Shooting from the Air

At least a few times a year, I jump on a flight between New York and Los Angeles and despite all the hassles of air travel, I look forward to the cross-continental trip. While many of my fellow passengers find ways to pass the time during the long flight, I am usually glued to the window next to my seat watching the world passing by thousands of feet below.

Some of the images I have made over the years have become part of an ongoing series aptly titled New York to Los Angeles. I do not use any special photographic equipment in making these images, but I am careful in choosing airlines' specific flight routes and seat assignments as well as shooting only during extremely short timeframes during a typical flight. 

I am especially excited that these images will be part of a two month show titled At Scale presented by Uprise Art and Sherle Wagner Art Gallery in Dallas, Texas.  For more information about the exhibition, please visit this page.  I hope some of you can make it.

Driving the Crater

The best pictures are often made in bad weather.

It was a stormy day at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and we were driving the 33 mile road that runs along the rim of the caldera. The landscape is nothing less than stunning which definitely poses a challenge to keeping your eyes on the road!  Thankfully, there are places where you can hike up and take in the breathtaking views of the lake and the road that snakes around it. I was lucky to catch the shafts of sunlight filtering through the low clouds as I took this shot.

Shot on Canon 5D Mk III, 23mm F/11 at 1/15sec, ISO 50

Through the Wetlands

I'm a full-time city dweller and rarely do I get to spend enough time in nature. That's probably why I seek every opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors when I'm on the road. Given that it is World Wetlands Day today, I am reminded of my trip to the wetlands in Kerala, India.

It is quite a magical place, where time seems to move at a slow pace. You are surrounded by a canopy of green as you make your way through the narrow waterways that spread like arteries in this vast wetlands area.  There are many ways to see and appreciate the beauty and peacefulness of the Kerala backwaters, but I chose to go the old school route - on a hand powered wooden fishing boat.  As we slowly moved through the stillness of the forest, I took in deep breaths of that oxygen-rich air and began to lose myself to the ripples of the shallow waters.  I can almost hear it if I close my eyes now.  

Shot on Canon 5D, 80mm F/3.2 at 1/100 sec

Reminiscing India

The world's largest democracy celebrates January 26th as the day its constitution came into effect and the country officially became a fully independent republic. This day is symbolic (to say the least) to millions of Indians, however, when I think of symbolic images that I made in India, the one of the Taj Mahal comes to mind first. It was an early winter morning and I wanted to make a picture that not only captured the massive scale of the Taj but also exemplified a distinct sense of place.  The banks of the Yamuna River that runs alongside was the perfect location.  As I was about to set up the shot, I saw two people in the distance who had also come to enjoy the peace and quiet of the morning on the river banks.  I made quite a few images, but this one was definitely my favorite.

Shot on Canon 5D, 200mm F/11 at 1/25 sec

Ice Sculptures

One of the main reasons I chose to travel to Antarctica during its short spring season was the hope of photographing that continent's characteristic yet out-of-this-world ice formations.

During this time of year, the landscape is in the process of transformation as massive sheets of ice melt and create short-lived "ice sculptures", often displaying a hue of colors that range from pure white to the deepest blue. I got lucky when I spotted this formation that was probably carved out of a massive iceberg that was at least 60-75 feet tall, almost the size of a 5 to 6 story building. What made the picture, however, was that brilliant light that perfectly lit its massive arch.

Shot on Canon 5D Mk III, 200mm F/11 at 1/500sec

Ice Walk

One of the most memorable parts of my excursion to Antarctica was getting off our icebreaker ship and walking on the ocean ice. It was still early in the polar travel season and parts of the ocean had a thick layer of ice, sometimes a few hundred to thousands of feet thick! It was less slippery than I thought.  As my feet sank into the fresh layer of snow that covered the ice sheet, I was getting quite used to it and also getting good at handling my camera at the same time. 

Just as we were about to lift anchor and head back out to the frozen ocean to continue on our southward journey, I saw the last of the ship's crew pulling up the massive rope and that's when I made this picture.

Shot on Canon 5D Mk III, 70mm F/16 at 1/640sec

It's All About The Family

No matter where I have traveled, I have always enjoyed meeting and photographing families. The above image was made in the middle of the Gobi desert in Mongolia.

A family is the core of any society's identity and offers a window into its culture. We stand at a crossroads in America today and many of us are not sure where our country is headed over the next few years. Now more than ever, we need to count on our own families to keep us together as a society.

Thinking of Rio

The Rio Olympics are less than a month away. It reminds me of the last time I visited that city a few years back. Like many first-time visitors, I had climbed to the top of the Corcovado, the famous granite mountain that is crowned by the statue of Christ the Redeemer with his outstretched arms overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro. Once I got up there it looked surreal.  The clouds had rolled in and completely shrouded the city below.  I could see nothing but the peak of another well-known mountain peak, the Sugarloaf Mountain, way in the distance.  While there were many others who were busy snapping images of Christ's statue, I instead chose to photograph the sea of clouds.  This is what Rio's Christ sees, I thought.