A bus stop in Seattle, “Who am I? What do I really want?
Why is my dad always trying to take pictures of me?

Seattle: a Father/Daughter Trip 

Last week my daughter and I went on a 2-night trip to Seattle. For reasons I won’t go into, it was an eleventh-hour visit to UW, one of five colleges that accepted her application. The decision letter had to be post-marked Friday, May 1. We spent Wednesday, April 29 in Seattle and got back home on the next day, getting up at 4am on Thursday morning to catch our plane. The decision definitely had to be made by that same evening. So it was a little tense.

We arrived too late on campus for the scheduled guided tour, so they gave us the “self-guided tour map”. We had a fun day together, wandering around Seattle, a gorgeous place neither of us had ever been before. We threw away the map, improvising our own “self-guided” tour as we went along. I don’t think we went to any of the places on the official tour.

All I’ll say about her decision is that she is happy.

From our table in an Indian cafe on Washington Place.

The Experience Music Project building in Seattle Center 

Another bus stop. Good places for thinking about decisions.

This is for the IRS, to show that we visited the medicinal herb garden
on the UW campus so I could add to my plant photo archive.

Looking up through the James Turrell Skyspace, Light Reign, a permanent installation at the Henry Art Gallery on the UW campus.

As always, I was taking photographs as we walked across Seattle, and my daughter, like most of the women in my life, complained constantly about how inconsiderate I was to be with her, yet stopping all the time, while she waited, bored, as I composed my perfect photograph.

And she is right, of course.

She was the focus of the trip. The only thing I can say in my defense is that wherever I go, I take reference photos for my reference file. It’s part of my job as an illustrator. And I get to write off some of the travel expenses on my taxes. 

Nevertheless, I’m going to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all the spouses, friends, and traveling companions of artists and photographers. You all deserve a huge award, a golden trophy, honor, love and gratitude for the time you stood waiting, while your partner composed a photograph or made a sketch. Even though you might not have had any other choice.

The world may or may not be a better place for those photos and sketches that you tolerate, but you will be developing your own character, an increased capacity for patience, spontaneity, and compassion for all beings. Plus, you should be nominated for sainthood, if such a procedure existed.

My favorite quote on this subject comes from travel photographer David Sanger

” My wife understands the U-turns, and me jumping out of the car and getting the gear out and taking the shots… What she doesn’t understand is doing the same thing five minutes later.”

(lol) And here I will heap extra gratitude and affection for Christina Robinson my girl-friend, traveling companion and wife. She can usually handle at least the third or fourth U-turn with silent forbearance, only rolling her eyes a bit. And she doesn’t hold any grudges. If she really can’t handle it, she tells me right then and there.

An artist working in his studio, open to view from the street,
with the ever-present Space Needle behind.

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