I still remember the day when my friend Elan Cohen from Richard Photo Lab asked me if I would like to attend WPPI this year and do an interview at their booth. I felt incredibly humbled and excited, and I instantly jumped on the opportunity. I couldn’t wait to meet their team in person and so many other photographers that I had been networking with online.
What I didn’t really think about was the logistics. WPPI takes place at the beginning of March in Las Vegas, which is about 12 hours on the plane from Ireland, where my wife and I currently live. We also had to be back in the United States at the end of March. So we did what every photographer in their right mind would do – we made a road trip out of it.
We really enjoyed the convention in Las Vegas and made a lot of new friends. After the trade show we used our hotel as a home base and day tripped to Red Rock Canyon, Zion National Park and Death Valley. Then we saw Sierra Nevada and drove up to Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite. We stayed there for two days before we went on to San Francisco, followed by Los Angeles for a couple of days. We ended our trip in New Orleans where we spent time with Rebecca’s wonderful family.
We covered about 15.000 miles in 6 weeks of travel on this trip and I cannot express how incredible this experience was. We saw so much, and I am so thankful for what I’ve seen. The United States is really such a beautiful place, and a country of very strong contrasts. And while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the past six months spending more time being away than being home, I am really looking forward to a quiet summer this year.
I would like to start with sharing my pictures from Death Valley as this was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip. It’s very hard to put the dimension and the feel of this place in words. If you live in the United States and are somewhat close by, I can only encourage you to go visit one day. The desert is nothing short of breathtaking. I couldn’t help but feeling like I was in a road movie from the ’70s the whole time.
All color images below were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400, all B&W images were shot with the Leica M-A and the Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 on Kodak Tri-X 400. All images scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab in California: