Benny Gettinger: Photo-Graphic Artist

Leaving Home

I posted this photo in the “Photo of the Day” section of a forum that I occasionally contribute to. Someone asked me a question there that got me thinking…

Wetlands of Southern Mississippi

“Your photos are gorgeous. Just curious how do you travel so much? Seems like you have photos from every corner of the globe. I was just curious, not trying to be nosy. :)”

Only interesting photo from Paraguay trip.

Thanks! You’re not being nosy at all. I think I take (and make) opportunities to travel because I want that to be something about who I am. I want to be someone who travels and takes photographs. I do get to travel some for work. The Wetlands photo above was taken when I went down to Mississippi to take photos of the railroad reconstruction after Hurricanes Gustav & Ike in 2008 (I work for a railroad service company in Kentucky). I went to Africa last summer because I have a friend who’s a freelance author for hunting magazines. He said he was going on a safari and invited my wife and I to go. We had to save up for a whole year and it was expensive, but it was worth it. I wish that I was a good photographer back when I visited Nicaragua, Austria, Hungary, Ukraine, and Paraguay. I have very few photos from those places, and they’re not that good either!

But I firmly believe that traveling to places far away from home can help you understand your own local world so much better. You learn that things aren’t the same everywhere. Some things are better in other places, and that helps you find ways to improve and contribute to your environment. Some things are much worse in other places, and that helps you really appreciate how good you’ve got it. I’ve found that it’s mostly the latter.

I wish everyone would explore a little more. Often when I hear people getting up in arms about various topics, I find myself thinking, “If you only knew what it’s like in _______, you wouldn’t be talking like this.” But why should they care if they’ve never been there? I’m not trying to “toot my own horn” saying that I’m so much more worldly and wise than everyone else, but exploration really does change your perspective.


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