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About Chip’s Trip

The best way to fully describe my trip and some of the process of how it came to be is to share with you the announcement email I sent to any and everyone in my contacts. And by the way I am Chip Cain; thanks for stopping by.

Dear Friend, Family, Acquaintance, Pastor, and anyone else I can get to read this,

A few of you may already know, but at the end of January I was laid off from work. It has been expected since March of 2009 when my company announced it was in “solvent voluntary runoff”. In laymen’s terms, it means they are going out of business. I am grateful, having made it almost 2 years before my job was no longer needed. It allowed me time to prepare and time to think about what I would do next.

To be honest, what I am about to do, the reason for this email, was not part of the plan; not at first anyway. But dreams grow. And I, like most people, had a dream. My dream was to see stretches of the Southwest that I had seen when young, plus stretches of the West Coast, Northwest and Midwest that I have never seen. In my mind, the circumference of my trip could be mapped by following many of the national parks. But for me, an extended sightseeing tour just didn’t seem justified for someone recently laid off. So I needed more of a focus and since an important hobby of mine is photography, what better way to “focus” than to document my trip in photography. But I still felt more focus was needed.

The more for me came when I realized seeing the places wasn’t all that I wanted for this trip. I wanted to chat with many of the people I would have opportunity to meet. And then I thought about Simon Hoegsburg, a European photographer whose work I admire. He has more than once coupled his pictures with the comments of his subjects. Therefore, I have decided to ask questions of those I meet along the way and collect their answers.

Not to overload my dream with work, I felt these two photo projects, “people” and  “places” would suffice as justification for this trip. Mind you, some thought I should leave the justification behind and just go on the trip. But as fortune would have it, one more justification was about to be added. Recently I had breakfast with a good friend who thought that it would be kinda cool to slow down on Sundays and visit a small church near to wherever I was at that moment. With that simple suggestion my trip was all but fait accompli. And with that third focus a name for my trip came to mind.

“American Triptych: Place, People and Church” is no longer a vague dream, but rather a growing reality. There have been many fits and starts leading up to this decision and every one of them originating in my own mind. In fact the only naysayer has been me. But I now have a departure date so it must be real. On May 15th 2011 I follow a dream to travel. My return date will be somewhere near July 15th: 60 days later, or when the money runs out.

There is a lot more to share but I will post the rest sometime later on my new website; And Wake Up Where? If any of this is of interest to you, then I encourage you to subscribe to my posts. You can do that at the website. If you fill in your email address and click on the subscribe button on the right you will not need to remember to check my website on any regular basis. Whenever I post to my website, you will receive an email letting you know a post has been made allowing you to visit the site whenever your curiosity is piqued.

If you are not family, or close friend, you may be wondering why I bother to tell you any of this. Well, I guess it’s because I believe others may be as interested in discovering things as I am. If you are interested, don’t forget to subscribe. Oh, and once I post my loop around the country, if any of you know someone that might be willing to provide a place to rest my head, then by all means let me know. I can’t give exact dates for when I will be where, but I can call those whose names I have been given when I get near and if it works, great.

One final item. Since this is a long trip and though not as fraught with danger as Lewis and Clark faced, I am assembling a team that will commit to praying for my safety, observation skills and ability to connect with strangers; not my strongest skill. If you would like to be part of that team let me know by email: I would me very grateful .


Creative Ashes


Here Are The Facts About the Photographer. The real me, I hope, will come out in my posts .

Harrisburg Camera Club since 2008 (current webmaster)

2010 First Place for Monochrome Print of the Year – Harrisburg Camera Club
2009 First Place – Best of 2009, Towner Jones Photography

Published Images
2006 “Green Abstract” was selected to accompany an article in AmericanWay magazine about eyesight and how it works.

Web Images
2007 “Water Lily” was selected as the accompanying photo for the poem “Blue Lotus” by the Chinese poet Yunhe

Artist’s Statement
For the years between 1995 and 2000 I was editor and publisher of the poetry magazine, Beauty for Ashes Poetry Review. After a very busy and successful run; publishing poets from almost every US state and from over 20 different countries I felt it was time to put aside the editor’s pen. It wasn’t long before I needed another expressive outlet and since photography was a hobby of mine in the seventies it seemed only natural to pick up the habit again. My old Konica SLR was long gone; sold  at a yard sale to scrounge a few dollars for the  kid’s shoes or something else my kids needed at the time. So looking for a camera, now at the beginning of the digital age I picked up a 4mp Kodak Easyshare and started clicking away. It didn’t take long to realize I wanted (told my wife, “needed”) something more and purchased my Nikon D50 DSLR. This year (2010) I have sold my first two prints and purchased a Nikon D300s.

My two primary subjects are close ups of flowers and the textures of one building against the background of another. Especially the old against the new, which is a current project I am working on as a potential first solo exhibition. I hope to strengthen my skill for taking pictures of people.