Book projects lead me to all parts of the world. For an upcoming volume on the varied and fascinating faiths of the world I am working on, I ventured to Bangladesh to photograph the Bishwa Ijtemi. The World Muslim Congress has been held since 1942 in Tongi and it’s the second largest Muslim congregation in the world after the Holy Hajj. 4 million – and then some – Muslims gather here for several days of activities and devotion. Everyone arrives and departs on trains in Dhaka, resulting in a crush of humanity I’ve only ever experienced in the Kumbh Mela in India.
Bangladesh is a fascinating, gritty country full of extremely friendly and welcoming people. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people want to take selfies with me—it’s not a country that gets a lot of tourists. In Cox’s Bazar we photographed the elegant moon boats; their crescent design aids fishermen to get across sand bars to shore. On the very real side of life, we photographed vast smoldering garbage fields, dusty brick factories, and Asia’s largest shipyard. These are hard workers, who appreciate everything they have and it shows!
10. The Moab region has so much to offer and we have park permits to conduct our workshop in both Canyonlands and Arches NP’s. This is a fantastic place to capture the beautifully sculpted rock formations and stars at night!
9. Check two National Parks off your bucket list. Do you have a National Parks passport? Maybe it’s time to get one and start visiting the sites of “Americas Best Idea!”
8. Our diverse itinerary includes a variety of locations; finding abstracts in reflections along the edges of the river, some of my favorite petroglyphs and pictographs, and of course night sessions.
7. Moab is a small town that relies on tourism to fuel its needs, great food and we plan to share some fantastic meals together!
6. Critiques – what good is a workshop if you’re not there to do a little work? I’ll be giving critiques of your photos as we review them and discuss!
5. Limited to just 8 participants, this retreat is designed to combine the best aspects of a relaxing vacation, inspiring seminar, and hands-on workshop all in one exquisite trip.
4. If you’re a movie buff, this location should be on your bucket list. Movies such as Thelma and Louise and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade filmed scenes here.
3. Mid-March is the perfect time to visit, when things are warming up from the cold winter, yet haven’t reached the scorching days of summer. With a bonus of snow capped LaSal mountain peaks making a great background.
2. Of course, hands-on instruction and educational lectures. I love to teach!
1. Adventuresome learning! I work hard to make sure everyone comes away from these workshops feeling better about and more enriched by their photography skills.
Today is World Hippo Day! As the second largest land animal on earth they are a great subject to juxtapose with smaller animals, especially the birds that swing by the pools and rivers where hippos congregate by day. They almost always live in communities of a dozen or more fellow hippos so capturing a group of them at once and then picking out some unique individuals to focus on can provide a variety of photographic opportunities.
Fun fact – Hippos secrete their own natural sunscreen! They release two chemicals that when combined, help block their skin from the harmful rays of the relentless African sun. These chemicals can turn pink or red when combined, earning them the term “blood sweat”. Yummy!
The internet never forgets! It’s crazy what you can find lingering around out there – like this 1998 Article outlining many of the avenues that got me to where I am today. It’s always interesting to read these articles and be reminded of things that have long since left my daily consciousness. If you’re at all interested in my work and how I got my start, it’s still a relevant read – even if I’m still not wearing the same magnificent moustache!