*Disclaimer...my site is not finished. And like anything you love and invest in, it will never be finished. But the time for waiting for it to be finished, is finished. This post was born out of a necessity for more character space (thanks a lot, Instagram - both literally and sarcastically) to complete a thought/rant I was having while testing the limits of my two-thumb text tango. There will be updates and improvements and additions along the way (for instance, the layout of this news/blog/feed is ridiculous and I can't really stand looking at it. *I'm heeeeediious*), but for now feast your brains and eyes on this, but do please turn off the automatic word attacher mechanism while looking at this (and any other) photo for that matter. Thank you, and good night.*
iPhone + Snapseed + Culture Shock Slap to the Brain.
Our brains are interesting though fairly predictable creatures. Constantly, automatically and mindlessly attempting to assimilate and place everything they experience into nice, familiar categories. I'm honestly having a hard time doing this with countless moments and entirely unfamiliar slices of life I experienced while traveling through Nepal. Compared to the exponentially increasing speed at which technology advances, it just feels like the evolutionary pace at which our physical beings (brains) advances has left us ill-prepared to adequately contextualize the immense variety of experience we are now capable of thanks technological innovations such as the ease and speed of air travel these days.
Point being, I witnessed innumerable new feelings, sights, sounds, tastes and smells from half way around the world, and then after two weeks was back in California after only 30 hours of travel. The juxtaposition of these two vastly different modes life has been overwhelming since my return. I took this photo in the hotel/restaurant we stopped at when we got off the Karnali. This composition of things (and a few others I'll post) was so simple yet so rich with information about the humans who lived here and passed through here, that it froze me. It wasn't because it looked dirty or unfinished compared to where I'm from and wanted to tell everybody back home how undeveloped or "behind" this place was - It was simply different Not bad/good or better/worse than anything. it was simple, it was human and it was instantly, aesthetically appealing regardless of the dust, the dirt and or the state of disrepair.
It just felt so honest. In that moment (and even now as I write this) it felt cleaner and truer than any restaurant or hotel covered in millions or billions of dollars of slippery, slimy advertising and lobbying. None of these words existed in mind when this doorway froze me in its path, but every thought and feeling I've just tried to express was felt and experienced instantaneously and simultaneously as a singular moment. This is the power of travel and the grace of photography - to allow us to sit longer with singular moments than we would ever otherwise sit.
Travel forces us to consider the typically unconscious process by which our brains shove truly new experiences into safe and comfortable categories that cannot adequately contain them. Photography allows us the opportunity to absorb a moment without having having to obey the psychological imperative to quantify and qualify it with safe and comfortable words that cannot adequately describe it. Travel and photography are quite possibly the only therapies anyone ever needs. So maybe I'm actually more of a therapist than a travel photographer...