India | Outtakes from Kerala

This is how it usually happens in India. I get sent there on an assignment and I stack a few extra days on either end to explore a bit more of the countryside. I take thousands of photographs and dig myself into corners and poke my nose where it does and doesn’t belong, and in the end the magazine publishes around 10-15 final pictures and I’m left with more outtakes than I know what to do with. Photographs that I love, that I remember taking, that bring back very real and visceral experiences for me. The smell of a curry and the way a light flared down a side alley. A cat jumping from crate to crate at the fishing docks. A rickety river bridge and a boy floating in the water below. Sweet street side masala chai. A talkative guesthouse owner. A barber. A painter. A sweets shop employee.

Oftentimes the outtakes become my favorites. They’re the more memorable photographs, the imperfect ones, the ones that didn’t quite fit into the original story’s narrative arc. They become the underdogs. They’re simple images of meals and streets and people I’ve met along the way. They’re inconsequential and they’re numerous and they’re the reason I take on these assignments, knowing I’ll come home with stacks of treasures and memories. So here are some treasures and memories from the state of Kerala in southern India. One of the softer and more accessible points in the country, but no less magical for it.

Singapore Travel Outtakes

A lot of expats and travelers in Southeast Asia like to rag on Singapore. They say it’s too clean, too orderly. It’s boring and polite and polished. Nothing but soft edges. But I’ve always thought criticisms like that said more about the person than the place. Singapore–like everywhere else in the world–is largely what you make of it. It’s a complex and complicated place, capable of being just about anything.

Little India on a Sunday is chaotic and wonderful, with energy pulsating through the crowded streets. Chinatown fills up with old men playing chess and gossiping as they sit idly about. Hawker centers dish out world class cuisine day and night. Locals and tourists alike browse through the Gardens by the Bay and the old colonial promenades downtown, and at night restaurants, cocktail bars, speakeasies, and clubs all come alive until the early hours.

I’ve been back and forth to Singapore several times this year, and I haven’t once had to repeat a single night out. There’s always somewhere new to go, some place new to try. Something newly opened, etc. So don’t be so quick to judge–it’s one hell of a place. Here are some outtakes from a recent travel assignment. People, places, and things. And some of the best food I’ve had in recent memory.

Travel Photography | Guam

I’ve never seen water so blue and in so many shades, deep and clear and rippling like bad glassware. It was endless on most sides of the small Pacific island and seemed the defining feature in the myths and cultures of this place. Guam. It wasn’t somewhere I thought I’d end up. But hey, who am I to deny a call. Here are some selects and outtakes from a recent travel assignment. Until next time.







Child Boxing in Thailand

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This was a tough assignment, photographing child boxers in the poor outskirts of Bangkok. Not tough because of access or subject matter or anything like that. Tough in a different way. Tough showing what it was really like without falling into classic cliches of poor youths quite literally fighting to survive in a harsh unforgiving environment. Because while it was certainly that to a certain extent, it was also so much more. Muay Thai is for all intents and purposes a sacred sport and art in Thailand: graceful and disciplined and beautiful and savage, much like the country itself. It’s an honor to fight, and while it attracts poor youths much more so than those born with gilded golden spoons in their mouths, it isn’t only for their dreams of making it big and getting out and all those other big words and phrases that have captured the world’s imagination on more than just a few occasions. It’s also done out of the pure love, the sheer joy, the absolute simplicity of it all. Muay Thai is Thailand as much as anything else. From youths onwards. And so really, this is just the beginning.

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A portrait of Boonsong Samrong outside of his home and gym in Rayong, Thailand.
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The crowd and gamblers at Thepprasit Boxing Stadium in Pattaya, Thailand.
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Photographs from Kyushu, Japan

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It was such a beautiful place. Rolling green mountains and ancient towns, a luxury train journey that spanned the small island. Castles in Kumomoto. Horror and history in Nagasaki. Seascapes, volcanoes, and abandoned islands made of concrete. And now, three earthquakes that have rocked and shifted things. I was planning this blog as a simple celebration of my time there when they happened. Just outtakes from my journey. Simple, unassuming. And I’m going to keep it that way. Any words I could think of would be too small and insignificant in the face of this tragedy. So here’s a small glimpse into the Kyushu I saw and loved and will return to, hopefully sooner than later.

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A blurry landscape in Kyushu, Japan.
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Dazaifu Shrine in Kyushu, Japan.
A detail at a small temple in Kyushu, Japan.
A small church in the middle of a fishing village in Amakusa, Japan.
Buildings in Nagasaki, Japan.
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Staff on board the Seven Stars Kyushu luxury train in Japan.
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Lunchtime on board the Seven Stars Kyushu luxury train in Japan.
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One from Nagasaki, Japan

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I’m currently on another assignment in Japan. This time on the southernmost island of Kyushu, eating my way across cities and towns and beautiful mountainous landscapes. Here’s a quick image from Nagasaki. More to come.

Thailand | Koh Samui Island

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With its cobalt blue waters and honey-colored sands, coconut trees jutting forth from palm-fringed beaches, and small fishing villages and five-star resorts lining the coasts in every direction, Koh Samui is, by all standard and accepted definitions, an island paradise. It’s reputation with travelers and backpackers and attendees of countless destination weddings every year is pretty much unrivaled. And rightfully so. It’s beautiful. Trust me. I spent three full days doing little more than zigzagging the entirety of the Thai island on a motorbike and taking pictures for a photo essay for Fah Thai magazine, which you can see in the previous post. Here are some outtakes and personal favorites from the trip. Enjoy. And as always, you can see more of my travel photography on my website.

Coconut spa products at the Four Seasons in Koh Samui, Thailand.
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Overlooking the sea from the Six Senses Resort in Koh Samui, Thailand.
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