My Peru workshop isn’t until September, but after a late afternoon planning call, my mind drifted to the upcoming trip. I’ve been to Peru several times, but the country is so diverse, vast, and challenging that it feels more like a “lifetime” destination than anything else, meaning I could work here for a lifetime and never crack the case. Desert, mountain, coast, city, and jungle are within short flights from Lima. This year we will hit the city, coast, and mountains with an extension to Machu Picchu.
I’ve been to MP several times but I jump at any chance to see this remarkable place. I’ve visited MP during times of flood when we were the ONLY people there, and I’ve visited during times of incredible tourism madness, both provide top-notch shooting opportunities. I’ve seen this place in the rain, fog, and direct sun. I’ve shot 35mm film, 6×6 film, 6×7 film, and Type 665 positive/negative Polaroid. This year I will cover this place with my shiny new 40MP digital camera, and I will sketch, write and record sound.
My co-instructor is an old Peru hand who is also a photographer, book publisher, and museum founder who always throws me challenges. New towns, new environments, new paths through this incredible country. This year we make a southern, coastal stop which will be a brand new experience for me. As a photographer, I must react to this new, unknown, and unfamiliar spot. As a documentary photographer you must, like the Marines, improvise, adapt and overcome. But know going in, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
The sting of the miss followed by the sting of the win, which is enough to fuel the inner fire again and again. These workshops are a chance for us to put home life on hold and to open our eyes and brains to storytelling. Each student will choose their theme, react, and begin to place images on pages. Stories and books will begin to appear.
Some of these images are how old now? And everytime I look at them I think I’ll make it there for one of your workshops one day (here’s hoping you’ll still be teaching at that point, ha!).
Those have to be twelve years old. At least I think so. I’m so curious to go back again. I want to see some of the same places as well as some new stops. I’ve got three more in the works. Albania coming up, then Peru then Lebanon, and then Colombia and or Morocco.
Kinda proved the camera you use doesn’t ultimately make that much difference; it’s the space between the ears that makes the pictures. Some spaces are better than others. Congratulations.
Yep. It’s hitting that shutter button that’s key.