this photograph / book
made such an impression
on me as a child.

from alice to ocean

the story of robyn davidson
and her 17,000 miles trek across
the australian desert with
her dog and 4 camels
in 1977.

i miss the influence
of national geographic

today we can
snap 1,000 pics of
a 4th of july bbq and
call it photography.

there is a difference
if you know what
i mean.

ph: rick smolan


LaurenC said...

I love this, thanks for reminding me. Stay cool over there in NY.. I bet you could use a dip in an ocean.

jokemijn said...

beautiful little text beneath the photograph...

Anonymous said...

Oh my !! I haven't thought about that book for years & years until just now. Visual reminder slap. I always felt a bit teary while looking at that exact photograph & wanted her to take all the camels home with her.

I know exactly what you mean - I remember devouring National Geo. when I was a child, just poring over the images especially. I must still have the scrapbook I carefully prepared one summer. I typed up my "Scientific Record Of the Exhibitions & Behaviours of the Species Of Humans in My City" on an old typewriter & cut and glued the numerous polaroids I had taken. Gosh...memories.

by land by air by sea said...

i loved everything about this hero of my past too.

there was another woman who walked across america for peace.

she stopped at my grandfather's restaurant for a glass of water.

i was about 9.
she stayed in my thoughts and actions for years.

i think you might just be a candidate for one of my "more mail less e-mail" postcards.


Anonymous said...

Once Kodak came up with the Brownie, photography became forever democratized... Of course professionalism and talent and an "eye" differentiate the quality of a photograph, but to say what is and isn't a photograph (of a July 4th BBQ or whatever; is it a momento then?) is not the same as delineating what artful photography is... Is that your point--the difference between a mere snap and "art" owing to the heedless capability of snapping a 1000 digital 'photos'?

nik said...

oh yah, i totally agree. i'm NOO photographer. i do like to take pics, but only on a creative side, not the pro side. :)

i wish i was a national geographic photographer though!


Anu said...

Ironically in the book itself Davidson rages against National Geographic and its demographic and that she is forced to take their money.

It's a fascinating read. The text transcends any photograph one may take.

honeydonthink said...

Thanks for your post. The photos & words together capture Robyn's trek and that time & place in history. Reminds me of the old Police song "Tea in the Sahara" based on a Paul Bowles story.
Always an interesting debate about what the boundary is between simply reproducing something or actually creating something new - today's digital age blurs the boundaries even more. Then there is the issue of fine art vs commercial art. John Berger's book "A Way of Seeing" and companion PBS series does a great job of examining this very theme.

jenny.p said...

love this.. and i couldn't agree with you more.. digital photography has made everyone a 'photographer' .. there is a purity in film...miss those days...

Kathleen said...

I remember being absolutely mesmerized by National Geographic when I was young -the photos were so stunning and the locales remote and glamorous. I think you're right about modern photography - my grandpa, who collected cameras and took pictures of everything - always swore by film.

Anonymous said...

I love Robyn Davidson. She's a real role model and adventurer. I'm surprised she's not more well known. Her writing is excellent as well. I wonder what her life is like these days?

Mary Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marcel said...

thank you for this. i've never heard of robyn or her work, but i'm ready to devour it. i love travel, australia and photography.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I came across your blog.. I love that book and this is such a beautiful image :)

Anonymous said...

> 17,000 miles?

I think you meant to write 1,700 miles.

"1700 miles from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean."

Rah said...

Digital is great, but it has taken way a lot of the work of photographers and replaced it with amatures and wanna-bes. Like any tool it can be a blessing or a curse. Thanks for posting this! I am interested in reading her story! I like your blog a lot!