Kate McDowell

"Being able to experience the unexpected has been the greatest journey that I could ever be a part of. When I thought about this trip to Australia I imagined warm weather, tourist attractions, and swamp-like land, but I realised that this place that I had drawn out in my head was not even close to the truth. As we travelled to different places, I was shocked to see that in this foreign land I could relate so much to home. My home in Texas is a beautiful ranch with pastures, cattle, canyons, and red clay dirt. Surprisingly, quite a bit of Australia that I saw looked like my home with pastures, canyons, and red dirt plus sand. At first I was disappointed in what I saw, but then I started noticing the little details and this place that I knew nothing about became absolutely breathtaking. However, this trip was not all about seeing Australia; it was also a learning experience in more ways than one. We came to learn about photography, which was certainly accomplished. Frustrating at times, but in the end as I looked at my final works I cannot even begin to describe how rewarding it was to see the outcome. I did not know much about photography when I started off, but now I know how to take a ‘professional’ photo, and have a much deeper understanding about photography as a whole.

I have lived, learned and laughed like I never have before. I have gotten to spend this wonderful adventure with twenty amazing people that I have become very close to. Gaining a few things from this trip was my goal, but I will be going home with many different things rather than just a few. Amazing photos, an understanding of photography as an art, the opportunity to see parts of Australia that most people do not get to see, and most of all I will be going home with lifelong friends that I have made from this trip."