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.

The Dark Horse Region

The Dark Horse Region
A View into the center of the Milky Way

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So Much the Better

Resolutions...New Years or otherwise...almost never work, so the only resolution I ever make is to never make a resolution I know I can't or won't keep.  About this time of year I always seem to take count of my physical condition more than other times and usually come to the conclusion that it is way below what it should be.  For someone my age I stay reasonably active, but not nearly enough so to compensate for adverse effects of the volume of down time I seem to experience.  Off and on...mostly off...over the years, I've managed to find time for various physical activities...things like bicycling, running, hiking/backpacking, canoeing, tennis, various team sports, swimming and swimming related stuff, hunting and fishing, and weight lifting...and I even tried triathlons there for a while.  At best I never became more than mediocre at any one of those activities, but combined I suppose those adventures have contributed to at least a moderate measure of physical phitness.  My current favorite pastime of laying on the couch indulging with various types potato chips, among other assorted snacks, unfortunately has contributed to a decline of that fitness level of late.  Even so, every once in a while I take measure of the layer of flab and sag that has developed around my mid section and decide to do something meaningful about it.

For the last couple of years I've managed to frequent the gym a few times a week to grunt and prod through various levels of lifting heavier than I should lift weights.  My joints and other parts of my anatomy seem to benefit ( and suffer ) as a result.  In past years, one of my favorite workouts has been swimming, and although never at a competitive level, I obtained at least a reasonable level of competency at it.  For lack of an adequate facility and an overall general attitude of age related malaise, I've not swam a single lap in several years.  A little over a year ago Bowling Green and Warren County built a brand new state of the art aquatic center complete with a real dandy swimming hole inside...a 25 meter competition level facitlity that just happens to be only a few minutes from my office.  So, realizing I no longer could rely on the 'a lack of adequate facility' excuse, I recently purchased a membership and began my quest to start swimming for fitness again.

First time out I managed to flounder through about 600 meters...50 at a time with long periods of letting the gorilla on my back gasp and choke between each one.  By mid-afternoon I crashed and burned.  Second time wasn't quite as bad, and by the third time I felt like I was starting to get my old form back...but still have a ways to go.  I hope to soon work up to a 1000 meters in under 25 minutes...respectable for an old fart like myself.  Who knows, maybe that potato chip fed gorilla and myself might trim off some of the excess flotation around my mid section in the process.

S0...what does this have to do with outdoor photography?  Well...nothing really, except I hope to try something new this summer; underwater photography.  The plan is to purchase one of those disposable 35mm cameras encased in a plastic waterproof container and visit one of the local clear water streams and see if I can photograph some of the fish or other aquatic interesting things that lurk on or near the bottom of the shallows.  Might be kind of fun to try.

In the mean time, I plan on hitting the gym a couple days a week and hitting the pool a couple days a week, and when the weather permits, hitting the road on my old trusty and probably rusty triathlon bike for a quick 20 miles from time to time.  Throw in a canoe trip or two, maybe a hike here and there...and who knows, maybe this tired old body of mine just might come back to life.  If I happen to lose some of the sag around my much the better.


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