Feeling Ashamed

As I’ve noted before, I  am an incredibly lazy photographer. On many of my excursions, the only exercise I get is pushing the buttons that lower my car’s windows. This past wednesday, for example, I spent two plus hours driving around south Blount County snapping summer landscapes from the air conditioned comfort of my Honda Civic. I did, however, actually get out of my car at one point and walk well over one hundred feet along a level roadway to get some shots I couldn’t manage from my car.  I felt so proud…

I was channel surfing last night and stumbled upon a Weather Channel program about one incredibly intrepid photographer. I didn’t get his name, but he was shooting with a medium format camera and his shots were magnificent. (update: he’s Peter Lik, renowned Australian photographer).

He was shooting in the southwest, around the Colorado river canyons, including the ultimate, the Grand. Now, this guy would climb rock formations for hours to get just the right shot, or dangle precariously over the edge of a sheer nrock wall, hundreds of feet above ground, to get that fresh perspective.  Oh, and he was doing all of this while lugging a industrial strength tripod and wearing an oversized backpack full of thousands of dollars worth of camera gear.

In his voice  over narration he told us a handful of people fall to their death every year from the top of  canyon walls. He didn’t tell us how many of those poor souls were landscape photographers. If any were, I just hope each victim’s final photo was unique and well composed, with delicate color and razor sharp focus…

This unknown photog even makes my Flickr hero,  Patrick Smith, look like a dilettante. Smith plots out his landscape shots well in advance, consulting Google maps as well as tide and sun tables to find just the right time and place to put his camera. As far as I can tell, however, not even Smith delights in risking  his life.

So I  feel even more ashamed than before. I ought to make a vow to abandon my car, to get out, climb those smoky mountains, tramp through those dark forests, go to any lengths, take any risks  necessary to get fresh, unique,  shots of the Tennessee countryside.

I ought to do that. I really should. And I might. Maybe. Someday. Soon….

This gorgeous photo of Canyon Piva in Montenegro by Alexander Shchukin, courtesy of a creative commons license, did not cost the photographer his life or limb (as far as I know…)

Here’s a group of canyon photos

Read all of VISIONS

One Response to “Feeling Ashamed”

  1. That would be Peter Lik.

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