Take a Breath

I met Paul MacGregor on a GNHA hike. I totally admire and respect his love of these mountains that are off to our north-west in the upstate of SC.

I learned that Paul climbs mountains with Jill McFarlane Hendrix … mountains that have vertical walls so steep that I would consider the activity dangerous. But to Paul and Jill the adventure is a source of pure joy and love and it’s not dangerous to them at all. Paul would actually bristle at the use of the word “dangerous” in what they do. He has another word for it and I can’t recall what it is. There is a reason for his perspective.

The video below is a short story about two people who enjoy climbing mountains. They talk about their history of climbing for many years, the training involved, the benefits of climbing, safety, and the importance of “taking a breath.”

I have often avoided danger and there’s obviously good reason for that. Keep it safe, don’t take risks in life whether it be work, love, or simply helping an animal or human being to get their feet back on the ground. A recent Ted Talk episode that featured David Whyte entitled “A lyrical bridge between the past, present and future” explored 4 illusions that typically hold us all back. To simply avoid those things that might break our heart is not necessarily a good way to go. Otherwise, we simply might get stuck. So yes! Perhaps “take a breath,” and then take the next step.

I used the Panasonic Gh5 with an assortment of glass and of course the DJI Mavic Pro. Permission was granted in all the areas to film this story. This project was filmed in the fall of 2018.

Dreams

I love to hike! Grateful to my parents who planted this seed in me at an early age. In the spirit of exploration and discovery, within ourselves and obviously that which is outside, hiking has always propelled me to go and see what’s around the next bend, hill, sand dune, and mountain top.

A few years ago I decided to produce a video about the land, air, and water in the mountains of western SC and NC. All the images within this video are within a 90 mile radius of my home in Spartanburg, SC. The title of video “Dreams,” is taken from the title of the soundtrack written and performed by Sharon Gerber (www.sharongerbermusic.com).

It took me about 6 months to acquire all the images that you’ll see in the video. I used the Panasonic GH4 and the DJI Mavic Pro to capture the images. Permission was granted to me to fly the drone in the areas depicted at the end of the video.

The opening scene is a time lapse video just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mount Pisgah. It was an early spring morning, windy, and about 38 degrees. I had to arise at 3am to get to this spot in time to capture the sun coming up. At times there is a low level of valley fog which forms in the early morning hours in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is not always like this. I lucked out. The images here represent my third trip to this spot.

So, on this particular morning I set-up the GH4 and did the time lapse recording. Like I said, it was 38 degrees, windy, and damp. Within 15 minutes of recording a cool dude drives to where I am and gets out of his car. We begin talking about all sorts of things. He’s a bit of a free spirit, has no home address and travels throughout the US picking up odd jobs, makes enough to sustain himself, hangs out, explores and hikes in that given area. It takes him about 30 minutes to describe his lifestyle to me. I admire him. But get this. As he is talking to me he is standing beside me in a tee shirt, short pants, and bare feet. Did I say it was 38 degrees with a damp wind blowing? Finally I ask him, “dude, aren’t you cold?” He says, “no, I’ve trained my body to embrace the cold.” He mentioned something about hyperthermal exercises and went on to elaborate how the day before (a cloudy, rainy day with high temperatures in the low 40’s) he went down Sliding Rock (just down the road from where we were standing) 4 times. Sliding Rock is a very popular water recreational spot that in the summer is so crowded it’s difficult to find parking. I’ve been down Sliding Rock … in the summer. Did I mention “in the summer?” In the “summer,” the water at Sliding Rock takes your breadth away. The water is brutally cold … in the summer, when it’s August, the sun is out, and at least 100 degrees outside.

While filming this project i encountered many others. All of them have a passion for being outdoors in these mountains and share a very deep concern with what is happening to this land, water, and air. One such person is Jeff Clark. Jeff is an avid hiker and photographer. I met him on the trail going toward Little Bradly Falls. I had just completed the jaunt to Big Bradley Falls (Big Bradly Falls is in the video). When I passed Jeff on the trail he was lying down in the weeds and leaves taking micro shots of some of the early spring flowers (tiny flowers) beginning to bloom. When I recorded for this project I was attracted to the big stuff. High mountain vistas and huge, thundering waterfalls. Jeff introduced me to the beauty and intricate details of the small world where our feet meet earth. To see more of what Jeff is talking about please visit him at www.internetbrothers.org. There you will find all kinds of information about hiking, the trails and tons of exceptional photography covering the western NC mountains.

I hope you enjoy this video. But more than that i hope it encourages you to visit these places. And after that i hope it encourages you to fight for our land, water, and air. If we neglect this world we live in, I promise, Mother Nature will kick our ass.

Video production featuring footage from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mount Pisgah, NC, Pretty Place (YMCA Camp Greenville) SC, Raven Cliff Falls, Ceasars Head State Park, SC, Big Bradley Falls, Polk County, NC, Triple Falls, Dupont State Recreational Forest, NC, Looking Glass Falls, Pisgah National Forest, NC, Table Rock, Table Rock State Park, SC, Black Balsam Knob, Art Loeb Trail, NC, Jones Gap State Park, SC, Linville Falls, Linville Gorge, NC, and Rainbow Falls at Jones Gap State Park, SC. The music was written and performed by Sharon Gerber of Celloasis, www.sharongerbermusic.com. If you would like to purchase the sound track on I-Tunes please follow this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dreams-single/id1234251175 All footage was recorded using the Panasonic GH4 and the DJI Mavic Pro.