Hitting the Road, But After Practicing Rudimentary and Stupid Photography

long exposure composite roadside construction zone trailing lights

A heap of unused but still lit road cones sits on the side of the road while traffic blurs by and through the intersection

August 4, 2014

After dinner with Ma at Lulu's, where our waitress recognized me as a regular from my college days, and sorting through the client tasks that amassed while I was preoccupied with Life Itself, I began the drive back to NYC. 

Earlier in the day I got the idea I didn't really have to go back, that I could spend a day in Jersey or somewhere. I also got the idea I could and should embrace the cleansing cliche of a sunrise over the ocean.

At the hospital I told my parents about the first idea but not the second.

I didn't want my parents to think the idea of never again having a natural conversation with my father was getting to me, making me feel depressed and isolated, and how the move to a Bed-Stuy had already done enough to that end, and that I was still having trouble accepting from the death of my grandfather and was on the verge of schism and a complete reactor meltdown.

My dad brought all that up himself, scribbled it on his little dry erase board through the fog just after his surgery. Pa suggested I needed a break. I played it down, which seemed appropriate since he was the one tethered to a breathing machine. 

After dinner and the client work, I booked a cheap hotel a block from the beach in Seaside Heights, NJ. I know Seaside Heights is a central part of the infamous Jersey Shore now, but we spent a few summers there in the early 80's, when my dad was gigging nearby, and a little happy memory-triggering vacation may be just what I need, I thought. Two days of time off oughta do it, I thought. 

I stopped before getting on the Pennsylvania turnpike. I spent four minutes making this image in eight 30-second exposures, motivated by reasons I still don't understand. Earlier this week I read some tutorial in my inbox about composite nighttime landscapes. Maybe that's it? But I don't give a shit about nighttime landscape photography. And yet here I was. 

It was about 10:45pm when I wrapped this up. The Waze app predicted I'd be at the beach at 4:54am. Sunrise was at 5:56.

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