Finally, A Proper Update

When it comes to an actual update on the progress of the next (if any) road trip, it’s been awhile. For that I apologize.

I do in fact, have many a plans and have been working hard at getting some ducks in a row as I plan for the 3rd attempt at the Grandest North American Road Trip ever taken, (might as well dream big right).

I’ve been working a mundane 9-5 job that is keeping me off the streets and helping me get rid of all my debt. The downside can be defined using one word, CUBICLE. I would never even think about keeping a bird in a cage after the past  two and a half years speaking strictly from experience. My already pudgy carcass is turning to mush and I’m sure my mind isn’t far behind. Just doing the 20 minute commute there makes me tense and miserable.

I digress. I HAVE been doing other work towards getting back out on the road, a much happier place. I’ve revamped and just launched my photography portfolio where there are lots of photos available for prints in many different sizes. Keep checking back as I’ll be adding even more each week as time goes by. Before that I did a quick update to my design portfolio and revamped my namesake portal which links to everything I do.

Here’s the big difference between the past road trips and the next one. On my last trip through the southwest US I had a few bouts of loneliness. As I’ve been here working the only real time off I’ve allowed myself is to take my vacation time and go to Burning Man. 2012 was my first year and it had always been something I wanted to experience, timing and money had never really allowed it previously. So I went, but before I did I did my research about the festival and realized I wanted to contribute something. Something easy for me to do that I hoped people would appreciate transformed into a crazy little cart being towed behind my bike in Black Rock City. Two cheap light stands attached to the cart with a couple of off camera flashes dangling in the wind, I pointed them and the camera at my fellow residents and made portraits of them. Whoever wanted one. Then, once home I edited them all and gifted them back to people who contacted me via the business card I gave them to reach the website. I went back in 2013 and did again and during the winters here in Calgary, when thankful happy people were messaging me to download their photos I realized that I was getting just as much from the exchange (if not more) as they were. It felt warm and amazing. Back to my original point, the loneliness on the road.

As I started to think about the next trip and the possibility of being out for much longer (fingers crossed) I felt myself sometimes feeling a bit blue. Then after awhile I started to think I should do a project of some sort to help meet people as I traveled. I thought of doing reviews of diners and many other things that people who travel blog tend to do. Then after awhile a light went off in my semi mushy grey matter and I thought “I need to bring the photo cart ideology into the real world”. Logistically dragging the cart I use at Burning Man isn’t an option but the premise is the same. I also considered that I didn’t want to roll into any town and take away work from a local photographer trying to make a living. So in that, I decided that what I am going to do is concentrate my efforts on those that simply can’t afford a professional, live in rural areas where there may not be a professional and also those who have been dealing with some sort of fortitude testing event. In this thinking I started to realize that I wanted people to share inspiring stories with me and with the viewers of the photos. Anything from personal victories like a single mom who raised a graduating honour student to someone beating Cancer to a family rebuilding after a fire which took all their photographic memories. The possibilities are endless.

After months of fine tuning I decided to launch the project locally about 12 days ago to do what I can around the southern Alberta area (where just a year ago many were affected by severe flooding), while the weather here is kind. Hence FOTOSFORWARD was launched and I’m currently trying to spread the word with one new shoot booked for August.

So, when does the actual road tripping happen?

As it stands right now I have a plan to take the cart back to Burning Man this August and do another year of photos for all my friends there. Then, short of any setbacks I’m on track to be debt free by the end of April 2015. After which I plan to save up every penny I can until August 2015.

At that time I will make my way to Burning Man one more time, do one more year with the photo cart and will be leaving right from the Nevada desert into my third road trip adventure and the Fotosforward project. I figure after three and half years in a cage I need to have one hell of a launch party, not much better of a place than Black Rock City!

With that in mind, if you want to help get me back on the road feel free to buy a print or hire me for a shoot. Every dollar goes into the kitty for the road trips AND the FotosForward project. You can also help by sharing the project via Facebook, Twitter etc and be sure to follow the new Wayne On The Road Facebook page as well. This next trip out is going to be taken at a much slower pace with many updates, more photos and yes, I may even do the odd review of a good diner here and there.

Thank you sincerely for following me in the past, or joining the adventure now as I prep for a new one. Either way, I appreciate you all and hope to see, meet, photograph so many of you along the way.

Much Love,

W.

Dorcy Metal Gear XLM Flashlight

A few years back I attended a workshop put on by photographer Troy Paiva who specializes in light painting during long exposure night shoots. The weeks prior I researched various flashlights and when it came to a higher powered one I went with a Streamlight Stinger. It was great for the workshop but after that I didn’t have a lot of regular use for it. Last year I quickly found that it would not hold a charge in the internal battery. The hefty price of over $80 was soon unjustified.

Just as I was starting to look for a new replacement for my upcoming road trips I was serendipitously contacted by a fellow named David on behalf of Dorcy. Not even realizing Dorcy made flashlights David directed me to a website where I was able to choose a light to test and review. Soon I had a new Dorcy Metal Gear XLM Flashlight in my arsenal.

This light is a great replacement for the heavier Stinger I had and weighs about half as much yet still a sturdy combination of metal with a few tough plastic components. Instead of the rechargeable internal battery it houses 6 AA cells and so far the battery life is comparable. It’s got two brightness settings with the second being about half power and the bright setting of 600 lumens that has a listed range of over 360 meters. Coming in a little less than the Stinger I owned I have to say the Metal Gear XLM instills just as much confidence if not more for a slightly better price.

If you need a midrange powered durable light that can handle the day to day I highly recommend give the Dorcy Metal Gear a try.
Wayne

Inspiration in the Inner Silence

Today turned into a lazy unproductive day. Apparently between my mind and body I needed to shut down for more than the standard 7 hours. I awoke at 10am with a serious headache, wishing I had at least had the corresponding fun last night to warrant such discomfort but that wasn’t the case. I got up, fed my room mate’s cat, grabbed a few Advil and went back to bed. Fast forward to 5:06pm after an undisturbed sleep with a few vivid sections of odd dreams I was awake, anew and wondering what the hell I’ve been doing to render me so exhausted.

I have a way of chastising myself when a day is “wasted”, which is also part of the reason I have such a problem going into a job only to warm a chair to acquire a paycheque. I need to be productive and to be honest am counting the days to which I can be out doing what it is I’m supposed to be doing. The denial of that is chipping away at my soul constantly. A friend of mine shared this poem by Charles Bukowski that totally nailed my feelings of as late. Dealing with the day to day “swarm of trivialities” in this temporary existence I’m living in is in short, the equivalent to inviting a vampire to drain me dry of all my life force. Obviously I’m not naive to the fact that no matter what I’m doing in life there will be things that drive me bonkers but when they are related to a more self chosen path, they always seem less of a burden, smaller demons I guess.

This all said, I sit here inspired. I wrangled myself together, have enjoyed a cherished hot coffee and long hot shower, (where I find myself looking inward a lot). I know I have a lot of preparation to do for my next adventure and while I suffer the trivialities of this common existence I also realize that the time will move quickly in comparison to what needs to be done. So with that I’ll get to doing some of the small things I can accomplish tonight. More research on places to go to, things to see and shoot, stops I will make when I’m free of this temporary refuelling stop.

It’s just a matter of time before I’m back on the road and there is a possibility (due to a potential opportunity that I will touch back on later of it comes together) that I may be released of this pit stop sooner than later.

Keep moving forward friends,
W

Setting Goals and Dates

Based on my current situation and employment and my need to get away from both I have set goals, and dates for my exit from “normalcy” once again. You see, I’ve taken two extended road trips for my photography and for my sanity. Both were about four months long and massive learning experiences that resulted in a form of wanderlust I can not shake. I need to be outdoors, I need to be traveling, shooting….constantly. I need to be using my camera daily so that it again feels like the natural appendage it has in the past. I can’t do that from this cubicle.

The only reason I haven’t left yet is financial debt. …okay and a little bit of fear, fear that I’m delusional and walking away from a “job” that I need to survive. But I’m better than this, and I will succeed. Once out of debt I feel I can live extremely minimally, a sacrifice I’m willing to make for my art while I build it into an actual living. My exit date is July 31, 2015. It’s do or die time. I need my version of a traveling creative life much like Trey Ratcliff or Peter Lik. Sure, I know I have lots of room to grow and improve and I know that the road to that kind of success is long and hard but I also have ideas, determination and the simple stone cold fact within my very being that, I can’t come back to this life. It’s not that it’s horrible, I’ve been blessed and I do not take my current situation for granted. It simply is not me.

So for the next 17 months it’s all about paying off debt, saving and prep work for the next trip. Work that needs to be done to launch myself into the next chapter head first. The next chapter that has to stick. So hopefully as they say, third time is a charm. See you on the other side.

Burning Man 2013

My second pilgrimage to Black Rock City is in the books. It was even more amazing than the first. I knew what to expect this time, I knew more “what it was about”. Having a little more insight really helped me open my heart to it and taught me to enjoy the moments I found myself in. This year I simply found myself being myself at Burning Man. Last year I felt pressured to deliver the message home, to chase down all the photographs I could yet somehow knowing that relaying the messages and experience of this event is neither my responsibility or even possible. One must go to Burning Man to even begin to know what it’s like.

Although the art and even the people can be captured and documented the energy, the beauty and love has to be experienced first hand. It is truly inexplicable.

I had a pleasant surprise pop up on my Google + with the announcement of a photo walk hosted by two photographers, one who has been a great inspiration to me over the past few years. Trey Ratcliff (www.stuckincustoms.com) and Cliff Baise who is amazing as well. Both were great hosts and Cliff even had his son dressed in a “very convincing” alien suit for the walk. I lost the group while doing my own thing at the Man but had a great time regardless. I’m feel blessed that I was able to participate. … and don’t worry, my photos are coming soon.

The small camp I was apart of this year consisted of some friends from last year’s huge undertaking. Our contribution to the city was a small “store” in a yurt that should have been condemned as we didn’t have enough of the proper tape to put it together properly. Inside our “store” we gifted items that many people forget to pack or run out of and the response was overwhelming. So much love comes back to you on the playa when you truly participate.

This was also the second year for my Portrait Cart. My roughly constructed bike cart that allows me to connect with people and take their “Burner Portraits“. It’s my gift back to the community and the response was even more well received than last year. I can wait to get to editing them and uploading them so all my new friends can download them.

So watch back here for more photos as I get going on editing, but first, I have to clean ALL THE THINGS, including my cameras.