Category Archives: Darwin

Looking Back and Ahead

Another year has come and gone, like it does every year at this time. And at this time, it’s often recommended that people take some time to stop and reflect on what they’ve accomplished over the past year and to consider what plans and goals they might wants to pursue in the coming year. Obviously that first part assume that goals were actually set the previous year. In reality, I think when the end of the year rolls around most of us are kinda caught off guard. We look at the calendar and kinda freak out about how fast the year went by. At the beginning of the year many of us may have good intentions about setting goals, but those good intentions get lost in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, exemplified by all the February canceled gym memberships.

Into the Light

Into the Light – Nightcliff, Darwin, Australia

I don’t claim to be much better than the average Joe when it comes to setting goals and planning. I wish I were better at it because I do think it’s an important and useful tool in moving forward and achieving longer-term goals. So with that in mind, this post will be a look back over the past year of photographic non-goal-set accomplishments and a look ahead with some objectives for the upcoming year, interspersed with some of my favorite photos from the past year.

This past year saw a number of photographic accomplishments that I was quite happy about. I had my first article and set of photos published in a magazine, the Southeast Asia Backpacker. Although not exactly a high-profile publication, it was still exciting to see my words and images of the Thaipusam Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, printed in an actual magazine. The travel blog FoXnoMad published a tutorial I wrote on why you should consider shooting more black and white. An article on shooting sunsets that I also originally wrote for FoXnoMad was republished on the high-profile website Lifehacker.com. I was interviewed about my experience being a photographer for the PicsArt blog. The website HDROne.com asked me to become a contributor, writing occasional tutorials on HDR photography. I had three articles (here, here, and here) published there before the site decided to go on hiatus. And, although not directly related to photography, I also had a travel story published on the budget travel website Bootsnall.com.

Fishing off the pier - San Nicolas, Philippines

Fishing off the pier – San Nicolas, Philippines

Traveling, I didn’t make it to a huge number of destinations this past year, but I did manage to check off one of my bucket list items which was to go on a week-long photography workshop with one of my favorite photographers, David DuChemin. For this trip, I went with Within the Frame Photographic Adventures and spent a week with David, cultural photographer Jeffrey Chapman, and nine other ‘students’ in Oaxaca, Mexico, for the Day of the Dead festival. For me, one of the great things about this trip was being able to spend time with other photographers talking about the craft and just sharing the experience of photographing together, something I don’t seem to get to do very often.

Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico

Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico

Remembrance - Oaxaca, Mexico

Remembrance – Oaxaca, Mexico

For this coming year, I have a number of things I’m looking to accomplish. In a vague, ambiguous sense, my goals are to take more pictures, write more, travel and get outdoors more. More specifically, one of the things I’m looking to do is to change the direction of this blog. Over the past few years, this blog has been somewhat of a mish-mash of various topics but primarily a place for me to post pictures. That’s been fine, and I’ll still post the occasional photo essay and I’ll regularly post images to my Facebook page and to Google+, but my goal now is to transition the blog to something more educational by providing more photography tips and tutorials, some related to getting out and shooting and other geared toward post-processing. While much of this will likely be geared more to the beginner level, I hope that more experienced photographers will find some useful information as well.

Balinese boy at a funeral - Ubud, Indonesia

Balinese boy at a funeral – Ubud, Indonesia

Does the world really need another photographer telling everyone else how it’s done? Probably not, although I hope to avoid falling into the trap of saying This is how it’s done. But everyone has a different voice, different experiences, and a different vision. Hopefully how I see the world and express what I see will resonate with some people. Yet, I don’t even consider myself a Pro, so who am I to be instructing others? Well, I think too much emphasis can be placed on how much money someone makes, how many clients they have, how published they are, how much they’ve read, or how many places they’ve traveled to. Experience does count for something. I have a long way to go to get where I’d like to be on my photographic journey. But we’re all at different places along our path traveling at a different pace, different stages of whatever photographic journey we happen to be on, and there will always be someone ahead of you. That doesn’t devalue where you’re at now. I’d like to think that I have something valuable to share and I hope you’ll continue along this journey with me.

Biking through Divisoria - Manila, Philippines

Biking through Divisoria – Manila, Philippines

Rustic - San Francisco, California

Rustic – San Francisco, California

Yaquina Bay Bridge, Newport, Oregon

Yaquina Bay Bridge, Newport, Oregon

Yaquina Head Lighthouse - Newport, Oregon

Yaquina Head Lighthouse – Newport, Oregon

Also posted in Indonesia, Oregon, Philippines, Photography, San Francisco Tagged |

Mindel Beach Sunset Market

Darwinians typically tend to spend a lot of time living outdoors. I suppose it might have something to do with the tropical climate, the beautiful blue skies, and the spectacular sunsets of the dry season. There are a number of outdoor markets that take place around Darwin, some of them continuing all year long. Probably the largest and most popular is the Mindel Beach Sunset Market taking place every Thursday evening during the Dry Season. The market is lined with stalls selling (relatively) cheap take-a-way food, over-priced arts and crafts, and street performers impressing folks with all sorts of nifty tricks. Want to watch a whip snapping demonstration? It can get quite crowded so best to get there early.

Slushies - Mindel Beach Market, Darwin, Australia

Slushies – Mindel Beach Market, Darwin, Australia

Yummy noodles - Mindel Beach Market, Darwin, Australia

Yummy noodles – Mindel Beach Market, Darwin, Australia

Illuminated artwork - Mindel Beach Market, Darwin, Australia

Illuminated artwork – Mindel Beach Market, Darwin, Australia

Digeridoos - Mindel Beach Market, Darwin, Australia

Digeridoos – Mindel Beach Market, Darwin, Australia

Sun setting on the crowd - Mindel Beach Market, Darwin, Australia

Sun setting on the crowd – Mindel Beach Market, Darwin, Australia

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Also posted in Australia, Cultural, Photography Tagged , , |

Timelapse: Mindil Beach Little India Festival

I’ve been experimenting with doing some time-lapse recently. Although I’ve played around with it a bit, video is something I haven’t really delved into much. It really takes a different mindset and you have to change your way of looking at things. So far, I’ve preferred to stick with learning one craft. Time-lapse is more like photography however, like a picture that moves. The basics of creating a time-lapse are really not that difficult, either. Unfortunately, like many things in photography, time-lapse is a bit trendy right now. But I don’t feel that because something is trendy you should let it stop you; you just have to do your best to make it your own.

This short clip is of the crowd at the Little India Festival at Mindil Beach in Darwin. I’ve taken a few time-lapses around Darwin which I was thinking of compiling into a longer clip, but the subjects are so different that I’ve decided it would be too hard to pull any kind of story out of it and it would just feel too disjointed. So, I’ll probably just post a few more of them here or on Facebook and Google+. (Unfortunately the video seems to have lost much of its clarity and vibrance on upload.) And I’ll definitely be doing more time-lapse in the months ahead.

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Also posted in Cultural, Time-lapse Tagged , , |

The more things change…

Sometimes life feels like a continuum of change. And of course, it really is. For that reason most of us do what we can to bring some stability into our lives, grabbing on to whatever we can that makes us feel anchored. I suppose I do that too, to some extent. I like to think of myself as more adventurous than I really am, but I do seem to get a bit bored if I spend too much time in one place. I can’t really do continuous travel for more than a month or two before it gets tiresome, but I’m finding that spending six months to a year or so is a nice way to experience a place.

Given all that, my time here in Darwin is rapidly coming to a close. In about a month I’ll be heading off to the Philippines for an extended stay. What with wrapping things up here and making preparations for moving on, I haven’t had a chance to get out much with the camera. To be honest, I’ve felt like I’ve hit a wall here photographically. One should, of course, really use those sort of feelings as a challenge and an opportunity for growth, but that’s often easier said than done. With this upcoming change there will also be a lot of travel, which I’m looking forward to. I’ll be in Oregon and Washington in October with possibly a few days in San Francisco. At the end of October I’ll be in Oaxaca, Mexico for about two weeks for Day of the Dead. Sometime in the first half of next year I’d like to get to Japan and/or maybe South Korea and China, but that’s tentative ideas at this point. And of course there will be much exploring of the Philippines.

Edge of the Sea - Nightcliff, Darwin, Australia

Edge of the Sea – Nightcliff, Darwin, Australia

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Also posted in Australia, Landscape, Travel Tagged , , |

Once Again at Nightcliff Pier

Nightcliff Pier in Darwin, Australia. Enjoy!

Nightcliff Pier - Darwin, Australia

Nightcliff Pier – Darwin, Australia

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Also posted in Australia, HDR, Landscape Tagged , , , |