Thursday, April 15, 2010



Lots of my friends are into landscape photography. I feel a tremendous burdened lifted from my shoulders with this knowledge: It's not me that has to be out there, tromping through nature, getting bitten by bugs, freezing, boiling, dying of thirst [well, this did happen to me once], falling down mountains, falling in rivers, drowning in underwater caves, herniating something from carrying gear for 37 miles, being eaten by a bear, being mauled by a lion, gored by native spears, or even being digested by a giant spider.

I have a complicated relationship with nature.

My other objection to landscape photography is that you really should be there at a certain time of day, a certain time of year, in certain ceremonial clothing (so that you can pray for the right clouds), and then, just maybe, you will be blessed. In the interim, you get to entertain yourself with hiking. As nearly as I can tell, I lack the gene most of my friends in California have that makes them love tromping through nature. Maybe it's because I grew up where there were snakes/alligators/bears/etc. and in a town which was basically a swamp, I just never caught the bug for it.

This is not to say my breath doesn't catch with the indescribable beauty of the lone photographer who's using his last large format plate to record the dying embers of the sun over Yosemite; I just can't help but thinking of what a bitch it must have been to get that shot.

Every now and then, I pick up a landscape I like. In this case, I was on the 280 with a friend, cleaning lenses as he was driving us up to the Marin Headlands. I looked out the side window, and saw green hills and blue skies. Surprisingly fun composition, and it still makes me smile a little.

More snarky friends asked me where the taskbar and the icons were in the picture.

Me, I just like the cows.

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