Thursday, July 13, 2006

Going To The Edge

One of my life time projects is cataloging all the film that I have shot since I was in college. There is only one problem. I tend to shot more film than I have time to catalog, so the backlog just keeps growing and growing. Most of this film is either Kodachrome or Ectachrome slides and I have been scanning quite a bit of them recently. Some of the images are approaching 20 years old and they bring back a lot of memories.

Santa Barbara Pier

Most of the pictures are landscapes. Places that I have been, things that I have seen. I keep meaning to delve more into portraiture, but it is hard to find folks to stand still and let you pose them.

Painted Desert

I suppose one of the benchmarks of our lives is where we have been and what we have seen. The images we take back with us from the places that were far away. I still yearn to see those places that I have only heard described in books and magazines (or the Discovery Channel). To date, most of the places I have seen have been limited to the western United States.

Monument Valley

I have never been a big vacation planner. I have always taken the term literally. Vacation means to 'vacate', or to leave. That is what I have done in the past. Unencumbered by children and spouses, I would get into my car, find a point on a map and drive till I got there. The destination was usually not that important. What I saw along the way was the important thing.

Southern Utah

I would usually drive for half the length of my vacation. Stop and then turn around and race back home in time to get back to my cubicle by the last day of vacation. I called this 'Going To The Edge'. Seeing how far away I could get, before reality snapped me back.

Redwood Stream

Looking back, these were the best vacations. I was alone with my thoughts and my camera in the vast emptiness of the American west. I slept in my car or in a tent and ate on the move, never missing a chance to stop the car anywhere I wanted just to take a picture. What remains of those vacations are some stunning sights, many that I have forgotten until I pulled them from their plastic sleeves to be scanned.

Crescent City

I never could understand the concept of the 'planned' vacation. Itinerary and schedule seem to be counter-productive to the concept of vacating. You are supposed to be set free, not tied down. We are supposed to be free-range souls, not pre-programmed thrill riders.

Superstition Wilderness

So do yourself a favor, pile the wife and kids in a car and just drive somewhere you have never been. Do it as fast as you can. Don't think before you go, just think along the way.....and take a lot of pictures. You will be rewarded handsomely in 20 years when you are going through those photographs in a shoe box you find in the closet.