Life Is A Road Trip

The Amazing Adventures of a Zoobroker and a Sentiographer


I came to Vancouver to play pool in Soho?

canadaMatt HillComment

day-01-34 Apparently, yes.


We're staying in Yaletown, which is very similar to Soho in NYC. Irony abounds. Or maybe it's deliberate. Irony can be deliberate. 

I won a legitimate game of pool by dropping the 8 ball in our first game. W00t! Must be the second time I've beaten Zoo...

We went out for a smoke and met up with Jill and a gal who is also a photographer (I apologize - I forget your name! Beer does that to me. Shoot me an email and I will fix it). She proceeded to berate me about not using a flash and my photos being out of focus. I tried to appease her, and that was my first mistake. After trying that out, I went back to doing it my way with available light and at f/1.4. Right then things got better and suddenly we were best of friends!


BTW, she shot the photo of me at the top of the post. Phauxtogs unite! Brothers and sister in glass, be happy with your depth of field and composition. We went inside and Zoo invited Jill to play pool and she nearly kicked his ass, too.




Zoo almost took himself out with a pool cue, he was so worried.


Fun bar - Fussball tables were hopping.



Not far down the street, an apartment dweller didn't feel like going downstairs for a smoke.


And in our crazy hotel, this is the lighting in the elevators. Too swank. Too swank.


What's Under Your Skin?

musings, new yorkMatt HillComment

You are where you are - sentography
You are where you are - sentography

Last time around we posted separate pre-trip musings to set the emotional and cerebral stage for what could easily be seen as a vacation for two rowdy guys. Heck, we're not nearly as shallow as we may come off. We certainly like to have fun, but it's easy to say that both of us derive a lot of enjoyment from working out the bullshit from daily life and coming home a newer and better person each time. I expect this trip to be just as illuminating, if not more.

The only thing that is a real shame is that I wanted to shed some poundage prior to this, but I chose other priorities. My own damn fault. Whatevs, I am who I am, all the time.

So here I sit in my apartment, drinking some Peets Major Dickason's and waking up from a long week (seven weeks) of work and visiting friends and their art shows. All in all, I am very happy with how my life is going right now. I'm being social in the wake of an extended separation and rough divorce last year, I'm making new friends, making art, shooting more than ever, making great progress at work, meeting gals I like and some like me back, and growing up in big ways.

For instance, I've learned one of those really important life lessons - how to be friends with a woman I think is attractive. Seriously, it's hard! Well, it was. I think it's one part controlling primal instincts and one part choosing the more important benefit over satisfying said primal urge. For sure, the benefits of having meaningful friendships with members of the fairer sex outweigh a lack of it any day. But it's something I really didn't know how to do until this past year or two. I had a best friend, and she was a gal (and previously my wife), so it's a skill I didn't try to develop since attraction and friendship were wrapped together in one package. Being on my own, it's now part of  my healthy lifestyle. After all, attraction is one of those intangibles that can strike quickly, but when you ask yourself, "What's the benefit of not being myself because I am attracted to this gal?" it gets pretty easy to identify that there are none. So, on to being myself always. In the end, that is the goal paramount to staying happy all the time.

So what big things can I focus on for this road trip? Sentography, right? 

Sentography: dynamic forms of communication of emotion and qualities.

A portrait photographer worth their salt always looks to make a person or people a story out of a moment. A sentographer has to take this one step further - not just make someone look good and natural, but capture them in a natural state of emotion. And make it cathartic, damnit! (snicker).

So in addition to my regular path of always reaching for more self-improvement and having maximum fun, I will add to this my ability to help people delve into themselves and then capture those moments. Perhaps we'll post interviews, too. Not sure how this is going to work, but I do know that somehow, it will.

I guess that last sentence is something I say to myself often and that's a big part of who I am today. I believe in me.

So, RT4 (Road Trip 4 for the uninitiated), I'm coming for you. Be ready to bare your soul.

RT4: Phauxtog weighs in on waiting it out

musings, new york, Phauxtog, photographyMatt HillComment

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.

Red Hook, Brooklyn

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

69th street transfer station

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!