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Back from Peru

April 15, 2010

Amy at Tipon Ruins, shot by workshop student and supreme photo-editor Joann Morsch.

Well, I’m back.

But now I have a real problem.

I’ve, once again, tasted the forbidden fruit of the outside world.

Running a photography business is a full time job, and then some. So, after several months of going back to back to back to back to back with shoots, marketing, advertising, follow up, book making, etc, you get lost in this world and begin to think of the planet as a small place.

Sitting in front of a monitor for hours, days, weeks at a time, and suddenly you can find yourself in a time warp. Add in social media, random online surfing and your life takes you down a path of business isolation.

And then suddenly, there was Peru.

So now I’m ruined.

I’ve been home for four days, and JUST NOW turned on my computer. I walk into the office and can’t really stand the idea of sitting down at the desk and digging back in to the clutter of a my photographer’s life. My life should be about the field, not about being in the tent.

My film, many rolls, is being processed and contacted as we speak. Until that film comes back, I’m somewhat lost in the anticipation of what I will find on those contact sheets. I’m sure there will be disappointment, surprise, happiness and confusion. Even though I had never been to Peru, all of my shoots tend to have these characteristics.

The goal of the trip was to teach a workshop, and luckily, the class went exceptionally well. We made photos. We edited photos. We sequenced photos. We learned book software and we created books. A LOT to do in such a short time, but the students were all game to take on as much as possible.

Peru was enticing in so many ways. Culture, color, landscape, cuisine, textures and of course the people. The weather was also a key component, everything from burn-inducing sun to marble size hail. For me, this was the feather in the cap. When the weather changes, so does the mood of the shoot. I think we often times think that wonderful sunlight is the best light, but for me, the darker, the wetter, the better.

I lost weight which is always a good sign. Losing weight signifies movement, lots of movement, meaning we were on the go for much of the time. And we ate like kings.

Me at Tipon Ruins, shot by workshop student and master photo-editor Joann Morsch

Another aspect I’m very, very happy about was the opportunity for Amy to get back into the field and make some images. It had been several years since we both worked together in the field. Her job is not a shooting job, so her chances to make work are few and far between. Seeing as the class was about making books, and seeing that I shot film and could not make a book of my own work while in Peru, I used her images to mock up and design a book to show the class. She did really well, and I’ve only seen a small percentage of the overall take. She has a great book in there somewhere, we just have to sort through the layers and find the core.

This was also my first time working with Adam Weintraub at and had a great time learning more about he and his Peruvian life. Adam has been in Peru for many years, and knows his way around both the city and countryside. He also likes good food and consistently presented us with some of the best food I’ve ever had while traveling. I don’t consider myself a foodie, and when I’m traveling have always prepared myself to exist, work, on a minimum of niceties and calories, so I was truly amazed at how well we ate and how much this wonderful food added to the experience of being in Peru. I was also able to procure a steady stream of cookies to hole away in my backpack, another constant of mine when I’m on the road. Don’t know why I do this, I just do.

So now I sit here scheming. All I can think about is finding a way to get back to Peru. This happens to me every time I take a trip. The outside world is the perfect example of the grass is always greener. I always think this, or say this, and then suddenly years have gone by and I haven’t made another voyage. Well, this time I can’t allow that to happen. I have to go again. And again.

So if you find yourself staring at the map, spinning the global or Google searching “wanderlust,” then look South and think about Peru. And if you are photo-inclined a workshop might be a good way to go.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2010 5:53 pm

    Completely envious at this particular moment… Really looking forward to seeing some of the images in the coming weeks and reading more about the trip.


  2. Eric Labastida permalink
    April 15, 2010 7:27 pm

    Good to have you back. Hey, is that a HUGE med format cam on your shoulder? That would make my nervous south of the border. but that’s just me. Welcome back. Show more pictures!!!

  3. Missy permalink
    April 16, 2010 11:30 pm

    Welcome home – glad to hear your trip was so successful – looking forward to your pics.

  4. April 17, 2010 7:05 pm

    Uplifting to read! Always a pleasure! Welcome back!

    Want you to know I’m (still) working on getting in motion soon!

    Out of the northeast, west, south over the border, lingering here and there, all the way down, eventually thru to Peru.

    Whatever the circumstance it takes a lot of research, planning, anticipation and yes, googling and globe searching! It also brings that wonderful feeling of hope.


    • April 17, 2010 8:02 pm

      Well worth the effort. Only scratched the surface of Peru, maybe not even that. Key is to keep moving, whether that be at home or aboard, or mental more than physical.

  5. gladiarama permalink
    April 19, 2010 1:29 pm

    looking forward to your BW pictures…

    • April 19, 2010 6:52 pm

      scanning at the moment……….

    • April 20, 2010 6:34 pm

      I’m soooo sick right now. Am taking my time. Pictures on the way. Some good, I think, others not so good.

  6. April 20, 2010 9:16 pm

    Wish I could have been there to see the many, big hummimgbirds. Did you get pictures of them? Hope so. Glad your back.

    • April 21, 2010 3:17 am

      no pics mom, they were way too fast. the largest hummingbirds I’ve ever seen, and beautiful, dark violet and blue.

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