TagWinter plans

4:45 AM

It’s 4:45 AM, and I’m watching snow fall and cover my 4Runner parked on the street outside. It’s warm, comfortable in our new house. There’s a silence fallen over the neighborhood. What little noise there usually is, is covered over by the snow.

I’m up writing. And doing a little research in to places to go. The film scanner whirs next to me as I see the results of an experiment using filters. The coffee is hot, strong, and plentiful.

This is my quiet season. A heavy pack on snowshoes at altitude is slow going and hard work. I mostly leave it to other folks. I haven’t been above treeline in the winter in a handful of years. I can camp high with the best of them, I just don’t feel the need to much anymore.

The snow pulls the color out of the mountains, and the only way to capture it is in monochrome. Eventually, I feel bored, and I want to spend my time lower down, closer to home.

But winter isn’t forever. And this year, I intend to push spring, getting out early and going farther this year. Maybe out to the badlands early, wait for the spring to come to the mountains while shooting in the wide open spaces.

Soon, I’ll have more film rolled for the 6×9 camera I’m starting to use. I have a proven hiking rig sorted out. I’ve got a wider circle on the map to explore. Every year, I go further. And every year, I want to go further still.

I never want to lose that.

Making plans like the stream in winter

This winter has been more busy than most. I’m finding myself spending as much time as I can outside, hiking more than usual to stay as fit as I can, and trying to be as diligent as I can working on projects. I’m trying to be the stream this winter, and not the ice.

I’m not always hitting my goal of at least 1,500 words a week on one of the ongoing writing projects, but most weeks I am close. I’m making a cut on final images for another project, and in the process I am becoming better at scanning. I’m making steps toward starting a new project involving portraiture, but with little to show for it so far. But nice constant progress is afoot, and there is nothing more exciting than that.

Of course, there was an off-hand discussion on Twitter a little while back, and now I’m looking in to another little project.

It’s no secret I love the state I live in. I chose it to make my home, and I wouldn’t live much of anywhere else. For the first time, I’ve found a place I belong, instead of feeling stuck somewhere. I’m pretty bad at beating the gong about the place as well. So when a random comment I made about getting together a photographic expedition in the state was well received, I started to put a little time in to planning.

shoot-510My beloved knows I do love to plan. She’ll always know something is afoot when the obscure Internet searches begin. Then maps will get drug out. There will be specific books referenced. I think the process amuses her.

It’s still early. There are a lot of variables. Should it be a vehicle accessible only tour so the large format guys don’t get a hernia moving gear around? Should there be some hiking? Should it concentrate on natural beauty in forests and mountains, or should there be ghost towns and abandoned mines thrown in there? Stay in small town hotels, or camp out? Climb high or shoot up to get vistas? Time it for peak wildflowers or peak fall foliage?

Narrowing down variables and doing the scouting legwork is fun. And on top of that, it’s making it easier this winter to not become the frozen water, but keep being the moving water.