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I hike up this mountain time and time again, and almost always it’s a great hike but I never setup my tripod. I ask myself if I should go somewhere else, seek out new landscapes, find new subjects. I have a growing family, professional commitments I can barely handle , and less time to shoot than ever before. And I choose to prioritize those commitments in a way that is meaningful for me. That usually means I spend more time with family, and specifically my young son and daughter, which is infinitely more important to me than money or fame. We make our choices then deal with the consequences…I have mine to deal with for sure, not all good.

So I hike up the same mountains close to home, familiar with every foot of the trail, every turn, bend, rock, tree, and view. Then I get “lucky”, and it all pays off.

Photography is what you make of it. The time and commitment you invest is reciprocated with results that you decide are important to you. Or should be if you want to make it a long term endeavor.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Faced with similar challenges and decisions, I delight in the new and take comfort in the familiar. The challenge of seeing with new eyes and the fun of finding a new take on an old scene (mostly) makes up for the limited opportunities for broad new vistas.

    1. Hi Lynn – thanks for the feedback, and sorry for the delay, busy month so far. Yes you are right which is why I think you have a great feel and sense for the familiar – the hallmarks of a great photographer.


  2. One of the astonishing things about photography is that you are capturing a moment that will never exist again, whether it is in the world around you or in your mind. The light on that mountain, the vegetation, the wildlife, your mood, your thoughts, your ideas, your ability to express your deepest connection to that mountain, will never be the same again. I bet you could do a study of that mountain and have a beautiful and wide range of photos.
    I also know, as a parent, a family therapist, and a former child, we have a responsibility to our children to give them as much of ourselves as possible, so they can become their best possible selves. And that’s what we owe ourselves too, because nothing can ever be as deeply satisfying.
    That said, there is never a perfect balance – only a very sincere attempt to get it right.

    1. Thanks so much Bobbi for the great feedback, and I apologize for the delay in my response. I appreciate your perspective very much and whole heartedly agree, finding that balance is the key – it puts the focus on the journey where it belongs. If we’re sensitive and aware enough, that allows us to make adjustments and learn from our mistakes – that includes both as a parent and a photographer. My children have taught me about nature and nature has helped me appreciate my children.


  3. Thanks in part to your inspiration I’ve realized that I could spend the rest of my life simply photographing the river in my own back yard without it ever getting old. One burning question: why aren’t you using a medium format camera considering that you make large prints? Should I be satisfied with Canon SLRs?

    1. Hi John,

      So sorry the delay in my response – it’s been a busy July…I suppose the main reason for not using medium format is that I can’t afford it. Landscape photography is not exactly lucrative (at least for 99% of us) and so I use the best tools I can afford. The second reason is that the quality I get out of my Canon full frame cameras is good enough to make the images I want to make – and I push each every stage to the limit in order to make the largest prints I can. That’s more than just the camera body, that includes lenses, camera technique. processing, and printing.

      I do rent PhaseOne cameras for specific projects however, and color accuracy is one thing I sorely miss when I go back to my DSLRs. For example, there are certain hues of green that I just can’t capture unless I use MF.

      You should be satisfied with whatever tools allow you to make meaningful images. That takes the focus away from gear and puts it on the “12 inches behind the camera,” as Ansel said.

      Hope that helps! RR

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