28 October 2008

bc ferry



The first time I drove to the end of the road in inland BC I was relieved to see a ferry chugging along in my direction. No fee, just a little patience and a welcome break from driving. It has become an everyday part of road-tripping through the mountains and lakes.

27 October 2008

22 October 2008

bison


Somewhat of a cliche, I know. Still fun to shoot.

19 October 2008

6:07 pm


We went out on a little shooting mission last night. These were the colors I was looking for in all the shots. This is the only one that came through for me. 6:07 was the right moment. If only moments could last for hours.

16 October 2008

storage



The simple questions are the ones that give me pause. Where do you live? I've been stumbling over this one for a while now. I often preface my bumbling response with another question: Why don't you ask me where the majority of my stuff is instead? That's an easy one to answer. In my storage unit. Just big enough that I could, in desperation, sleep standing up in there amongst my camping gear, an old beater snowboard, my long-forsaken guitar, and a rug that hasn't seen a floor in years.

I live where I am. Tonight I was at my storage unit.

14 October 2008

fulbright


As in Sam and Tom. Son and father. On the Yangtze River. November 2007.

13 October 2008

10 October 2008

old ecuador

A little blast from the past. A tiny taste of my final documentary project at college, circa November 2000.

The main road into Bahía de Caráquez, once it has come down to sea level from the surrounding hills, runs parallel with the estuary of the Rio Chone. Stray dogs bark at each other from across the street, small Coca Cola signs advertise the tiny tiendas in every sixth house or so; round and bright red in the otherwise dusty street, they look like lollipops or candies. Old buses of all different shapes and types, painted in bright yellows and greens, blast the same songs all day long as they lumber down the straight stretch that runs through Leonidas Plaza, the large suburb a few miles from the center of the city.

People squeeze into the buses at busy times of day, the taller ones with necks bent at odd angles in order to fit under the low ceilings while standing. Dos sucres for the ride, no matter where you get on and where you get off. Eight cents, which is more than it cost a few years ago. Heads sway in a uniform wave as the buses pick their way over the torn up parts of the road, still untouched since it was damaged two years ago. As the spaces between buildings diminish and the side roads are more uniformly paved, the buses have come into la ciudadela, the heart of Bahía which sits on a narrow peninsula. The sidewalk on the left side of the street is shaded under the second floors of low buildings supported by square columns, the malecón (sea wall) is on the right, with the murky water of the estuary just beyond, still and tranquilo like the city itself.

08 October 2008

firewood


They say it warms you three times. Once when you cut it, once when you split it, and once when you burn it. I, myself, am particularly a fan of that third warming experience. The others? Well, they're okay.

Spent some time last weekend helping a friend stock his woodpile for the impending cold. Although a large part of my memories of autumn from my childhood revolve around woodpiles, the experience of bringing a tree down from the National Forest was new to me. We always had a massive pile dropped in our yard sometime in September, often already split. This is an important explanation for my lack of wood-splitting skills. Shameful, that a born and bred Mainer can't split wood. So disheartening are my attempts that I decided the other day I probably wouldn't make it long if my life depended on splitting my own wood. I would die a slow cold death, with frostbitten fingers wrapped around an axe.

But I can carry wood. And I can stack with the best of 'em. A fact that warranted a "how rustic!" exclamation from a Manhattanite I went to college with. Rustic? Maybe so, but it was just part of life for us. And still is apparently.

Having wood delivered to your home is a bit like buying your steak out of the meat case at the grocery store rather than getting a deer tag and bagging one yourself. Which I suppose would make chopping down a tree for firewood a bit like hunting. Without the blood and guts, of course. Assuming everything goes as planned. Chainsaws tend to conjure images of horror films and gnarly scars.

We went up into a canyon close to town, owned by the National Forest. We had a permit on the dashboard, a couple of axes and a really, really heavy maul, the chainsaw and some gasoline in the back of the truck. It was a gray autumn day. The aspen leaves were more prevalent on the ground than in the trees, and the wind was crisp. Quickly found the straightest of the standing dead trees, left to dry without rotting after suffering an untimely death at the jaws of the pine beetles. Once on the ground, the tree gets limbed and sawed into 16" rounds which are then split into burnable pieces. Stacked in the truck, then later stacked on the porch. And then, sometime in the bitter cold of February, those same logs crackle in the stove, drying mittens and wet boots. Rustic.









I promise I helped some, put the camera down and picked up the chainsaw. Really.

05 October 2008

out of focus


This is how my fall feels. Unclear.

But I chose this. I chose to shoot this photo with the focus a bit off. I looked at it both ways and decided the colors and shapes were more beautiful without being crisp and clear. And I am hoping that this fall will be equally as pleasing. Not in spite of a lack of clarity. Indeed, because of it.