World traveler and adventurer Daniel Fox recently launched The Wild Image Project, a mission to travel the world by kayak and help illustrate our connection with nature. He will photograph animals in their natural, difficult to reach habitats to show the beauty of the natural world and hopefully inspire others to get outdoors.
PL caught up with Daniel in Argentina to chat about The Wild Image Project
Whatís the planed route for your expedition?
The idea is to do Argentina. Go south to Tierra del Fuego. Then the Falklands (or Malvinas). Tried to do as many sub-Antarctica islands. Head to New Zealand and Australia. Now, when, how and for how long, I really donít have any idea. I will go where the wind takes me. What I am looking for though are remote places where extremes are often found. Where the contrast in Nature comes in conflict. I am not interested in cities, or populated places.
What inspired you to bring together exploratory kayaking, photography and environmental awareness?
I love water. I love being in it and on it. When I was young, my
mother would say that I must have been a dolphin in a previous life. Do you remember the old tv show Aquaman, well that was me. I remember watching Miami Vice, Don Johnson lived on a sailboat in a marina, and I thought that was the coolest thing to do. Although I love sailing, I have never been good with winds. I am better with currents. Also, you canít be closer to water than in a Kayak. I would love if kayaks could become as popular as bicycles. People still see them as weird floating devices, only for the crazy ones. But it is changing. In Seattle, some go to work with them. In New York city, you can kayak for free during summer. Kayak is the ultimate water vehicle, whether you prefer rivers, lakes, or oceans.
Digital photography makes it so easy now. I really lift my hat to the pioneers who would go on expeditions with hundreds of films, never knowing if a shot was good. The cameras were so heavy too. You have to give it to them. Now, there are no excuses anymore. I have a Nikon D80 with a 8G card, it holds 640 Raw files. I also have the Olympus 1030SW, water and shock proof. It allows me to film on and under the water.
Images will always be important in our lives. We put them on the wall, in our computer, in our phone. There is a relationship between photos and people. They inspire, shock, anger, they make people do things they thought was not possible. If I can only inspire people to engage with Nature, then my mission is accomplished.
What kind of gear do you need to make this happen?
For me, it is not just about the equipment, but also about the company, the people behind it, their ideals, their philosophy. I need to feel a connection. I look for design and worthiness. Is it strong and durable. Is it efficient? Does it look good? I have shame in saying - I like it when it looks good!
I really fell in love with Tiderace, from day one. It is edgy, it as character, it is like a wild horse waiting to be tamed. It is not for everyone, that is for sure. But I would not change her for anything in the world. She has a name by the way - Kit. I wrote in my blog about why she was a she. This habit of calling boats with a feminine name goes back thousands of years ago. The X-plorer is a kayak made to satisfy, as much as possible, without canceling each other, 3 important characteristics: Speed/Stability/Volume. The result is a kayak that delivers really well. You can carry enough, is stable enough, and manages really well in all kinds of water. I must say that it is not for novices though. It is an advanced kayak.
Kokatat is no stranger in the industry and their products have proven their worthiness over and over. It is the only company that offers everything you need.
Brunton is the top company out there when it comes to electronics in the wild. There solar panel and battery are the best. The ADC pro gives me all the information I need, including the wind speed, which is so crucial on the water. Their stove also works with all kind of fuel, so no need to worry to find butane, you just need a gas station. Lendal is amongst the best companies out there for paddle. I have the Kinetic Crank Carbon Shaft and a Galapagos Straight Carbon Shaft as a back up. Snap Dragon Design have supplied me with the skirts. They are used my many of the best out there, including Greg Stamer.
How can we follow your progress?
I have a website
, but while Iím on the road my most recent material is viewable on Kontain
I am also on Facebook.