Gabe Scalise is a 26 year old film photographer and explorer from America. Born in the Northeast and having spent the last 6 years living and exploring out West, Gabe captures still images of American landscapes and in them, seeks to define a life lived.
Do you travel for your pictures or travel with your camera?
I travel with my camera. New experiences and traveling drive and influence my creative spirits and my photos are the result.
When you travel, what gives you the most satisfaction?
The most satisfaction comes from the journey itself and the process of making a film photograph. It takes a unique effort compared to digital when trekking up a mountain or camping for weeks on end and the worth and satisfaction that it gives me keeps the ball rolling.
A lot of your pictures show road trips and adventures, how do you manage to be on the road so often?
On the road is where I am most inspired and I strive to set myself up to maximize that time. I have few obligations that I can not fulfill with some wifi and a couple hours in a coffee shop. I also have no allegiances to obeying a normal work schedule or where home may be and that makes it quite easy to pick up and go…at least currently.
How do you support yourself in between trips or on the road?
I work like everyone else haha. I always strive to make money on the road and combine what I love doing (traveling and photography) with leading an independent life. Between teaching English, working full time for stints at non profits and photography, I load up the bank account and then travel with the money until it runs out… and then repeat. It is a fairly decent little system with endless possibilities. Also; I am always camping, sleeping in my car, crashing on friends couches, or in my tent in backyards. Shout out to all those people for the support and good times along the way.
How do you decide where your next trip will lead to?
From vague conversations in bars, articles and books I have read, and places I have dreamed of going since I was a child. Destinations typically tend to involve camping and hiking as well.
Who do you like to have with you on the road?
My lady Kelly is always down for an adventure and is endlessly conjuring up a plan for more travel so she is a staple. Besides that, my good friends Poth and Maddy are some of the best travels buds out there. Happiness and travels are always more fun when shared with others.
Your website contains square and rectangular pictures, also Polaroid’s and digital, can you tell us about combining these different camera’s?
I shoot with a Mamiya 6, Canon AE-1, Polaroid SX-70, and Yashica T3. I have a 5D II as well but that stays put most of the time unless it is a paid gig or a dicey situation that will require checking the exposure quite a bit. I feel each format and camera has its own value and uniqueness. How I combine them is still being worked out though actually. I have been seeking to find a balance between all these cameras while still maintaining my aesthetic which is a process that is still developing. That is what it is all about though, growing and developing and trying new things…so we will see.
What can you tell us about your upcoming trips / projects?
I just spent 2 months in Nepal trekking in the mountains and exploring Kathmandu which was quite a wonderful and eye opening experience. Coming back to a harsh winter on the East Coast of the US, I decided to take a job teaching English in Seoul, South Korea and keep up travels while replenishing the bank account. I plan on being over here for 6 months or so and then I am putting together a photo project in Japan before heading out on the road again with a lengthy and vague destination until my finances run dry. The details are still working themselves out.
Where do you definitely want to return to?
Chile. Chile is an unbelievable diverse and lengthy country full of diverse and genuine people. I spent 4 months living and exploring Santiago and the North of the country and ended up backpacking up into Peru as well which was amazing. I am itching to head South now and see Patagonia and Torres Del Paine.
And where will you definitely never go to again?
I can honestly say nowhere. Everywhere has beauty and value and as long as I have good company, a book, and my camera, it’ll work out.
What is the most beautiful thing you experienced on the road?
The commonality and shared happiness people feel in every part of the world.
How do you take your coffee?
Black, and usually with a little dirt in it.
Interview by Vicky Schilperoort | email@example.com