Friday, January 1, 2010

So Long 2009...Starting the New Year Right, In the Adirondacks!

Summit of Casade

Well, 2009 is history and I am on my way to starting 2010 in similar fashion to 2008, which while not an amazing year, was a pretty darn good one in comparison.

While I didn't start off the New Year exactly like 2008, complete with a 1.5 hour drive in the snow, followed by a 4 mile sunrise hike with no sleep, I'm hoping to make up for it with quantity over quality. Yes, I am an American...more is more, and less is less, quantity over quality always reigns supreme. So, instead of last years one and done till the next weekend, I'm shooting for a consecutive days of Y2X record. And since records are established purely with the idea they will be broken, I'm off to start the year with 3.5 days in the Adirondacks, snowshoeing, hiking, and getting intimate with my Pentax 645N and some good old fashioned film.

I'm gonna go all Ansel Adam's on the Adirondacks with a bag full of Fuji Neopan Acros 100, a roll or two of Neopan 400, and perhaps a roll of Ilford Delta 3200 for star trails or moonlight shots under the very full moon. I'm even going to bring the magic 645N interchangeable film back, so I can shoot all 3 films as the need arises. To be honest, I don't know a damn thing about shooting landscapes in black and white, and that is appealing. Sure I mess around with it, I even occasionally create a nice looking color channel conversion from a film or digital color image, but I rarely bothered with shooting straight black and white. My philosophy has always been shoot color and do a high quality conversion. But truth be told, I'm tired of digital workflow, sick of Lightroom, and having a blast doing my own black and white developing for pennies on the roll.

By night I'll be chilling (or rather warming) by a wood stove, and drying out my gear as I read a book, while nursing a Lake Placid Brewery Ubu Ale. Then maybe on Sunday night shoot some star trails if the weather looks good enough to leave my trusty medium format workhorse outside. With a little luck, I'll finish reading Verplanck Colvin's biography, Footsteps Through the Adirondacks; which leads me to resolutions!

As far as New Years resolutions, they are completely pointless. As pointless as saying I'm sorry when someone dies, or God bless you when someone sneezes. Of course you are sorry, and around the 1800s AD it was learned our souls don't fly out of our bodies when we sneeze. Jan 1st is a day like any other. You don't need a change of calendar to start something different, only the desire to make it happen, whether it is Jan 1st, Jan 20th, February 7, March 18th, April 1st, July 31st or November get the point.

So instead of laying out a list of mangy laundry like the rest of the detritus of the blogosphere, I'm just gonna finish off Colvin's biography which I started months ago. I tore through the first few hundred pages when I got the book, and then put it down reluctantly at about the 75% point, only to have it sit on my nightstand for the last 2.5 months. Right now I use mostly as a way to level out my pile of books so that my phone (aka. alarm clock) doesn't fall between the stacks. The cover jacket has gotten quite ragged from me hitting the snooze button, or throwing the phone off the nightstand while searching in vain for a virtual snooze button on a virtual alarm clock.

So how bad is this book that I have relinquished it to a pulpy level? Actually, Nina Webb did an

excellent job on the book, which sadly is the only really comprehensive look at Verplanck Colvin's life. Without her work, it's entirely possible that Colvin would just be another High Peak on a tick list like so many other famous Adirondack names.

For those not in the know, Colvin was the father of the Adirondacks. To put this into proper light, the Adirondacks were America's first wilderness, and an experiment that has never been repeated in the world, and probably never will. If you take that last statement to heart, Verplanck Colvin was the father of the American wilderness as well. The Wilderness Act of 1964, almost 80 years after the establishment of "Forever Wild" in the New York constitution, was based on what Colvin fought for in the Adirondack Forest Preserve for over 20 years of his life.

Adirondack 350It goes without saying, if not for Verplanck Colvin, I would have far less to blog about, far less to
photograph, and far less to entertain my imagination during the work week. The Adirondacks are the ultimate four season "weekend wilderness", and they just happen to be in my backyard.

Resolute to resolve my resolution, and confident in the outcome, I'll be packing away Adirondack Explorations: Nature Writings Of Verplanck Colvin.

Have a Happy New Year (and 2009, suck it!!)!!

1 comment:

  1. Justin, How very cool. I look forward to seeing what your black and white film images will look like. Your also very much missed at P,net...
    Take care, javier