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Santa Barbara, Ca

I'm a full-time rambler and contract designer with as many skill sets in my quiver as there are plane tickets in my passbook. I've worked in ornamental iron, jigsaw puzzle design, bookmaking, glass engraving, and a variety of other mediums. I'm currently living out of a backpack as I trek my way around the world.


¡Capture the Colo(u)r! with @travelsupermkt

Zak Erving


TravelSupermarket's Capture the Colour campaign popped up on my Twitter radar a few weeks ago, and it quickly became a new obsession. It's a great excuse to look at vignettes of someone else's travels, and the the color theme ties together everyone's entries into a consistent, lively bunch of entertainment and exclamation. Plus, who doesn't love a good Fauvist?

And then I thought: I love color! I love photographs! I love exclaiming things!

So I decided to enter. (Because hell, £2,000 is enough in $USD to buy a small island.) 

But instead of jumping into the fray willy-nilly, I waited patiently at the baseball backstop, waiting for one of the travel blog captains to pick me for her/his team and then shoo me away into left field to pick dandelions and chase butterflies.

That's how Captain Ian at came to my rescue: appended to his Capture the Colour entry was a call-to-action, a tag that summoned Sparkpunk up from the minor leagues to play with the big boys. In my surprised excitement, I spasmed and spilled coffee all down my frontside.

TravelSupermarket's criteria for the contest asks each entrant to submit five photographs from their travels, one for each of the required colors (blue, green, yellow, white, and red). I went through my albums and picked out some of my best travel-related work, but then I made an interesting observation of my selection: it was remarkably devoid of people & relationships. And isn't travel less about destination and more about relationship, anyways?

So I re-framed my entry to better suit my personal approach to travel: close to the ground, looking up, always seeking out and speaking to my newest soon-to-be-friends. Without people, travel would just feel like one big huge museum exhibit (I actually love museums, but after a few weeks of 12-hour days in galleries, I get fatigued).

Anyways, here are my entries. Thanks, TravelSupermarket, for putting this on!

Blue: Ice Bowler (Anchorage, Alaska)

Ice bowling gets really interesting during spring thaw

Ice bowling gets really interesting during spring thaw

During Anchorage's annual Fur Rendezvous, homegrown arctic events around the city pop up to keep the weeklong festival warm and inviting amidst sub-freezing temperatures. Ice Bowling is a popular event at The Peanut Farm, a local brewpub and social mainstay. The woman in the foreground was touring Alaska with her husband (they were from Japan), and her coat was electrifying against a sea of white and muted earth tones. Looking at this photo now, I'm still surprised at how much it attention it commands—especially since it's surrounded by red, a color that's often used to draw a viewer's gaze towards itself.

Green: Frontman at a Rock Show (Santa Barbara, California)


Senior Year is a California coast-based cover band made up of musicians with their own budding careers in recording & performing (their lineup includes one of Sufjan Stevens' former drummers and a songwriter for Justin Bieber). They played in November last year in their home of Santa Barbara (and where I was based at the time), and I was on hand to snap a few shots of the band. This one of Brandon, one of their lead vocalists, is one of my favorites because of (1) it was hip-fire, and I love hip-fire photography and (2) the cropping is just weird. But here again, there's a cool color proceeding from a warm background (yay Fauvism!).

Yellow: Honey the Lab (Willow, Alaska)

Some labs seem to know when they're on camera

Some labs seem to know when they're on camera

I know that this isn't a "people" photograph, but dogs are man's best friend, so I decided to make an exception. After watching the official re-start of the 2012 Iditarod in Willow, Alaska, some old friends invited me back to their cabin for dinner. Before going inside, though, I stayed to play with their dog Honey, who was all riled up after watching her friends run past in what dogs everywhere refer to as "the best walk ever." I'm a sucker for dogs, and Honey was especially photogenic.

White: Bride & Mother (Malibu, California)


I had the privilege of helping a photographer-friend assist at a beachfront wedding a few weeks ago, and this is one of my favorite images from the night. After the ceremony, the guests' collective excitement spilled out and into the breakers—even the groom dove into the whitewater as the rest of us raised tiki torches and danced to LMFAO on the wet sand. After the energy had subsided, I spied the bride and her mother sneaking away to the waterline for a shared moment together. This was the result.

Red: Josh & Alicia (Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California)


I suppose I really should state my case about warm and cool colors proceeding/receding in composition theory, so I included one that actually exemplifies as it should be: this depicts my friends and I crossing the Golden Gate Bridge during a July road trip, and it's cloaked in San Francisco summer fog. Josh's hand, the convergence of the two sides of the bridge, and the mustache sticker on the gearshift all come together to make a shot that I like much more than I thought I would.


That's it for my five shots. But as per TravelSupermarket's regulations, I've also included tags for some of my traveling friends around the world. Stay tuned to these honyocks so you can see their photos, too: