Joanna: Last week James you were filming in Iceland. I'd love to know how that trip was and what you learned.

James: Yeah I just got back from filming in Iceland for VMC. It's been a while since we've kind of gone out and shot anything. And that's just because I had a baby at home and kind of spending a lot more time with the family and just not able to kind of get away for a few nights to go and do some stuff and I mean I've gone to Iceland a few times and the reality is it's actually cheaper to go to Iceland that it is across our own country. So if I were to go to the west coast it'd be more expensive than even going to Iceland within Canada. So that's kind of people asking why do keep on going back there and I keep on thinking that's actually one of the cheapest places to go and find ocean and mountains and rivers and all kinds of different things like that. And the trip was going to be a disaster.

Joanna: Oh no Okay I haven't heard this yet.

James: It's well when you go to places like especially along the coast and way up north. It's all really weather dependent right. So looking ahead I saw some great weather and then when I got there I was covered by lots of clouds and fog. So had to do a bit of driving and checking some satellite radar but there was one basically my second last night to last night. It was completely fogged in and I just decided to go for a drive further away like backtracking a little bit from what I had done. And I just came around one corner and all of a sudden the sun was out and I had some great lighting and was able to shoot because of the awesome you know Midnight Sun was able to shoot from around 10:00 p.m. to about 3:00 in the morning. But it was really it was really great. And I managed to avoid a lot of crowds. I did something a little different this time I did a thing called time shifting which is basically I stayed at the same air BNB place and I slept all day. So I went to bed at 10 a.m. and slept till 6 p.m. and then got up and then stayed up all night long. So basically just trying to avoid the crowds right like Iceland is.

Joanna: Because these days. Iceland has become so popular.

James: It's so popular and there's just like I mean they've capitalized on it. There's a lot of tour buses into our companies operating so if you get to some spots there can be three tour buses that have just poured out one hundred and fifty people right.

Joanna: So you're trying to get great visuals without tons of tourists.

James: It's becoming harder to get great visuals without someone you know with a selfie stick or you know 30 photographers all trying to get the same shot and that plan really worked out there was a lot of locations where I was completely alone and then I end up going way far east kind of beyond where most people go. And there was a few hours out there where I didn't see a car for for maybe a few hours or complete alone in some locations which gave me the ability to throw up the drone and the real the focus was to get some more epic kind of aerials. And I was able to throw up the drone and there's no houses there's no people so it's actually the prime location to do aerial stuff because you're not having to worry about any of the kind of rules that you encounter here in North America.

Joanna: And I know one of the things we've talked about in why you love going on these trips if we can get personal is you talk about how for you nature such a huge connection for you and God. So what was something that you were reminded of about who God is on this trip as you saw all these beautiful things.

James: Well I'm always reminded of just how amazing and big the world can be I mean living in a city you always just look at manmade creations right? Like it like it's impressive to see large buildings and like what mankind can do. But then when you get out into the mountains and you realize the scope of things and you you can almost see, I see the hand of God and everything you realize like I was standing on this one big long black sand beach right. And it's literally like five miles long just small little pebbles the size of a fingernail. And I was thinking to myself like how long would it take for mankind with like bulldozers and all the modern equipment to make this beach. And I was like this would take. This would take years upon years like how long it is it's unfathomable how like I'm looking off into the horizon I can't see the end and yeah. And it's just it's this big long straight beach and I have some pictures up on my Instagram and it's just the, you get the sense of scale and I think that's often what I need to be reminded of is how big God is. And then it's also a reminder once you get out and alone you realize like how important people are to you. Like I I tend to like those times alone but it also reminds me of how much I do long for my wife my kids my family. And so it's like it makes me come home, like oh wow.

Joanna: The VMC family.

James: Yeah the guys back at the office but it's it's always a good reminder to get that. But I always I just see God in nature especially when it's a big epic peaks and downs and just things that things that I just stay I can stare at for hours.

Joanna: And I mean that's also the power of as church communicators what we're trying to do is help communicate those kinds of things to people who will never get to those places but how do we inspire lift people's eyes. Help people look to God and see how amazing how big he is.

James: And the other thing is like we live in a huge world and we often. We're all usually in our own little bubble right in our own little location and the reality is the evidence of God is throughout the world. There's so many different things out there that you've never seen before I've I've never seen before that can really point to like just how immense God is. Like if you're only always looking within your own little bubble you can sometimes forget that there's so much more out there that God has a hand and it's not just involved in your small little sphere but throughout the entire world and throughout all people right in all locations. So that is that is the reminder for me. And I find that energizing and I guess the encouragement to other people is to find what energizes you right. Like you can't always go on a big trip per say yeah. But for me it's just sometimes going for a walk right a walk around the neighbourhood a walk through the park go down to the lake go through a forest somewhere and I find that energizing and I think as creatives we need to always, probably once a week if not more doing something that energizes you rather than you're always giving and giving.

Joanna: Yeah. That's it. That's a great piece advice, and I definitely want to go to Iceland one day.