L.A. Times Travel Show: Their videos capture the joy of discovery

Moments of joy and hours of work. Those are among the ingredients in the best travel films and videos screening at the L.A. Times Travel Show.

Moments of joy, many minutes of video and photos and hours of work.

Those are among the ingredients in the best travel films and videos that will be screened Jan. 18 and 19 at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show at the L.A. Convention Center.


Readers submitted scores of videos for consideration and possible inclusion as part of a new screening room this year — so many videos, in fact, that it was almost impossible to choose because each of them brought something special. You can see all of them at our Facebook page, and six of them at the travel show.

At least one of them almost didn't happen.

Paul Lettieri and his family were visiting the Grand Canyon at Thanksgiving and planned to get up early and watch the sunrise over the Arizona icon. It was cold that morning, and the warm bed almost proved the bigger lure for the Lake Forest resident.

But he fought the urge to hunker down and arrived at the gorgeous gorge in time to see a rare phenomena: "We saw this canyon filled with fog," he said. "Rangers were walking around taking pictures saying, 'This is amazing; this is something special.'"

It's rare, he said, although it does happen, this fog coming to the rim with the blue sky above it.  He said he stood there shooting pictures and video for four or five hours. (The family went off and did other things, he said.) The result is the video above, a happy coincidence from Lettieri, who is pursuing his dream of becoming a film director.

Kien Lam pursued his dream of seeing the world. "I quit my job near the end of 2010 and bought a one-way ticket to London to just start traveling," he said in an email, explaining the birth of his video.

"I was always jealous of people I met who were on six-month trips or yearlong trips around the world. It just seemed odd that I had this great job that paid me well but kept me from doing something that was so important to me. Deciding that I wouldn't waste the last few years of my 20s, I quit to travel."

You can see the breathtaking results of this journey in a video called "Time is Nothing" that also will be screened at the show. It will be joined by Peter Parkorr's "Prince Maurice, Mauritius"; Nancy M. Lemus' "Snowboarding at Mt. High"; Luke Salisbury's "Big in Japan"; and Thiago dos Santos' "California I'll Miss You."

Their works join those of Christopher Reynolds, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, which will be screened at the show. Reynolds' "Minute Away" videos give readers and viewers — especially those hunkered down in their cubicles at work — a 60-second break from the ordinary with a journey into the extraordinary.

The new video screening room also will host showings of "180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless," an 85-minute film that follows climber-surfer Jeff Johnson to Chile, where he encounters the rawness of the wild; "Highwater," the adrenaline junkie's surfing dream; "Sacred Planet," the Robert Redford-narrated film that explores what has yet to be explored; and "The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest," which details the disappearance of George Mallory, who was lost in 1924 on Mt. Everest.

To learn more about other aspects of the show — and they range from panels on staying safe on the road to events in Europe — go to the L.A. Times events website.

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