Putting the Camera Down

Put The Camera Down

Jonathan Blaustein at A Photo Editor:

It it ever a good idea to just put the camera down and watch?

Indeed, and a good question.

Leaving Yellowstone National Park many years ago, I spotted this perfect conical mountain ringed by a storm cloud. It looked like a scene from Lord of the Rings – all chaos and fury and fire, the peak lit up by lightning. Here was Mount Doom, and it was angry.

Unlike Blaustein, I had my camera handy. But I didn’t use it. “No, this one’s just for you,”I told myself. “Not for anyone else.”

Yes, putting the camera down sometimes is a good idea.

I kept that moment private, with no picture record to prove it happened. It’s as vivid in my memory, 10 years later, as anything else on that cross-country road trip.

(via Jeffery Saddoris)


Austin, Texas

Had a chance to visit Austin, Texas, last week for a higher ed conference. Lovely city, and very weird. Neat that both the state capitol and major university are in the same town.

And all that barbecue? Man.

More to come.


We set sail from South Baymouth, a little port town on Manitoulin Island – a chuck of Ontario resting in the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. And though the trip isn’t very long, there comes a point where we’re absolutely surrounded by water.

It’s like being on an unsalted cruise trip. The wind is chilly, but the sun (when it peeks out from the clouds) feels good.

There are all types on this boat, the Chi-Cheemaun. Mostly Mennonite, a few foreigners, quite a few students. Most hang out in the lobby. A few of use brave ones, the ones who don’t mind the breeze, stick around on deck to watch the scenery change. We watch the little limestone islands pop up on the horizon, the Bruce Peninsula jutting out into the great lake to welcome us to Tobermory.

The people are great, the colors and shapes are great, the seagulls following the boat are great. Everything is great.