It's been four months since we got back from The States and I finally got around to getting my film developed. You may have already seen the posts I made on Instagram, but I thought I would share some of my favourite photographs with you here because I don't want to chuck-a-grandma and give you holiday slide night when you haven't asked for it.
One of my favourite things about travelling with Rocket, is that we're after the same thing. That feeling of being small and the quietness that comes along with it is something that we chase. For most of our trip through the Pacific North West late last year, we found ourselves in some of the most beautiful places we had ever been, mostly due to the fact that before we had left for the USA, Rocket spent many a late night favouriting places on Google Maps to the point where there were literally hundreds of little stars spread across his laptop screen.
Just over six years ago, on the day that I turned seventeen, Rocket gave me my first analogue camera - a Pentax P30. Since then I have cherished it, have loved film photography and have picked up a couple of other cameras along the way. Just before we left my dear friend Chris Loutfy was able to source a camera I had been after - the Contax G1.
I was aching to give my new camera a go, and so as I usually do when we travel left my digital camera at home. This leave behind is purposeful, and has been for years. Most of the beauty in film, for me, are the imperfections that come along with it; the flaws in the photograph because of the old mechanisms of the camera, and the raw moments filled with flaws that you unknowingly capture when you release the shutter. Being satisfied with taking just one shot is so valuable when you want to experience the moment, and any mistakes you make or imperfections you capture become cherished and accurate memories when you get the negatives back weeks (or in this case, months) later.
On a walking trail to Wallace Falls (Washington), I thought about how we represent our travels and experiences separate from the familiar. I thought about how much gets lost in translation on postcards, in Facebook albums, and even in video. Even if you share what you saw and what you heard, you still aren't accurately portraying your experiences and the viewer is most certainly not feeling what it felt like standing on that dirt track, under those mossy trees, on that trail. And even if they've been there before, they don't know how you felt on that day standing in that forest.
It was then that I took out my iPhone and created a voice memo of the silence. The crunching of my boots on leaves, the running water of a river, the hum of the trees around me - silence which wasn't silence at all, but wasn't noise either. I'm going to listen to these minute-long memos when revisiting these photographs, and when I'm searching for inspiration for my paintings. I've since become consumed with the notion of never really being able to share your experiences with someone unless you're literally sharing those experiences with someone.
In all of the places we found ourselves - Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, New York City or somewhere in between - we found that feeling we were after - of smallness.. or rather, remembering that there are things so much bigger than you or your goals or the hustle. Of course we saw friends, made friends and visited family, we ate a lot, laughed a lot, and did a hell-of-a-lot of driving, and while all of those things made my heart sing, nothing screamed bliss and wonder louder than sharing the quiet we found in the wilderness.
Here's to more quiet moments.