Another year has come and gone faster than I imagined. As I reflect, there were many more good memories than bad. Most significant of all was marrying my wonderful wife. The rest, however, makes for a good list in any year: a new job at Kiva, the launch of Farmanac – my first iPhone app, a trip to Bali, three visits to British Columbia, and a great year of skiing in Tahoe and surfing at Ocean Beach. With so much of our attention constantly focused forward it’s great to take a minute and look back. Here is a brief recap of my 2011.
Bali – the word conjures up a vision of idyllic beaches, perfect surf, and terraced rice fields set to the backdrop of a rich Hindu culture. This fabled island was at the top of my list of desired destinations for many years. And in November I was fortunate enough to spend three weeks on the island with my new wife. She indulged me as I dragged her from one famous surf spot to the next. And in between my search for waves we explored Hindu temples, trekked through a rice field to find an organic restaurant, and ended our trip diving on the reefs off the island of Lombok.
A storm will blow for hours or days generating waves that will travel thousands of miles eventually breaking on some far off coast. On that journey a wave will hardly shift the position of any of the water molecules it carries. Only the energy of the wind travels, not the water around it. As a surfer I’ve been tossed every which way by waves. Depending on the force, it can slam you into the ocean bottom or calmly lap over your board. One second you’re riding on top of one, or pushing through one, and the next second that wave has broken, it’s gone.
After six weeks of traveling through both the north and south islands of New Zealand I managed to take over 1500 pictures. And even with all those gigs of photos I still managed to miss some of the most memorable scenes I came across; the Rob Roy Glacier and the perfect symmetry of Kiwi tree plantings come to mind. I can only hope that as the months and years go by my mind will retain the visions I failed to capture. In the meantime I can still share with you the best of New Zealand I was able to capture; the Tongario Crossing, moonlight nights in the Able Tasman, and the smiles of my fellow travelers. New Zealand where the grass truly is greener:
We stumbled into Havana with a barley passible vocabulary of Spanish phrases, a copy of Lonely Planet Cuba and two cameras. Our nebulous plan involved wandering the streets, snapping photos and soaking in the beautiful decay of this forbidden country.
After four days we had accomplished our goal. Between the two of us we had taken well over a thousand photos, dug deep into the politics that divides our two nations, consumed Mojitos at the National, and located Fidel’s hidden missiles. But don’t take my word for it, these pictures can tell their own story.
Freelancing has its advantages, one of which is the ability to travel and live in places that you wouldn’t normally have access to while working a typical office job. Currently 2 Out of Three is half way through a two month stint in Santa Cruz. And when we’re not banging away on our laptop at the local coffee shop, the mountains, ocean, and town of Santa Cruz provide eye catching scenery to take a few photos. Below are a few of the best shots from the month, and be sure to check out the rest of April’s Santa Cruz pictures at Flickr [along with commentary].
New Mexico has an alarmingly high number of natural & health food markets including the standards like Whole Foods and Wild Oats, the smaller local varieties as well as the international Talin Market. Between Albuquerque and Santa Fe I’ve been to half a dozen different markets in the week and a half that I’ve been here, and the combined population of these two cities is less than that of San Francisco. Because of this easy access, the state is bursting at the seams with an unprecedented variety of ginger beer. The New Age hippies and their younger counterparts – the “dreamcatching yoga greenies” – must have developed a bit of a ginger habit. The thing I can’t seem to wrap my brain around is what are they doing with the stuff? I’ve yet to stumble across a single bottle of Goslings – or any top shelf dark rum for that matter – so they can’t be using it for Dark and Stormies? Are these health nuts just drinking the stuff straight? A prospect I’ll never understand – and one, that personally, is a bit offensive. Could they be wasting away their afternoons stumbling over tumble weeds in the high desert tripping on Moscow Mules?
At it’s best art gets us to consider ourselves and others within the world around us. With that in mind photography is a direct medium that can be used to hold a mirror up to the world around us.
Vitaly S. Alexius photo journal about the ship breakers of Chittagong, India does just that. The visuals and the story stop you in your tracks and make you question how a person can live like that and how our world can allow a person to live like that. It’s an amazing combination of photos, Google maps, and journal entry.
Last weekend I headed down to Grouse Mountain and did some night riding for Mel’s birthday. Grouse is located in the mountains around the city of Vancouver giving an amazing view of the skyline while you enjoying some night skiing. I was a bit skeptical when the idea of night skiing at Grouse was first floated. Understandable, why would a group of Whistler locals want to drive away from the best Mountain in North America to visit a local mountain with only two lifts and a handful of runs open at night…and to top it off a storm was bearing down on whistler promising to bring 12+ inches of new snow.
As it turns out Grouse Mountain is a great time if you want to mix a bit of skiing with some late night festivities. The group had a great time messing around on different equipment (a handful kept it real with snowblades). And then we danced the evening away while still in our ski/snowboard gear…including boots. While the Polaroids have been censored to protect certain parties I did receive permission to release a few photos.