Blog.

Ending with a BANG!.

     Unlike what most of you may be thinking, no one was shot and we didn’t even hear a bang or anything that ties into the title. What I simply want to imply is that this final month of travel has been one of growth and learning. From my limited experiences in China, prior to this trip, I already knew that I enjoyed the minute amount of Asian culture I previously experienced and anticipated a similar experience to follow!

     In just over a month we have experienced Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Malaysia, and are finishing off in the Philippines. Each one offered unique culture, food, geography, architecture, and lessons learned. Probably one of the most educational times I’ve had was in Vietnam but due to the closed nature of the country I can’t share too much other than coming to the understanding that good theology is directly reflected in how we live. If we aren’t living healthy or socially active lives it is likely our philosophy or theology is likely not what we truly believe.

     I’ll be home in less than a week and can’t wait to start sharing my stories in person! The books and thank you’s to everyone who financially supported me will be in the works while I’ll be searching for work. These photos are from our time in Vietnam and will continue to post photos from the rest of the trip each of the following weeks so stay tuned!

10 Amazing Travel Photographers You Need to Know.

     While making this list I had a difficult time setting the final order but overall I based it on how well I visually connect with each photographers work. These are all big name photographers due to countless hours of shooting, marketing, editing, traveling, and working passionately on the craft. Needless to say they have worked hard to earn the recognition they deserve from fellow photographers and followers. In addition to that, they likely have never stopped working to advance their skills and abilities. It’s for this exact reason I love the pursuit of photography.

 

10. Rick Sammon 

     By no means does the tenth spot on this list reflect a legendary photographer like Rick Sammon. His impeccable images have a wide range of subjects that instantly make you want to elevate your photographic skills and explore our planet.

http://ricksammon.com  (Instagramricksammonphotography

9.    Scott Kelby

     Shortly after starting my pursuit of studying photography, I found Scott Kelby and became a regular viewer of his show, “The Grid,” on YouTube. In addition to being a brilliant educator, his travel images are immaculate and reflect technical perfection.  

http://scottkelby.com  (Instagram - scottkelby)

8.    Art Wolfe

     Not only is Art Wolfe an astonishing photographer, he is also an accomplished author who has published a multitude of books. After flipping through, “Migrations: Wildlife in Motion,” his drive to push the creative boundaries to another level became obvious.  

http://artwolfe.com  (Instagram - artwolfe)

7.    Paul Zizka

     One of the many photographers I first discovered on Instagram is Paul Zizka. His vibrant, bold, attention-demanding, landscape photographs are some of the best I’ve ever seen. Each new image he releases makes me envious of the location and in awe of how beautiful our planet is.  

http://zizka.ca  (Instagram - paulzizkaphoto)

6.    Cory Richards

     National Geographic Photographer, Cory Richards, creates images that allow you to empathize with the environment. Climates ranging from smoke filled temples, frigid sea diving, and sub-zero blizzards are just a few of the scenarios he has endured to get the breathtaking shot.  

http://www.coryrichards.com  (Instagram - coryrichards)

The photos below are of the photographers, ordered from 10-1.

5.    Ron Nickel

     Quite simply, I owe almost everything I know about professional photography to Ron. Not only was he my instructor throughout college, but also a mentor. From working as his personal assistant on photo-shoots, to sitting in class listening to him passionately teach invaluable, information, I highly respect him and the imagery he produces. Ron's impressive client list directly reflects how his photography has impacted societies around the globe and initiated genuine change for the better.  

http://ronnickelphotography.com  (Instagram - rknickel)

4.    David duChemin

     Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, David duChemin is a photographer I started following early in my photography journey. His most recent video project on YouTube, called Vision is Better, continues that learning process while he journey’s to all ends of the planet creating captivating images.  

http://davidduchemin.com  (Instagram - davidduchemin)

3.    Steve McCurry

     You might be surprised that such an iconic name is third on my list but I thought it would be too easy to place him as number one. After making one of the most popular images in the world, Afghan Girl, he continues to produce unbelievable images that allow you to deeply connect with the subject.  

http://stevemccurry.com  (Instagram - stevemccurryofficial)

2.    Joey L.

     Known for his superb portrait work, Joey L. came to be one of my favourite photographers after seeing his behind the scenes video with the guerrilla fighters of Kurdistan. The style and lighting in his images are just as incredible as the stories unfolding.  

https://www.joeyl.com  (Instagram - joeyldotcom)

1.    Jimmy Nelson

     Jimmy Nelson is one of those outrageously, talented photographers I originally found on Instagram. I was instantly blown away by his photographs of various people groups around the world.  The poses and processing in every image are perplexing with an instantaneous, intrinsic, curiosity of how that fraction of a second came to be.

http://www.jimmynelson.com  (Instagram - jimmy.nelson.official)

 

     I hope you enjoyed my list of “10 Amazing Travel Photographers You Need to Know. You may not view some people on the list as 'travel photographers' but they all travel to make the jaw dropping photographs we love. I strongly encourage you to take time to check out each of these photographer’s websites and any other projects or causes they are working on.  Who are your favourite travel photographers? Are there any other photographers you think deserve to be on the list? Let me know! 

Mason Unrau

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The Art of Thought.

     Travel Update: This is my final week in the Caucasus! I have the opportunity to go to another village tomorrow that wasn’t expected until I found out Saturday. As excited, as I am to continue traveling in Asia this upcoming month I will miss the wonderful people I’ve gotten to know and love here. They have done everything to try to make my experience a good one, filled invaluable with learning and self-discovery. In a week I’ll be catching a flight to Thailand to go to a media conference where people all over the world come to learn and share. Following this, I’ll meet up with Celine to see the organization she’s been with and all the wonderful work she’s done! I’m not sure how the Internet connection will be so I may not be able to write for a while. Maybe the post below will be long enough to keep you reading and thinking for a while though! Enjoy!


     You may think that the title of this post is cliché, lame, or boring but it’s relevant to the photos posted and what I’ve been pondering lately. Before I get into my thoughts, the images below are from when Celine and I had the privilege to go out to a village where I took an abundance of local food photos for yet another minority people group. In addition to having the always-riveting opportunity to go to new location, Celine was able to witness what a lot of my work has been comprised of. Now to get to what I’ve been thinking.

     Throughout my time in the Caucasus I’ve had a lot of time to think. Thinking of where my future is going or where I want it to go, thinking of what I believe, thinking of what others believe, thinking of how what I believe influences my daily life, and thinking of how privileged I am to dwell on these thoughts. Each of these thoughts could merit their own post but this one is going to be more about how people think and what I think could be signs of our primitive minds pushing through. I know it might be a touchy territory to enter if I paint various ideologies with a broad brush but bear with me.

     Being a frequent listener of the Bad Christian, Pastor With No Answers, Don’t Feed the Trolls, and The Liturgist Podcast’s I’ve somewhat become accustomed to trying to relate or justify personal positions that are contrary or analogous to their proposed viewpoints. Depending on the Podcast I’ve been relating to many of the points being made and now that I’ve started reading R.C. Sproul’s book “The Consequences of Ideas” it has made me look at the core of how we come up with our ways of knowing. Often online or even in person you get into conversations where people get infuriated merely because you differ in unessential opinions. Seeing that there are very few absolute truths that our finite minds can grasp I find this so amusing.

     Recently I came to the position that people who are easily angered and outburst either verbally, physically, or emotionally are essentially resorting back to humanities primitive ways of communication. Rarely do you see people of truly high intellect bursting out in raging fits or being violent when their ideas are opposed and when you do I think there is often mental disorders or barriers at play. Now this statement in itself may invoke a bit of anger in you but I encourage you not to smash your computer . There is obviously a difference between being passionate about your position and angery. Often it’s difficult to differentiate between these two when there is public forum but in intimate situations between two close people the difference becomes obvious.

     This past weekend I had to defend my character when it was being inaccurately presented to an audience that could drastically affect my professional relationships and future. Initially, I was infuriated but after seeking other perspectives and wise counsel I was able to turn from a raging outburst that could’ve occurred if I were to refute the claims immediately. Admittedly, I could feel my emotions getting the best of me but by the time I replied I was seeing clearly and capable of accurately presenting a rebuttal. Far too often, with the internet being a primary source of communication, people of all ages say things that they wouldn’t say in person and it immediately, negatively impacts how all bystanders perceive them.

     I want to conclude this more extensive post by encouraging all of you to analyze how you are thinking and how that influences the way you deal with conflict or disagreement. Do your primitive emotions exceed your logical mind more often than not? What are some things that trigger your emotional reactions to erupt? Keep these things in mind the next time you see something online that enrages you or you strongly agree with. I would love to hear your thoughts on what I‘ve expressed in the comments below! 

Time Elapsing.

     As some of you know Celine is here to visit me for two weeks! After being apart for four months it’s amazing to be reunited with her. Sure it wasn’t easy being apart that long but I love that we are able to pick up right where we left off and continue to grow in our relationship. I wont get too mushy but time is flying by since she got here last Sunday!

     The #28toMake project of creating a time-lapse everyday this month has been going well. Overall it’s really pushing me to be more creative and think differently about how time passes as well as what will be photographically compelling. I don’t always have great subjects but it’s fascinating seeing what one can observe when manipulating the perception of time. Which has been your favorite?

     Next week I’m going to another village with Celine, which means I’ll be getting more awesome photos of this intriguing country. I feel so fortunate to have seen so much of this diverse nation in my short time of visiting. If you have video projects or want to use these time lapses for anything let me know and I’ll get them to you! 

The Journey

     Throughout my time of being educated in photography one of the most helpful pieces of advice has been that it’s not about the final destination but rather the journey of getting there. This can be applied to many aspects in life but it is fundamentally counter intuitive to how I thought. I’ve always been more prone to thinking, “who cares about what’s on the way lets just get to the point” or the result or product that was intended. The more I made photographs and not just snap shots I quickly realized that the development of my photography is one long endeavor that can be summed up as a journey! This has been emphasized as I do more travel photography because the destinations between destinations constantly provide intriguing images. Each image below was taken in spare time or on the way to getting the images that we went on the tip for. Seeking out the details or inconspicuous subjects consistently reveals frames that I find to be my favorites from a trip.

     Taking on a different perspective I would say that life is much more about the final destination rather than our journey and I think what happens to us after death is a prime example of that. Our journey matters to some degree but if we believe in the truth and accept it then no matter how messed up our life has been we are saved. Yes, I am intentionally being ambiguous but if you’re confused or have questions send me a message and we can talk!

     Enjoy the images below and if you haven’t checked out or heard of Michael Kenna and Ansel Adams go NOW because their black and white work inspires my pursuit for the next impactful colorless image. Simply they are spectacular and classics in their fields. Thanks for reading! I would love to hear who you find inspiration from and let me know which image is your favourite!