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  • Last Flight Out Photography!

    It's really an attitude...Last Flight Out...we don't want to go home early...we don't want our vacation to end...we take the Last Flight Out, and enjoy a few more hours of our holiday. If you go on a photo tour with us, we will maximize your fun before getting back to work...it's Last Flight Out Photography!!

    Scotty Graham has been leading Dive Trips, Photo Tours, Photowalks, and Photography Workshops for the past 20 years. He is assisted by keen photographers/educators/adventurers who are the best in the industry, and have the right attitude! Fun is the name of the game. Why not enjoy some time off with like-minded people that enjoy photography and always take the Last Flight Out.

    Life is short....get out and LIVE...and create memories through your photos along the way with Last Flight Out Photography!! Hope to meet you soon....

Explore The Elements

A Photo Contest

I don’t usually enter photo contests. There are many reasons why not, but I will not bore you now with those reasons. However, when I saw this contest on Google Plus (a post from Elia Locardi, a photographer I follow and admire…a fellow Florida Keys Boy), it grabbed my attention. Truthfully, it stopped me in my tracks. It made me THINK. This is not your usual photo contest. It’s more like a “Photo Essay” contest. The assignment reads as follows…

The Explore the Elements contest invites photographers and bloggers to showcase images from their travels that best capture and represent the essence of each of the four categories: Earth, Water, Fire and Air. There is no set requirement on how long you’ve been blogging, so bloggers with new blogs or old are all encouraged to take part.

Bear in mind that the categories are subject to your own interpretation, but should represent the corresponding elements, so be sure to read through each category description before submitting your images.

OUCH. I stared at my computer for almost 4 hours thinking WHAT photos would I use? How do I interpret EARTH, WATER, FIRE and AIR??   What will others post? How will mine compare? I thought, “this is a contest I HAVE to enter…it is unique and really forces me to think, and I like the challenge”.

My Thoughts on The “Elements”

I am a photographer and a traveler. This blog showcases my photography and my travels. When I think of EARTH, WATER, FIRE and AIR, I don’t think of one destination for Earth, one for Water, one for Fire, and one for Water…No. As soon as I saw those words, ONE destination came to mind. My favorite spot on the planet (so far, anyway) came to mind. That spot is Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. A dive destination. I can’t think of a single spot on Earth that better represents the ELEMENTS. It is pristine. Unspoilt. It is nature at its best. It is remote. It is relatively unexplored. It is one of the last paradises left on our planet.

The following photos of the “Elements” represents ONE day in Raja Ampat….Starting in the AIR, then diving into the WATER, experiencing fish on FIRE, and then relaxing back on EARTH after the dive….ah, RAJA AMPAT !!!

AIR

Represents things that grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement

When I think of AIR, I think of flying…I am a helicopter pilot, after all.  AIR is a medium we can’t see, but it is there. We can feel it. It is expansive…it is never ending. It is freedom. It is uncluttered. It’s what allows us to live and breath. It is life.

Air

 

WATER

Represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world

Ah, WATER. It covers about 71% of our planet. When you dive into the water, a new wonderful world appears.  Like AIR, you can’t see it, but it is there. You can feel the current, the depth, the temperature. It is populated with more life than we can find above the water, but supports life for our entire planet. It is my favorite element, for sure.

Water2

 

FIRE

Represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world

FIRE isn’t always bright orange flames of heat or lava spewing from a volcano…

Fire

 

EARTH

Represents the hard, solid objects of the earth

We can only spend a limited time underwater, then it is time to return to EARTH. Where we live. A fragile place. A place of beauty. A place that doesn’t move, yet is dynamic. A place that interacts with all of the other elements. It is where we sit and breathe the AIR, look at the WATER and feel the FIRE. It is the one element that was created by the other elements. It is our home.

Earth

 

BONUS

Where ALL The Elements Meet

FIRE, AIR, WATER, and EARTH all interact in one final moment of the day…

ALLelements

I would like to nominate five photographers/friends to also contribute a post for the Thomas Cook “Explore The Elements” contest:

David White – Artist and Photography Teacher

Shawn Reed – Artist and Photography Teacher

Deniek Sukarya – Author and Photographer

Tom Varnham – Artist and Photographer

Victoria Jones – Artist and Photography Teacher

I’ll Take the RED one

Single Dad at Home

Last summer, I took a “Boys Trip” to Iceland. My wife gave me a very hard time for that trip. I met my family back in Norway after the trip to Iceland. Fast forward to today….my wife is in Paris this week on a “Girls Trip”. A fair trade. She is having a great time with her friends and is free to ROAM without having to worry about our two girls…..no worrying about piano lessons, ballet class, golf lessons, gymnastics, cooking dinner, preparing lunches and handling all of the house stuff that she deals with. She is REALLY on vacation. A well deserved one at that.

In the meantime, it is ME at home with the girls. It is not bad, actually. Tika prepared meals for us in advance, so it is just a matter of heating up our food. The girls (as I write this post) are at Ballet, and won’t come home until almost 7:00. They will eat their dinner, take a shower, and then hit the sack. We are spending some quality father-daughter time, and I love it. BUT, after saying all of this, we miss Mommy….we miss her cooking, her love and her presence. Have fun, Tika, but hurry back!!

Photo from Norway

I couldn’t help but think about the discussions that were had before these houses were painted. Are they all owned by the same guy or different people? They get together and decide which ones to paint red, which ones white and which ones orange? How did they decide? The RED ones remind me of that Clint Eastwood Western, High Plains Drifter….remember that one? The one where he paints the entire town RED?

NorwayColorHouses

Lines In Beijing

Abstract

This is a bit “off the loop” with my style, but you gotta admit….the lines, patterns, texture, colors are all amazing, right? This is a mall in Beijing. I used to live  near Beijing many years ago, and there was not anything like this back then….Beijing has really become a modern city with some very cool architecture to add to the mix of all of the ancient stuff around…

LinesBeijingB

Hand Phones Changed The World

I don’t think you would have seen something like this 20 years ago…..maybe even 15 years ago, and possibly not even 10 years ago. Now even in the poorest countries (like Myanmar), handphones are EVERYWHERE. Not sure if these two were playing a game or just looking at photos…but they were sitting in the middle of a large promenade at Shwedagon Pagoda (in Yangon) checking out their phone….too cute.

Handphone