So there I was sitting in the Vancouver Airport about to head out for another 8 weeks of travel and I was completely stumped for the theme for this week. I have a notebook, with potential themes written in it but nothing was jumping out at me. Nothing really caught me for this week.
But then I did what I always do when I need to create. I closed my eyes and thought of where I was, both literally and figuratively. I was traveling, I was going to do new things, going to new places, going to see old friends and new friends and I was both excited and nervous. I started thinking about travel and fears and how some people have a fear of flying, a fear of heights. And that’s when this word settled in my mind.
I don’t have a fear of heights, I love a good mountaintop lookout or glass floor looking over a city 300 feet below. I’ve skywalked around the CN Tower and not felt a pinch of nerves. Height is all about perspective, about seeing things in a new way and that can be scary, it can be intimidating, it can mean being totally vulnerable. Just like traveling alone.
As I started to think about travelling I realized that every year for the last 5 years I’ve traveled around the same time. 5 years ago, while on a world tour photography job I was visiting Haiti and Jamaica and islands I never expected to visit. A year later I was flying to Atlanta to visit my photos hanging in the Coca-Cola Museum. The next year I was in California attending Adobe Max. Then it was home to Canada and a trip to the Bahamas (where I was stranded on an island for two days). Last year I dipped down to Las Vegas for a warm trip with Adobe again. It seems like October is a travel kind of month and it really inspired this week’s image. All these experiences helped me reach new heights in myself, in my photography, and in my relationships with other people. It gave me new perspective.
So for my image this week I wanted to show that change in perspective, that new look. In the image I’m sitting on a ladder, to get a new perspective, a new height. I wanted the image to reflect the travels that I’m currently on. There are 8 planes, to represent the 8 weeks I’ll be away (and oddly enough, the 8 flights I’ll be taking).
I use paper planes and boats in my work a lot, and not just because they’re readily available, I use them because I like to think of them being a metaphor. They’re a bit like us, starting out simple, without much direction and kind of similar to everyone, but when shaped and folded and with the right vision we can fly, float, hold water, we can be something.
In rather funny coincidence, it’s also the third theme that reflects a tattoo that I have!