Recently I met up with photographer John Stiles on a photowalk in Chinatown Bangkok to explore, in street photography fashion, the unique beauty and sometimes chaotic celebrations of Chinese New Year. At times overwhelming to the senses as one could close their eyes at any given moment and feel as though they were at the epicenter of a war zone. I even felt as though we had “escaped” once we found ourselves traversing the cavernous alleyways, that seemed far removed from the sights and sounds of the main boulevards, where for me the real adventure lies. Two women preparing cubed congealed pigs blood while tending a large boiling vat of dozens of pig hearts were kind enough to pause from their celebratory duties to indulge us in a few photo ops.
I want to thank John for capturing some BTS shots of me in action as it is rare for me to see me as “the photographer” doing his thing.
Here is a gallery of some more images from the day.
Had a blast photographing in Singapore over the past couple of days. And got to spend the ThankingsGiving holiday with my beautiful wife Sarah to whom I am thankful for each and every day. Enjoy the photos!
Most of what happens in the world goes undocumented. I realize that most who read this will disagree based on the enormity of imagery in the world today but I am not talking about the onslaught of news/social media with regards to the unfortunate issues of the world or what your FB friend had for lunch. Nor am I here to give props to the ubiquity of the sunset shot. I do not want to marginalize taking pictures of sunsets, I have taken a few decent shots myself, and there are some amazing nature and landscape photographers out there.
I want to share what it means to be in any situation and have the mindfulness to see the beauty in everyday ordinary life.
My wife and I were driving back from a weekend stay in Khao Yai National Park recently and I started to realize that wonderful things would happen as soon as I relinquished control of my camera and got behind the wheel of our car. It reminded me of what my Dad told me once,” If I want to generate business, all I have to do is go on vacation.”
Pulling over to the side of the road, for the most part, is a simple solution when you get the itch to photograph a particular scene that normally you would just drive past. But sometimes there is no time or it’s just to dangerous a spot to do so that you just have to move on. And if you do miss the opportunity to capture something just know that it’s ok and be happy that you were able to see and appreciate it and don’t ignore the satisfaction of having been mindful enough to acknowledge it in the first place. The most important thing to remember is not letting the frustration of missing a potentially great shot outweigh the experience of simply enjoying the world around you however ordinary or extraordinary it may be. It’s like the sunset shot. Go ahead and grab it and then put your camera away and enjoy it – especially if you are sharing the moment with someone special!
The images in this book chronicle the road trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai that my wife and I (and Barnaby) went on for seven days and eight nights in the month of October 2016 just days following the death of the King who symbolized great unity among the people of Thailand. The appreciation in the value of this experience could not have been possible without acknowledging, with special thanks, the following:
Our parents, who showed us first the rules of the road trip experience and for their patience in allowing us to bend them to our advantage while at the same time creating Beatles and Dave Matthews fans out of them for life.
Barnaby, a dog born for travel and whose only complaint is when the car is idle for too long.
Manuel, for being a milestone in our appreciation for life on the road. Enjoy your Doritos and please try to forgive the Beavers, I know deep down inside you give a damn.
To Sarah, sharing these adventures with you is what makes my life worth living and I look forward to all our future travels together.
and to the cyanobacteria…thanks for the oxygen farts.
Merit making is an important concept within the Buddhist religion. It revolves around three components-the receiver,the alms and the donor. While visiting the Kwan Riam Floating Market in Min Buri (about 45 min. outside Bangkok) I discovered a unique way in which the local Thai people make merit by giving alms to the local monks. The locals line up on the edge of the klong (canal) and wait for the monks to pass by in long wooden boats. As the monks slowly drifted along each of the locals would take turns giving little bags filled with anything from food and bottles of water to Mentos gum-apparenty giving the “donor” fresh breath for this life and the life continued.
After hearing about the bombings in Hua Hin on the eve of our three day weekend trip to Ko Chang we were hesitant about traveling.We decided that because of where we were going, which was about a 5 hour drive in the opposite direction from Hua Hin, that we would be safe if there were any subsequent bombings. Not sure our reasoning was sound, but we weren’t going to hide at home on a three day weekend!That would just be foolish…right? I think for the most part we’re pretty diligent in our travels. I mean, at this point, we ought to be.