As a teenager, I saw a photograph that was to change my life forever. It was an image of a cameraman standing on a glacier.
He was obviously a professional, for he was standing behind a large, expensive camera. He was looking out at the distant horizon, presumably calculating what exposure he should use.
Or, perhaps he was just enjoying the view.
Looking at that image, I realized something important – something that would have a profound effect on my future. I suddenly realized that, as part of his job, that cameraman had to actually stand on the glacier. In order to do his job, he had to travel there.
It struck me that, not only did taking pictures for a living appear to be a pretty interesting job, but photographers probably traveled to a lot of interesting places, too.
In my twenties, I became a cameraman, and over the next three decades my film-making life took me to over fifty countries. It took me across the seas and beneath them. It took me to the arctic, to deserts and jungles, to mountain tops and far beneath the earth. I traveled to ruined civilizations, teeming modern cities and tiny native villages, and eventually I got to stand on a glacier, too. My life had become what the picture had promised.
I’m forever indebted not to the cameraman in the picture, but to the person who photographed the cameraman, for that image inspired me. It made me see what was possible.