Thailand Still Life

22 08 2010

Thailand is an electricians nightmare, with aboveground cabling now having been elevated to an art form. Its pretty fascinating to see the evolutionary nature of Thailands technical coming-of-age in the wiring above your head. Modern fiber-optics run alongside cabling that dates back to the 1950’s.

Oh and the scooter is pretty cool too.


Mighty ‘Mo

17 08 2010

I was able to go out in a boat, closer to the USS Missouri than most tourists get to go. Lucky me! And I knew that thousands of pictures exist of the awe-inspiring USS Missouri, so I wanted to do something different. It was a bland, dreary morning, everything was gray. Perfect time to shoot B&W.

This is a one exposure HDR, as there was no way I was getting three steady shots from that boat! But thanks to RAW, I was able to eke out a little extra soul.

I dont like making photographs and then doing the whole “old photo” thing on them usually, unless it REALLY brings out something extra. In this case it didn’t, however I wanted the Mighty ‘Mo to look as though its been here for years, made history, and still gives the sense that it’ll be here for years to come. Hopefully She looks as timeless in this photograph as she is in reality.

B&W HDR of Mighty 'Mo

Wooly Bully

17 08 2010

While visiting “Turtle Beach” on the North Shore of Hawaii with a bunch of New Zealanders (long story) we stumbled upon this 4-foot or so long Green Sea Turtle just napping on the sand. Such a beautiful animal.

Conservationists were on hand as these animals are extremely endangered, But we learned this animal was named Wooly Bully, and was a Male, between 45 and 47 years old or so. Hard to believe this animal has been sailing the seas longer than Iv’e been alive!

I sat with this guy for almost an hour before he finally opened his eyes for a moment to look around, then promptly went right back to sleep. Just like some other 45 year olds I know…

Sitting with this guy I couldnt help but think about how we are the stewards of this planet. Being at the top of the food chain should carry a sense of responsibility. How can we not be taking care of this guy and the dwindling hundreds like him?

We can make a nuclear reactor. We can make a nuclear submarine. We can make a nuclear bomb.

…So why can’t we keep him safe?

47 year old "Wooly Bully" a Green Sea Turtle

North Shore Pre-Sunset

17 08 2010

Everybody makes pictures of the fabulous Hawaiian sunsets. And with good reason! If you have never seen one, then put that on your bucket list immediately!

However I was noticing that hour before the firey sunsets, and I wondered what magic was held there with the right photography. I made a 3 exposure HDR and with the glare of late afternoon removed, the magic of Turtle Beach on the North Shore was revealed. Who says afternoon photography cant be interesting?

"Turtle Beach" North Shore, Hawaii

Two Suitors

16 05 2010

At the Old Lighthouse in Point Loma, CA, I found these three people dressed up in period-appropriate costumes, answering questions about the lighthouses history. I waited for a time when no one was around, and they started to boast and brag and carry on like a couple of love struck gentlemen.

So this is is how you would flirt with a lady in the 1800’s. Apparently not much has changed!

A New Year, A New Life

16 05 2010

While Travelling in Puerto Rico this last New Years, I happened across a traditional wedding mass in the Catedral de San Juan.

This amazing cathedral is the second oldest in the Western Hemisphere, having been constructed in 1521. It’s located in Old San Juan, and spending the day there is definitely worth the price of the inexpensive plane tickets to get there.

The Christmas decorations were still up, and the mixture of the solemn majesty of the ceremony and the festive air of the holiday combined for one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever witnessed. The 500 or so witnesses apparently agreed with me, for when the couple was presented as husband and wife, the cathedral erupted in applause and tears.

What better way to start 2010!

Sunset over ABOT

15 05 2010

Approximately 12 miles off the coast of Iraq lie the Al Basrah Oil Terminal, or ABOT (say it like “Eh Bot”) and its smaller sister terminal,the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal, or KAAOT (say it like “Kay Ought”) . Together, they form one of the primary sources of oil income for Iraq. Four Supertankers can refuel at once at ABOT, a process which can take several days, with dozens of tankers lining up to wait their turn.

ABOT is a singularly ugly, miserable place to be. Hot, filthy, and insect ridden. Waste oil is washed from the decks directly into the gulf waters, and the oil slick surrounding the terminal is perpetual. Bullet holes from the SEAL operation which took over the terminal at the outset of the war still riddle the terminal.

US Service members are currently stationed on ABOT as part of our effort to rebuild and protect Iraq during its post-liberation vulnerability. A team of Sailors, some deployed there for a year or more, live in reconditioned shipping containers, stacked up into a sort of neighborhood. Living conditions of the Military are actually not bad, considering, with cold A/C, email,clean  beds, a galley, a small gym, etc. Anything the military could do to make conditions livable has been done. Barring the fact that it’s still on a filthy, dangerous oil terminal.

This photo is a sunset over the command center for the defense of ABOT and KAAOT, at one extreme end of ABOT.

Several ships, of various types, surround ABOT and are on constant patrol protecting it from anything and everything. The Iranian, Iraqi, and US Navies all operate within sight of each other and tensions can get high.

When three Navies, billions of dollars in resources, tankers from nations the world over, and two international borders are all so close that they can nearly throw rocks at each other in the 100 degree and up weather, mistakes can not be made. The consequences could be disastrous. Thanks to the professionalism, perseverance, and dogged determination of these Sailors, mistakes don’t happen.

For years now, these Sailors have stood this watch. Few have heard about them and what they do here on ABOT. Think of them, please next time you put gas in your tank. They were most likely there when that gas was pumped into the tanker that brought it to you.