I began this post yesterday at the Tokyo Narita Airport. Or maybe it was two days ago. I forget. And it doesn’t really matter. I’m home now in Hanoi. Which is nice and feels like it holds a bit of gravity. I’m tired from 10 days of sleepless nights and I want that gravity to just kind of push me down, to let me rest. It’s raining here. A slow and steady drumming. And so then that’s the backdrop for this entry: quaint and contemplative.
The Eddie Adams Workshop was fun if not quite as informative as I thought it would or could be. I wish a few things had happened differently, though considering all the new friends and great talents that I met there, it feels a bit selfish to ask for anything more. But still. I am. I do.
Though my team’s overall theme was “Good Samaritans” I was told to photograph an art studio. No volunteers. No charity work. No free tuition. Strange. Just an art school that the kids paid for and worked hard at and felt trapped within, given their relative proximity to anything that could be considered “civilization”, out there somewhere near the center of the middle of nowhere.
I was told to make the “art” the story, but for my own part I couldn’t help but see that art–paintings of clouds and skies and other large open landscapes–as a manifestation of the desire to leave that small and lonely place. The students were young and talented and bored. The school was called Cobalt Studios. It wasn’t near anything that your average 18-32 year old would find attractive for extended periods of time. The mall was 45 minutes away. The nearest Main Street was a ghost town.
The assignment ended up being called Cobalt Blues. I wanted to name it Can’t Just Get Away after a partial quote by Sarah Senior, one of the students pictured. Everything was a stretch. Though it was great to meet Brian and Sarah, the two students I photographed, it was a poor choice for an assignment. There was no story there, much less a story on “Good Samaritans”. For that I still feel a bit cheated. But whatever and for what any of it is worth, this is my current edit: