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Seeing clearly on Mailbox
posted by John : October 20, 2013


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Islands in a sea of fog


Yeah, yeah. Mailbox #17. The only thing amazing about this trip is that after I suggested this trip couldn't compare to the awesome #16 last week is that it was even more awesome and amazing. I even tempted fate by bringing my good camera. Mailbox didn't care! Like a honey badger!

But enough about the hike. I want to talk about glass.

Fancy photographers talk about the quality of their glass. What does that mean? Their windshield? Their camera lenses? No! I think they mean their sunglasses. (Yes, I know they really mean their camera lenses, but work with me here.)

The last time I had quality sunglasses was back in.. uh... Actually, I don't know. I found them recently and they look like they might be from the 80s. Not exactly flattering.

Since then, I've consumed a steady supply of essentially disposable and definitely cheap glasses. Now there's nothing wrong with cheap glasses except they're cheap and you can't really see out of them very well. Other than that, nothing wrong. I was going through a pair every six months.

But this summer we hooked up with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation to track pikas, photograph glaciers, and collect diatoms. As part of a drawing, I scored a prize package from one of ASC's sponsors, Smith Optics, that included a pair of sunglasses.

Ok, neat. How much of a difference can a pair of good glasses really make?

Holy.

Cow.

Seriously, the world is alive with color and clarity like never before. The glasses (Prospect Tactical with polarized brown lenses) aren't any heavier than my cheap glasses and fit my (rather large) head perfectly. The only downside is that I don't want to just throw them into my bag with all my other gear. I want to protect them so they last forever. (Of course, one of the reasons I chose the "tactical" version is that they're supposed to withstand all kinds of abuse, but I'm not one to tempt fate.)

So now I get why the photographers are all about their sunglasses. I think I am now, too.

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