Travel/Shutterbug.... an unexpected journey

Do you remember when you were young and your parents just got back from the "vacation of a lifetime" and they would have their friends over for a "slide show".  Well I am sure I am dating myself, but I remember how we kids hated the slide show because it dragged on and on.  Being a photographer I know I myself am guilty of wanting to show "too much" I am emotionally or creatively biased.  My "experience" taking/creating the photo has added sentimental value to the image.   I know most viewing the image will judge the image in a split second based on a subconscience instinct and a bit of intellectual impression.  So the moral of the story is "edit.. edit.. edit..."

Wel my friends, below is my travel "slide show".  I have traveled to over 17 countries and 6 of the 7 continents; not only am I a shutterbug but have a bit of the travel bug as well.  These images represent my own sensibilities as a visual communicator .  There is no assignment, there is no "post composite", just the desire to capture beauty as I see it.  This is were I started my journey as a photographer.  Back before the "professional" days, when I was a contemporary painter and a starving artist; I spent my youth (as many) spending every penny I earned ... immediately on then next "adventure".  As a painter, I had actually traveled to Europe 10 times before it dawned on me to take a picture.  I finally thought I should find a way to be "creative" while I was attempting to "explore the world".  And that is how my photographic journey began. 

These images represent only a fraction of the adventures and as hard as it is to believe, a very tight edit.  Though some of these images are from the early years, most are taken later after I had developed my "eye".  But it was some of my early "gems" as a hobbyist that gave me the confidence that I could make a living taking pictures.  But honestly,  my underlying motivation was driven by the bonus of being payed by someone else to "travel".  

But before we start the show... a litte background to shed light on my romantic attachment to travel photography.

The Journey... begins

I am told ignorance is "bliss", unfortunately most the time it is ... well just ignorance  After four years of shooting as a hobbyist, I decided to make the jump to "fully committed - upstart - dreamer/photographer".  And with this decision I quit my "safety job", moved out of my apartment, and spent 6 months traveling the world shooting travel images.  It would be the last big push before taking my portfolio to market to see what fate had in store.  I got down to my last $100 to my name and made an announcement to my friends at a large dinner party,  "This is the last 100 dollars to my name... looks like it time for me to get a job".  With no sympathy, a friend yelled, "its about time".  Since you can not just walk into a bank and get a $200,000.00 loan to start your photo career.  The master plan was to have a night job to provide stability so durring the day I could work "assisting" jobs for established photographers.  Assisting in the creative industries is like the old days of apprenticeship.  Once you become a reliable and competent component of a "team" ... you gain your first "real-world" experience and begin to get "on the job" training for this industry.  Easy to plan... now just had to "do it".

I was fully committed and there was no turning back.  I applied for a night job at a computer company where I could do "tech support".  And by great luck, my first assisting jobs was at a huge production house with 15 product and two Fashion shooters.  At the time the product photography was being shot with 3 pass digital backs.  The fashion studio was stil using medium format film.  I was now officially being paid to "go to school".  I spent 3 years learning every type of photography during the day and being the resident "expert" for all things "production" on Macintosh systems at night.  Buy working a full time day job and a full time night job, there was no need for an apartment.  I moved what I owned into storage, moved into my Jeep and officially become homeless for 3 years.  I would leave the night job at 5am and drive to my gym; then my work-out partner would wake me up at 7:30 each day to do our work out, shower, eat and then I would head off to my day job that started at 10am.  I would work that job till 6:30 drive to the night job have dinner rest for 45min to an hour and head into the night shift at the computer company.  On my days off I would would travel, do photo shoots and once every three months pass out from exhaustion.  But the beauty of youth .. is drive, ambition, will power, and choosing to ignore or negate whatever distracted from the mission.  As I stated before ... ignorance is bliss.

Well the plan worked, I raised the money necessary to buy cameras, computers, scanners, lighting packs, heads, grip equipment, printers... pay for all the "test" and travel, film, processing, proofs, etc.. Just took two full time jobs 3 years and very little sleep.  But ... It worked.

But I digress... here are a few of my favorite images from my travels...  (see more in: A personal travel catalog...)