We turn onto the gas company improved access road and head into one of the many tracts of public, state forest land in Pennsylvania. Our SUV bounces and clatters along through dense stands of mixed...
It was late Thursday evening and I had just landed in Seattle where I was meeting my life long buddy, Jay for a weekend of fishing and camping in the Cascade mountains. I was schlepping my gear through the terminal with a Sage rod tube protruding from my backpack; a beacon stating that I was in town for fun. Walking toward the curbside I was mindlessly checking my iPhone one more time before stepping off the grid for 2 days. That's when the email from Chad came in looking for a photo spread for hatchmag.
Given that most of my recent stuff had been shown online already, I wasn't that fired up to recycle old images for Chad's request. I thought maybe I could go deep into the archives and find some shots that were good enough to show, maybe some outtakes. I didn't know. I wasn't feeling it. As Jay and I drove east I thought, maybe I'll write Chad back and just pass on his kind offer, but that didn't seem cool either. I found myself wishing I had brought some camera gear. Trying to travel ultra-light didn't pay off this time.
As we got deeper into the Cascade range I was quick to realize that this place was sweet, too beautiful to go to waste. I realized I had no other choice: the iPhone. Why not, right? That could work.
Now, I've been a professional photographer since before it was cool for presidents to get blown in the White House and although I used to joke about how freeing it would be to show up on location with just my point and shoot in my shirt pocket, I've never had the guts to do it. I assumed in some way (aside from 'never working in this town again') that it wouldn't be fair to the creative process. I'd be cheating myself, the client and the subject matter in some way. This is a craft after all and there are tools involved here, and they have to be the right tools. Cameras, lenses, tripods. Right?
Well, I still don't have that answer but I finally did it, I showed up on location with just a point and shoot in my pocket.
Keith Brauneis is a professional photographer and filmmaker living in San Francisco, CA. You can see more of Keith's adventure and fly fishing photography at KeithBrauneis.com.