I was that nerd who loved roadmaps as a kid. They were paper then and you could get them free in gas stations. We were that family addicted to the Sunday drive. Pick a destination, we’d go. Mom sometimes let me use the Kodak Brownie, which I inherited hand-me-down before getting my own camera on my tenth birthday. I’d make squares with my fingers against the car window imaging good shots. As I said, I was that nerd. I still look at maps, mostly Google now, and I still haven’t lost my addiction to the road. There are all kinds of reasons to take advantage of our nation’s unique mobility. You don’t even have to go far. It’s good for kids, seniors, and everyone to get a few miles out of town to recharge perspective. A friend used to say she left her problems at the highway ramp, then picked them up again when she exited back into our small town. As a photographer, I find the road trip indispensable to the profession. There are major league road trips, of course. South Dakota through the Badlands into Wyoming. The Pacific Coast Highway. The Blue Ridge Parkway. But even modest road trips can restore and reward any photographer. Build those little trips into your routine. Check Google maps, pick a point. It’s often on the way to the destination that the best photographs surprise you. Make sure you have your equipment, comfy shoes, and a good road music mix so you can lose yourself, figuratively and, perhaps, even literally. Let your mind make those little framing squares as the world goes by - then pull over. Whenever you wish. You’re in the driver’s seat now. I call this photograph – what else? – Road Trip. Creative people need continual surprise as to what's around the corner.
as to what's around the corner.