Join us in Peru and/or Iceland!
Feb19

Join us in Peru and/or Iceland!

Of all the places we get requests to run tours, Peru and Iceland and far and away the most popular.  I get emails almost every week asking when our next Peru travel photography workshop will be.  I get about the same amount of emails for Iceland.  So, it was just a matter of time before we’d go back to Peru, and initiate our first workshop in Iceland. Going Back to Peru Our trip to Peru in 2014 was a massive success.  Not only did we have a great tour filled with incredible imagery, but we had an amazing group of participants which made the tour even more special. Peru is one of the most photogenic countries in the world.  It’s also one of the most diverse places in the world for photography.  In just a 2 week period, we’ll photograph the desert, the coast, the Andes Mountains, and even parts of the rain forest.  As far as subjects are concerned, there will be people, mountains, wildlife, seascapes, and so much more to photograph in the country.  As usual, Jeff Bartlett will be co-leading this tour with me. You can download the full itinerary for Peru here. And, for more information on the trip to Peru or to book, visit this page. Iceland! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be heading back to Iceland.  It’s one of my favourite countries to shoot, and definitely one of the most impressive places I’ve ever been.  As usual, I’ll be running the Iceland photography workshop alongside my buddy and fantastic photographer, Jeff Bartlett.  He has also spent a lot of time in Iceland scouting locations and organizing this trip.  We’ll also have with us a local photographer named Ivan Olaffson who will help guide us around and show us some of the secret photo spots off the usual beaten path. For the full itinerary for Iceland, click here. And, to book, or for some more information on the trip, click here. Images from Peru and Iceland If you’re interested in seeing some of the imagery you can come up with in these two incredible countries, check out the videos below.  The first one is a piece I put together from my first time in Iceland in which I spent a week exploring the ring road of the country location scouting. The second video is from my last photography workshop in Peru: Can’t Join These Ones? If you can’t join these photography workshops, but are interested in potentially joining one in the future, be sure to sign up to the form below.  That way, when we launch future workshops you’ll be...

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Epic Photo Location: The Banaue Rice Terraces

Of all the places in the Philippines, I think it was Banaue that I was most looking forward to. The images of the landscapes and rice terraces are all over the social media and marketing for The Philippines. I couldn’t wait to get my lens on them, and head out and explore them as well. But, as the jeepney I caught from Sagada rolled towards town it poured rain. At times, I’m sure the driver couldn’t see more than 10 meters in front of him because of the fog. But, somehow the ride was still a lot of fun. I should have known it would be a bit of foreshadowing for my next couple days in Banaue. The forecast was showers, with a chance of occasional brilliance. Wandering the Villages around Banaue With heavy fog in the air my first morning in Banaue, I slept in a little bit. Later in the morning, I headed out to do a village trek in the area. I started with a visit to a village called Tam-an. Just outside of Banaue, this little village is perched on a hill’s edge with incredible views of the valley. I stopped there, pulled out the drone, and took a flight to get an overview of the area. It was fun, not only because the views were beautiful, but because the drone served as such a nice ice-breaker into conversations with the locals. They all came out to chat. Then, I pushed on towards the village of Poitan. However, I managed to get totally lost on the way there and found myself wandering aimlessly through some rice terraces. By the time I found the trail down to Poitan, I was covered in mud all the way to my waist. Again, the hike down to Poitan was stunning. It cut across some rice terraces, but also carved along the cliff-side lending to some beautiful views of the area. By the afternoon, the rain rolled back in and cut into my dreams of shooting photos from the classic view of the rice terraces. No Batad, Bad Brendan! I had plans of catching a ride out to an area called Batad. The terraces out that way are meant to be the most beautiful in all The Philippines. However, it poured rain the whole day. And, if I’m being honest with you, I probably should have just fought through it anyways. Of course, the weather could have been better that way – although, to be fair to myself, it probably wasn’t. I hiked up to the viewpoint for sunrise, but struck out. Then, in the afternoon, I hiked up again...

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Manila, Sagada & First Impressions of The Philippines
Feb16

Manila, Sagada & First Impressions of The Philippines

After a visit to Spain that felt shorter than it actually was, I was off again. This time, I was heading to The Philippines – a new country for me. Not only is The Philippines a new country for me, but one of which I had absolutely no expectations. Honestly, I knew very little about The Philippines. My knowledge of Filipino people, too, is limited to those I’ve met. Those I met, I knew to be very friendly, and love photography and basketball. So, I assumed we’d get along. So far, I’m right. Manila I landed in Manila really late, and really didn’t have any time planned there. To be honest, I have little to no interest in Manila. I want to see the nature, countryside, and landscapes of the country. So, the next day, I was already off again. However, on the couple hours I had free in Manila, I did get out and explore a little bit. In doing so, I came up with some of my first impressions, and observations of The Philippines: People are extremely friendly and welcoming. Jeepneys are awesome – local transport. I want one. The people do seem to love basketball – there’s always a game on somewhere. There’s a lot of foreign guys living there and dating local girls – not prostitution, but dating. There is no way I wont stand out – I’m a foot taller than the average person. I’m like a giant Q-Tip wandering around the streets. That night, I caught the bus north on the same island as Manila. It was a 12 hour journey to the town of Sagada. Jet Lagged in Sagada When I arrived in Sagada I was on a bit of a high. And, looking back, there’s a good chance it was more of an adrenaline rush keeping me going. The drive into Sagada as the sun rose was stunning, and I couldn’t wait to get out and explore. However, as I got settled into my hotel in Sagada, it became apparent to me that jet lag was finally catching up with me. I took what was meant to be an hour’s nap before exploring. It ended up being a 3 hour sleep and I nearly missed sunset because of it. With no idea where to go and shoot photos, I made the mistake of asking the hotel receptionists. She recommended a place called Lake Banum. But, after hiking an hour to get there, I realized it wasn’t much of a lake, but more of a swamp. And, the reason I was pointed in this direction wasn’t because the landscape is beautiful, but...

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Some Days in Barcelona
Feb13

Some Days in Barcelona

With less than a week left in Spain, I was kind of left with a choice. I could head to Granada and Ronda and try to shoot both locations, or I could go to Barcelona and take things a little bit easier. And while I’d been to Barcelona before, and both Granada and Ronda are places I’ve been wanting to photograph for ages, with a busy travel schedule coming up in The Philippines soon, it didn’t make much sense for me to race all over southern Spain for a couple days. So, I headed to Barcelona. Location Scouting in Barcelona I’ve been to Barcelona before. But, it’s been over 5 years since the last time I was there. So, I wanted to spend a day to just wander around and get situated a bit. I also wanted to location scout a couple spots that I had been thinking might make for good photo spots. But, in classic Brendan-style, I was a little bit ambitious. My plan was to scout 4 different locations in Barcelona: Sagrada Familia Arch de Triumpf Plaza de Catalunya Plaza de las Cascadas The total location scout would cover a walk of over 7km, one-way. And, I only gave myself about an hour and a half to do it all. Like I said: ambitious. And while I did get way behind on my schedule to explore as well as shoot video footage, it was a nice walk around. In the vlog from the day, I also talk a lot about the business side of my job. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for anything. But, I think it’s important to relay to people that my job is about more than just going out and taking pictures in cool locations. It’s about more than just exploration and adventure – it’s a job. And, like any job there are parts of the business that you’d rather avoid. I spent about 8 hours on this day in Barcelona trying to arrange meetings at a conference I have in March in Berlin. Honestly, my eyes nearly fell out of my head after spending that much time staring blankly into my laptop. Photography at Sagrada Familia Is there a more interesting building in Europe? Basilica Sagrada Familia is just stunning. And, while most people might find themselves a little bit annoyed with the constant presence of cranes and scaffolding, I think it kind of lends to its charm. It seems like the building might never be completed, and that’s kind of part of the fun. On my second day in Barcelona, I spent the entire...

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Meet the Intern
Feb06

Meet the Intern

After spending a couple pretty chilled out days in Valencia getting caught up on work and taking some time to relax, I headed to the city of Alicante.  The reason for my visit to Alicante is that I finally decided on an intern/assistant to work with me on certain projects, and he’s based in the city.  We’re not really planning a project to do together until April, but since we were both in Spain at the same time it made a lot of sense for me to drop in and say hi and do some planning together. Cheap Tapas in Alicante What a better way to get to know someone than over cheap tapas and beer?  Greg (check out his YouTube Channel) and his girlfriend Nellie took me out to a local spot called d’tablas which must be the best cheap tapas in Alicante.  The prices are ridiculous. A beer is 60 cents, and the tapas are 90 cents.  Essentially a beer and a tapa is a buck-fifty. I love the tapas culture in Spain.  I’m the type of person that would rather sample a dozen different things at dinner than have one giant plate of the same thing.  It just works for me. Q&A with Greg Snell My second day in Alicante, we basically took a work day.  But, we also headed up to the castle around sunset. Since I want you guys to get to know Greg a little bit, I ran through some “lightning round” Q&A questions for him.  We talked about everything from gear to travel.  I’ll do another full-on Q&A with Greg once we get down to Patagonia in April. After the Q&A we stayed up at the castle for sunset.  The light was insane.  The location was cool too, there was plenty to shoot in a small little area, so I ended up with a couple cool photos of Alicante I really like. The city is bigger than I was expecting, but it’s cool.  And, it seems like a pretty decent place to be based in Spain. What’s Next? I’ve got less than a week left here in Spain before I’m off on an adventure to The Philippines.  I’m so excited about that trip that it’s actually been a little bit hard for me to concentrate on work and shooting Spain.  It’s not that I’m not loving Spain, I am, I’ve just never been to The Philippines before – and haven’t even spent a lot of time in Asia – so I’m looking forward to the change.  I do, however, still have time here and will be hanging out and shooting some images...

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A Couple Days in Cuenca (Spain)
Jan31

A Couple Days in Cuenca (Spain)

Though I only just arrived in Madrid, I really wanted to get out and explore some of the other towns and cities.  I got a nice little break from travel in Medellin, Colombia, and I was itching a bit to get back onto the road and see some new places.  So, after doing a bit of research, I decided to make my way to a town called Cuenca, which is about an hour from Madrid if you take the fast train. Of course, I took the slow local train which is a 3 hour journey. Pretty Stoked on Cuenca After arriving in town, I headed straight for a part of town known as the Casas Colgadas or hanging houses.  Essentially, the old town of Cuenca is built on this narrow geographical feature that looks a little bit like a spine from above.  On each side of the spine, it’s sheer cliffs.  The houses in the old town of Cuenca are built along this spine with many of them built right out onto the cliff’s edge, and some of them hanging off the edge – hence the name. I was immediately struck by Cuenca.  I think it’s really easy to get a bit desensitized to travel when you do it as often as I do.  Places all start to look the same, or they all remind you of somewhere you’ve been before.  You start to take new destinations for granted a bit. However, every now and then a certain place shakes you back up a bit. It takes you back to the feeling you got in your early days of travel.  It teases at your senses and makes you want to explore.  That’s exactly the feeling I got in Cuenca.  I felt giddy, and just wanted to explore. And Then it Got Cold I was really anxious to photograph Cuenca.  There seemed to be a couple really cool shots to be had in town, and I was really looking forward to it.  Then, in the morning when I went out to shoot, it was cold.  And, I know that for many of you, especially my Canadian friends, you might laugh at my saying that -2 is cold. But, you have to remember that I’ve just come from Colombia.  Also, it’s not like I own any winter clothing. Essentially, I spent the morning freezing and fighting the cold.  The light was cool, the location was beautiful, but I just could not enjoy it as there was this biting wind hissing down the valley and hitting me on the bridge as I shot.  My hands got so cold that I actually couldn’t...

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