Reflection point – Journeys

Ihave been asked to reflect on what I would do if I had a chance (and the money and time) to do a journey on the scale discussed in Journeys – 1  and Journeys – 2.

The first question is where?

Then how?

Then (and most important) why?

When I am thinking about where I dither between exploring somewhere I already know and going somewhere completely new. I love travelling. I would like to travel to China or Japan. However, I am not sure I know enough about either culture to do more than a very superficial gloss over the possible images and the places. I would need a lot of time, and the opportunity to go back repeatedly.

I have had a long-standing interest in the fortifications that surround Scotland’s coast. I took images of some of them for TAOP. They range from early prehistoric ruins, though the middle age castles to the buildings that were put up to protect our coast from invasion in the 1st and 2nd world wars.  I would like to travel around the coast in a more coherent way and map these against the history.

The 3rd possibility is more personal. I would like to explore the journeys my mother took over her life, a modern take on what she might have seen. Starting in Germany to USA – Germany – England – Scotland.

The how depends on the where. The Scottish coast is relatively simple. A camper van would do it. And a lot of maps and research.  If I went to Japan, I would consider doing one of the pilgrimages around the temples. There are many possibilities. This would be on foot. To minimise the intrusion on the place and feelings the photography needs to be simple. One camera. One lens. One shot at each place.  Slow photography. Slow and concentrated. Similar to the walking journey undertaken by Paul Gaffney. My mother’s footsteps would be a major undertaking. Planes, trains and automobiles.

Why? Again, this depends on the where. Following my mother’s footsteps is very personal. She moved a lot. She followed her family. I cannot think of a single place she lived that she chose for her own wishes. This journey would be another attempt to understand her in death as I rarely did in life.

Japan would be personal for me. Something to use as a growing point. The Scottish coast is about the history of a place. This has been looked at many times. Could I add anything? Possibly not – but still worth considering.

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