Geocaching is a wonderful activity for many reasons.
For starters, it gets you outside, active and breathing some (hopefully) fresh air.
On another front, it opens your senses. It makes you think about your surroundings, what people might be doing and what you are looking for. A geocache can be anything from a small size to a very large size.
But geocaching can work for something else, too — photography.
There once was a time that I, like many geocachers, went out seeking one thing — what was hidden. I’d find the container, sign the log and be off to find the next one. But as I became more and more experienced in the game and continually pushed forward, I found that way of doing things could become old and boring.
Getting away from that kind of caching has allowed me to notice several things:
- How negative many geocachers seem to be anymore (logs, coordinates etc.; I’ve previously covered this)
- With the advancement in the game, how hard it is to find “old-school caches”
- And, how much I miss because it’s “get cache, run, find next one”
The last one is the worst part. Before I get to that, I need to point a few things out.
I don’t usually go rushing out after first to finds anymore because of a couple things — it’s too competitive in our area now and most things are published when it’s dark out.
The answers to those things?
I’m competitive in other aspects of my life, so having it when geocaching is something I now avoid. And the dark part — unless it’s an obvious “park-and-grab,” such as in a parking lot or something (or a cache that is a true night cache, with the flashlight, fire tacks etc.), I don’t like to find caches at night anymore because one could be missing something that the person wanted you to see. OR, you could be missing some great photo opportunities that you wouldn’t have known were there if you went in the middle of the night.
It’s just not worth zipping out, driving all over and doing this. The reality is that many people might not use the attributes when publishing the cache on geocaching.com, but in the end, going at night could really do damage to the game as a whole if people go when they shouldn’t (say, into parks, cemeteries etc.) in hours when it shouldn’t be done. Should that be up to the cache owner? Sure. But the cacher should always be aware of these things.
But this post isn’t about what is right and wrong with the game. With some things I’ve seen recently, I’ll tackle that at another date.
For now, this is about photography.
Geocaching is a wonderful activity that might take you to places you’ve never been. But if you are into photography — even with a point-and-shoot or cell phone — there are opportunities right in front of you to make some awesome and cool images.
The first thing I would suggest is to keep your eyes open. Look for things that just stick out and make a cool shot. Maybe something to do with the cache or something near it. Such as this shot:
It’s things like this that make me stop and smell the roses, per say, a bit.
A long walk is a wonderful thing when caching. When we went this weekend, the final set was a 2.25-mile walk along an old rail. The trail is paved and perfect for a stroll, especially with like 10 caches on it. Though all the caches are basically micros, we were out on a gorgeous day, taking a walk, chatting and caching.
And we walked the length of it, and back. So there’s the exercise factor.
Throughout the day, there were cool opportunities, too.
My biggest advice for photos when geocaching is simple — slow down and open your eyes. It’s amazing what’s out there.
Below are a few of my favorites from the day. You can see the entire set here.
In the end, remember these things when caching — it’s not a game that you have to rush through. Even if you are into numbers, you can still get them AND get good photos.
Just look around.
Keep the eyes open.
Watch fellow cachers.
And keep on snapping away!
Fundraiser: I am, again, trying to raise money for the Relay For Life. If you donate to me — even a small amount — you will be entered to win a super-sweet quilted scarf. Click here for all the information!
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!