This year has been a bittersweet year for me. I am retiring from assignment work and will no longer teach field workshops as of this coming November. I look forward to the relaxation to come and the additional time to pursue my car collecting hobby, but I will also miss the chances to tell stories with my camera.
In a few weeks I’ll make my final trip to Alaska to photograph the great Bald Eagle. It’s my last big assignment and my last field workshop. I will be lucky enough to sit in China Poot Bay one more time, gazing over the back side of the Kenai mountain range. I’ll get to be up close and personal to all sorts of birds, whales, sea lions, otters and more.
Even though I’ve made many trips north, I am still excited. It’s very interesting to me that I can still have trouble falling asleep thinking about the pictures I will make on this trip. And I will be experimenting right up to the end, working with both stills and video, including high-speed motion capture, time-lapse, you name it. I’ll be working on point-of-view shots made with GoPro Hero cameras. I’ll be working with micro four thirds cameras and lenses proving that they are good enough (in the right hands) to produce salable work. And all this will happen with my good friends Robert O’Toole and Rich Harrington along side.
Bookending my assignment work will be my last two field workshops. I haven’t led many workshops over the last few years. Despite what some of you think, they are very hard work for very little pay. I do them in order to share the experience, not to make a buck. But this will be special since I know it’s the last time. We have two groups for which this will be a first. They will marvel (with me) as the eagles fly by. They will be awed (as will I) by the unmatched beauty of the Alaskan landscape. But for them it will be the first time. For me it will be the last.
I’ve literally been having trouble sleeping. That’s how it is when you are passionate about your work. If YOU aren’t having trouble sleeping, then you need to look for more passion in your work. That’s the real message in today’s post. I’ve been doing this for longer than most of you have been alive, yet, I can see the pictures in my mind. Now I just have to go catch them.
As is my custom, once I get on the road, I’ll post a regular diary of the trip here at Photofocus. I hope you enjoy it. I know I will.