Road Sketches: Found Treasures Along the Way

Work travel is an experience different from tourism. Everyone who travels for business reaches this conclusion relatively quickly. This, in turn, creates the ethos of the grind on the road. And it is true. Long days and tiring flights, being away from home for dozens of nights each year. It gets to you.

Maintaining focus and tempo comes from developing road discipline. One of the key elements is to find some opportunities to relax and replenish while on the road. For me, this is an hour or so walk with my camera, taking time to centre myself by looking at the world. This process has yielded some interesting finds along the way, most often in places when one would least expect a visual stimulation.

For 30-60 minutes, the world of software business, contracts, negotiations and planning, gives way to being “out there”. The world is truly full of wonder and pleasant surprises, one just needs to get out there and look more closely.

Then, everything else becomes easier and clearer – business, contracts, negotiations and planning. Problems, such as they were, just become simple speed bumps along the way.

I started taking a camera and a few rolls of film on the road in late Fall of 2017. This first instalment is from one of those early rolls. An overcast November day in Seattle, the way the sky can be dark and foreboding only in the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle is changing rapidly and cranes are as much a part of the skyline as buildings are. Somehow this unity of cranes and buildings is at its most expressive at the dawn hour, as the sun peaks just under cloud cover, just to disappear completely for the day. Then, the old(er) landmarks and tourist tropes of the city are easiest to photograph at night, lighted by neon, against the backdrop of a late season darkness.

Road Sketches: Seattle, Wa

Tech Notes:

  • Film: Ilford HP5Plus, exposed for EI1600
  • Camera: Pentax Spotmatic / Kominar 28mm f/3.5
  • Processing: Ilford DD-X 1:4
  • Digital Workflow: Epson V600 / VueScan Pro / Adobe Lightroom

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