Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Week- being home and loving photography

Roamin Meets the GPS-
Stories from the Road

Lisa, my favorite Curious Girl, created a wonderful idea for a week of "happy" posts. Share those things which make you happy, bring joy to your life, and generally fill you with happy thoughts (I do love the movie Hook, with Robin Williams).

We are just returned from our fabulous 23-day, 5600 mile, 10 state, 4 time-zone adventure, and I am filled with happy thoughts today. I am also aware of the piles of laundry, the dirty car, the grocery shopping, and the weary body. Those are not the things I'll share today!

Today it's about the joy of road-tripping. The miracle that we live in such a country that everywhere you go you see something to celebrate. I love driving down the road and seeing something new, or different, or unexpected.

We drove for a very long time across the upper mid-west, while following signs for "Wall Drugs." Apparently this is a historic stop, originally a place for those who crossed the country to stop for free ice water. There are vast spaces out there, and if you haven't taken the time to travel them, I highly recommend you do so. Until you see the country first hand, you will have a very difficult time realizing how wonderful, varied, and huge the United States really is.

So, we arrived at Wall Drugs (we HAD to stop, after reading the hundreds of miles of advertisements), and it was a hoot. Something for everyone, and yes, it has become a bit of a tourist trap. But what a great break from the road. Things for kids to do, adults to do, food, and yes...free ice water. A visionary spirit whose legacy lives on.

Then there are tunnels. It's the need for tunnels which amazes me. We left miles and miles and miles of grassland, and then we needed tunnels to get through areas of our country which are rocky and massive.

And then you round a corner and see another example of our American Spirit. Here is my first look at the Mt. Rushmore Memorial. Carved out of the mountain and boldly proclaiming our heritage, we visited this memorial to 4 presidents - more photographs to follow. Fabulous.

And the unexpected joy of a giant rainbow, developing before our eyes. A long day. A hard drive. And there it was -- vibrantly alive and bigger than life, growing before our eyes until it stretched across the whole sky - another example of nature's wonders.

Just a few of the things which bring me joy, and a lesson in photography all wrapped up into one. As you may have noticed, these photographs are snapshots of our trip, a way to journal and record part of our adventure. They were not taken with a "good" camera...the point-and-shoot we leave in the car was all I needed. Are they the best quality? No...but they're best record-shots of a wonderful time exploring our country.

The best photos are not always the ones taken with a lot of time and effort, or with the best equipment. They are the photos you take because something stirs in your heart that you want to capture in some way. I look at these photos and can tell you about that moment in my life. They are my connection to a time and place and event...and they won't be found for sale on our web site:).

Another point about road photography...if you have something in your picture for scale you get a better sense of place. For instance, without a car in the Mt. Rushmore photo, would you have any idea how huge the carvings are? Or the truck in the rainbow photo? Do you see the size of the forest on either side of the road? Or the building in back of the Jack-a-lope? Rather a large creation, don't you think? Fun for the kids to climb on:).

Enjoy photography, with whatever equipment you have, and whatever time you have. THIS I love. THIS makes me happy:). Have a great Happy Week.


joyce said...

Glad you made it home in one piece. I like the rainbow best. You're absolutely right about having something to measure the scale of the photo.
The trip you took is kind of like my dream trip....to drive across canada. One day.......

Anonymous said...

one can have the best photography equipment and still not take good photos. or worse - have it hidden away in the closet, still carefully wrapped in its packing, waiting for a "good moment" to use it (i know someone like that!). i have the simplest of cameras and know little about photography, but i am enjoying the learning process, and enjoying the shooting.

glad to have you back.

Char said...

you're right - it's not the equipment that makes the shot - it's the photographer.

sounds like the best time and I like your happy thoughts.

Sandy K. said...

It's good to be home, though I need to start thinking about work again. My first day is Thursday- yikes. I love driving trips, though my husband isn't as crazy about them. But that's a pilot for you:). I also love that little camera in the car. Tomorrow I'm going for "quality" shots - I can't wait:).

kendalee said...

Lovely glimpses into your road trip and welcome back!

I'm often tempted to say that if I had a better camera, I'd take better pictures but I know this is not true. And I think I'd be too scared or lazy to carry it around everywhere as I do now. So my little point and shoot serves me just fine. As you said, it's often more about just capturing the moment, and with it, the memory trigger, because I can't rely on my memory alone - it sometimes works like a sieve!

Look forward to your next set of pics! :)

alteredstatesstudio said...

your pictures are wonderful! i am from SD and am so glad to hear that our heartland stirred motivation and is the reason behind your pictures- it makes them that much more special to see!

curious girl (lisa) said...

the great american roadtrip is one of the happiest of all things! I have very vivid and fun memories of following the wall drug signs and finally getting there and having my dad take my picture by all the oddities.

Sandy K. said...

Lisa...thank you for your Wall Drug comment:). What a wonderful novelty.

And thank you all for your warm wishes. I'm anxious to catch up with everyone over the next few days.

ols1 said...

You sound like you had a great time. I believe as you do that sometimes the snapshots make the best photos - always nice to be home isn't it? xo

My Mane in the Wind said...

That jackalope is a memorable one-of-a-kind road trip memento. It made me smile and thanks for the shooting tips!

georgia b. said...

that second tunnel shot is AWESOME!! one of my favorite of yours ever!