fLIP Magazine / Online Feature

West Coast Leisure?

by Peter Jennings


“Peter Jennings is not allowed off the coach, it’s ten pages of paperwork!”

I was on a coach tour of California and the tour leader had caught me balancing on the edge of Big Sur for that one precious shot. Half joking, she was justifiably concerned and nervous about the stress, trouble and bureaucracy. On coach tours with limited time to shoot, I work quickly and live dangerously.

However, coach tours are holidays – leisure activities not designed for ‘serious’ photographers.

“But, I’m the ‘art’ photographer round here, I’ve got work to do!”

Tough. Being out of my photographic comfort zone and faced with the tight schedules of a tour for bite-sized snappers is good for the soul. Also beneficial is explaining what you are doing and why to people who know not the photographic greats. Better than a workshop full of photographers where the sycophancy is incestuous and the same old faces appear again and again.

It’s good to be part of the real world of the living and spending. Consumerism and leisure tourism have always been subjects which attract/repel me and on my recent California tour we inevitably ended up at a shopping mall somewhere. But I’m a consumer too, I cannot change the world. It’s all a cruel joke, so I snap con brio and enjoy the ride. After all, photographers have to have some sort of holiday!

Self-Portrait Calico Ghost Town CA, May 2010

New American Gothic, Calico Ghost Town CA, May 2010

Calico Ghost Town CA, May 2010

Crashed out, San Francisco CA, May 2010

Elephant Seal Vantage Point California Coast, May 2010

Pyramid Hotel and Shop entrance, Las Vegas, May 2010

Shopping Mall, San Diego CA, May 2010

The other side of that Las Vegas sign, May 2010


Submitted on the theme of LEISURE, Summer 2010