Away from the gloom--Portland to Vegas
Chase grew up in a snowy lake town where the cold was expected, so his move to a dark, rainy city in the Pacific Northwest didn't take a toll on his art the way it began to affect my personal creativity. Nevertheless, we all need to get away from the monotony of what we see every morning, every day, every time we try to go make something new and inspiring. From the same grey skies, to the days that fade to black before we even end our day jobs, the mentally dulling days of winter in Portland have their way of numbing our creative flow. In early February Chase mentioned wanting to make a trip out toward the desert to find a super bloom, an explosion of wildflowers that only comes around every decade or so. The desert parks throughout California and Nevada during any other year would be desolate and bare of all foliage, but this year if you were lucky enough, you just might find a fork in the road and stumble upon something vibrant and full of life. To further our drive for exploration, Chase is well known for his brilliance in taking double exposures, particularly using neon lights, so he knew he wanted to visit Vegas and make some magic beneath the busy blues and reds of the night life's chaotic rumble.
After 8 days of trailer nights spent in congested Joshua Tree camp grounds, disturbingly powerful winds in Death Valley, and a typical hipster filled Red Rocks experience, we finally got to our hotel in Las Vegas. Chase and I were exhausted but still steadily finding motivation and inspiration to go out and create during every day of our trip.
I think Chase and I both underestimated the drastic difference in social norms and expected decency between Portland and Vegas. Furthermore, there is none. A weird twilight zone asfault trash can compiled of freshly twenty-one year old frat boys and trust fun babies, middle aged gambling addicts, and the strangest array of foreign tourists that have come to a city solely so that they can feel better about their staring problems--because it's Vegas, right? To simplify the frustrations in shooting at night along one of the busiest streets, let alone anywhere else during the day, it was one of the most frantic 60 minutes either of us have spent shooting a mere 3 rolls of film. While surrounded by entire tour bus parties with gawking fifty-something year old Asian couples with no social awareness and drunken bachelor's making smug comments as they pass, Chase and I swallowed our frustrations and managed to shoot two sets below the glowing casinos and clubs of the Fremont night life. I have to say these are actually some of my favorite photos we've ever taken together. I suppose the surrounding pressures had their positive influences on us as well as negative, whether we knew it at the time or not.
We both hope you all enjoy these two sets of photos!