Drive-by shootings

A long yawn ago, when I was young, enthusiastic, and employed as a real photographer, I’d take an hour to set-up a few strung together moments of imagery, careful to get the lights just so, with all the eyes open.

I took my time making memories for others.

These days, I’m rarely still when I make an image for myself … especially while on the road.



For, The Road waits for no one who’s on it. It’s everywhere you are, sitting like a large-eyed puppy, begging you to run along beside it.

Even if I move my mind, my eyes and my camera into the slowest lane possible, it’s still like flying. I’m reading every roadside sign, billboard and face in my periphery. Camera is almost on, just a second–before my subject approaches from out of the bug-gutted view at 72 miles per hour, wide open aperture @ 500th of a second, the camera decides. I trust my timing’s close enough to satisfy the science of the craft, yet off enough to satisfy the whimsy in myself.

The subject is behind me now, and I’m either spinning out of control into an anemic snow fence, or I’ve just captured another drive-by shooting.

There’s plenty of shooters out there using tripods, exposure meters and making appropriate notes in their journals. I see their postcards at every truck-stop, gear-grinder hash-joint along my way. Pictures depicting the area’s notable sites in high-def, super gloss, laminated splendor. Grand. Canyon wide. Blue eyed and wonderful.

My stuff isn’t that good any more, if ever. Maybe once. But now it’s getting worse by the day. I’m miles from where I was when I actually studied, taught, practiced, perfected it.

I’m also pulling off to grab another hot coffee with two creams please …

Splat! Another grasshopper explodes before my eyes and I wonder if Cokin has that filter in their bag? Well, I do.