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Adventures from the Tripod, April 2020

Off the Beaten Path 

Social Distancing, No pandemic needed

Feeling at home on the French Broad River

Multi-Day Guided Photography Trips

"On Sunday, May 29, 2016, Nelson and I launched our raft (a 13′ Aire Super Puma with an oar rig) from Headwaters Outfitter's sandy beach in Rosman, NC. Our plan was to paddle all 149 miles of the French Broad River over 13 days. The trip was challenging, exciting, and rewarding. What was unexpected was how good people were to us. "

This is the opening paragraph for an article my wife wrote about one of our many adventures. To read the full article please visit our travel blog Angie StegallYukon and Bean.

“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” John Muir

Is social distancing a bad thing?  I say no!  Lots of research shows that taking even a small break will increase creativity and production. In a different way of thinking, maybe the Universe is forcing us to take a break. 

I have spent most of my life chasing adventures and spending a lot of time alone.  I have found that when I can step away from the world, spend some time in nature, and just be by myself, a world of creativity opens up.

This time alone is when I like to photograph the world around me.

My real estate photography and portrait work  has come to a screeching halt right now, and just like a lot of other people, I am trying to figure out what I am going to do.  In general, I am a very positive person, but its been a hard couple of weeks with the COVID-19 doom and gloom all over the news.  I am taking advantage of the downtime to edit photos, work on my website, garden, and enjoy some needed R&R.

If you are looking for something to do, let's talk about creating a VIP Photo Tour for you when the stay at home orders end!      

C-19 Project

I started the C-19 Project to document the COVID-19 virus and the "stay-at-home" order many of us are experiencing. I will be posting photographs and a few words from people around my home town of Gastonia NC.

Would you like to join my project?

Click on the contact tab above and send me an email with your names (including pets if they will be in the photograph), your address and phone number, what you do for a living, and how your life has changed. I'll reach out to you by phone or email to schedule a time for me to come to your house or place of business to take your photograph.

NOTE: These photographs are free of charge and I'll include a digital download for you to keep. I am not interacting with anyone up close and will maintain a minimum 6-foot distance from everyone. Get the family together on the front porch or yard, dress in your Sunday best or what you have been wearing for the past three days, and smile for the camera.

I would love to hear your story and photograph your stay at home adventures.

Caitlin and Comet

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Guided Photography Tours

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Are you looking to improve your photography skills? Are you wanting to get into that out of the way place for the photograph no one else has? Or maybe you just want to come along with me on a photography scouting trip.

I am always looking for new places to photograph and regularly get in the car and go explore. I mostly head to the mountains and waterfalls, but I can regularly be found in city parks and doing street photography in small towns.

After booking a Photo Tour we will set up a time the have a phone conversation to discuss your goals for the Photo Tour. If you do not have any location ideas, I will be happy to throw out some suggestions. All tours are private but can be opened to two additional people, so your spouse, buddy, or some stranger you have never meet can book a spot, too. All Photo Tours include transportation from Gastonia (or predetermined location), water and snacks, hands-on personal learning and me, your humorous tour guide. All Tours are also open to nonphotographers who just want to get back into nature. All Tours are also open to all humans, aliens, dreamers and four-legged companions with prior approval.

Click here for some ideas for VIP photography tours.


For years I have been putting my camera gear in a daypack and hitting the trail.  The biggest problem was that stuff was everywhere and very unorganized.  I feel like I have looked at every camera pack on the market and most of them lacked the two things I was looking for.  

A compartment to keep all my camera gear organized and a compartment to carry enough gear and supplies to travel the backcountry from sunrise to sunset.  A water bladder sleeve would be an added bonus.     

The Lowepro Powder entered my life with a removable camera box to organize all my gear, enough storage space for a quick overnight trip, lots of pockets and fits like a glove.  And - BINGO - it came with that coveted water bladder sleeve. I bought my first expedition from Lowe alpine in the late 80s so I know the Powder will be around for years to come.

Just remember when purchasing a new camera bag of any style always do your research and get a bag that will meet your needs and grow with your photography. 


Tips and Tricks

I got a new 55mm lens, YAY!  Except now I have to buy new filters.  Don't get me wrong, I love buying new gear but I also like carrying as little as possible. 

All of my filters are 77mm so the worst case scenario is I can hold the filter in front of the lens or use some gaffers tape to hold it in place. Problem solved and money saved!

I set everything up to take some pictures of a waterfall and took out my 9 stop ND filter to hold in front of the lens.  The filter slid perfectly into the lens hood like they were made for each other. I was able to press the filter firmly into place and take my photographs.  I easily removed the filter and moved to my next location.

Sunglasses also make great filters for your cellphone.

Book a VIP Photography Tour with me and learn more tips and tricks.


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