While the Cowichan Valley Photos web site is primarily about the Cowichan Region we are also about photography. Much can be learned from other photographers as they travel around the world on assignment and Mitchell Kanashkevich’s Journey Through Java gives a great insight into the planning process.
Travel photographers commonly find themselves in interesting dilemmas in planning for international journeys to far-away countries? Amongst these will be the unknown, covering anything from likely communication skills to unfamiliarity with the terrain and regional traditions. How will I move around? Where will I stay? From a photographic gear perspective unknowns surface as well; how many digital cameras should I take? What number of lenses & what focal lengths? Sould I carry a tripod?
Every photographer possesses a unique strategy for coping with this and each destination features a distinct number of complex requirements. Frequently we don’t know if we were really properly prepared until it’s far too late and the trip has begun however trip preparation can minimize the possibility of problems developing and open up the region after your arrival.
Journey through Java is masterfully illustrated in a fashion that only a photographer completely in touch with his/her environment can accomplish. Mitchell talks about his travel preparations in great detail starting with a desire to apply himself to mastering some Bahasa Indonesian, the official language of Indonesia, so as to obtain access and interact with the country and its’ people. Although taking on this challenge for many people would be daunting it’s precisely what made most of his photo taking essay possible.
To not get burdened down by equipment is essential for Mitchell and shows that becoming part of the travel experience and tradition is a lot more significant than the tools that we carry. Mitchell took a Canon 5D camera, Canon 24-70mm and a 20mm f/1.8 Sigma lens. A Canon 580EXII flash with the Canon infrared receiver completed the package with a tripod obtained towards the end of the journey. As Mitchell frequently travels together with his wife he had an extra Canon camera & longer zoom available as well when required, a true bonus. Having travelled extensively myself I can highly recommend perusing this chapter and paying attention to the “less is more” concept. Nothing’s more unpleasant than becoming burdened down because of your equipment.
Mitchell’s creative ideas & the stories behind the images are a true inspiration for any visitor as well as the traveler with camera in tow. Before heading away on your next trip do yourself a favour and purchase a copy of this exceptional e-book. At only $5 USD it will be the least expensive part of your trip. The most expensive part? After viewing Mitchell’s images you’ll be longing for a trip to Indonesia.