I’ve been doing the whole lo-fi photography thing pretty much solo for awhile now and have only collaborated with one other photographer. My Italian lomo-friend Stiff and I created an excellent doubles roll last winter. It was great fun. I haven’t done any large or long-term projects but that’s all going to change thanks to Jeff Nachtigall a.k.a. Dirklancer.
He’s invited a group of analogue photographers to join him on a year-long journey to explore what it is to wait. Through written submissions and photographs, we will delve into a subject that I find quite pertinent to our modern-day world of instant-this and faster-that.
In fact, on the day I received his invite (though snail mail written in a font called ‘patient page’ no less) I was on my way home with the kids when traffic suddenly stopped. Two cars had skidded off the road about 5 car-lengths ahead of us. It was sleeting and we were on a two-way road that is the straightest way home, plus, we were all pretty miserable as we’d been in the car for the better part of an hour and 15 minutes.
[Quick sidebar: My husband and I refuse to buy a VCR for the car. We suffered through monumental car trips as kids and, as much as we both hated it, we agree that it taught us a lot about patience and entertaining yourself. My older two children had their Nintendo devices to play with but my poor youngest son had nothing. Fortunately, he’d been asleep most of the time.]
Back to the story. The kids kept asking if there was any other way we could go: “Mom, why don’t we just go up and around? Why do we have to sit here in line?” My honest answer was that there really wasn’t a better way. Going around the accident would’ve meant tacking on at least an hour to the already long trip. Well, we sat and waited and waited and waited. For 45 minutes as EMS personnel extracted the passengers from their vehicles and cleared the roadway of debris, we drew on the foggy windows and watched the action. Then came the tow trucks haul what was left of the vehicles away. This was all extremely thrilling to my 3 1/2-year-old boy but my girls didn’t find it quite as much fun as car-dancing and requesting a change in music every 5 minutes. It was an 45 extra minutes to goof around that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Pretty nice gift, huh?
I had been anticipating the arrival of Jeff’s invitation and had a good laugh when I opened up the mail that night and found it. It’s going to be a lot of fun thinking and creating on this subject. You can follow along at www.theartofwaiting.com, however you won’t see any of our photos until 2011. We’re waiting until the end of the year to develop our film.