The Heights x Michael Wilson

London based photographer Michael Wilson is on an adventure to see the World. After a period that has seen him visit 22 countries in 23 months, Michael shares some of his favourite images and explains in his own words what makes the moments so special. 


The Project

I went into work one Monday morning and received an email asking me if I’d be interested in working in Berlin for the next 2 weeks to help our German office work on a pitch. After thinking about it for all of 1 second I said “Of course!”. About 12 hours later I was in Berlin.

I’ve never really been someone who would put ‘Travelling’ on their Tinder bio, but getting booked and ready for Berlin was so easy I started to think I should do this more. That was the start of a 20 month period where I visited a different country every month.

I’ve taken my camera with me on every trip and tried to capture photos from my experience of being there.

Berlin

Berlin was the catalyst for all of this so it has a special place in my heart. I spent 2 weeks there and fell in love with the city (I also nearly moved their full time after being offered a job by the German office).

I was there in February so there were plenty of crisp mornings but the sun always seemed to shine. This made the already stunning Berliner Dom really pop against the beautiful blue skies. My love of architecture often leads me to take this style of photograph. I want to keep things simple and allow the building to be the only focus.

Stockholm

Stockholm is famed for the incredible underground stations. This station, however, is at the airport and was the first photo I took on my trip. I’m a little (a lot) OCD and love symmetry and patterns so this really sung to me. I’ve actually got this photo blown up to 50 inches and placed in my living room.

Luxembourg

When you plan on visiting everywhere in the world there’s a lot less pressure on choosing the ‘best’ place to go next. Luxembourg is somewhere I had never considered going but I saw it on a map one day and made the decision it was next.

It’s a beautiful city of old and new, with the old town (a world heritage site) set at the bottom of a valley. If like me, you’ve never considered Luxembourg I’d suggest you start thinking about it.

Madrid

I was having a few cocktails at sunset on a rooftop bar, as you do, when I noticed these incredible silhouettes standing out against the sky. There were a lot of people taking sunset photos from the rooftop, but I’d like to think I was the only one who captured this.

Costa Rica

The original plan was to visit 12 countries in 12 months and I wanted to do something special for the final country. While most of my trips are long weekends in Europe, my 12th visit was a 2 week tour of Costa Rica.

Costa Ricans are considered the happiest people on earth and I could see why. I visited 4 different regions and every one of them had something different. The people, the landscapes, the wildlife and the weather really make this country very very special.

This photo was taken on my last evening in Costa Rica and it’s one of many I took during my time there.

Paris

I’d enjoyed going away so much and found it quite easy to keep up I decided just to keep going. However, in July I hadn’t managed to get away and the last weekend had crept up on me without anything booked. So I decided to jump on the Eurostar and explore Paris for 36 hours.

I had less time here than anywhere else as it was literally a last minute decision, however, this was the first trip I’d been on where I had already planned the photo I wanted to get. Even though I didn’t have long to explore, I stood in this spot for about 3 hours watching the sun go down and the colours in the sky change.

Luckily, I was kept entertained by a boat moored next to me having a 1920’s themed party blaring out the most incredible music.

Borneo

The next big tour I went on took me to the Malaysian side of Borneo where we were hoping to catch a glimpse of Orangutan. We had booked a trip to the largest rehab centre in Borneo and on the drive there our guide was warning us there’s no guarantee of seeing Orangutan. We knew the guide had to say this, but secretly we were all expecting to see loads.

After spending a couple of hours in the forest it was time to leave and we’d seen loads of Macaque but no Orangutan. As we despondently left the sanctuary there was a rustling overhead created by a beautiful Orangutan crossing the trees above. She was curious and came in for a closer inspection, allowing me to get some lovely portraits.

Innsbruck

When I tell people about the places I’ve visited in the last 2 years, the first question they ask me is where was my favourite? No matter how many people ask me, I always struggle to give a definitive answer. One of the most awe inspiring places I visited was Innsbruck. From the moment I stepped off the plane my breath was taken away by the incredible sights.

The town is surrounded by the Alps so no matter where you look there is an epic backdrop adding drama to the scene. Some of the mountains are like being on the moon with harsh rock and cloud covered tops. Others are like alpine forests, which is where I found this awesome little house. Isolated in the middle of nowhere, with incredible views all around I could only imagine what a great life the owners of this place enjoy.

What's Next?

I made it to 20 places in 20 months but sadly my streak came to an end in October. I did manage to see Athens in November though so I’m at 22 in 23 months at the moment. While I’m not going to visit a new place every month, I’m still super motivated to go away every month that I can.

I’m currently thinking about visiting East Africa for another big trip early in 2017, which will be another new area of the world I’m yet to experience.

Wherever I go, I’ll have my camera in my hand ready to shoot more of what I see.

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Michael's prints are now available in the collections page.


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