Upcoming field trip to the great north. Traveling for fun.

Studio Dog puts her foot down and demands we organize a party to "fetch" our 
young college student back home. She is tired of having her own room and having 
to scratch her own belly. "Bring me the boy!" she growled. 

So next Wednesday I'm heading up to Saratoga Springs, NY, by way of Albany to help Ben pack up his winter gear, have dinner and coffees with my friend, Fred, and generally take a three day break from the constant stress and responsibility of being a Texas artist. I am sure Ben can hardly wait to leave his enchanted enclave at Skidmore College, trade the bracing freshness of 60 degree days for the 95+ with bountiful humidity of his home town, and rush to the chaffing, unfathomable boundaries of once again living at home with his parents after almost a year of freedom. 

I have only been to Saratoga Springs once before and that was last Fall. The leaves were turning colors and there was already a briskness to the air. It seemed like a foreign country to me. But I quickly came to love the small town, it's great restaurant scene, the community feeling of the Uncommon Grounds coffee house and the ten minute walk through a majestic neighborhood that connects the college with the town proper. 

There is one perplexing decision to make for this trip....Which camera and which (one) lens should I bring? The front runner at the moment is the Olympus EM5.2 with the Panasonic 12-35mm lens but I do have a line on a Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens and I may just be a big enough sucker for new gear to snag that and slap it on the front of my Nikon D610. I'll decide the night before. 

While I am excited about the trip and also the prospect of having boy around for the Summer I once thought of buying a place up in Saratoga Spring to use as a Summer home. Then I woke up from my Disney-like dream sequence and remembered that I am still a freelance photographer and am lucky to own one home. But I will make the most of my three days unencumbered by the hard work of making photographs so I can have fun making photographs. It's all very confusing but I think I know what I mean. 

That's Weds. through Friday of next week. If you read the blog and you happen to see me at Uncommon Grounds don't hesitate to drop by and say hello. If you seem nice I might even buy you a cup of coffee.


Rev. Heng Sure said...

Kirk, with the Olympus in hand, even with the 12-40 zoom in front you'll look like a nearly-invisible visiting father. With that weighty Sigma prime on a D610 you will become very-visible Mr. Camera. Maybe ask Ben which he prefers you to be?

Larry Cordeiro said...


Another vote for Olympus on this trip. The freedom of flying under the radar, and putting Ben first should be enough incentive.

James Weekes said...

You once wrote that the 12-35 was boring because it was so good. I agree. It is such a good lens that I leave a lot of very good lenses on the shelf most days because it covers most of the lengths that I like. I hear the Olympus 12-40 is very similar but it would be redundant. Take the boring lens, save your back, enjoy Saratoga, one of my favorite towns.

Burt said...

Hey Kirk, I'll hope to run into you at Uncommon Grounds. It figures that you have already scoped out the best coffee shop in town.

Let me buy you a coffee!


Craig Yuill said...

It'll be good to get together with your son again. Enjoy the trip.

If you expect to take any video then take the Olympus. I like my DSLR just fine. But my small mirrorless camera is the one I take if I need a stills/video camera.

Anthony Bridges said...

Looking forward to the photos. The Olympus sounds like a great choice. Limit the lens to a prime to reduce the varieties of focal lengths. Sometimes less choice (in tools) is more art.

Nate said...

Sounds like a fun trip and nice change of scenery for you. I'd say the Olympus, since it can do both video and stills in a convenient manner. Or, your Nikon F4, random 50mm, and four rolls of Tri-X.

MItch Wojnarowicz said...

Uh, I live here and can't afford to buy a house in Saratoga. You need to come for more time and explore the mountains on the doorstep of which Saratoga sits. If you've made it to Uncommon Grounds, you need to make it to Henry Street Tap room or The Parting Glass. Maybe our paths can cross ....