An Airstream Caravel

Tougher than it looks

Richard Charpentier Airstream Blogs, Commercial Photographer, hiking, Off Road Adventures, Photography, RV Park Web Design, The Business of Photography Leave a Comment


Painted Hand. I was here back in May of 2006 and the location amazed me. It wowed me once again today. Unfortunately the giant collared lizard that posed for me back then wasn’t there again today.

This afternoon I put up a “tongue and cheek” photo from my IPhone on Facebook.  I teasingly said that the location I was at for the afternoon was my office for the day.  In fact, it was only one of many locations that my office was today.

As I’ve now set out to try my hand at running my own business once more I wonder if folks really understand that mostly this is work.  I’m not saying that it sucks to be out in Canyon of the Ancients photographing some amazing ruins, but I am saying that it is in fact work.

Today alone I spent more than 4 hours in the truck going from location to location (not counting hiking time, shooting time, snacking time which I totally forgot snacks for).  Get out of the truck, hike out into the desert.  Photograph things that look like they’d come across well.  In several instances I found the lighting was of no help, and the shots were all garbage.  Sometimes I’d find a compelling scene, and in a few cases I got the image I was hoping for.

In addition to the travel and photography today there was other work.  4.5 hours this morning roughing out the structure of my client’s website.  Editing photos for size and web presentation.  Trying to figure out a “foobar” script that didn’t want to cooperate.  Wondering why all the mapping services on the internet don’t display my client’s actual location appropriately.  That was the morning.

This evening upon returning I spent about 2 hours discussing the site with my client.  We went through updating photos on the site, creating a blog post to tell potential guests about the latest events in the area, etc.

Basically, I was up and working at 5:00 a.m. today.  At 10:30 the Titan took me to the Anasazi Museum in Delores, then on to the Canyon of the Ancients.  4 something p.m. I was back at the Airstream, and then talking with my client for a few hours.  Then I finally remembered I hadn’t eaten all day and I was really hungry, so I returned to the Airstream after 6 p.m. and made some food.

Yeah, this is work.  Redesigning a business’ online presence.  Creating a body of images to go with the new online presence.  Helping the client really figure out how they want to present themselves.  And getting in all done in a week’s time frame so I can move on to the next client and make enough income per month to make this worthwhile.

And believe me, I’m not complaining.  I made a choice to do this a few months ago.  And I knew what I was signing up for.  I won’t make as much as I did contracting, but I also won’t have to watch the total nonsense that went on in my work environment.  See, I set the tone for the job I’m doing now, not somebody else.  And that has a ton of value.

So yup, as you follow along and see the places I go to and wish you were here, I want you to know a few things.  If you were here I’d pay you very little, you’d work 12 – 14 hour days, and if you were lucky you’d get at least a meal a day when I remembered that I was hungry.


A young guy stands next to the Painted Hand tower, marveling at the site.


Both of today’s photos are not HDR, edited, or anything else.  Straight out of the camera, un-pasturized, non sanitized, etc.  I popped them up to demonstrate the hyper blue brick of a sky that wouldn’t cooperate with me at all today.  My kingdom for a random cloud popping up somewhere useful!

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