40 by 40

40 by 40

The outdoors and travel were my first passions, and photography became a natural extension of those pursuits. I love setting goals and making shit happen, so with my 40th birthday a little more than 4 years out, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to create a challenge that will get me doing more of the things I love.

So, my goal is simple:

Take 40 trips by my 40th birthday.  

An Air China 747-800 lands at SFO.

That’s just less than one trip per month, which doesn’t seem too burdensome, yet probably couldn’t happen without putting effort into it either.

The rules are similarly simple:

  • It must be at least an overnight trip
  • It must be planned (for instance, getting caught in weather and not getting home doesn’t count)
  • And it must be more than an hour from home.

Each trip will typically only count as one trip towards the goal, but I will allow myself to bend that rule – if I’m taking a very big trip (i.e. multiple weeks) and visit distinct locations, such as different countries, I’ll allow it to be counted as multiple trips.

Camping counts. Visiting family counts. Weekend getaways count. Epic trips count. Even work trips count as long as I do something extra besides work.

Let the countdown to 40 begin!

I’ll update this post with my ongoing list as I progress.

  1. First trip up soon!
Africa Trip Recap

Africa Trip Recap

This spring I had the great opportunity to visit South Africa, as well as Lesotho and Swaziland. The genesis of the trip was an invite from a friend who was going to visit another friend in Kruger National Park, who is a researcher there. This afforded some behind-the-scenes experiences, including going along for buffalo captures (brief captures to collect data and then release them). In addition to our time with the researchers, we had several days on our own in Kruger, as well as time in Johannesburg, Swaziland, and Lesotho.

Since I typically shoot landscapes, it was a fun change of pace to have such a strong focus on wildlife (later in the trip, in Lesotho, I did predominantly shoot landscapes). As with any trip, no matter how new or familiar, I always take away a few lessons learned, or at least confirmations of past lessons. In no particular order…

Trip to Nepal

Trip to Nepal

Earlier this fall I was fortunate enough to take a trip through Nepal. While my dream was to do a trek in the area, for a few reasons that wasn’t in the cards this time, so instead I took more of a grand tour of the country. This ended up being great as I saw more of the country than I probably would have had I only trekked.

Travel, especially to a Third World country, can provide certain challenges. That’s part of the allure, but I believe knowing a few things before departing can help you make the most of your trip, while not necessarily taking away the excitement of dealing with challenges along the way. Below are a few lessons learned that may help in your own planning for a similar trip.

Recap: Lessons learned on our Iceland and Lofoten photo trip

Recap: Lessons learned on our Iceland and Lofoten photo trip

We recently returned from a two week trip to Iceland and Norway in winter, a bucket-list trip for many photographers. Both have recently grown significantly in terms of photo tourism, both summer and winter, and you may think, “it’s overdone!” but it’s popular for a reason. Yes, it can be crowded, even in winter now, but it’s still worth a visit. Or two!

Documenting trail work

Documenting trail work

This past summer I volunteered for Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), a statewide nonprofit that engages volunteers in stewardship projects across the state.  This includes restoration work, invasive weed control, trail maintenance, new trail construction, and more.

Previously, I had photographed other trail work trips I had been on (see previous post, American Hiking Society (AHS) Annual Report Cover), but this was the first time where I got to primarily photograph, rather than primarily work while occasionally grabbing the camera for a quick shot. It was a fun change of pace (not that hard labor isn’t fun too!) and a good excuse to photograph something besides landscapes.