Exploring the unknown is exhilarating. Anybody with even a slight sense of adventure relishes the chance to get off the beaten track. Away from the masses, from the censored, postcard reality. I’m obsessed with getting off the beaten track.
It’s early in the morning. The rays of the rising sun peek through the window of my Landrover’s roof-tent. Far in the distance I can make out the sounds of sheep, cows and their herders screaming at them. Did they go in a different direction to what I expected last evening?
A remote region of high mountains, pristine nature, ancient villages and... one of the most dangerous roads in the world to get there. That’s what I knew about Tusheti. Oh, and there was supposed to be a cultural festival too.
Imagine you're asked to photograph at one of your favourite destinations. It's for a company you really like. You get to use a camera that’s not even released yet and you’re given plenty of creative freedom. On top of everything, you get paid well too.
It’s where the sun was born, the heart of the world, the most sacred of places for the Arhuaco people. Of course I wanted to visit! The place is a remote, traditional village in the Sierra Nevada mountains called Nabusimake.
It’s not often that a camera changes the way that you approach your work, but, without exaggeration this is exactly what happened when I got my hands onto Panasonic Lumix cameras. In large part, this is why I wanted to have a relationship with Panasonic – because I loved what they created.
Despite all the warnings of the impossible roads and the supposedly dangerous locals I made it to La Punta Gallinas and, I loved it. With the years I've come to appreciate the remoteness of places like these. There's something special in getting away from the masses, from the traffic and the noise.
"Don’t go! You’ll get lost! The road is horrible! There are bad people! ”For a few seconds the words of the hotel owner's wife made me a little concerned and then… they made me want to go even more.
The noise, the movement and then the sight of fish in boxes drew me in like a magnet. Those who know me, know that I fish whenever I can and that I’m obsessed with everything fish-related. The discovery that my hotel was right next to a fishing settlement got me pretty excited.
Everything that I imagined Colombia to be, seems to have come to life in a strange, but pleasant way. The music, the parties, the laid-back attitude (at least so far, on the coast).
"Those of us who fought in the war, we can’t ever go back. They’ve got our names in the system. If we come back, they’ll take us away. We’ve been living in this place for 24 years! What has the government done for us? They promise to finally resettle us into a new apartment block. We’ll see.”
“We were out collecting grapes all day. Now all we have to do is press them and then we’ll have a nice get-together. I came back especially for you. Really! Come!”
A man by the sidewalk sells portraits of Soviet party leaders, flags with slogans, badges, WWII medals. A woman opposite lays out vases and silver cutlery. Next vendor has a rocking horse, a chair, a record of Stalin’s recordings from the 50s.
Photokina is the biggest photography/video expo in the world. It takes place every second year in Cologne, Germany and it’s the place to be if you want any part in where the industry is heading, or even if you just like photo/video gadgets.
At long, long last I’m in Georgia! I meant to get here last year, but my Landy had some issues which were “fixed” in remote parts of Turkey. The incredible work of those mechanics meant that I had to fix what was “fixed” at an official Landrover workshop in Izmir...
I’m now into my second week of working on a project for Panasonic Europe in Belarus. Since I became an ambassador for my favourite camera-maker, I proposed to show them how I’ve been using their Lumix cameras in my personal project...
This Photo Diary entry is an announcement, a really exciting one for me. Last week I became a Panasonic Lumix Ambassador.