As many of you may know—particularly if you follow me on Facebook, the last few months of 2018 proved to be a bit of a challenge. I suppose you could say that I’ve proved once again that continent-hopping in search of those “nailed it” photographic moments is not for sissies.
As noted here back in September, I spent the better part of a month hauling my forty-plus pounds of photo gear through very challenging terrain through the Australian “Outback.” Well, I paid the price for that with an insanely tricky and righteously painful knee that took more than a month of rehab to trust again. That was promptly followed by a twinge in my shoulder as I tried to be a hero, reaching to catch a piece of luggage about to fall out of an airplane’s overhead storage.
What started as a serious “twinge” eventually had me falling down the rabbit hole of surgery, bed rest, and months of physical therapy...all of which kept me grounded throughout December and during these early weeks of 2019. The rest was good, and it gave me time to finish a pair of great 2019-2020 Calendars, which I hope you’ll check out. They’re very high-quality and will help you keep up with my travels over the next 12 months!
But I’m (almost) back! The knees are running at 90% efficiency, and I can actually climb stairs in both directions, which was impossible four months ago. And the shoulder is finally starting to mobilize, although rehab exercises where my physical therapist “opens up a joint capsule” brings home the concept of “breathing through the pain.” But I’ve now got great mobility and the walking stride to match and I’m now back into the kind of shape it takes to haul 35 lbs of camera gear around the world.
Speaking of travel...
On February 1st I shove off for a week-long “Blues Cruise,” which a opportunity for getting close to some musical icons and grabbing some candid portrait shots.
As soon as I return to L.A., it’s time to pack the gear again for what promises to be another “ultimate photo trip” to India in search of Bengal tigers. It’s an 8-person expedition led by wildlife photographers Piper McKay and Shivang Mehta. One of our stops will be Bandhavgarh National Park, home to the world’s greatest concentration of tigers.
I’ll be back stateside in mid-April, with my annual gallery exhibition in Coos Bay, Oregon’s Black market Gourmet on May 5th. I hope you’ll stop by so we can celebrate Cinqo de Mayo together!
A bit of rest (and processing photos), then it’s Alaska for bears-and-leaping-salmon in July, followed by South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and a trek through the Kalahari Desert with my daughter Jennifer and Amy Attenborough (niece of BBC producer and famed naturalist Sir David Attenborough) this Fall.
Until then...crossing my fingers for strong knees and shoulders in 2019!