Posted on May, 2nd, 2013
Contemplation at The Eastern Market breakfast - try the Crab Benedict
Several days before my birthday (May 1st), I spent some time in Washington, D.C. meeting with editors and directors at several organizations. Well, my girlfriend, lil’ E (I guess that makes me big E), always ensures that I make time for fun and relaxation. So she took it upon herself to plan a birthday weekend for us. Even though I live close to D.C., I rarely take advantage of all the wonderful things that the city has to offer – lil’ E is changing that for me.
On Saturday morning (April 27th), she presented me an envelope containing one sheet of paper – our tourist itinerary of things to do over the next two days. For those that might be interested in some ideas, the list is below. During our journey, I could not resist making a visual diary of our happenings with my handy iPhone. The images are in order of activity.
- Day 1: Eastern Market, Botanical Gardens, The Old Post Office, paddle boating, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial – dinner was at Granville Moore’s
- Day 2: Ben’s Chili Bowl, CakeLove, Georgetown Streets, The Old Stone House, Dumbarton Oaks Gardens, The Tombs, stairs from The Exorcist, Blues Alley Jazz Club
Thank you, lil’ E, for taking the time to plan a fantastic weekend and for making my birthday special. It is good to get out of the routine, see some new things and appreciate what our cities have to offer. What do you wish to explore in your neighborhood?
In line at the Eastern Market - definitely eager for a good breakfast
Playfulness around the jungle in the Smithsonian's Botanical Gardens
Checking out the competition while standing in line at The Botanical Gardens
Podium at the Botanical Gardens - State of our Nation?
Educational group standing in line at The Old Post Office - cool hat
Glass elevator for 14 floors up to The Post Office's Bell Tower
Fellow tourists admiring the sights from The Old Post Office Bell Tower
Exiting the elevator of The Old Post Office
View of the Jefferson Memorial from the comforts of a paddle boat
Reflecting on the lives lost in Vietnam
Perhaps one day he will grow up to be as big as President Lincoln
Chaos, confusion and commaraderie at the Lincoln Memorial
Heads, hats, hair and hands on the D.C. metro... next stop....
The Famous Ben's Chili Bowl and the legendary "half smoke"
Admiring the legends and celebs that have eaten before us at Ben's Chili Bowl
The alleyways of Georgetown
The interior of The Old Stone House - D.C.'s oldest building
Time for a drink at The Tombs - Georgetown's beloved underground hang-out
Posted on April, 30th, 2013
National Geographic Expeditions recently granted me a trip to the Galapagos Islands to enjoy its splendor and photograph its beauty. This prize came after an image that I had made in Cuba was recognized as the grand-prize winner in National Geographic Expeditions’ annual photo contest. The journey to The Galapagos took me through Ecuador on my way to the illustrious landscape that Darwin deeply explored almost 200 years ago.
The journey, made mostly by sea on an exploratory vessel, was a photography expedition; therefore, many activities on the boat focused on cameras and thus offered the 98 passengers an opportunity to learn the craft. In addition to a Senior Photo Editor from National Geographic Magazine, several of the 74 crewmembers were photo instructors certified by the National Geographic Society. Collectively, they shared knowledge with fellow travelers by conducting daily workshops, performing portfolio critiques and providing hands-on training.
On the first day of the journey, the photo instructors learned of my contest victory and invited me to speak to all those onboard regarding my experiences with previous NG Expeditions. By having the crew introduce me, it allowed me to connect with other passengers, share our passions for photography and travel, as well as learn from each other. And during the process, I was able to enjoy the wondrous surroundings and capture imagery during the expedition. Thank you National Geographic and its amazing staff that made my journey a beautiful reality.
Posted on March, 27th, 2013
“Mom, Dad, if I quit my engineering job to become a carnival worker so I might photograph its culture, will you be proud of me?” “Eric, we will be proud of you no matter what you do.” Support. Understanding.
Without hesitation, my mom uttered those words as I sat in my parents’ living room, recovering from Eddie Adams Workshop XXIV (October 2011). Inspiration. In order to attend, I had taken a “vacation” from my engineering job, and while sitting there amongst peers, teachers and total strangers, I deeply felt the drive and desire that each editor, photographer, artist and volunteer displayed as they presented, instructed, assisted and coordinated. Gracious. Little did I know that five days of EAW would be the push that I needed to cease my engineering career and pursue photography full-time. Passion. About five months later, and exactly one year ago on March 27, 2012, I did exactly that. Crazy?
Immediately thereafter, I began embarking on a journey that would further open my eyes to the world, the people within it and the person inside me. Bewildered. For example – how environmental pollution causes birth defects. Wonderment. How a girl with no hands cuts a tomato and cracks an egg. Respect. How erecting a Ferris Wheel requires the proper knowledge of cuss words. Adaptation. How utter patience is required to listen intently and fully understand another’s story. Selflessness. How asking someone for help is not a weakness, but an acknowledgement that I need to learn. Humbled. How close, supportive people are critical in developing personally and professionally, as well as maintaining sanity. Grateful.
The past 12 months have physically taken me across America, Canada, Ecuador, Galapagos and Mozambique. But they have also taken me to an internal place where I reflect on how I have gotten here, who clinked bottles during celebratory times and who uplifted me during struggles. Relationships. As my photography career continues to evolve, I will make successes and I will make mistakes, and thus, in the process, I will learn. For the future, I hope to share some insight into the process, and in doing so help others who are starting out and hopefully get feedback from more experienced photographers on how to apply the lessons to my craft. Reciprocity.
But for this initial blog post, I simply wish to take an opportunity and thank all those who have helped me in countless ways along this new road. Community. In this fast-paced world, where we can paint a “rosey” picture behind Internet posts, others might not know what it truly might be like in someone’s heart, mind and dreams/nightmares. Acceptance. This road has been exhilarating, rewarding, difficult, frightening and fulfilling. But the things that make it great, and worth the work and long nights, is that I get to do what I love every single day – make photographs and tell stories – and share them with people around me. Astonished. Blessed.
To those who:
- let me temporarily live once again in the room in which I was born
- let me stay on their couch for weeks after knowing me for mere hours
- told me, “You’ll be fine, go for it”
- said with a laugh, “It’s about time you quit engineering”
- trusted me with your stories, and let in a vision
- made it this far into the blog post
- forced me to shoot everyday
- reviewed portfolios, critiqued an edit, encouraged me to continue
- paid me
- taught me something about life, the craft or how to look at things differently
- taught me to follow the light
I sincerely thank you. And now, several photos made along the journey.
Posted on February, 26th, 2013
What Digital Camera Magazine is an international publication produced in the United Kingdom. Each month they develop an in-depth feature about one photographer and his/her personal work.
Collectively, the editors and I decided to showcase the work I completed on American Rodeo in the Pacific Northwest coupled with other American sub-cultures and landscapes. The rodeo work was captured over a two-year period and covered smaller Native American competitions, as well as some of the biggest venues in the United States Rodeo circuit. The sub-cultures, captured during a two-week personal journey across the country, included Amish community in Ohio and desolate Native American lands in the West. In the article, I also share the motivation behind these projects.