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Photographer Wayne Kaulbach took his family and went on the trip of a lifetime around the world for nine months – capturing some pretty incredible moments along the way. We love his story and images so much that we had to share.
Q: What inspired your trip?
WK: The inspiration for our trip came about when my wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May of 2012 (she has thankfully fully recovered). We just sat down as a family and decided life is much too precious and short and that we should embark on a Round The World trip that we dubbed “9 Months of Sundays.” We took our daughter Chloe (who was 14 when we left on December 2nd, 2013) and our son Noah (who turned 12 on December 5th of our trip). Our eldest daughter, Litia, was busy with University studies. Another inspiration for the trip was to try to follow the “mindful living” philosophy and live in the moment.
Q: Which countries did you visit?
WK: We flew from Vancouver, British Columbia on the morning of December 2nd to Seattle, and then on to Tokyo, Japan. We spent five days in Tokyo and then flew to Bangkok, Thailand. In Thailand we volunteered at an Elephant Nature Park north of Chiang Mai for one week and then made our way by train down south to spend Christmas and New Years on Koh Lanta. January 6th, 2014 we flew to Kolkata, India where we spent six weeks mostly in Rajasthan broken up by a flight up to Kathmandu, Nepal. Mid-February we flew to Nairobi, Kenya and started a 30-day trek that took us through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa. On April 1st we flew to Rome and embarked on the European portion of our travel. We visited Barcelona (took in a Barcelona football game and saw Messi), Rome, Sora, Florence, and Venice. The month of May we spent in Ljubljana, Solvenia – amazing city! June found us in Budapest, Prague, Salzburg, Munich, Wroclaw, Poland, Berlin and a flight to London on June 21st to celebrate our daughter’s 15th birthday. End of June, July and all of August we spent in Paris and flew back to Canada the beginning of September 2014.
Q: What was your main focus/inspiration for the pictures you took?
WK: I love to photograph street/editorial images and I just love to photograph people. My wife and I have owned a natural light portrait business – Skylight Images – for the past 20 years so it was nice to have a break from our business but we simply could not put our cameras down as we are both very passionate to create photographs. We shot lots of candid work and also approached people and asked to photograph them. We also left our bulky Canon gear at home and I traveled with Fujifilm’s X-Pro 1 mirror-less system with a 35mm F1.4 R and my wife took the Fujifilm X-E2 with 23mm F1.4 lens. Each of our camera bags were approximately 6 x 8 x 4 inches. It was a liberating experience and I do not feel that we compromised on quality. The only time we really missed the gear we left behind was in the Serengeti – a longer lens would have been useful.
Q: Do you have a favorite image from the series? If so, which one and why?
WK: It’s challenging to pick a favorite image but I’m partial to the image that opens my website (shown below): Dysturb (candid street image taken on the streets of Paris).
Q: It appears you made a conscious choice to have these photos in black and white. Did you know that going into it or was that a decision you made in editing?
WK: The Paris Series that won Best Feature Album at our National Convention in Canada in May of 2015 did (originally) have some color images that looked good on their own but as a series I decided to go with a black and white theme. Perhaps channeling the great French street photographers I admire so much: Robert Doisneau and Henri Cartier-Bresson. I generally default to black and white with my street work but some images just look better in color.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about the two awards you won for this series?
WK: I won the Beast Feature Album – 1st in Class, Professional Photographers of Canada in May of 2015. Everyday I would wander different sections of Paris on foot/bike or transit and photograph.
WK: I also won 2nd place for Life International Magazine, Interconnections for “Dysturb” photographed in Paris, April 2015. I was admiring the backdrop of Dysturb and brought in a foreground element with the sign. I waited about five minutes for my subject to walk through the scene.
Q: Do you have any other projects that you’re working on for the rest of the year?
WK: Upcoming projects include three photography tours I will be conducting. The first is 18 days in India: Rajasthan and Taj Mahal, January, 2016. The second is eight days in Venice in April, 2016. And finally, I will be doing eight days in New York City in June of 2016. Please contact me at email@example.com for more information. I have over 10 years part-time experience teaching Street and Travel photography at Langara College and and Focal Point here in Vancouver, Canada.