My favorite place we went in Ecuador was the park surrounding Cotopaxi, an active volcano. We were only able to go for one day, but Sarah and I totally want to go back and spend more time camping and climbing. Even in the one day we spent there, we saw some incredible landscapes. There was the peak of Cotopaxi itself which would occasionally peek out from behind huge clouds and all around were other jagged peaks with vast flatlands in between them. It was a magical place.
The main reason for making the long trek to Alausi was to ride the rails on a scenic train ride through the mountains. The train trip is called Nariz del Diablo (the Devil's Nose). It was a wonderful and exciting 2.5 hour trip in a old wooden train through the lush green canyons. We also found out there is a 3 day trip you can do from the mountains to the sea. Next time!
Sometimes getting around in Ecuador can be a chore. A trip that you expect to be 5 hours of driving is really 8 hours. Then when you factor in stops for lunch and sightseeing, it drags out to 12 hours. Such was the case with our trip to the beautiful little town of Alausi. Once we were there, however, it was all worth while. Alausi is a quaint little mountain town with friendly people and stunning views in every direction.
While traveling through Ecuador and visiting the South American side of Sarah's extended family, we got to see some incredible places. On one of our first afternoons we went to lunch at a beautiful restaurant near Mitad del Mundo. The restaurant overlooks a beautiful valley. Or at least, that is what we were told. When we were there low lying clouds filled the valley and sadly we couldn't see into it. But the food at the restaurant was delicious and when we walked up to it we were greeted by a welcoming committee of a couple of tethered llamas. We saw llamas all over Ecuador, they are a common livestock, but these two were particularly photogenic.
We finally got away from the snow and salted roads. The first real leg of our trip started with a car wash and then took us through some amazingly beautiful country, including a wind farm out in the boonies and the stunning Lake Meredith National Recreation Area.
If you've never seen the rolling wheat fields of Eastern Washington's Palouse region, you're missing out. As beautiful as the fields are just before harvest time, they are even more magical when they are covered with a blanket of snow. At times the ground and the sky almost blend together and you need to concentrate to see subtle changes in form and texture.
Thes are some images from a trip to the desert of New Mexico. I went there on assignment and was looking for scenes showing the spatial relationships between the natural world and humans, or things that are man-made. There ended up being a wealth of subjects to shoot. These are a few of my favorites. Let me know what you think.
One of the most incredible things I saw while exploring Beijing was the Underground City, also known as Dixia Cheng. It is a series of tunnels compromising a bomb shelter that was constructed in the 1970s in anticipation of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Thank goodness it never needed to be used for that purpose. I spent an afternoon doing some urban spelunking and wandering the tunnels with my Hasselblad. The tunnels were dark and damp and filled with some odd artifacts, like a series of folding chairs with framed portraits of communist leaders, including Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Chiang Kai-Shek. There is even a portrait of Karl Marx that from a distance looks like Frederick Douglass.
There are parts of New York City which are usually overrun with people (actually that would be most parts of the city at most times of the day). It's rare to see any part of the city when it's a complete ghost town with not a soul in sight. I woke up early one stormy morning and went to the High Line in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. Due to both the early hour and the ominous weather, the place was deserted. Although I even love the High Line when it is packed with locals and tourists and the occasional celebrity (I'm looking at you Ethan Hawk); seeing it empty and silent and almost solemn is a unique way to experience it. And I recommend it.
Several years ago I went go Beijing. Like any other traveler I wanted to explore the streets, meet the people and experience the culture which is vastly different from my own. But as a photographer I also wanted to capture my personal experiences there. Everywhere I went my head swiveled from back and forth from side to side trying to take it all in. So I began wandering the streets with my Noblex 35mm panoramic camera. With this camera I was able to capture what I was seeing all around me. It's a trip I won't soon forget and I can't wait for the opportunity to go back.
I recently finished a great project with TAXI-NYC for Capital One Bank. The project took me down to Atlanta GA to shoot in a variety of locations, including a brewery, a paint factory, and a firehouse just to name a few. Getting those large marble letters in place was as hard as it looks. Check out the results and let me know what you think.
I've been to Hawaii for business several times. On one of my last trips there I decided to take some time off and hang with the locals. I went to the Maui State Fair. Not only did I get to act like a kid, eating deep fried twinkies and going on rides, but I also shot this fun series of images. I like these strange man-made contraptions set against the natural beauty of the sky.