 1927

    Bob Herbst
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2007
  25. Brickbird

    Brickbird Subscriber

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    Monty doesn't have to outrun the bear...he is the bear. But he looks like a Zebra coming at ya to take yur pic..Ya'll better have eyes in the back of yur heads.......

    Tav