Hitching & Hiking: a story by Morgane Erpicum

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This collection of images tells the story of the escape of a frenzied daily life, intuitively expressed through analog photography. For me, it represents the cathartic experience of shedding all but the essentials - my husband, Douglas, a backpack, a camera, thirty rolls of 35mm film and a quota of eleven shots per day – during my honeymoon. For three months, we traveled South America on foot, hitch-hiking, by bus and by train. Beginning our journey in the depths of Patagonia, we slowly made our way up through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, in order to reach the highest peaks of Peru. Through my sense of minimalism, paramount both in my aesthetics and in my way of life, my goal was to evoke the same sense of serenity these wide spaces and their multiple textures inspired. While digital photography seems to have an almost instantaneous expiry date since the advent of social media, film photography offered me the true luxury of taking my time. The long waiting times between the snap of the shutter and the reception of the scans gave me the opportunity to mature my photographs and my process at my own pace. Pure product of the Y generation, living at a hundred kilometers an hour in a society that no longer takes time to breathe, I pondered each shot carefully. Without the internet, without phone, without batteries and without constraints, I felt, for the first time, free to roam as I pleased and savor the extraordinary sensation of being alive, in harmony with myself and the surrounding nature.

Since 2015 I have been reveling in the pace and rhythm of analogue photography. One cannot afford to be unfocused; you must be in the moment, and each moment seems elongated as you are made to wait for the perfect shot - for exposures are finite, and each is precious. This preciousness is portrayed both in the attention with which I capture moments, and our own human delicacy when compared to the
monumental spectacles and vastness so often showcased in my work.

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All images ©  Morgane Erpicum

All images © Morgane Erpicum