Archive for July, 2008

Coming to Montana

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I arrived in Bozeman on Monday afternoon.  My car was waiting for me in the short term lot as usual thanks to the folks at Osterman’s Car Storage in Belgrade.  It was a beautiful day and an easy drive into Missoula.  The Clark Fork River meanders along I-90 from just outside Anaconda through Missoula.  It was very tempting to get off the freeway and look for rising fish, but I had too many errands in Missoula to do.

It was hot in Missoula…over 94 degrees F.  I wasn’t looking forward to a blistering hot day fishing on the river with Chris McAdams (www.kingfisherflyshop.com), but as luck would have it a reprieve was forecast for Tuesday.  There was overcast and rain coming.  Good omens for a productive day on the river.

I stopped at RMSP (www.rmsp.com) and said Hi to a few friends who have been so good to me.  They had good reports about the wildflowers and weather for my upcoming workshop in Glacier National Park.  Now, I’m really excited.

Monday night I spent the evening at the Iron Horse bar with one of the instructors at RMSP, Tim Cooper (www.timcooperphotography.com), and his girl friend Marissa.  I turned into a beautiful evening and it was great to reconnect with Tim and meet Marissa.  The time with Tim makes me look forward to his workshop in October.

Tuesday dawned with promise of rain showers and generally overcast skies.  It looked like it would be a great day fro dry fly fishing on the Bitterroot River.  My luck was not so good.  It was an average day with a couple of good sized Cutt-Bows and a few Rainbows.

Then, it was off to Whitefish to see the Shaws.  It rained almost the entire trip through the Flathead Valley.  It was a very needed drenching, and though it slowed me down I know the valley needed it.  And, even better, there were no fires in the Valley, unlike last year when it seemed the entire Valley was ablaze.

It was great getting in to the Shaws’ Lazy Creek Ranch home, but it was late.  We caught up a little bit and planned the rest of our adventure after Liz and Rose get into Whitefish.

My Excitement is Building

Friday, July 11th, 2008

I leave for Montana in 10 days, and as I prepare my gear for the upcoming workshop in Glacier National Park, I can hardly contain my excitement.  It’s been almost a year since I my first trip to Glacier and I still remember it with fondness.  I can hardly wait to see the workshop leader, Doug Johnson, again, and see the park through his eyes and experience.

I’m writing this blog entry on my newest “tool” for my photography passion.  It’s a brand new MacBook Air 1.8 Ghz. I decided to replace my 17″ MacBook Pro (May 2006) with this mostly because I found that most of what I do on the MBP when out of the office is limited to capturing/organizing photo shoots, maintaining my websites, email, and web surfing.  The Air seems to be an adequate tool for these tasks, and, with the airlines making weight and baggage such an issue, its smaller size and weight will definitely help me with my carry-on packing.  While I’ll miss the “real estate” of the 17″ screen, the MBP has found a nice home as a desktop replacement in my studio with a 30″ Samsung monitor.  Also, the MBP was showing it’s age, or, as Dr. Jones said in Raiders of the Lost Ark, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”

I opted for the less expensive 80GB 4200 rpm HDD instead of the recently discounted 64 GB SSD.  I just couldn’t justify the extra cost.  I also didn’t get the Apple external DVD, because of the inability to use it with a USB hub.  I purchased an Apricorn DVD/CD DL LightScribe Burner from newegg.com and so far so good.  It runs from the Air’s USB port without need for the included AC adapter.  It also runs from a USB hub again without the AC adapter.  I chose the LightScribe burner so that I could easily label the disks I burn without need to carry labels, etc.  I also got the USB Ethernet adapter for those occasional times when there’s no wireless.

So far, I’m really impressed with the Air.  Its screen is extremely bright and clear and its keyboard is so much better than the MBP.  I haven’t played with the trackpad’s gesturing capabilities yet.  As I get more screen time with the Air, I’ll post some more comments.

I’m getting my “kit” together for the workshop, and I really can’t wait to put two of my new Nikkor lenses through their paces.  My girlfriend bought me a 12-24mm f2.8 zoom lens for Hanukah and I embarassingly have to say that I haven’t really used it.  With my tax refund, I bought a 24-70mm f2.8 zoom lens last month.  Both lenses will complement my current “quiver” quite well, especially the 70-200mm f2.8 zoom lens.  They do seem to make the my other zoom lens redundant, though.

I’m still trying to decide what other lenses to bring.  The 50mm f1.2 is so small and lightweight that I simply can’t leave it behind.  It’s so handy and quick that it will be good to have for some of the indoor sessions of the workshop.  I think I’ll bring my 60mm macro lens, too.  I’m sure there be opportunities to do some closeup work as well as the spectacular landscapes that I know Glacier has.

Will I need an external flash?  Probably wouldn’t hurt to have one along…  Where I am going to find the space for everything?