Every week, I see amazing views, things that might be a great shot, and I usually don’t stop to shoot it because LIFE GETS IN THE WAY, and there are places to go, and deadlines to meet.
This time, we saw something amazing and actually stopped.
Here’s what we saw from the car, which didn’t match what our eyes saw.
No big deal, right? It’s a sunset.
Instead of going to our destination, we flipped around, stopped the car and got out to actually shoot this. And no, I didn’t have the Nikon of Infinite Beauty, so this next photo came from my phone (Pixel 3).
That’s uncropped, unedited and untouched. It may not be the best shot of the dozen I took. I’ll have to check.
Doesn’t matter, because I’m thrilled to have shot it. So worth it.
I’ll try to shoot more, wherever I go. Not just on vacations overseas or when there’s an event like a wedding. This photo happened on a normal day that just happened to be when the Sun God decided to go crazy and paint the sky.
If you travel to India, autorickshaws are everywhere, working as cabs and hauling cargo. They have three tiny wheels, itty bitty engines and are more like motorcycles than cars, but they’re cheap and useful, especially in big cities.
This looks like something George Lucas had his CGI wizards do for STAR WARS EPISODE 12: THE REVENGE OF JAR JAR BINKS, for the scene where Jar Jar lands his shuttle for serious diplomatic negotiations with Trade Federations robots or whatever.
But no, it’s a real photo. I shot it in Dubai, which has the craziest buildings in the world. Some neighborhoods look very old school, like it’s the 1500s, and others are going hard for the Buck Rogers vibe. And until somebody builds something bigger, they’ve got the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, which Tom Cruise put to use in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL.
Have you ever kicked yourself for driving past something amazing and not having your Nikon of Infinite Beauty to shoot it?
This is sort of the opposite of that feeling. I was shooting up Denver, CO and didn’t think anything of a boring old stoplight and the blazing sun. But two boring little things combined to make a little magic.
Also: do not look directly at our local star, or expose your camera to our neighborhood starshine. Ruins your eyes and camera sensor. Be careful out there.
So I’ve been on houseboats in Kerala twice now, and it’s something I’d happily do again. Beautiful.
There’s a network of canals, with rice fields below the canals and villages alongside, all connected to giant lakes. An amazing place. You sleep in the houseboats, eat there, and visit villages. Also: we ate huge local tiger shrimp with massive claws. They looked like extras from STARSHIP TROOPERS.
There’s something special about black-and-white landscapes, and not simply because Ansel Adams turned the genre into an art form. This is a stretch of the Columbia River, which is not in Columbia at all, but in Washington state — not to be confused with Washington, D.C., with the D.C. standing for “District of Columbia.” It’s like they WANT us to be confused.
There’s a petrified forest near where I shot this, and on the other side of the river, a row of giant steel horse sculptures that you can hike up to see. Worth your time, if you’re driving on I-90 and need a break. The entire northwest corner of ‘Murica is glorious to photograph: Washington state, Alaska, Hawaii — you could spend a lifetime hauling around a Nikon of Infinite Beauty and shooting up the place. I recommend it.
Shot this at a wedding rehearsal dinner for a cousin, who got married in an actual castle. NOT TOO SHABBY.
Also: we drove around Germany, Belgium, Austria and such in the Citroen of Itty Bittiness, which could get up to about 160 kilometers per hour before shaking to pieces. Everyone is required to rent a car in Europe and zoom-zoom on the Autobahn, which will make you come back to ‘Murica and think that 70 miles an hour is completely nancypants.
Here’s a gratuitous shot of the Citroen, and yes, it had a red roof for some reason. Nobody knew why.
So this Random Man on the Interwebs — and yes, that line is the modern version of, “A man walks into a bar .. ” — this Random Man, he put a high-def camera on a drone. Then he flew it above a fireworks show, took the drone inside exploding fireworks and set the video it to music.
So this man spends his time (a) shooting horrifically beautiful photos by (b) putting on shorts and (c) taking a waterproof camera into (d) giant waves on the shores of a tropical beach.
He’s making money doing it, and it all started accidentally. Check out some of the photos and how he gets them.
Epic, right? Love the shots and it’s got to be fun getting those shots. My brother-in-law, David the Fellow Swede, taught me to bodysurf on a beach in Kerala, India, which we did for days, so I know the joy of having waves tumble and smash you across the sand and rocks again and again. THERE IS STILL SAND IN MY LEFT EAR. Good times. And this guy is tackling massive waves that could do more than separate his shoulder. Hey, if it’s not dangerous, it’s not rock and roll.
I am a semi-literate photographer who’s lugged the Nikon of Infinite Beauty all over the place, and this man should inspire every photographer to think differently.
However: copying this man won’t work. The first person to paint a canvas black got semi-famous, and sure that took guts and imagination, or possibly a lot of drugs in the ’60s and overthinking the whole thing. The second and third people to paint a canvas black got ignored.