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PERSPECTIVES

Opening the Aperture: 1998-2018


THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

1 COVER IMAGE: MADAGASCAR


On July 2, 1998, I boarded my first international flight with South African Airways from John F Kennedy Airport in New York City to Johannesburg International Airport. It was a direct flight and as is still my preference, I had an aisle seat and because I had not yet experienced business nor first class, I was thrilled to be snugly ensconced in economy for the fifteen hour journey. The trip itself was the beginning of a ten week adventure across South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Peru and Ecuador and as I was soon to realize, a new chapter in my life was swiftly unfolding. Photography was an emerging hobby since my days in high school working on the yearbook and in preparation for this trip, I eagerly purchased the latest Nikon camera, a 500mm telephoto lens and at least 200 rolls of assorted Kodak film. I made a valiant attempt to keep a written journal on this trip, which I did for several weeks, however, it was the visual experience that I felt captured the essence of what I was thinking and feeling far better than I could describe in words. Twenty years later I have traveled to forty-five countries, run twenty-six marathons across all seven continents, lived for six years in Japan and England and had the fortune to experience people and places ranging from those that suffer from seemingly inescapable disease and poverty, to the most opulent gilded manifestations of worldly wealth and privilege. It is heartening to find deep empathy, kindness and contentment among those who have the least in terms of material possessions and comfort. This is not to say that the capacity for kindness is exclusive or lost as people become more prosperous, as long as giving remains the core and keeps pace with the gathering. I find that sharing and giving is at the heart of happiness and contentment for anyone, and when it comes to the poor or sick, the sharing of time, food and water even with what little they have, is also a matter of dignity. The time to simply share a smile is the most basic currency in this marketplace and the universal language. I have shared air and space with wildlife that are considered the fiercest cunning predators in their native habitat and others that are the most gentle creatures that have miraculously evolved through the ages, despite the industrial march of humanity and considering countless species that did not survive. Fortunately, I carried a camera with me for a majority of these travels and saved the film, negatives, slides and digital images that encompass the many thousands of photos that were taken and developed all over the world. Given that my photography was film-based until ~2014 when I finally upgraded to a digital Nikon, most of the images were painstakingly converted to digital format and the original lighting, focus and resolution were good enough to maintain that which I captured when the shutter snapped with each shot. After years of converting, organizing and editing, I am happy to share what I consider to be the best 275 images from the past twenty years behind the lens. Of course, there were plenty of moments when others on these journeys turned the camera on me or we were together for a special occasion, and I’ve included a handful of my favorite moments, although many other memories remain solely in my heart and mind. My hope is that this marks and celebrates a precious period of time in the midst of a life well lived, with many years and adventures to come. At the very least, it’s a way to share a collection of images and perspectives which tell a story, and if the aperture of my mind is not as agile many years from now, this will serve as a handy reminder of what transpired, when and those that were with me along the way.

Michael Patrick Davidson New York City July 2, 2018

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BOTSWANA

“YOU HAVE BRAINS IN YOUR HEAD. YOU HAVE FEET IN YOUR SHOES. YOU CAN STEER YOURSELF ANY DIRECTION YOU CHOOSE. YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN. AND YOU KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW. AND YOU ARE THE ONE WHO’LL DECIDE WHERE TO GO...” DR. SEUSS, OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

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SOUTH AFRICA

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5

MADAGASCAR


MADAGASCAR

MADAGASCAR

MADAGASCAR

UGANDA

MADAGASCAR

6


ZIMBABWE

“THE ONLY MAN WHO NEVER MAKES A MISTAKE IS THE ONE WHO NEVER DOES ANYTHING.” THEODORE ROOSEVELT

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BOTSWANA

BOTSWANA

MADAGASCAR

8


SWAZILAND

9 SOUTH AFRICA


10 SOUTH AFRICA


SWAZILAND

MADAGASCAR

11


UGANDA

UGANDA

UGANDA

UGANDA

TANZANIA

UGANDA

TANZANIA

12


13


MADAGASCAR

14


“I HAVEN’T BEEN EVERYWHERE, BUT IT’S ON MY LIST.” SUSAN SONTAG

MADAGASCAR

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16


17


MADAGASCAR

18


NAMIBIA

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SOUTH AFRICA COSTA RICA

“THOUGH WE TRAVEL THE WORLD OVER TO FIND THE BEAUTIFUL, WE MUST CARRY IT WITHIN US OR WE FIND IT NOT.” HENRY DAVID THOREAU

SOUTH AFRICA

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21

SWAZILAND


KILIMANJARO

UHURU SUMMIT

“DARKNESS CANNOT DRIVE OUT DARKNESS; ONLY LIGHT CAN DO THAT. HATE CANNOT DRIVE OUT HATE; ONLY LOVE CAN DO THAT.” MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

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MA

23

SWAZILAND


UGANDA

ARATHON MILE 22 - MADAGASCAR

ZIMBABWE

UGANDA

MADAGASCAR

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SOUTH AFRICA

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26


SWAZILAND

SOUTH AFRICA

27


SWAZILAND

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29


“THERE ARE NO FOREIGN LANDS, IT IS THE TRAVELER ONLY WHO IS FOREIGN.” ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

MADAGASCAR

UGANDA

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SOUTH AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA

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ZIMBABWE

ZIMBABWE

NAMIBIA

SWAZILAND

CAPE TOWN - SOUTH AFRICA

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SWAZILAND

“TRAVEL IS FATAL TO PREJUDICE, BIGOTRY, AND NARROW-MINDEDNESS.” MARK TWAIN

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MADAGASCAR

34


“WHERE WE HAD THOUGH

WE WILL COME TO THE CENT

AND WHERE WE HAD TH WE WILL BE WITH

35

JOSEPH C


SWAZILAND

HT TO TRAVEL OUTWARD,

TER OF OUR OWN EXISTENCE.

HOUGHT TO BE ALONE, ALL THE WORLD.”

CAMPBELL

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UGANDA

37 SWAZILAND


38 SWAZILAND


39

SWAZILAND


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41

UGANDA

UGANDA

UGANDA

SOUTH AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA

BOTSWANA


SOUTH AFRICA

SWAZILAND

BOTSWANA

SOUTH AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA

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43


SWAZILAND

44


45


SOUTH AFRICA

46


“I AM NOT AFRAID OF STORMS, FOR I AM LEARNING HOW TO SAIL MY SHIP.” LOUISA MAY ALCOTT

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ANTARCTICA

48


49


ANTARCTICA

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PERU

“WHEN SOMEONE HAS BEEN GIVEN MU

AND WHEN SOMEONE HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED

LUKE

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ARGENTINA

BRAZIL

UCH, MUCH WILL BE REQUIRED IN RETURN;

D WITH MUCH, EVEN MORE WILL BE REQUIRED.”

E 12:48

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EASTER ISLAND

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AMAZON - PERU

ECUADOR

PERU

AMAZON - PERU

UGANDA

KILIMANJARO

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55

SWAZILAND


SOUTH AFRICA

BANGKOK - THAILAND

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RIO DE JANEIRO - BRAZIL

MAUI - HAWAII

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AMAZON - PERU


COSTA RICA

COSTA RICA

COSTA RICA

AMAZON - PERU

58


59


HAVANA - CUBA

60


RANDOM SIDE

61

NANTUCKET


EWALK - MARTHA’S VINEYARD

RANDOM SIDEWALK - BROOKLYN - NEW YORK

NANTUCKET

NANTUCKET

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WASHINGTON, D.C.

“THE ONLY LIMIT TO OUR REALIZATION OF TOMORROW, WILL BE OUR DOUBTS OF TODAY.” FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT

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ST. LOUIS

64


WE COME IN PEACE - NEW YORK CITY

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PSYCHO HOUSE - NEW YORK CITY

66 MUSÉE D’ORSAY - PARIS, FRANCE


ROME - ITALY

ST. PETERSBURG - RUSSIA

67

BUENOS AIRES - ARGENTINA

ATHENS - GREECE


ROME - ITALY

ST. PETERSBURG - RUSSIA

ST. PETERSBURG - RUSSIA

WASHINGTON, DC

68


ICELAND

69


ST. PETERSBURG - RUSSIA

PAMPLONA - SPAIN

STONEHENGE - ENGLAND

PARIS - FRANCE

70


71


“PEOPLE DON’T TAKE TRIPS, TRIPS TAKE PEOPLE” JOHN STEINBECK

THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

72


THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

73

BANGKOK - THAILAND


THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

74


75

MADAGASCAR


THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

PARIS - FRANCE

CHENNAI - INDIA

76


THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

77


BANGKOK - THAILAND

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79

THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN


80

THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN


BANGKOK - THAILAND

“IRRIGATORS CHANNEL WATERS; FLETCHERS STRAIGHTEN ARROWS; CARPENTERS BEND WOOD; THE WISE MASTER THEMSELVES.” GAUTAMA BUDDHA

81


BANGKOK - THAILAND

THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

BANGKOK - THAILAND

THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

82


BANGKOK - THAILAND

“WE ARE SHAPED BY OUR THOUGHTS; WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK. WHEN THE MIND IS PURE, JOY FOLLOWS LIKE A SHADOW THAT NEVER LEAVES.” GAUTAMA BUDDHA

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BANGKOK - THAILAND


THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

84


85

THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN


BANGKOK - THAILAND

THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

86


“IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN.” GEORGE ELIOT

JAPAN

BANGKOK - THAILAND

87

THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

JAPAN


THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

88


THE GREAT WALL - CHINA

MT. FUJI - JAPAN

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HIROSHIMA - JAPAN


HIROSHIMA - JAPAN

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ST. PETERSBURG - RUSSIA

BEIJING - CHINA

91 NEW YORK CITY


92 SWAZILAND


93


NEW YORK CITY

94


95


96


“WE SHALL NOT CEASE FROM EXPLORATION, AND THE END OF ALL OUR EXPLORING WILL BE TO ARRIVE WHERE WE STARTED AND KNOW THE PLACE FOR THE FIRST TIME.” T. S. ELIOT

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98


“TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW, YOU WILL BE MORE DISAPPOINTED BY

SO THROW OFF THE BOWLINES. SAIL AWAY FROM THE SAFE HARBOR. CATCH H. JACKSON

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SOUTH AFRICA

Y THE THINGS YOU DIDN’T DO THAN BY THE THINGS YOU DID DO.

H THE TRADE WINDS IN YOUR SAILS AND EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER……” BROWN, JR.

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NEW YORK CITY

“THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE BEAUTY OF THEIR DREAMS.”  ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Profile for Shortcake Albums

Perspectives - Opening the Aperture: 1998-2018  

Images and text by Michael P. Davidson. Custom layout by Shortcake Albums.

Perspectives - Opening the Aperture: 1998-2018  

Images and text by Michael P. Davidson. Custom layout by Shortcake Albums.

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