Portrait of a Phobia, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

The view from the side seats in a Blackhawk helicopter over Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

The view from the side seats in a Blackhawk helicopter over Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.


BH Neely for US Dept of State

With this photo, I’m launching a new era in my blog – weekly themes, that are planned ahead, well-thought-out, and hopefully carry some sort of story arc.

To put a period on the past couple of years, I’m starting with a week of Afghanistan. Some of these photos you may have seen before on my Facebook page, most should be new. Some will be personal photos, others will be outtakes from work I did for the US Embassy.

This is one of the outtakes. On my first trip with Ambassador Eikenberry out to the field, we went to Kandahar & Arghandab. Part of the travel included my first helicopter flight, which involved sitting in the side seat of a Blackhawk with no doors. I’m terrified of heights – if I stand on a chair or ladder, I get queasy…when my wife stands too close to the rail of a high location (Grand Canyon, third floor of a mall), I get cold sweats – so sitting thus in a Blackhawk was far, far more terrifying to me than the possibility that someone might shoot at us. I did the only meditation I could think of and started shooting photos. I shot a couple hundred airborne landscapes. None of them are particularly good, as it was the middle of the day, so the light is harsh and virtually shadowless. But this photo of my shoes hanging out 1000 feet (300 m) above someone’s farm in Kandahar Province remains one of my favorite and most memorable experiences from two years in Afghanistan.

I don’t know yet what tomorrow’s photo will be, but as I get better at this editorial calendar business, I intend to include such information in this spot of the post.

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One Response to Portrait of a Phobia, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

  1. Pingback: Dome in the Blue Mosque, Mazar-e-Sharif | Brian Neely's Photography

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