Planes, Trains and Automobiles – With Photo Gear

I am about a third of the way through my 3-month round the world trip working on a personal project and documentary, Opening Our Eyes. I’m holding up pretty well – better than I thought actually. After all, it’s a whole lot different putting myself to this test this time, more than 35 years after my first adventure around the world. Besides being older, I’m carrying a lot more expensive photo and video gear with me and I have a job to do. Yes, it’s a personal project and not an assigned job, but for someone like me, I take it with the same commitment and responsibility that I would if I was shooting for a client. In fact, if anything I have a more vested interest and push myself harder. But I’m not alone, I’m traveling and working with my 23 year old daughter Erin

Erin wearing a GoPro Helmet Cam at Spice Bazaar in Istanbul

and having her along has made all the difference in the Without her, this project would have been much different and harder on me. Besides being attentive to the travel logistics with the multitude of flights we need to make, the hotels we need to arrange and find once we arrive at our destinations and coordinating our subjects all over the globe, we need to be constantly attentive to our security and safety. When traveling with photo equipment – and a lot of it – my daughter and I must be forever diligent and aware of our surroundings. I’m fortunate that my daughter is along for this trip because we watch each other’s backs, especially when shooting in bazaars or traveling on public transportation.

Many days I feel like I have two jobs to do – one being that of a creative and making sure I get the images and video that I need for our project and the other being that of a travel agent. Fortunately for me, I’ve been facilitating my own travel arrangements as long as I can remember and I’m good at it. I’ve also built up a kind of sixth sense and I’m streetwise which seems to keep us out of trouble and harm’s way. I sense danger and go the other direction.

We’ve managed to keep a balance of down time and project time, leaving a little room for error because not everything goes according to plan. Plus, travel does take its toll and some days we just need to give into our bodies telling us to take time out. When I’ve finished this sojourn, I could write a book – in fact I could probably write a couple of books – on travel – on passion projects or on shooting a documentary with HDSLR’s. Maybe I will after I get the postproduction done on this project. Or maybe I’ll just take a vacation – at home.

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