Rocks
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

I really enjoy the fact that camp is missing some key amenities, such as power and running water. Their absence inevitably makes me ponder how reliant I am on them. An odd secondary line of thinking starts, however. As I relax, my beer iced in a cooler, food cooked and coffee percolated on propane, watertight roof over my head, and vehicle loaded with gasoline waiting outside to take me back home, I know I really have only given up just a few amenities out of many. However thought provoking it may be, camp is not roughing, not in the greater scheme of things.

I spend a bit of energy trying to figure out how to charge my laptop. The normal four hour battery becomes about 1.5 hours or less when it's driving a verizon card to get online and converting raw camera files, etc. This takes away from the creative process greatly - instead of working out whats on my mind for my many ones of readers, I end up tempted to just post some picts and move on. A lot of my photography can happen without any power at all; my leica has no battery, and I can get by without even a light meter. I could come to camp and bumble along on the rocks snapping away without a concern, and process all the film when I return home.

I think the daily photo format helped my photography quite a bit, but has probably now become a hinderance. I would benefit from working over broader collections of photos and themes, really fleshing out what I'm trying to say rather than just posting something recent. I've been planning on using this blog more as a visually scratch pad and trying to work out some other things on the side.

Running against that is a different current - I'd like to write more, and when I'm traveling I like the day by day process that goes into writing about the experience, much like the daily photo was so helpful earlier on. So while part of me wants to curl up a bit photographically, I want to be a little more busy and day to day about writing. A realization for me at camp was the extent to which that process for me currently requires a computer. I can't imagine writing this on paper, one paragraph after another - rewriting completely for a revision. That might be a fascinating class for college students though - generally anything that completely turns your process upside down will teach you a few things. I don't think I have much of a process right side up even just yet.

It might be worth rethinking it for me though. Maybe when I travel I should just put the blog on hold or have some smaller updates, and work out what I want to write about when I get home, along with the rolls of film. Or I should maybe just not write and concentrate on the photography - it isn't as though I have it mastered and need to move on.

Whatever the case I end up at camp scampering to sort out power for the laptop, in part to keep the photos coming, because that is the process I'm used to. Also, as I said, I don't think camp is really roughing in the big sense. I don't feel a need to divest myself of the complexities of technology and get back to nature - that would be backpacking or camping or something different. I do feel a challenge to figure out how to be able to be off the electrical grid in a sustainable way, which is both a technological problem, and a process problem. Or a cash problem. For $1000 in solar gear and batteries I could leave the laptop on all the time with some power to spare. It seems like that would be cheating....

Another problem is just that I don't want to spend a lot of time working on issues that don't come up a lot. I'm only at camp and on motorcycle trips for a portion of the year; solutions for those circumstances (both technological and in process) will wither on the vine if they don't provide some benefit in general.

Anyway, it's an ongoing issue. It is fascinating seeing how just being without 40 watts of electricity (basically enough for a dim light bulb) can mess up your game.

[ tags: dmc-lx3 flower lake michigan solar superior technology travel up writing ]

Rocks
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

[ tags: dmc-lx3 flower lake michigan superior travel up ]

Rocks
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

[ tags: dmc-lx3 flower lake michigan superior travel up ]

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