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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Cody Smart wanted to feel something, and so with $430 in the bank, an aversion to "popular society" and a thirst for the open road, he set off to hitchhike from New York to Alaska.

He was robbed and nearly raped and killed, just as the naysayers said he would be. He then put together a magnetic "photologue" on to remember and share his story.

Cody takes us into the kind of travel that some adventurers only dream about. The photos are captivating and you have to wonder how he got such good light all the time. His portraits are deep and show a side of Americans rarely presented in other media. I particularly enjoyed the shots of Alaska fishermen from his stint on a salmon boat out of Kodiak Island. Cars and trucks weren't the only modes of transportation that Cody hitched a ride on. He also hitched on seaplanes out of Lake Hood, Alaska, and trains between California and Arizona.

The photos are so dynamic you want to know more about them. Where were they taken? What are the landmarks in them? Who are the characters? What state? What city? The short "Trip Summary" at the top is a mere tease, and without specifics attached to photos, you're left to guess what's what. In terms of functionality, I would have enjoyed a slide-show option. Cody does leave a way to contact him on his Web site and you can buy a few of the photos as well. But it's not obvious. Go to the "Archive" section, click on a photo, and you'll see "Buy Prints" on the right-hand side. Prices start at $35 for an 8-by-12 print.

         (Leo, Jen. "Cody Smart's hitchhiking adventures in pictures." Los Angeles Times 1 April 2009.)


Blogger QQ*librarian said...

This is the kind of travel that I can only dream about...

April 22, 2009 9:49 AM  
Blogger -ben said...

I wonder where he stored his memory cards (since his camera equipment got stolen). I also wonder what camera system he used. You wouldn't want to go backpacking alone with a DSLR and a bunch of lenses, IMHO. That's like painting a target on one's back.

April 22, 2009 2:47 PM  

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