Tuesday, 24 January 2017

'Why', River Paddling and Photography

As part of my 10-day blog challenge, it is to write about my 'Why".  What gets my juices flowing and gets me out of bed every day.  One example is when I am in a boat, paddling.... I have complete freedom!  It is like stepping out of the straight jacket of life, demands, pressures and starting a dance that only me, my boat and the river experience.  Hard to put in words... but really the significant change in me is astounding!  I have been paddling since I was 14 years old in some form or fashion.  I started out in the ocean and tasted a river (literally) in my early 20s.  Paddling seems to come easily to me.

Today, 37 years later I went paddling with this guy - Stefan Austin

 Andy & Stefan

What a great trip!  Of course, I paddle regularly and the river was 42 cumecs, a brilliant flow.  Grade 3, technical rapids and a stunning day.  It was also important to do it before our programme started to check out the river and get into the flow.  So categorised as 'staff training' and 'bonding' was the trip's purpose.

 Misplaced on our Adventure

Why do I do my job?  What turns my propellor and gets me up in the morning?  It is the excitement of opportunities like getting on a river and combining technical skills, confident minds, drawing on experience and judgment to make snap decisions in a dynamic environment, while working with the physics and dynamics of the river.  Part of the fun and adventure is often getting there.  Admittedly we did get lost as there has been so much change with the foresty.

 Stefan finds a hole on the river run
While on the river, I took my TG 4 Olympus to snap some shots.  This pocket rocket has turned out to be a great buy, however, today somehow it switched to just taking JPEGs.  What a lemon!  One of the reasons I bought it was so I could shoot RAW.  Also, it has better machinery.  Also what I have found is it does not have TV priority.  Not being able to set your shutter speed is quite restrictive and some of my shots today suffered due to this.  However, If you get the setting right you can get some great shots.  This camera is still a gem and a better pocket rocket than previous ones I have owned.  I still need to adjust to its limitations.  It was great on my Indian expedition.

 Striking colour lines between Lee Stream and the Taieri River

So if I answer the 'Why' question.  It's moments like these, sharing great experiences with great people like Stefan on adventures that keep me inspired.  And when I come to teach and am in that position of responsibility to look after others, I fire up!  I am able to share my excitement for being in amazing places like this.  And I can apply my photographic skills to capture memories to share and inspire others to take care of our world and get out and adventure.

Keep adventuring

This blog post is dedicated to Alan Hofman (aka Sarge)  Sarge is battling cancer and has dedicated extensive years to helping the kayaking infrastructure and inspiring other paddlers to love kayaking.  Kia Kaha Sarge!

Andy Thompson
Andy Thompson Photography NZ Ltd

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2

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