Monday, January 12, 2015

Two for 2015

A. F. Litt: Eastern Oregon &emdash; No Trespassing

No Trespassing
Sherars Bridge Hwy. Oregon. April 12, 2013Sherars Bridge Hwy. Oregon. April 12, 2013
A. F. Litt 2013

Twelve days into the new year, and I haven’t posted any navel gazing babble about my hopes and goals for 2015.  Recently, I read two items that seem to sum up a lot of my thoughts heading into the new year.

The first is that this will be a year of saying “No.”  Last year was my year of "yes," and for the last couple months I've been saying that, in 2015, I will be saying no to almost everything, avoiding the messes that resulted by the end of 2014 due to overcommitting to various projects early in the year and some overly enthusiastic business planning later in the year... Everything here has been on my heart heading into the new year, so much so that this was almost spooky to read when I first saw this a week or so ago.

Except for the millennial stuff... Too old, gray and bald! After semi-surviving Web 1.0, my generation knows that not everyone gets a trophy.

2015: The Year of No | Zech Bard | LinkedIn: "Too much Yes leads to mess. No leads to more focus. No, as my friend Jon pointed out earlier this week, closes doors so you can get things done. Getting things done and focus are not exciting though. People that say yes are exciting. People that say “no” are party poopers. Introverts. Safe people. Boring people."

In this next article, while all four of the suggestions are though provoking, the paragraph below is the one that speaks the most to me:

4 Career Decisions Every Creative Should Make — Music Bed Community: "One big temptation for creatives is to mold themselves (distort themselves) to fit demand. If people are paying for wedding videos, you start making wedding videos. If they need straight-to-camera talking heads, you do straight-to-camera talking heads. But the problem with that approach is that the less work you do that you really love doing, the less work that you love to do will come your way. Sure, a certain amount of an “I’ll take anything” attitude is needed in a creative career. But putting time into deciding your “thing” — the thing you’re going to focus on, pour yourself into, perfect more than anything else — is one of the most important decisions you can make as a creative. Even if it means turning down work sometimes."

So how do these concepts evolve into my 2015 plan?  It is too early to tell, but I do know that 2014 was a year of trying on a lot of different hats to see what fit.  Too many.  And some precious hats were dangling a little precariously by the end of the year…  Also, the work load in trying to accomplish too much was overwhelming and unsustainable.  I worked harder last year than in any year in recent memory and while there is quite a bit to show for the effort, at the end, still wrapping up a couple open projects from ‘14, it is hard to say that the efforts matched well with the results.

So this year is really about keeping things a lot simpler.  Saying yes less often.  Making sure that when I do say yes that it is for projects that are close to the heart and core of where I want my “business” to be rooted.  And it means figuring out, a bit clearer, what I really want that business to look like a year from now while understanding that this could be a tough year on the homefront, and not losing sight of what is most important in the process.

All I really know right now is that this is a “make it or break it” 12 months for all the work I’ve put into the Recreating the Historic Columbia River Highway project.  So that needs to be my primary focus while also continuing to develop my filmmaking and photography skills.  Revenue is a factor, of course, but long term profitability will come more from taking the time to properly develop my skills rather than getting too far out in front of them. 

I need to have faith in the process.  Taking things one step at a time and making sure that I continue to deliver results that exceed client expectations every time.  A few well chosen, well placed steps count for a lot more than many erratic, ill timed ones.

And there’s still that darn novel waiting to be finished, though that may coming along later in the year, or even in 2016. 

Overall, I am looking forward to a great year.  A slower year.  A calmer year.  A year of growth and a fulfilling year.  While I do not know what success in 2015 will look like, I have every confidence that 2015 will, ultimately, be a successful year by these definitions. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

Big Obsidian Flow in Newberry Caldera

A. F. Litt: Newberry National Volcanic Monument &emdash; Big Obsidian Flow & Newberry Caldera from Paulina Peak

Big Obsidian Flow & Newberry Caldera from Paulina Peak
Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Oregon. August 20, 2012
A. F. Litt 2013

Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: January 5, 2015

Time will be a bit crunched off and on over the next couple weeks, so on days that are getting a little tight, I’ll be posting some older photos.  Some of these might have appeared as the photo of the day during the first incarnation of this endeavor, but I suspect that most of them will come from the period between the first and second incarnations of the POTD.

The writing might be a little thin, too, for the next couple weeks, which is one of the reasons why I’d rather avoid newer photos that I want to talk about.

Most of these photos will have been posted somewhere before, such as this one that was on my 500px profile for awhile a couple years ago.  But this one has never been “featured” as a Photo of the Day before.

On www.aflitt.com: http://www.aflitt.com/newberrynvm/e338b68c2

On 500px: https://500px.com/photo/94734391/big-obsidian-flow-&-newberry-caldera-from-paulina-peak-by-a-f-litt

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Sunday, January 04, 2015

Fishing the Snags at Goose Lake

A. F. Litt: Washington &emdash; Fishing the Snags at Goose Lake

Fishing the Snags at Goose Lake
Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Washington. July 19, 2014
Copyright © 2015 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved

Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: January 4, 2015

Goose Lake is a very interesting spot.  It’s a small lake formed by a lava flow, filled with snags from later human engineering work.  Originally, it’s level was a bit lower, hence the trees, but it’s level fluctuated during the year, very much like the South Prairie Lake a few miles away (though not as dramatically).  At South Prairie, a lake forms in the spring from snowmelt, but then drains later in the spring through the lava flow.  The best guess, though not yet confirmed, is that the prairie lake drains through lava tubes that are choked with ice until later in the season than the surface snow, and then, once the tubes melt clear, the lake quickly drains.

At Goose Lake, there was once such a drain, as well.  However, this drain was located and plugged in 1930 by the Forest Service to “improve fishing” at the lake.  This raised the level a bit, and killed off the trees whose tall stumps still rise mysteriously from the water here and there throughout the lake.

Such an act seems almost sacrilegious today, but back in the day, recreational use of the land was seen as a higher priority than the preservation of such a unique geological oddity, and in the long run, it could be argued that opening up the land to recreational use led to increased conservation in the region over all.

Plus, it gave us the stumps, which are pretty darn cool and gives this lake a truly unique feel.

And the fishing, apparently, is excellent.  On the drive out to Goose, more often than not you’ll be following a boat to the lake.

On top of all of the interesting tidbits above, there is also this…

 

For More Information: 
https://curiousgorgeblog.wordpress.com/58-goose-lake/
http://rubble.blogspot.com/2014/05/south-prairie-lake-on-oregon-field-guide.html
http://www.opb.org/television/programs/ofg/segment/lava-hand-prints/


On
www.aflitt.com: http://www.aflitt.com/p183306977/e32f4413f

On 500px: https://500px.com/photo/94644169/fishing-the-snags-at-goose-lake-by-a-f-litt

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Saturday, January 03, 2015

Misty Gray Day on the Historic Columbia River Highway

A. F. Litt: HCRH State Trail - John B Yeon State Park to Moffett Creek &emdash; Beacon Rock and Old Utility Pole from New Trail

Beacon Rock and Old Utility Pole from New Trail
HCRH State Trail. September 15, 2013
Copyright © 2014 A. F. Litt , All Rights Reserved

Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: January 3, 2015

I don’t have much time today, so I am not posting a “new” picture, but one that has been on the Recreating the Historic Columbia River Highway site for a month or so…  I first posted it there while I was on break from the Photo of the Day, but I almost went ahead and did a one off POTD post at the time, I liked this photo so much.

It is shot from the new HCRH state trail looking down towards actual location of the old highway, with one of the few old utility poles that still mark the course of the original route.  This was one of the grayest of drizzly Oregon autumn gray days, but it was very nice.  The new State Trail was not officially open yet (traffic was allowed on this one weekend only for the dedication ceremonies) and the final small details were still under construction. 

Being late in the day on Sunday, I had the whole trail to myself, and it was a very nice walk that afternoon, alone in the mists, with the peaks "...like sentinels in the Gorge of the Columbia. The clouds play[ing] 'hide and seek' around their heads, and the eagles mak[ing] their nests among the crags." 

For more information: http://www.recreatingthehistoriccolumbiariverhighway.org/john-b-yeon-state-park-to-tanner-creek

On www.aflitt.com: http://www.aflitt.com/hcrh-statetrail-yeontomoffett/e38762c64

On 500px: https://500px.com/photo/94510025/beacon-rock-and-old-utility-pole-from-new-trail-by-a-f-litt

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Friday, January 02, 2015

Badlands Bumble Bee

A. F. Litt: Badlands National Park &emdash; Bumble Bee on Sage Creek Rim Road

Bumble Bee on Sage Creek Rim Road
Sage Creek Basin Overlook. Badlands National Park. South Dakota. August 9, 2014
Copyright © 2015 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved

Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: January 2, 2015

Heading back to the photos from our August wanderings for a bit.  Again, don’t have a ton of time today, so not a lot of writing.  Spent this day wandering through the old Minutemen NHS sites and Badlands National Park.  Oh, and Wall Drug, of course…

This was near the end of trip.  From here we turned south to Nebraska before jamming home, in just a couple days, mostly following the old Oregon Trail route.  Plenty more pictures to follow, though.  It was a busy few days.

There were a lot of nasty biting flies along the Rim this day.  This was about the only bug I was happy to see along this drive and at these viewpoints.

On 500px: https://500px.com/photo/94415753/bumble-bee-on-sage-creek-rim-road-by-a-f-litt

On www.aflitt.com: http://www.aflitt.com/p306041278/eebbc583

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