Category: Observations

My trek into minimalist traveling



I enjoy travel and the exposure to different cultures, histories, and people that it provides. A fair amount of my travel is related to my work and can range from the short puddle hopper to New Orleans to longer trips in Europe, South America, etc. I have traveled for two weeks with an roller bag that fits in the overhead of US planes. But I want to go smaller. Why?

1. I always pack to much. I know for some folks this might sound a bit ridiculous. Yes, I have traveled for weeks in Europe and Asia with one carryon roller and a small computer bag but I still find I have things with me that I do not need. I tend to pack to be prepared for far more than once can rationally anticipate encountering. 

2. The older I get, the more I want to live life intentionally. That means doing things with a purpose and reason, including how I pack a travel bag (for the medical professionals reading along, please insert mental condition suggested by the preceding statements).

3. I like trying new things.

I will be writing a few posts on my trek into minimalist traveling. I have no doubt there will be some failures and dead ends along the way but I know there has to be a better way than what I am doing now. Here is to less. 

Looking back to look ahead.

This has been quite a year. I have been in 8 countries on 4 continents. My second daughter turned 1 and my oldest daughter turned three. My wife and I celebrated 8 years of marriage. I started using a “real” camera (my Nikon V1) this year instead of only utilizing my iPhone. The content on my blog took a turn away from only iPhone app related posts to broader content related to how an iPhoneographer works with a camera. I took a few minutes today to look back at photos from the year. This helps me see where I can continue to improve my photography as well as be thankful for the experiences I had during the year.

As I look back, these are my three favorite iPhoneography images (click on the image to see the details from the original post):

A grand door


Look up
The machine that…

And these are my three favorite photography images:

Where is….
It’s rolling round the bend
Through the grid: II

I hope everyone has a great Christmas season and focuses on what truly matters in this life.

Discipline. Got inspiration?

We all need inspiration from time to time. Inspiration is the perfect complement to studied discipline (i.e. you have to work at it and then work at it some more which can become a tiresome exercise sans inspiration). When it comes to photography there is an incredible proliferation of images from unknown to world-renowned photographers that are easily accessible. For me a mix from both ends of this spectrum  is incredibly helpful. Here is where I am getting my photographic inspiration:

1. Flipboard: I have written about this app in a previous post. It’s an incredible resource. I use it to efficiently consume a high volume of images when I have a few minutes at the end of or during the day.


2. Rueters Wider Image App: This app provides a varied view of journalistic photography from around the world. It also has bios of the photographers that captured the images. It’s interesting to see how their personal stories weave into the work that they do.


3. National Geographic Proof: National Geographic has put together a blog that features photographers with a handful of their images. This is a blog where you can glean incredibly helpful tips from the interviews with the photographers. For instance, I recently read this post about Thomas Peschak who is a wildlife photographer specializing in underwater photography. I have zero interest in underwater photography (not because I don’t appreciate the ocean. I have scuba dived enough times to know that I can barely manage the entire self-contained underwater breathing apparatus quandary much less adding photography in) but his emphasis on planning and “homework”  in capturing great images was very telling:

Peschak also pre-visualize images before he dives, sometimes even sketching them out in advance so he knows what to shoot once he’s in the water.

“One of the things people forget is the amount of time and research that goes into taking pictures,” says Peschak. “Once you are in the water it’s just waiting for it to happen. You know it’s going to happen because you’ve done your homework. One of the secrets is curiosity—speak to people, become a sponge, and make smart decisions about where and what to photograph.”

Here is to inspiration. Now back to the discipline.