National Audubon at Hog Island - Ted and Kimberly

 

Ted and Kimberly

 

"A good teacher, like a good entertainer, first must hold his audience's attention, then he can teach his lesson."  - John Henrik Clarke 

A candid shot of Audubon staff instructor, Ted, and program participant, Kimberly...  Ted's workshop focused on biodiversity in the intertidal, including the smaller, less obvious life  found within the water column. 

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film
 
~Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com/

National Audubon at Hog Island - Michele

 

Michele

 

"Photography takes and instant out of time, altering life by holding it still."  ~Dorothea Lange

Here is a candid photo of Michele, a science teacher, exploring the biodiversity found in the shallow waters off of Hog Island.  I’ll have a more formal portrait to share of her sometime soon and will take opportunity, then, to write a bit more about her.  …but in the interim, I thought it would be fun to post a different kind of image.  Since my project intent was to create formal portraits of Audubon staff, volunteers, and program participants, one of my challenges was to convince people to take part.  This is not easy!  …but Michele always was open to making a photograph.  Thank you, Michele.  Your patience meant much.

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film
 
~Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com/

 

Acadia Pathmakers - David

 

David

 

"A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it." – Irving Penn

I’ve mostly wrapped up my 2015 AIR work from Acadia National Park, but digging through my negatives I ran into this one of David.  David, his crew, and I spent a couple of days together on the Hunter Brook Trail.  They were completing some path enhancements using dirt, rock, hemlock timbers, chisel, hammer and lots of muscle. I have nice memories of these guys and David in particular.  He’s a big friendly personality, and within minutes, one feels like they’ve known David like a forever best friend.  He’s an inclusive sort and ensured that I was part of the group ribbing and general conversation. 

Besides sharing the details of the project he, Tyler, and Kyle were implementing, he talked lots about community within the Trail Crew, but also from living and working in and around Mount Desert Island.  David has great respect for his friends working as fishermen, and for the challenging path they follow to provide for themselves and their families.  In fact, David shares his extra hands pulling traps with them on his days off.  He is a workhorse without question.  He also talked with great admiration for his wife and her dedication at improving island community.  She works as a school teacher on Swan’s Island, population 332.   …access to Swan’s Island is by the State ferry system out of Bass Harbor.     

Thank you, David, for letting me feel like part of your crew and for sharing so much about yourself and life in and around Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.   …and for all the good things you are doing to improve visitor’s connection to the park and nature.  With my greatest admiration…

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park
http://daniel-grenier.com/

 

National Audubon Society at Hog Island - Debbie

 

-Debbie

 

“There's not a word yet, for old friends who've just met.” - Jim Henson, Favorite Songs from Jim Henson's Muppets

I’d like to introduce you to Debbie.  She was a participant this summer in a raptor focused education session at the National Audubon’s Hog Island in Breman, Maine.  Debbie and all of the participants in the raptor program opened my eyes to lots, including the online world surrounding a pair of nesting osprey on the edge of the camp.  You see, there is a webcam focused on these osprey, and people across the country watch nature’s drama unfold in real time for this pair and their young living in Muscongus Bay.  I was completely unaware of this nature based cam culture and how enthusiastic and involved people can be in what seemed to me such abstract distance.  Who knew?  While program emphasis on Hog Island was on osprey, participants, like Debbie, learned much more about birds of prey and their critical role in the mid-coast environment.  ..and what was really fascinating from my outsider view, was watching how Audubon staff used the osprey as a pivot to open a larger natural world for course participants.

Debbie and I talked lots during down moments of camp programming and quickly became great friends.  She came knowing lots about osprey and was super happy to have opportunity to relax in Maine and re-center.  I really enjoyed learning about her river and mountains in Georgia, and chatting about life, books and music (She’s a massive David Gray fan!).  While I’ve only known Debbie for a short time, she feels like a friend I’ve had forever. I think she looks pretty chill in this photograph we made.  It’s one of my favorites for sure.  Thanks, Deb!

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2017 Artist in Residence
National Audubon Society, Hog Island
http://daniel-grenier.com
  

National Audubon Society at Hog Island – The Sherrie and Trudy Show

 

~Sherrie and Trudy

 

“Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.”
― Gary Snyder

A quick note to say hello and share some news and a photograph…  I’ve been selected this year as an artist in residence with the National Audubon Society at Hog Island. How cool, huh?  To this end, it’s my intent over the next several months to share with you some of my photography from my project.  It’s a continuation, in many ways, of my most recent stuff – creating environmental portraits documenting the individual and their connection to unique natural surroundings in Maine. 

As many of you might guess, I’m using black and white film and large and medium format cameras to create these photographs.  It’s a purposeful choice tied to the dynamics involved with using these larger formats that near-forces the photographer to contemplate and concentrate a bit more on each individual image.  Yes, this will prove more labor intensive and time consuming for me than other options, but it is my hope that this helps make a more intimate visual experience. …and thus for this photographic process to equate to an expression and communication of my own personal experience; a means to further hone my own way of seeing and describing the world around me by embracing process.  While you’ll get to see some digital content via negative scans, my true end product will be a portfolio of fine silver gelatin enlarged prints made in a traditional wet darkroom using the negatives, an enlarger, light sensitive silver coated paper, and chemicals.  Timeless. 

Okay, I also want to introduce you to Sherrie and Trudy.  They are both instructors at National Audubon’s Education Camp on Hog Island, Bremen, Maine.  You can tell from their picture that they are both cards. …but you know, aces.  I’ve had time to follow them both around and observe their field instruction, and it’s something to watch.  In fact, students referred to them as “the Sherrie and Trudy Show”.  Nothing short of entertaining…  …but subtly tied to their package of fun is relevant information on topic, example, a spirit of inquisitiveness, openness, and safe space to ask and learn.  Awesome in the truest sense.  Oh yes, welcome to the show!  Thank you, Trudy and Sherrie.  Big smiles.

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

Dan Grenier

2017 Artist in Residence

National Audubon Society, Hog Island

http://daniel-grenier.com/

 

 

Acadia Pathmakers - Kate

 

Kate

 

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it.” – Irving Penn

Kate oversees the Artist is Residence program at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park and served as primary contact for all things during my project. …but as a long time staff for the National Park Service, she wears many, many hats. Most notably, Kate is an educator, and after spending time with her, I quickly realized that it is her passion to ensure all walk away feeling more connected to this special place. Given her tenure, I also learned fast that her attention is in high demand at Acadia because quite simply she’s the best. The line of people waiting to speak with her outside of her office serves testament! Kate truly listens and considers what you are saying, which seems to be the rarest of commodities. Yes, she is the greatest of sounding boards. She also quickly provides solutions to issues and follows up to be sure all is okay. She also has given me great flexibility with time, project direction, and learning on-the-fly, ensuring that I was growing with my effort.  I’m fortunate to have her as a mentor.

Kate, thank you for listening and providing opportunity. I appreciate all of your time, patience, and guidance and for making my time at Acadia fun and rewarding. Your friendship, inclusiveness, and overall example mean much and more than you could know.

With my biggest smile and utmost respect,

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Acadia Pathmakers - Heather

 

Heather

 

"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." ~Walker Evans

Heather, I can say without hesitation, is the best.  She plays an administrative role for the trails crew in Acadia National Park, keeping all of the field season chaos corralled. Her attention and help during my residency proved invaluable, introducing me to everyone (literally) and making sure I had room to bring as much inclusiveness as possible into my project.  We checked in near daily where she aligned me to crew locations and who I should first look for once I arrived onsite.  She also upfront keyed me into some worksite expectations and crew culture.  Let’s just say that when working with Heather (and the crew overall) a bit of sarcasm, friendly ribbing, and levity go in hand with a hearty chuckle and true assistance and guidance.  It would be difficult not like Heather because she is one hundred percent engaged in supporting the team and also attached to each colleague personally.  …and just fundamentally thoughtful and kind, which makes a combination that’s magic to be around and work with.

Thank you, Heather, for helping make my experience with the crew and at Acadia happen.  It means much and more than you know.  Respect.

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Acadia Pathmakers - Chris

 

Chris

 

“Poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” ~Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook

Chris brilliantly serves as a supervisor for the Acadia Trail Crew.  Our paths crisscrossed as I made my way between the various group trail projects, and each time we overlapped, he took time to check in to be sure I was ok, and most notably to ask what I’d seen or experienced in the park. On the worksite, he appeared all business, setting up the crews with high wire lines for moving rocks and lining out pathway end course with orange forestry flagging, taking into account visitor experience, ecological integrity, and overall work efficacy for the crew.

Near the end of my time in Acadia, Chris and I had lunch together sitting on flat rocks in a dry stream bed along the Deer Brook Trail.  We primarily talked about school, art, and the environment, which most genuinely lead to Chris sharing that he likes to write poetry as much as trail building.  I’m guessing that both connect to place, people, and nature, which seems perfect from many angles. Humble, genuine and real, this is Chris.  I learned this winter that he is serving as Acadia National Park’s first poet laureate throughout 2016, the centennial year for the park and the National Park Service.  Yes, perfect.  Congratulations, Chris!

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Mike

 

Mike

 

“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.”
Wendell Berry

 

I met Mike leading a group on the Cadillac Cliffs Path, a spur trail off of the main artery leading to the summit of Gorham Mountain. We made some small talk, and he introduced me to his crew. They were getting ready for break, which gave me opportunity to have all of Mike’s attention. We walked the areas where the crew were working, and he pointed out some specific technical concerns, which seemed primarily focused on getting park visitors safely through the complex mountainside terrain, while ensuring the path would remain stable for the long-term. As Mike talked about his work, his walking pace quickened, and he lit up with excitement. He first described the obvious fun associated with moving large boulders across the landscape using pulleys, wire rope, and other mechanical advantage, and then the physicality tied to dry stone masonry in extreme locations such as this.  I can say firsthand that it’s near sensory overload to experience the loud cracks, metal-to-rock sparks, and burning tinder smell left in the air as crew swing sledge onto rock, making smaller crushed material to incorporate into the trail (as means of structural stability and drainage and likely many other uses beyond my understanding). Pretty neat.

Mike then eloquently outlined how the trails at Acadia National Park serve a much larger role than just public enjoyment, having equally important historical and cultural significance. These trails have been here for some time with some paths even pre-dating Euro settlement. In function, all of the crew’s rehabilitation and maintenance efforts equally consider this with the ecological.  Mike stated that the crew looks for and studies historic character-defining features when working on a trail, going to great lengths to use similar construction materials and approach to ensure historic integrity as part of their work. …and what struck me was how Mike sees himself, his crew and other colleagues, and their effort and connection as the newest part of the story playing out on this Maine natural area. You know, this is inspirational given today’s collective short attention span.

Lastly, I walked away thinking that Mike is someone exceptional. There’s a confidence about him on the trail that comes across based on what I’m guessing is lots of trial and error, having his hands in the dirt, by building thick calluses with the sledge hammer and rock bar, and by having to frequently make quick and accurate decisions. He is clearly tied to and cares about his crew and the work they are accomplishing in the park. Mike seemed at ease in his surroundings and had grasp of and could articulate a much bigger picture occurring around him.  Smart. Yes, he sets a motivating example for sure.

Thanks, Mike, for taking time for me and for the education. You’ve made Acadia National Park someplace bigger for me for sure. Much respect…

 

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

 ~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

 http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

 http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Acadia Youth Conservation Corps

 

AYCC 2015 Corps Member

 

"It is not bigness that should be our goal.  We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to...the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility...and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children's future."  -Robert F. Kennedy, in his 1966 speech "Rebuilding a Sense of Community"

 

Another photo from the Youth Conservation Corps...  And one more reminder that 2016 is the centennial of the United States National Park Service.  Get out to visit your favorite park and appreciate!

 

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

 

~Dan Grenier

2015 Artist in Residence

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Roger

 

Roger

 

"The land belongs to the future...We come and go but the land is always here.  And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it - for a little while."  ~Willa Cather, O Pioneers!

Another photograph of Roger that I think came our nicely...

Happy 100th birthday NPS!

http://www.nps.gov

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Conservation Rockstars

 
 

I thought I’d share a photograph of this summer’s trail crew.  Once more we’ve been working on the Fire Warden’s Trail leading to the summit of No. 5 Mountain located in Township 5 Range 7, Maine.  It’s been a three year trail improvement project that’s proved to be a huge success thanks to the smarts, sweat, and non-stop energy these conservation rockstars have given.  My role, in reality, has been incredibly limited, but it’s clear that this was a good thing.  All the micro-scale, on-the-ground decisions were made by these guys – problem solving on the spot to best ensure protection of the resource while providing the visitor enhanced connection to the outdoors.  And in a fashion that has proved seamless and mostly unnoticeable.  This to my mind stands testament to the skill and brilliance these young best of the best brought to Maine.  As I look at this photo and think about this final year of trail work, I’m reminded of how lucky I’ve been to play my minor role as cheerleader, and I’m inspired by the wonderful act(s) of service I’ve witnessed on behalf of our shared natural heritage.   …my deepest gratitude to the Student Conservation Association, and most importantly, all most directly involved on site (you know who you are.).  You’ve left a huge, long lasting impression from many perspectives, and again, thank you.  ~Dan G. 
 

Andrew

 
 

I manage conservation lands in Maine, and each year I bring on seasonal staff to assist me with my ground work.  I’ve always been fortunate, pulling in smart and dedicated people, but every once in a while, someone exceptional comes in like Andrew.  He’s been helping out for the past six months, and above all, I greatly admire his calm and thoughtful demeanor, particularly when working with and around others.  He just makes people feel good.   Andrew has also exhibited a true ease and comfort in the woods, something that most don’t start out with.  He’s keen and thoughtful and has proactively identified problems and ensured things have remained in hand.  And boy, has he completed a lot of work.  One of my biggest challenges during his stay has been trying to stay a few steps ahead of him!  I should also mention that he’s a Vermont native, so beyond land conservation, he’s interested in farming practices, is a “die hard” snowboarder, and isn’t too sure about Maine’s mid-coast flatness.  That said I’m certain that over the summer he’s developed a love for the Downeast bold coastline.   What’s not to like, huh?  Anyway, thanks, Andrew, for everything, and good luck with those next steps.