Archive for June, 2008

Coming Home

“You have to do what you what you have to do in order to do what you want to do.” This quote made so much sense while I was floating around in my mother’s kayak on the pond behind their house. I placed a card in my camera that had already been used for a conference I photographed in Washingon, DC just a week prior to leaving for New Hampshire. While I was paddling around the pond I realized the card was full with conference images and I wasn’t going to be able to make photographs of this fleeting scenery without having to delete pictures from the card.
It’s hard to make anything visually interesting of someone standing at a podium giving a speech. In fact, having sat through a number of verbatim Powerpoint presentations, I’m convinced that attempting to do so is only dishonest. Regardless, when I looked at the back of my camera as the sun was casting a warm glow over me in the middle of my parent’s pond, I realized the steps that it took to place me here, in the middle of this pond, in New Hampshire, with my parents.
I deleted images of speaker-on-stage after speaker-on-stage to make room for what I was seeing in the water.
There was a point in the past when I was amazed by what I could reproduce with this magic mechanical light box. It was good to know that I could return home and relive this all over again.

Robin Hood

The manager overlooking the wood lot peeks into a pile of logs at Collins Hardwood in Kane, Pennsylvania. A robin built a nest in a nook within the logs and laid her eggs. The company halted all work on the pile until the robin was through with parental business.
Wood. It’s a beautiful thing; the way it looks when sanded smooth and coated with a satin finish. The warmth it adds to a room is unrivalled in building materials. Whenever I walk into a home and see wood coated with layers of colored paint I often shake my head in a disbelief and disapproval. How could someone cover the beauty of wood?
Wood happens to be a renewable resource, meaning if you cut down a tree, plant a seed and take care of the land another tree will grow back. Nature does some crazy things. All too often though, the process starts and stops with the cutting down of the tree and then the using of it for our various purposes. The other stages of the renewable process are neglected. This is unfortunate, but there is hope.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is to the woods as the National Organic Program is to food, sort of. An “FSC Certified” piece of wood ideally means the wood came from a place like Collins Hardwood in Kane, Pennsylvania, where sustainable forestry is practiced and forests are in a constant state of renewal.
My visit to Collins was the beginning of my summer project. The Pennsylvania stop was eye-opening and gave me hope in the future of trees, our forests and humanity.

Gas Prices? How about water prices?

Folks, let’s seriously think about this. Yes, gas prices have gone up drastically, and it has made me think twice about driving somewhere when I could walk or put it off till a more efficient time, but couldn’t this be a blessing? The rest of the world, aside from countries who subsidize gasoline, have been paying these prices for the past couple decades. There is a reason the most efficient and successful car companies weren’t founded in Detroit.
I checked into my hotel room in DC and pulled this bottle of water out of the refrigerator. I then saw the price, $6. Sure, hotels aren’t known for bargain prices, but this was water. Nothing special. It claimed to be “still.” I’m not sure what this means, but I wasn’t about to pay $6 for any bottle of water.
The news and people’s conversations are constantly filled with how high gas prices are. Where is all the talk about water prices? We NEED water. The average bottle of water purchased out of a vending machine is $1.25 for 16 ounces. That’s $10 a gallon! I’ve heard talk about cars being made that will one day run on water. If the price of water and the consolidation of our aquifers continues to grow I’ll be riding my bike more often and collecting rain water to drink.
To find out more about water and the bottled water debacle take a look at There is a section on the site specifically dedicated to bottled water. They point to studies that have tested Coca-Cola’s Dasani bottled water as well as 103 other varieties. The findings state that an estimated 25% of the bottles of water were just filtered or sometimes unfiltered tap water!


The summer is beginning and I’m just getting ready to embark on the National Network of Forest Practitioners (NNFP) Photography Fellowship. It will be a cross between documenting “Rural America” and sustainable forestry in the New England area. So I’m returning to my roots for a few months.
For the project I’ll be using both film and digital. This image was made on my first roll through my newly aquired Mamiya 7 I picked up from a friend of a friend. I love the format of this camera, between a square and rectangle, and the color palette of this particular film, Kodak 160NC. It should be a perfect combination for the summer project.

Fashionable Love

This couple was strolling ahead of me in the streets of Helsinki, Finland. I was drawn to the shapes their arms made and their obvious style and beauty. In Finland there was a mix of the blonde-hair-blue-eyed Scandinavian striking beauty with what I always thought of as a Russian physique. They were also very well, neatly dressed.