much different than what can be gathered from reading. I knew it would difficult to trust people on the ground, but I trusted absolutely no one. Then when it came time to meet with those who I thought I might be able to trust enough to get me into a camp, it turned out they were powerless. I was more naive than I thought and this, coupled with expecting to simply meet up with a few of my connections and then get into a camp, left me frustrated. By the time I left the village near the first camp I visited, I knew a two-week trip would be nowhere near long enough to figure out exactly what was going on. Add to this that I am as white as snow and stand out like a sore thumb and it's no wonder why foreigner journalists and photographers have great difficulties.
In my eyes, and in the eyes of any editor I would have been working for, I failed. I didn't get into a camp. That was my mission. I am not beating my self up about it but I would have preferred to accomplish what I set out to do. On a positive note, I learned a great deal and got some pretty good photos. For now, this is acceptable, but I want to achieve my goal the next go round.
Speaking of the next go round, I am considering several places, some dangerous, some not. I could always go to Tibet, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mozambique or even Hong Kong and come away with memorable photographs. But...I would really like to go somewhere that will seriously challenge me and yet I can be fairly certain to walk away with a story that is extremely memorable. On the dangerous places list: Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, Mali, Chad, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Dangerous places = greater expense, both financially and emotionally.
I am giving myself three weeks to make a decision. In the next few days I will narrow the list down and start looking into projects. Then I'll put up a poll on this site and make a short video. Once I do this, I will speak with my film making buddy and see what he thinks and finalize . With any luck I'll get him on board and we'll put together something epic.