This past week, it was in Yellowstone Canyon, with DLWS. I’ve been working on this series, ’cause Laurie’s hairstyle is just damn intriguing. First noticed it in Bryce Canyon. It seemed to me that Laurie was sporting her own personal set of hoodoos, right there on top of her head.
It’s always one of the surprises of DLWS, when Laurie shows up, cause her hairstyle terrain tends to vary, you know, depending on her last haircut, and I guess the ambient humidity and whatnot. Shooting her hair keeps me occupied whenever I’m out there stumbling around the outback and can’t find a stump or a rock to photograph effectively. I eventually may publish a book of these…or not.
At the Maine shore…..
Looking to the sea on Cape Cod…..
Deep in the primeval Redwood forest…
This is fun to do, but nowhere near as much fun as being around Laurie, though, who is one of the most decent souls around. She can always be counted on for a laugh, a head tilting, eyebrow knitting malapropism, or a hysterically misremembered movie moment. Seeking to be one of the guys, she’ll occasionally join in the male dominated field of movie dialogue recall. (Most women aren’t great at this diversion. They don’t seem to find purpose in seeing a movie like Predator a dozen timesâ€”go figure.) Laurie will attempt to recite tried and true lines that most guys know better than the Lord’s Prayer and they invariably tumble out with her own spin. These are Laurie-isms.
Somehow, “Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?” in her noodle became, “Joey, have you ever been with a woman?”
It’s no laughing matter when Laurie is behind the camera, though. She is a photographer at the top of her game, confidently controlled from the moment of exposure to the moment she cranks a lustrously beautiful print out of the Epson 7800. Her particular passion is photographing bears, often with lenses half her size, which she handles as well as most folks handle a kit lens. She’s also a heckuva teacher. Check out her blog.
When you do, her secret identity reveals. Laurie isâ€”Equipment Lady.com! Who knew? She’s like the Statue of Liberty of used equipment. Give me your tired, slow glass, your wretched, rusted refuse of jobs gone by, those dusty cameras that were once the apple of your eye but no longer have enough pixels to please! She cuts through the Ebay bullshit, spins sales like a Vegas blackjack dealer, and sends you a check. She has, over time, taken a bunch of my garage bound gear and turned it into a couple of mortgage payments.
Left the cold of Yellowstone Park, and scenes like this. Nikon D3, AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 8 GB Lexar Professional UDMA 300x CF Cards. And a whole lotta autofocus, cause in the wind blown steam I couldn’t see shit.
It was great fun, and, as always, filled with interesting folks. Had some wonderful moments and some well, interesting conversations. Had one particularly compelling discussion with Jake Peterson, Moose’s son, and already as a young’un just a couple pixels shy of being truly great shooter. Jake walked over whilst we were making our way around a pooped Old Faithful that seemed in need of a shot of Viagra that day and asked if I had ever heard of a phenomenon known as “HAFE.” I allowed as I had not.
High altitude flatulence expulsion was what Jake was referring to. It’s real, you can google it, which I did, and Lord, it was right there on the internet so it must be true. Makes sense, really, when you think about it. Higher altitude, less pressure on the outside, more pressure on the inside, and that’s gotta go somewhere.
Have to say I couldn’t’ shoot a picture after that, cause, well, I’m a little bent even on the best of days, and I started looking around at everybody out there a bit differently. I started to wonder if this effect was kicking in (most of Yellowstone is above 7500 feet) and that might be the reason all their snow suits looked so, you know, puffy. I mean, modern winter wear is high tech stuffâ€”triple stitched, multi-layered, double zipped, fleece lined and gor-tex filled. Sealed up in this garb, you can not only withstand the cold but could easy go space walkin’ and fix the frikkin’ shuttle, fer chrissakes.
So I just started giggling like the distracted numnuts I am, no longer thinking of folks out there as tourists or photogs but as a bunch of little ambulatory dutch ovens, tooting away inside all those layers. Nobody notices cause the geysers smell so bad in the first place.
Just a thought.
Oh well, home again. Next stop for DLWS is Hawaii. Moose Peterson in a grass skirt. Stay tuned, more tk…