Good strong espresso and another coffee table surf book.
This one is a photo essay by Chris Burkhard documenting a trip, border to border, down the coast of california, in a somewhat temperamental VW camper. This is no mag funded high rolling trip, it was in fact self funded by Burkhard and travelling partner Eric Soderquist, partly by Burkhard entering & winning a photographic contest and has a definate low budget feel. The reader is left believing that this experience is accessible to anyone with the desire to make it happen and that it’s something us normal people could do. There is, however, nothing low budget about the book itself, it’s a quality printing with a cool cardboard “record sleeve” to protect it.
It’s packed with some awesome photos, mainly lifestyle type shots with a sprinkling of action pics too as well as some beautiful landscapes and line up shots (Burkhard studied landscape photography at college). Each new county crossing is introduced by some handwritten comments from Soderquist, giving an honest look into their less than glamorous life on the road.
It might suprise you just how big & varied a place California is. It’s easy to think of it being just the bit from LA to San Diego but actually almost half the state’s coastline is north of Santa Cruz. The northern areas are a complete contrast to the plastic world of “SoCal” and appear to be beautiful and less built up than you might expect. The pictures capture the landscape and small town feel well and give you the feeling you are seeing the sights from the van window alongside the photographer as each bend in the road unwinds. Tucked inside the back cover of the book is a short super8 DVD that was shot during the trip with a feel somewhat reminiscent of those old cine movies your dad made of family holidays in the 70′s. This only adds to the real world vibe of the journey.
It all adds up to a good use of your hard earned cash and is yet another prod to make you search outside your normal comfort zone (or lust after californian waves!), something I, for one, should do more of.