Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2014 > Daily Dispatch #134

May 15, 2014: Terry the Photographer

Our having visitors here for any length of time is a rarity – so when they do materialize, Pete and I readily drop what we’re doing and spend time with them. We do well (I think) at being hosts and tour guides. Twice we did not. In 2010 and 2012 our good friend my biographer Christopher Benson came for a visit. We did go with him and checked out a few things. But for the most part we made him work. He ended up building our upper cabin stairs, and assisted Pete in putting a new roof on our cabin. And he helped us sift the upper garden soil. We worked him so hard that he once remarked “I could be doing this stuff at home.” I doubt he’ll ever come back. We have not made that mistake again.

Terry at Hatcher Pass

We haven’t asked Nancy or Terry to do any physical labor, but I’ll bet if we did they would. The pair are no strangers to hard work. They purchased a turn of the century farmhouse three years ago, and have done in three years what we’ve done in ten. Like us, they are organized, focused, and driven.

I knew Nancy quite well. We met at a TTeam clinic in 2009, and since we have kept in close touch. And I sort of knew Terry. I also met him at the Icelandic Horse Farm. He’s a landscape architect and a photographer. He took many photos at the farm and before we left he assembled a slideshow that included images of all the riders. It was very well done.

Terry purchased a new Nikon camera a few weeks ago, and while here he has been trying it out. By trying it out, I mean taking hundreds of photos. I told Nancy that I wished that I had his photographic drive. I don’t. I like to do photography, but writing is my main means of artistic communication. For instance, I will as a passenger in a car, sit quietly and read, or look out the window. However, Terry will take photos. Not one, but several. And they come out sharp.

Terry also, as all good photographers do, both experiments and problem solves. He knows the basics (of course), but at the same time he has advanced to a higher level by experimenting with things like aperture settings, shutter speeds, and f-stops. I am not near as adept at this as he is. It’s far easier for me to problem solve when writing than when taking photos.

I do have an interest in photography, so while Terry’s been here, I’ve been shadowing him, watching him closely as he’s been taking photos, and asking as many questions as time permits. In the process, I’ve seen the world through his photographic eyes, which is in a differing light. (No pun intended). Most evenings he’s given slideshows – as I look at the sharp, crisp, imaginative images, I think, why didn’t I take a photo of this or that?

Terry told me that upon return from trips, he goes back through his photos and then, in putting together slide shows, makes thematic connections. For instance, he said that when in Paris, he took numerous photos of images that contained polka dots. In my mind, this is the sign of a real photographer.

It will be interesting to see what thematic connections Terry makes when, finally, he has all his Alaska images in hand.

Next: 135. 5/16/14: Horse Training: Happy Trails