“Do You Canoe?”
Visiting the Adirondacks in the summer, turned out to be just the ticket to escape the sweltering heat and humidity of south Jersey. Canoe Photo Trip- I liked the sound of all three of those words. The tour I chose was given by the Adirondack Photographic Institute, which I highly recommend for photo workshops and tours. Mark Bowie was our designated photographer and Griz Caudle enriched us with his knowledge on the local lakes.
I arrived in Saranac Lake,NY a little early, in order to get the lay of the land and locate some of the main roads to Tupper Lake,our base camp. The workshop met at St.Regis Canoe Outfitters, very early on the first day, in order to capture a sunrise shoot. Griz gave us tips on the hows and whys of canoe handling after which, we were off. All around me, the quiet stillness of the lake was mesmerizing. I tried to take it all in, while many in our group paddled to either the right or left in the lake. I stayed in the middle, and a little behind, so as to get some human elements into my scenes. How hard could this be I thought, well, I soon found out. It didn’t take long before I became frustrated by the movement of the canoe and the contrast between a very bright sky and deep shadows. After taking a couple of deep breaths and relaxing, I soon found my center. This rhythmic movement, that I at first tried to fight, in a short time became my ally. I would wait for the canoe to move my eye into the picture. As for the bright sky… well I started to use it in a graphical way, as I composed my shots.
When just floating and not shooting we were both entertained and informed about our surroundings. Griz’s banter was priceless. We only needed our “translator” Mark, a few times as our guide’s dialogue became clearer. I think as a collective group we started to become pleasantly cohesive. For me, Mark was the consummate teacher. He had the patience to wait for stragglers… me. He also brought and shared, throughout our paddling, the technical advice he developed from years of shooting this little piece of heaven.
That night, and the following morning, we paddled and shot and talked and shot some more. When I say, “do you canoe?”, I can only speak for myself. I do, and you should too, BUT don’t forget the password –DEET!