Wheat Shield

Where: Katwe, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

While driving through areas of rice paddies on the way back to the ferry crossing across the Yangon River, I saw several workers threshing wheat on a make shift rig.

 

 

By shooting through the flying debris, I was able to create a sense of diffusion in the otherwise harsh light.

 

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Tea Time

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

I don’t know why adults have tea on the streets of Yangon while sitting on children’s furniture, but it sure makes for interesting pictures.

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Top That

Where: San Fransisco, CA

 

 

 

 

I’m always looking for new ways to illustrate the hilly streets of San Fransisco.

 

 

The grade of the street in front of me pushed the painted letters of STOP up towards camera. It was interesting but not enough to make it a real picture so I waited for people to walk by for some scale.

 

 

And with people the scene was not still not that interesting until a couple with a small child made their way across the street. The Father bent down to help the child with the curb and that gesture turned the scene into a meaningful picture. That gesture also created a bonus, with the incongruous TOP due to his body blocking the S.

 

 

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Mystery Boatman

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

While photographing the Betel Man on the ferry across the Yangon River I saw this mysterious silhouette to my right.

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Finding the Light

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

These people were in a covered section of the ferry that crosses the Yangon river.

 

 

While the light was overhead and harsh, as the ferry turned, the light transformed into the type of rim lightning that we spend hours trying to achieve in the studio.

 

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Betel Man

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

On a ferry crossing the Yangon River this man was making Kun-ya, wrapping Betel Leaf around a nut and mixing it with lime.

 

 

 

It’s not dissimilar to chewing tobacco and its easy to spot users of Kun-ya by their teeth

 

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Interruption

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

When I came across this plaza I remembered what Jay Maisel said,  “As people, we love pattern. But interrupted pattern is more interesting.”

 

 

I found my angle, focal length and set the depth of field.  Then I waited for the right interruption.

 

 

 

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Looker

Where: Yangon Myanmar

 

 

 

During my visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda I looked for images of those looking at the pagoda vs shooting the pagoda.

 

 

When I saw a straight line of young nuns known as, Pink Monks, I found the best angle, reduced my depth of field and coughed. I wanted the person closest to camera to break the repeating line by looking at me.

 

 

But it was the second person who looked.

 

 

I originally discarded this image because the person looking is out of focus. But after revisiting the image I changed my mind.

 

 

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Framed Again

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

 

After framing people in the windows of Tram 28, I rode Tram 28 through the streets framing people from the inside out.

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Framed

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m always looking for images through doors and windows.

 

 

 

When Tram #28 stopped in front of me, it was beautifully pre-framed.

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Single File

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

 

Monks walk single file with their alms bowls collecting food for the day

 

 

By climbing up to a pedestrian overpass I was able to get a better angle for a more impactful image.

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The Eyes Have It

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the simplest images have the greatest impact.

 

 

Using the soft split light, I composed into a traditional third, reduced the depth of field and waited for her eyes to connect with the lens.

 

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Sweeping Color

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

While I am drawn in foreign countries to markets and street scenes off the tourist path, my fixer insisted that I see the famous  Shwedagon Pagoda.

 

 

The Pagoda is fascinating and I’m glad I went, but as with iconic structures there are so many great images of the same subject all I could do is create an image that looked like everything else.

 

 

But I got super lucky when I saw this brigade of women dressed in beautiful colors pushing their brooms in unison and essentially creating one giant broom. Suffice it to say I spent most of my time following these women for the best angle.

 

 

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Exorcism

Where: Yangon Myanmar

 

 

 

 

I arrived at my hotel after dark and went out shooting.

 

 

I was jet-lagged and could not quite figure out what I was looking at, but this mysterious doorway reminded me of the poster for The Exorcist.

 

 

When I returned during the day, I was a bit disappointed to learn it was the entrance to a Mens Room.

 

 

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Close Shave

Where: Yangon Myanmar (Rangoon Burma)

 

 

 

 

 

An amazing subject in not so amazing light.

 

 

By converting to Black and White, I could manage the mixed Kelvin sources and high contrast, while creating a more impactful image than in color.

 

 

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Steep Color

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

When I found this street with a funicular line I formatted a new SD card.

 

 

30 minutes later card was full and I never moved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whether the Weather

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

trump-glow

 

 

I only had 48 hours in Lisbon so when it started raining I kept shooting.

 

 

If it wasn’t raining I never would have captured the wonderful orange glow under the umbrella.

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DNA?

Where:

 

 

 

  Hong Kong, China       Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

yellow-roll-upyangon-street

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some think I’m drawn to yellow because of my years at Kodak e.g. The Great Yellow Father.

 

 

While yellow is the predominate color in these two images from two different countries, when the light is good, then the light is good.

 

 

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Wait for it

Where: London, England

 

 

shadow-chairs

 

The forecast was for partly cloudy skies.

 

 

I knew this could be an interesting scene so I waited about 20 minutes for a break in the clouds.

 

 

The clouds broke and the chairs lit up.

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Sunny California

Where: Malibu, California

 

 

foggy-volleyball

 

 

Jay Maisel often says, “I’m from New York, I don’t trust any air I can’t see”.

 

 

 

With Jay in mind, when I saw the fog roll into a normally sunny beach I knew I could make a meaningful picture vs a pedantic SoCal postcard.

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EDL

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

lisbon-delivery

 

In addition to our heavy assignment load in photo school, every week we had to also turn in an EDL, the short of Every Day Life.

 

 

 

Most dreaded this but it forced us to think like photojournalists and how to take the mundane and photographically illustrate what life is like for someone. somewhere.

 

 

 

Decades later I’m still on assignment.

 

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Bag Lady

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

bags-on-line

I was editing images I captured in Lisbon on a recent flight from Los Angeles to Chicago.

 

 

 

While working on this image I was thinking it was not that strong and was on the edge of sending it to the trash when I felt on tap on my shoulder. A woman in the row behind me told me she was watching me pull up images and thought this picture was really beautiful.

 

 

 

She meant it, so I sharpened it and saved it.

 

 

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Election Results

Where: Hong Kong

 

 

 

hk-hands

 

To best deal with the recent election, I’m taking my lead from these women.

 

 

 

I found them doing Tai chi on a tennis court in the heart of Hong Kong.

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Pretty Stinky

Where: Bombay Beach, CA

 

 

salton-sunset-8bit

 

I love the Salton Sea.

 

 

It’s full of decay and putrid smells.

 

 

I normally don’t do pretty, but because the air was kinda nasty it somehow put me in the mood to pull off some pretty.

 

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Give Me Dirty Laundry

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

air-dry

 

 

Many like to photograph beautiful landscapes or iconic structures. For me I can’t resist laundry hanging on an outdoor line.

 

 

I’m usually drawn to impactful saturated colors, but the overcast light created a different color pallet that gives this image a sense of place.

 

 

 

 

 

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