This time last year, I started using my iPhone to document our drives to the eastern shore from my place in the passenger seat. I usually use Hipstamatic's shake-to-randomize feature until I get a result that echoes my mood. I don't always know what I'm looking for, but I do know when I see it.
One January day, I chose the app's Uchitel 'film' because it evoked a low-key mood with its vintage-y look. The pink-beige monochrome turned a dreary, grey day into something with just a hint of soft, soothing color.
The word "vintage" can evoke the concept of simpler times, when worries were presumably fewer (though I think our grandparents who lived through the depression would disagree). Nevertheless, I do suspect daily choices were simpler because options were fewer. We are bombarded with choices today, from information overload via television and the internet -- yes, I catch the irony of that -- to the thousands of items in grocery stores to the ever-growing number of Hipstamatic lenses and films -- yes, I catch that irony, too! I think that's why I like the shake-to-randomize feature. I don't have to make choices; I just stop shaking my phone when I see something that works for me that day.
The day I took these, there was no escaping the obvious tilting of scenes in images taken while we were moving, which are a simple byproduct of pressing the shutter from a moving car. What I see in the tilts today, though, is that they're one more reminder of how flying past what's happening around me means I'm not taking the time to look at what's really out there, at what I need to see in order to maintain a balanced perspective.
No matter how much I try to capture what's in front of me at any given spot in time and space, if I'm still moving then I'm inherently unable to observe, take in, and let things sink in.
The photo set that came out of this trip still resonates for me. It's the only one I've actually had printed into a book, along with notes on some of the historic properties pictured. It calls forth the comfort of a lazy rainy day that has at least the potential to slow the headlong rush into the future.