So I finally got my digital hands on a digital version, and here it is!

The current JAN/FEB 2011 cover of AAA Home & Away magazine (Ohio edition):

Like it? You can find this image

and many more available for licensing at:

Mira Terra Images Travel Photography & Services

Or, take a look at my Danita Delimont collection. Many thanks to Danita!

So if you wish to simply appreciate the image for what it is, read no further. And if you’re hoping to find the inside scoop on the technical details of exposure, ISO, focal length, and all that, look away now…you won’t find it here.

Still curious to know how this image came to be? Read on.

You see, my preferred camera to shoot with is the Canon 5D Mark II, backed up by the Canon 50D. But I also carry a small Panasonic Lumix which I’ve had forever, before the 5D came along, simply to shoot video clips for quick’n’easy web posting. It just so happened that when I saw this moment – the solo traveler in the mist overlooking Machu Picchu – I had been shooting video with the Panasonic. No matter where I am, I am constantly composing everything I see in my mind’s eye. So I snapped a couple of stills with the Lumix before switching the lens on my Canon 5D Mark II to get the same shot. Well, by the time I had done so, the person moved on, or was joined by a crowd, or the mist moved in, I forget exactly what changed, but the “moment” was gone. So this was it. And here’s my big secret. The above magazine cover was shot with an everyday point and shoot Panasonic Lumix.

It just goes to show that the camera doesn’t really matter all that much. The camera is simply the tool with which a photographer composes and records a moment in time. Had I not shot the moment with the Lumix I had in hand, and instead only fumbled around to grab the right lens on my Canon SLR, then there would be no cover shot, no license, no sale, and no point in this blog post.

Recognize the moment, compose, create.

Finally, before you scream “dumb luck”, here’s a moment that I did manage to capture with my Canon 5D Mark II which got it’s turn in the print publishing spotlight, featured in National Geographic Adventure magazine 2008/09, and re-licensed for National Geographic magazine (France’s publication) in 2010:

Various other versions and images from this shoot have also been published by Destinations & Adventures International, Wilderness Travel, and a few others. Here’s my favorite frame as it appeared in a 2-page spread in Cathay Pacific‘s in-flight magazine “Discovery”:

There’s no question that Machu Picchu is a special place for me…and my camera. If you’d like to experience it for yourself, perhaps even with me, here’s information about two trips Ill be leading to Peru in October 2011:

TRAVCOA’s Galapagos & Machu Picchu – October 5
TRAVCOA’s Peru & Bolivia – October 12
*note: the dates overlap and you can combine both itineraries into one comprehensive journey of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. How’s that for convenient?

Both of these journeys include an overnight at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, allowing for early access to the citadel before the buses and crowds arrive. No matter who you travel with or how you get to Machu Picchu, fork it out and DO THIS. You’ll be so glad you did and you’ll thank me later!

I’m very much looking forward to returning to Peru again this year. No matter how many times I’ve been, I’ll never tire of Machu Picchu – it’s always a new and wondrous experience. I hope you can join me…and be sure to bring your camera (any kind)!