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Photos from Canoe Camping and All My Secret Locations

Photos from Canoe Camping and All My Secret Locations
By Bryan Hansel • Issue #50 • View online
During this issue, I’ll feature a few images from a recent canoe trip that I took with my 7 year old. Then I’ll speak briefly about sharing locations on social media.

Recently, my kid and I did a S24O (sub-24 hour overnight) trip to a local lake that we like to camp at. He and I have been doing a camping trip there at least once a year for the last several years.
Usually we canoe into a remote campsite, but this time we decided to swing through the front country campground first. As luck would have it, my favorite campsite was open. We snagged it, set up the tent and then did the normal camp things, such as fly fish, canoe, hang out, watercolor paint, and, of course, photo take.
I also had a chance to try out a Watershed Ocoee with a small, shallow F-stop ICU to carry my camera gear. It worked great. The Ocoee is a small waterproof duffle bag and the ICU is a padded insert. The ICU fits inside the Ocoee perfectly and works better for this size duffle than Watershed’s own camera insert. There isn’t as much protection of the camera gear at the top of the duffle as Watershed’s bag, but it makes the duffle much more usable. Usability vs. Protection. It’s a tradeoff that I decided was worth it.
I've been shooting a lot of blue-sky photos lately. They seem to get good responses on social media.
I've been shooting a lot of blue-sky photos lately. They seem to get good responses on social media.
While the sunset wasn’t worth shooting, the night stayed clear and was amazing for night sky photography. I put my kid to sleep and then went down to the shore (our campsite was right on the shore). The stars reflected in the still water below.
Looking north at the arms of the Milky Way.
Looking north at the arms of the Milky Way.
I left something back in the tent and went back to get it when I found that my sleeping pad had deflated completely. I pulled it out and found a big hole! Luckily, I had Tenacious Tape (if you buy from the link, I get a small commission) with me. It fixed the biggest hole, but I didn’t find the small hole.
30-minute star trail shot. The earth's rotation causes the stars to turn into streaks.
30-minute star trail shot. The earth's rotation causes the stars to turn into streaks.
The entire night was about 1 hour of sleep until I bottomed out on the ground, and then I had to re-inflate the pad. I was so happy when my alarm went off for sunrise. It was a relief, and the sunrise was amazing!
I add to reduce the orange saturation from what it appeared like to our eyes. It wouldn't have been believable in a photo even though we saw it.
I add to reduce the orange saturation from what it appeared like to our eyes. It wouldn't have been believable in a photo even though we saw it.
My kid is an early riser, and he woke up to watch the sunrise with me. He said, “Dad, I’ve never seen an orange like that.” It was brilliant.
The sunrise was so good that the sky turned pink to the north.
The sunrise was so good that the sky turned pink to the north.
All My Secret Locations
One thing I’ve noticed about social media in the past couple of years is that if the photographer posts a photo and for whatever reason doesn’t include the location info of the photo, often someone will ask for it in the comments.
Then if the original poster doesn’t give the location, someone else will come along and give the location.
Doing the above is showing a lack of respect for the original photographer who made a choice not to include the location. For whatever reason the original photographer decided not to give it, it was their decision. If someone doesn’t like their decision, then they should respect it and post their own picture on their own profile and say whatever they’d like. But as like in most things these days on the internet understanding and showing respect is missing.
There are many valid reasons for not posting a location. An important reason is that if an area is sensitive or could be impacted by a large influx of social-media-driven traffic, it’s a good idea not to give out that location publicly. Or if the photographer does give out the info, then they should include information about Leave No Trace.
Another reason and a big reason that I seldom post exact locations is that photography is part Exploration, Adventure and Discovery. When you give the location, you rob other photographers who photograph in part to experience the joy of exploration, adventure and discovery from actually experiencing it.
Without knowing the exact location when searching for it, a photographer may make their own discovery of the location or even something cooler and more unique to photograph. That’s one of the things that I love to do, and when I know the exact location of a photo from a post, it robs me of the adventure of figuring it out. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t like to post location info.
Sure, some people are going to buy or write guidebooks, such as my Three days on the North Shore Photography Guide Fall Edition, but that’s a non-public choice they have made. Sure, some photographers want to get the shot without any exploration, discovery and adventure. There’s nothing wrong with that either.
But by posting location info on a photo that the original photographer choose not to, someone robs other photographers that want exploration, adventure and discovery from experiencing that. For the photographers that don’t care about exploration, adventure and discovery, they can get a guidebook if they want. I do sometimes.
Just as a disclosure about my location info: if there is no location info from me, you can assume it is in Cook County. If not knowing bothers you, then know that saying the location bothers me just as much. I’m not going to give the location unless I feel like I want to give the location, and I think that should be true for all photographers.
Until next time
I hope that you enjoyed this issue and found it helpful. I’ll see you again in two weeks. Until then here’s one last shot from my recent camping trip. It’s another blue sky shot. Can you believe this view from the campsite?
Did you enjoy this issue?
Bryan Hansel

Covering photography and the intersection of outdoors, public land, perception, adventure, and whatever strikes my fancy about photography.

Also, includes my photos and stories about the making of them.

About me: Photo maker, writer, adventurer & outdoor photography educator.

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