My First Outing with the Wolfjaw 16L: A Review of Brooklyn Outfitters’ Super Sweet Daypack

An iPhone photo of my Brooklyn Outfitters Wolfjaw 16L pack atop West Rattlesnake mountain, overlooking Squam Lake in New Hampshire's Lake's Region.

This is a minimalist’s pack. If that’s a problem for you, get over it. You’ll love this pack anyway.

I’m a photographer, backpacker, naturalist, guide, and overall adventure enthusiast. I’m not a gear junkie, but I like good gear, and if I can’t find a use for something, it doesn’t get used, end of story. I’ve tried and tested enough packs to know which ones I like and which I’m happy to give back or retire to my closet until I can hand them off to a new owner. There are a treasured few I keep, and the Brooklyn Outfitters Wolfjaw 16L is going to be one of them.

To be honest, I didn’t really need another pack when my BKO Wolfjaw arrived in the mail, but I was excited to test it out just the same. I finally got a chance to do so a few days ago and after putting the bag through the paces in one of my favorite outdoor playgrounds, New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, I can say this pack is here to stay.

Straight out of the box this pack is, dare I say it, pretty. The craftsmanship is top notch; the pack is simply designed, but expertly constructed, and the materials look as if they are built to last. Unlike many lightweight bags made of thin and fragile materials, this one seems durable enough to withstand some serious bushwhacking, rock scrambling, and other less tame pursuits unscathed. Since all of Brooklyn Outfitters’ packs and gear come with a lifetime guarantee, I suppose it doesn’t matter if the pack survives all the torture I’m bound to put in through, but it’s nice to know that a company stands behind its products, and I can rest assured that this pack won’t fail on me in the middle of a summit attempt or halfway through a tough day of hiking.

The Wolfjaw comes in two colors and one color scheme; black with red accents or red with black accents. My bag is “Midnight Black” and the bit of red on it gives it just enough pizazz to make me feel hip wearing it. I know that sounds pretty shallow, but when you are in the woods, sweating, swatting flies, and stinking like a horse’s rear end, anything that makes you feel less uncivilized is welcome. The black does blend in way more than red, so if you aren’t worried about misplacing your pack in the trunk of your car or tucked away in the woods, and want something discreet but still stylish, go with black. The red color on the other hand, is super flashy. It looks awesome in photographs, stands out against just about any landscape, wilderness or urban, and won’t get so easily lost when you place it down to use nature’s facilities. Wearing it, you will also look like you are ready to rescue your fellow adventurers and provide medical assistance at any time; the color is called “Ski Patrol Red” for a reason. Fortunately, the black accents keep the bag from being obnoxious and instead, make it the perfect accessory for completing that “bomber in the backcountry” look of all those attractive and fit hikers you see gracing the cover of Backpacker magazine.

As handsome as the Wolfjaw is, looks would mean nothing if this pack didn’t perform and it does. My first test of the Wolfjaw was on a short hike up East Rattlesnake Mountain, which overlooks Squam Lake in New Hampshire. I had hiked the trail up once before, and knew the view at the top was impressive, so I loaded my pack up with some camera gear, a DSLR and two lenses plus filters, extra memory, and a spare battery, a rain jacket, map, and headlamp, my iPhone and sunglasses, and my tripod. Because the pack is a simple by design, there aren’t a ton of places to put so much gear, but I found it easy to place my smaller items (map, phone, headlamp, and sunglasses) in the zippered outer pocket, and stuff my extra camera equipment in a Clik Elite Camera Capsule zippered pouch inside the main compartment along with my rain jacket. I used the compression straps on the outside of the pack to attach my tripod, and carried my camera with one lens attached on a neck strap slung over my head and one shoulder, and my water bottle in hand.

The compression straps on this pack are really well designed and work exactly like compression straps should. Because they wrap all the way around the pack, they actually compress the bag evenly when tightened, and its possible to carry a load hug snug against your body, for maximum balance and comfort. On many bags, I’ve found the compression straps only tighten the sides of the bag, as opposed to the entire girth of the bag, and I think the method that BKO uses on the Wolfjaw is far superior.

The bag also has an extensive daisy chain of webbing running the length of it, punctuated by a single ice axe loop at the bottom. The daisy chain provides a number of attachment points for extra gear, so you have options, even with the bag’s minimalist design. I didn’t have to use any on my hike up the Rattlesnakes, but I could see myself clipping on rope, climbing shoes, or any number of other accessories onto this pack in future use.

The hike up East Rattlesnake is only about 0.7 miles from the trailhead up to the overlook, but the trail gains about 700 feet in that short time, traversing a number of switchbacks. The mosquitoes were out in droves, and they magnified in intensity any time I stopped, so I beelined it to the overlook quickly, burning through some calories on the way up. The Wolfjaw handled beautifully. It hugged my body without feeling too tight, and perhaps because of the frameless design, I had less problems with my shirt riding up in the back than I do with other compact daypacks. There is some padding on the back on the Wolfjaw, but nothing designed to aid ventilation, yet I found my back to be no more sweaty than with any other pack.

Lightly padded shoulder straps, with webbing for attaching accessories, balance the weight of the pack’s contents easily. A sternum strap and waist strap, each made of webbing with a sturdy no-slip buckle, hold the bag securely to the body. A loop at the top of the pack makes it easy to hang, and the roll top closure provides secure protection with easy access to the bag’s contents.

The Wolfjaw does have a hydration sleeve, which I could have used instead of carrying a water bottle. I forgot to pack a bladder though, and upon investigating the bag, I can’t figure out where the hose is supposed to exit the pack. Because the Wolfjaw has a roll-top closure, like a dry bag, feeding the hose up through the top of the bag does not seem practical, but neither does cutting a port for it in the side of this water resistant bag design. There is also a little clip inside the bag above the zippered pocket where the hydration sleeve is, and I have no idea what this is for. If I had to pick one thing to complain about in regards to the Wolfjaw, it would be this whole hydration sleeve system thing. Mostly, because I’m sure it makes sense to the guys who designed it, but I don’t get it!

The top of this part of the bag also felt stiff on the back of my neck, but only when I first put it on, and only for the first time I wore it each day. Within a minute of having the bag on, I couldn’t detect the stiffness at all, and the bag felt super comfy.

Once I reached the overlook, I started snapping photos almost immediately, first with my camera, then with my phone, then with my camera again. I also grabbed my rain jacket out of the bag and put it on, despite the fact that I was warm, because the constant assault from the biting mosquitoes was a bit more than I could bear at the moment. After resting at the overlook for a bit, I decided I had enough time to try for the adjacent peak, West Rattlesnake, and still make it back in time to the East Rattlesnake overlook in time for sunset in case the views over there weren’t as good.

The Wolfjaw is made of a durable, lightweight, water resistant Cordura material. It means water doesn’t get in very easily, but it also doesn’t get out easily either, a thought that occurred to me when I put my now sweaty rain jacket back in its place inside the pack. Overall though, I think the extra protection the material provides makes me feel more comfortable using this pack in challenging weather conditions than some of my more breathable bags.

As I scrambled over to West Rattlesnake, I found myself thinking, “Wow, I really like this pack.” Usually, I avoid frameless packs whenever carrying camera gear because I find them uncomfortable with camera equipment, but the Wolfjaw changed this for me. It felt light and moved with me, and carried all my necessary gear (probably about 15 lbs in total) easily and comfortably. I enjoyed the freedom of not feeling weighed down, something I love when I hike without a pack at all, while still being able to shoot, something I often miss when I go camera less into the backcountry. Now, I can have the best of both worlds.

The 0.8 miles between East and West Rattlesnake went quickly, and when I reached the overlook on the western mountain, I was instantly glad I decided to push further. The view was outstanding, and from a photographic standpoint, almost overwhelming. So many viewpoints, with rock faces, gnarled and twisted pine trees, and stunted shrubs, all overlooking beautiful Squam Lake, surrounded by mountains and dotted with islands rising from the water, created opportunities for multiple compositions, and I bounced back and forth on the mountain, leaping up and down boulders, and winding my way in and out of paths, shooting multiple angles. The pack’s compact design forced me to stay very organized, and made going from one location to another easy. I liked it so much I even bothered to snap a few shots of my new pack enjoying the view.

After the sun settled behind the mountains, I began my trip back to my camp in the fading light. The mosquitoes had stopped biting and the hike back was pleasant. Despite the late hour and having a few miles already under my feet, I felt alive with the energy and excitement of my amazing sunset hike with an awesome new pack.

For the hiker who wants to carry just what they need and nothing more, the Wolfjaw 16L is the perfect companion. All too many people often venture out into unfamiliar territory poorly prepared, so the Wolfjaw’s simplistic design is perfect for those who would prefer to be carrying nothing at all. There is more than enough space inside for rain gear, safety equipment, food and water, and the bag’s lightweight, comfortable design makes it seem as if you are hardly carrying anything at all.

Purists too, will appreciate the pack’s no-frills design and excellent quality. It doesn’t have anything it doesn’t need (except for maybe that pesky inner clip near the hydration sleeve) and it really doesn’t need anything it doesn’t have. One small change I’d like to see considered on future iterations of the pack is an integrated whistle in the pack’s sternum strap buckle. Ultralight and minimalist hikers love gear that is multipurpose, and adding a built-in whistle to a buckle that already exists will ensure that those going light don’t skimp on safety.

I’m already looking forward to my next adventure with this pack, which is conveniently, tomorrow. The Wolfjaw and I will be trekking up the Hancocks with my friend Brett who is more than halfway towards conquering all forty-eight 4000+ foot peaks in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. He’s also a blogger, naturalist, biologist, and serious outdoor enthusiast, so my original plan was to have him test out the pack for a second opinion. However, I like the Wolfjaw so much, I might have to reconsider and keep it all to myself!

To learn more about Brooklyn Outfitters and to purchase the Wolfjaw pack, visit their website at www.brooklynoutfitters.com. Brooklyn Outfitters offers guided outdoor trips to various destinations throughout the northeast, catering to the weekend warriors of New York City. They also sell 100% USA made, hand-sewn packs, such as the Wolfjaw 16L and its bigger sibling, the Wolfjaw 34L.

Also, check out The New England Nature Blog, where Brett writes about, you guessed it, the nature, ecology, and wild places of New England. His writing is really fun, and I always learn something new when I visit, so be sure to stop by.

Nature Photography Day and Contest

This Friday is Nature Photography Day. In 2006, the North American Nature Photography Association began Nature Photography Day as a way “to promote the enjoyment of nature photography, and to explain how images have been used to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes locally and worldwide.” Now Nature Photography Day is celebrated on June 15th of each year and this Friday marks its 7th year.

In honor of Nature Photography Day, I’m holding a little competition. I want each and every one of you to get out and shoot something nature-y this Friday, so in order to encourage you to do so, I’ll be hosting a photo contest. The winner will receive a matted and signed 8×12 print of their choice from my collection of photographs, or a $50 gift voucher towards a larger print or canvas! I’ll also share your winning image on my blog.

Here are the rules:

  1. Each contestant may enter one (1) photograph.
  2. The photograph must be of a “nature” subject.
  3. The photograph must be taken on Friday, June 15th between 12:00AM and 11:59PM. Follow the time zone of your region.
  4. Photographs submitted should be between 800-1200 pixels on the longest side, and no more than 250KB. Photographs may contain a small watermark and/or thin frame or border.
  5. Email your entry to me at kari@karipost.com with the subject “2012 NPD Contest” in the subject line. In the body of your email, include your name and location.
  6. Photographs must be received by noon Eastern time (12PM EST) on Wednesday, June 27th. NOTE: The deadline has been extended ONE WEEK from its original date of June 20th!
  7. All photographers are eligible to win unless specifically prohibited. Photographers residing outside the continental United States may have to pay shipping to receive their prize.
  8. Winner(s) will be notified via email. Winning image(s) will be published on my blog in July.
  9. By entering the contest, you agree to allow your image to be published by Kari Post Photography, on its website, in social media, and in newsletters, for its entirety. Images will always be credited to the photographer, and will only be used in conjunction with the contest, other contests offered by Kari Post Photography, and/or Nature Photography Day and never for profit. The photographer retails all copyright and ownership of the image.

For more information on Nature Photography Day, visit NANPA’s website: http://www.nanpa.org/nature_photography_day.php

Enjoy Where You Are

I’m a restless person.

For me slowing down is hard. My mind wanders constantly. No matter where I am, I am always wondering, what’s next? What am I going to do with my life? What is my purpose?

I complete my Master’s degree, and instead of celebrating, rejoicing, or just feeling proud, even for one minute, I found myself thinking, “Now what?”

Fortunately, what was next – after my commencement ceremony, after the potluck picnic in the park where I saw at least a few dozen friends for what will probably be the last time ever, and after my mom and friend Molly returned home to New Jersey and Pennsylvania respectively, and my roommates Mike and Hillary headed to Rhode Island for the summer – was a trip to Baltimore, where one of my best friends, Tzvi, was waiting for me in the airport with a hug.

And then followed 10 days in West Virginia, one of my favorite states, with a small group of amazingly bright and inspiring students from Johns Hopkins University. This is the third year I’ve led an outdoor instructor training trip for Hopkins students, and its one of my favorite trips. I was also expecting this one to be my last.

West Virginia, Dolly Sods, Dolly Sods Wilderness, morning, Bear Rocks, mist, meadow, rocks, landscape

Happiness for me is a mountaintop with a scenic view of the valley below. The smell of azaleas and wildflowers on the wind. The red sun bowing below the horizon, bidding farewell to day.

More than that, it’s sharing experiences such as these with others. It’s sharing myself with others. It’s being me, all flawed and full of love and hope and with a hamster on a treadmill in my head.

Sometimes I just need a reminder.

Sometimes I just need a breath of fresh air. No Facebook or internet or email. Just good company. Laughter. Nature. And that feeling of holding on just long enough to fall in love and then let go. And know that even though everything doesn’t feel ok, it is ok.

And it will be ok.

Happiness is a day in the woods. Or a week.

There is a great quote from Calvin & Hobbes. It goes “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”

Enjoy where you are.

 

Dreaming of Summer

summer, adirondacks, adirondack park, adirondack, New York, fog

I’ve been in a rut for about three years now. Maybe four. It’s hard to tell when photography started feeling more like work and gradually became less satisfying. It’s not that I don’t love photography, I do. It’s just that, well, it feels like it’s been a while since I’ve taken a good picture.

Life gets in the way of being a photographer. No matter how you to look at it, unless you are fortunate enough to be independently wealthy and don’t have to worry about money, life will somehow manage to get in the way. If you are a professional photographer, all of a sudden you are shooting to live. You need to make money off of your work, whether through print and stock sales or via commissioned assignments. Even if you like the work you do, you still rely on it, it still becomes a means to an end. If you aren’t a pro, and photography is just a hobby instead of a full time job, then your full time job absorbs huge amounts of your time and energy, making it difficult to get out and shoot as much as you’d like. No matter which end of the spectrum you are on, life, or rather making enough money to live life independently, gets in the way.

When I started getting “serious” about photography, I was in college. I was a full time student, I went to classes a few days a week for a few hours a day. I worked some, on campus, and that paid my bills. My mom was kind enough to pay for my tuition and housing, so I only needed enough money to eat, put gas in my car, pay my cell phone bill and car insurance, and chip in for utilities and internet. Anything left over went into a savings account. I had plenty of free time, and I was dating another photographer at the time, so I was shooting plenty. My life was pretty manageable. I was happy.

After college, my own version of the real world hit with a vengeance. I’ll spare you the details, but between working as many a ten jobs in four states in a given year, being a full time graduate student, and volunteering way too much because I’m a passionate person/an overachiever and I just can’t seem to help myself, photography has fallen to the wayside. I still shoot, but not as much as I want to, and these days, I’ve been doing a lot of contract work instead of shooting just for me. Rarely do I create a photograph that I get excited about anymore. It’s a sad, sad reality. My rut is the symptom of a much bigger problem – I’ve been putting incredible stress on myself these past few years.

So this summer, I’ve resolved to cut back, to take a break, and to find myself again. I’m not a workaholic, or at least I don’t have to be. I can relax, I deserve to. So, this summer is about me, about having fun, and doing the things I love to do. I’m going to pay outside, explore, and take pictures, not because those activities pay the bills, but because they are my passion. Just thinking about it already makes me feel a little bit lighter and more free.

So expect good things this summer, because they are going to happen. I can just feel it.

The Clock Always Wins

eastern redbud, redbud, blossom, bud, spring, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

I haven’t posted much lately, because as usual, I’m crazy busy. Between traveling, school, work, and trying to stay healthy (which includes things like getting the proper amount of sleep, eating right, daily exercise, and maintaining my sanity with healthy doses of nature), there seems to be little no time for anything else. But a lot has been going on, so I thought I’d take one half hour out of my busy as heck life to tell you about it. Here’s the news (in less than eloquent terms, because I don’t really have enough time to be critical of how I am writing at the moment):

1. I was featured this month on NatureScapes.Net. Sure I work for NatureScapes, but we’ve been showcasing our moderators in monthly features, and the crew decided it was my turn. So, that means I’ve got the monthly cover, an interview, and a few other features in April’s newsletter. I’m also going to be featured later this month on photographer Andrew Marsten’s blog The Unframed World and Antioch University New England’s website. I’ll be sure to post links to those profiles when they go up.

2. I’m heading back to St. Augustine, FL for Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest later this month. I’ll be behind the NatureScapes.Net booth in the exhibitor’s hall and also helping with some of the festival workshops. Immediately following Photo Fest, I’ll also be assisting Greg Downing with a technical workshop at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.

3. A number of photographer friends have started Kickstarter projects within the past couple weeks. For those of you that don’t know, Kickstarter is a website for crowd-funding creative projects. My friends Neil Losin and Nathan Dappen of Day’s Edge Productions just started a campaign to create and publish a book about the Ibiza Wall Lizard, called The Symbol: Wall Lizards of the Pityusic Archipelago. The lizards were the subject of Nate’s doctoral research, and he has gotten some amazing photographs and footage of the lizards in his five years of working on the islands where they live. (Nate also just successfully defended his dissertation, way to go Dr. Dappen!) Check out their Kickstarter page to learn more about this super cool project.

Paul Marcellini is another talented photographer who just launched a Kickstarter campaign. Paul has been shooting for a project called Meet Your Neighbours which was started by Clay Bolt and Niall Benvie to raise awareness about nature in people’s own backyards. Paul is based in Florida and works heavily in the Everglades, and since joining on with Meet Your Neighbours, he produced some amazing photographs of Everglades wildlife on pure white backgrounds in the MYN style. He’s planning to launch an exhibit of his work in national parks throughout Florida and you can help by supporting his work via a simple donation through Kickstarter.

I’ve pledged to back both these projects with small contributions. The way Kickstarter works is that backers don’t pay unless the full amount of the project gets funded, so it’s important that others, like you, step in and show your support. Every little bit counts!

4. Speaking of Meet Your Neighbours, Clay Bolt, one of the founders, just stepped out with a brand new program called Backyard Naturalists, aimed directly at getting kids involved with nature. A pilot program just started in North Carolina last month, so stay tuned for updates from this cool and exciting new project.

5. Before heading to Florida later this month, I’ll be at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH for a NANPA Road Show event with Jerry Monkman on April 14. Jerry is doing a one day workshop on Lightroom, and I’m helping with a few logistical things, like signing in attendees, so Jerry can really focus on running a great program. Registration closes April 9, and there are still spaces available, so photographers hoping to improve their post processing skills can still sign up.

6. Jerry has also invited me to be a contributor to his brand new website at MonkmanPhoto.com. For those of you who don’t know Jerry, let me precede my introduction of him by telling you he’s awesome. Jerry is a New Hampshire based outdoor photographer who has written a bunch of wonderful photography how to books and guide books, many specific to New England. He also offers workshops and is on the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) board. But the best thing about Jerry is that he’s really just genuinely a good guy – he likes to share his knowledge and help people learn, and he wholeheartedly cares about conservation issues and using his photography to help environmental causes. So I’m super psyched for this opportunity to work more with Jerry. Expect to see some posts from me on MonkmanPhoto in the near future.

7. That brings us to NANPA news. You might have caught that I volunteer with NANPA as a regional ambassador for the New England area as well as a committee member for the College Scholarship Program. Well, I caught up with some other committee members  last week, and we’ve started to plan our program for the 2013 summit in Jacksonville, Florida. We’re currently looking for a conservation issue to have our student participants focus on; last year our project “Reconnecting the Rio Grande” was used by the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and US Fish and Wildlife Service to help raise awareness and garner support for a wildlife corridor project that connects areas of habitat along the Rio Grande River that borders Mexico. So, if you are familiar with the Jacksonville, Florida area and know of any good environmental stories that need telling, please let me know.

8. And last, but certainly not least, I have to tell you about this awesome new program in Environmental Visual Communications at Fleming College in Ontario. The program, started by conservation photographer Neil Ever Osborne is geared towards college graduates and provides a post-grad certificate. It is one of a kind; there is no other program like this offered anywhere, and the course and instructor line up is stacked. I just spoke with Neil a bit about it on the phone today, and he informed me that they are still accepting applications for the program, slated to start next month. Check it out and send in an application if this is anything that interests you. If I wasn’t at the tail end of my Master’s degree (which overlaps with the start of the new program), I would probably sign up myself!

And with that, the half hour I committed to spend writing this blog post turned into an hour of my day, gone and lost forever to social media and world wide web. Hopefully you found it useful and all my writing has not been in vain. Catch you later, alligator!

Pura Vida, Costa Rica

Long time no write, but I’ve been having too much fun (and staying quite busy) in Costa Rica! I’m here with classmates from Antioch University New England for a graduate level Tropical Ecology and Conservation field studies class, and our time here has been absolutely AMAZING. I love Costa Rica!

Bosque Eterno de los Ninos, Children's Eternal Rainforest, cloud forest, rain forest, rainforest, Costa Rica, tropical

Forest of Rain and Clouds : Prints Available

We’ve been here for just over a week where we have been mostly studying and learning about the cloud forests up near Monteverde. For the most part, we’ve been parked at La Calandria Field Station near Santa Elena and spent time in Monteverde and at the Monteverde Institute, but we also spent some time in San Gerardo while visiting Bosque Eterno de los Ninos, or the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, on the Carribean slope. We’ve caught frogs and bats, had fresh organic coffee straight off the plantation, spied Three-wattled Bellbirds, Resplendent Quetzals and Keel-billed Toucans, done tree sapling data collection, met baby sloths, and shopped in downtown Santa Elena, and all of it has been wonderful. Photography has been difficult – it always is in non-photography oriented group situations – but I’ve been learning and experiencing so much that it would be foolish to complain. I’m just happy to be here, in this amazing and beautiful place.

Tomorrow we leave the rain forests and head down to the Nicoya Peninsula to study tropical dry forests, mangroves, and coastal ecosystems. I’m excited for our new adventure but sad to leave La Calandria, as it now almost feels like home.

sunset, La Calandria, rain shadow forest, Santa Elena, Costa Rica, mountains

La Calandria Sunset : Prints Available

One Day in Vernon, Now Live!

The collaborative multimedia project on Vernon and Vermont Yankee that I wrote about in my last blog post, Your Friendly Neighborhood Nuclear Power Plant, is now live!

Just over a week ago, myself and seven other photographers tag teamed the small town Vernon, VT to learn more about the people who live there, and how their lives are (or are not) influenced by Vermont Yankee, the 40 year nuclear power plant that calls Vernon home. We spent one short six hour long day interviewing and photographing people, then created a short multimedia piece to share what we found, a rough version of which was shown the next day at a community forum about Vermont Yankee held at the Vermont Center for Photography, which sponsored the project. This 6 minute 54 second video is slightly more polished result of that presentation.

A special thanks needs to go out to photojournalist Michael Forster Rothbart for inspiring this project and also the Vermont Center for Photography for providing a wonderful venue for collaboration.

A small group of us who worked on this project together plan to continue investigating the relationship between small town Vernon and Vermont Yankee, using photography, audio, and video to tell the stories we uncover.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Nuclear Power Plant

I live in a beautiful restored farmhouse in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, just six miles or so (as the crow flies) from an aging nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vermont. Vermont Yankee, nestled on the banks of the Connecticut River, opened its doors to power production in 1972, and its 40 year contract is set to expire next month. The nuclear reactor has been the subject of much debate; everyone seems to worry about the plant’s future. Many want to see it shut down, citing various environmental and health concerns and also controversial court decisions that some say pit the state against the federal government. Others worry about what will happen if the plant closes, fearing the loss of jobs and increased taxes that will result, as well as other economic and social impacts.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, VT has inspired much debate over its 40 years of operation. Many think the plant should be shut down, but some locals worry that the impacts of shutting the plant down would be worse than its continued operation.

This weekend, I teamed up with photographers from the Vermont Center for Photography to learn a little bit more about Vernon and the people that live there. We spanned the small rural Vermont town, photographing and interviewing local farmers, business owners, town officials, and activists. Our goal was to tell the story of Vernon, not just Vermont Yankee. As we learned, there is more to the town than one nuclear power plant.

We found ourselves so inspired by what we heard, that a couple of the other photographers and I ended up working round-the-clock to piece together a multi-media presentation of our work, and more importantly, their stories. Just 27 hours after we began shooting, we presented a very rough version of at an open forum to discuss Vermont Yankee led by photojournalist Michael Forster Rothbart at the Vermont Center for Photography yesterday. Now, after roughly 36 hours of shooting, audio and photo editing, and compiling the final presentation, our piece is nearly complete; I am just waiting on final approval from my colleagues to show it to the world. Once all are happy with the final edit, which I completed at roughly 12:30AM last night, I will share the link to the video on my blog and website.

Stay tuned!