Due to the nature of his work, Canada-based Rick Ian prefers to keep his identity to himself. What we only know about him is that he has been train-hopping and documenting his journey with the Lomo LC-A+. Since 2014, he admits that trains have been his ongoing project, but it wasn't until in early April when the idea of train-hopping across North America occurred to him. A fateful encounter with one of his friends and travel partners influenced this project when they rode from Chicago to LA.
"While traveling through the Midwest we decided to ride North from Mexico City and document the changes in landscapes and cultures on a railway that unifies three different countries – Mexico, United States, and Canada. As a result, we named the project NAFTA (North American Freight Train Adventure)."
In Mexico, his digital camera was stolen, prompting him to search for a compact 35 mm film camera, so as not to attract unwanted attention and stay below the radar. This is how he discovered the Lomo LC-A+. He shot a roll of film during his trip to Northern Ontario at the end of winter. "I was thrilled with the way it captured the colours and line works seen from the train. I knew it would be the perfect camera for the NAFTA project."
" I always looked forward to riding on top of the trains through the desert, a drastically different scenery from Canada. I chose to use black and white film while traveling between the Paredón to Torréon stretch in the state of Coahuila because it forced me to shift my focus on documenting the relationship dynamics of myself and my travel companions while contrasted against the formal qualities of the desert, removing the influence and effect of the color palette."
According to Rick Ian, the final leg of this journey will be to ride from Toronto to Halifax, rising coast to coast in Canada. But the adventure with his Lomo LC-A+ doesn't stop there. "I have plans of going to Europe to ride out there and begin a new chapter." We can't wait to see how this project develops!
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