National Geographic Expeditions recently granted me a trip to the Galapagos Islands to enjoy its splendor and photograph its beauty. This prize came after an image that I had made in Cuba was recognized as the grand-prize winner in National Geographic Expeditions’ annual photo contest. The journey to The Galapagos took me through Ecuador on my way to the illustrious landscape that Darwin deeply explored almost 200 years ago.
The journey, made mostly by sea on an exploratory vessel, was a photography expedition; therefore, many activities focused on cameras and thus offered the 98 passengers an opportunity to learn the craft. In addition to a Senior Photo Editor from National Geographic Magazine, several of the 74 crew members were photo instructors certified by the National Geographic Society. Collectively, they shared knowledge with fellow travelers by conducting daily workshops, performing portfolio critiques and providing hands-on training.
On the first day of the journey, the photo instructors learned of my contest victory. They invited me to address the passengers regarding my experiences with previous National Geographic Expeditions. By having the crew introduce me, it allowed me to connect with other passengers, share our passions for photography and travel, as well as learn from each other. And during the process, I enjoyed the wondrous surroundings and capture imagery during the expedition. Thank you National Geographic and its amazing staff that made my journey a beautiful reality.