What a year. I often take some time around now to sit with my pen and notebook, a cup of coffee, and my thoughts. I’m not big on resolutions but I do like to look back at the year and be grateful, think about lessons learned, and celebrate. This year took me to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania, before I jumped in my Jeep, and headed to Maine, only to be turned back at the border, changing my plans for a year spent largely in the American south west. Instead we drove clear across a snowy Canada, coast to coast, in February before putting me back in Vancouver to find a home again. In April I flew back to Europe to lecture in Switzerland, have an adventure in Sweden, and teach again in Italy.
I spent more of the summer at home than usual, but in July spent 10 days bashing my head against the roof of a 4×4 as we explored Mongolia’s Gobi desert. In August it was B.C.’s famous Whipsaw Trail in the Jeep, then the first Vancouver Gathering before taking off for 3+ weeks to the Canadian Arctic, only to get shot at on the Dempster Highway and freeze my ass off, and come home to photograph Orcas off Vancouver Island, proving that I’m better at photographing stuff that doesn’t move. I spent much of the fall in my Vancouver loft, printing my work and working on various projects, and awaiting the release of my latest book, The Print and the Process. In November it was 2 weeks in Kathmandu, then home to catch a plane for Patagonia and a boat for the Antarctic. Somewhere in there I wrote a couple ebooks, launched PHOTOGRAPH, a digital quarterly magazine for creative photographers, and started my first fine-art book, SEVEN. Right now I’m catching my breath.
For those that keep asking, I’m walking better than ever now, and settling into a new normal. My left foot has healed well, but my right is still quite painful at times and limited in its mobility. Some days are better than others, but I think I’m ready to try some light hikes and get myself back into the wilderness beyond where Emily, my Jeep, can take me. That’s my 2013 project. Speaking of 2013, I’m off to Kenya in January for my first assignment work since the accident. Then it’s to Hokkaido with my friend Martin Bailey. In March I’m doing one of a couple conference appearances in Canada, this one in Bragg Creek, Alberta, and the other in New Brunswick, where I’ll be keynoting with Freeman Patterson, one of my first childhood photographic heroes and a man to whom my focus on vision and intent owes so much. I’m giddy about that one. In April it’s Italy for the month, then home to sail north to photograph grizzly bears in the Khutzeymateen for a week in May, before spending a week exploring the Haida Gwaii. And then it kind of just keeps going, but I think I’m most excited about releasing SEVEN sometime after that trip, and the whole process of printing and binding and making something so personal.
Anyways, much to be grateful for, and as always you are at the top of the list of things in my life for which I give thanks. The image at the top of this post is your January desktop wallpaper, shot on the infamous Drake Passage. You’ll find your own meaning, but to me, at least for today, it speaks of possibility and the beauty of what unknown seas stretch before us. I know I’m early, but Happy New Year, my friends.