D is for Durable

M is for Muir, 2009
acrylic, leafing, toner, tea, and wax on panel
7.375" x 7.375"
Click on image for larger view.

When I'm on field trips with my class I don't get too many opportunities to take photographs. The reasons for this should be obvious. However, and here is the great irony, the only times I tend to travel are when I take field trips with my class. Oh wicked conundrum!

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I learned very quickly that only the most durable camera will survive a road-trip with a class of adolescents. That fancy new DSLR would certainly be the most versatile camera, but it would hardly hold up to falling out of the back of the van when the cooler lid is thrown open carelessly in the pursuit of snacks. So, I opt for indestructible over versatile, and always bring my trusty manual Nikon FE with a first-gen Lensbaby. The Lensbaby, while exceedingly limited in what it can do, has no glass components. That means that 70lbs. of lumpy duffle bag can be thrown on top of it and nothing much will happen to the simple plastic bellows.

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M is for Muir was taken in the California Redwoods as we wound our way down to San Francisco. The students were completely immersed in ensuring that the quiet majesty of the Redwoods was anything but quiet so I took a moment to fixate on a few of the fallen giants that bordered the path. As usual, some yahoo had felt the need to deface the soft orange bark of a 200' long nurse log and that is what I ended up photographing. I'm still a bit unsure as to why I compile so many images of initials carved into trees— I suppose because defacing a tree is not all that different an act from taking a picture. Both claim that one tiny presence shared a moment with something much greater.

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