Last night my story on the Cambodian Stampede, in which 450 people died during the annual Water Festival in Phnom Penh, placed Second in the News Picture Story category of the San Francisco/Bay Area News Photographers Association. I'm very grateful for the Chicago Tribune judges for recognizing this tragic story, which received very little attention in the media despite it being the biggest news story in Cambodia since the Khmer Rough and following Civil War. Cambodia is a very young country, in economic development, infrastructure and in age. 80% of the people are under the age of 30. The majority of its population still live in the countryside, although the city is developing and growing rapidly mostly due to factory jobs, and more recently increased service/hospitality-related employment.
Congratulations to all the local winners from the San Francisco Bay Area. Some very incredible work!!
To see my story: A Bridge of Ghosts; A Country in Mourning
Photojournalism magazine Foto 8 is featuring a collaborative story, produced by writer Fiona MacGregor and myself, on the effects of hydraulic dams in Vietnam have on the lives of ethnic minorities living in Cambodia's Mekong Delta. Please click here to read a synopsis of Fiona's story and my slideshow: downstream
I photographed night harvest for wine grapes last night at Ceja Vineyards, one of the first Mexican-American wineries in the country. Harvest happens very quickly...and with little light, it made photographing harvest a little challenging. I wanted to shoot with available light to get the feel of what its like to work in the dark or with unnatural lighting.
I photographed my friend Missy at her job as a waitress for a 24-hr diner in the Castro, the gay district of San Francisco, famously known for their street festivals, Harvey Milk (and the movie), and its color. We started at the diner, then went on to the beach with her dog DeeDee, named after a Ramone. The shoot was to photograph some lifestyle images, something I've been working on and needed to produce couple new images.
I photographed cousins Belen and Dalia, of Ceja Vineyards, for a lifestyle stock shoot....we started off a little late, after a glass of Ceja Rose...yum. then into the vineyards for a little wacky fun. Surprisingly, and I know, I am surprised, but it was such a beautiful evening along the Napa River (yep, i just said that). While everyone knows I have a big heart for the City, every now and then, I am sweetly surprised at the natural beauty of the Napa Valley.
I'm working on a storyboard about a little surf town in Mexico and got distracted in making these images of local surfers for the blog to share. These guys have seen their little fishing village transform over the past 10 yrs to a tourist destination. And now, themselves have gained a little from the tourism, such as providing a business teaching surfing, or taking surfers out on charter boats, and family business of restaurants and bars.
My on-going portrait series of cockfighters were published today on PDN's photo of the day blog. How exciting! I was in mexico earlier this year and wanting to work on some kind of portrait series, so friend & photographer Holly Wilmeth suggested to follow some local cockfighters.
over the weekend in ventura, ca i attended a workshop on multimedia for recently laid off photographers to learn some new skills or refresh some old ones. for me i was challenged with the decision-making process of combining two forms of storytelling - pictures and audio - into one cohesive piece. I was also challenged with the fact that my story wasn't complete because i wasn't able to get access to family life of these fishermen; something that i didn't foresee. Friday morning i landed on the docks of the harbor looking for story and this is where i met these two brothers. I get seasick but tried to just focus on shooting and audio recording. I was only able to shoot from just a couple of spots bc it was a small boat. But in the end, i made a couple of nice images and met some great photographers and editors at the workshop. Good people. Thank you thank you team! www.vjworkshop.org
This photo is from a self-generated stock and lifestyle assignment so that I continue to shoot and add to my archive creatively as well as build a body of work that hopefully will be representative of my lifestyle work. I prefer to shoot with natural light and in a non-stylized manner so that my images feel real.