3.11.2010

The mechanics of hitting the wall.

I don't know about you but the last three years have sure taken a toll on me.  I sublimated the fear and feelings of anxiety and career desperation by writing books.  Lots of books.  Four in a row.  And the time in between was jittery and uncertain.   Lately, it's starting to seem as though a long drought is breaking and photographic work is starting to flow.  But you can't live through a social upheaval like the last two or three years without a certain amount of the residue sticking with you.  I confess that I feel burned out.   And really, it's the waiting and the indecision and ambiguity that wears a person down.

I just finished two photographic projects with a great ad agency and I feel comfortable enough to take a solo vacation.  Really more of an extended weekend.  Baby steps.  I'm leaving today for points west.  I'll be visiting friends in Marfa for a day but for the most part I'll be cruising around with a bag full of cameras and no real agenda.  I'm leaving today and I'll be back next week some time.  I asked the boy if he wanted to drive through the desert and mountains for five or six days with me and he gave me that kind yet sad teenage head shake.  Didn't relish the role of free assistant/talent.

I'm not testing any lenses.  I'm not focused on making technically great photographs.  I'm sure not writing to a template and a tight deadline.  I'm just going to take it mile by mile and snap a few pics of things that make me smile or make me frown.  I'm not taking a computer.  I won't be checking e-mail.  I don't have an iPhone.  I won't be checking texts.  I have a rudimentary cellphone and I'll call home to make sure the wife and the boy and the dog are fine.

There's no client for this trip so I'm doing it like a Texas, college Spring Break trip.  Toss a sleeping bag in the back of the Honda Element, pull a couple hundred bucks out of the bank and go with a vague schedule. Sleep, eat, drive, shoot.  What-a-burger?  Dairy Queen?  Bag of granola?

Cameras?  I'll take some.  All little pixie sensor cameras.  A small bag of pixie system lenses.  A tripod.
A bucket of batteries.  No studio flash.  No stands.  No umbrellas.  Nothing that feels like work.  It's the new Pixie Camera Aesthetic.

Remember all that stuff about Minimalism?  That's what we're aiming for.  If I make it back I'll start blogging about it next Thurs. As they say on Star Trek, "Kirk out."

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