My first visit to Maine was during the summer between 8th and 9th grade...back in the early 90's. The only things on my mind were my snowboard, my skateboard, every band in Seattle, and girls. I lived in the middle of nowhere, New York State. The woods. I appreciated the heck out of what lie outside my door, and had always had a deep appreciation and fascination with being outdoors and exploring.
It wasn't until the fall of 1996 that I took my first photography class. The fall semester of my senior year in high school. The 'ol "What're you going to do with the rest of your life?" question.
I had no idea.
But, that first roll of film changed me. It was magical. I loved the process...the camera being the tool, and this strip of plastic that recorded stuff backwards that you could then shine light through on to a sheet of paper and make right again. Magical.
Another thing that changed me was Maine. I've only visited three times in my life, but I vividly remember each stay. There's something about the coast that strikes a chord with me. Its climate is perfect. The weather can change in a matter of minutes. The rocky coast and icy cold waves were meant for each other. Not to mention...all that granite.
It is beautifully rugged.
Like a steelhead drawn by instinct to spawn each fall, I get that itch to dive into some remote corner of the northeast, and just take it all in. The crisp air, the cool evenings and mosquitoes just come a calling. Back in my college days, I always fancied myself living out of a tent, riding my mountain bike to a steep trail, and taking foot to summit some northeastern peak to capture the grandest vistas on my view camera. Ahhhhhhh...it would be great. Of course, I had no piece to that puzzle, save for hiking boots.
I think the necessity for us to venture and wander lies in our DNA. Some act upon the urge, some don't. Even better...some who act have a camera.
So...I'm planning my next visit. The car has been rented, my camping gear is in order, and film is stocked up. Heck, I even went ahead and overhauled my tripod. It's going to be a week of solo photography bliss.