Monday, April 6, 2009


In my search for a home I've finally settled on

Please visit and check out my photography.

Greg Inda

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Strip

The Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  But Vegas will always stay with you."

I've been going to Las Vegas since I was 2 years old.  Back then I would cling to my mother as we walked through the casino.  Trying to avoid Caesar and Cleopatra since I would start crying anytime they tried to talk to me.  Then a few years would pass and I'd be in Circus Circus playing video games with my Grandpa while my Mom and Grandma played nickel slots.  I got to be pretty good at driving games that year.  A few more years would pass and I'd gone from video games to slots and slots to poker tournaments.  

In all those years as I was growing up, so was Vegas.  It's true Vegas hit its stride long before I was born, but it has evolved.  Vegas never stops rebuilding itself.  New casinos spring up on top of the old.  I remember when the blinking sign of the Stardust Casino was big news.  My mom and I would stand outside and try to count all the lights.  Then the nightly eruption of the volcano at the Mirage was big big news, followed by pirate battles at Treasure Islands.  Everything bigger and more epic than its predecessors.

While I know Vegas is Sin City, and as far as a moral compass, it's pointing straight to hell.  But to me their is a redeeming lesson that Las Vegas can teach us.  Really Vegas is a reflection of our own spirit, to outdo ourselves.  To best our previous attempts.  In the same way an Olympic sprinter works to get a faster time, every time.  Las Vegas shows us that even when we think we're at the very top, we can go higher.

Like a climber on top of Everest looking to space, we can all travel higher.

Greg Inda
World Class Traveler

-The photo was shot at ISO 400 1/50th f/2.5 through a 35mm lens.
-For more information on traveling to Las Vegas visit
-To see more of my photography visit

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Long and Not So Winding Road

Long Desert Road

The Long and Not So Winding Road, Northwest Arizona
This photo, taken as a memory of where I was, reminds me more so of the journey to.

Destination Sky Bridge!  I was excited as the Sky Bridge had just opened and is quite an amazing structure.  A glass bottom bridge jutting out and over the rim of the Grand Canyon.  This was just too cool to pass up, and coupled with my fear of heights I knew it would get my adrenaline going.

I rolled out of Phoenix bright and early, ready to tackle the 8+ hour drive ahead of me.  I usually don't drive long distances solo, but convincing my friends to drive out to a bridge proved to be impossible.  I prepared my Dodge Caliber rental with a portable GPS Navigation system, an iPod, and lots of strawberry flavored water.  My destination was a ranch 10 minutes from the sky bridge along a dirt road.

In addition to my GPS I had a Google map and the directions listed on the ranches webpage.  So feeling confident in my abilities I drove hard and fast.  Peddle to the Metal.  Going through cities and major highways I was cruisin'.  I had gone through one gas tank and was halfway through another, so I pulled over for gas.  That proved to be my first life saver.

Had I not pulled over to fill up, which I considered waiting to do, I would have run out of gas in the desert.  That gas station turned out to be the last bastion of civilization that I would see until returning too it on the way home.  Pressing forward I started losing the signal on my cell phone.

The picture above is the road just past the gas station.  It marks the beginning, my journey into oblivion.  Technology all around me started to fail.  My cell phone had no signal.  My GPS repeatedly told me to make a U Turn.  My iPod remained as my only link to the 21st century.  My paper map told me to continue on this path and so I did.

The path through the desert is straight.  No turns.  Not even a gentle weave.  It was an arrow, straight and narrow.  No sign of life, save for herds of cattle.  No road signs.  No friendly Sky Bridge This Way.  The road was straight yet uncertain.

I admit I was afraid.  My GPS didn't really know where it was going.  I didn't know if the Google map knew where it was going.  I didn't know where I was going.  All I knew is that the gas station I passed was now far far away and if I didn't keep going forward I would never make it by sunset, and the thought of spending the night in the desert was not a pleasant one.

Finally I found my sign.  A right turn onto a dirt road.  A windy, dirt road.  By this time the sun was beginning to set.  It was a race against the sun.  I started driving like a rally racer, darting in and out of turns.  Kicking up dust as my back tires slid across the dirt.  I sped along until I finally came to a ranch house.  I was relieved as the sun was 10 minutes from setting.

I entered the property and found a staff member.  I showed her my reservation and she very clearly pointed out that this was not where I was staying.  She explained that the ranch I wanted was another 30 minutes down the road and that I couldn't miss it.  So back my car I went.

I sat in the car and watched as the sun set over the horizon.  This was uncomfortable and dangerous.  I slowly started back on the road, trying not to lose my trail.  Their were moments when I didn't know which way to go, or where I had been.  I pressed on for 40 minutes, which turned into 50 minutes.  I found an airport, in the middle of the desert!  But no ranch.  I was stopped by airport security and asked what I was doing there so late.  I explained my situation and was told I missed the turn off.  "Look for the end of the fence and a big patch of land with all the trees cleared.  Follow that road."  Great.

I found the turn off and continued down this new road which was more bump than dirt.  I swear this is the most excitement that Dodge Caliber had ever felt.  I passed by what looked like a miniature town.  It had no signs, but I took a gamble.  I found a bunch of cowboys hanging around by the corral.  They confirmed that I was in fact in the right place, but the head cowboy explained that they had no more reservations that night.  He then cracked a smile.  He was joking...  Perfect time for it.

He took me along to the woman in charge of bookings and she got me all squared away.  The following day was spent in a helicopter, a boat, a bus, and walking on the Sky Bridge.  A trip not to be forgotten, and a lesson learned "If your heading into the desert, you can never leave too early."

Greg Inda
World Class Traveler (though you may call me Sky Walker)

-Picture was shot at ISO 100 1/800 f/6.3 (I was in landscape mode and didn't know any better)
-For more information on visiting the Sky Bridge visit
-To see more of my photography visit

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mountain Top Meadow

Meadow View

Mountain Top Meadow, Tongass Region, Alaska

I had never been in a helicopter before.  I'd seen Alaska by train, plane, boat, and horse, but helicopters were new and a little scary.  I get nervous with vertical motion.  At theme parks all across the country I usually avoid rides* with names like "The Giant Drop", "The Big Dipper", or "Blast Off".  The vertical ascent and the rapid descent is built into my muscle memory, so even though I'm a rational person, I can't help but think this helicopter isn't going to work right.

I remember looking at the ground during take off.  I pictured myself jumping at the moment we left the ground, and as we climbed higher and higher, it was like I was a super hero jumping through the sky.  Then we hovered...  

Hovering doesn't feel natural.  Hovering feels like "I'm about to plummet."  Hovering is what in physics class we'd call potential energy, we haven't converted all of our stored energy into kinetic energy.  That kinetic energy, aided by gravity, is what I would call "falling to my death energy."  But strangely none of this happened.

Our pilot tipped the nose down ever so slightly, and we moved forward.  Then he said some soothing words which included "You can relax, I've been doing this for 30 years."  Nothing will put you at ease like confident assurance.  And our forward motion was nothing like I would have expected.  In video games, helicopter flying is always portrayed as the constant struggle between moving forward and descending altitude.  This was smooth.  Like being in an airplane, but slower.

Higher and higher we climbed, over the mountains, through the clouds, until we spotted a clearing.  A little meadow with a stream.  It peaked our interest because it was so remote.  A little paradise enclosed by mountain rock and sheer cliffs.  We landed, and though I had largely gotten over my fears, feeling soil beneath my feat was certainly a relief.  

I started exploring and saw some beautiful wild flowers, tiny and fragile.  The stream was shallow, and seemed more like water spilt on a table, running over the edge and dripping on the floor.  I climbed the hill from where I took the picture and looked out.  I was so high up, but all I could see was this meadow.  Secluded by the mountain walls and clouds near the edge.  Totally alone.  Unspoiled by humanity.  In a place like this my troubles and worry couldn't touch me.  Regret melted away.  It was just me and this place.

It was very calming and meditative.  I felt like a new man, reinvigorated with life.  I sat back down in the helicopter, the engine started up and I thought "Please don't hover!!!"

Greg Inda
World Class Traveler

*I enjoy the "Tower of Terror" ride at Disney.  Even though its a vertical drop in the dark, I like the story element, and apparently that can go a long way.

-The photo was shot on a Canon Powershot S400 on full auto.  I'm not sure of the ISO, but the shutter speed was 1/500th at f/2.8
-For information on touring the Tongass region of Alaska, visit
-To see more photography by Greg Inda, visit

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jama' El Fna At Night

Jama' El Fna by Night

Jama' El Fna At Night
Marrakech, Morroco

Known by tourists as the "Main Square", the Jama' El Fna of Marrakech is a true Jekyll and Hyde.  By day it's littered with snake charmers, acrobats, and tourists.  By night the square transforms into a fable, of myth and mystery.  

I'd spent the morning at the square with my mother, and most of the day I was terrified some snake charmer would sneak up and put a snake around my neck, insist I take a picture, and then charge me 20 dirham.  The square, full of  tourists looking for a great deal on a knock off purse, is interesting.  But not what I'd call drop dead amazing.  It's where a pivotal scene from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" was shot, which delighted the film buff in me.  But sadly, the square felt like a scam.  

I knew we'd be going back in the evening, for what our guide said was "... Not to be missed."  But how excited can you get over seeing something you already saw... with less light?  If I'm looking to buy a new car and I don't like it, am I supposed to like it when the lights get turned off?

We took the bus into town and got within three blocks of the square.  Truth be told, on the bus I sort of zoned off into my own world.  This was one of the last nights of the trip and I had a lot on my mind.  So when the bus stopped I was caught off guard.  I started walking to the front of the bus and peered out the windows.  The streets were FULL of people.  Not full like lunch hour in New York.  Not even full like shopping malls on "Black Friday."  No, these streets were filled like New York, Chicago, and L.A. combined on New Years Eve.  Marrakech has a population of 1,035,000 and they were ALL in the square.

The Square changes.  What was a wide open area filled with fortune tellers and snake charmers turns into row after row of food stalls.  It's like a nightly "Taste of Chicago".  I mean literally hundreds of little restaurants, with the smoke of freshly cooked chicken and veggies rising through the air.  Every one of your senses becomes aroused.  

We walked to our guides favorite food stall and sat down for dinner, consisting of a goats head, shish kabobs, and french fries.  Sitting there it was easy to be overwhelmed by the people walking by, occasionally projecting upward and thinking of myself as an ant in an ant farm.  You feel your true place in the world when your surrounded by a million people.

After dinner we walked around the square.  We listened to Berber storytellers spin there desert tales only to reach the climax, take a collection, and then promise to finish on the following evening.  A never ending cycle to keep your audience.  We saw magicians dazzle us with their sleight of hand.  But the most impressive magic to me, was how over the course of the day, just how much this place changes.  It's ironic to me that in some translations Jama' El Fna means Assembly of the Dead, because to me its filled with life.

Greg Inda
World Class Traveler

-This photo was taken at ISO 1600 f/10 at 1/80 through a 35mm lens.
-For more information on visiting Marrakech and other Moroccan cities, visit and tell them Greg Inda sent you for a discount.
-To see more of Greg Inda's photography visit

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Maasai Walk

Maasai Walk Redux

The Maasai Walk

By this point I was sufficiently impressed with Africa.  Before coming I thought I'd see some animals but they'd be mere specks on my photos.  You often hear of wildlife photographers going to zoo's to get good close ups up the animals.  Now this isn't to say I wasn't looking forward to the trip.  I was very much looking forward too it.  But it's safe to say I didn't know what to expect.  This photo was taken about 4 days in to the trip.  Again with my misguided expectations, I thought my time would be spent entirely in a Land Rover, with little hope of touching dirt.  This late afternoon however, we got that chance.  

We headed out to a salt water lake about half a mile from our camp.  It was about eight people from our group, two guides, and our one Maasai warrior who was there for our protection.  He didn't speak any english, and I didn't understand Swahili, so our guides provided the translations.  But what needed no interpretor was this warrior was absolutely fearless.  He walked with such confidence.  This was his home, and while we were concerned with poisonus snakes and hungry lions, he was enjoying the light breeze shooting across the grass carrying with it the taste of salt from the lake.  

About halfway home our group started asking him about the old ways of the Maasai.  Specifically about the marriage rights and the dowry a husband gives to the wife's family.  He told us in the old days a Maasai man HAD to include a lion skin for the wife's father.  Stunned and wondering how these people managed to survive for so many years with such a dangerous tradition we asked "Well how do you kill a lion?"  What came next needed no intereptor as few words were spoken, but he took on the role of storyteller and acted out both his part and the lions part.  This is what he said...

1) Find your lion
2) Stick your spear in the ground angled at the lion.  Notice in the picture the two ends of the spear.  The End in his right hand would go in to the ground, the end in the air that looks like a blade points at the lion.
3) Take off the top wrapping from your toga.  In this case it was the red squared thing he's wearing.  Taunt the lion with it.  Like enticing a bull, flap the cape around both sides of your spear.
4) As the lion starts approaching look for the moment he tenses up.  This means he is prepared to pounce.  As the lion pounces, cover the spear tip with the cape.  The lion, not knowing where the spear tip is, will impale itself.
5) With the lion impaled, take out your knife and cut the achilles tendon on each of the lions four legs.
6) The lion bleeds to death and you claim your wife.

If you asked me "Greg, how does someone kill a lion?" and I went over all this you'd say "Sure, like you wouldn't run away as fast as you can."  And your probably right.  But friends, let me tell you, as our Maasai friend went through the steps, I have no doubt he could.

Greg Inda 
World Class Traveler

-This photo was shot at ISO 100 1/640 f/6.3  At the time I was shooting in landscape mode on my Canon EOS 30D (I didn't know any better;).  Its been altered minimally in Photoshop CS3.
-For information on taking your own African Safari please check out and tell them Greg Inda sent you (It'll get you a discount).
-To check out more of my photography please visit my flickr page at and if you like my stuff drop me a comment.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Salar de Uyuni

Salt Tits redux
The Salar de Uyuni
(The Salar is the world's largest salt flat spanning 4,085 square miles.  That's 25 times larger than the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah)

I'd been in Bolivia for 10 days.  This was the midpoint of the trip.  I'd been through the Jungles visiting remote churches, through the zinc mines handing out booze and dynamite to the miner's, and dodged water balloons thrown by locals in anticipation of Carnival.  Bolivia is filled with amazing experiences, however the Salar was like nothing I'd ever seen before.

I'd gone to Bolivia in the rainy season.  What that means for the Salar is a pretty constant 2-6 inches of water on its surface.  With so much still water and a white surface underneath it makes the Salar into a giant mirror, reflecting all the surrounding mountains, clouds, even me when I was standing on it.  The reflection is so powerful that during the day you have to cover your skin head to toe, or risk serious sun burn.

Driving across the salt was like flying.  While the driver was in the cab, I elected to sit on the roof of the 4x4, and to have an unobstructed 360 degree view.  I was surrounded by clouds.  You can't tell the difference between the sky and the ground, I felt so small.  A speck in life's circle.  Every couple minutes I'd start to tear up, a combination of the joy I was feeling and the fresh air blowing across my face... at 55 mph.

Our route took us to Isla del Pescado for lunch, a tiny cactus filled island in the middle of the Salar.  A popular stop for bus loads traveling from city to city.  For some people, traveling the Salar was their morning and evening commute.  Imagine if your daily commute took you through the Grand Canyon, or over Pike's Peak.

On my way back to civilization for the evening we stopped by these salt mounds.  Some locals pile the salt up to dry out, and then harvest it for table salt.  I believe at the time salt was going for 25 cents a pound.  So despite its enormous quantity, it's not likely to make anyone a millionaire.

The Salar humbled me.  Reminded me where I stood in the universe.  If I look at this picture and close my eyes I can remember the silence, the lonliness.  I've vowed to return someday.

Greg Inda
World Class Traveler

-The picture was taken with a Canon Powershot Digital Elph S400.  I can't retrieve all the metadata, but I can tell you it was shot at 1/250 f/7.1

-For more photographs taken by Greg Inda please go to
-For tour information to see the Salar yourself, please visit and tell them you heard about it from me :)