Monthly Archives: November 2014

Windshield Panorama

We get in the car. Everything is loaded up, our summer clothes, the inflatable matrasses and the bedding, the tent, the little gas stove and the aluminium pans in their rattan case. Driving off for the holiday is a wonderful moment. There are times, when I get in the car to visit a client or go to a building site, once I’m well on the road, I’m aware of the delightful possibility to just drive on, beyond the location of my appointment, to go on, across the border, not to Nieuwengein or Zeewolde, but to Berlin, Marseille, the seaside at Genova, all these possible destinations that are directly connected to the road I’m driving on. And this time we do just that – new views will roll by, the familiar flat grass lands framed by office buildings and blue and white road signs will change into something wider, into rolling hills and cows lazing under a tree, the office buildings will change into whitewashed houses with tiny windows or buildings with red bricks and grey stones and colored roof tiles. And, at every moment, there is a view that will never make it into the holiday snapshots: the back of a truck.
Usually this is something to avoid, to be overtaken as soon as possible, to be ignored, because it blocks the way to the promise of new vistas. But this time we enjoyed the view, and we made photos. So I’d like to put up our collection of holiday pictures and present a different aspect of the road trip: the geometric rigor of the backside of trucks, the bold graphics, the unassuming compositions of door handles and safety notices.

It is actually rather hard to take these pictures. By necessity they are taken from a riding car and, in order to get a satisfying picture, we had sometimes to get uncomfortably close to our subject. Since I did the driving these photos were all taken by Tracy.
It was amusing to find that in a while a true collectors frenzy began to take hold of us (or rather, me). Still, it was obviously impossible to take a photo of every single truck we saw, so we had to make a selection. Lots of backs were similar, and soon it became apparent that different categories could be applied. The plain utilitarion back, the thoughtful graphic, the whimsical cartoon, the hapless jumble. By the time we arrived at our destination, the coast of Normandy, we felt we had a reasonable sampling, while regretting the ones we missed: an anamorphotic image of the inside of the van, a whimsical pig on a butchers truck, some really succesful bold lettering.
This photo series is unfinished. There are so many more views out there. What will the autostrada on the hills of Tuscany reveal, what beautiful traffic is there in the Harz?