That was a hell of a long year, which feels like it went by really fast and didn’t even happen.
This was 100% the best year of my life without question. So many travels and so many goals reached. I met so many awesome new people and I think 2019 is going to be just as good if not better than 2018.
If you read my post last year about how I was going to travel the world in 2018, well it happened. I didn’t get to visit as many places as I had hoped because I skipped summer and Nov/Dec. But honestly all the plane rides, getting up early, being in tons of different climates, planning the trips, getting sick after every trip, etc was a lot more work than I had expected. I’m impatiently awaiting teleportation because I’ll never be a fan of airports. I think next year I’ll be stacking trips together instead of flying back and forth from California.
Tavel/landscape photography is a straight up job, nothing about traveling for long periods of time is easy. Although I wouldn’t trade it for anything else, I love every second of it, everyday is a new exciting adventure.
A lot of other things happened this year as well but lets talk about the travels first:
My favorite place in the whole world! I drove all around chasing the northern lights and one night it was a KP 7, aka almost max magnitude aurora. A solid way to start off the travels, can’t wait to go back next year! (cinematic video here)
My favorite Hawaiian island all the way. I did my first aerial photography tour, literally mind blown. The Na Poli Coast and the crazy amount of greenery on this island was amazing! If I go back to Hawaii this is my go to island.
Quite the culture shock but I had so much fun shooting all over the country and riding the train everywhere. Cherry blossom season lived up to the hype I’ve been hearing over the years 100%! (cinematic video here)
New Zealand is one of the most majestic places in the world, so much diversity in the landscape around every corner. Everything from giant mountains, to waterfalls, to beaches and the ocean… and the Wanaka Tree. I did my second aerial photography tour there and couldn’t believe what I saw, the whole trip was beyond epic. (cinematic video here)
Banff National Park & Niagara Falls, Canada:
Oh Canada! Went there twice this year and its beautiful across the board. I put off going to my neighboring country for a long time and now I can’t wait to return. Moraine and Louise Lake are total tourist traps but oh man that turquoise water is a whole other experience in person. And Niagara Falls is quite the force of nature in person. A wonder of the world for sure! (cinematic video here)
Epic mountains, crazy roads, old world architecture and all the food and desserts. Literally too much food. The fresh mountain air alone is worth going there. No words for this epic place. (shout out to the homie Albin for showing us around, cinematic video here)
Georgia & Tennessee:
Just a little family get together, always fun visiting spots in my own country once in a while. The Southern Fall colors never disappoint, hoping to do more domestic travel next year!
So many awesome places, I want to go back and revisit every place over again. One day!
Check out the full cinematic video of my entire 2018 here:
And on top of all the traveling I switched camera systems from Canon to Sony right before I went to New Zealand, 100% still no regrets. Very excited for future mirrorless camera technology, no matter what camera brad it may be. The Sony hype is real!
I’m excited to say the traveling isn’t going to end in 2018, I’ll be traveling a bit more in 2019. Currently I only have Thailand and Bali booked in January but on my radar/wishlist is Peru, Argentina, Norway, Italy, Scotland, Amsterdam, France and Greece. Huge fingers crossed for Greenland and Africa (not easy places to travel to).
I also plan on visiting more places around the US, there’s just too much amazingness out there! Hoping to hit Yellowstone (finally), Grand Tetons, Glacier NP, White Sand Dune National Monument, Oregon, Monument Valley and The Salt Flats in Utah.
2019 is the final year before we move into the 2020s. I’m hoping with all my travels and solid portfolio I’ll be able to elevate my business a bit more in prep for something big in 2020. Which I’ll talk about later :).
As far as non-photography things that happened, I hit one of my long term goals and lost 100lb! Did it while traveling 1-2 weeks out of the month and staying on my routine and program. If I can do it so can anyone else! 2/3rd of the way to my final goal, hoping that’ll happen by the end of next year or 2020, the majority is done so I’m not in a rush to lose the rest.
I thought I’d add a little extra FAQ section on this post since I get asked the same questions over and over:
How do you afford to travel all the time?
In 2016 I decided I wanted to quit film and travel full time and pursue landscape photography. I saved as much money as I could from my job then in 2017 I still did a little bit of freelance work and sold all my DIT gear, which was a good bit of money.
I also make money from my travel photos, still do freelance work (while traveling and at home, photo/film), so it’s not just like I’m traveling for fun, it’s still work. I also live at home and try to minimize as many expenses as I can.
Favorite country you’ve been to?
Iceland all the way, I feel 100% at peace there. My goal in life is to live there in my old age.
What camera do you shoot with?
Sony A7RIII since May 2018, everything prior was on the Canon 5DIV/5DSR.
How do you travel for cheap/find good deals?
The #1 way for this is to accumulate points and gain status with hotels, airlines and car rentals. If you plan to travel a lot it’ll pay off in the end with perks and reward points, even if it costs a little extra per booking. On the flipside of that if you purely want cheap tickets everytime, there’s so many websites and apps out there dedicated to this.
Also another little tip is to use a VPN when booking. If you’re buying tickets from country to country in Europe for example and you buy it in Merica’ it might cost more as opposed to if you “were in Europe”.
Do you ever feel not safe/in danger when traveling?
I listed all the countries I visited up above and honestly at no point did I ever feel any sketchy moments or like anybody was scoping me out. If anything I felt more safe in those countries than I did in my own. In Iceland if you go 20 minutes outside the city, people barely exist.
With that being said if you go to very touristy locations, like Paris or Italy you need to be aware of your surroundings 100%. Scams and pickpocketers are definitely out there. Never leave your stuff unattended and take precautions against said things.
How do you edit your photos and do you use presets?
I use Adobe Bridge to sort through my photos and Adobe Camera Raw to edit, merge bracketed shots and Photoshop CC to clone/fix issues/focus stack, etc. I only use Lightroom if I need to edit a ton of photos at once. And no I don’t use presets, every image is edited individually. All my photos are shot and edited with large scale printing in mind.
Mac or PC?
PC all the way. I used to love Mac but they’re just overpriced cool looking computers now. Especially since PC can output ProRes now. I use a Dell XPS 15″ 9560 while traveling and HP Z840 18 core workstation at home.
How do you stay super jacked and healthy while traveling all the time?
The truth is I don’t, one or two weeks of not lifting and less than a perfect diet out of the month isnt going to ruin my progress. Sometimes there’s a whole month or two in between travels and when I’m home my diet is locked in and I’m at the gym 6-7 days a week, 2-3 hours a day. Staying healthy and active is super important, especially when traveling a lot!
If you couldn’t travel what kind of photography would you do instead?
Commercial and high concept portraits all the way. Infact when I’m not traveling I try to do those kinds of shoots already.
Which country has the best food?
It’s a tie between Iceland and New Zealand. Never had a single bad meal in either countries.
Does pineapple belong on pizza?
And with that I’ll see you all in 2019!
If you have any questions or comments leave one below. Thanks for reading!
All photos from this post are available to print here.
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