08 Nov 2012 The Long Journey Home (Podcast 354)
Today, I have a bunch of images to talk about from my recent trip around the world with the Pixels 2 Pigment tour. As I leave for Antarctica tomorrow, and I only have a few hours left to do this, I figured I’d just throw all the images into a blog post, and then talk through them without my usual manuscript.
I’d like to say a special thank you to the following people for your hospitality, help and kindness while I was traveling. If I forgot someone please accept my sincerest apologies! Chris Klapheke at www.outdoorphotogear.com, Lauren Margolis, Chris Owyoung, Allen Murabayashi and Andrew Fingerman at Photoshelter, Jack Andrys, Doug Kaye, Forrest Tanaka and Frederick Van Johnson in the San Francisco area, Ron Cunniff and Scott Katzenoff from New York, Michael Durrant and Sean Galbraith from Toronto, and Milo Volt, my amazing musician friend from London. And of course, my uncle, aunt and cousins in Fairfield Ohio, and my brilliant brother and other family and friends back home in England.
I’d also like to thank Breathing Color for their amazing support of the Pixels 2 Pigment workshops, and X-Rite and Nik Software for providing the amazing giveaways!
Anyway, here are the photos that I talk about in today’s Podcast episode. Click on any of the thumbnails to view them large, and open up your browser screen nice and wide to see the images as large as possible. Especially the last one of West Park, which is a panorama of my childhood playground. Once the images are open, you can navigate back and forth with your mouse or keyboard arrow keys, and if you scroll down, there’s a bit of shooting data too, for you to check my settings, as I don’t give my shutter speeds and apertures today, to keep the audio relatively short.
Why “The Long Journey Home”?
Finally, a word on why I called this episode “The Long Journey Home” – As many of you know, I was diagnosed as having a brain tumor in June 2011, and before those of you that weren’t aware of that drop off your seats, it’s all gone now. I was incredibly lucky, as it wasn’t cancerous, and the dream-team of doctors headed by the Neurosurgeon Dr. Johki did everything right, making me 100% now, if not better.
At the time, I’d just given up my old day job and incorporated Martin Bailey Photography K.K. to start a new life as a full time photographer. I could have ended up blind, or paralyzed, or of course even dead, but someone must have smiled on me, and I’m still here, living out the rest of my life. As I gazed across at some of the scenery I’ve seen and photographed over the last couple of months, and looked forward to my trip to Antarctica from tomorrow for six weeks, I was reminded once again about just how very lucky I am to be here, and have the things that I have, know the people that I know, and do the things that I do.
In 2010 of course, I’d renounced my British citizenship, and became a Japanese national. I have to admit, that in the previous visits back to the UK since I moved out to Japan way back in 1991, it had seemed like a grotty gray place full of people that our Antipodean friends like to refer to as whinging Poms. And for a time, I would have had to agree with them. But on this trip, Britain was alive and despite the obvious problems with the economy, everyone was upbeat, and as I learned, Staying Calm and Carrying On, with their daily lives.
Maybe it was because I’ve been away so long, or maybe Britain’s amazing achievements at the Olympics really lifted everyone’s spirits, but for the first time in a long time, I was proud to be able to say that although I’m no longer British, I’m as proud as can be to have been born and raised there.
So, there are multiple reasons for the Long Journey Home analogy – firstly, I’d already been traveling for a month before I got to England, and it would be 46 days before I reached my home in Japan. But, there was also the fact that this was the first time that I had managed to get back to England after the brain tumor scare, and it was really nice to see so many of my relatives and at least some of my very special friends.
I think the biggest thing for me though, was that after not really appreciating how beautiful a place Britain can be for really over 20 years, the new appreciation I found for the warm people, and beauty of the towns, architecture and countryside of my birthplace, I really did feel as though I’ve finally come full circle, and I felt for the first time in a long time, as though I’d been home.
Also, I’m proud to have Squarespace on board as our current sponsor.
Visit Squarespace.com/MBP and use the code MBP11 for a free trial and 10% off new accounts.
Anyway, because this was an ad-lib chat, there is no manuscript today, but you can listen with the player at the top of the post, or download the audio files with the links below, or subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.
Finally, I’m very excited to be able to tell you about a new tour that I’ve just finished working out the details – We’re going to Iceland! And you can come too of course. The tour is 11 days, from August 26 to September 5, 2013, with 9 full days of amazing photography. Details are at https://mbp.ac/iceland2015 [updated link] so do check that out if you are interested. Note that if you book while I’m away over this next two months, you may not get an confirmation email until I get back home on December 30, but please don’t hold off booking if you want to come, because it will be a first come first served basis.
There are 14 spaces, with two instructors, me and Tim Vollmer, the local expert and amazing photographer. If we should go over 14 bookings, the additional payments will be refunded in full on December 30, and you’d be placed on our cancellation list. I hope to see you there!
See you next year
A final word here, note that although I’m going to be off the air again now until the end of the year, I will be back and will be doing multiple episodes per week when possible, to maintain my personal commitment to release 50 episodes a year, just like the last seven years.
Details of 2013 Iceland Tour: https://mbp.ac/iceland
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