Travel Companions

My travel companion at Las Médulas in Spain I normally travel alone on my photo shoots. And because taking picture is so personal, it is best to walk gently and not to disturb the environment and the subject that I want to photograph. Working alone and trying to be sensitive help me to earn the trust of the people. However, in the last couple of years, I’ve taken a companion on some of my long walking photo shoot. Or to be more precise, I was chosen to be the companion on those long treks. Here’s what happened: While I was trekking in the mountain region of Dazhai, a friendly yellow dog at the local lodge where I stayed, somehow decided to follow me for the for the entire trip. I would walk up and down the mountain looking for possible scenic shots. The dog would run in front of me and sometimes would stay behind to explore the surrounding. Sometimes I waited for the dog to catch up and other times, the dog would wait for me to catch up. We stayed in touch by eye contact or by whistling. There’s an understanding that we were in the trip together. In Spain, on the way down from the top of Las Médulas ruins, a village dog followed me for the entire trip back to the parking lot. During the 3 hours we spent together, the dog wandered off into the woods and then reappeared multiple times. Once, it came out of the woods proudly displaying a decayed deer leg in its mouth. The walk for the next 15 minutes was foul smelling until my companion decided to abandon its trophy at last. It was good to have a friend with me, especially I was disoriented for a good part of the time. In Greece, I had a little dog follow me up the mountain in Hydra. And in Santoríni, I had a pack of dogs followed me while I took pictures. They would protect me from other dogs early in the morning. It’s true that I shared my photo moments with these very special friends. They are truly a photographer’s best friends.
My friend in Dazhai, China