When I was 14 and making my original family album for my grandparents, I had very little film available and I tended to only shoot one picture in each situation. This was probably a result of thinking each exposure I made should be a picture AND saving film. The two concepts went hand in hand. I have recently gone over all these early negatives because over the last few weeks I have been in my darkroom reprinting this album and I can tell you I only made one frame of each situation. I guess this means the pictures are not “perfect” because I did not take the liberty, could not afford the liberty, of “working it”, playing with a variety of compositions and chosen moments. One click was the only click. Yet innocence and purity might just trump experience and craftsmanship.
Once I know how to do something, I don’t want to do it anymore. I would rather explore. Take chances. Set myself up for a big fall. Keying off the actually really old idea that unless you are reaching beyond what you know how to do, you are simply repeating a known skill set and this keeps most people happy most of the time, but no way will it lead to the creative edge where the real magic happens. The very same precipices where the total disasters happen as well.
So we are 24 hours away from our BurnBooks Lucie award, we had fun in Hollywood, and now we are back to work. Peer group validation for our book as been so high, that all of us connected to it know it is now time to move on. Time spent standing in the limelight should always be very short.
Our trip track got reversed as we end up now going from California to New York rather than our original other way around. Works out. I was California born and now will be heading home to where I live now, and so each day I will be getting closer to home and yet I am feeling the good vibe of starting where I was born.
Please join us on Road Trips as we cross the USA for the next four or five weeks and I contemplate exactly how I can do this. How can I make this the essay I am kinda seeing but is not totally conceptual yet. This cannot be planned. I must hope that a high level of inspiration hits me. Oh I could be professional about it really easy. No way. This must be totally organic.
We are doing this chapter of Off For A Family Drive as a free workshop for those who stick with us. You may jump in at any time and ask any question and I will do my best to answer. For those who remember how we did (based on a true story) in Rio, it will be a similar experience from an education or adventure standpoint, only instead of creating a paywall as we did before, this journey with us is gratis and yet we do offer a way for you to help us to help you. You can help to support this online workshop if you so choose and get something back in return. There is now a donations page set up on Burn for the Road Trip. You can access it on the right hand toolbar or click here.
I will be 100% engaged with this audience with daily multiple postings with everything from my iphone instagrams, to my shots from the Leica S2. Four different film makers will be documenting various segments of the trip and quick snippets will show up on Road Trips. The main thing here from a learning perspective, just as was the Rio journey, will be in thinking about how to create a concept and follow through and yet be open in your own mind to evolutions. Unexpected changes in attitude which can make you or break you.
Keep an eye on us. Try to find us. Join the circus.