Monday, July 23, 2012

Beautiful British Columbia

I consider myself lucky to live on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I was on a moving ferry when I took this photo of a sunlit sailboat with the the snow-laced (even in July) peaks of the Coast Mountains towering in the background. Composing the picture proved to be a bit tricky because once all the elements — boat, island, and mountains — in the scene lined up, I had only a couple of seconds to push the shutter. Fortunately, things worked out just the way I had hoped. You will find this image in my Vancouver gallery.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ancient Cities of Mexico

I have just published Ancient Cities of Mexico, a print-on-demand book containing some of my favorite black and white infrared-style photos of pre-Hispanic ruins. These images span a period of about 25 years during which I have made more trips to Mexico than I can count. If you decide to watch the book preview below, make sure to click on the "Fullscreen View" icon (bottom right of screen) for optimum viewing.

You will also find these images and many more like them in my Pre-Hispanic Ruins in Black and White gallery.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Eagle and Totem Pole

I was strolling through Vanier Park in the Vancouver neighborhood of Kitsilano one afternoon when I looked up to see a bald eagle perched on top of  the 100-foot-tall Centennial Totem pole that towers over the park. This scene struck me as a potent symbol of British Columbia's native peoples, the rightful owners of the land that the magnificent carving now stands upon. This totem pole is one of two created by Chief Mungo Martin of the Kwakiutl Nation to mark British Columbia's Centennial in 1958. Its twin, which was a gift to Queen Elizabeth II, now graces Windsor Great Park in London, England. You will find this image in my Vancouver gallery.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Huichol Art and Handicrafts

Mexico's Huichol Indians or Wixáritari produce some of the most vibrant and unusual art and handicrafts in Mexico. They embed multicolored beads in beeswax to decorate bowls, masks, and figurines with symbols reflecting their shamanistic beliefs and traditional way of life. Common motifs include deer, snakes, eagles, and scorpions, as well as ears of sacred corn and peyote buttons. Huichol artisans also fashion intricate yarn paintings depicting psychedelic visions and myths. I came across the fanciful beaded sun pictured above in an Acapulco market and was struck by its brilliant colors and positive energy. You will find this image in my Huichol Indian Art and Handicrafts gallery.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Latin American Children Gallery

For me, one of the greatest joys of traveling in Latin America is meeting the children. They are bright lights in a region that is too often plagued by hardship and violence. I came across the young Maya girl above in Cobán, an old Spanish colonial town in the misty highlands of Guatemala. She was helping her mother cook and sell tortillas in the doorway of a house. When I asked this shy girl in Spanish if I could take her picture, she folded her arms and looked at me with a quizzical expression, making me realize that my life was as mysterious to her as her life was to me. You can find this image in my Latin American Children gallery.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Doors and Windows Gallery

I have always enjoyed photographing doors and windows, especially in old Spanish colonial towns in Mexico and Central America. I spied the attractive flower-bedecked window pictured below while exploring the back streets of downtown Puebla (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Central Mexico. What struck me most was the incredible amount of care that the owners of the house had put into presenting an exuberant and welcoming face to the outside world. You can find this image in my Doors and Windows gallery.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Last Journey

This is one of my favorite Mexico images (see it in my San Miguel de Allende gallery). I was out exploring with my camera early one morning in the Spanish colonial town of San Miguel de Allende when I spotted this elderly woman walking slowly beneath the colonnade that flanks San Miguel's main square. She reminded me of the last journey that we all must eventually take. I saw the closed door at the end of the graceful passageway as symbolizing the unknown, the mystery and eternal rest that lie beyond this fleeting life full of hardship and yet great beauty.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Black and White Pre-Hispanic Ruins Gallery

Most of my images are in color, but I now have a gallery on my photo website called Pre-Hispanic Ruins in Black and White. This gallery contains photos of well known archaeological sites that I have visited in Mexico and Central America. The images were created from color shots by using a digital filter that mimics the results photographers get when using infrared film. The characteristic darkened skies and eerie glowing highlights reinforce the mystery of these long-abandoned ancient cities, many of which are either shrouded in tropical jungle or perched on barren hilltops.

The photo of the Mayan pyramid below is one of favorites in this gallery. It was taken in the appropriately named "Lost World" complex at the ruins of Tikal in northern Guatemala.Tikal is arguably the grandest of the cities built by the ancient Maya, and it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Gallery Collections

I have recently added a number of new gallery collections to my photo website. They appear at the top of my galleries listings. I've also added a search box that allows for searching the galleries within a specific collection. Hopefully this will make finding images easier.

The image above appears on the cover of my Puebla, Mexico, gallery. Behind the angel statue is the facade of a Spanish colonial building covered in Talavera tiles, for which the city of Puebla is justly famous. I shot the angel with a long zoom mounted on a monopod in order to compress the perspective. Although I'm not particularly religious, I found this scene to have a "heavenly" quality about it.