Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour
That Ilford Titan is starting to look more appealing.
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour
I tend to agree, but as said above by Poisson, that sense of well-being and also perhaps the heightened state of awareness (clear thinking) that comes with spending prolonged periods outdoors is crucial for me. Maybe on a superficial level, images we make by the road can be as visually strong as those made in the 'heart' of it, but isn't it important for photographs to carry an insight and a deeper experience?
Originally Posted by ROL
For Weston I believe that sense of detachment and objectivity was important, hence his quote. The way he made images didn't require tapping into a 'sense of place' - his images weren't mood driven - the impositions of modernism, formalism (the civilised world) were more important than an intimate knowledge of his subject I'd say. His quote goes through my head all the time, but I'm not quite ready to take it verbatim until I've explored my own process a little more. This might turn out to be something of a creative right of passage for me or just a waste of energy!
Last edited by batwister; 09-11-2012 at 04:25 AM. Click to view previous post history.
It's important too to not set out with any preconceived notions of what you want to come back with. It's whatever presenting on a day to day basis that you should be ready, willing and able to record and bring that back. Only after you have visited the same place several times should you cart in a big load with a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how.
Too many photographers (myself included) have fallen into the trap of expecting a pot of gold somewhere along the route: this can be extremely deflating when nothing eventuates, so you need resilience to pick yourself up and think in a level-headed, commonsense way, and never again get carried away with taking many kilos of gear that in all probability might only get 10 minutes of use on a 6 day walk. On most of my walks, I've come back with something memorable (images I've framed from my pinhole camera outnumber the images I have framed from 35mm!). Very often though, I've come back with nothing. Lots and lots of very informative posts in this thread: a cheerful change from the everyday Kodak vegetation...
“The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see." ~Edward Weston, 1922.
Must of been cold with only a camera! lol
Originally Posted by EASmithV
Seriously It's a great feeling, but in the England technically it's illegal, but then so long as you don't cause any trouble it's not usually a problem.
First. a mile from the road in Edward Weston's time and place may be a lot more wild than what you'll experience in the UK. I suspect, like most backpacking locations in the US, you're looking more at "remote" than at "wild".
IMO, for a multi day backpacking trip, carrying anything more than a 35mm or folder (maybe a smallish TLR) means the trip is primarily around photography. But that's just my opinion.
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer
Hmmmph. If you take great photographs in general, you'll take great photos in the wilderness. If you
don't, you won't there either. My philosophy is, why go to all the trouble, then just take some weenie little camera that won't give you something to show for it? My hero in this regard was Vittoria
Sella. Forget about dime-a-dozen snapshooters like Rowell. He was a nice fellow and noted climber,
but other than the Geographicky places he went, the shots themselves are pretty amateurish. He
belonged to the machine-gun school of photography - burn as much film as you can and hope to get
lucky. I'd rather come back from a trip with just one significant 4x5 or 8x10; and that has often been the case. Get out into the light to experience it, bathe in it, not to whore it out on some calendar, and you might actually see something. I passed up about 80% of the remarkable shots I
saw on my last hike simply so I could witness the light without the distraction of shooting itself.
Immerse yourself in the experience, and then you get bonded to it and start looking at the world
in a new way. Study the area in advance, learn where all the stereotypical famous shooting locations are, and as soon as you've identified them, walk exactly the OPPOSITE direction and actually
discover something new yourself!
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Oh ... and don't take my last post as a doctrine that one has to have a large heavy camera and walk
some extreme distance. No. The point is to get out, slow down and look. Forget all the damn stereotypes about what scenery is supposed to look like and learn to appreciate the light of the real
world. Pretend Fauxtoshop and all its gaudy published pictures never existed. Experience things.
Look at the subtleties. Feel the wind on your face. And shoot like every shot is the only one you get,
even if you are carrying a 35mm camera. What wilderness potentially gives one is solitude, and some
of us find that worthy in its own right. But photographically, no difference anywhere you happen to
Save for some non-wilderness related corporate and ad work, this is what I do for a full time living. I almost always get better imagery when I live in the places for a few days rather than look at them from afar on a road or trail side. I have done 3-4 days in one place or moved around for up to two weeks and done very well.
Some of my best selling wilderness imagery is done in a very remote places in the Colorado Rockies that take some rope work to asend cliff bands through places with no trails that often have issues like dead fall in an avalanche paths. Twice now I have done one particularly brutal trip, once with an Xpan, the other with a 501CM and come back with fantastic photographs. This mostly has to do with putting photography second and mountaineering / trekking first. I use Google Earth and other mapping programs a lot in pre-exploring new areas, years of experience has taught me what to look for.
I am currently on assignment in DC, when I get back, I am doing this trip with a 4x5 and three lenses. I hope it snows this time, blue bird days are boring....
"I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~
Vittorio Sella http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vittorio_Sella
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
(Vittoria would be a woman).
If this is your first experience in "wild camping" I would concentrate on that. Just take a small 35mm and some rolls. After you have accumulated some experience you would begin refining the photographic aspect of the activity. There are a lot of things to learn through experience about hiking. And I would wait for next summer unless you go with some experienced else.
I have the (maybe unfounded) impression that you are taking this endeavour without realising that it is not banal. Hikers do kill themselves.
I hope you already have an experience as a "one day" walker and already know how to properly orient yourself, use altimeter, compass etc..
I would love to do some photo trekking, but when I go away on an expedition I always end up taking a small van full of camping kit as well as my camera kit. I end up finding a spot to camp and then use that as a base to drive or walk to locations for shooting, but this can limit were I can get to as I have to be able to hike there and back in a day. The thought of carrying a tent, food, cooking kit, water, sleeping kit, extra clothing or wet weather kit as well as a 5 x 4 camera, tripod, film holders, film, changing tent, lenses, filters, focus cloth and light meter just looks imposable. I don't want to hijack the thread but what photo and camping kit do others take when they go on a trek?