For over two years, I photographed with my Graflex Crown Graphic camera every time I traveled. All images in my Wanderlust series are silver gelatin prints. I wanted to shoot travel photographs with a large format camera and black and white film to see the places I visited with more attentiveness, time, and patience. Shooting large format requires that I slow down.
Rather than photograph recognizable tourist locations and iconography, I wanted to show my meanderings free of obvious associations. These black and white images supplant a sleek postcard of colorful vistas; what people come to expect from photographs of the places they visit. Generally, people use travel photography to say, “I was there.” The truth is that when I traveled, I was in limbo. I was in a liminal space between the physical location where I stood and the desire to continue exploring, the desire to find another home.
The desire to explore is human: we travel, we migrate. Our history shows that we have always been transient. Much of western history and our American sense of Manifest Destiny show how humans combined exploration and expansion with violence and genocide. I worry that my own explorations are an extension of colonization as it looks today: a commodifiable tourist exchange. But I know we have a choice when we explore: we can alter the landscape or the landscape can alter us.
Ultimately, Wanderlust presents a quiet understanding of places, American history, and the tension between settling and exploration.