When I decided to take a road trip several weeks ago, I had no idea how involved it would be. And involving.
Three states, 10 cities, 2660 miles, 13 days. I haven't added up how much I spent on gas and accommodations but, needless to say, it was an expensive trip. But I got a good deal from my travels, too. More importantly, I met some really wonderful people. (And one jerk...but he doesn't count.)
Which brings me to why I make photographs of buildings. I do it in order to meet people. Life has been a blur since I returned home so I'm a little fuzzy on the details but a brief incident comes to mind that illustrates this point.
Once back in Dallas / Fort Worth, I went in to the studio to unload my truck and unpack gear. Sans camera, I went out for lunch or dinner — whatever — and found that I really wanted to photograph a person I saw across the way and get to know something about them. But without my camera, I felt this choking sensation, as if there were an invisible pair of hands around my throat. The more I wanted to get up and approach this person, the tighter the grip of the unseen hands.
That's when I realized the camera somehow gave me permission to be friendly, open enough to approach a stranger. Without it, I'm a pretty shy, private, reclusive type of guy, some would say even kind of aloof. Camera in hand, I can approach anyone, go anywhere, climb atop anything, even do some really stupid shit, thinking I am completely invulnerable. After all, I've got a camera in my hand. Nothing can happen to me. Right? Right?!? (Please, never put me in a war zone!)
Most important of all, however, is a simple goal I've had from the outset of this little project. That is, to complete something I started. A lifelong problem, this. But my intention, even though the photographs will have a life long after this road trip, is to bring it to a conclusion, finish it, put a bow on it. Not to leave it undone, hanging, twisting in the wind from a Mexican overpass like a corpse that will eventually stank up the place, y'all. Time to cut it down and bury it 'cause it's the past and it's dead, done, and gone. Time to move on to the next thing.