On the road to Vegas with two lenses


Ed Dieden and I took three days to drive to Las Vegas last week, camping as we went. The basic plan was to drive south along the coast until we got to about the southieness of Vegas and then we would turn left and drive east. For me, one of the main attractions was a chance to spend some time making photographs. I was getting my camera back from Canon and we would be spending three days in the kind of country I love, big spaces.

I did get the camera back, but it still didn’t work. After a lot of screwing around, including going back to the camera store,  I began to realize that the camera did work with my wide angle and tele zooms but not with my primary lens. My favorite lens! The lens that I use all the time. Shit!

I am re-reading  The Zen of Creativity by John Daido Loori and – I think – it helped keep me centered on the problem. What I wanted to do was spending some time photographing and being outside and not having my primary lens – my crutch – didn’t change that. In some ways, it could enhance it. It could help me see from a different point of view.

As planned, we drove south on Highway 101 and then turned east on State Highway 58. As we went inland, the country which was already pretty dry, got drier, the spaces got bigger, and the light got softer.

It also got windier and our camp site hunt became a lets find a place with as little wind as possible hunt. Strangely, that was a place pretty much in the open.

The wind stopped, the air got cooler, we put a some sausages and veggies on the grill and I had a couple of glasses of red wine. It was a very nice place in which to sit and feel the day end. (Double click to enlarge and notice the lonely power poles going across the valley.)

I don’t particularly like camping, I camp because I do particularly like being out in spaces like this at eventide. Feeling – more than seeing – the day slowly, slowly, drift into night; seeing the first star come out in the dusk – this spring it has been Jupiter, the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder according to Wikipedia – feeling the darkness and stillness sop up the light. It is the witnessing of an ancient ritual in a huge cathedral. For me, it is being with The Sacred.


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