Life through the lens of a caretaker

Chris Moody, a first year caretaker, has spent the summer in the field with his 35 mm camera. The results, that he shared with us as a caretaking photo-essay, are extraordinary. These are not photo-shopped, and many rely on photography techniques like double and long-exposures.

This selection of photos will resonate with all of us who have spent time in these mountains: cloudy ridgelines, clear reflective ponds (that one will make you look a few times), the beckoning cairn (beckoning in a whimsical way in Chris' photo), the vast green heart of the Pemi Wilderness, and of course spectacular sunsets that each have a unique defining characteristic. These photos also come with names, some of simple geography (e.g. Franconia, and Bondcliff) and some of expression (e.g.follow me and my hand, and realities). These are, also, photos that Chris has been compulsively taking from the very beginning, taking his camera with him into our overnight field visits during caretaker training.

As the West Rotator, Chris moved among Kinsman Pond, Liberty Springs, and Garfield Ridge over the course of his 10-11 day stints in the field; being car-less, he traveled that rotation as a pure rotation, traversing the Franconia ridgeline from Liberty to Garfield. Appropriately, along with his 35mm camera, he uses an external frame pack and can often be found composting human waste while wearing a 1970s polyester shirt.

As a photographer, he has few words, but wrote these to describe what it means to be a caretaker, and what these photos are to him.

as a caretaker you are given freedom and responsibility to protect, serve, and embellish the land as you choose so long you follow the simple guide lines of leaving no trace and making sure everyone else is aware of these life practices as well. you wake up and you hike, you wake up and you record the weather, you wake up and you explore your world, you walk amongst the storms and let it rain down on you, you hope the bear let's you be like you let it be, you sit amongst the disappearing sun, you be you! the freedom allows for your own personal interpretation and you make it what you want it, like life. everyone lives it differently and that's the beauty of the job; here is how i live it alone, with friends, and with the gods: