Felt a Little Naked out There

It’s rare that I walk out of my house without my camera in my pocket. Rarer still is walking down a river without my camera hanging around my neck and tucked down into my waders. You just never know what you might come across that is picture worthy.

A half mile down the road on my way to a put in spot on the river, I realized my camera wasn’t around my neck or tucked into my waders. A half mile hike back to the car to find that my camera wasn’t there either. I realized it was sitting on my kitchen table back at home. I seriously considered making the 20 minute round trip drive to fetch the camera. That was 20 fewer minutes of fishing, at least. Unacceptable today.

I realized while I was out fishing how reliant I was on that camera. I became very aware of how I have words rattling around in my head while fishing and I take pictures as a way of remembering the words, at least some of them. Even if I never used the pictures, it was a way of burning the moment and the words into my memory. Without it, I felt like I would remember nothing. Or not be able to put things into words.

Years ago as a struggling artist, a painter mostly, I painted big. Six foot by eight foot was a size I was pretty comfortable with. That was also the size limit that would fit in my studio. I would paint images and things and then I would paint the title over the images and things. On a number of paintings I painted a paragraph or two over the images and things. Never for a moment did I consider that writing, it was words that described an image and also, the other way around.

After I abruptly stopped painting, except for taking pictures for myself, I didn’t do much of anything for almost 10 years. Then around 1998, I started writing down my experiences while out fishing rivers, a new adventure for me at that time. The pictures I took found their way into the fishing stories immediately. I’ve been doing things that way ever since.

So now, I’m at a loss. I could conjure up images in my head, that’s easy, and write words around them. But it’s not quite the same. I need that back and forth combination of words in my head and images coming in through my eyes. They play off each other even if they don’t reference each other.

So what you get instead is that I caught 5 smallies and had 8 more self release. I could go on about the stunning light, the big fish missed (two of them), a description of how the big fish get the best spots and that’s where they were, see, right here in this picture…

So I dug out a couple of photos from exactly one year earlier, April 8, 2011. I have to have a picture in here.

So, exactly one year ago…

…there wasn’t anything green, much unlike this year…

…and I caught a little fish.

It must have been cold out based on the gloves I was wearing.


Much better, I feel much better now.


4 thoughts on “Felt a Little Naked out There

  1. Mike

    I’m with you 100%, Ken. I’d be lost without the camera. Last week I went a few hours west to chase some trout and, while I remembered the camera, I had forgotten to be sure it had a decent charge. It didn’t. I felt lost, incomplete, and no story emerged.

    More and more often, my posts are initiated by a picture and the words follow along. Today’s is a perfect example. The image of fly and spinning reels lying side by side started the thought process and it went from there.

    Good stuff!

  2. Ken G Post author

    My friend Bob Long, Jr. does that with his images on his flickr site. One image and he takes it from there. You do an excellent job of it too.

    I started another site just of my images, It Could be Anywhere. It’s sitting there while I go through hundreds of images I’ve taken over the years.

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one that happens to. It was an odd thought process for sure. Lost and naked.

  3. bob

    who needs a camera? I do……

    i went almost straight into withdrawal as soon as i knew, no images here.

    1. Ken G Post author

      Of course there were all kinds of things to photograph that day. Best left to mention them in passing than try to describe them here. Funny test would be to leave cameras at home for one week, no pictures. Bunch of photo junkies.

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