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Festival Wear and Gear

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Since I’m a festival shooting novice, I spared no expense when preparing my gear. After shooting Rock the Garden I took serious inventory. The 18-35, while a phenomenal lens, was just not going to cut it. There wasn’t enough range. I considered renting the Canon 24-70 2.8 lens, because from what I’ve heard, it’s a great lens with versatility. I was dissuaded from that and ultimately opted to go with the 70-200 for *sick* range (and, that image stabilization is no joke. It’s just, ugh, it’s such a good lens). I also thought, maybe, in a high pressure environment, over a weekend where I will be camping, having a spare camera would go along way. And this way, I could be equipped with two different focal lengths and instantly change from one to the other. I did some research on ishootshows.com to see what a bonafide concert shooter has in his bag, and I got to work. It was pricy to equip myself properly, but I also felt totally confident in what I had, and that absolutely nothing would deter me. I rented a second 70D so I would know exactly what I was working with. FESTIVAL_GEARTwo batteries for each camera (just in case, though I never needed to tap into the second batteries for either), a ton of memory cards (in my main camera, I used the 128 all weekend [note: that should be 128 GIGS, not MEGS], and the 16 and 32, respectively, in the rental). The Double Rig was a hesitant purchase because I do not own two cameras regularly, however, it’s adaptable to be turned into a single cross-body strap, which is great if you hate the neck strap set up normally (which I do, immensely). Good earplugs are a must in the pit. You gotta be focused and you’re going to want to get up next to some giant speakers at some point. I brought the 50mm 1.8 with me to Wisconsin, but ultimately left it behind because I didn’t think it’d be worth it to try to change up lenses in the pit. I do wish I’d had something midrange though. That is a significant gap between 35 and 70mm. And lastly, a good bag is important, because I did have to carry all this stuff with me. The Topo Field Bag is a great bag with lots of pockets, though I think they’re lying in those photos about a body and 70-200 lens lying comfortably in it. I don’t think I was able to get that kind of fit. Although, the bag was stuffed.

Additional items I had with me were a water bottle (you MUST stay hydrated at these things), a couple rainsleeves (it was supposed to rain all day Saturday!), a notebook, a lens blower and lens cleaning cloth

My wonderful husband was also there, and he helped me bring my gear into the festival this weekend (in his lumbar pack, which easily fit the telephoto lens) and held my bag when it became too overwhelming for me. He also got me water when I needed it, and beer when I really needed it, and he stood in line for food when I couldn’t. So, my recommendation for festival shooters is that you get an amazing, selfless husband who will do whatever in order for you to do your job right. Alan, you’re my hero!FESTIVAL_WEARAs far as festival wear goes, comfortable shoes designed for walking (and socks) were a must (and my feet didn’t bother me hardly at all, except I still got a blister somehow! Good thing there were first aid stations everywhere), a light, flowy t-shirt, since you’ll have a bunch of straps on you all day. Light, breathable shorts with ample pocket room. These are key. The only other shorts I had were either denim or running shorts. These were perfect for comfort, BUT… I had some gnarly chafing on my thighs, and that was a major buzzkill. Bring some gold bond, or anti-chafing cream. I used baby powder the second day and it worked in a pinch. Lastly, in case of rain, a rain jacket. You still have to shoot, even in the rain, so you might as well be as dry as possible. I’m grateful it didn’t rain at Eaux Claires, because if I’m being totally honest, I don’t love that rain jacket. I’m thinking I might try to find a better, more breathable one.

Basically, if you’re shooting a music festival, especially in the woods, treat it like a hiking trip. It’s the same thing, really.

This post is sponsored by Canon and Columbia. Just kidding.

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Minnesota, WI

EAUXCLAIRES-37Wowzers, what a weekend. EAUXCLAIRES-43EAUXCLAIRES-13EAUXCLAIRES-3EAUXCLAIRES-4It was a whirlwind from start to finish. We left early on Friday morning and arrived at the media check-in at 10:30. Then to the campsite, which really was kinda roughin’ it. We set up our tent over dandelions in close quarters with other campers. It was hot. The whole weekend was hot. I didn’t stop sweating the entire time. Around 2:30 we got aboard the camp shuttle to bring us to the festival, and promptly went to the media tent so I could get my gear on. EAUXCLAIRES-8 EAUXCLAIRES-10 EAUXCLAIRES-11I had with my 2 Canon 70Ds (I rented a second one, no use in learning how to use a new body super fast) with my trusty Sigma Art 18-35 1.8 *and* I rented the phenomenal Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II which I was really nervous about using. It’s so heavy; I was worried it wouldn’t be nimble enough to shoot concerts, or rather, I wouldn’t have enough strength to use it for prolonged periods. I was totally wrong. While it’s a tank, it was also extremely easy to use. I mostly paired it with my own camera body, and the results are fantastic. I’m sold on the lens, and now it’s on my list of must-buys. EAUXCLAIRES-14 EAUXCLAIRES-15 EAUXCLAIRES-16The EXC branding was everywhere, and I’m really a fan. This is the first Eaux Claires festival, and it was incredibly well designed and lovingly crafted by everyone involved. It felt like a special place, and in such an idyllic setting – the Chippewa Valley. Lush and green, with hills and trees and water everywhere. A perfect setting for some indie rock.EAUXCLAIRES-17These kids.EAUXCLAIRES-21EAUXCLAIRES-19I stumbled my way into a new developing preset for this series. I call it “Outdoor Show IV”. All my presets are VSCO-based, but usually heavily modified.EAUXCLAIRES-75EAUXCLAIRES-63EAUXCLAIRES-79EAUXCLAIRES-23EAUXCLAIRES-25EAUXCLAIRES-27I was very stoked to photograph Spoon. They were at Rock the Garden last year and put on one of the most killer sets. Britt Daniel is also very cute, and has lots of charisma.EAUXCLAIRES-112 EAUXCLAIRES-113EAUXCLAIRES-31I don’t mean to sound prideful, but a year ago, I had just a fraction of the know-how I have now, and what I have right now is not much. I shoot in manual and sort of know about lenses. Maybe in a year I’ll know exponentially more. But I couldn’t believe that I was there in the pit with a select few, shooting these amazing bands, for this incredible festival! Definitely a “pinch me” moment. EAUXCLAIRES-38 EAUXCLAIRES-39 EAUXCLAIRES-40 EAUXCLAIRES-41 EAUXCLAIRES-42EAUXCLAIRES-131EAUXCLAIRES-44EAUXCLAIRES-46By the time the sun finally went down, it was a great relief. We’d found some friends and I’d shed my gear and had some fun walking around and snapping photos with not pressure. EAUXCLAIRES-47 EAUXCLAIRES-48Then The National came on, and the crowd was more than ready for them. EAUXCLAIRES-49 EAUXCLAIRES-50Those kids again!!EAUXCLAIRES-135 EAUXCLAIRES-136I loved the giant video screen backdrop. For a visual journalist, it only enhances the experience of documentation.EAUXCLAIRES-138EAUXCLAIRES-145 EAUXCLAIRES-146EAUXCLAIRES-149 EAUXCLAIRES-150EAUXCLAIRES-91EAUXCLAIRES-151EAUXCLAIRES-102EAUXCLAIRES-164EAUXCLAIRES-165EAUXCLAIRES-175EAUXCLAIRES-176I didn’t get to about 1/3 of the shows I wanted to shoot. It’s a much, much harder gig than I thought, and I tried to pace myself as well as I could. After the first day, which had me stay out until midnight (a 10-hour day in the heat, carting around a ton of gear), I decided to take it easy and only shoot three bands in the later part of Saturday. And, after an early morning (or late night I suppose, since I hadn’t fallen asleep yet) storm swept through the campgrounds, I told Alan I thought we should leave after the festival that night and go straight home, and he agreed. It did mean that I would have to miss the bulk of Bon Iver’s set though, which, for me, was sort of what this whole experience was leading to. EAUXCLAIRES-208 EAUXCLAIRES-209I don’t know if this tent actually got blown over in the storm, or if its owner wanted to somehow dry it out, but it was a funny scene out of context. EAUXCLAIRES-211 EAUXCLAIRES-212 EAUXCLAIRES-214The campgrounds were MASSIVE, and I loved the touches of wooden signs everywhere. It was like a giant summer camp, but for drunk hipsters. They had a little coffee shop (whose Lattes I couldn’t get enough on, both at the site and on festival grounds) open 24 hours (a terrific feature), plus a camp store where we procured two icy cans of pop for the drive home. Heaven. And the camp showers, which don’t need much description, except for the lines were long, and the water was ice cold. EAUXCLAIRES-220The first day, I didn’t even get over to the banks of the river to see, even though that was a heavily hyped feature of the festival location. It really was this blue, I swear. I took one picture and deemed it perfect, which is sometimes a disappointment, as it made it unnecessary to take more. EAUXCLAIRES-229EAUXCLAIRES-228This guy (Drew Christopherson, Poliça) was in my graduating portfolio class. He’s on to bigger things (well, I think he already was at the time).EAUXCLAIRES-236 EAUXCLAIRES-230EAUXCLAIRES-193EAUXCLAIRES-198EAUXCLAIRES-205Sufjan played quiet and heart aching melodies as the sun went down.EAUXCLAIRES-240EAUXCLAIRES-245 EAUXCLAIRES-246 EAUXCLAIRES-250 EAUXCLAIRES-251EAUXCLAIRES-247EAUXCLAIRES-237I couldn’t think of a more ideal location to see Bon Iver than the deep woods of Wisconsin. There’s an area south of the Twin Cities which is sort of wild. It’s by no means rural, but it’s hilly and it’s full of big leafy trees. I was driving around that area one hot summer morning last year and listening to Bon Iver and I felt like the lush greenery and warm air of my surroundings were ideal. That same day, we went camping in Wisconsin, and so I’ve always associated the two things. The atmosphere of the festival was heady, reverent, generous and hazy. A perfect environment for a Bon Iver concert. EAUXCLAIRES-253Unfortunately I didn’t have pit access for this one, which is where the telephoto lens REALLY came in handy. Since we were on a strict time budget, I didn’t get to stay for Bonny Bear (as he will never not be known to me) very long, but the first few songs caught me off guard. I knew I was excited about the show, but the culmination of the entire two days was wrapped up in this super ethereal performance. It was loud and warm, and it had resounding spirit. I thought about Justin Vernon, and what this must’ve meant to him, to curate a giant music festival in your beloved hometown. I got feels. You could tell that the whole purpose of this festival was for the people, not necessarily for the people running it, but they had just as much of an emotional stake in it as well. It was a truly special and meaningful event, and I can’t believe I got to be there, documenting the whole thing. EAUXCLAIRES-258EAUXCLAIRES-257

Thank you, Eaux Claires!

I’ll do another post talking about all the gear and stuff I had, and how my experience as a festival photographer felt. Soon.

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EXC bound

What do you guys got going on this weekend? Well since you asked, I’m having a pretty major one. I’ve been prepping for months now for the Eaux Claires festival, which sounds like it’s going to be pretty spectacular, and really special! I’m so stoked to be going to the inaugural event, AND I’ll be shooting it all for City Pages.

And I’m a little terrified. I’ve had dozens of nagging concerns in the back of my mind for a couple weeks now. 

What if I’m over encumbered with gear? What if my outfit doesn’t breathe well? What if it rains? What if my battery dies?

Luckily, I have thought of every possible scenario (though I’m not quite sure how bathroom breaks are going to work) and I’m prepared for every eventuality. 

Probably deciding to shoot Rock the Garden was the smartest move I could’ve made in anticipation for this weekend. 5 bands, 3 songs each left me absolutely wrecked, for a number of reasons: Unbreathable clothes (weird cotton-linen t-shirt and denim shorts, birkenstocks. blech), uncomfortable neck strap, basically one lens. Overall I had a pretty great time and I came up with some good stuff, but it had me seriously doubting my gear, which seemed very piddling compared to all the other photographers. PLUS, this was 5 bands. Eaux Claires is two days (meaning: a lot more bands). So in the last couple months, after I got my assignment, I’ve been tireless about accruing gear. I’ll share the whole experience on Monday. Have a great weekend!

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The Great Escape

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This summer just doesn’t stop. With anniversary trips, music festivals, camping weekends, Morrissey shows… It’s just been a whirldwind, and it’s not slowing down either. This past weekend was in the books as being a low-key weekend in between 4th of July, and the Eaux Claires festival (coming up on Friday), but plans changed a little bit, and I found myself in beautiful central north Minnesota (where my family cabin is also located) on a gorgeous lake with some buddies. CABINWKND-3 CABINWKND-7I feel like there’s a certain smell you can only get in this region. Something about grill smoke being filtered through Red Pines just feels like home to me. CABINWKND-8CABINWKND-11 CABINWKND-12 CABINWKND-14I arrived and was immediately given a raspberry mojito and commanded to get in the water, which I did after about 15 minutes of snapping photos (I had to).CABINWKND-16 CABINWKND-17 CABINWKND-18CABINWKND-22CABINWKND-23CABINWKND-27CABINWKND-26The lake and the lighting and everything was so photogenic, I couldn’t get enough. CABINWKND-25CABINWKND-32CABINWKND-33CABINWKND-34I also developed a couple presets for this series called “Lake Evening” and “Lake Evening II”.CABINWKND-35CABINWKND-37CABINWKND-40On my way up, I stopped at a liquor store and got myself two six packs and two four packs. Then after much consideration, I stopped at another liquor store because I determined 20 beers would not last me the weekend. CABINWKND-41 CABINWKND-42 CABINWKND-43CABINWKND-44In the morning I drank a bunch of french press coffee with my friend Jen on the porch of this cabin — which was pretty high up, and there was a satisfying breeze coming off the lake through the window. Niki made breakfast for the big group of us.  Mornings in cabins are pretty magnificent. CABINWKND-47 CABINWKND-48 CABINWKND-49CABINWKND-54CABINWKND-52The sunshine didn’t really stick around the bulk of the day, but it didn’t stop us all from grabbing a floaty, setting our coolers on the dock, and floating around and shooting the shit all day. In the evening the sun came back just long enough for us to see it set, and then, well, we tried to eat dinner, some of us had a campfire, and then we all went to bed at about 1:30, absolutely spent from this weekend. I sometimes have trouble sleeping away from my bed, but luckily I had the Skyrim soundtrack to lull me into unconsciousness.

The next day I drove back with Jen and I was set on taking a picture of this weird place on Hwy 64, called DAD’S ELWELL STORE. I don’t know what an Elwell store is, and it’s never appeared to be in business, at least when I’ve always driven past it. CABINWKND-55Why?

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The Last of the Famous International Playboys

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There was that time a few (a few) years ago when I was all amped up because Morrissey was coming to town! Woo! Well, turns out he didn’t. Then he had all these health problems, and I thought “surely he will never come back.” And I began to come to terms that the time I saw him in Chicago in 2011 would be the only time I’d ever see him.

You know, I was content with that, too. That Chicago show was insane, surreal, and 100% burned into my memory forever. The Moz fans in Chicago are like rabid dogs. They are fanatical and SUPER SERIOUS. You never would’ve seen them holding up their phone for 30 long seconds to record a video they’d never watch again. They wouldn’t be tweeting “Morrissey is singing a song right now.” And they wouldn’t be talking to each other during the show, thus disturbing others around them. I was in that crowd, and we all waited together for 7-8 long hours in December in the Midwest. We were aching, tired, and what we wanted more than anything was to see Morrissey in the flesh, to possibly have an opportunity to touch his precious skin, like so many have nearly killed themselves to attempt in the past. He is the Messiah. Come to heal us and deliver his prophecy. And he rewarded us with fan favorites, deeper cuts and candid sincerity in the way that only Morrissey can. And when he left the stage at the end of the night, I was pinned to the front barrier, having just come within inches of touching his hand, and I was overwhelmed, bereft. What I needed to do just then was to sit in a dark room and listen to my headphones.

Last night’s show was a bit of a different experience. I had secured very good seats, but months ago. I easily walked up to the front, with two beers (and would grab another one during the show, no need to fight through a crowd of thousands), sat in my seat comfortably and waited. But it all felt a little different, and I couldn’t figure it out. I think what I discovered is that here in Minnesota, there is a passive obsession for Morrissey (there’s actually a passiveness in most music crowds in Minnesota). And this isn’t true for all fans. I know plenty who are fanatical – like those countless concert goers in Chicago – but they seemed few. It felt like people were there more to be at a Morrissey show, and less to stand in awe of the man himself.

Or maybe I’m wrong about all of it. I do have a difficult time getting into a concert if there are distractions around me. I’m trying to remember this show though, and bits and pieces are coming to me, but not in the same vivid way as my first experience. Morrissey sounded wonderful, though his stage banter was nil, and, perhaps I’m going crazy, but his set seemed abrupt. It ended quietly, with one encore song (What She Said), and exactly zero stage rushes from the crowd. How disappointing! I had such a terrific place in the audience, I told myself all night “When the time comes, I am getting on that stage, or I will die trying.” And I just couldn’t. The venue was small and awkward. My friends who had front row seats had their view sort of impeded by giant speakers taking up 1/3 of the tiny stage.

There’s no way for me to write this without sounding totally ungrateful and like I hated it. I didn’t hate it. I can just barely remember it. Afterwards I kept asking my friends “What song did he close with??” I remember more acutely being absolutely devastated when the lights came up and I was looking around, feeling lost and bereft again like that time in Chicago, but this time it was indignation. GODDAMMIT. I JUST WANTED TO TOUCH HIM.

I am the most grateful that I have that special memory of that first time I saw him. What a perfect way to experience Morrissey for the first time. When there was someone trying to muscle their way up, the true loyal fans pushed him back and said “YOU DON’T LOVE MORRISSEY AS MUCH AS US.” And that gives me a real pride. I mean, it’s childish, of course, but that’s the kind of devotion Morrissey stirs in people. The willingness to get tackled to the ground, and wait for years, after countless cancellations. My god. We will follow him wherever he goes, no matter how badly he treats us, or however short his show is, or how pricey the ticket. He gets it exactly right in All You Need is Me:

You don’t like me
But you love me
Either way you’re wrong
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone. 

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Have a radical weekend

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Whew, it’s Friday again! We made it. I’m so proud of us. What do you have going on this weekend? Rather spontaneously, I decided to tag along with a group of friends heading Up North for some Chill Cabin Times™. Looking forward to achieving all-day-buzzed status and floating in a lake. I think this is also my first EVER time heading out of town without Alan. Crazy! In all five years together. Doing little trips is one of our things, and it’ll be strange taking a solo journey, even if it’s for 2 days. But. It’s good to do our own thing. And besides, he’ll have the cat all to himself.

Hope your weekend is a hot one, and stay cool. B-)
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#tbt Black and White Honeymoon

z403312-008I broke a long streak of ignoring my once strong film habit by processing some film from our honeymoon in Hawai’i. Because nothing is more subversive than paradise in black & white.
I’d forgotten what was on this roll, and I’m not sure if I just suck at taking pictures on film or if it’s the processing, but some of these are super washed out. Bleh. But others are pretty fun! z403312-007 z403312-009z403312-013z403312-014z403312-015z403312-011z403312-016z403312-018z403312-024z403312-028z403312-032z403312-033z403312-006

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Holy Macro

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Oh hey. How are you guys doing? I’ve been doing great lately. Potentially exciting new opportunities on the horizon, doing well in work, AND, I went and got myself the macro lens I’ve been coveting for a long time. Like, made a beeline from work after I saw there was a used one at National Camera. I immediately came home and started having fun. I suddenly can’t imagine a life before this lens. It’s intuitive and quick. It delivers extremely well in low light. I’ve only had it for an hour and I already love the hell out of this thing.1ST-MACRO-11 copy1ST-MACRO-14I don’t think I understood the capabilities of a macro until I had one in my hands. I didn’t realize that you can get in close. Waaaay closer than any other lens. It’s like my prime 50 lens but x2 and then plus a million. 1ST-MACRO-17And of course it’s a game changer when it comes to my nature photo skills. 1ST-MACRO-221ST-MACRO-24 1ST-MACRO-25 1ST-MACRO-28UGH. UNBELIEVABLE. If you are into photography and don’t have a macro lens yet, get one. It’s instant fun and the exploration possibilities are endless.

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#tbt The Time I Went to New Zealand


I’ve been waiting to make this post for a few months now. Today is THE DAY that TEN YEARS AGO I landed in New Zealand for a 7 week adventure that would change my life forever. NZjournal-1 NZjournal-2 NZjournal-3My mom had bought me a journal (I assume my mom bought it for me, like she bought everything for me when I was 17 and jobless) so that I could record everything that happened and share it with the kind friends and family and sponsored this trip. Because you can’t LiveJournal from remote camps in NZ. I’d love to share with everybody this whole trip, as best as I can remember it, because I didn’t have this blog back then. I did do a massive roundup, complete with apt Coldplay lyrics in my LJ in August of 2005, but to share it would be just too embarrassing, for now. I’m already showing you my journal in my terrible handwriting in my overexcited, utterly afraid of swearing even in a personal fucking journal tone of voice. So what brought me to New Zealand? In probably October 2004, my high school hosted a little assembly for AFS. Being very intrigued in Travel, and fresh off The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I took a catalog home and SOMEHOW convinced my parents that I should go on this Summer trip way far away before my senior year. Whaaa?  I landed in Los Angeles on June 29 I think, had a fun day in Hollywood, then boarded a plan on June 30 (which is today, when I’m writing this), and crossed the dateline. I probably wasn’t ever technically physically in July 1, 2005. (You get that full day back when you go back east. Oh boy do you get it back). I met like 16 other kids, pretty much all from the states (one from Mexico), and we became friends. We stayed at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre  (which I guess it’s not called anymore) right outside of Taupo, which has a big ole lake, and has a tiny volcanic mountain range! When we were being driven there, I took this picture, and I was like “WHOAW CHECK OUT THOSE MOUNTAINS” but the bigger surprise was that we’d be within spitting distance (figure of speech) everyday for 3 weeksCheck it out, it’s Mt Doom. And I got to see it EVERYDAYYYY. I was (and still am) a *massive* fan of the Lord of the Rings film franchise (The Hobbit can suck it). These photos are from my first days at OPC (as it’s known). I should mention that I didn’t know I still had all these photos, at least not hi res (what passes for hi res from the old digital camera I had), until very recently. I found them all in an external hard drive. Some of them are not bad, right? I ran them through Lightroom to give them a little kick. The first week was just jam packed with stuff, I am now remembering. White water rafting, mountain climbing in Mt Doom National Park, fly foxing (like ziplining).NZjournal-4 NEW-ZEALAND-184These photos are really out of order, and I could not possibly care enough to try to put them in order, and I don’t have Ctrl+F for my journal and it’s so inscrutable, I’m not sure if everything is really all there.

The second week had even more amazing radical adventures, such as hiking to the top of a volcano (and sleeping there) high ropes courses, bungee jumping?! Doing an overnight at a Marae and learning about Maori culture.. So much stuff, for next Thursday. NZjournal-5

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Wisconsin Weekend

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We had a wild-n-rowdy weekend in Wisconsin at our favorite campsite, so aptly named, “Do Nothing.” The week we started dating, Alan and I went there with a few of his friends, and now it’s a yearly tradition. Lots of drinking, lots of hanging out, lots of doing nothing. I thought “cool beans, I’ll bring my camera to get some sweet candids of friends and nature” but it turned out that this was kind of a burden most of the time, AND I forgot to bring it with us swimming. PLUS my tripod, which admittedly, was bought 8 years ago to go with a tiny canon powershot, absolutely sucks and destroyed all chances of any good night time photography. This is a mixed bag, but if I’m going to be an artist, I have to be honest.
CAMPDOS-8The campgrounds are mostly a trailer park. People set up little residences all summer long!CAMPDOS-9 CAMPDOS-10 CAMPDOS-12And when drinking at the campground wasn’t doing it, no worries! There’s a bar 800 ft away.CAMPDOS-13Complete with frozen pizzas hella cheap beer (on Saturday night I ordered Budweiser after Budweiser, words that never came out of my mouth before, and shan’t ever again).
CAMPDOS-18 CAMPDOS-19Afterwards Alan got coerced into hopping in the Apple River, which is literally *right there* on our campsite. I was worried they were going to die, so I shone my big Coleman spotlight on them, and got (what I think are) some hilarious photos. CAMPDOS-24Ah, the harsh light of day, the morning after the first night of CampDos (that’s what they’re called, like doing camping but it’s all turned around and nonsense). Sleeping in a tent, at least sleeping in a tent in my clothes when it’s humid and I am “dehydrated” is so unpleasant. It’s one of my least favorite parts of CampDos. CAMPDOS-27But, like the Try Hards we are, we’d gone to REI before the trip and secured a little camp kitchen. All because I wanted to make coffee in the morning, it kind of spiraled into “Well if we’re getting a percolator, maybe we should get a stove, and maybe we can fry up some food too, so we’ll need plates to eat it on” etc etc. Check out how rustic and quaint though.CAMPDOS-28The most joyful thing that happened on Friday, the legalization of gay marriage nationwide, was with us the whole weekend, especially when this rainbow shone brightly over us, in Scott Walker country. CAMPDOS-30CAMPDOS-38We played lots of Kubb. LOTS of Kubb.CAMPDOS-42 CAMPDOS-44Which technically constitutes as “doing something.” CAMPDOS-32CAMPDOS-45 CAMPDOS-46CAMPDOS-53Old habits kick back in. CAMPDOS-56I would hope that I take a journalistic approach to photographing this kind of weekend. This is an empty tarp that once held firewood, but now holds beer cans and a gatorade bottle.CAMPDOS-60CAMPDOS-62 CAMPDOS-63 CAMPDOS-64While Alan was splish-splashing in the river again, I set to making a feast for us, so I set up the stove at an empty table, got the cutting mat out, the grilling knives, all the stuff. Boiled up some brats and fried up some delicious potatoes. No I didn’t take any pictures of this whole set up because goddammit I was focused on cooking and didn’t have time to wipe my hands off every 2 minutes. Jesus. While cooking outdoors and doing all the prep was very enjoyable, as I enjoy cooking and doing that kind of work with my hands, it was ultimately a little disappointing, because the beer that the brats were being boiled in boiled all the way down and it was not pretty.CAMPDOS-66 CAMPDOS-67While Alan was cleaning up the camp dishes (because we’re egalitarian. If one of us cooks, the other cleans), a sick bald eagle swooped in and perched on a tree across the river. Rainbows? Bald Eagles? Sounds like America is totally on board with gay marriage! FREEDOM M-FERS. I don’t have a telephoto lens, so I used the 50mm in a pinch, and I had to crop way in on these. Still. Pretty cool!CAMPDOS-68On Sunday after we cleaned up the campsite we dragged our wrecked bodies to our buddy Robin’s parents’ house, where we got made brunchhh.CAMPDOS-69 CAMPDOS-71 CAMPDOS-72This is their backyard, which I’m insanely jealous of. CAMPDOS-76 CAMPDOS-77Love takin’ pictures of breakfasts.CAMPDOS-79AmericaDog.CAMPDOS-84 CAMPDOS-85CAMPDOS-91 CAMPDOS-94 CAMPDOS-98We went to look at their vineyard (they have a vineyard).CAMPDOS-100 CAMPDOS-102CAMPDOS-107 CAMPDOS-108And we went to check out this big chunk of land they also own, where those two fine people will be getting married in a year, and I’M going to shoot it! What a scary idea!CAMPDOS-111CAMPDOS-114My body hasn’t quite recovered from camping weekend. And in a couple weeks, we’ll be back for the Eaux Claires festival, where I’ll actually be *working* all day, for two days straight, *and* camping. My my, what have I gotten myself into?