Wednesday, September 26, 2007

5 photographs I wish I had taken

1. I have always wanted to see a wolf, and when I finally did in Denali, it was perfect. I was watching the wolf with binoculars, and it was close enough to fill the viewing circle. The wolf looked very majestic in how it moved, and then it squatted and peed quickly. It managed to pull it off and still look suave and hardcore like a wolf should. I really wish I had taken a photo of that exact moment, but I don't think it would really have been possible with a small digital camera, at least to get the same image that I saw.

2. One of the scariest moments of my life was in Girdwood a few years ago. I was camped in the woods, and I was the only one at camp at the time. I was lying on the ground underneath a blanket, covering me completely, to keep the bugs off. I heard someone coming towards camp slowly, closer and closer to me. By the time I heard the panting and munching, the bear was already too close for me to try to jump up and scare it. I didn't want to spook it and have it swat at me. The bear came about 3 feet from me, I could hear it breathing heavily, and then it probably noticed me and started to walk away. When I thought it was a good 20 feet away, I jumped up and yelled at it as loud as I could. That bear was so scared, it took off full speed into the woods. I wish I had taken a picture of it up close, although I don't know how well bears take to being photographed.

3. I went on a trip to Europe in 2001 with my brother and father. We traveled to several different countries. I took pictures of all sorts of things, but mainly just buildings. I was taking the pictures with my dad's camera for him, so I knew he didn't want pictures of my brother goofing off or something. All the pictures felt somewhat empty, and I hardly have any photos of my family or myself, and definitely none that show what we actually did or how we felt. I always thought that photos from a trip should convey the atmosphere or the feeling of the trip. I definitely do not think of buildings when I recollect those weeks, I remember all sorts of weird things, all of which would have made great photographs. Like this pack of homeless dogs I saw one morning that lived on the beach near this pastry shop. They were expert beggars that would give tourists their personal space and sit calmly a good distance away. There was one that only had 3 legs, but I think he was the best, because he was quite fat for a stray. If I had my own little camera on that trip, I would have taken pictures of everything that caught my interest.

4. Another really weird photo I wish I had taken in Europe was in Bulgaria. We only drove through the country, and we were on some really bad roads that would have these sections cut out. It was almost as if the road formed a pot hole, and then to remedy it, they just cut out a nice 2 inch deep rectangle around it, and then kind of left it there to fix later. There were no other cars around for miles, but we came up on a horse drawn cart from behind. In front of it was another cart, this one drawn by a donkey or mule. The horse drawn cart would have turned on its blinker if it had one, but it basically switched lanes and passed the slower cart. It made me laugh because the horse drawn cart was definitely the high end sports model, and it made me think of how people in Germany bought fancy BMWs and Mercedes Benzs just to show them off and be able to pass the slower VWs on the Autobahn with ease.

5. I went on a really intense adventure a few years ago with a large group of friends, maybe a dozen of us. We had reserved a cabin at Tolavana Hot Springs for February, which happened to be 11 miles from the road. We started on the trail at night, which was sort of a bad idea, but it was fun. The first 2-3 miles were downhill, so we all put on our backpacks and head lamps, and busted out our sleds. We were meeting two friends of ours at the bottom, where they had set up camp earlier in the day. It was about 20 below and the snow was 3-4 feet deep, and anywhere off the trail meant falling waist deep into snow, using snowshoes, or crawling on all fours. The path off the main trail that our friends made to the camp was basically a foot deep and lead to a main area that had been dug out almost all the way to the ground. We cut down some spruce bows and used them as a base for our tents, which we had to set up on top of the snow. I remember trying desperately to escape the snow, it was everywhere. I dug out a nice little area and piled it up with lots and lots of spruce bows. One of our friends had brought a dog, and when I was finished, she quickly claimed the spot I had worked so hard for. I just kinda slumped down in the snow and thought, whatever. I wish I would have been able to capture how cold it was, or just how intense our camp was, because it was one of those difficult yet rewarding adventures, which always tend to be quite memorable.
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