December 2007 Archives

Thailand

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Thursday, December 27th, 2007 -

I’ve always loved to travel. In fact I plan on traveling much more in the future. In fact I’m going to set my life up so I can travel for a few months at a time. I am busy most of the year. But December through February is my slow time. So I hope to be able to travel around the world doing volunteer work. Photographing poor families that don’t have all the benefits we do. It is so great to experience other cultures. My recent trip to Egypt really made me realize how much I enjoy that. I’m posting some images of a trip I did a couple years ago with my son to Thailand. As you will see from many of these images,so many smiles from people that have very little. It’s so inspiring.
I’m not one for tours. But before this trip to Thailand I was looking for an adventure vacation. I did some research on the internet and came across this great company called Backroads. I’m so happy I did. This company operates all over the world. They take you off the beaten path for much of the trip. You really get to experience the people and their culture. This was a mountain bike tour. We mountain biked all over Northern Thailand.
I would highly recommend this company to anyone. Be sure to check them out.
www.backroads.com
They even used one of my pictures from my trip with them for their 2007/2008 Exotic Escapes Catalogue. They used it for the cover.
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When we first arrived in Bangkok we read about this floating market. Very cool place.
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This woman was selling these birds to be released. They say if you release them it brings you good luck.
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Riding through the farms
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I needed to rest. Most of our rides were around 60 miles a day.
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My new friends
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Time for an elephant ride
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Travis found a new pet
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This is the shot Backroads used for the cover. I turned it sepia.
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While riding through a small town I came across cock fighting
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Towards the end of the trip we ended up at the Golden Triangle.
We crossed over to Myanmar which used to be called Burma
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This was our transportation around town.
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A quick family portrait

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Monday, December 24th, 2007 -

The weather was working against us during this session. It was actually raining while I was shooting.

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We needed to pause for a tooth check
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Check out dad getting the most air
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Amanda & Matt Eng

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Saturday, December 22nd, 2007 -

Yesterday I hung out at the beach with these two. I have to give these 2 credit. They didn’t let the fact that it was cold outside and that the water was freezing keep them from getting wet. We all left the beach NUMB.

I always start out with a few dry shots before we hit the surf.
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Time to get COLD
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time to get really COLD
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We did have some beautiful light
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A Family Session

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Thursday, December 20th, 2007 -

Yesterday was a busy day for me. I shoot 2 boudoir sessions and finished the day off with this family. I can’t post any boudoir pictures. I don’t want to spoil the surprise for the lucky grooms.
I hung out in Huntington with this family.
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Gina & Ryan Engagement

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Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 -

I made it home from Egypt. Saturday was a long day of travel. It took 25 hours to get home. So I took Sunday to recover. Then on Monday I was back to work.
It was great hanging out with Gina and Ryan. I give these 2 credit. It was pretty cold out but they still ended up in the water. It was a blast.

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Egypt

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Friday, December 14th, 2007 -

I’m heading home in a few hours. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. It was such an amazing trip.
Here are a few more images from our trip.

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Prayer time
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After leaving Luxor we had to join an armed convoy to drive us across the desert. We were headed to the city of Hurghada on the Red Sea.
One did get to make one stop on the way there. This lady was walking around with a goat on her horse trying to make some money off the tourist.
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Sunrise on the Red Sea. We didn’t do much while at the Red Sea except just relax. It was a nice break in the middle of our trip
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Back to Cairo
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This guy needed a shave right in front of his store
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Need some spice
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We decided to do a day trip to Alexandria. So we jumped on a train. That was an experience. I can’t belive what we went through just during the buying a ticket process.
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When the trains pull in people just jump off rather that walk off the correct exit on the loading docks.
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These are working hard. I saw a lot of this,men just sitting in chairs not doing much.
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Made it to Alexandria
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Alexandria is right on the Mediterranean Sea
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Korynn and her boyfriends. It was funny,guys kept on asking me how many camels for my daughter
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A beautiful day on The Mediterranean
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Back at the train station,getting our ticket back to Cairo was tough. This is Katy trying to get to the ticket window which took about 45 minutes and she was 2nd in line.
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We finally made it on the train
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Back in Cairo
This guy was selling scarves. He liked us.
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Today we visited what they call Garbage City. I wish I would of had more time here. We were only ably to drive through it. I plan on coming back someday soon just to spend a few days here photographing families. Cairo has a major trash problem in some areas. In this area the trash just gets dumped off and people actually live in the middle of al this trash. They go through the trash to see what they can salvage. They actually turn a lot of this trash into beautiful stationary and various paper products. I couldn’t believe it.
I also could not believe these living conditions. There were kids everywhere in this area. I’ve never seen nothing like it. Woman just sitting in piles of trash digging through it with their bare hands. And the smell in this area was so bad. I still can’t believe it.
This is right in front of the doors of all their living spaces.
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This is a shot from above. The trash is also pilled up on the roof of all the buildings. Like I said these people live right in the middle of trash. There are also pigs and goats living with them also.
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Here is a couple of shots of the women digging through the trash
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Here is another woman digging through the trash while stray goats are eating what they can.
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We left garbage city to go by a neighborhood that Katy used to leave in
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Final shots of Cairo
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Egypt

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Monday, December 10th, 2007 -

I just arrived in the city of Hurghada. It was a 4 hour drive through the middle of the desert from Luxor. We are staying at a beautiful resort right on the Red Sea. I can’t wait to jump in the water tomorrow.

More of what we were up to in Luxor

We got to go on a sunrise balloon ride. It was an early morning but worth it.
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They mostly farm sugar cane in this area.
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I love how the green just ends then it’s desert for miles
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Stephanie bought this Egyptian decorating book and while looking through it she saw pictures from this beautiful hotel just outside of Luxor. We gave then a call they rooms available so off we went. It was so beautiful.
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Back to exploring the area
This little girl was so cute.
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This is another typical family home near the tombs of the nobles
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Stephanie loved this little goat
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These little girls followed us al over the place while we were visiting where Katy worked for the last few months
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While backed at the hotel I decided to walk out in front of the hotel. The hotel is off the beaten path. It’s funny. It’s this over the top beautiful hotel and right out side of it you have this poor little village. I saw a couple kids playing out front of the hotel so I thought I would grab a couple of pictures and give them some pens. Like i said before the kids love pens. Once I gave out a couple pens kids started coming out of the woodwork. I was getting attacked by kids. The hotel security saw what was going on so he came out and took over.
Most of the homes that these kids live in don’t have running water. I love the smiles that these kids give you. It really puts things in perspective.
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Look how excited these kids are getting just to get a pen.
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Back inside the hotel
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Off to another temple
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Time for a donkey ride
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We went to the top of this mountain on the donkey’s,don’t jump Korynn
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Katy’s donkey decided to relax or a moment
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The donkey’s took us through some small farming village on the way back
These kids hanging out in front of their house
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Our friend Ali in front of the entrance to his restaurant Africa. We had lunch there just before we left Luxor today.
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Egypt

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Sunday, December 9th, 2007 -

I finally tracked down some internet. Over the last few days I’ve traveling down the Nile. It’s been amazing. I’m currently in the city of Luxor. Luxor has been my favorite city so far. I’ve seen some amazing temple’s and tombs that are 1000′s of years old. But I have to say my favorite part of the trip has been spending time with some of the local people. It has been such a great experience to see how other cultures live. The Egypt people have been so great.

How is our Egyptian pose
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The girls hanging out on the boat with the Nile in the background
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Just walking around the streets
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Hanging out at the temples
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Korynn wanted a new outfit for when she gets home.
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Back to the streets
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Back to the Nile
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This is the typical rooftop in the small towns. None of the roofs are ever finished. If the family leaves their roof unfinished they don’t have to pay taxes. So none of the buildings are finished. Then as the family grows they just add another floor and leave that unfinished. If you look in the corner of this shot you will see a man smoking his hookah.
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Walking through the desert
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All the holes in the hill behind Stephanie are tombs.
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While walking around this tomb area there was a very small village. At these small villages when they see a foreigner they usually want to sell you something. The kids are the best sales people. They get the kids stated early at the selling. They are so cute though. So we came across this family selling dolls. They were fun to talk to. I actually took some pictures of the family and returned the next day with prints for them. They were very excited. This is my favorite part of this trip. Hanging out with locals. This family lived in such a smal little clay brick house with no running water. But they still had smiles on their faces.

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Stephanie picked out a doll.
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This is grandpa hanging outside of the house
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We took what they call a country taxi to our next stop. It’s small little trucks that they pile everybody into the back. Here is some of the people we were riding with on the country taxi.
I think they enjoyed having us on the taxi with them.
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I had to post this. This is a drinking bucket that is on the street in the town. Anybody walking down the street can just grab that cup dip it in and take a drink of water.
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Off to visit another family
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This is Katy and her friend Ali. He is such a funny man. Always smiling. He took us around to visit some of the locals. It was so great. Ali owns an a great restaurant in Luxor on the West Bank called Africa. So if you are ever in Luxor this is a must stop to eat some amazing Egyptian food. We are going to be eating there for our 3rd time today before leaving Luxor.
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We brought a few small things to hand out to the kids. We brought a bunch of pens. Believe it or not Katy said they loved pens. She was right they did. We also brought some paddle balls. They really had fun with those.
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Time for some group shots.They were so excited that I did these group shots for them. I delivered prints the next day. It was so great. I think I’m really going to start traveling the world and doing more of this in the poorer countries. They never get a cance to get any pictures. People I’m sure take many pictures of them from time to time but they never get to see them. So it was so great to actually be able to deliver them a copy of all the pictures. I had one older man so happy he came up to me and shook my hand with a big smile on his face. He didn’t show much emotion before that.

This family had about 30 people living under one roof. All the kids and their kids. It was crazy. This is a shot of the parents that started it all.
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My new friends
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This is a shot of their living room. Behind that door is chickens. So when it’s time for dinner they have fresh chicken.
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There were actually pigeons that lived right in tehir living room. I couldn’t believe it when I was standing there and they just flew in. They had an unfinished roof so birds could fly in whenever they wanted.
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This is a view from the second floor of their house down to the first floor.
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Time to go. I’m off to ride donkeys over the mountain of the Valley of the Kings. Should be a blast. Then we are off to the city of Hurghada on the Red Sea. Many more pictures to come.

I have many more pictures to add to this post. But internet is so slow here. I have to get some sleep. I’ll add some more next time I come across internet.

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More Egypt

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 -

I couldn’t sleep so I thought I would throw a couple more images up.

This is the view from our hotel room. That’s the Nile running through Cairo. I can’t wait for our cruise up the nile starting later today.
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This is the location of our first taxi breakdown. Everybody still has smiles on their face.
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The kids around the pyramids really tried to work you for some money. They were so cute. Katy told us they really love pens So we brought a bag of cool pens to hand out. They loved it. This kid wanted another pen.
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Stephanie got this great shot while on the back of the horse
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I love the pyramids. I still can’t believe we are here.
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I love just walking the streets. You never know what you might come across.
Dodging traffic crossing the streets is an adventure
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This guy had some kind of real stuffed animal in his back window
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Everywhere you turn you will see men hanging out on the street smoking their Hookahs
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A typical street corner in Cairo
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This guy is just walking down the street. He stopped to pose for me.
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Another cute kid on the street
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I had to show me getting off the camel. I was cracking up
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I’m off to spend a few days on the Nile. Check back soon.

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Egypt

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 -

Well Sunday I left for a long awaited vacation to Egypt. I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a long time. My longest and very first employee I ever hired lives in Egypt working in tombs in Luxor among other things. Her name is Katy. She still works for me designing albums all the way from Egypt. It’s so much better to explore the world when you have a personal connection with somebody who actually lives there. So I had to make this trip before Katy came back to the states. So my wife Stephanie and my daughter Korynn are exploring Egypt for the next 2 weeks. Today was our first full day. The highlight of the day was the Pyramids. It was so amazing to be standing right along side these amazing Pyramids. We had such a blast.
Another adventure of the day was actually getting to the Pyramids. I’ve never seen traffic so bad. I’ve been many places. I’ve spent time in China, Thailand and of course I live in Southern California. The traffic here is so out of control and there doesn’t seem to be any traffic laws. It’s a free for all out on the road. Everybody just ignores the lanes. It may be a 3 lane highway but there are 6 cars across those 3 lanes. On top of that we had 2 taxi’s’ breakdown on us today. 1 on the way there and another on the way back. It was so funny here we are 4 Americans broke down in a taxi in the middle of Cairo. I loved it. We could of been on a nice safe tour bus but I hate tours. I much rather just go for it on my own. It’s such a better experience.
I’m just posting a couple images of us having fun at the Pyramids. I want to blog more but it’s late and I have to be up at 6a.m. to catch a plane to somewhere in Egypt to catch a boat up the Nile for a few days. So no internet after tonight for a few days.

Just arrived at the Pyramids
Korynn,Myself,Stephanie
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That’sKkaty on the right. Katy is making this trip so great. She has lived in Egypt for about 8 months now. She speaks the language so well. Plus knows all these great little places to check out in the city. Places we would of never come across with out her.
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Check out our camel skills. What do you think of that back drop.
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Stephanie opted for the horse
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For lunch today we ate at this great little local spot. The only had 1 thing on the menu. It was great. I don’t remember what it was called but I loved it. So did everybody. I couldn’t believe the price.
We each had a bowl like you see below. Which filled us up. All 4 of us for only $2 us dollars. Amazing.
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Korynn loved it
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I hope to blog more real soon.

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