A few thoughts as we slide along these dog days of summer in mid-August in the year 2023
I am headed out west next week, flying to Spokane to spend a week or so centered in Colfax, WA which is wheat field central. Not sure but I think this is my 22nd trip. Concerning is the report that the air is smokey from the fires in Canada. I hope this will blow out by the time I get there.
A friend asked if I will do aerials. This was my answer:
My original answer was: no. But listening to myself tell the rationale of not shooting aerials this trip sounded like bull shit as I thought more about it. I have to send the gyro ahead as it weighs too much to go with me on the flight. It goes out to my hotel tomorrow UPS. So, yes, will do at least one flight.
I need a change of scenery and I am embarrassed to admit I have not been on a plane since before Covid. It is time.
This many times, photographing the extensive wheat fields in the southeastern corner of Washington, I will practice one of Neal's favorite truths:"the same but different" meaning I hope to bring something fresh to very familiar places.
And here in no particular order, some thoughts in passing:
The life of a landscape photographer. With the wheat, it is back in some dirt and dusty farm road with not a soul around, maybe a hawk on the hunt. Hour after hour and day after day. It is a little relentless and after a week I am over it. I used to go for longer times: 12 days or 2 weeks. It is too long. I run out of steam and want nothing to do with wheat fields for a while.
I certainly know I photograph less(at this age). My pace is less frenetic. I am very critical of the pictures I make these days and I find most work of mine boring. When I make a picture that I like it is because it is simple and clean and uncontrived. “Honest” is an objective. They are few. And far between.
And the last:
To be truthful this bothers me less than you might think. For I have much more work in my past than in my future and, while there is some that I cannot bear to look at there is some that I can. This August has seemed endless, days of work in the studio, curator visits to prepare for, mowing my two yards, a back yard and a front yard, biking (meaning exploring) working on the house scraping and painting and outright contentment at where I find myself. This is presumably what age can give us, days of few appointments, no meetings and few deadlines. For instance, I like to hang out with our two dogs. It isn’t that photography means less to me it is that most work I see holds little interest. Joni Mitchell sang that “the old hate the young”. I don’t particularly hate the young I am just frustrated by their lack of knowledge of history.
Wishing you all well. I will try to write here as I work in the wheat fields of the Palouse one more time.