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Matinee: Candace Gaudiani's 'Between Destinations' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

6 February 2016

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 121st in our series of Saturday matinees today: Candace Gaudiani's Between Destinations.

This clip, which takes its name from Candace Plummer Gaudiani's book, is a six-minute presentation in George Eastman Museum's Wish You Were Here video series. Short and sweet.

The sweet part? That would be Gaudiani's images shot from a train of a landscape that's both familiar and fleeting. They aren't something you see from the air (like Julieanne Kost's Above the Clouds) and certainly not from a car (Gaudiani says she tried but her insurance went up).

It also isn't quite the leisurely activity it might at first seem. She calculated things like the position of the sun on landscapes she had previously scouted from certain routes that she took multiple times.

'A train is always between destinations, and so are we all in life.'

And she did it for 48 of the 49 continental United States, too. She had traveled through them by the time she was 12, she says, and took three years to revisit them with her camera.

Her father, who owned a Rollei, gave her a Yashica when she was in the second grade (about eight years old, that is). "Being behind the camera was a perfect vantage point for me to see the world," she said in an interview with Aline Smithson of Lenscratch that features a number of the images in the video.

Technique is part of the fun too. She gives an interesting account of how she handled focus. But we'll leave that for her to tell.

Shooting from a train, she had the luxury of stepping back from the window (which you can't do on a plane). So the images are often framed by train window as a sort of dark mask.

That presents an interesting compositional problem because the distorted shape of the window seen at an angle isn't correctable without distorting the scene beyond it. Gaudiani leaves it as the camera captured it.

Sometimes though what's inside the train is just as important as what's outside. Those are among our favorite images.

There are no people in these interiors, she explains, because she only wants to travel with you. "A train is always between destinations, and so are we all in life," she told Smithson.

Born in Boston and raised in Wisconsin and Maine, Gaudiani majored in English Literature and holds an MBA from Harvard. At the University of California at Berkeley, she studied fine art and portraiture as well as print-making with Eugene Smith. She makes her home in the Bay area.

When she isn't traveling with her camera, that is.

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