Ken Kaminesky Travel Photography Blog » Taking over the world… One photo at a time

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Creating a life that satisfies your soul

Quite the title of a blog post but it’s been a while since I posted and figured I’d come back with a bit of an explanation of why I’ve been away. You’re so lucky! I get a lot of messages on all my social media accounts as well as via email from incredibly nice people […]

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I struggle with time as well. I see it slip away every day, much of the time because of my own aloofness or distraction. I never have enough time a location. I just did a RTW trip…6 countries in 6 days that only illustrated to me how I tend to run from place to place…how pervasive my impatience and how it does nothing to serve the work. I can only keep going, keep working, keep trying to get to wherever it is I am headed. Sometimes I think during the moments of frustration or doubt…it’s all we can do.

I tend to love quotes myself…I don’s share as many as you, but this one has deep meaning for me whether people tell me I am lucky or brave or stupid or crazy. I just don’t know yet if it refers more to them or me.

“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I understand completely what you’re saying! I hear this all the time and get so many e-mails about how adventurous and lucky I am. I wish people weren’t so afraid to persue their dreams. Anything is possible :)


When I was a secretary to the MDs, I learned how to ‘screening’ appointments and phone calls before I passed to them. When I received phone calls which they didn’t want to answer for some reasons, I would tell the callers they were having meeting, if anything important please leave a message which I put on a message pad. NOTHING left on my trays at the end of the day. I organised the MD’s messy office life style. I called myself ‘Supersecretary’, LOL

I can see where your coming from, thanks for sharing your perspective :)

Ah Ken, I know where you are coming from my friend. It is a constant struggle lately to find the time to do anything creative or productive that is for me and not for clients. Enjoy Japan, as I am sure you will and let it be the renewal for your creative soul. Until SF. :)

Great write up. I cant wait to read all about your crazy adventures in your coming trip. Good luck and safe travels. Take lots of pics, we also need some inspiration :)

Nicely done Ken and glad things are moving forward. Love the Socrates quote BTW, and this post reminds me of one of my faves, from WJ Davison:

The life that conquers is the life that moves with a steady resolution and persistence toward a predetermined goal. Those who succeed are those who have thoroughly learned the immense importance of plan in life, and the tragic brevity of time.

Best, Jim

I love this Bill Watterson cartoon. What an incredibly important thing to remind ourselves every day. My husband and I are in major transition right now, trying to decide the right next step and it’s so great for us to focus on what we really want out of life and not what our titles and salaries are!

WBD, Many of us face the same demons and find it challenging to keep plugging away. Without the challenges it would not be nearly as rewarding though, right? At least I’ll keep telling myself that until I find the balance I seek.

Michelle, You can do anything… Just not everything. Kepp the dream alive :)

Tracy, So far so good here in the land of the rising sun. Feels good to be back shooting and exploring!

Thanks Edin, Not sure how crazy the adventures will be but they are always rewarding.

Jim, Ahhh yes… Love that: “The tragic brevity of time”

Erin, the cartoon is not by Watterson but by Gavin Aung. The text in the cartoon is by Bill Watterson. Hope the transition is smooth and that you find the balance you seek :)


Fantastic blog, and thanks for sharing the strip, so very relevant for us at the moment as we make big life changes to reflect what we see as important for us and our kids. Will refer to this in the future whenever I have one of those panics questioning what are we doing. And keep the amazing images coming…wow, just wow.

Great message. We all need reminders from time to time (or every day).

What a fantastic cartoon – echoes a lot of my own thoughts lately as I ponder a rethink. Hope you find the balance you’re looking for – and enjoy that upcoming whirlwind of travel.

You know what ? I sometimes apply that 80/20 management principle in my life. I focus on the 20% work priorities that brings in 80% of enjoyment and fulfillment.

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I’m honored to have another cover of National Geographic Magazine

Awesome! I know I use that word a lot but there are cases where it is warranted. Having your song reach the top ten on the Billboard charts… yes sir, awesome. Writing a best selling novel… Awesome indeed! Walking on the Moon… Yup, awesome. Having a photograph you took land on the cover of National Geographic […]

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Congrats on yet another awesome cover Ken!

Vicky Stephens

Well done Ken!


AWESOME! This is my first reaction more than I can say when I receive recognition from the competitions and my peers for my photos. Truly feel the same, AWESOME and CONGRATULATIONS!xx

“Until you spread your wings you’ll have no idea how far you can fly.”- Ray Bradbury

“For to have faith, is to have wings” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

The roof always reminds me “Fiddler on the Roof”

Congrats! This is motivating for someone starting out, like me. :)

Congrats on this one Ken, stunning shot


Congratulations Ken, I’m so happy for you. You deserve it!!!


What an honor–so deserved–I predict that there will be many more. Congratulations.

Congrats, you keep on inspiring us
i hope i can someday join your tour

Thank you so much everyone!
This isn’t always an easy job even if the perception is that I’m always out jet setting and photographing the world. Today none of the tough times or bad parts of the job matter though. Today, I’m all smiles and feeling on top of the world. Not a bad place to be if I must say so myself :)

Great, Many many Congratulations :)

Congratulations Ken … well done!

I couldn’t be happier for you, Ken. What an amazing accomplishment (twice!).

I too had the same love affair with National Geographic as a kid. My parents had every issue stretching back to the early ’60′s. And the maps were always the coolest. I’m still a map and atlas geek to this day.

Enjoy this awesome achievement. You earned it!

Congratulations, Ken! I am a lifelong fan of NG as well. I am staying in Florence for a few months, and have been trying to find a copy of this magazine, it’s sold out everywhere I go.

F*cking amazing. But don’t stop at two, I’m expecting one per year from you now. Congrats! :D

Most excellant!!

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, my man! So happy for you!!!

I agree with your sentiments about National Geographic in general. My mother has a Masters Degree in Zoology, so as you can imagine, our early years were scattered with National Geographic magazines, thesis docs on larvae, books on venomous creatures, etc. The magazine therefore holds not only a bit of nostalgia for me in each issue, but it’s also the only subscription I have NEVER regretted paying for. (Even if I receive it much later down here in SA.)

From another travel photographer, you are an inspiration. I love the “wait until I tell my mom” part. We are always little kids, aren’t we?

Joe, thank you my friend! I’m also a map geek and always happy to stumble across new maps online. There was and is something special though about the Nat Geo maps/ Unfolding them was almost ceremonial for me each month. I’m even smiling now as I think about how much I enjoyed them.

Lynne, how fortunate for you to be in my favourite Italian city for so long. I can’t wait to get back!

Matt, thanks bro! Really appreciate your encouragement. Your travels are inspirational to me and so many others.

Cheers James!

Esteé, what a lovely childhood you must have had with a mom like that. Such a cool vocation! Hope I can make it to SA one day soon and photograph your beautiful country.

Ann, we sure are. And just to let you know… Mom was tickled pink :-)

Congratulations Ken, it’s a cracking image.


I love everything here lol

Congrats man! You certainly deserve it. I could only dream about making it to the cover :-D Though I LOVE taking photos during my adventures as well.

Dig it. Awesome. :)

I still harbor a love affair with the magazine and still have boxes upon boxes of back issues in storage. I’ll never look at the vast majority of them again but can’t part with them either.

I used to be subbed to national geographic, has it improved?

WOW! Congrats, that is an amazing achievement and you’ve done it multiple times! I’ve always loved Nat Geo and dreamed of shooting for the mag – would love to know how you submitted your photos for print? Any tips on maybe cities or subject matter they particularly like?


Beautiful photograph of beautiful florence!

Congratulations.. really, amazing photos you take! I am also glad that Florence/Tuscany is the destination of choice for the cover!

This is great news, thanks for putting this out there for all of us! :)

Congratulations! It truly doesn’t get much better than this for a travel photographer,

Simply wahoo. Very nice blog

Join me on my Spring 2014 Italy Photo Tour

Italy, here I come! So you want to go to Italy? Sweet! Join me for the trip of a lifetime on my Spring 2014 Italy Photo Tour. It’s going to be awesome and I hope that you can make it! I’m thrilled to announce my next Italy Photo Tour that I’m co-leading with my good […]

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What a stunning collection of breathtaking pictures. This sounds like an epic journey and an awesome picture taking opportunity. Would love to be a part of it or help out in any way.

Hi Ken.. some of the pictures here, especially the one taken by Kathy Vick in the Val D’Orcia region. Absolutely stunning.

I wanted to make this comment just to let you know that I decided to recreate the itinerary for your photo tour on our Wishbeen map. In case some of the people on our site or your blog article here wanted to see everything laid out. :)

Can’t wait to see some of the photos coming out of this year’s trip!!

Thank you Leland C for the nice comment about my picture! That is so nice of you to say! You are right, it was a stunning sunset that we were able to see that evening, after waiting out an epic thunderstorm. Credit to Ken and Elia for having us wait for that moment and teaching us that patience pays off. And thanks to Ken for picking that image to share, it is one of my favorites too.

If you are thinking of going on the spring trip – JUST DO IT. It’s the most amazing experience, and you won’t regret one minute of it. I still can’t believe the incredible images I came home with.

Thanks so much Ken for organizing that “Dream Tour”, it was the most wonderful trip. I can’t wait to see the pictures from the next trip!

Wheretorome… Thanks for the kind offer. We already work with our good friends at Walks of Italy for our in Italy historic, food, and art tours. Really appreciate your nice comment about the images. I’m so proud of everyone who joined us in Italy last time. They all walked away with some incredible images :)
Leland, I agree Kathy’s photo is killer! We sure had a very talented group.

Stunning photos. *sigh* I love Italy!

Awesome city, awesome set of pictures! Thank you for sharing.

Italy is a country where every last one of your senses gets the pampering of a lifetime … your photos make me want to come with you guys so bad!

OMG! I have goosebumps looking at these photos! Beautiful.
Not just this year! :))

I wish I could travel to Italy in the future.. Love the photos!

Kelly Rogers

Wow! All your photos are beautiful. But my favourite is still the first pic. It’s so stunning. I hope I can visit Rome someday and see some of your pics come to life. Have a good trip. :)

These are really amazing picture , beautiful place .Each place we visit has its own particular look, character, and ambiance. If we want photographs of our travels to be good and lasting, they should capture all of these qualities, and say as much about a place as give the literal look of it.

thanks for sharing, nice pictures; italy among my best country,

All these photos are so dramatically captured and I’m pretty certain this will make a lot of people want to go to Italy at once. The best thing about the country is that it guarantees travelers with grandiose surprises which are beyond every photo of it taken. Thanks for the post! It’s nice!

Hi, All pic captured by the best way as I have accepted that It should be remarkable by great act by your entire team. My favorite will be the Italy photo tour group which is looking awesome in a group. Appreciate for great act!!

Wow! All your photos are amazing! Beautiful place, beautiful people, beautiful photos.

Iceland is HOT…

Iceland is hot?? Well, compared to Canada right now at least As I sit at my desk here in my office in Montreal on a very cold winter afternoon, I dream of warm exotic destinations. Destinations like… Iceland? Yup, it’s about 20°c warmer right now in Reykjavik and I’m quite jealous. Then again, I’ll be […]

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that looks pretty epic – hopefully someday I will get there, and maybe on one of your tours! nicely done! looking forward to seeing all your new images from there!

I love your work!

Wow – this looks like so much fun!

Wow, stunning. I love the iceberg photo on the beach. I have been there but sadly we drove in winter and ran out of daylight so we saw some glaciers but it was dark when we actually reached the icebergs on the beach!

This country is a photog’s dream … you’ll come back with plenty of amazing shots!

Beautiful images. Wonderful Blog. I like it.

Motivational Manifestos for 2014

  So long 2013, it’s be quite a year! As 2014 quickly approaches I am psyching myself up for one hell of a ride. I’ve never been more excited about a new year and I’ve worked hard to get to this point so it’s nice to see that hard work truly does pay off. “The […]

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A very inspirational post and just the kick up the butt I need to start thinking about my goals for 2014.
Thank you for sharing.

Great post Ken! You sure got me going! Now all I need to do is keep it up for 365 days a year! ;)


Nice post Ken, Great quotes, I loved the Holstee Manifesto, Happy New Year!

I LOVE that photo of Cinque Terre. It truly is a work of art and your manifestos are always an inspiration!


L:oVE! A wonderful year of 2014 with a lot of wonderful things unfold for you :D

Thanks for the kind words Ken, we’re extremely flattered! I know I’m guilty of not always managing my time efficiently and will print out the 8 habits of productive people graphic too…

Look forward to seeing the new blog design and in the meantime cheers to 2014 being an awesome adventure ;)

Carmen, My pleasure. Good luck with all your goals and pland for the new year.
Rachel, I’m sure that even 364 days would be fine… But who’d counting :)
Kely, I love the Holstee Manifesto too. That was the first one to inspired me.
Michelle, thank you for the nice comment. The whole area of Cinque Terre is a work of art. I can’t wait to be back.
Abby, Wishing you wonderful success in 2014!
Jonny, Printing it out is one thing… Acting on it is another. I’m guilty of that and doing my best to make changes. Valuing productivity over time spent at work is key. More time for adventures that way :)

Love these manifestos! Good luck on your 2014.

Very inspirational. Hopefully you will kick the waste and be more productive. The 8 habits is a good motto to live by.

Funny how I feel I’ve been there before when reading your post, although I’m probably only at the beginning of a road you’ve long been on before me, and far from being as successful as you are! Moreover, I realize I’m reading your blog and replying, sitting in front of my computer a Friday night, 10:20pm! Crazy life!
Anyway, my best wishes to you for the new year. Hope I’ll meet you one day.

I really enjoyed stumbling onto the website of a fellow Montrealer, while just getting my own up and running. The images are breathtaking and there is lots of fun stuff to keep the reader busy.

New York City Photo Walk

NYC PHOTOWALK October 26 from 3:30 – 5:30pm Join Elia Locardi and me on Saturday October 26th for a New York City Photo Walk! We hope to see you there! We’ll be giving away some incredible prizes to a few lucky photographers who join us, including a Fujifilm X-E1 camera kit and a G-Technology G-Dock […]

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Oh this sounds like so much fun! I can’t go so I guess I’ll have to look at my pictures from NYC in April

Wish I could be there! Face east and wave at my folks on Long Island! :) ENJOY!

Shawn Santamaria

Hi Ken – Is it ok if amateurs join?



This must be one of the most exciting cities to photograph! Amazing colors!

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Fredrik Knoblock

Beatifull, it´s amazing

Love your photos! Just Great!
Best from Croatia

Wow this is really amazing!

NYC looks really amazing as usual, thanks for this post!:)

Wow. awesome shot!! Really have to say, my husband and I admire your photos!

This photo tour sounds awesome – I’ve been to NYC so many times but never did a photo trip like this! Too bad I’m short on vacation days:/

NYC= a place I’ve always wanted to go and a place I think people should go once in their lives :)

Pretty spectacular pictures, awesome attractions! :)

Good times in Italy with my new Fujifilm X-E1 Camera

Earlier this year I had a great time with my good friends Elia Locardi and his lovely wife Naomi as we explored Rome, Tuscany, and Cinque Terre. Our purpose was to scout these areas for upcoming photo tours that we are developing in Italy and I know what you’re thinking… Poor Ken, how he has to […]

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Good to hear your perspective on a mirrorless system! Planning to buy into that myself and still undecided as to which camera I get but enjoying the research. And lovely photo from Italy as per usual.


Congratualations with FujiFilm :D

I always thought that we should compromise between Portability and quality while choosing cameras. This looks like a good bet.

Hi,My first camera was FujiFilm and last FujiFilm.All time i like and use it.It is different to other…..

Interesting to see mirrorless systems start to take off and really compete with some fairly decent DSLRs and the Fuji looks to be a great compact and portable alternative to carrying around a hefty kit bag. It is indeed a great time to be a photographer with all these new advanced!

I spotted your photo, I hope you had a great time in Cinque Terre! We did

Thank you for this post. I like to learn new things about equipment. Sharing your experience with this product was a nice tip for me. Thanks again.

Kiersten, These mirror less systems are the next wave. Especially for travel shooters like us. Can’t wait to see what’s in store the next few years.
Raj, I totally agree. This type of camera is a good compromise and will benefit a lot of people.
Alex, 100% correct. This is a wonderful time to be a photographer!
Davide, Cinque terre was awesome and I was lucky to be there twice this year.
TO, Glad the article helped!

I am not a very big fan of the Fuji photo look. But it seems like we are damn close to going for these mirrorless cameras as backup even in the pro world, at least getting rid of half of our photography equipment when travelling. That would be a big step forward already. Great article! Thanks, Arved

Cinque Terre must be the hands-down most beautiful place on earth. Amazing photos of an amazing fairytale place!

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Italy is a beautiful country and any body can enjoy this beauty. When I was there I had taken lots of photo.

Fujifilm is always good in quality as we know. I have used many years, and I have taken lot of pic from that at different destination. I have been Italy ever but I’d like to visit for once in my whole life. Thanks foe share about Fujifilm.

Being passionate about photography but completely new to this, do you think it can be good also for a beginner? =^_^=
…By the way…I loved your pics of Umbria!

National Geographic Blogs

When National Geographic does something, they usually get it right. In the last few months they launched FOUND, their incredible Tumblr site that showcases some of the most amazing photos from the National Geographic archives. I have been making Found an almost daily visit since March 2013 when the site first launched and I’m never […]

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The power of photography is POWERFUL!!! :D

Thanks Ken, that’s why I follow you! You’re work is a great inspiration to me and you have not given me another blog to follow.

National Geographic is responsible for so many amazing photos of its time. The new tumblr is amazing and full of inspiring photos it is amazing just how photography can change our perspective on the world around us.


Great photos!! thanks for the link Ken!!

Wonderful capture!

So fascinating to look at these incredibly awesome historic photos! Thx for sharing…

Awesome. Natural Geographic never ceases to amaze me.


How do u guys always get the best pictures….they create a need to know the stories behind them; every one of them!

Wow, these photos are amazing. I love looking at old school travel photos, it’s as if you’re stepping back in time. I will certainly be taking a look at the NG blog!

Those are some amazing shots. The quote at the beginning really nails it. Photography puts into perspective what words can not always accomplish. I learned some really interesting things about this when I visited a Cinema museum once.

Alex, Nat Geo sure has had a huge influence on so many photographers, myself included. So nice to see them share so much of their archives with us in this way.
Shivangi, the best way to get the shots is to be out there taking photos.
Carmen, time travel would be awesome. This is the next best thing. :)
Glad you all enjoyed the post and I hope that you’ll keep visiting the Nat Geo Blogs

My favorite is by far the close-up portrait of a coal miner in Omar, West Virginia, 1938. Very inspiring work!

Fantastic photography all round. Great inspiration to go offline shooting again. Now :)

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Colorized old pictures never fail to amaze me…!

Great selection. That Anthony Stewart portrait is fabulous.