Where Has Art Been?

All over. Many times a year.

This year? Japan, China, South America, Africa, Mexico, and another dozen places. Not to forget London, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.

He is a professional traveler. Seriously professional. All those heavy business travelers who crow about their 100,000 miles per year don't even have a clue. Art is gone from the office and home 10 months a year. Getting to. And getting from.

He has seen the massive changes that have taken place around the world during his 20+ years of traveling. Pristine, sheltered places he once went are now busy tourist stops. The world is getting smaller, and he has seen the effects of the West upon the most wild of places.

Planning his travel itinerary is a full-time job split up by four people: Himself; the other photographer/assistant on the shoots, Gavriel Jecan; his office/assistant, Chris; and, the travel planner/agent.

It is a precise drill. Determine the animals (or locations) that need to be added to the files; What time of year is best to photograph them in the proper environment? Research the locations, find the behaviorist or guide in the area that can get into the places where the animals are, try to communicate with parts of the world that don't have anything but occasional access to a phone line shared by an entire village. And then, plan all the connections. From the massive jetliner to the smaller prop plane to the single-engine prop plane, to the boat, and finally to the trail leading into the place Art has been thinking about for six months. And don't forget the visas, and the shots, and the medicine and the political situation and how it affects tourists, and how much money will be needed to pay the lodging and guides, and rangers, and park fees, and well...you get the idea. Club Med it ain't.

His bags and packs are ready to go two or three days before he leaves on a trip. On a recent trip to South America he took along, and returned with, 350 rolls of film. It is easy to discount the weight of a roll of film as trivial. But 350 rolls of film take up a lot of space and weigh a lot. And of course one needs cameras and lenses and flash units, and whatever one needs when sleeping in a hammock under the stars (or rain) in the middle of the Amazon basin with 50,000 insects the size of burritos crawling around, over and under you.

And then, of course, how do you get all this gear there? Two people and all that gear? Carrying and moving and making sure you have everything? And to keep it safe?

Look for Part Two of Where is Art Now? Soon.