Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

A look back on 2011, Part II – Transformation

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Ten photos for the whole year?  What was I thinking??  This is the second of two posts about 2011. The first part that covers Jan-June is here: “What was I thinking?”. If you just want to see the pics, scroll down.  But here’s what I think about them…

My work is in transformation, and what you see on this post is a part of that change.  I saw this trip to Africa as a trip to gather raw material in the form of images for new work that I will be producing both as part of the ENEMIES Project and beyond.  Some of what you see below are the paints for new works not yet made, some of it is documentary images I did for other people and for myself, some are just snapshots that show what I saw and what moved me.  So many artists conceal their process and only show finished images and pieces. The whole point of my blog is for you to see what I go through, how I think, how I edit, how I see the world.  This post is a lot of just the raw cut of my view when I was traveling in Africa. I like to expose my process, the way I see the world and this is what my blog is for.   This isn’t a supposed to be full view of where my work is going, but it will show you a part of the process. I think there is a risk in this, because the art world is so heavily based on image.  For me, I see my life as something of an evolving artwork so this seems appropriate.  I’ll continue to put up more of the process throughout the year, and you’ll see it if you keep watching this blog.

Yesterday I came up with dozens of photos from just the past six months that I love.  The problem is that I love different images for different reasons – some I simply love because of the image itself.  Some I love because of the story behind the image.  It always fascinates me how all of us connect to different pieces of art for different reasons, and I like to examine that process in myself.  One of the hardest things in photography or any art form is to step beyond your the emotions that are wrapped around your own work. Of course you have to have the emotional relationship with the work in order to produce work that connects with other people.

Art is about expression – at least for me it is.  It is about trying to understand the world, myself and my place in the world and expressing all of that in a way that communicates what I feel to others.  But I also think there is a fine balance that an artist has to walk here, because we have to express our view while at the same time being able to understand whether the work is conveying that expression on its own.  You must absolutely have your own vision and the ability to stick to your own vision in the face of being pummeled by the expectations of others.  But I’ve seen tons of art that fails because it is too personal in a way that makes it impossible for other people to connect with.  It’s a very fine line, and I think that’s the real skill of being successful as an artist. Perhaps the real issue here is building your inner self in a way that is intellectually and emotionally connected to the rest of the world enough so that when you create your own vision it becomes something that other people relate to or can learn to relate to. You may not think that this type of issue extends to editing and choosing photographs, but it does, and for me it is relevant as I move forward with my work and beyond the simple photograph.

Enough babbling.  Here are the pics – some are raw, some are sketches, some snapshot.  This is what I saw – or at least a portion of it.

My favorite… toughie, but it may be this one.  I saw this girl flying her kite while I was traveling in the Rwandan countryside.  It was just one of those beautifully magical, unreproducible little moments.

Rwandan girl with kite

After that I decided to pick one or two for each project – that made it a bit easier.

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This was the reason I went to Africa. If you don’t already know, this year I started a project to photograph people from opposing sides of violent conflicts around the world. You can read more about it on the ENEMIES Project website, and if you are inclined please consider backing this project on Kickstarter or help me spread the word about the Kickstarter with your friends. Here is the video I made about ENEMIES for Kickstarter. If you don’t see it below, you can see the video on the  ENEMIES Project on Kickstarter. For those of you who don’t know, Kickstarter is a way to raise funds for arts projects. You can become a project backer, and you get rewards for different levels of backing – prints, calendars, books from the project. You back a project with a credit card that is processed through Amazon.com, and your credit card is only charged if the fundraising goal is met.

I went to East Africa so that I could travel to South Sudan, the newest country in the world that is recently out of a grueling forty years of civil war. I also photographed people from conflicts in Kenya and Rwanda. You can find blog entries about them here or just go to the ENEMIES Project website and click on the blog link.  Picking one of all the photos I took for this project is really tough – really tough.  I like a lot of them, and the stories are intense and many of them inspiring. But here is one. You can see more on the ENEMIES Project website.

I photographed this couple in the village of Wanjyok, South Sudan. The man is Dinka originally from the south. The woman is Mysseria, from the north. South Sudan has been in a bloody and repressive conflict with the northern part of Sudan for four decades. Mixed couples in which the man is South Sudanese are rare for reasons that are too complex too explain in this short paragraph. This is one of those many examples of two people who fell in love rising above ethnic barriers that have been hardened by generations of painful memories.

Mixed ethnic couple in Wanjyok, South Sudan

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Grevy’s Zebra

While I was in Kenya I did some photographic work for the  Grevy’s Zebra Trust, a small non-profit that works to conserve the endangered Grevy’s Zebra.

I met so many amazing people in Samburu, the northern Kenya province where I was photographing Grevy’s Zebra. I also took the opportunity to photograph the Samburu and Turkana people for ENEMIES.  This man was the brother of one of the guards of the Mebae Conservancy – a community owned ranch where the idea is to manage it for ecological sustainability.

Grevy's Zebra project

Samburu elder

The Samburu people were so incredibly photogenic.

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Wildlife

I did relatively little nature photography this year, but I did a few that I made a set of prints from and these gave me an idea for another set of works.   Here are two that I liked a lot…

Cheetah, Masai Mara National Reserve

Hyena, Masai Mara National Reserve

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The Human Dominated World

Traveling in Africa made me more aware of something that I’ve been thinking for a while now.  The earth has transformed from being a world dominated by wilderness with patches of people to a world dominated by people with only patches of untouched wilderness.  I thought about this a lot this year, because in Africa there is still wilderness, but it is generally heavily managed and protected. Africa is truly a human-dominated landscape – much more so than I had imagined, and I wanted to create a set of works that talked about the disparity between what tourists see in Africa and the majority of the landscape. Here are two of those works.

The Charcoal Seller – this man lives in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, a few miles from the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Nairobi National Park, regular destinations for tourists. He has never seen an elephant and probably never will. He is holding a photograph of an elephant orphan from the elephant orphanage .

Charcoal seller in Kibera

These Masai school children live in an area where there are extremely severe conflicts with elephants. Elephants regularly kill and injure people and steal their grain here.  Children frequently don’t start school until they are much older, because it is dangerous for them to walk to school.  I photographed the elephant in the print they are holding in the Masa Mara National Reserve, which is about 40 kilometers away.

Masai school children

 

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Masai – Elephant conflict

One other project I did in Kenya was photographing and documenting the conflict between the Masai people and elephants outside of the Masai Mara National Reserve.  This was a pretty intense story to see.  I wrote a lot about it in my blog, which you can see here, here and here.  There are a lot of cool photographs from there, including the one above.

This is a drugged elephant inside a transport truck, about to be moved out of a heavily populated area  near the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Drugged elephant

Masai children looking out a hole in the wall of their house made by an elephant the night before.  The elephant rammed a hole through the wall in their bedroom, two feet from the bed in the middle of the night searching for grain.

Masai children in elephant battered hole

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Misc:

I loved this time-lapse I did in northern Kenya.  The singing in the background are Samburu elders from a wedding ceremony I was invited to attend in a Samburu village.  If you don’t see the video below you can see it here on youtube.

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Favorite snapshots…

I love this picture of Ben Ochieng.  Ben lives in the Mathare slums of Nairobi.  He lost his business in the 2008 post-election riots.  Since then he has started a crafts making cooperative, a school and a youth group to keep kids out of trouble.  Very cool. You can see some dancing by members of his youth group in my post about the artists in the slums. I am helping them build a small business to take tourists into the slums and see the vibrant arts culture there.  It is called Kenya Street Slam – here is the website I built for them: KenyaStreetSlam.com.

Ben Oching

Another favorite photo – one of the acrobats from Dandora slums doing the impossible. Also on  KenyaStreetSlam.com.

Flying

Loved this.  I was taking a picture of this newly born goat in a village in northern Kenya when this kid stuck his head in to look at my camera.

Kid and kid

Lastly, this is one of my favorite pics of the year.  After I got back to the US I took a trip to NY City, and I saw this abandoned rose in the middle of the subway tracks on my way home at 3:00 am.  I took this photo with my ipod.  It was dark, the photo is grainy.  I love it.  It’s a story waiting to be told.

Abandoned Rose, A-line, 3:00 am

 

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My favorite picture of me.  Got loads of good pictures of me on this trip to Africa.  I quickly found out that doing a self-portrait with someone was a great way to break the ice.  Especially with children.  But, this isn’t a self portrait.  It is a picture of me with a group of Samburu Moran (young men warriors).  They all carry guns in this area because here their tribe borders with the Turkana tribe who they have been in conflict with for generations.

 

Ok, ok stop already… that was more than ten photos.  So shoot me  :)

But I’ll leave off with this one hilarious image.  This is the son of a Masai friend wearing my sunglasses. His last name is “Kool” – so totally appropriate  :)

And speaking of children… go look at the photo on this blog post – “Hand in the slums”. I love that one too. I think I love a few too many of these photos.  :)

A look back on 2011, Part I – “What was I thinking?”

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Here is a quick look back on a few of my favorite images, thoughts and experiences from 2011.  This is part 1 from before I went to Africa.  I wasn’t doing much photography in the spring, and this post doesn’t include the many, many personal experiences with friends and family that were totally seminal to my work and my life.  That would make it a much, much longer post.  I have a vast and almost inexpressible gratitude for the support of my community of friends and my family.

This has been a bit of a crazy year, and it looking back over my images I realized how transformative it was for me. You’ll see the transformation from here to the end of the year, so here we go, starting in January…

I write poetry. I started several years back as a way to understand things in my life that needed words. I usually only share my poetry with a few close friends, but I’m going to include some in this post that are relevant to this year.  My poetry is pretty romantic and tends to be filled with night imagery. I love the night. Bear with me or skip past them, but they do say something about this last year.  In December my friend and fellow poet Paul had requested a poem about the eclipse that was happening on the winter solstice.  I didn’t finish it until the first of the year.  When I wrote it I didn’t realize that it would foreshadow the coming year a bit, since I would find myself seeing some of the vast range of the human condition as I started out on the ENEMIES Project.  Here it is…

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solstice eclipse

 

Minute by minute,
under the gaze of the waning moon, 
the dark burn of winter has turned and is falling away.

Last year the night sky was shattered, and
now the solstice moon is hiding, 
eclipsing in silence
behind a thick ceiling of gently-lit clouds.

In the distance a siren is wailing,
but I hear only the dropping
of minutes into an empty bowl.
And now even that has stopped 
as the earth swings on her pendulum
back toward another season of seasons
and I hold on to keep from falling away into space
where the broken pieces of older nights
drift out beyond the pull of gravity.

I see you moon,
behind the clouds,
I see you.
I know you have hidden 
behind the earth this night
for a moment of reprieve 
from the glaring gaze of the sun. 

The siren has faded,
and the long night, once split and broken,
is whole again. 
I know you are here 
even though you are shy and hiding.

Somewhere tonight lovers are laying under you,
and other poets, better than I,
are writing words about you.
Somewhere tonight people are killing others under your gaze
and you hide from it all
eclipsing behind clouds on this longest night.

Perhaps if I had to watch both the lovers
and the killers, the sated
and the starving,
I would hide as well.

You don't know that the night was broken
and you don't care 
that I will run through your touch once more,
or that sometime again I will swim naked 
through a sparkling sea under your silken gaze.

Now that this longest night has passed and you have hidden,
I will still wonder about you 
when I am gazing across meadows
of dancing fireflies,

And you will caress me 
again without knowing.

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Midway through January I was driving back to Austin from Salt Lake City when I passed this refinery.  The previous summer of 2010 I was photographing National Forest Roadless Areas that had been leased for oil, gas and coal – it was my last major work for my ROADLESS project.  On the way back to Austin I photographed a few refineries that I happened to pass by. I stopped to photograph them, because of the connection to the Roadless work.  The first refinery I photographed ended up in a show in California called Earth Through a Lens. I called this first image “Dante’s Refinery” – it is chilling and surreal – worth a look, but this one below was in New Mexico.  I saw it from the road, and when I drove up I noticed that it had been built around this little cemetery.  Also a completely surreal scene.

In a way, these refinery photographs were fitting images for the new year transition – they are refining the leftovers of old lives to power new ones, and I was just about to embark on a new project that would take my work into a totally different direction. Until last year, a great deal of my photography had been natural history.  It was an amalgam of my training in the arts and my work in the sciences. But several things were changing. I needed to get back to an art that was more purely expressive, and I had become obsessed with understanding how people step back from truly dark places. So while I was driving back to Austin I was making calls and starting to strategize for the ENEMIES project. The ENEMIES project was to be that first stepping stone towards moving my art.

The last couple months of 2010 I was a visiting artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.  I worked on a few projects at the Bray including photographing the resident artists and their work. This all started out by photographing my friend Kevin who was a resident artist there.

Kevin Snipes at the Archie Bray Foundation

While at the Bray I also created a set of mixed media works that I called Fall of Man. These were a set of installations of ceramic torsos that I sculpted and then photographed inside an old abandoned brick factory while projecting images onto them.  I did these photographs the day before I left the Bray and only finished working on them when I returned to Austin.

Fall of Man #1, Archie Bray Foundation

It was at the Bray that I decided that I really needed to pursue my desire to push my work beyond photography, incorporate more media, and allow myself more expression.  In the past I’ve worked in glass, ceramics, drawing, sculpture and printing, and I wasn’t happy that my works had fossilized into one media. My time at the Bray was the start of this, and I spent hours sketching and sculpting. Towards the end of the year I became obsessed with the ideas behind the ENEMIES Project – conflict, peace, hate, forgiveness.  Right away I realized that  ENEMIES would have to be transitional – it would have several layers, a layer that is mostly documentary, and layers that get progressively more expressive, further from the lens, and more about my vision and experience.  It seemed to me that this might also be an interesting way to present art anyway – so that the pieces also show the process.  The photographs would be raw material – paint that I would go out and gather.

So back to 2011, as I was driving through New Mexico on my way back to Austin I got a call from the President of the US Institute of Peace. I had sent him an email message at the very beginning of the year. He was calling because he liked the idea of ENEMIES and encouraged me to seek collaborations with the Institute. Just after that call I got to Chaco Canyon. This felt like a major life step, so I climbed the cliffs above the ancient dwellings there and made this balance.  It was a small one, but it was my first balance of the year ( more balances here if you’re curious). Balances are a meditation for me and with this balance it felt like I was somehow making a connection with the past before I stepped off into the future. This was the day that really felt like my new years day.

Chaco Canyon balance

 

Back in Austin I spent most of my time trying to organize logistics for ENEMIES – figuring out how I could make it work and where I should go first.  This meant an immense amount of time on the phone and the computer, and very little time taking photographs or creating art.  Logistics take ages.

In the spring I started hanging out with some very fun new friends including Jean Krejca, a well-known caver. Jean took a few of us up in these hilarious little machines called “powered parachutes” (I’d call them flying mopeds). Too fun. This is still one of my favorite images from the year.  It made me want to start hang-gliding again.

Flying mopeds

Throughout this time I was on the phone a lot trying to do logistics for my trip to Africa.  I had decided that I would start ENEMIES in East Africa, because I had been invited to go to South Sudan with the US Institute of Peace.  At that time South Sudan wasn’t even a country yet – it would become one on July 9.  It seemed totally appropriate to start ENEMIES in the newest country in the world. A country that had endured forty years of civil war.

 

Just before I left for Africa I finished a music video project that I had shot at the end of 2010 in Helena, Montana for my friend Ryan Rebo. This video was shown in the Holter Art Museum in Helena, Montana this summer.  Here it is below.  Click on the little symbol in the bottom right corner to make it larger or go and see it here on youtube. It’s called the Lonely Scientist.

This is a bit of a snapshot picture, but I love it.  Barton Springs is one of the things that has kept me in Austin. I spent a lot of the spring and early summer there. I often went there at the end of the day and sat by the pool as the sun set.   It is a place of community and healing for me.  This photograph was from the night before I left for Africa to start the ENEMIES project.  I met there with a few of my closest friends to say goodbye.

Barton Springs, Austin, TX

That day a friend from my community at the springs gave me an idea and a piece of string, which I soaked in the pool right where you see this picture, cut in half and tied half to my ankle and half to one of the trees next to the pool. This was my connection to home when I left for the ENEMIES project in Africa.

Next stop, Africa…

My foot with my tie to home, and the foot of a Samburu man in northern Kenya.

 

ENEMIES: South Sudan, bovine currency and cross border cows

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Cows in Wanjyok, S. Sudan

This post is from the first trip for my ENEMIES Project.  Read more about it here: www.EnemiesProject.com.

Cows are everything in South Sudan.  At least if you want to get married they are.  Here, as in much of Africa, men pay a dowry to their future wife’s family in livestock, and in S. Sudan this means cows.  The thing that makes this part of the continent a bit different is that the people here don’t use their cows for anything else. They don’t milk them and they don’t eat them. They do eat beef, but the type of cows people raise here are not considered very good to eat. So here cows are simply currency, a sort of bovine bank account that has to be herded around the countryside until you, your son or a male relative needs to get married.

I’ve talked to dozens of people about dowry.  Even men living in Nairobi, Kenya, one of Africa’s most modern cities, pay dowry.  One local television actor who I met told me about the negotiations he had with his wife’s family and how many goats and cattle he had to buy to pay the dowry. One morning I was walked around Wanjyok by a young Dinka man named Justin, and at the end of our he took me to the market to sit and have tea. As we drank our mouth-puckeringly sweet tea I asked him about his life and if he planned to marry soon. Justin was fairly well educated having the equivalent of a secondary school degree and a moderately good command of english. He told me that he needed twenty cows to marry and that he would probably get them from the dowry his two sisters had received when they married. When I told Justin that we don’t pay dowry in the U.S. he simply could not understand. “Why would a father give his daughter away if he doesn’t get anything?” he asked.  I tried to explain that women’s lives were independent, and he seemed to grasp the point I was trying to make.

Warawar peace leaders

Cows are also the reason for many of the conflicts in the border areas where I traveled with the US Institute of Peace.  This photograph is of the two heads of the Warawar Peace Committee (one Dinka and one Misseriya), which was formed to deal with conflicts in the border area around Warawar, a trading town near the border of north and South Sudan. Warawar has a really interesting history in peace-building that I’ll write about next time, but the main issues that came up in the peace conference on this trip were related to cattle theft between the Dinka of the south and the Misseriya from the north.  Cattle aren’t the only conflict, but they are central.  The Misseriya are nomadic, and for centuries they have been moving their cattle down from the more arid north to graze in the south during the dry season.  Their need to find better pasture for their cattle has also become increasingly severe with an increase in desertification that is likely related to climate change.  There is a sensitive and difficult history between these communities including abductions, cattle raids, and violence during the war.  It is a complex problem.  On a visit to the governor before going to Warawar, the governor talked about his efforts to return a large herd of cattle that had recently been stolen from Misseriya herdsman.

Dinka cows?

Before I go on, here is a big callout to Jacki Wilson of the US Institute of Peace who started this grazing corridor peace building initiative.  I had heard her stories, and it was wonderful to see her work in real life.  So during the talks on this trip, Jacki asked how they go about finding and returning stolen cows.  This is a huge area and there are cows everywhere. We were told that the Dinka cows are all black and white while the Misseriya cows are red.  Okay, fine – so we started paying attention to the cows we saw from the road when we were driving, and we thought “hmmmm…”. Take a look at the herd of cows in this picture to the right being herded by a Dinka boy.

Cows, cows, cows, cows…

It was interesting talking with the Samburu about cows also.  The Samburu and Turkana will basically never sell their cows.  They have a massive traditional biases against the idea of selling cows, even in a drought when they know their cattle will likely die.  One Samburu man who worked for the Grevy’s trust told me a story about his own cows.  He had decided to sell most of his cows when this recent drought began several years back.  His family nearly disowned him – they could not understand at all why he would want to sell them, because you never, ever do that.  He sold them and made a fairly decent amount of money for them. Six months later his family’s cows were all dying, and by then the price of cows had plummeted to less than half what it had been before.

Cows…

Lunch in Warawar, S. Sudan

Parting image… Lunch in Warawar

ENEMIES: The newest country in the world – South Sudan

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

The airport in Aweil, South Sudan

This post is from the first trip for my ENEMIES Project.  Read more about it here: www.EnemiesProject.com.

I love the airport in Aweil, South Sudan. A thatched grass hut, with a giant hanging fish scale to weigh the luggage. Wouldn’t it be great if our airports could be so simple?

South Sudan was nothing at all like I imagined. Maybe because of it’s proximity to the arid north Kenya, I had imagined South Sudan as infinite stretch of arid semi-desert. So as the airplane was descending towards Aweil, the third largest city in S. Sudan, I was surprised to see a sea of lush green surrounding the airport.  Hundreds of acres of flat and flooded land that sparkled like the new green of freshly planted rice paddies. But after leaving the luxurious Aweil airport waiting area, we stopped by the local Ministry of Agriculture on our way to the hotel, where we found out that none of the land we had flown over is cultivated.  In fact, very little land in South Sudan is cultivated.  Now that South Sudan has gained independence after decades of civil war, the people of South Sudan are coming back from the north or other places in the region where they had been hiding. But they have largely forgotten how to do agriculture. The UN Food Programe is predicting a serious potential for famine in this newest nation for the next year. So the sparkling green of these vast fields seem like a cruel irony.

I went to South Sudan with a peace-building mission from the US Institute of Peace (USIP) to get images for my ENEMIES project.  The USIP group, led by Jacki Wilson, was there to follow up on a peace-building project in a grazing corridor on the border of South and North Sudan east of the contested Abyei region. Jacki has been trying to help negotiate a peace settlement here for nearly five years.

In this part of South Sudan / Sudan, the main conflict is between the Dinka people who are black Africans related to the Luo tribe of Kenya and the Misseriya, who are Arabic Africans more closely related to tribes further north.  The Dinka and Misseriya have been in conflict for generations – as long as anyone can remember.  The Misseriya are nomadic and historically they have moved in and out of Dinka territory with the wet and dry seasons. Unfortunately the Misseriya also have a long history of abducting Dinka children as slaves and Dinka women as wives.  The most recent abduction of children happened two years ago. The Dinka and Misseriya also have a long history of stealing each other’s cattle and reprisal raids for cattle theft. This year a few dozen Misseriya cattle were stolen, and we heard that the Governor is in the process of trying to have them returned.

Nhial Deng and Fatima Ali Ahmed

Aweil was only a stopover, we were actually going to a town on the border called Warawar. I dont think you could have invented a more ominous sounding name for a city in a country that has recently come out of twenty plus years of civil war and genocide. On the way to Warawar we passed through the village of Wanjyok, a town almost entirely comprised of people who have moved back to South Sudan from Khartoum after fleeing from the decades of civil war in the south. In Wanjyok I photographed Nhial Deng and Fatima Ali Ahmed, a mixed Misseriya/Dinka couple in which the wife was Misseriya and the husband Dinka. Normally Misseriya never allow their women to marry Dinka, even though they regularly take Dinka wives for themselves. This couple met when they were living in Khartoum, and Fatima’s family was happy for them to marry. Soon after marrying they moved back to S. Sudan and settled in Wanjyok where Nhial’s family had been from.   Both the Dinka and the Misseriya pay dowries in cattle (more on this later), but Fatima’s family accepted a dowry of cash.

I talked with many people about the conflict between the Dinka and Misseriya and what they think of it.  Most of the people I talked to said that they don’t trust the other group, but they do have friends who are different.  They trust their friends. This was particularly true among the traders I talked with and photographed in Warawar.

Handstand in rural S. Sudan

I’ll write more about the other people I photographed later, but in the meantime… of course the kids in the villages went crazy over my camera.  It’s fun to be able to be so hugely entertaining to people.  :)   This guy just had to have me take his photograph doing a handstand – he was great!  This was in a little village near Wanjyok where we were staying in a hotel owned by the governor.  The governor of Bar El Gazah state is reputedly one of the most powerful men in South Sudan.  He’s got 70 wives and according what we heard people who oppose him don’t stay around for long. The hotel had good food, but the rooms were totally filled with dirt and in fact, some of the food had sand grains in it as well.

One of the evenings when we were then I went out into the village with Manal, a Sudanese woman from the U.S. who is contracting for USIP. Manal wanted to show me a small place next door that was making a local alcoholic drink made from sorghum. I took a few pics of them pounding the roasted sorghum, and then a drunk policeman came in and started hassling us.  I don’t know what he was saying, but his tone was aggressive and he was waving an ak-47 around.  Manal hustled us out of there, and he followed.  Finally Manal gave him one S. Sudanese pound, and he went away.  As we were walking back to the hotel, Manal told me what happened.  Apparently she told him we knew the governor (which was true), and then he was said we should give him a pound for a drink.

A few more tidbits…

S. Sudan typical Dinka dwelling

Me with a woman in Wanjyok

A little business in Aweil where you can charge your cellphone. Just a shack - my wide angle lens makes it look bigger than it is.

Paintings on the side of a pharmacy in Aweil

Kenya, Day 4

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Video blog #2.  Everyone else has gone to bed.  We leave at 7 am tomorrow for Samburu.

Evening Sun Over Chaco Canyon

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Evening sun over Chaco Canyon (click to view larger)

 

I stopped briefly at Chaco Canyon on my way back to Texas from being on the road for 7 months.  The sun was just starting to go down, and I took this photo on the way in. The lens flare was harsh, but I still like it a lot.

I did have enough time to climb one of the cliffs over the canyon.  I made a very small balance there overlooking one of the ruins.  You can see that image in this gallery.

 

Flying Go-Carts #2

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Flying Go-Cart #2 (click to see larger)

 

A closer view of a powered parachute.

 

Flying Go-Carts

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Morning flight in a "Powered parachute" (click to see larger)

 

A friend took me out one weekend to fly in her “powered parachute”. These hilarious little flying crafts are basically go-carts that power a giant fan and sit under a parachute. This morning we were flying through low clouds and the haze of a factory operating outside of Bastrop Texas.

 

Refinery and Cemetery

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Refinery and Cemetery (click to view larger)

 

 

On my way back to Austin in January, 2011, I passed this refinery.  It was only when I drove up that I noticed the little cemetery that the refinery had been built around. It was a bizarre and somewhat chilling scene.

Dante’s Refinery (Salt Lake)

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

View of a refinery outside Salt Lake City, UT (click to view larger)

 

I drove past this refinery on my way into Salt Lake City after I had spent the summer photographing public lands that were being leased for oil, gas and coal development. This was the other end of that chain that leads to our energy usage, and I had to turn around and take a photograph of this incredible scene. The steam around refinery, lit from the inside by the orange lights of the place, made it look like a scene from Dante’s inferno.

This photograph was accepted into the juried show “Earth Through A Lens” and shown in California in early 2011.