Thursday, May 5, 2011

Transit #3 - Race the Dawn

So. Time to write the post-reflection-thing for the transit project.

Those who watch release dates may have noticed that this post is notoriously close to the previous one. This is because I took the photos for technical research and didn't write about it until later. Much later.

Moving along.

The trip itself actually underwent a lot more than what I thought it would in terms of logistics and last-minute changes; we had a deadline to meet on the day we got home - this suddenly changed from 4pm to 12:30pm and things quickly got interesting, considering that the trip was going to take roughly 12 hours no matter what.

It was decided on our last day that we would bend spacetime and Try Something Different.

Leave at midnight. Drive through the night and the early morning and race the dawn to get home in time to meet the requirements set by the deadline-setter. And not stop.

Things happened accordingly. That night my siblings, my aunt and I spent half an hour in the drive-thru at Dirtybird (KFC) waiting on 'Krusher' milkshake things, watched RED and went back to sleep for a couple of hours before heading out at 12:30am.

Things became rather blurry from there. I remember being particularly cranky at the deadline-setter and trying to take photos in the dark that weren't working. There were blurry blurry photographs, and I watched through the haze of 3am as we pounded through the kilometres methodically.

We passed the Pine Plantation Somewhere North Of Brisbane, the Brisbane Interstatey Bit, the Caboolture Stop and various other spots as I faded in and out of consciousness. I remember also being rather cranky because of the severe decrease in optimal photo-taking-time.

There were brief stops every now and then as Mum and Dad changed drivers, usually on the side of the massive roads we were so used to going down.

The overall feeling was actually quite odd - as though I had gone back to being a very small child, disorientated but not making a whole lot of noise because the car was moving and we were going places. The car changed in vibe from the compressed hive of activity it is in the daylight into the sleeper cabin Tiarne and I walked into on the midnight train last year - slightly creepy in its silentness.

Either way, we were going places.

We stopped in at Ballina to refuel; I was awake again and mildly confused by the bright lights of the fuel station. Confined to the backseat, I took photos where I could.

I didn't like many of them.

The sky was becoming light; it was about the hour of five-ish and we pulled into a Macdonalds for 'Breakfast'. My siblings shuffled out, swaying like zombies as we surveyed the fluorescent glow of the fast-food giant and for some reason, all ordered the same meal.

I wandered outside again to make the most of the one stop; taking photos where I could, trying to come up with inspiration in the carpark of Chew and Spew. It was Interesting, to say the least. We got some good shots in.

We followed rule #1 of the Traveller and clambered back into the car as the first real rays of sunlight began to hit the clouds above us. I grabbed a couple more snaps and we were off again.

It was on our way out of Ballina that the sun began to rise properly over the cane fields I am so used to seeing on this trip; the camera had the ISO turned down a notch or two and I started shooting the sunrise in between cursing the sudden clumps of tree that photobombed the fiery sky.

A while after this, it began to rain. Heavily. The car slowed in pace and the wipers went up to level three. The music on Mum's ipod had looped through the car stereo for about the third time and I remember trying to block the sound with my pillow, thinking, "But I don't wanna listen to Mac Powell,"

Either way, by this time the sibs were still doing the sleep thing. Try taking photos that tell a story of transit in the car with your family when they're mostly asleep.

Or just start experimenting with whatever happens to be in your laptop bag. Even if it is the laptop.




The last of the journey back consisted of listening to a Doctor Who audiobook and the taking of motion-type photos. You know, the ones where just one object is in focus and the rest of it is blurred? I started tracking trees as we passed through the ghost road, and as we neared our street, finally, Prue seemed to be in the mood for taking photos. We got about three with the llama and then landed, wearily, at our house.

The car was unpacked, and six bodies in various states of beings shuffled indoors. It felt to be somewhere between 4 and 6pm.

It was 10:30. AM.

I had some good photos. The questions remaining were, are there enough? and are they up to scratch?

I figured that leaving them for a while and coming back when I wasn't so full of angst and overtiredness would be helpful. When my brain wasn't being overly critical or something.

Guess I'll wait just a little longer.

In closing, I guess that one of the coolest things about the end of the trip was taking this photo before we unpacked the car. Because it really did look like a tetris screen/this sketch I drew of Dad's carpacking skills.

P.S. If this sounds like one long negative rant, that's probably because I have issues. In reality, there were a few things that threw exactly what I had initially expected out of whack. As mentioned in Transit #2, I rolled with the punches and drew amusement from whinging about it later. One of my endearing characteristics I guess.

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