The laundromat--a place like no other. The doors are never locked, the lights are always on, and it is almost totally vacant on Sunday nights. I almost had the place to myself, but there was this lady--who I think must of thought that I was some odd art student on drugs--there.

I’ll do things and go places with a camera that I would never do or go to without one. I’ve stood on tables, got on the floor, climbed into and on top of equipment, opened doors that I should not have, walked in hallways where I am not permitted, pushed my gear and myself farther than usual--all for the sake of a shot. I found myself back in that place on Sunday night. I had slept most of the day after church and was cooped up in the house for way too long. I needed to get out.

So how does a sick, college grad get out? Not by going to the laundromat – for there you find not escape, no you don’t lose yourself in the colors and whites, in the soup and stains. No the laundromat is where you sit and process - where in the quiet hum of washers and dryers your thoughts drop out of solution and crystallize. There in that still nursery, ideals form, they are looked at – examined – inspected – questioned – struck down and build up. No music this night, just me and the sluicing sounds of laundry being renewed. Just me and my camera, looking for angles – trying to get it just right – trying to get that shot I like best.

So, how does a sick, college grad get out? Not by going to the laundromat--for there you don't find an escape. No, you don’t lose yourself in the colors and whites, in the soup stains. No, that is where you sit and process, where--in the quiet hum of washers and dryers--your thoughts drop out of solution and crystallize. There--in that still nursery--ideals form. They are looked at, examined, inspected, questioned, struck down and built up.

There wasn't any music this night. It was just me and the sluicing sound of laundry being renewed. It was just me--and my camera--looking for the right angle and getting the shot I liked best.

I've been asked, “How do you take pictures?” and I've listened to photographers describe how they take their pictures. They talk about how they are trying to express some bigger, grander thing and how there is something that they are trying to capture--some essence, some fragrance or truth.

Maybe this is what marks an artist from a hobbyist: I just try to get a shot that I like--one that I find interesting, one that I want to look at again. Oh, sometimes I’ll go on a hunt for reflections or certain colors, but the only time I think people can capture more than that is when they take pictures of people--of their faces, when they are able to capture moments of moving emotion, when the picture causes others to feel something. That is what I would like to capture someday. And I think that capture is the word, because we rarely let that side of ourselves be seen.

Dang, that was a ramble. Sorry :)


  1. I love your rambling...With Love, From Glacier Bay

  2. I agree with Auntie... love your rambling Neil, thank you.

  3. I love how you explained how to capture emotion- I totally agree. =]