GUEST POST: This week is a guest post by landscape and travel photographer Graham Fisher. Graham is a friend and fellow St. Louis-based photographer. We’ve spent many hours chasing wild horses in the Missouri Ozarks. Graham is filling in while I’m off traveling. Enjoy Graham’s quirky British wit and fresh take on these weekly challenges.
The challenge this week is to:
Photograph the Journey Home
When first given this challenge to write about the journey home, my reaction was to search my mind for a journey I had made where something exciting had happened. After several attempts, which amounted to a few hours listening to whirling cogs spinning fruitlessly in my head, I realized that maybe I should be thinking about the journey in other ways.
It could be a sad journey, leaving friends or relatives behind after a fantastic vacation. It could be a happy journey – at last getting away from those boring relatives where I must be on my best behavior!
What about sports teams coming back to their home town after winning a tournament. We’re all familiar with ticker tape parades for teams returning as world series champions. But what about the poor losers?
Journeys can be fast or slow. These days we can get home from the other side of the world in a day or two but only 100 years ago, before the advent of trans-continental jets it could take a couple of weeks in a series of short flights, if you could find them. And only 150 years ago in the days of sailing ships it could take months in cramped quarters and pot luck on the company you’d be keeping.
Then again, what constitutes a ‘journey’? If one pops over to visit a next-door neighbor, is the return home a journey? In my mind a journey is something longer but what if something extraordinary happens on the way that becomes an interesting story?
And there’s the point I think. The journey itself, happy or sad, fast or slow, long or short is not the point. It’s the story related to the journey and how interesting it is when told to others.
Most of us these days appreciate the time spent in places rather than the journey itself. We want to arrive at our destination be it home or otherwise to get on to the next thing we have planned. The journey itself is an inconvenient overhead expense on our time. How many times have you wished you could ‘beam up’ a la Star Trek (or I guess ‘beam over’ for us earthbound mortals) toy our destination.
Mostly our journeys are not long enough time wise for interesting stories to develop. Sure, flights get delayed, luggage gets lost or other inconveniences happen from time to time but let’s face it, 99% of the time you ask, ‘how was your journey?’ people say, ‘fine thanks’ and that’s it.
Perhaps if we set out to make the journey itself more interesting that could change. If traveling home by car from a vacation why not, time permitting, add a day or two and stop off along the way at a few spots and take in the delights of small-town America. If traveling by air why not try to make friends with a fellow passenger, then if you’re lucky enough to not get thrown off the flight you may have a story to tell!
Recently after visiting my wife’s aunt in Denver for her 90th birthday, before heading home, we ventured about 4 hours south to Great SandDunes National Park. I thoroughly recommend it as being well worth the visit, unless you happen to live in the Sahara Desert. On the day we visited, the winds were unusually strong gusting to 40 or 50 mph adding to the challenge of taking photographs even with a tripod. Here are some of my attempts.
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Guest Contributor: Graham Fisher “I mostly like to explore landscapes and wildlife but I try my luck in other areas too.” Follow Graham @grf51
This post is sponsored by PhotoYoga.