Las Vegas sits in the middle of some of the most beautiful terrain this country has to offer. And most of the millions of fucking tourists never see it. It's like they say, "ooh shiny! oooh tits! ooh buffet!" and while they're inundated by fake they quickly lose their hold on reality. I mean, fuck, I like shiny. I like tits. I love the fucking buffet. So we struggle to remain even sort of rooted, so getting the fuck outta Dodge is a requirement. We headed to the Valley of Fire. If we didn't have shit to do, I'd rework the 23rd Psalm to my purposes. Alas, I'm just gonna drop a teaser. We went with friends of Phaux ... maybe more on them another time. Good people.
Sometimes I think we should rename this blog Proof Of Future Cancer with all the smoking that's captured on film. Anyway, Phaux, thanks for the ego-porn.
Yeah, this a road. It screams Moto Guzzi commercial. Except we were driving a Kia. But everytime we parked it, it looked like one of those depressing mini-van commercials that consoles both men and women about the depressing sterility and banality of their existence by saying, "You will not always be changing dirty diapers in the living room watching SportsCenter, sometimes you will be changing dirty diapers in the the desert."
So, this is the kind of shit that you get when you take 3 awesome photographers to the desert ... serious ego porn.
These were taken with a IR-modified Canon G9, which for some reason turns my clean shaven face into very strange 5 o'clock shadow, sort of like the oldest brother on Party of Five. You know, the guy who became the doc on Lost? Don't you think it's strange that when he's living on Alamo Square with running water and Walgreen's within walking distance he never could shave, but when he gets on the semi-deserted island in the middle of Pacific, he actually is Wall Street clean shaven? Weird. Oh, yeah, that's a knife. Not the Global, but hey.
That's Sylvester. Photographer-slash-Art Director. That's my grill going in the background. Cowboy cheesesteaks, rosemary pork tenderloin au poivre, asparagus. That's why they let me tag along.
I hate to tease all of you with this shot ... but pretty sick, huh? And that's not even the best shot. God I just creamed myself.
I started getting sick last night ... I think I sneezed about 50 times over the course of the night. So around midnight, I headed back to the hotel while Phauxtog went out in the rain and took some pictures. Or so he said. When I woke up this morning, I noticed this ...
He claims that he "fell down", but we welcome your theories in the comments. Gross.
I'm thinking about the road trip that's only one month away... these things come to mind: Vistas. Panoramas. Breathtaking views. Open road. Skiing. Canada! Seattle! The Canadian Rockies! Portland! The Pacific Ocean.
Potential. Progress. Presence. Authenticity. Expansion. Refinement.
One thing I've realized being a passionate night (photo)sentiographer for so long is that is easily perceived as darkness, over time, becomes something much closer to day.
Continues after the break...
Four minutes exposed, and night becomes day. Thoughts, over time, expose deeper meaning much the same way.
I've been on an expansive path for a few years now, and the more I learn about myself, the more I know I can be more, do more, achieve more of my dreams. Coffee and cigarettes may fuel my body in the morning, but passion and dreams fuel my choices. I choose to pursue an open-ended road trips because it enables possibilities. Thinking in terms on long exposure, I wish that the 10 day road trip were two months.
Why? It's certainly not vacation greed; I enjoy my day job very much. No, I know that I would get much deeper insights over a longer stay away from my daily existence. Much like a 15 minute exposure
reveals a bright city bustling even in moonlight behind a darkened and forgotten rail transfer station and glassy water that is the visual sum of all its movement, I am thinking about what the total experience would equal over a period six times longer.
My best guesses:
- I would discover that I have larger goals that are dismissed out of practicality
- I would meet other people experiencing a similar freedom from "normal" life
- I would relax more than I have in ten years
- I would come up with previously unfound and potentially amazing creative ideas
- I would find twenty more places I would consider living
Why am I even doing this mental exercise? Am I ungrateful for this 10-day window? Not at all - I live for this. And I ask myself because I want to push a boundary. That being that I have a fairly standard schedule to my life. I am grateful for its consistency, but I wonder if I am using my time the best I can... I am certainly growing in many facets: career, knowledge, skill, etc. but something feels like it wants to explode out of the gate - my creativity. and nine'ish hours a day allow only restricted access to that.
All that out of the way, Rt4 is one month away and it's gonna be one hell of a ride. We have a surprise or two for you, and I'm sure we'll be served some of our own ;)
So, start counting the days. Seattle, here we come!
I just realized that I never posted the black and white panos from RT3! So, for your viewing enjoyment... High Desert, eastern NV
24 more photos after the break - click on!
Download high-res (ZIP)