Oman for National Geographic Traveler – Photography Assignment

I am back from my assignment for the Netherlands version of National Geographic Traveler.

I must admit, the climate in the Netherlands is much more conducive to clear thinking. From the moment we stepped onto the tarmac in Oman, it was about heat and humidity. Please note, I have become accustomed to stepping out of airplanes and being greeted with a different climate, but stepping out of the plane in Muscat was like walking in to a brick wall of fire and water. It was +45 and humid. To survive in the Capital, Omanis travel between air conditioned atmospheres as quickly as possible. When one taxi driver was asked what they did before air conditioning and he simply responded, ‘It was bad’.

The interesting thing about Oman was the layer of modern paint applied over a multi-thousand year history. It has been modernized in 30 years and once you break through that layer of paint, it shows. However, I think that I will let Thijs Joosten, the writer and editor of NG Traveler tell us more when his article is published.

On another note, I have never been to such a harsh climate for photography gear. Even the Arctic was nicer. Oman has some serious heat and some serious humidity. Stepping outside during the day with your cameras, is like stepping into a swimming pool atmosphere, the lenses fog right up. And Oman has sand so fine a simple gust of wind blows it everywhere.

A tip for future travelers, don’t wear ‘flip flops’ in the desert, the sand that gets kicked up when you ‘flop’ is at a perfect angle to cover your camera on your shoulder.

National Geographic Photography Competition – Judging

A few weeks ago I received an email from the web editor at National Geographic here in the Netherlands informing me that every month they run a competition for amateur and semi-professional photographers.

Initially I was a little confused, I was set to head to Oman for the magazine and was wondering why I was being informed about this competition. However, when I read the second paragraph and realised they were asking me to judge the entries. I enthusiastically agreed. Judging that month’s images, (they narrowed it down to 12) and choosing the 3 that I felt were the strongest was quite interesting.

It was a unique experience to look at another person’s images critically, judging them against each other for composition, mood, emotion and technicality. There were some great images in the 12 that were sent to me and it was a tough decision to make. But, you can see the results of my choices here, take a look.

Cape Farewell Photography Exhibit – Pan Canada Tour

If we ever needed a good example of how the sum of a product is greater then its’ parts, we need to look no further then the Cape Farewell Photography Exhibit. Through the hard work of countless people, the British Council office in Ottawa, the voyagers and staff of the Cape Farewell voyage, and then the follow up phone calls and edits, the photography exhibit is currently on a Canadian tour.

It will be exhibited at 8 Legislative Assemblies across Canada and Parliament Hill in May. This means that a Climate Change exhibit and event is taking place in the halls where it can affect those that make the decisions. I think that that is exciting.

On a side note, when your images are shown on Parliament Hill, I think that you get to become a ‘Nationally Acclaimed’ Photographer.

Dates Below

Cape Farewell Photography Exhibit – pan-Canadian tour dates

Monday March 6 – Monday March 16 – Northwest Territories LA

Monday March 9-Tuesday March 31 – Saskatchewan LA

Monday April 20-Friday May 15 – Prince Edward Island LA (reception Wednesday April 22, 12:00-1:00)

Tuesday April 21-Friday May 15 – Yukon LA (reception Tuesday April 21, 11:00-12:00) (end date TBC)

Monday May 4 – Friday May 30 – Manitoba LA

Monday May 4 – Friday May 30 – Johnson GEO Centre (St. John’s, Newfoundland)

Tuesday May 26 – Parliament Hill (one day event only – 5:00-7:00)

Monday June 3 – Friday August 28 – Nunavut LA (dates TBC)

Monday August 17-Friday September 11 – British Columbia LA (dates TBC)