A Plane Ticket Away

Riots in Russia had me thinking about buying a ticket to Moscow. Shelling in Syria got me wondering what it takes to get smuggled across the Lebanese border. Elections in Libya have me looking at maps for Tripoli. And burning Korans in Afghanistan have me thinking it’s time to keep my head down.

After more than a year since Iraq, I’m starting to think about what’s next. I’ve worked out a situation where if I can come up with a cool story I will be able to go, so now I just need that story. I’ve been looking at a lot of war photojournalism lately, like this from James Nachtwey, and it has me again thinking about a trip, only this time without embedding.

I’ve also been shooting a lot of photos, working deliberately towards improving my composition. Some of my shots have been popping up in cool places, like these on a local ice climbing site. Photography is barely a part of my day job now because the paper has an awesome photographer, but every time I can I pull out my camera. Mostly my photos wind up all over Facebook because I’m just out there having fun, but I’d like to take one of those trips with a mission to only shoot, shoot, SHOOT.

I felt that way when I got back from Iraq, where I spent more time playing with microphones than behind the camera. I wanted the other side. Now I’m trying to figure out how to find the time to make all sides — print, audio, photo and video — happen in one trip. And along with that, how to make money doing it.

So I’ve been perusing plane tickets again, and I’m pretty close to buying. It isn’t the sort of thing where I’m looking at AK-47s this time, but instead an environmental story from South America. I am looking at the whole kit — video, audio, photo and print. But at least this time IEDs won’t be a part of the mix.

That will be soon enough.

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