I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.
— Maya Angelou
“One Hour Photo” is a new photography app for iPhone. The idea is simple (and I must admit I scoffed at it at first): You take pictures with the app, which has virtually no settings at all (it’s very much like shooting with a disposable camera or something). The screen turns white for a split-second. Then a timer starts at the bottom of the app, and the viewfinder reappears. The photos show up in your camera roll an hour later, with a dreamy black-and-white “film” filter.
There’s something very zen about the whole experience. It quite literally takes away my usual perfectionism and attention to detail and makes me take photos of moments and let them pass. I spent my dinner break last night driving / walking around in Austin snapping photos, and I really enjoyed it. Something about the format — the anticipation, the not-looking-back, and perhaps most importantly the lack of immediately firing up any number of editing apps — made me really enjoy just pointing my phone at things and shooting. I really can’t recommend it strongly enough. Almost as an added bonus, the app has some of the most convincing faux-film effects of any app I’ve ever used, and it does so completely automatically.
After being back under the Texas sun for a couple of weeks now, I’ve had time to mentally catch up after my amazing whirlwind of a trip two weeks ago. It also occurs to me that it all happened so quickly that I didn’t really get a chance to share (in any detail at least) what I was even doing on the road.
I was traveling with the amazingly talented poet, spoken-word artist and dear friend Lauren Zuniga. We’ve been talking about me coming along on a trip with her for a long time, and things just fell into place this time. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, and it was seriously so much fun.
I’ve got more snippets to post from the trip, and I’ve been busy logging footage and audio I collected along the way. I’ll likely be posting some snippets of those videos here in the near future, and I can’t wait to share all this with the world.
I’ll be posting more photos, and some journals from the trip, over the next few days. Please stay tuned.
Tonight Lauren performed at
New Hampshire State University University of New Hampshire. Met lots of fantastic progressive young minds — also felt a little old. College kids are pretty young these days.
Other points of interest: ate the most amazing lobster roll ever (resisted urge to post food pic), drank delicious coffee (the caffeine is creeping back into my life), talked about gender and sexuality in a car while driving through a pine forest, ate “Mexican” food (sorry, New England, it’s just not your forté), and met lots of interesting people. And in case anyone’s wondering, I’m a little bit in love with Portland, Maine (and not just because of the seafood).
I have poetry in my bones, and it feels so good.
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” — Anaïs Nin
This week I’m tagging along with the amazingly talented Lauren Zuniga on the final leg of her tour throughout the Northeast and filming a short documentary.
We had breakfast this morning at a giant wooden table at a coffeeshop in Lawrence, Massachusetts, among what I could only describe as a sort of industrial ruin. I’ve been in three states today. I really like pointing cameras and microphones at things and people I find interesting. More soon.
I’ll be posting snippets and updates from the road this week, so check back (or comment on this post and select “Notify me of new posts by email”
Thee Oh Sees on the McGarrah Jessee rooftop.
Thee Oh Sees on the McGarrah Jessee rooftop. People kept shaking up beers and spraying them everywhere, which was annoying.
Enjoying a somewhat more laid-back Tuesday before starting the all-out crazyface music-overload that will be the next four days.
A couple of months ago I visited a dear friend in Oklahoma City. On the way back I stopped by a little spot ten miles west of nowhere near Edmond, Oklahoma…to see a tree. Supposedly this was no ordinary tree; I’d seen pictures of it, heard stories about people driving out of their way to see it — needless to say, I had to experience it for myself.
Except it turns out it was 1) after ten p.m. by the time I made it out there and 2) so, so cold. I tried to take a long exposure photo but the whole thing turned out to be completely out of focus and looked pretty awful.
A loss, right? Not really. As I stood there sipping my hot cocoa, chilled to the bone, looking at this little tree (a dogwood, maybe?) I felt this weird feeling of…well…of standing out in the middle of nowhere by myself but feeling anything but. There’s something to be said about sharing a spot with a whole bunch of people across space and time (some of whom you’ve never met, some of whom you have). Sharing space. It’s something we do every day, but I suspect we rarely think about. It got me thinking so much I’m devoting episode two of my podcast to it — but more on that later.
In the meantime, if you want to see some photos of the tree that don’t suck, check out geotagged photos on Flickr.
I made the illustration above because I was sad I didn’t get a good photo of the tree.