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Christopher Walrath

Another year in the life draws to a close . . . (short but sweet)

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by , 12-21-2011 at 08:57 PM (1662 Views)
Wow. Alot has happened in the last few months. And life has just been a'zippin' by at a murderous rate. Where to begin . . .

Well, we'll pick up where we left off. The Rickett's Glen trip. Yeah, been that long. Well, had a wonderful time with Lee and Susan and everyone. Friday morning, I was not going to go. I was having a bad Remembering-Faith time. And I did not want to go anywhere. Let alone with a camera. So, my brother calls me and his weekend has freed up and he invites himself along. I got a king bed so there's room so, what the heck. ROAD TRIP!!!!!

On the way down the mountain on Saturday 15OCT, the shutter on the Wista had been acting up and I thought I could get it going, 'knew the tricks'. Well, the tricks stopped working. I still had the Zeiss (old Contina RF). About 16 frames in, the camera refused to wind on. Well, I had a couple of good photographs. So, I just walked down the hill from then on. With fantastic company. More than nine weeks later and the sound of the rushing water still lingers in my ears. The color on top was ablaze and absolutely breath-taking. Lee could not have chosen a better weekend if he was told that this was the one to choose. At the hotel, Ron and I spent two late evenings playing backgammon in the lobby. Ate well and drove hard. And didn't hurt nearly as much as I anticipated.

So, just where does this leave me? Well, I still have Faith's EOS630 and a few rolls of TMax TMY-2. I have all of the darkroom stuff. But I sold all of the rest of my cameras. And I'll tell you why. I had all of this gear I had invested in and it was not being used. It made me feel guilty, not using it. I placed so much pressure on myself to go out and use it. I just had no desire to do so anymore. And once I finally made the decision to part with it a burden lifted from me. I do not regret it at all. I honestly wish I had done so sooner. And no, Lee, you did not precipitate the decision. It had been coming for a long time. If someone made a reasonable offer for the darkroom gear, I think I would loose it as well. And the heavenly weekend that was spent mostly without camera solidified my desire to get out from behind any sort of lens and LIVE LIFE. I think I do the memory of Faith a great service in living life. So . . .

Here it is Christmas-time. The kids are all hooked up. The house is clean and Christmas dinner will be here this year. (Tacos! Go easy!) And I am getting no photography gear whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I have a new hobby. I have begun to shoot but not with a camera. And I love the focus (funny the parallels between shooting with a camera and shooting a gun) required to do so successfully. And I am pursuing this pasttime with a fervor that has been absent in my photography for a long time, though few if any of you might have suspected.

As for APUG, I will still be around, though not nearly as frequently as before. I will still support it financially as best I can. Becasue this is an invaluable tool, one I have used and one I beleive should be made available for a long time to come.

Merry Christmas, all of my little APUG peeps. (And the big ones too.)



  1. brucemuir's Avatar
    Happy holidays Chris.
    This time of year can get tough with regards to remembering but you seem like your headed in a good direction.

    Keep your head up buddy.

  2. Andrew Moxom's Avatar
    My thoughts are with you Chris. I know it's been a tough year for you and the family, and how you have approached it so logically is very admirable and healthy indeed. Interesting that you are taking up the other kind of shooting. I can relate to that parallel very well. When I lived in the UK, I used to have access to 300 acres of land to shoot on....I had an airgun and shotgun, and ate what I took. Shooting had been in my blood, my father shot pistol competitively for the metropolitan police when I was very young, and was permanently armed as one of the Royalty Protection Officers (Prince Charles body guard for a while). So I had the unusual for the UK anyway, upbringing where shooting and guns were normal. It was in my mid twenties that I found photography. That said, shooting guns and cameras seemed to go in cycles for me. Now that I live in MN, I continue to have this cycle of shooting both cameras and guns. At one point, I shot competitively too in the NRA Highpower Match competitions in the area....It got me into reloading ammunition, and yet another hobby started. So the parallels between the two are absolutely there. At the peak of my shooting career, I made it to Expert level, but never got to get up to distinguished as it took so much time discipline and work to get there. Then roles reversed and I went back to my photography cycle around 2007 and no longer shot competitively after that, only recreationally, and to practice for deer hunting and to go shoot with my son/ firearm safety and all that.

    Photography is what keeps me occupied most of the time anymore. My guess is that you will be back in a little while. We all have to take a hiatus and do something different sometimes, but if the passion is there, I reckon there is room for both. That said, guns and cameras are addictive investments!! It can become so easy to get GAS when looking at all the choices. I hope your journey continues to be a good one, and that you and your kids have a great Christmas and New Year. Peace.




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