Jack never goes anywhere without his camera. While he stops in the middle of a hiking trail, or pulls over alongside the road to get the perfect angle, the perfect light. I shift impatiently from one foot to another, sigh in resignation, or grumble with real annoyance. When he goes back to the car for his tripod, I roll my eyes and slouch against a tree.
Why can’t you just enjoy what you see? I ask. Why do you always have to take a picture?
Because I see it better when I’m taking pictures, he says. I shrug. I doubt it.
But two years ago, when I first blogged during a trip similar to this one (still available at www.ebmrhgto.wordpress.com), something suddenly hit me. I was seeing things better—not because I was taking pictures, though I did take some. I was seeing things better because I knew I wanted to write about them. Jack does pictures. I do words. It’s not the medium; it’s the focus.
On this trip, Jack is taking pictures, of course—hundreds of them, with his camera, long lens, tripod; I’m taking pictures too, with my iphone. No comparison. But the difference is more than the cameras or the skill level. For me, the photos are to illustrate the story. For Jack, the photos ARE the story.
Today, I’ll try to let the photos be the story. Driving and hiking the Mojave Desert. A day in pictures.