Posted on 5 Comments

Backbones in Texas

Here they are! The long awaited photos from our backpacking-camping-backroading-jamming-touristing Texas retreat.

The places you see are in Big Bend National Park, Terlingua, TX, and the Hill Country outside of Austin.

We backpacked part of this journey as a test of our physical stamina. This included an aggressive hiking itinerary, carrying all of our water on our backs and exposure to elevation changes alongside freezing cold nights in the mid 20s and blistering hot days in the sun. Many people ask us why we do this and the best answer I can give is that working with nature in a harmonious way generates a deep sense of confidence…and an acute awareness of what is truly practical for living.

The quietness we experienced out in the desert wilderness also helped us to cleanse our musician ears and minds. One night in particular was without wind or bugs; there was literally no prominent sound the entire night. Underneath the clear night sky with all the moon and stars showing in this silence, it felt like we were on a different planet.

For the camera nerds…these shots are taken with a variety of digital and pinhole cameras. The digital photos are by our comrade David McGowan who curates a fantastic online photo magazine called Humanfiles Journal. We were grateful for David’s company on this journey and for the opportunity to see the experience retrospectively through his eyes.

The pinhole shots are taken by me using homemade cameras, two that I made out of Altoid tins (affectionately knows as minty cams) which I use with 35mm film, and six canisters that I made out of alcohol and tea tins that I use with 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 paper negatives. There is something satisfying about taking pictures with something I made with my own hands. It seems to mirror the drawn out experiences of carrying all my gear on my back for many miles through the desert and of cooking things by hand in a place with extremely limited resources.


5 thoughts on “Backbones in Texas

  1. The banner photo is David’s. I do love the shadows in that one!

  2. Great pictures! Who took the first one (the banner, with you both in it).

    You guys live such an interesting life. Sometimes makes me wish I’d lived my “young years” differently.

  3. Haha! I am logged in as David McGowan!
    Oh yeah, the photos are brilliant.

  4. me too…Carmen and David are such photo gurus

  5. I love the combination of photos here.

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