Go on the road long enough and your mind will begin to play tricks on you.
I recently returned from a three-week work trip which took me from Vancouver to Savannah and many, many points in between. As you know, I normally have a camera in hand along the way. This trip, because of it’s pace and requirements, forced me to pack my gear away during transport. I would get to my destination for the day, unpack my leather “Dan Bag” and also unpack my gear and THEN head out into the day, days that were primarily about giving presentations for Blurb.
Every now and then, I’d get a second or two to shoot, and I mean every now and then. Over a three-week period I shot two rolls of film, which should give you an idea of how packed these trips were.
Creatively speaking, I was desperate, starving. I feel this unbelievable pull to be making things, so I do what I can to satisfy this need as I’m plodding through daily life. I write, I sketch (poorly) and I make the occasional photograph. And I talk to myself, daydream and think of the future. I’m not sure what else to do.
I love doing these trips because I love being in the field and I love unlocking OTHER people and their creativity. The creative world is constrained today, constrained by an odd assortment of baggage, history, tradition and learned behavior. My job isn’t to talk about Blurb, that would be too dry for me, but rather my job is to shake up the playing field. I present ideas, show people things and then get out of their way. It’s fun.
But the meter is still running the background. The creative meter, which comes in the form of a whisper or a memory or a reminder. These pictures I make on the road are like decaf coffee, in theory they are fine, but they leave me a bit flat. Perhaps it’s because I’m not as connected to them as I need to be, or because I can’t stop and consider them in the field. There is no time.
They are photographic empty calories but I find them essential to my current existence.