It is a classic Jack Kerouac quote "the road is home/life" and I used to write it constantly along with "no fear", "into the wild" etc. Back when I clung to a clicheed bag of quotes. I am somewhat attempting to break away from that.
I have found that actually my car – is my home presently! I have now travelled over 8,700 kms (5800 miles) here in the Southwest of the US. I thought initially I might get bored with all that driving but it turns out that the one constant home in my present travelling life is my car (it’s a rental so we have to part ways soon though). I actually really enjoy the driving now, music on my ipod fed into the stereo and I take every backroad (I hate the interstates!) possible through the glorious landscapes. Sometimes I get slightly down when I actually get to my destination and park my Nissan spaceship, and can’t wait to fly again. "How you get there is the worthier part" (well, now I’m quoting Firefly but that’s always good!).
It is too cold for me to camp here but for my next US trip I am definitely getting a larger 4WD and buying camping gear so I can skip all the motel beds and camp out! Nothing better than sleeping under the stars but it requires the right conditions. I miss camping very much but it is seriously cold at night here in the desert so it will have to be next time, where I really will make the car my home. Here’s driving on the road, well technically me sitting in the middle of the road, leading to the salt flats of Death Valley:
A few minuses: What little ass I have has become the shape of a car seat. My neck, shoulders and back are killing me from all that driving and photography and crappy soft motel beds. My tinnitus kills me ears, something about driving that triggers it. And I feel out of shape, which is a feeling I really hate. I think it will be healthy to de-attach this car from my ass for a while soon!
Quick, have a look at this image, do not look at my post title. Where would you guess this image was captured? Oh bugger, I put the country in the image title as well. But, would you ever guess this was Laos and not outback Australia or Namibia? Also reminds me of some images from Chile I have seen.
Driving around the town of Phonsavan in Laos for about half an hour we suddenly find us in this amazing arid area completely covered in deep orange coloured dust. I mean covered. Every hut was orange, every tree was orange. The clouds were magnificent and it all added up to a classic (cliché?) me shot – outback dusty road, this time in Laos! I will do a book on Wide Open Spaces someday when I have enough material, I cannot get enough of these dimensionless magic open spaces!
This image is 7 or 8 images stitched in PTgui. Composition is extremely important to me and I sometimes struggle with it in stitched panoramas. Simply because one cannot see the end result in the viewfinder. But here I feel I came reasonably close to achieving that envisioned. I want a composition where the road runs into infinity, where the viewpoint is low, where all leading lines start at the corners and pull you into the image, where the sky itself is also leading lines pulling you into the magic (getting carried away here). Only thing I am unhappy with is the lower right corner, that curved line is from stitching with a very wide view. Should be straighter. I always shoot a single image 17mm wide angle shot as well in case I do not like my stitched composition. I have often thrown away the stitch and gone for the single image as composition is king for me. There’s a big difference between a good photo and a detailed photo. Stitch may have more details, but it may not be the better image.
If possible, I always have to get myself a road / driving shot. It says movement to me, travel, new opportunities, new horizon. This orange dusty outback road in Laos is already one of my favourite road to infinity images!
A book on My Wide Open Spaces – would you be interested?