22 August, 2008

What you get.

I have photographer friends who live in places like Bangkok, Beijing and Bogota, and I often wonder how great it must be to live in a place with such an abundance of...of...stuff. There are plenty of things, and plenty of stuff, around where I live too, but it just isn't the same. Perhaps it is because I'm used to it. Nothing here is really exotic, or is it? Have I just learned to turn things off, like my mind? Have I "unlearned" the ability to see?
Every now and then I just snap. I hit the wall of frustration and leave the house, camera in hand, on a desperate search for something. Anything.
The last thing I want to do is drive around looking for images, not only because we have $4 gasoline, but it is also very difficult to work from a moving vehicle.
Problem is, can't really walk and get anywhere I would want to begin this process. Our public transport, unless you have all day to spend, isn't really going to cut it either.
So, I ride my bike. In 20 minutes, I can be where I need to be, but still, I'm back in vanilla so to speak, and find myself looking out over that ocean, towards places like Bangkok and Beijing, and wondering what it would be like to LIVE there. Not just to visit but to LIVE there.
Orange County, for me, is an easy place, very easy, and I mean this in a good way. In terms of places I've lived in the United States, it is probably the easiest. No blazing summers or tundra-like winters, just middle of the road. However, in terms of culture and diversity, it is nowhere near the best place I have lived. The OC has diversity and multiple cultures, but they are spread out over hundreds of square miles, and are hidden behind rows of houses and strip malls. You can find it, but you just had to dig.
So, when I need to get out and shoot something, anything, on my own, I head to the closest culture, beach culture. I can get there easily, without trying to navigate a smoggy Inland Empire void of bike lanes, and I'm almost guaranteed decent light, at least in the afternoon.
I'm not excited by these images, they are just a release value for me. Beach culture is interesting, but I wouldn't say, as cultures go, it would be in my top ten. But, it is what I have to work with.
I think I'm so driven to move, to change locations, to travel is because I have traveled in the past. I used to think I traveled a fair amount, but in today's age it seems that everyone is on the go. I once took a workshop and I was the only student who had not been to basecamp at Mt. Everest.
So I haven't really traveled that much, but enough to know what is out there. Not only in Bangkok and Beijing but in Boston and Brownsville.
So, my goal for 2009. Be gone. As much as possible. Searching for something, but what I'm not exactly sure.

By the way. All of these images were done as single pictures. One roll of film, 36 different images. After all, I'm trying to think.