bundi man becomes famous

Back in 2008, I was finishing up a day of shooting in Bundi, Rajasthan and I caught glimpse of the most perfect image. A man with a bright orange turban leaned against a bright yellow wall sipping on a steaming chai. The sun was amber, almost behind the horizon. The last of its rays were perfectly glistening against this Rajasthani mans face. His face told a million stories. His mustache was perfectly coiffed. I hurried across the street to ask him if I could take his portrait. He nodded yes, and licked his fingers to perfect his already perfected mustache. He put down his chai and struck this pose. I took 3 images and this is the first shot. This image has been published in National Geographic among other publications. This Bundi Man has become famous and I doubt he knows it. Perhaps one day, I will return with the largest print possible for his wall.

Thanks to you Bundi Man, people around the globe, have been inspired by your gaze.

Here are a few pieces by artists in tribute to you. Enjoy!

Chalk Drawing by Emily Voss


Oil on Canvas by Dina Gossart

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After a long day shooting a wedding on New Years Eve 2011, my boyfriend Dave and I (www.davidwile.com) raced home to get our backpacks and then straight to the airport for 4am. A layover and 4 hours later, we arrived in warm Santa Clara, Cuba on New Years day. With a backpack of clothes and camera bag each, we set out to begin a two week journey travelling throughout central and northern Cuba, documenting our trip along the way.

Cuba. A changing landscape of mountains, valleys, trees, ocean sprawl, colonial cities and farmlands dotted throughout. The highways are often car-less, the streets busy but never crowded. The people are friendly but not overbearing. The children could care less about tourists. Overall, the country was pleasantly calm. My last big trip had been to Africa and India, so I was expecting to be thrown into a more or less chaotic environment with hagglers and traffic and the hustle and bustle of people, touts and animals. It was the last of my memories of travelling with a backpack, so I was prepared to guard my belongings and be swift and street savvy…….

When we arrived however, there were just 2 all-inclusive buses and once they were full of beach-goers, Dave and I were the only travellers left in the entire airport! We walked around aimlessly looking for a cab, a bus, a main road, a passerby to hitchhike…??? but there were none of the above. Just us and our bags. We laughed at each other and I still not “fooled” would not believe that the chaos was not going to come. I am slightly jaded and well travelled. And well, no one fools me like Cuba did.

We finally found an employee and she called her friend to come get us and of course charge the standard fare. :) We waited for 20 minutes and the driver pulled up, threw our bags in the trunk and cruised down the dirt road while watching Shakira music videos on his little tv stationed to his dash. He barely noticed us. Clearly, Cuba was nothing at all like India and to be honest it took me a long time to get used to no one bothering me. It felt like home walking down the streets or getting a cab. Travel was safe, effective and mobile. It was a very nice change to Asia.

Dave and I stayed in casa’s which are comparable to bed and breakfasts here in Canada. The rooms cost about $20-$30 a night, including a hot water shower and clean sheets which is specifically noted for an experienced backpacker!!! I was ecstatic! A luxury vacay after all. ;)

After hearing about people’s horrific food experiences in Cuba, I was especially cautious about getting sick and especially cautious about catching another parasite. After 2 years of being sick, I knew that my stomach was susceptible to catching them more easily and so I was certainly prepared to eat my Lara bars at the best of times. However, to our pleasant surprise, the meals at the casa’s were EXTRAORDINARY! And I am not exaggerating. These home cooked meals were impressive. They usually began with freshly squeezed guava juice, a tomato and cucumber salad, fried plantains, pork, shrimp, chicken or lobster tail, beans, rice, onions, and traditionally finished with a tomato sauce. We were always served a dessert of creme caramel with coffee and often were too full to touch it. This explosion of dishes was $8 topped off with $1 beers! and it tasted delicious!!! The restaurants in towns were a bit of a different story – some were good and some were slightly shall I say not up to snuff.

The Casa’s are government run which is advantageous for both parties in many ways, as it provides jobs for locals and also creates a regulated home stay (if I can get away with calling it that) that guarantees clean water, clean food and a clean room environment. I highly encourage you to stay at accommodation like this as it is a cleaner and cheaper option than local hotels and brings jobs to the local population. Outside homes may look run down, but inside they are beautifully kept, with mosaics, open courtyards, and ornate Spanish furniture. They are truly gorgeous.

The average person makes an income of $5-8 a month and to my surprise even a highly educated doctor or engineer, makes only a meagre earnings of almost $25 a month. Casa’s have opened up avenues to both educated and uneducated locals, allowing them to make more money than in almost any profession in Cuba. There is a catch of course. The government charges $150 per rented room every month to keep their business going and so, if a room is not occupied that month, the owner must still pay this tax to the government. This is why I encourage you to stay at a casa, and eat their delicious food. Help keep them in business!!! It is such a wonderful way to travel and especially to meet other travellers and make relationships with local families.

If you are at all interested, here is a quick two week itinerary synopsis of the cities we visited.

Our first stop was Santa Clara, a University hub and musically driven city. The streets wound all around the valley and mountains surround the city. Mojitos are crushed and skillfully created every night as people salsa dance in all the local hot spots. This is a great place for people photography as this small town had a lot of country people, friendly and welcoming of being photographed.

Next, was a very old Colonial city called Caibarien. It is a dusty and crumbling town dotted along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Most houses are made of wood with long and narrow columns barely holding them upright. Elderly sit in their doorways watching the hustle and bustle of fishermen and farmers go by. The town is oddly barren however with a ghostly feeling of the days when it once was a rich exporting sugar mill town. Photography is great here too, however it is a small town and once discovered it is difficult to rediscover again and again.

Trinidad was our next stop. This tourist hub has not been ruined yet. It is a beautiful city full of cobblestone streets and colourful homes and churches. The nightlife is incredible and it hosts a nightclub in an actual cave! (like a serious deep dark cave) Mountains surround this city on one side and the ocean sprawl spreads on the other. You can rent bicycles here and have a beautiful ride to the beach and back. Photographically, your options are endless!

Havana, the old city was exactly what I expected! It is gorgeous! The old city has streets that will lose you forever. Crumbling walls and cobblestone streets. A very Spanish feeling city with restaurants everywhere. The old city is a bit too touristy for my liking though. I feel like you must work your way out further to experience some of the real Cuban restaurants and bars. People are more savvy here and many people will ask for money if you want to take their photo. You must be a little more creative when it comes to getting the perfect shot!

Vinales was our final destination which was the perfect way to end our vacation. Nestled in a valley surrounded by limestone mountains, this Cuban farm town looked more like Vietnam environmentally. This town is also catered to tourists but in a being busy way. There is always something to do here and somewhere to go. This is another great spot to rent bicycles and travel through the fields and mountains or hop on a pony and go for a horseback ride. The people are spectacularly friendly here with faces you could capture forever. There is one nightlife spot.

All in all, Cuba is a beautiful country full of delightful people, gorgeous countryside, pristine beaches and photographic opportunities that could keep you busy for a long time! I highly recommend this country and I especially would recommend it for first time backpackers. Its easy to navigate, hassle free and affordable!

Enough said. I hope you enjoy some of my Cuba work:

"Alvaro" Vinales, Cuba

"The Brood", Vinales, Cuba

"From his Rooftop" Havana, Cuba

"Obispo, Havana, Cuba"

"The Look-out, Havana, Cuba"

"Old Havana Church Square, Havana, Cuba"

"From the Hilltop, Trinidad, Cuba"

"Deja Vu, Trinidad, cuba"

"Field of Sticks, Trinidad, Cuba"

Now here is a series Dave and I shot together, entitled “Tobacco Farmers”

"Tobacco Rolling, Vinales, Cuba, April Maciborka"

"Days End, Vinales, Cuba, April Maciborka"

"Tobacco Field, Vinales, Cuba, Dave Wile"

"Cedro, Vinales, Cuba, Dave Wile"

"In the Tobacco Drying Hut, Vinales, Cuba, April Maciborka"

"Chaves; the Character, Vinales, Cuba, Dave Wile"

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$3065 per person on twin sharing basis

excludes airfare and taxes

Tour must fill up with minimum of 12 people and all bookings must be reserved before February 10th. 

Please contact Manny @ esohanlal@yahoo.com for flight or booking details and April @ april@aprilmaciborka.com for any itinerary, photo or logistics inquiries.



Board flight to Delhi,India.


Arrival in Delhi and greeted by private car at airport. Brought to hotel and check in. Overnight stay in Delhi.


Meet group.

Breakfast at the hotel.

Lotus Temple (9am-11am

Humayun’s Tomb

Metro ride to Sheesh Ganj Gurudwara Spice Market/ Paratha Wali Gali – explore the markets

Rickshaw ride through Old Delhi arriving at the Jama Masjid in time for sunset photos.

Eat dinner at Karim’s just down the lane from Jama Masjid.

Over night in Delhi.


Breakfast at the hotel.


Optional: City Walk tour with April through the markets and slum of Delhi.

Evening: City photos with April – long exposures of the city


Breakfast at hotel.

Drive to Agra

Check into hotel.

Taj Mahal on grounds (1 hour) and then go around Taj to Yamuna River to photograph the Taj sun set from behind. (1.5 hours)


Overnight in Agra.


Breakfast in Agra

Drive to Vrindavan and check into hotel.

We can make stops along the way to shoot possible villages/people with spontaneity.

Afternoon is free to roam many temples by rickshaw or go wander the village with April along the river

Prepare for the Holi festival and get your camera ready prepped!!!

Choti holi – day before holi – many fires burn and puja’s performed on this evening


Today is the festival of Holi! Get your gear ready and join the celebrations!

Overnight in Vrindavan


Breakfast at hotel.

Discover many temples spotted throughout Vrindavan and visit one of the famous ashrams that the widows of India visit and live in. Document their day-to-day life.

“Sri Bagwan Bhajan Ashram”

Overnight in Vrindavan


Breakfast in hotel.

Drive to Jaipur. Approx 4 hours.

Climb Amber fort, walk the city palace or explore the city or shop. The day is free to do as you please and explore what you can.

Overnight in Jaipur


Breakfast in hotel.

Free day in Jaipur

Overnight in Jaipur.


Breakfast in hotel.

Leave for Nagaur but stop off at Sambhar Salt Lake for some amazing photographs on the way.

Lunch at Sambhar.

Drive to Bikaner, stopping in Nagaur for dinner.

Overnight in Bikaner


After breakfast pack a small bag and your gear for a camel safari in the desert for the next two days. You will walk through dusty villages and desert scrub, discovering life in the desert and camping under the stars!

Stop at the Karni Mata Rat Temple before lunch in the village.

Sleep under the stars in the desert.

Dinner in the desert.


Breakfast in the desert.

Continue on camels and stop in one more village in the morning.

Transfer to jeep to bring us to Khichan to see the Demoiselle Cranes.

Drive to Phalodi and check into Lal Niwas

Dinner at hotel.


Breakfast at hotel.

Drive to Jaisalmer. Free to make stops along the way if the group chooses to do so.

Check into heritage hotel

Day free to roam in sandy town of Jaisalmer.

Optional: sunset excursion to Gadsisar Lake or Sam Sam Sand Dunes

Overnight in Jaisalmer


Breakfast at hotel.

Explore Jaisalmer as you wish. Visit the forts, the villages or take a bus or motor bike to explore the surrounding villages.

Overnight in Jaisalmer


Breakfast at hotel.

Arrive at the train station early for some beautiful train station shots

Overnight in train


Upon arrival in Delhi, check into hotel.

FREE DAY in Delhi.

Catch up on the photos you missed or go shopping and fill your bags.

Optional – City tour with April that will test your growth in photography as well as your courage and approachability compared to the first day

After farewell dinner transfer to Delhi airport and board flight home.


-15 nights accommodation on twin sharing basis

-daily buffet breakfast

- all transfers, excursionsm sightseeing tours by a/c tempu-traveller

-service of an English speaking local guide provided for sightseeing and excursion tours

- 1 elephant ride at Jaipur

-1 tonga ride at Agra

- camel safari with Vijay, including 1 night stay in desert

- farewell dinner

- mineral water during transfers and sightseeing

- overnight train between Jaisalmer and Delhi

- all currently applicable taxes






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the checklist



 A P R I L   M A C I B O R K A

Roaming Rajasthan is a photography tour that aims to teach, guide and evoke photographers or individuals interested in learning more about travel photography. We take you on a journey of discovery, where tradition, culture and people remain relatively unspoiled and the changing landscapes reveal themselves in their real and raw beauty.

This tour is not just for professionals, but also for amateurs, hobbyists and people interested in learning more about photography. It is suited for an eclectic mix of people whose interests range in landscapes, architecture, people, culture, food and adventure. The commonality that we can all guarantee between us is the passion for travel and photography. :)

I am a professional photographer with 7 years of photography experience. I serve as the travel photography guide who will attempt to push your photographic limits technically, creatively and emotionally. My itinerary is designed to fill your senses with a wide variety of subject matter, allowing you to truly focus on capturing unique photojournalistic stories and travel images.

I have prepared this itinerary to revolve around the “Holi” festival which is otherwise known as the festival of colours. People of all ages and religions gather in the streets partaking in a colour powder throwing celebration. It is one of the most famous festivals India is known for and certainly an opportunity for beautiful images! I have not been to India during Holi but have wanted to create a trip revolved around this momentous festival.

Not only will we photograph Holi, but we will ride camels through the desert, document widows in an ashram, and discover what life is like in a one of the biggest slums in the world.

Here are some images by other photographers of the great Holi Festival


Image above by: manan_vatsyayana

I invite you to come for an adventure that will evoke a new understanding in life and in people. It will inspire you and tickle your passion for photography.

Our relaxed and interactive photographic tour includes:

  • Attention to detail with a seamless operation by April Maciborka and Manny from Hunnyflyholidays, who provides all the logistics, accommodation, transportation, food and travel guide
  • A highly personalized tour by April Maciborka who will share her expertise providing advice on an array of subjects such as how to approach a subject, how to analyze light and how to learn to trust your ‘gut’. Advice will also be given on how to improve your photography
  • Journeying to “off the beaten track” places that allow for more advantageous and real life photographic moments.
  • Advice, guidance, lessons, and group shooting lead by an experienced travel photographer
  • Opportunities to observe how your lead photographer explores and goes about capturing story-telling images of new areas
  • Destinations and activities selected specifically for their photographic nature
  • Itinerary custom tailored to take maximum advantage of photographic opportunities at the most opportune time of day but also allowing enough flexibility to take advantage of any unexpected opportunities that may arise
  • The optional assistance on location and analysis of your images each day after shooting
  • Opportunities to mix with photographers with different skill sets to learn and share experiences
  • Freedom for participants to choose to join in on critiques or not. Advanced participants can join the group for company of fellow photographers but choose to shoot primarily on their own if desired
  • Flexible schedules that allow you freedom to choose how involved with lessons and critiques you want to become or if you prefer to shoot alone or with a fellow photographer
  • Travel with interesting, like-minded individuals who all love photography
  • Experience the real India by immersing yourself in camping safaris, city walks, and the freedom to explore villages on your own
  • Complimentary blog posting and group documentation by April Maciborka

Our expedition is open to people of all levels in photography as long as you know the basics on how to operate your camera. The tour is aimed at practicing the skills of seeing, interacting with our subjects, composing a shot quickly and spontaneously, and improving our skill sets while discovering a new world different from our own.

 E X T R A   T I D – B I T ’ S

To gain the best reception we must be respectful of India’s people’s religions, culture and etiquette. More conservative apparel for both men and women will give you a much warmer and more hospitable response from locals. This is especially important for people photography, as it is our goal to create relationships with local people quickly and easily. Covering your shoulders and thighs is respectful in India. Try to also refrain from acting too affectionate in public such as kissing or cuddling. This is not condoned behaviour by Indian society. When visiting a religious or sacred site, please dress and behave respectfully. If you are unsure of proper etiquette, observe the locals. Please refrain from smoking, wearing tank tops or shorts while in a sacred site.


R E Q U I R E D    E Q U I P M E N T    C H E C K L I S T 


Each person must have a quality DSLR or SLR camera. A camera without a manual option/removable lenses is not appropriate for the type of photography we practice. All cameras must have a manual option, setting with apertures, shutter speeds, and manual focusing. Lenses must be removable.

Film cameras are also accepted; medium formats, 35mm


 S U G G E S T E D     E Q U I P M E N T     C H E C K L I S T

An array of lenses with different focal ranges is desired but not required.

If you are to bring any two lenses, I would suggest a wide-angle zoom lens and a long lens. Fast prime lenses are also recommended such as the 50mm f1.4 or 1.8, 85mm f1.8 for low light conditions.

Some of the lenses I use for my Canon are:

35mm, 50mm, 24-105mm, 24-70mm, 17-40mm, 70-200mm, 70-300mm


If you are shooting with transparency film, please bring it beforehand. It is practically unavailable in India. Recommend: Fuji Provia 100, Velvia, Kodak Ektachrome

Approximately 6 rolls of 36 exposures will be used per day as a minimum.

Recommend all film to be brought from home with varying ranges in ISO: 160 ISO, 400 ISO, and 800 ISO is recommended


R E C O M M E N D E D    A C C E S S O R I E S

Plug Adapter of 230-240V AC

Hard Drive if you are shooting digitally (min 60GB) Lacie Rugged drives are durable and light

Card Reader, cables etc

Laptop if you have one (not necessary) – and photoshop is great to have if you are retouching files. Programs such as lightroom, aperture, bridge etc are also helpful.

Memory Cards (16GB minimum per day)

Light tripod, esp if you are shooting with a Medium Format camera/Monopod can be useful

Flash and Batteries (although batteries can be purchased in Delhi)

Camera cleaning kit

Extra Camera Battery/Charger

UV Filter/ Polarizing filter/ Other filters you may want to use

Flash/Light meter is optional with batteries

Durable camera bag, backpack or camera belt

In the case of Holi, please bring a waterproof bag for your camera.

Small reflector disc

Plastic bags to protect your gear/bag if it rains/sand/Ziplock bags

Note pad/pen

Small flashlight: head torches are awesome! You can find these at mountain equipment co-op: http://www.mec.ca/Main/home.jsp

A Hindi/English phrasebook is handy when attempting to speak to locals

A pack of pens or pencils from home is great to have to give out to children. Please avoid bringing sweets or handing out money in exchange for photographs.


Pack light because what you take you must carry!

This list is only recommended. Take what you think you will need and use.

March is very hot in India so bring breathable clothes and flip flops with a pair of running shoes.


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ROAMING RAJASTHAN. A photo tour to India.

Well well! The time has come where I have finally got the details together and organized my first photo excursion to India without the complications of running under someone else’s corporation!

With the finest details ironed out by a tour company based in India, www.hunnyflyholidays.com - I am announcing a 17 day photo tour through some of the finest cities and small villages in Rajasthan, India!  I have tried to encapsulate a combination of both the chaos in India but also with the balance of the superbly sublime and quietness of the villages.

The tour revolves around one of the grandest festivals of India – Holi – known as the festival of colours! It is celebrated by people throwing coloured powder and water at each other. It is a spectacle to experience first hand and of course have the pleasure of photographing! In addition to small village and large city discoveries, we will go on a camel safari through the desert, photograph a salt lake, visit an ashram devoted to widowed women and see the stunning Taj Mahal.

My tour is a combination of off the beaten track discovery spotted with some great tourist sites and festivals that cannot be missed! India is not for the weak of heart. If you’re a mindful wanderlust with a passion for discovery of culture and adventure; you have found the tour right for you.

The tour sets to depart March 2, 2012, requiring a minimum of 12 people. Photographers, amateurs, hobbyists and the like are all welcome. Photographers with SLRS or DSLRS and a basic knowledge of exposure is the minimum requirement.

I will start accepting deposits immediately and must have all deposits 30 days prior to departure. The sooner I get deposits, the sooner airfare can be booked!!!!

Updates including a list of what to bring and other fine details will be posted regularly.

For any inquiries regarding this tour, please email me at april@aprilmaciborka.com, call me at 647.330.6601 or email Manny from hunnyfly who lives here in Toronto @ esohanlal@yahoo.com.

Roaming Rajasthan photo expedition : please click on this link for the itinerary and details.

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In 2008, I left Forever Angels Baby Home where I was volunteering in Mwanza, Tanzania and went on a weekend holiday to my friends home village for the weekend. My friend, Regina, was a full time nanny for the orphaned babies, helping me in the pre-school that I started. She is a hard worker, always arrives with a smile and never complains about anything. From the bits I learned of her life, however, I learned that she had a troubled one.

Her husband was a doctor who performed secret abortions for extra money. One day, one of his patients didn’t make it alive. He fled the country and called Regina occasionally. He feared for his life and hence never again returned to his family or wife. Meanwhile, Regina learned she was pregnant with a son and was devastated at the thought of bringing him up on her own. She was not well off and severely heartbroken over her husband abandoning her. Regina, scared that she would not survive bringing up her son alone, found a job at Forever Angels Baby Home. She worked diligently and became one of the orphanages hardest workers. She made a decent living there but still found it difficult to save money for a home and doctors bills. Once her baby was born, she moved into a rented room not too far away from the orphanage and tried to work and care for her baby simultaneously. This was much too difficult to sustain so she ended up sending her son to live with her brother and his wife and two children. There they had the means to providing a better life for her son.

Regina, alone again, came day after day to the baby home mopping, and sweeping and cutting little paper men for the children’s arts and crafts. I noticed after a while that on lunch break, she would not stop working. I used to go to my home to cook but one day stayed with her. She had no food to eat. I asked her where her lunch was and she replied “I am not feeling so good. I will eat later.”

Week after week, I watched her and still she never ate a lunch. I invited her to eat with me and sometimes she agreed but rarely. As we grew closer she told me that she wanted to save her money so that her son could come back to live with her and that was why she skipped lunch and sometimes dinner. I swallowed hard and replied “That would be lovely.”

From that day forward, Regina and I became close and soon I was invited back to her home village to stay with her parents for the weekend. There, she would be reunited with her son. I had an incredible visit and was welcomed whole heartedly by each family member. My experience with her family was one I will never forget. I witnessed Regina together with her son again and she just beamed!!! In her eyes – she would sacrifice a million meals to see her son just once more.

These photos remind me of how fortunate I am to be born into a country with opportunity. The selflessness, tenacity, and benevolence in the people of Tanzania and Africa in general is awe inspiring. When you have literally nothing but your loved ones – your life’s meaning is really clear. Even though life is soooo much different here in Canada – I try to go back to these stories and really appreciate what is most important in my life. As much as I may go astray with the chaos, stress, and competitive career stricken city that we live in- I always have these moments to reflect upon and remind myself why I am here today.

xo – april

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Slowly I am catching up on my travel shots. Here are two of my favourite panoramics from Mexico. Soon I will have some time lapses to share.

xo april

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24 Hour Chicago

For almost exactly 24 hours I had the pleasure of visiting the windy city of Chicago for the second time – but this time in the summer!!! I had a chance to dine, dance and roam the city and even explore the cityscape from the air! An hour plane ride over the towers, lake, cottage life and Oprah Winfrey condo made it all such a pleasure! Here are some of the tasters from the ride.

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Puerto Aventuras, Playa del Carmen

On May 24 weekend, a supposed “girls vacay” turned into my bestie, her brother and his friend going off to Mexico for a week together. It was an all-inclusive resort get-away which I have never done or really desired to do since I am such a vega-bond, however, to my delight, I greatly enjoyed myself! The week of relaxation, tanning, drinking and wandering the city was what we needed after a long winter. Albeit, I didn’t use my camera as much as expected but it did make some appearances.

The Resort.

Playa del Carmen.


Xel Ha.

I’ll have some cool panoramics to follow up with soon! And a recent trip to Chicago!

xo – april

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Quesnel, British Columbia

Near the end of March, advertising photographer, David Wile and I took a trip to Quesnel, B.C. shooting a creative for Febreze and getting ample time to work on our own personal work.

Today, Quesnel is a logging community surrounded by marshlands and situated just west of the Rockies. The industrial centre of Quesnel – Two Mile Flat – is the logging centre of the region and is the largest collection of wood manufacturers in North America.

Together we hired a private plane to take us up over the city of Quesnel to shoot the logging town and some mountain peaks. The town was quiet to say the least, showing signs of spring in a location that rarely sees spring until the summer months, so we had plenty of good weather to wander the town and discover its fascinations.

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