Thursday, October 16, 2008
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Photographer
There is a section in the excellent book 'Travel Photography' by Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz (first published in 1998) that addresses the issue of "Loneliness & Worse" for the dedicated Travel Photographer.
They write: The majority of travel photographers are either single, or have very understanding partners who are willing to put up with prolonged and erratic absences. Many relationships fail under the strain, the more so when the photographer comes home full of anecdotes and excitement, and the partner has been slaving away at a nine-to-five job.
(Hicks, R & Schultz, F, 1998: 4)
My own continuing travels for the sake of snapping have brought home to me (especially when I am away from home) just how isolating and lonely the business of travel photography can be. Walking into a hotel and reserving a room "for one", standing at the bar on my own while all round me are chatting away to each other, and (for me worst, of all) eating alone in a crowded restaurant all serve to emphasise the point that I am well and truly by myself.
At this time of year, when the nights are drawing in earlier, and I am away, the point is driven home even harder, as I don't have the opportunity (and evasive tactic) of shooting until late in the evening. It means that I have have more time to sit by myself and wallow in the misery of being the lonely long-distance snapper.
The real irony, is that I have always thought that one of the main benefits of travel is to share the excitement with someone else. But, unlike Hicks and Schultz, I don't have a "partner" either in the field or at home, at the moment.
So, there is an an opportunity, here, for a travel and photography orientated person who wants to see some of the world to team up with a travel photographer who wants to share the world that he is seeing. My email address is in the right hand column!
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