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It’s all about the photographs and the journey to get them. 

In my view, if I don’t have a camera, there is little point in being out in the wilderness.  Nature, for all her glory, usually requires payment from those who linger in the land for too long.  She’s a cruel mistress and never misses an opportunity to test your limits.  I have lost three tripods to the mountains!  I usually venture into the wilderness alone and off-trail to find the object of my interest.  Typically, the story behind my landscape photographs is as compelling as the picture itself.

So why bother?  In a word, Beauty.  The pursuit of beauty is worth all the effort and discomfort that the wilderness imposes.  Socrates observed that great art contains three characteristics:  beauty, truth, and goodness.   Harvard trained psychologist, Howard Gardner, suggests keeping lifelong portfolios of beauty.  That’s what I do.  I bring home timeless photographs from places most will never see or experience.  They are souvenirs that can be added to your lifelong portfolio.

My tool of choice is a simple wooden pinhole camera with electrical tape as a shutter.  I use black & white film.  By today’s standards, my camera and medium are positively outdated and primitive.  A pinhole image requires long exposures and obscures details.  The photograph is reduced to form and light.  I consider my pinhole camera a time machine.  I can jump to the past and return with timeless pictures of the wilderness as it may have looked long ago.

That’s what I am all about:  a man in the wilderness, camera in hand, searching for photographic mementos that can be added to your portfolio of beauty.  And if you don’t have such a portfolio, given the current state of the world, now would be a good time to start one.  Timeless beauty is one of those simple pleasures that we too often take for granted, but lasts forever.

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