Monday, April 13, 2009

Back to reality...

Well, all of the India openings have come and gone, the book and DVD are amazing souvenirs that I am loving to share with everyone I can, and I have finally reached the theoretic place that I have been talking about for over a year where life settles down..."when India is done." I'm not sure that place actually exists, but it was a nice thought. In fact, I feel like my life is more hectic than ever now! I just spent five days in Irvine where I was part of Sports Shooter Academy VI, a very cool workshop that I had hoped would help me add some cool sports pics to my portfolio. I learned a lot but don't feel I have much to show for it yet...mostly I gained inspiration and ideas for the future. Now I am scrambling to catch up in my flash class and finish my new website which will be posted VERY soon, and get final projects done for my math and marketing classes. Meanwhile, here are a couple of my favorite shots from SSA VI, including a shot of Newport Beach from the last night when lacrosse was canceled and we decided to shoot surfing instead. Check back soon!






Friday, March 27, 2009

I love my camera.

It has been quite a while since I have taken out my camera and just taken pictures for fun, without any pressure or deadlines. I spent last weekend in Southern California and visited Joshua Tree National Park and the Living Desert while I was there. The wind was pretty crazy but the scenery was breathtaking. Here's a little bit of what I saw...




I've never been much of a nature photographer but I am finding myself intrigued and challenged by it lately. In between exploring and snapping I found some time to write this article about my time in India...

http://www.sportsshooter.com/news_story.html?id=2188


Unfortunately, the weekend ended with a LONG drive home to San Luis Obispo and the next day it was back to my hectic school schedule of four classes (usually I only have two) and final preparations for the SVARA openings that start next week. Check out the schedule AND the trailer here...

http://documentary.brooks.edu/india/

Hope to see you in Santa Barbara or Ventura next week!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The book is done...SVARA is coming soon!

I am back. The book is off to the publisher and hopefully I will now have time to pick up my camera and take some pictures again. Here are the lovely promotional materials for our upcoming openings/exhibits...please attend one or all of them if you can...you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy New Year!

I have received many messages about updating my blog lately and I apologize for being out of touch for so long! Returning to California right before Christmas, compounded with my seven weeks away, made for a very hectic holiday season to say the least. Besides the regular Christmas festivities, I spent a week in Big Bear with some friends and family. I have to say that the most shocking part of returning home was the temperature difference and hanging out in the snow did nothing to alleviate that. Two weeks ago school started up again and we are under extremely tight deadlines to finish our various products. So...I should get back to work on that book. Photography and updates to resume after those deadlines pass...

P.S. For the first time in about 10 years I did not send out Christmas cards - ahhh! This picture of Kelby, Kyler and I was going to be on the card but I honestly don't know if or when it will materialize. Hope this will work for now.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Goodbye, India. I will miss you.

I am sitting in the Hong Kong airport on this day that will last 37.5 hours, contemplating what India meant to my life. Everything about India is a paradox: messy is beautiful, chaos is organized, yes is actually no, the pace is intense yet relaxed, and the simple things are often complex. So it is only fitting that after leaving that fascinating place, I am feeling positive and negative emotions all at once - I am so excited to go home, yet so sad to leave India behind. I know I have truly changed throughout this experience and I loved being reminded (over and over, every day) that if I just go with the flow, things will work out the way they are supposed to. Here are a few previously unreleased pictures that remind me of things I saw a lot in the last seven weeks...

persistent street vendors, willing to be paid in rupees, or even watches...

thousands of travelers getting on and off the trains...

all kinds of items available to buy and sell at the market...

women in saris, patiently waiting for buses...

the tranquility of a train station, in between trains...

amazing, dark eyes and curious, friendly faces...

awesome shadows and ever-changing light...

the constant beauty of water on the most mundane surfaces...

the importance and abundance and yumminess of chai...

fabulous houseboats roaming the backwaters of Kerala...

mass amounts of everything, including ducks...

and smart, happy, curious children.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kanyakumari and other adventures...

Wow - I didn't realize how long it has been since I've updated my blog! I have been extremely busy and am quickly approaching the end of this fabulous journey. As I mentioned before, my entire class met up in Kanyakumari and spent a few days there getting caught up. I enjoyed the company, but didn't care as much for the location. I saw more Western-ers during my short time there than I have seen the rest of my time in India. Because of the tourist-y nature of the town, the locals constantly try to sell you things and want to take you to all the hot-spots. Besides that I think I just missed Kerala. Nevertheless, I still snapped a few photos...

This is the view from our hotel lobby - I am loving the views of colorful laundry hanging out to dry everywhere in this country.

We had a grand plan to take a group portrait on the roof of our hotel. We scheduled a time, then Paul and I went up to scope the scene out and figure out where to put the camera and the people. The view was awesome with the town and the ocean in the background (kinda similar to the top photo, just higher point of view.) Unfortunately, in the 5 mimutes that it took us to go downstairs and tell everyone we were ready - it started to pour! Some people were planning to leave that day so we decided it would be appropriate to put everyone out in the rain. It's hard to see in the picture, but we are getting soaked...

When it wasn't raining in Kanyakumari, there was some incredible light peeking through the clouds.

Once I returned to Trivandrum, I knew that time would start flying by. I also started getting sentimental because I love this town and the people I've met here. I am also strangely attached to this main road I walk up and down almost every day and wanted a picture of it from a rooftop. So... I climbed to the top of Hotel Safari (where my good friend Rajeev works) and took this shot. I know it might not look very exciting, but I'm attached to this place so I like it a lot.

Sometimes when it rains here (which has been nearly every day) I just try to find interesting ways to show it.

Paul and Ellen have been hanging out with me in Trivandrum for the last week or so. We went back to the market and what do you know - I took more pictures of hands!

We also were lucky enough to get a little tour of Raj and Susan's property on Lake Vellayani. What an amazing view!

Ellen had metioned that she might want to go on a quick tour of the backwaters so I mentioned it to my friend Babu, who owns Tourindia (and the houseboat I went on before,) and he made it happen the next day! We went on the same route I had been on before, but did it in one day instead of two by skipping most of the stops. It was so exciting to revisit - and with the same amazing crew!!! The best part was that I got to stop by and see the family I stayed with and deliver some pictures to them as well. They were so incredibly happy and I can't even describe how great it made me feel to see them smile when they saw the photos of themselves.
In addition, I had been talking about their "pet" eagle all day and when we got to the house, the eagle was right there waiting to say hello! I walked right up and I swear it recognized me. This picture is full-frame wtih my 5D and a 35mm lens - which means I was like a foot away.
During this boat ride I also saw the most incredible sunset that I had seen so far in India...
Back in the city, I've been working on a picture story about Dr. Rani who is a medical doctor at an all girls school of 5,700 students. She is a very special lady...

The story on Dr. Rani led me to this yoga center which I've gotten up at 5 a.m. to shoot at a couple of times. The light at sunrise on this rooftop is incredible!

I wish I had found this place earlier so I could have signed up for a month of yoga classes!

I especially loved listening to the instructor - his voice was both powerful and calming at the same time.
After more than 4 weeks in Trivandrum, I finally tried the Indian Coffee House with Paul and Ellen. The building is a very cool spiral shape and has these lovely windows all the way around.
Last, but not least - who is that white guy in a munda (moon-duh)??? Yes, he is a new man!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Far, far away from Mumbai...

It is certainly ironic that our entire crew of 21 people were together for the first time in over 3 weeks on the day of the attacks. Luckily, we were safe and have now begun dispersing by train, bus, plane or taxi to continue our separate projects before reuniting in Chennai around December 13th. I only have a few minutes to recap some of my recent adventures...

This is the house I got to live in for a couple of days right on the backwaters, the entire house is made of brick and coconut palm leaves!

This is my new buddy, Ashish, the twelve year old boy who I lived with and learned from.

This elephant was being bathed by a bunch of men, but generously helped them out with the spots they couldn't reach.

This eagle is one of the family "pets" at the home I stayed in. Seriously, it would eat from their hand and I could even get two feet away from it with my camera - you'll have to wait for the book to see those shots. :)

Riding the bus is always an interesting experience here. On the way back to civilization all the women were standing in the middle and I thought it was a cool view...

I absolutely loved the colorful rainbow that this train was! Only in India can things be so dirty and beautiful at the same time.

I made a quick trip to the twins village on a motorcycle - this is my self-portrait.

Although I didn't get as many photo opportunities with the twins as I had hoped, I got a couple beautiful shots - these girls were my favorite!!! Next up - my recap of Kanyakumari...