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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

About The BIRDS AND THE BEErS - a geotagged bicycle tour

A two-wheeled (geotagged) spin on migration, conservation, and fine Ale

Huh? What is this?

The BIRDS AND THE BEErS bicycle tour came into orbit in March, after I was given a scholarship by Rich Carkson to attend the International League of Conservation Photographers summit and workshop in Jackson Hole this May. It’s truly a dream for me to be able to meet, make photos with, and learn from a group of some of the most outstanding photographers of our generation who are really trying to make a difference with their work--I just couldn't figure out how I wanted to get to Jackson to be there!

Geotagged
?
My new Nikon camera equipment has a built-in GPS capability (with an aftermarket part that I ordered from Bryan in China) that stamps each picture with latitude, longitude, altitude, and compass bearing information. This means that my galleries and other stuff from the journey (including current location) can be referenced geographically on a map. I've decided to give it a shot. My initial route plan, trip bits, and images are located here.

On BEErS

In 2005, I set out on a bicycle tour from Alaska to Argentina. Along the way, I picked up a camera and looked outward obsessively through its rectangle in attempt to interpret what was going on in the world around me. My understanding was not gained through traditional scientific method but rather by a simple gut feeling forged during two years of traveling over the earth’s surface on two wheels.

At the end of my journey I decided that, rather than go back to a corporate software sales job, I would devote my work to capturing images that demonstrate what's happening to our planet and hopefully inspire change back home. However, after completing my dream of cycling 18,000 miles across the world, I was both relieved and anxious at the same time—I needed a few beers to replenish my carbo-load and let my new life soak in. Since then, I’ve realized that the key to any successful bicycle tour is tippin’ back a few brews along the way.

On BIRDS
I love bird watching. I think that birds are the stewards of our planet. They have a lot in common with a traveling photographer—always on the move migrating across the earth’s latitudes. In spring, millions of em’ fly north from South America to Alaska through the Pacific Flyway zone of Central Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming. These states also happen to harbor flocks of some of the most spectacular cycling routes and microbreweries in the country.

So there you have it. Why not ride my bike from Warshington State to the Jackson Conservation Summit, watch BIRDS, and drink a few BEErS as I contemplate making pictures along the way?

On Photogeekdomness
This is also an excellent opportunity to practice using my new Nikon camera gear with GPS geotagging capability, multi-media production kit, and Google photo-mapping applications that I will probably use for my next, really big photographic project:)
The result of my first round of tinkering is this Geotagged series of maps that you can use to follow the trip.

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