Blog.

My Friend Paul.

     I can’t believe how fast time travels. To think it has already been 4 years since Paul and I were roommates in our freshman year at Prairie. The first day, after I had moved in, Paul offered me some pizza and I kind of just forgot about it and wasn’t hungry so it went un-eaten. Little did I know, this apparently deeply insulted Paul and ever since, he’s jokingly held that over me. That first day pretty much summarized our relationship: miscommunication, jokes, and food (:p haha). Through it all, we’ve had so many incredible experiences and memories that are unforgettable. You’re probably wondering why I’m writing this somewhat personal post and it’s because Paul got engaged! After 4 years of growing and being friends you learn a lot about a person. I know Paul loves adventure, adrenaline, delicious food, fancy dates (with his fiancé of course), meeting new people, exploring new places, and friends. As soon as you meet him you see his drive to experience life fully and that’s one of the many things Paul has taught me. I feel blessed to have such a close friendship with him and I hope for the best as he takes these exciting next steps in his relationship!

The images below are from a short hike Paul and I did when he first got his Great Pyrenees pup, Loki. As you can tell it’s a massive dog for only being 5 months old at the time! Anyways, I just wanted to share that and hope that our adventures together don’t stop once we are both married dudes!  :)

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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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! 

Ethiopia Meskel.

     Once we arrived in Ethiopia the first two days were spent getting to know what the organizations are doing in the nation. This was interesting but a lot of us were eager to get out to the countryside to start landscaping at a retreat center SIM owns where their workers can go to recoup from months of hard work. While we were there I was able to get lots of awesome photos of the team cutting bamboo, ripping out roots, and burning all the dead brush. If you want to see photos of the team in action you will need to head to prairie.edu or their Facebook page to see them once they are published.

     During our last night in Addis Ababa we were having our evening devotion time but were constantly hearing chanting from outside. Earlier that day we asked about these yellow flowers that were being sold on the side of the road and were told that an annual Orthodox holiday was occurring that night. The flowers being sold only grow one week out of the year and are a big part of the festival. I wont go into all the detail about what the festival is but here is a link to read more. After the team finished devotions the adventurous ones in the group left the compound and began wondering down the streets to find the source of the loud singing and chanting. To our fortune it turned out that on almost ever block there was a celebration occurring! We went to the one with the largest stack of wood and leaves with the expectation that they would be burning it eventually. Upon arriving, we stood out seeds in watermelon but were welcomed warmly and even got some camera time, offered candles to have lit, and given communion. To say the least the event was somehow uniting and just simply marvelous! The few photos I have posted were taken with my Canon M on manual focus and a pretty slow shutter speed so excuse it if they aren’t tack sharp but for me it was the emotion and atmosphere I wanted to capture. I even submitted them the Your Shot at National Geographic where they seemed to be received very well by the community!

     I will be releasing more posts this week so come back soon to see what we did in Rwanda! Hopefully by the time I am in my six-month nation I will be up to date on posting. Thanks again for reading! 

Corinth & Corinthians, Egyptian Enigma, & Into Ethiopia.

     We have touched down in Ethiopia! Instantly it was a nice change from the reality shaking Egypt. Before I get ahead of myself I want to let you know that we did end up going to Corinth! Since our flight was not until later in the day we managed to figure out how to get money out of the ATM’s and then took a train to Corinth. This was exciting for everyone and provided a very surreal experience while standing where Paul was put on trial and reading 1st Corinthians. After a walk through the remains of the city and getting lunch we headed back to Athens to fly out to Egypt.

     I want to preface this part of the post with Egypt being one of the places I was most looking forward to but with that I didn’t really have any expectations. For all I knew it could have still been in the condition depicted in the animated film The Prince of Egypt. Ok, I’m not that naïve but really my expectations were nonexistent. Upon arrival the first taste of the chaotic, unorganized, and overly reactive culture was being seated in a car that should not have been on roads. Just to summarize the ride from the airport (seriously, this is where parents and family members skip): one door didn’t open, rust and dust everywhere, when exceeding 50km/hr a loud screech would emanate from the rear, often we would abruptly start hurdling backwards on the highway at 50km/hr while missing 100km/hr oncoming traffic by mere centimeters and when we thought it couldn’t get worse we directly ran into a metal barricade sending it flying! Just for comic relief I am sure, a guard who was standing there just waved us on as though this was a regular occurrence (this is where parents and family members can resume). To push me even more out of my comfort zone the city of Cairo was extraordinarily unclean and I have been to a few countries you would think could have it beat. Enough with what made me uncomfortable though and what I thoroughly did enjoy was seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza! It was phenomenal being able to stand in front of these magnificent structures that look so simple but in the context of that time are unfathomably complex. The climate the day we went was exactly what you would expect while visiting the Egyptian pyramids but it really took a toll on how little I wanted to be taking photos and video. While taking video my camera would heat up to uncomfortable temperatures, spontaneous sand gusts were a constant risk, and holding a few kg of weight in 40 degree Celsius heat is less than desirable. However being out of my element and uncomfortable in all these scenarios made me appreciate the National Geographic photographers and the stories they capture even more! I personally still have a long way to improve before I am at their caliber but during this trip I become more aware of the hard work it will take.  An extra note I want to make are the street photos that were taken while driving from the cave church that capture a true candid nature that I thought were fascinating. 

     Our time in Ethiopia has just begun but we have already heard a lot of encouraging stories and great advice from SIM as well as SIL. I look forward to this upcoming week but prayer is definitely needed for safety of the team and that we remain healthy since a lot of us have been getting sick or already have been sick. Thanks again for reading and share this with anyone you know interested in travel, culture, or photography!