Creative: Una Pura Verdad (A Simple Truth) Restart 2019

I’m moving. It’s official. Goodbye California, hello New Mexico. This is long overdue, at least for me. We were still tied to California due to my wife’s employment, but thanks to the heartless corporate world, her services are no longer needed. However, after thirty-five years, what more could she have done? Jesus, just think about that. Thirty-five -years in the corporate world. She deserves a medal. Sadly, all she gets is more of me.

I’ve wanted to leave California since first arriving in 1996. California never felt like home, and no matter how many times I try to engage with SoCal culture I’m left flat and longing for more. I do love the ocean, so we have contingency plans in place for the future, plans that go far beyond California.

One of the things I’m looking forward to in regard to New Mexico is restarting a project I began thirteen years ago. Una Pura Verdad. I remember where I was the day this project went from concept to first frame. And I remember how I felt making that first frame. It is one of the images displayed here and it’s a good one. A signature image, at least for me.

But the truth is I don’t quite know what this project is other than an obsession. The great onion that is New Mexico. I’m going to take a page out of Joel Sartore’s book of advice and I’m going to pick ONE thing. That one thing is New Mexico and I’m going to attack as I’ve never attacked before. If it relates to the place then it relates to me and subsequently it relates to my lens, and my pen and my brain.

I don’t yet know or understand the end game. This isn’t about me as a photographer. I could care less about being known, getting published, doing shows, etc. I look at these things as hassles more than anything else. My primary mission as of May 21st is to collect data. That’s it. Anything and anyone that will have me. Just go. Shoot. Don’t overthink. One image and one story at a time.

The people, the land, the issues, the good, the bad and everything in between. Now, this is far easier said than done. It can’t be about random because I don’t have that much time left in life. There has to be planning, and I am somewhat at the mercy of the elements of humanity. Things like permission, access, etc. Never easy these days. But, I will keep plugging.

This will also be a recording of my life because one thing is for certain. I’m going to be spending a lot less time in front of the computer from here on out. There will also be less smartphone time. Hello, flip phone. Please don’t think I’m joking. The Verizon store is my first stop upon landing in Santa Fe and it’s gonna be flip, flip and more flip. Need me? Just call.

My plan is to load up my truck with the essentials. Bike, fly rod, cameras, notebook, camping supplies, inflatable Wayne Newton doll. I can also see falling back into the patterns of childhood. Geology, ethnology, astronomy, etc. Jesus, if left to my own devices I would turn into a total desert/mountain rat. Luckily I’ll be shooting digital this time around so I have to return to society to charge all my devices. Unless……..

I will hold my ultimate goal for now only because I don’t like talking about things that may not be possible. So, until then, I’ll see you in the hills.

26 Comments on “Creative: Una Pura Verdad (A Simple Truth) Restart 2019”

    1. Hey Janet,
      You bet I’m going to keep blogging. This site will be a big part of what I’m doing.

  1. yay!

    btw, i just put dual batteries into the truck, a fridge, 200w of solar panels as well as multiple power ports (12v and usb) in the back. a yeti 400 lithium is next on the list. cameras, drone, laptop and strobe power packs can all be charged directly from the truck or with the yeti. when the yeti runs dry, i’ll be able to plug it into the truck to charge from the solar panels.

    when are we going to get lost?

    1. Sean,
      That’s all? Geez man get with it. I’m going to get a roof tent. Roofnest I think. After that, not sure. Hey, found this incredible route this morning. Something like the NMMBR or something like that. Starts in Texas and runs to the NM/CO border. 80% dirt. Let’s do it!

      1. well, i went after the truck with an angle grinder and a welder too. then, i ripped out all of the factory power cables under the hood and replaced them with bigger cables for better electrical. i’m imagining your face looks like bec’s when she walked out into the driveway last week.

        as for the nmbdr, you mean this one?

        those guys put together great routes. i’ve been wanting to do the CO one for a long time. would love to figure out a time to do this.

        1. Sean,
          We have to do this. I know the route was originally designed by dual sport guys, but I’m guessing much is driveable with trucks. Before long these routes will be impossible.

          1. i’m in. all of the routes designed by the bdr guys are double track and totally doable in trucks. i know several people that have done a few of the other routes. i know the colorado one is truck friendly for sure.

            give me some dates in sept so i can make day job vacation days work. i may have a moscow trip in august to take roxy back.

  2. That’ll keep you busy. And moving. And thinking. And flipping. But don’t disappear just yet, I still have a few things to learn from you (I’m being selfish but I’ll blame it on you for making sense and putting thoughtful ideas out there!).

  3. Good luck Daniel! I truly hope you continue your blog as it has become one of my few regular visits on the interwebz.

    I recently moved with my family from just outside NYC (the cesspool that is Westchester County) to the woods of Central Wisconsin. River running in our back woods, kayaking in the summer, cross country skiing in the winter, and most importantly, good people in a great tight knit community….no regrets!

    1. Hey Chris,
      I have another friend who just moved back to WI after a few decades out here in Cali. He’s happy too. I’m not going anywhere as this blog is going to be front and center.

  4. Just go. Shoot. Don’t overthink: sounds like a plan. Looking forward to this. Colour or b&w?

    My congratulations to Mrs Milnor on her escape.

    1. Thanks Mike. I will capture in color I’m sure, but the project was primarily a black and white project. However, this is more about collecting data, so color will be prime.

  5. What an exceptionally great idea. Everyone should pick their “place” and move there. Four years ago I moved to NC and haven’t regretted it. I forsee Dan happiness in the future!

    1. Jim,
      It’s nice to find a place that makes you feel like getting involved. New Mexico has been that way for me since I was in middle school. My aunt used to live there, and I can remember driving into Santa Fe for the first time and thinking “Whoa, this is different.” There are so many things in New Mexico that need help, so I’m looking forward to getting involved.

  6. Hey Daniel, you won’t miss good old Tri-X? Really? It seems you still have a strong bond to it, and you know bulk film and chemicals don’t really take much space, and you can fire up a Pakon F135 (or a Minolta IV) from time to time to check how the collection is progressing. And you wouldn’t need to get back to civilization for months…

    1. Manuel,
      Just don’t have nearly enough time to work with film at this point. Plus, with what I will be doing there is a need to capture in color. And I’m shooting a range of things that won’t make beautiful images but will reflect data/information. Still love film but it’s not going to work for me at this point.

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