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Gary is currently in McLaren Vale, SA (Dec 5th, 2013)
My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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Starting in early December I’ll be embarking on a 3-week long tour of Australia with G Adventures. This will tour be the 5th continent I will have traveled to with G Adventures and my longest trip with them to date.
I’ve been to Australia six times now, but my first and biggest trip to Australia was back in 2008 when I spent almost 5 months in the country and visited every state and capital city. I drove from Melbourne to Cairns and from Darwin to Perth. I even took a bus from Adelaide to Alice Springs.
I’m often asked if I revisit places I’ve been before, and the answer is a resounding YES! Most of the stops on this trip are places I visited in 2008, but it was under different circumstances. My photos from 2008 were OK, but I have a much better idea of what I’m doing now. Also, after years of daily photos, I’ve pretty much run out of decent photos of Australia to post on my site. So if nothing else, I’ll be able to restock my portfolio with Australia images.
In February 2013 I was invited to be part of the media pool which covered the Yukon Quest sled dog race which starts in Whitehose, Yukon and finishes in Fairbanks, Alaska by way of Dawson City. I knew next to nothing about dog sledding before my visit, but left fascinated by this little known sport. I also got to try my hand at driving a sled dog team and it was one of the enjoyable things I’ve done in all my travels.
Photographing the dogs and the mushers was a pleasure and I developed a respect for the men, women and canines which compete in this extreme sport.
The 2014 Yukon Quest starts February 1 in Fairbanks, Alaska.
One thing that traveling has done for me is that it has a given me a more visceral and emotional connection to many places around the world. When a disaster strikes someplace I’ve been, it isn’t just a abstract curiosity. Traveling makes the people and places who are effected real.
The Philippines is a real place to me. I spent almost a month exploring the country and I’ve met dozens and dozens of Filipinos around the world since my visit. I’ve consistently said that Filipinos might be my favorite people in the world. I’ve literally met Filipinos on every continent (that includes Antarctica!)
As you are aware the Philippines was hit by a devastating typhoon only months after the same region was hit by a large earthquake. There are estimates of 10,000 dead and hundreds of thousands without homes.
G Adventures and Planeterra is looking to raise money for reconstruction efforts. G Adventures will match every dollar raised up to $30,000. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Every little bit adds up.
Several days ago I came out of the Namib Desert to find out that I had been named the 2014 SATW Travel Photographer of the Year! This is a huge honor and something that I was rather surprised to have won.
The list of people who have won in the past 32 years is a who’s who of some of the best travel photographers in the world. These are normally men and women who photograph for the likes of National Geographic. I am conspicuously different from every other previous winner of the award in several ways:
This isn’t just a triumph for me, but for everyone in the world of new media. I might have been the first such person to have won, but I will not be the last.
To celebrate, I’ve decided to publish a special photo essay of the images which got me the win. The following 20 images were taken around the world over the last 2 years and compromised the portfolio I submitted. I don’t necessarily think they are my best 20 photos, but they do represent a diversity of scenes and places.
As always, I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did taking them!