The Great Southwestern Suzuki Adventure (Canceled)
Project to document rural America in the Desert Southwest following 1.600 miles along the Mexican border & 9,500 miles of open road.
*Please Note: This Kickstarter is the only place my images are being offered & sold.
My Name is Nathan Cowlishaw and here's my Instagram: http://instagram.com/talking_tree - My skill as a photographer is 15 years and running and have engaged similar journeys before. I know what is required to complete this entire project. It is certainly something that is achievable. Read on!
Goal of this Mission:
This will be a 60-90 day photoshooting expedition into the heart of the American Southwest (that my friends, followers and backers) will get to be part of as I report daily to tell stories of America and its history through its rural decay, Indian reservations, and the sprawling rugged beauty of wastelands, swamplands and plains that define the Unites States. As this story unfolds, I want to follow in the footsteps of those who came before us and find those people who are living in the present who continue to tell their story. These places will soon be gone or forever changed.
I want to be a documentarian. I want to capture what is quickly disappearing, what is there now, and start trying to interpret what the future may hold in store for usl I've made it my life's work to document these places in the Southwest for future generations who will be able to look back on my work and see what things once looked liked. I am utilizing Kickstarter to achieve some of these goals through a thorough photographic expedition that will take me further than I have been able to go before and I would like your help.
I've spent my life visiting various places in the Southwest but I have have yet to undertake such a prolonged and detailed journey such as this. According to Roadtrippers - I can complete the main route in 166 hours if I drove non-stop but I will be following many byways, tangents, dirt-roads and trails that are not on the main road. The route according to Roadtrippers is about 6099 miles not including the stretch I'm taking from Farmington, Gallup, Flagtaff, Kingman and onto Las Vegas. In total, I will be covering upwards to 9,500 miles!
In addition to what's stated above:
There's an important artist's statement that I need to add about my body of work: I will not separate the human element from the natural scenery in my landscape photography because there is no such thing as "pristine wilderness." This is a false construct because humans are a natural part of the landscape. I wish to utilize what I see photographically as a way to educate people through imagery with a more objective story of American History. There is no such thing as virgin untouched wilderness. In fact, the falsity of this myth is a by-product of Manifest Destiny that runs strong in other causes such as the Environmental Movement. We need to be aware of where this idea started at its roots!
The journey will start and end in Cedar City, Utah and will traverse down Nevada's Extraterrestrial Highway passing by the Alien stronghold of Rachel and onto Goldfield and Tonapah, Nevada. From there, I will venture through the Mojave Desert of Southern California, visiting and exploring every nook and cranny of along that rugged and beautiful route, searching for decay, solitude and other things that have been forgotten to the normal buzz of history. For example; I want to explore the underbelly of Palm Springs, California, and find the more alternative truth; the story of the original inhabitants of Palm Springs; the Indigenous Cauhilla people who called it their homelands long before the white boosters came in from Los Angelos, took over the entire valley while inventing their snowbird community filled with newly designed Country Clubs and desert retreats...
Several stops will Salton City, and other small communities in Southern California. There are minimalist landscapes to be found here that are often overlooked and still ripe for new interpretation and definition!
Next will be Needles, Yuma, Tucson and Bisbee, Arizona as well as other parts of Southern Arizona down along the border of Mexico. The excursion will cover most of the rural communities at the extreme southern part of the Southwestern borderlands. The route will traverse along 1,600 miles of the United States & Mexico border. I will be tent camping, while enjoying the crickets. I pull my camera out in remote areas and capture the Milky Way outside my tent and coyotes will be hollering off in the near distance.
I will be doing a lot of photography work in Texas, starting with El Paso. The time spent in Texas will be around a month or more. Some towns on the list include Hollywood filming locations, historical locations, and towns such as Paris, & Odessa. I will also be hitting all the major metropolitan areas; Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin (just to name a few) and their surrounding rural communities. A venture up to the pan-handle of Texas may unfold but most of the trip (in Texas) will be traveling in the Southern regions, closer to the border - then a parallel path will be followed back west when returning from New Orleans, Mississippi, and Oklahoma City.
I will be documenting the beauty of these rugged landscapes in the form of story-telling, art, photography & regular updates.I will report weekly, if not daily via social media including but not limited to Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.
The truth is often discovered or witnessed when exploring and gathering data from both primary and secondary sources as well during those times when an explorer is investigating in the field or following the footprints of those who have come before us.
I will also exploring the mysteries and folklore that is inseparable part of Southwestern culture and landscape such as UFOs, Aliens, Bigfoot, Skinwalker, haunted houses, ghost towns, and abandoned places of mystery.. I will be exploring the histories and stories of different areas such as New Mexico & the Roswell Incident, etc! I will also look at the people who haunt these landscapes and live in these colorful communities. My strongest desire is to locate some of the most isolated parts of the United States off main thoroughfare and go off the grid if the opportunity presents itself?
The journey will lead also to Oklahoma and into the Midwest swamps of Louisiana & New Orleans where the excursion will reach its final chapters before returning to where it all began in Iron County, Utah...
We are offering some excellent rewards to those that pledge to our project. Thank you for stopping by! :)
A random but cool and personalized post card sent from location. Postcards will be collected on the journey, while en-route. Will include a warm thank you and can be sent internationally. Nathan Cowlishaw will hand sign each!
Fine Photography Print Rewards:
A thank you in the form of a signed 5x5 inch professional print on archival quality paper. Choose an iconic Southwestern landscape signed by Talking Tree. You will be notified in the survey after we are successful of your choice of prints.
A thank you in the form of an 10X10 inch print of an iconic Southwestern landscape of your choice signed by Talking Tree.
A super warm thank you in the form of a 12x12 print of an iconic Southwestern landscape of your choice signed by Talking Tree.
A 60-page photo chatbook of Talking Tree's images from the trip! These will be taken during the journey and uploaded to Instagram while in route. This was an idea that was suggested by @Oxfordhaus, one of Nathan's followers on Instagram!
A 60-page photo chatbook of Talking Tree's images from a specific state in the desert southwest! Choose from Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, or Oklahoma.
Instagram Meet and Greets with Talking Tree while he's traveling through different regions. Meetup locations will include a delicious meal: Either Lunch, Breakfast or Dinner and a photoshoot with Nate. He can teach you what he knows about photography. Some of the cities where these Instagram Meetups will include:
El Paso, Texas
Del Rio, Texas
New Orleans, Louisiana
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
Roswell, New Mexico
Gallup, New Mexico
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Wowflute EBE Whistle in solid .960 Sterling Silver! This Extraterrestrial Biological Entity head whistle is a great little whistle to wear. The aliens eyes are incorporated as the notes! The EBE Whistle is a fine example of dual-functionality jewelry and ties into the pop culture of the desert southwest! Each EBE arrives in an impressive machined Orb available in four different colors.
The Wowflute EBE Whistle in Solid 22kt Gold! Made out of three grams of Gold! Impress with the best dual functional Extraterrestrial Biological Entity head! Each EBE arrives in an impressive machined Orb available in UFO Silver, Alien Green, Area 51 Orange, and People Eater Purple.
Beautiful photo prints neatly wrapped around sturdy, 3/16" Gatorboard.
Choose the perfect paper for your photo: metallic, lustre or giclee canvas. All papers come finished with a satin laminate for a soft, subtle glow.
ThinWraps arrive ready-to-hang, backed with two 3/4" thick lightweight foam blocks with pre-drilled holes. The mounting blocks hold the print away from the wall for a contemporary float effect. No frame needed!
Printed on heavy duty PremierArt Water Resistant Canvas, then finished with a dry lamination process that is UV and water resistant.
The canvas is stretched and then wrapped over a 1 3/8" thick wooden frame. Your photo extends to cover the sides of the frame for a beautiful presentation.
Note: Since the outer edge of your photo will be used for the sides of the frame, not all of your photo will be visible when an admirer views it from the front.
Metal Wall Prints:
To create MetalPrints we infuse dyes directly into specially coated aluminum sheets, creating truly archival works of art. These MetalPrints showcase a revolutionary new medium that is highly durable, waterproof, weatherproof, and ultra scratch-resistant. The unique printing method gives your photos a vibrant luminescence with incredible detail and resolution.
Choose from High Gloss and Satin finishes.
Each print has rounded corners for your safety and the surface can be easily cleaned with any commercial glass cleaner.
Metal Prints come ready-to-hang with two 3/4" thick lightweight foam blocks and aluminum plate with pre-drilled holes. MetalPrints sized 30x40" and up are backed with an inset frame for added stability. When hung, these stunning prints will float off the wall.
Because we will be promoting the Utah UFO Festival during the entire trip, this is an extended networking mission to connect like-minds and adventurers into our community. That is the main goal of this Kickstarter; to build a strong community. Nate will do the best he can using his photography to document and tell the stories, which will require a lot of time, effort and work on his part to produce something beautiful and unique from all of these experiences.
Please keep in mind that international shipping can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks, though I will keep backers updated as shipments are completed. US packages will come with tracking, but unfortunately, international packages will not as it's too cost prohibitive.
These are special kickstarter prices. Once I start selling these items in my website (when I am funded) the prices will be higher. For now I am keeping them as affordable as I can as a thank you for helping make this possible!
Included with the Art Collecter & Apprentice:
A trip accompanying Talking Tree, with his friends, into the deep bowels of Mother Earth onto the Havasupai Indian Reservation inside Grand Canyon in Northern Arizona; excludes airfare, food expenses, and you must have your own camping/backpacking gear. We will drive from Las Vegas, Nevada for a 5 hour journey to the trail-head and backpack down into the canyon in the middle of the night when it's nice and cool. It's 115 fahrenheit during the day. You must be physically fit as the hike can be strenuous and tiring. They do have helicopter services and horseback services but those expenses cannot be covered by Talking Tree. This trip covers gas to-and-from Las Vegas, Nevada, and all entrance fees into Havasupai.
THE APPRENTICE: Retail Value $14-$15,000
Our biggest Reward is limited to only ONE spot! - Includes a trip with Nathan Cowlishaw to Havasupai June 17-22, 2015! *Airfare not included!
Pledge $9,550 (or more) and get $15,000 dollars worth of creative coaching, services and other exclusive goods as a thank you for being our biggest backer. This is where Talking Tree will take time out of his day for up to a year, helping and training you, etc!
This reward is exciting for Talking Tree and will begin some time after the photography expedition is complete. It is our token of appreciation to you for making our project a success!
The Apprentice will receive six months of service with our company, Roadrunner Agency, to build social capital for your business, or brand and it can be personally tailored for an artist, photographer, etc.
Includes services for Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. You will continue to post content to your feed but Talking Tree will promote your social media feeds to hundreds, and thousand of people and encourage them to follow you. He will also help you to develop a better marketing strategy that will enhance engagement with your community. The retail cost that Roadrunner currently charges is twelve hundred dollars a month on a six-month contract. That is over $7,200 in social capital services.
To see one example of our most recent work check out Bar 10 Beef: http://instagram.com/bar10beef - We were able to grow their following to 1,500 people in less than two months. We also trained their team on how to develop their strategy to attract more people to their community.
The Apprentice receives a Micro Four Thirds camera setup to match the same one that Talking Tree is using on his expedition: a Voigtlander 25mm F0.95 lens (a personal favorite), and a premium Olympus mirror-less camera. Comes in a nice Clik Camera Bag (made in Saint George, UT), a 64GB Memory Card, and a fine art 40x40 metal-print of your choice signed by Talking Tree.
To top off this Apprentice we have included 24 separate training sessions one-on-one with Talking Tree via Skype Video or in person, depending on geographic location. These sessions include training on professional photography and marketing yourself on Instagram more effectively. I will teach you A LOT in these personalized sessions. Oh, almost forgot, you get a 22kt Gold Wowflute EBE Whistle delivered in your choice of Orb!
Estimated completed delivery: May 2016
Itemized Kickstarter Expenses
After seeking feedback from backers, we decided it would be beneficial to post itemized DETAILS on exactly where project funds will be used. We wanted to have a bit in reserve in order to pull this Kickstarter off effectively without having to fly by the seat of our pants or the skin of our teeth. So here’s the rudimentary breakdown:
Video Production costs: $500 - Included gas, trip expenses, and post production video work (that gopro time-lapse sure takes a long time to process!)
Estimated Trip Costs:
9,500 total miles = 6,600miles + 30% for detours
Average Travel per day = 143 miles
25 mpg = approx. 6 gal. / day = $25 / day (super cheap because its a four banger Suzuki!)
65 days @ $25 = $1,625
Tires / repair = $500
$0.50/mile for wear / tear on personal vehicle = $4,750
Emergency (tow & garage) = $1,500 (better to be safe than sorry)
Hotel 14 x $45 = $630 (camping under the stars is preferred - but sometimes a rundown motel makes for good photography #ruraldecay! ;) )
Truckstop Showers $12ea average = $555 (this covers all the days where there is no hotel stay)
Campsites / RV parks = average 45 days @ $25 average = $1,125
Food per diem $25 / day = $1,500 (it always seems to be more than you expect)
Budget for National Park fees = $80 for year pass
State parks / Museums fees = $300-400 (this is a bit cheap - some museums (wax in hollywood) are $40/person - got to capture the uncanny valley too!)
Kickstarter Fees 5% = $750
Credit Card Processing 5% = $750
$13,965 running total
As you can see we are coming quite close to our Kickstarter goal without adding in the costs of reward fulfillment after the trip which will most likely come out of our pockets.
Lost Opportunity Cost:
Roadrunner Agency absence = $4,500 (unfortunately bills don't take an absence - got to pay people to run things)
Most rewards will be from content acquired during the project trip and will be produced afterwards.
Risks and challenges
I've already got experience traveling for month long journeys. I know what I can and can't handle and what I will need to do to complete this project. I can handle it for sure. :)
Traveling long distances, taking side routes, will all involve a hunt for the deepest nooks and crannies of America's most rural areas nestled in Desert Southwest. We are talking landscapes that inspired filmmakers like the Coen Brothers and movies like, "Paris, Texas." There is risk associated with everything I am doing as with any adventure that is undertaken but not common. Between March-August the bulk of our work is fulfilling the expedition and securing an immense portfolio of priceless Images from the trip will be used to fulfill the rewards for the Kickstarter campaign. This special portfolio of images will be created for backers to choose which selection they wish to have printed. All orders will be processed starting as soon as the 2015 Utah UFO Festival concludes in Southern Utah at the end of August. All orders will begin shipping from the end of August to September!
All rewards offered through this Kickstarter Project will be the end-result of a 2-3 month journey into the deep Southwest, from Southern California to the swamplands of Louisiana, up to Mississippi, Oklahoma City and all the way back through the Southwest. All of it will be a creative networking journey in search of the truth and the mysteries of the Desert Southwest. Places visited will be many major historical sites, haunted places, farming communities, ranches, wilderness areas, national parks, state parks and several Native-American Indian reservations! A story will be told both photographically and interpretively from the heart. It is a project in the making that has been the dream of a life-time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)