What’s Going On Here?

When I was a kid, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up. There was never any doubt. I would be a pilot in the Defence Forces, like my hero, my Dad.

But marginal eyesight and grades, that although respectable, didn’t set the world on fire meant that I failed the selection process… twice.

While dealing with this rejection, my failure to fulfill long cherished hopes and dreams, and trying to work out “What will I do now?” I made one commitment to myself:

“I’m not going to spend my life working behind a desk.”

I still wanted a life of outdoors, adventure and comradeship.

Not having a plan and not knowing what I wanted to do anymore, I adopted the sensible policy of “keeping my options open”. I went to Uni, and with an interest in understanding how the Universe and technology work, enrolled in a Science degree with the thought of transferring to Engineering. One of the first year electives was Computer Programming (COMP101); and I was good at it. I ended up graduating with a  major in Computer Science.

The observant will have noticed that being a professional computer geek is the antithesis of “I’m not going to spend my life working behind a desk”.

But software development is an immensely rewarding intellectual challenge. To build applications, which solve real world, complex problems in as efficient and elegant way that you can, is a fundamentally creative endeavour. And when you consider the wider context of frenetic, darwinian, evolution of new technologies, ideas and tools maybe you can understand how I got side tracked for so long. There is a real personal satisfaction that comes from being a master of a craft and building things that others appreciate and use.

Autumn Dawn, National Museum of Australia, Canberra [Pentax K-1; Pentax-D FA 24-70 2.8; ISO 100, 68 mm, f-10, 0.6 sec]

However, after close to twenty years, my career was no longer feeding my soul, in fact it felt like it was consuming it. Moving out of the front-line coding trenches and into more managerial roles the spark of creativity was lost to me. Motivation and enthusiasm waned. To fill a void I began to live a virtual life of travel and adventure, vicariously following other people’s life adventures through blogs, chat rooms and on YouTube.

“The world is not in your books and maps, it’s out there” – Gandalf

My profession was providing a comfortable living for my family; a responsible, low risk, climate controlled, high paying, safe, sensible existence. But I felt abstracted away from really living a life. I needed a change, to get out from behind that desk.

My hope is that landscape photography, a hobby for many years, can be the vehicle for change; and, thanks to my unbelievably supportive wife, we are doing it.

Last year we kitted our self out for touring the Outback of Australia and headed off for a three week road trip… and loved it.

My Girls on Haligan Bay – Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre – South Australia; Pentax K-1, Rokinon 14mm 1:2.8 ED AS IF UMC [ISO 800, 14mm, f / 4.0, 0.3 sec]

Now we’ve packed up most of our belongings into a shipping container, rented out the house and headed off with our two girls for a year’s travel and adventure. During this year of travel I hope to build up a portfolio of images, make contact with, and contribute to, the photographic, travel and adventure communities with the aim of creating a new business.

I will document the process of building the business, from scratch, here on this blog. I hope you can all stick around for the journey.

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