To explore, on foot, slowly across Texas, and describe with photographs the people and places found over 1000 miles
About this project
With this campaign you will support a walking expedition across Texas and a self-published photo book at the completion of the project.
“I reached some plains so vast, that I did not find their limit anywhere I went, although I travelled over them for more than 300 leagues … with no more land marks than if we had been swallowed up by the sea …. There was not a stone, nor bit of rising ground, nor a tree, nor a shrub, nor anything to go by.” -Franciso Vazquez de Coronado (describing the high plains)
Why walk across Texas?
Last November I drove across a large area of Texas, and I realized how hard it is to experience anything meaningful while driving through in a car. If you stay on course you pass by everything. This project is simply about walking and observation as means of direct access to Texas. It is not about setting a record or doing something that has never been done before, but because walking is slowest, most open, and connected way of moving. This will put me in places that lie between the towns, gas stations, and other stops you normaly make. This photo project is about entering open spaces, and willfully meeting the unexpected.
Still you might wonder, Why Texas? Well, I grew up in Texas, and I have always felt, but don’t fully understand why these people feel like my people. The question I will be trying to answer on this walk is this: Who are these people I think are my people?
While on this overland trip I will carry everything needed to support myself. Additionally, I will also carry 4×5 film camera and tripod. This camera produces a beautiful color negative, and has a different quality than modern digital cameras. The color and tonality are smooth and soft without being too crisp or overly saturated.
Also, I’ve chosen it for its slowness. The setup for each image will be deliberate. The camera requires precise focusing, and the photographs are made one at a time on a sheet of film. Each sheet will be shipped from a post office along my route to a lab in Austin for processing. I will pick up new film and other supplies, sent general delivery to the same post offices.
In other words these photographs are not instant. I will not be uploading photographs to social media sites or posting to my website until after the trip. However, while on the road I will update the progress of the trip on Kickstarter, and there will be a link to follow a GPS track through MapShare. Foregoing the social media and blogging will keep me engaged with my surroundings. My photographs and subjects will have all of my attention.
I will be looking for ordinary people and places that tell stories about life in Texas. These things will be found anywhere and everywhere. Between the places we typically go, but discovered by slow travel through the nooks and crannies of Texas. They will either find me, or I will find them, however, I think the selection will ultimately be mutual.
Each subject will be a story itself, and the collected stories will shape the theme and narrative as I retell what Texas shows me. It will come directly out of the stuff Texas and Texans are made of.
The Book and Rewards
I will be taking approximately 500 photographs for this project. The photo book will be a limited edition dependent on the amount of contributors. Printed by a company called Blurb, this book will be softbound and printed on archival paper. It will be between 50 and 60 pages, completely unique and supported by you.
The book will not necessarily be sequenced in chronological order, but ordered such that themes of the story develop. Because I’m walking continuously through the whole state, I plan to represent the places I travel through somewhat equally. The collection of photographs will give you the feeling of continuous travel over land, as if you yourself have stepped into the vast open land, seeing something you may have seen, something ordinary, but with extra attention.
The custom prints will be made in Santa Fe, and printed on fine art paper. You will get to choose the photographs for the custom prints, which will be posted on my website, numbered for your selection.
I will also be printing a collection of images for a postcard series of 10. These images will be some of the best photographs from the trip and represent the project as a whole. They will be 4.13″ x 5.82″, and printed by a company called Moo.
Where your support will go
This expedition will be over 1000 miles and will take around 3 months to complete. Where will your money go if you choose to help? The bulk of the funding will go to the film and processing. Around $4,300 dollars to create 500 photographs. The next greatest expense is food and occasional lodging. I will camp most of the time, out in the open, at state parks and other permitted sites, but I will stay in motels when necessary. The remainder of the money will go towards everything that happens after I’m through with the walk, including post processing, image scanning, prints, books, and postcards.
Risks and challenges
This project is full of risks and challenges. That’s partly what makes this trip worth doing. The difficulties bring the rewards. However, I’m confident I will make it through the entire state of Texas. If at any point I have to quit the walk, I will return as soon as possible.