Sunday | Explorations

I slept late, waking up to the morning light streaming through an open window, sounds coming from the city streets below.  It was hot when I walked out of the apartment building, already 26 degrees.  It didn’t matter.  I was in Paris, with the entire day ahead of me to explore my favourite city.  I walked without destination or purpose.  18,470 steps later, I finished the day on a patio where I enjoyed a lovely dinner before retiring for the night.

It was a perfect day.

Click here to read part four of this series

Saturday | Fatigue | Movement

We are stopped at the exit by a soldier, weapon slung across his chest, who informs us that there is an unattended package being examined to ensure that it isn’t an explosive device.  He looks young, but his eyes reveal an experience beyond his years.  Everyone around us remains calm, seeming to accept what has become the new norm for international travel in many parts of the world.  We circle around to another exit, find the taxi stand, and soon we are en route to Paris.

Spencer and I have both been here many times, however the thrill of a Parisian cab ride never gets old.  The conversation is boisterous, speed limits and lane markers are ignored as often as they are followed, and in no time at all we are at our Air B’n’B for the week.

I make the mistake of sitting down for a few minutes and the fatigue hits immediately.  I have been up for 19 hours at this point, drained by the 10 hour flight and the rigours of travel.  We hit the streets of Paris, ostensibly to find food and explore, but for me it really is just about staying awake right now.  You have to power through that first day, forcing yourself to absorb the 9 hour time difference and adjust your clock right away.  

I walk the streets of Paris, streets I have walked many times in the past, without focus or intent.  My camera somehow still makes it up to my eye though, my subconscious seeing photos even when I am not. 

We walk for hours, shooting well into dusk, and then finally we make our way back home.  Tomorrow, after a good night’s sleep, the week begins for real.  

I can’t wait.

Click here to read part THREE of this series

Friday | Departure | Airports

I say goodbye to my wife outside of the airport, my heart filled with conflicting emotions as always.  The excitement I feel for travel, for new photographs and new friendships, mixes with the sadness that comes from being away from my girls.  I have fought a dichotomy like this my whole life: musician and paramedic, paramedic and photographer, family man and educator.  It is par for the course when you pursue multiple passions I suppose… but it never gets easier.

In a few hours I board a plane to Paris, where I’ll be teaching a 5 day travel photography workshop with my friend Spencer Wynn.  I’m traveling light this week, shooting with a Fujifilm X-T3 and a pair of small lenses (the new Fujinon 16mm f/2.8 and the 23mm f/2).  I could do this trip with just one lens of course, my preferred gear pack for travel, but I’ve been looking forward to putting the new 16mm through its paces.  Add in my iPad, a few changes of clothes and a toothbrush and I am good to go.

Wheels up at 1:30pm… definitely time to make a few photos while I wait.

We land at Charles De Gaulle airport the next morning at 8:00am local time.  A lost day; a world away.  Early morning sunshine beams through the windows as we exit the plane and I am compelled to shoot a few frames before exiting the terminal. 

I speak to the customs officer in broken French, meet Spencer outside, and our week begins.

Note:  I will be blogging this trip a little bit differently than previous entries on this site; think of it more as a daily photo journal rather than the long structured articles I usually write.

I hope you enjoy it.