Whistle Stop #2

original photograph by Emily Hughes

original photograph by Emily Hughes

The journey of this photograph continues. It sits in physical form, almost pristine, on the desk in front of me as I write this. It is traveling from one set of hands to another, picking up fingerprints, bits of dust, and when it arrived to me so carefully wrapped, I found upon close inspection, that this printed photograph had picked up tiny smudges of red pigment, or wax (please read the previous post to discover how this might have happened).
Traces from the journeying.

This is precisely why the photograph is traveling. It wants a history. It wants to be handled and those little smudges are so much a part of it now.

The photograph is also meant to inspire. To become part of a visual conversation. When it arrived on my doorstep a few days before I was going on a short journey myself, I took it as a sign that the photograph was meant to travel with me. The fact that I was to travel by train seemed as old-fashioned as a printed black and white photograph.
It was meant to be.

These are the images I offer in response to Emily’s photograph. They are also about journeying. About those fast-passing moments that somehow etch themselves in our minds. Fleeting moments of fleeting seasons viewed through a train window.


When I think about all the journeying I have done over the years, the images that flicker through my mind are often about the getting there rather than the being there. Momentary observations along the way and impressions of the places I’ve glimpsed.

The gentle rattle and hum of being. Watching the world as it awakens from winter; trees blossoming, earth greening, sun shining. Moments of bliss.

At the time of writing, I have no idea where this photograph will be traveling next. It could be to you. If you would like to participate in the journey of this photograph take a look here.
To find out more about how this project started visit Emily’s blog.
To visit my blog go here.

I am honoured to be guest posting as part of this project. Thank you, Emily!

Colour images © Karen McRae, 2013

34 thoughts on “Whistle Stop #2

  1. Pingback: The Journey « draw and shoot

  2. I love every bit of this Karen! Your photos are fantastic. I find my self drawn back to the first one again and again. I feel like I’m in there, somehow. Your words are lovely and thoughtful, and I adore the concept of a travelling photo. What a beautiful idea ♥

  3. This is such a beautiful contribution Karen..both word and image gently reference the original but fly off on their own too..so excited by this project! Loving imagining how many stories will be here in years to come..

    • Cath, thank you. I didn’t specifically set out to reference the photograph but it just came together that way. (I haven’t asked Emily about how the picture was made, but I might do that now that I have contributed.)
      It’s quite interesting, isn’t it? I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes at each stop.

  4. Thinking of photographs I think of Roland Barthes. Thinking of Roland Barthes I think of Camera Lucida. Thinking of the author’s dear mother I think of death.

    Something dies in us everyday. What was can no longer be. Isn’t that the essence of a photograph?

  5. Your beautiful photographs seem to catch the nanosecond of a thought we may have had and lost in time . yes it ill be interesting to see where the photograph takes us. how the experience ill change us. Carla

    • Hi Carla,
      Thank you. I like the idea that a small experience can change us and take us somewhere new. It’s true, I think – some of the most powerful moments I remember are small gestures.

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