600 Miles Later

The video is done! I wanted to hold off on this post until the video was finished so I could share the whole story all together. As this video hopefully shows, every day on the Appalachian Trail had its struggles and its rewards. The towns, people, and views we encountered all added to the experience. I could never capture or share all the memorable moments we had along the way but I tried to cut together a collection of scenes that give a feel for life on the trail.

Some of my favorite stills from the journey.

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Bogotá, Armenia, Salento

Selection of photos from Colombia, during a week-long trip I recently took with my parents. Our long-distance friend, Diego Mendoza, was marrying Angelica Bonilla in Bogotá and they invited us to attend. We took the opportunity to spend a few extra days visiting Armenia and Salento, also hiking a day in the Cocora Valley. The food was wonderful, the weather cooperated when it really mattered, and the people we met were all very patient and helpful.

I took all of these with an iPhone or Canon G10, a refreshing departure from the 5-lb Nikon and bag that I haul around for work. I wanted to both test the range of those cameras as well as force myself to experiment with a different shooting style.

Eagle Eyes

UPDATE: I shot this image two weeks later, but I think it should be up top.

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I spent a lot of time alone this week. Standing between a couple rusting Chevys in waist-high, thorny plants, I waited many, many hours to make a few decent frames. Yesterday, after six hours at the nest site, Kim and I looked over my take and agreed that the light just wasn’t working. The mother (father?) brought back a rabbit to eat around noon which provided some interesting moments but the sun was too harsh. I decided to try again.

Today was my fourth visit and I went out at dawn to see what a bald eagle’s morning routine is like. For the first hour, it was too foggy to see anything at all. I tried to count all the gutted cars that were in the field around me. I got to 36 with my limited visibility. Around 8:40 the fog finally lifted and I took a couple test frames and manually fine-tuned my focus. One of the two teleconverters I was using looked like it was from the 80’s, so it couldn’t communicate with the auto-focus motor on the slightly less antique 500mm lens I had. When I could make out the eagle’s pupil, I decided the focus wasn’t going to get any better than that so I left it.

By 10 the sun was already getting to be too harsh again so I packed up. I might try another morning next week to see if the babies are fledging yet but I think the nest will be obscured by leaves.

As boring as it may sound (and as boring as it may have been) this was an amazing shoot that produced, I think, some beautiful images.

For fun, and because I was getting restless, I hung my G10 on a tree nearby.