Commuting "From The Car"
This series started in January of 2008, and is on-going. Currently the plan is to continue this series for five years.
Born guilty, with our first breath, we are raised to pay the bills and drive. In 2008, I began a series during my two-hour-a-day commute to and from work. Especially in Los Angeles, it is fascinating to think about thousands of people passing by me every day on the same roads, but to different destinations, each in their own capsulated world. At first I was photographing people in a basic portrait sense, trying to show what they may be feeling, or (in hindsight) what I was feeling looking at them. Lately, I try to capture the relationship we have with ourselves from and in our cars. Sometimes I also show things I see from my car window as it frames the street. Topics that interest me are: obsessive beauty regimens, stories of romance, electronic device use, all stages of life, and various ways people adapt to the state of the economy. Sometimes it is just about finding something humorous and being able to laugh at the silliness that goes on. It is important to mention that I set some ground rules for myself. After all, Oprah Winfrey was having people sign a “No Phone Zone Pledge” to stop texting and cell phoning while driving. (From what I see, it is an epidemic.) At the same time, there were the new California hands-free laws coming to fruition in 2008. I only shoot while crawling up to 5 miles per hour bumper to bumper, or if I had come to a complete stop. Most importantly, I must keep my eyes looking forward and have one hand on the wheel at all times. I am so serious about this, I traded in my standard Saturn for an automatic Hyundai, and so shifting was one less thing. I also purchased my first high-end digital camera- a Canon 5D. This year, I suddenly began to see another dimension to my series: window reflections and motion, and how the juxtaposition of those things add to the emotional “other world” aspect of the series. I am also intrigued with reflections and windows as a vortex to more meaning. For example, someone starts to yawn. We think a person is yawning, but if captured at the right moment as the yawn begins, it could look like a scream. Hazy smoky window reflections and patterns over that add energy, like smoke, or flames. Someone looking dreamy waiting at a stoplight may have reflections looking like clouds over their head. I get to preserve other people’s lives, as well as my own. It is a study of the cycle of life, and my life. As I forge through the freeway widening projects, I hope to widen my audience to my photography.
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Elaine Wilson and are for viewing only. Reproduction only by written permission.