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Fear and quantity

It was sunny yesterday and I thought if it was fine today I should head over to the part of the (massive) A46 road project where I first took some shots a couple of months ago, that I liked.  So I was a bit anxious after considering that.  Both about the motorbike ride over and in case of an unfriendly encounter with security.  But nah, today I filled the bike with petrol and set off anyway.  A few days ago I read a quote from Lewis Baltz;

"Since I have the sort of character and mentality that I can feel anxious and pressured about nothing, I might as well be going places and doing things to feel anxious and pressured about."

Six miles outside town I abruptly pulled over to shoot for an hour at another section of raw development (that I'd forgotten about) and then was sorely tempted to go home after that, still feeling edgy, or a bit unwell.  But after mentally to-ing and fro-ing for ten minutes back at the bike I gave in and stuck to the original plan and headed on, knowing I'd feel guilty later if I went home and lazed about for the rest of the day, doing nothing much.

When I got there (30 miles), I found a perfect sized gap in the fence just where I wanted one and nobody was around.  That gap is probably from the workers nipping to the petrol station close by for a bite to eat.  The light was not very defined, slightly overcast but warm and I just went into auto mode and kept going clickety click - and despite bumping into a worker who told me I shouldn't be there - on and on for five hours till I'd filled both cameras 4GB memory cards, nearly 1,700 shots.  Despite that I'm not expecting anything useable from it; the terrain was less rugged than before, less brutally sculpted.  I'm not sure I was shooting 'what I needed' so much as going through the motions, making predictable, tidy compositions. I did have a sense of shock at the way agricultural land gets consumed.  Bulldozers are a kind of tank; it's war on the land.

New Topographics photographers like Baltz and Robert Adams in the 70s were making beautiful images motivated by their environmental concern, and I felt I understood that better now, almost viscerally.  Critically I feel it's not a robust position to work from, though.  Seductive images from destruction profits from that very damage and let's not forget where they actually live, their home, was once part of the natural landscape and the car they now drive to get to locations pollutes just the same as anybody else driving around and needs the same roads. The imagery, which is subtle and complex, is significantly weakened when purported by the artists to be almost entirely didactic in purpose..

My aging eMac hasn't got much memory and is struggling to process this sort of quantity of jpegs.  I've not got much of a memory myself or stamina for any editing so I'm not sure I'll cope any better when it comes time to look through them, eventually.

I feel like I've been run over by a moped.  A bit like the feeling after surgery some years ago (Crohn's).  A physical aching and a fair bit of mental fatigue.  And that's after my week off work.  If I can get a bit or a re-charge overnight I'm still hoping to do one more dressing-up shoot tomorrow, which is my last day off work.  Good cross-dressed shots are limiting any diptychs.  They are few and far between.

Or else I'm just staying in bed alllllllllllLLLLlll day.