Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

F-4 Phantom

F-4 Phantom
F-4 Phantom

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Adventurous Nature

I was talking to someone the other day who asked me if I was a big outdoorsman...she had stumbled onto my blog site.  Well...I'm certainly bigger than I used to be, but I must admit I don't get out as much as I used to.  I suppose age and other obligations do deplete not only my ability to get out, but the available time to do this thing called 'work' tends to interfere with all the things I'd rather be doing.  Even so, I still find time for some adventure and throwing in a photo trip or's just more compressed and maybe not quite as adventurous as what I did in my younger days.

Speaking of my younger days, this week I discovered a website many of you probably already visit called Hulu that offers full episode viewing of old television programs and movies.  I've enjoyed watching some of my old favorites.  My generation grew up at the beginning of and during the golden years of the television explosion.  I suppose that gives us a unique perspective on the medium.  Can't speak for others, but it just seems to me that the old programs were a lot better than most of what you find on television today.  There are exceptions of course as programming today tends to be more sophisticated and have more of a biting edge to it...they're also way to explicit in my opinion. Even so, the science and nature programs available today do a good job of not only entertaining, but educating the ordinary viewer with outstanding footage and insight.

When I look back on those early days I realize just how influential many of those programs were to the development of that adventurous nature I seemed to have over the years.  Take for instance one of my favorites of all time 'Sea Hunt' staring Lloyd Bridges (Beau and Jeff's dad).  The main character was guy named Mike Nelson who ran into all kinds of underwater scuba diving adventures.  This program played an important roll inspiring me to take up scuba diving once I was old enough to make that choice for myself...(my parents would never have allowed such a thing...heaven forbid I might actually drown or maybe even have too much fun or something).  And how many of you remember  'Rip Chord'?  A great adventure show where the two main guys sky dive into all kinds of dangerous exploits.

Now here's another good any of you remember 'The Whirlybirds'.  What a great show about a couple of guys who flew into and out of all kinds of adventures using a helicopter.  No I never took up skydiving nor did I ever learn how to fly a helicopter...not that I didn't want to...just never had an opportunity to pursue those things, (and I haven't been scuba diving in quite some time).  I guess there are some adventure quests best left to the 'Walter Mitty' hopes and dreams most of us have tucked away someplace.

What was important was not so much that I did or did not pursue those kinds of adventures...what really counts is the ideals and spirit of adventure that were nurtured because of them.  I probably would never have taken up hunting and fishing or hiking and canoeing..even photography.  I more than likely would have never  attempted competing in triathlons at the age of 40, nor would I have thought about or enjoyed those two summers as a lifeguard and swimming instructor way too many years ago to admit to.  The idea of jumping ship after three years of college looking for adventure by joining the United States Coast Guard and getting involved in search and rescue operations crashing through twenty-five foot breakers along the Oregon coast would never have happened...nor would time spent maintaining an old historic lighthouse.

Those old adventure shows from years ago were not the only things that nurtured the desire for adventure in my life, but they certainly must be included in the conversation because they created a visual point of reference that a young mind grasp onto...and dreamed about doing.

If you just stop and think about it though, one thing my generation...the Baby Boomers...learned how to do was to dream out the unknown...and challenge ourselves.  Those traits have served our generation well as we became the most productive and innovative generation in history.  We didn't just use technology, we invented it.  We stretched our imaginations well beyond the ordinary and challenged the status quo and reached for...well..the moon.

Even though I've slowed down as I've gotten older, the dreams of adventure from my youth still resonate in my heart.  I may never again be able to pursue those things at the same level I once did, but the desire still burns to get out and explore.  Maybe that is why I started this I could experience again and share many of those memories with the few people who may actually visit these pages.

You know...I've only just slowed down a bit...I ain't dead yet...there are still plenty of adventures yet to chase after and I hope to share more with you as time goes by...I hope you join me.

(Would love to hear about some of your own adventures)

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