Tuesday, March 31, 2009


When I tell people that I'm going to Europe, they all ask the same question: "where are you going?" Huh? I already told them. Europe. That is where I am going. And when I am there, Europe is where I will be.

The cold, harsh truth is that I really don't know exactly where I am going. That is what brothers are for. I may regret this.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Thousand Hour Project

The Thousand Hour Challenge came about as half interesting project and half personal photographic challenge. The goal? Shoot 1,000 images in an hour in a small area. The rules? No chimping. No deleting. No cropping. No editing. Everything shot goes in. No laying down on the shutter just for shot count. So I tried it. My boundaries were the central park in Antigua, Guatemala one evening after shool and work when people were out. I shot with a Canon EOS 1DMkIIn and a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens. I shot large JPGs because I don't have enough card space for that many RAWs. The only post processing was resizing and sharpening to 1024px without cropping. Music is from a Guatemalan CD I picked up at a street stand after shooting. Video was produced in Picasa. Oh... and no, I didn't make it. I only got off 743 shots in the allotted time... maybe next time!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Yeah, so this doesn't really have anything to do with our trip to Europe, but I just posted a video from IPS in San Antonio, and you probably want to see it... :-)


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Living big

Hey! My mom forwarded me this clip from YouTube and I liked it, so I decided to share it. Yeah, this trip to Europe probably has to be classified as "vacation," but really it's daring to dream and live big and taking up the challenge of loving God and loving our neighbor with all our hearts.



Thursday, March 12, 2009


Yes, there is progress! After untold hours of endless options and slow websites, I finally have booked two flights and a B&B. We've got a Bed & Breakfast on the island of Capri for a night. THAT is going to be amazing! Flights from Venice to Amsterdam and from Barcelona to Berlin are also in hand. It's so nice to have some sort of concrete dates to work around.

OK... so get this, I book this flight from Barcelona to Berlin and 5 minutes later realize that I booked it for the wrong date! ACK! After a couple calls to the airline and one to my credit card company I got the flight changed. For free!! :-) Amazing...

So, here's two new airlines and travel sites for you travel bugs:

Air Berlin: www.airberlin.com Cheap flights to and from, yeah... Berlin!
www.wegolo.com Cheap flights across Europe on multiple budget airlines.

Oh yeah... and the perpetual fav www.kayak.com that pointed me on to these two new gems.

Happy Living!


Monday, March 9, 2009

How To Conquer Guilt

The key to conquering guilt is to rationalize it. The following is a hypothetical situation with several examples of how one might rationalize, and consequently effectively suppress the troublesome guilt. Note that the rationalizations need not true, so long as one suspects them to be true, or can cause him or herself to believe them to be true.

For example:

"I feel guilty that I haven´t done anything to plan for the Europe trip."

-The boys are better at it
-The boys WANT to do it
-I don´t care where we go
-I´m bad at it
-I don´t know how to do it

Tall Tales

It's nice to be able to reach things on the top shelf without a stool. But that is probably the only thing that's convenient about being tall. I've been trying to find some good, sturdy, comfortable pants for this trip. But there is nothing long enough around here, so I've been ordering them online. And returning them. It's impossible to know if they will work when you can't try them on ahead of time. So I'll probably end up paying more for the shipping back and forth than for the pants I end up keeping. Oh well. I'll appreciate them more when I find them, right?

Friday, March 6, 2009


Wow... I'm discouraged. I just finished our schedule only to discover that I messed something up right in the middle and have to rework the whole thing. Rats.


A camera

Yup... so I have a camera now for the trip: a Canon 30D that an amazing friend is letting me borrow. Kubile! (That's Chinese for cool to the max.) This is kubile because it cuts my camera weight in half! I think I've pretty much decided to just bring two lenses with me: my 50mm f/1.4 and my 20mm f/2.8. Again, weight is the big issue here.

In other news... I'm browsing around the internet tonight trying to figure out where we're going to go and what we're going to do. This past week I've discovered 2 strong contacts in Prague, the potential for free housing in Venice and a friend to stay with near Vienna. God is bringing super cool people into our lives! Now we just have to try to connect all the dots.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Tough Calls

Backcountry.com has been running their biggest sale event of the year, bringing must-have gear into, well, not the realm of affordability, but at least a semi-discounted rate. Let's face it though... even 20% off Icebreaker makes me happy! So anyway, several items on my Life/Europe Wish List are now on sale. Alas... I have come to the extremely tough realization that I do not have the money for any new gear, and thus will have to rely solely on clothes I currently own for this trip.

News point number 2: I have realized that packing for 5 weeks in Europe and keeping that pack to 22lbs is going to be, ah, extremely difficult. This realization hit as I am in Week 1 of a four-week trip to Texas, California, and Guatemala with basically the same gear I would like to take to Europe and it's pushing the 50 pound mark. Yeah... not cool! It would be fine if I were Kennan. He just has to bring clothes. But no... I'm Rowan. I have a 400lb. camera. I have a laptop. I have batteries, tripods, lenses, and chargers. In fact... I think just my shooter kit that I toss over my shoulder when I run out the door for a quick photo shoot is around 15lbs. If only I could just lose weight and have that transferred to my baggage allowance... :-S

So, now we combine points 1 and 2... I'm trying to figure out how to get a smaller laptop and a lighter camera. I wonder if any Canon 5Ds are getting laid off and want to live in my backpack for a while...