I'm very excited to be teaming up this summer with the amazing people at Balyolu to offer an 8 night / 7 day photography workshop and expedition of Kars Province in Turkey. Check out tour details here.
I consider myself fairly well traveled and able to get 'off the beaten trail' but my experiences are nothing like the access we'll have with Balyolu. Think small villages tucked into lush green valleys, Turkish cowboys tending cattle on high plateaus, wildflowers and that light. We'll take you to places you've only dreamed about and I'll work with you to get the best images possible.
Drop me line if you would like hear more. We will only be taking 6 people so places are limited. See you in June!
We arrived on Monday to a cold, grey rainy Istanbul which in itself is not a bad thing unless you're trying to get over jet lag. On Tuesday we were greeted by perfectly clear skies..in fact I'm not sure if I've seen the city that clear before. We spent the day walking, strolling favorite neighborhoods, stopping to drink tea at our favorite spots..nothing special. As evening approached we took the ferry from Karakoy to Kadakoy staying on the ferry and returning again..because..well..that's how you end a perfect day in Istanbul.
We're returning to the Black Sea for another series of assignments. When we were there in November, 2012 for this story the anchovies / hamsi (hey, why else go) were a little thin on the ground. These photos are from October, 2011 when we were ankle deep in hamsi. The ports were bustling and fishermen and crew welcomed me onto boats and into their galleys. With any luck the hamsi will be running and I'll get my lens into the middle of it.
A few years back when I was shooting this story I found myself with a dilema - amputate part of the scene or shoot vertical. Many of my photographer friends talk about verticals the way someone might sheepishly mention driving drunk into a ditch or spilling hot coffee in their lap. Some say they only take one vertical a year. I've heard others say that it just feels weird.
Typically online slide shows are geared towards horizontal frames, a vertical in the mix looks odd. It throws off the continuity. Also, you can always crop a horizontal to vertical if you absolutely need a vertical for a page layout so why not keep as much information in the frame as possible.
So my problem with the Penang shot above and below is that I just could not make a horizontal happen. Above, I was shooting a 35mm pushed against a wall. In order to clear the top of the minuret I was laying on the ground with my face pressed against the sidewalk. At sidewalk level there was a nice line of light leading to the mosque. In a perfect world I would have a person walking through the light with the line of the mosque leading the eye to the minuret (when I took the above shot a cloud had just passed in front of the sun). I could get the line and the minuret but not the light. So when the guy below walked into the frame I said mea culpa and shot a vertical.
I didn't bother submitting this vertical frame but did end up using the shot later for a print publication. It's a scene I'll need to revisit either with a wider lens or with the idea of finding anther vantage point if I want to get it all in a horizontal.
I grew up in Michigan and I never thought I say this but when you live in the tropics snow is a thrill. This is just outside of Aksaray, Turkey. (More on Turkey and me, here). I am constantly amazed by the depth and diversity in this country.
For the February issue of Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Magazine I headed up to Chiang Mai for a week of adventure. Chuffed when the shot above was the cover for issue. Hiking and climbing - certainly different than my other work in Chiang Mai.
March had me going in what seemed to be a opposite directions all at once. A trip to Siem Reap with my parents was temporarily sidetracked for an assignment in Vientiane, Lao for the New York Times. They call these stories '36 Hours' and in reality I was there for a little under 48 hours. Thanks to the some advanced planning on my part and that Vientiane is a relatively small, walkable city I was able to get what I needed and join the family for the rest of their holiday.
In July I headed off to Mexico City (my first time there) for this story for The New York Times. (Confession time - I rarely eat the props when I'm shooting food, but I ate most of this torta and much of the one behind - much to the chagrin of my hosts). MC was a real eye opener and a must return destination.
August brought me back to Malaysia but in Kuala Lumpur this time for a story about one of my favorite places in KL - Chow Kit Market. For a guy that digs markets, this was pretty much the dream assignment.
September took me to Koh Samui, Thailand for feature for Travel + Leisure SEA and a food excursion for The Wall Street Journal. (confession #2 - I ate 4 servings to this desert but I swear it was just to make Chef Alex happy).
Then back to Turkey for this journey and this kind of unbelievable hospitality. Throw in stops in Italy for an upcoming article, commercial work and some stuff back home and it's been an interesting, rewarding year. I'm excited for 2013 but I'm also kind of sad to see 2012 go..
Recent work for Travel + Leisure SEA. In November I checked out what was new in my adopted home George Town. It's still packed full of all the loveable characters that brought me here to begin with but a few more galleries, restaurants, cafes and hotels give it a whole new (in a good way) feel.
I'd like to think that George Town is just improving on the good things it had to begin with. Time will tell but so far so good.