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Nicole Chilton
(nicole) - F
Why do you do it? on 03/27/2008 15:47:09 MDT Print View

Hi All,
I'm writing an article for BPL about backcountry photographers and I have a very simple question for all of you: Why do you do it? Why do you carry all that gear (all that expensive, heavy gear) into the backcountry? What is the motivation to get those photos?

Thanks,
Nicole

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Why do you do it? on 03/27/2008 21:01:10 MDT Print View

Alls I carry is a 4 oz Pentax Optio WPi. You must be talking about them real photogs...

latest pics are Arizona/Utah at picasaweb.google.com/jshannonmd

Chad Mason
(porch13) - M

Locale: Arizona
Re: Why do you do it? on 03/28/2008 09:01:11 MDT Print View

I mostly pack the camera to share the pictures with friends and family on my website. Most of my pictures are taken in the Grand Canyon and the last time I was up there the ranger in the Backcountry Office told me that she uses my pictures to show people what the trails look like. I thought that was pretty cool! If anyone is interested, the site is rimtorim.com

Jan Stiff
(jsstiff@mchsi.com) - F
Why do I do it? on 06/01/2008 02:53:32 MDT Print View

It's how I make a living.

Greyson Howard
(Greyhound)

Locale: Sierra Nevada
Re: Why do you do it? on 06/01/2008 17:04:00 MDT Print View

For me, it's a lot of things. While this summer will be my first summer carrying lots of heavy gear, I've taken backcountry photography seriously for a while now.

First, it was to capture memories - I've never wished I'd taken less pictures, always more.

Then, I started to get into the artistic aspect of it, enjoying positioning myself, framing a subject, and setting up my camera correctly, the same way a fisher might enjoy finding the perfect spot, picking the right lure, etc.

And recently, it became part of my work, taking pictures both for myself and for the newspaper I work for.

All in all, photography is just one means to an end for me - sharing an experience or telling a story to expose others to things I enjoy.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Why do you do it? on 06/01/2008 17:59:05 MDT Print View

It's part of how I focus seeing the places that I visit. Photography, while I am doing it, makes me feel incredibly immersed in my surroundings. My best photographs come when I completely lose my sense of myself as a separate individual and instead everything around me radiates with beauty. There are times when I get so engrossed in the looking that I lose track of time and often have to hoof it back down the mountain before darkness hits! Once a close photographer friend and I were deep into our photo taking on Isle Au Haut in Maine when we realized that we had only crossed half the island and there was only an hour to get to the other side before the ferry left. We had to sprint across half the island to get there in time.

Edited by butuki on 06/01/2008 18:16:32 MDT.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
"Why do you do it?"inspirational photograhs on 06/02/2008 03:38:03 MDT Print View

I take photographs to show future generations what these places looked like (and what I looked like). And I enjoy the feeling of looking at old photos and seeing how far I have come. Figuratively and literally. Also, for me it is a way of holding on to the past.

If you appreciate outdoor photography, I highly recommend Miguel's site. His photographs are very inspirational. His description of the process explains a lot about his amazing results.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Why do you do it? on 06/02/2008 07:22:00 MDT Print View

Miguel said: "My best photographs come when I completely lose my sense of myself as a separate individual and instead everything around me radiates with beauty. There are times when I get so engrossed in the looking that I lose track of time..."

I've had this sensation when I'm hiking with a camera and start thinking about taking a picture. There are moments when you realize that all the parts of the mountain, not just the scurrying creatures and outreaching plants, are as alive as we are, but are merely living at a much slower pace than us. When we take a picture, we freeze everything into one common pace. That shot at that moment can never be recorded again exactly as it was.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: "Why do you do it?"inspirational photograhs on 06/09/2008 22:53:23 MDT Print View

Thanks so much Brett for the complement! I do truly love photography; it's one of the few things that I do and have that truly makes me forget about the troubles of the world and I feel I can get inspirationally lost in. Others may go for their lightweight hikes to see how light they can get, but for me, being out there without my camera, though it always fills me with awe even when I don't have a camera, the walks would seem empty without a way to express how I feel about the places I pass through. Though it is heavy and sometimes a hindrance to enjoying wildlife without something getting in between, good photographs of a trip make the hardship and weight worth it. Even getting up extra early in the morning or in the middle of the night to catch a special light or scene seems to me to force me to appreciate everything around me more deeply. Going light allows me to do it without too much encumbrance.

If anyone wants to see my site, please take a look at Laughing Knees. I haven't posted in a while and the photos are further back, but there are more photos coming soon, and hopefully a good gallery up soon, too.

Edited by butuki on 06/09/2008 22:54:20 MDT.