A Dérive to the Airport: Breadcrumbs

August 25, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The GPS track for my airport derive.The GPS track for my airport derive.

 

 

When I set out on my walk to the airport, it was truly a last minute decision. I left the house with nothing more in mind than to have a satisfying, relaxing ramble through new territory. I left without a camera. More precisely, I left without a serious camera which, these days, is my Olympus OM-D E5. 

 

What I did have was my iPhone 5, already set up to track my journey so that I would know how long my trip was in time and distance and to graphically map my path. I have used the Motion-X GPS app for a few years now and have a good collection of walking tracks. I particularly like the visual form of the mapped tracks, lines, shapes and volumes created on the landscape by the simple act of walking. A collaborative art form.

 

While I love photography, I also love to walk and those two activities are somewhat in conflict. Walking suggests movement while photography usually requires stopping. A simple one hour saunter can easily turn into a multiple hour assignment (read: work!) when photography comes into play. 

 

I had just finished an assignment. Now I just want to walk.

 

Out the door, I proceed down our tree-lined street, cross the little bridge at the mouth of Omand’s Creek, pass behind historic St. James Anglican Church and the overgrown cemetery surrounding it. Then, coyly, a bent yellow and black warning sign overpainted with bright blue footprints catches my eye. What does it mean? Who decided that blue footprints painted on a bent sign was a good idea? What great colour! The inevitable happens. Out comes the iPhone. Compose. Click. 

 

 

My stroll is innocent no more.  

 

The iPhone is not a bad camera. It is a digital Instamatic (my homage to long-gone Kodak) allowing one to choose when to push the button and where to point the camera. All the finicky “how” details like shutter speed and aperture are pre-managed by the camera-maker. For this walk, pushing and pointing seemed the perfect pairing for a dérive, the purpose of walking not diminished and the art of clicking not work.

 

Each photo is a quick response to a visual cue, driving me to follow a road or path or to change course. A simple look-walk-point-click-look-walk-point-click cyclical process. In keeping with this approach, the 36 photographs in this book are arranged chronologically (edited down from the 95 images made along the way) and minimally processed in Lightroom, with small tonal and colour adjustments. Only seven of the photographs have been cropped slightly to improve composition.

 

 

 

A Dérive to the Airport: Make a Book will appear in the next post on WalkClickMake.

 

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