July 27, 2009

Back From the Woods

Yes, this blog has had it's share of crickets in the last few weeks, but it has been intentional and at the same time unavoidable.

Last summer I used two weeks of my vacation time to work at a summer camp north of Toronto, Fraser Lake Camp, and helped run their Leader in Training (LIT) program. Basically it's a two week session at camp for 14 year olds, with 9 days of that time spent on a backcountry canoe trip in Algonquin Park. To me, Fraser and Algonquin Park are like little slices of heaven and so I jump at any chance I get to head to both locations.

This summer I signed up to be an LIT Program Director again and with my friend Ted we worked hard to pick new canoe routes and plan out a revised program that would teach teenagers how to become self-confident, self-reliant and indepenent.

The trip is by no means an easy walk in the park. Mornings on this year's trip started around 7:30am with breakfast, breaking camp, and getting ready for the day. Usually we were on the water around 9:30/10am and didn't get to our next campsite until about 5:30/6pm on most days. The in between part saw us paddling anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours to portages that varied in length of 75 metres to almost 4 kilometres with our packs on our backs and canoes over our heads.

To some this may sound like torture, for me, it's heaven. Toss in 7 teenagers and it's an epic adventure!

So I am back safely from my Algonquin adventures, trying to kill a bit of a head cold, but otherwise no worse for the wear. Last summer I brought a point and shoot along, but this year I decided I wanted a complete escape, and so I have no pictures of my own to share from the trip. I'll see if I can snag a few from the campers to post at a later date.

Of course while I'm away ignoring the Internet and technology and giving up basic things like plumbing and electricity, the world marches on, so I was really excited to see today that this blog has been listed by the blog All Day I Dream About Photography as one of the 29 fresh blogs and photoblogs to add to your RSS readers.


I haven't done it yet, but I'm planning on looking through the other sites listed to see what they're also up to. Link lists like this tend to bring about really cool new connections, and it's cool to see that that's already happened with another blog listed on the site, but I don't want to let the cat out of the bag until that happens.

So what's up for Photography by Kat in the next month or so? Lots. There's a family trip to PEI...you better believe my camera gear is going along on this adventure. I have some baby portraits to shoot for a friend, two weddings to shoot in August, and the possibility of some other sessions that people have been inquiring about.

I'd love to work some more on my Airport Abandoning project and maybe see if I can submit this to the Contact photo festival for next June. Even if it doesn't make its way into Contact, there's a fantastic coffee shop in my home town that supports local artists and I'd love to see if I could get the pictures up there and maybe have a party of some sort.

I'm also wanting to improve my editing skills so I'm thinking about taking some time in the fall to put myself through a self-study program of Photoshop and Lightroom Techniques. I'd love to go to the Photoshop World Conference in Vegas and also PDN's PhotoExpo in NYC in October...but I don't know if either or both of those trips are in the financial cards this year.

While on the canoe trip last week I did a lot of musing about photography and what I want to do with it, and where I want to go with it. I don't think I'll ever have that entirely figured out, but it felt good to set my head right about some things, and to step away from the camera for a solid two weeks.

So as one of my campers said (albeit in German): "Clench your butt cheeks, close your eyes, and push through!" Lets see what the second half of 2009 has to bring for Photography by Kat.

More soon...

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