Publications

 

Patagonia Spring 2009 Catalog - Sea Kayaking Apo Island Cover

Alex and Meghan Iams came to visit Dumaguete in November 2006. First on the list of places to visit was Apo Island and we all stayed at Liberty's Apo Island Resort. During one of the days we were there, Alex and Meghan paddled a small banga boat around the shallow section of the reef that fringes the island while I climbed to the top of of Apo's famous Boluarte volcanic rock formation to get the overhead perspective. I used a polarizer to take the reflection off the water and bring out the amazing blue of the water. One of the shots ran on the cover of Patagonia's Spring Corporate catalog, thanks again to Jane, Karen, and Sus for using my work!

 

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National Geographic Earth Pulse - Special Report on Global Environmental Trends (Apo Island Clown Fish photo)

National Geographic put together a special edition report on global environmental trends that came out in the Spring of 2008. One of the sections in the special edition issue gave a brief summary of the successful marine sanctuary at Apo Island and included one of my shots of a skunk anemonefish. Thanks again to Miriam for choosing to use my work!

 

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Patagonia Spring 2004 Catalog - Backpacking the Trinity Alps Wilderness

Alex Iams and I backpacked into the Trinity Alps Wilderness in August 2003. On the first night the sky was clear with no signs of rain, so we decided to camp out on a large, flat rock beside one of the clearest mountain streams I have ever seen. The next morning, when the sunlight first hit the water, it was so crystalline it looked almost like air. Small trout could be seen swimming lazily as they looked for food in the deeper sections of the pool. We interrupted their morning meal with a couple of can openers into the frigid, but very refreshing water. This shot made the Patagonia in the Spring of 2004 and was the first time I was ever published with the company. Thanks again very much to Jane, Karen and Sus for working with me for all these years and giving me a big break with this photo!

 

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2007 Best Tourism Photo - Association of Southeast Asian Nations Tourism Association (ASEANTA)

As I was wrapping up my Peace Corps service in July 2006, one of the editors at Mabuhay Magazine called to ask me if I would mind if they included one of my photos in the competition for the Best Tourism Photo for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Tourism Association (ASEANTA). I had already been working with the magazine to do a few stories while I was in the Peace Corps, and I was happy that they wanted to use my shot to represent Mabuhay at the competition. A few months later, I heard back from one of the editors that the contest was over already and my shot from Apo Island had won. I Googled it and found a photo of a woman who I hadn't met before accepting the award on my behalf in Singapore. A few months later I heard back from the Mabuhayeditors and they ran a little story about the background of the photo. Thanks again to Sanda Fuentes for waiting for me on the dive while I hung back to take this shot!

 

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2006 U.S. Peace Corps Association of Returned Volunteers Calendar

I took this photo Carlito Laudijo Jr. peeking from the door of his house when I was staying with his family in the small fishing village of Lomboy during our Peace Corps training. Although the family of eight didn't have much room in their small nipa hut, they generously welcomed me in to their house. I slept on the floor with them during the time our Peace Corps group was in their community doing a practice run for a coastal resource management assessment. This photo ran in the 2006 edition of the International Calendar published by the U.S. Peace Corps Association of Returned Volunteers in Madison, Wisconsin.

 

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Featured Photographer - Mabuhay Magazine May 2006

The May 2006 issue of Mabuhay magazine (the in-flight magazine of Philippine AIrlines) published a set of my photos and featured me as a photographer in the Philippines. I'm still very grateful to the editors at Mabuhayfor choosing my work for this feature, I'm really happy with the way they put it together for the finished piece.

 

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Feature Article: "Bangkok on a Budget" - Mabuhay Magazine December 2006

I spent a month in total in Thailand during stopovers on way to Nepal in July 2006 and returning from India in September. Before I left I managed to get an assignment from the editors at Mabuhay magazine to do a feature about "Bangkok on a Budget". When I'm in Bangkok I like to stay in Thewet near the river because the neighborhood is usually quiet and there are lots of great restaurants and street food stalls around. The visit in September wasn't as quiet because it happened to coincide with the coup that overthrew Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. For the next few days I could see tanks on the streets and soldiers gathered in front of the Thai parliament building. The story didn't include any of the military events, thoguh I did use a James Bond reference for the lede...

 

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Tubbataha Tiger Shark Encounter - Mabuhay Magazine November 2007

I was very lucky to be invited by Angelique Songco, the manager of the Tubbataha UNESCO World Heritage Reef, to join her staff aboard the WWF research vessel Minerva (thanks again Angelique!) in April 2006. The diving was every bit as amazing as the stories I had heard before I left for Puerto, and among all the marine animals we saw, the scary highlight was a tiger shark. In November 2007, Mabuhay magazine ran a special feature called "Animal Encounters", and a few of my shots from Tubbataha were used to illustrate a story I wrote about a night dive with sharks on one of the reefs there.

 

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Patagonia Spring 2006 Catalog - Rock Climbing Siquijor's Gambuhay Falls

Siquijor Island is visible from Dumaguete's seaside Boulevard, and is about 45 minutes by fast boat. The island is famous throughout the Philippines for the witch doctors and traditional faith healers that live there. I made the trip several times while I was in the Peace Corps, and on one trip a group of us went over to Gambuhay Falls. Located higher up in the mountains of the island, the waterfall plunges from a small stream into a deep pool the color of jade and shaded in parts by a canopy of rain forest trees. On this particular trip, my friend Daniel Simon climbed up the falls from the pool below, one of the shots made it into the Spring 2006 Patagonia catalog. The caption they ran was great: "Siquijor Island has a history of faith healing (witch doctors, to the superstitious). Daniel Simon performs a bit of black magic on Gambuhay Falls. Philippines."

 

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Dumaguete Destination Feature - Mabuhay Magazine January 2008

When I was in the Peace Corps in the Philippines from 2004-2006, I was assigned to live and work in the VIsayan city of Dumaguete on Negros Island. By the time I left, Dumaguete had become like a second home to me and since I was freelancing for Mabuhay magazine, the editors there asked me to do a destination piece about Dumaguete that ran in the January 2008 issue.

 

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Surfing Siargao's Cloud 9 - Mabuhay Magazine November 2007

Facing the open ocean waves of the Pacific, Siarao Island is located on the East Coast of the Philippines. and is one of the best surf spots in the country. And although it takes nearly 24 hours of bus, boat, bus, boat, tricycle, boat, and motorcycle travel to finally reach the wave from Dumaguete, I've been lucky enough to make it there several times. Sande Fuentes--my great friend from Dumaguete and owner of Hayahay (the best bar/music venue in town)--literally plans his work schedule around the swell forecast so whenever he says it's a good time to go to surf Siargao's Cloud 9 wave, I try to join him. We've had several great trips there over the past three years. So when I was asked to do a feature story on Siargao by Mabuhay magazine I drew on those trips as well as one I took there with Corey Ridings, one of my great friends from my Peace Corps batch. Thanks again for the great Siargao trips, Sande--will look forward to the next one!

 

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Building Dave Matthews 12 String Guitar in the Philippines - Acoustic Guitar Magazine April 2005

When I first accepted my invitation to join the Peace Corps program in the Philippines, one of the concerns in the back of my mind was how I would be able to keep playing music while I was away from the States. Ever since I started playing guitar when I was 17, I usually play at least once a day so two years with no music sounded pretty rough. Not wanting to waste the precious baggage allowance on a guitar and case, I did a little research on Philippine guitar makers. The more I read about the culture of guitar makers in the country, the more I realized I should just wait until I arrived and then find a local guitar maker to build me an instrument to play while I was in the Peace Corps. This didn't take very long--in fact less than a week after our plane touched down in Manila, John Borja (one of the Peace Corps staff in Manila) introduced me to his great friend from high school, Jun Reputana. Jun lives just a short distance from where our primary Peace Corps training was held in Tagbilaran and has been making guitars out of local jackfruit wood for many years. At this point, Jun has built several guitars for me--including an awesome replica of the Taylor W65 12-string that Dave Matthews plays on some of their songs. I wrote an article about it for Acoustic Guitar magazine in the April 2005 issue.

 

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"From Sea to Summit" Destination Dumaguete: Climbing Mt. Talinis - Mabuhay Magazine January 2009

During my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dumaguete, I got to be great friends with Harold Biglete, the owner of Harold's Mansion, who is also an avid hiker. In April 2006, Harold organized a hike to climb Mt. Talinis, the inactive volcano that towers behind Dumaguete. We camped out overnight beside one of the mountain lakes near the top of the mountain and also hiked around the densely-forested summit before heading back to Dumaguete the next morning. Since climbing Mt. Talinis isn't as common an activity around Dumaguete as diving Apo Island, I wrote a feature about our trip for the January 2009 issue of Mabuhay magazine. Thanks again Harold!

 

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Bali to Lombok Surfing Road Trip - Mabuhay Magazine April 2009

In November 2008, I met my brother in Bali for a surf trip. The rainy season isn't the best time to surf Bali, so we were always looking for waves around the island. My friend Edi Sïswanto had surfed Lombok before so we decided to give it a try. After taking the Bali coastal road to Padangbai and loading our motorbikes on the local ferry (only $5 one-way!) to Senggigi we were on our way. I wrote this feature for the April issue of Mabuhay magazine about our Bali to Lombok surf road trip.

 

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Dolphin watching in Tañon Strait - Mabuhay Magazine November 2007

In November 2007, Mabuhay magazine ran a special feature called "Animal Encounters", and they included a story I wrote about seeing spinner dolphins swimming in the bioluminescent plankton at midnight in the Tañon Strait on the way back from Apo Island. To this day, seeing the dolpins glowing like greenish ghosts in the indigo-blue water beneath a starry, moonless sky is one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

 

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Apo Island Ecotourism Success Story - Mabuhay Magazine July 2008

Most of the articles you will find about Apo Island (including the ones I have written myself) are destination/dive stories that only briefly mention the history of the marine sanctuary that has made the island synonymous with sustainable coastal resource management in the Philippines. For a new angle on Apo, I was asked by Mabuhay magazine to do a story about the island's ground-breaking marine sanctuary and include a bit of the history of the successful partnership with the Silliman University Marine Lab that was published in July 2008.

 

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Whale Shark Snorkeling in Donsol (photos only) - Mabuhay Magazine November 2007

In November 2007, Mabuhay magazine ran a special feature called "Animal Encounters", and they included a few photos I took while snorkeling with whale sharks in Donsol in April 2006. We were really lucky on that trip, over the course of three days of snorkeling, I swam with 34 whale sharks (11 the first day, 12 the second, and 11 the last) and although the water was murky from the high concentration of plankton, I was still able to get a few usable shots.

 

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"Saving Nemo" Apo Island Ecotourism Success story - Mabuhay Magazine May 2006

For the first article I wrote for Philippine Airlines' Mabuhay magazine, I was asked to do a destination / diving piece about Apo Island that came out in May 2006.

 

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Chiang Mai Destination Feature (photos only) - Mabuhay Magazine October 2007

At the end of my 2006 trip through South and Southeast Asia, I finally made it to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. It had been on my list for a very long time, and with a great recommendation from my friend Katia about the Thai Cookery School I took a long-overdue Thai cooking class. But because I spent too much time eating and trying to learn to cook, I didn't have anything approaching a coherent magazine article from the visit. However, in November 2007 Mabuhay magazine ran a few of my photos to illustrate a destination piece about Chiang Mai.

 

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Ticao Island Manta and Whale Shark Diving (On Assignment) - Mabuhay Magazine May 2008

In February 2008, I got an assignment from Mabuhay magazine to write a dive / destination piece about the Manta Bowl at Ticao Island. I stayed at Ticao Island Resort, and had great dives with their staff (thanks again to Delsie and Suzanne!). We didn't see the mantas, and unfortunately my camera case leaked and killed my digital camera so I didn't get any photos from the dives, but we did see several whale sharks while diving which was just awesome. The current is so strong that you have to literally hook yourself into the bottom, and at one point on the first dive, a huge shark (over 30 feet long!) swam directly over me. It was like being underneath an elephant!

 

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Apo Island Post Cards - Fundraiser for livelihoods and turtle sanctuary: February 2005

After a visit to Apo Island in December 2004, Daniel Simon from my Peace Corps group pointed out that Apo wasn't selling any post cards that featured the Island. Since Apo is one of the top destinations in the country, this seemed like a problem that really needed to be fixed. From the many visits I have made to Apo to dive, I had a pretty good selection of underwater shots of the Island, so I offered to help Mario (the barangay captain at the time and dive master) produce a set of cards that the local women's co-operative could sell as a livelihood project. Mario also wanted to raise money to support Apo's new turtle conservation program. I got to work on the design and photo editing, and Kristin Gilliss helped me edit the short descriptive paragraphs about Apo on the backs of the cards. With some help from my friends at the provincial tourism office, we got a great price from local printing press Dumaguete Asian Printers to produce a small initial run of the four card designs. The first batch of cards came off the press in February 2005 and since then several thousand cards have been sold.

 

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Apo Island Post Cards - Fundraiser for livelihoods and turtle sanctuary: October 2008

With the first four designs of the Apo Island post cards that we printed in February 2005 already in its fourth run, Liberty and I decided we needed some new designs so in August 2008 I updated the cards with four new designs which are currently on sale at Apo.

 

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Peace Corps Headquarters - Paul D. Coverdell Worldwise Schools Slideshow: Protecting Philippine Reefs

I returned home to Virginia in December 2006 after spending 30 months in the Philippines as a Peace Corps volunteer, three months traveling through South and Southeast Asia, and three months in the Philippines as a freelance phototgrapher and journalist. After a few weeks in Virginia, I visited friends in DC and even got an insider's tour of the Peace Corps HQ from my friend Kris who works there. While in the HQ, I met with the great staff from the Paul D. Coverdell Worldwise Schools program that produces educational materials with an international focus for schools throughout the country. They have run a series of slideshows narrated by PCV's to give students an idea of what it's like to be in the Peace Corps and live abroad. I did a short story about marine conservation issues facing the Philippines today and how it affected my service.

 

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Albay Marine Sanctuary Feature - Philippine Daily Inquirer Cover Photos - August 2004

In July 2004, my friend Corey Ridings (a Coastal Resource Management volunteer from my Peace Corps batch) invited me to her site in Bicol to take photos of the San Miguel Island marine sanctuary. The local barungay captain was under pressure to open the sanctuary up to fishing, and the photos that I took would be used to give the local decision-makers a view of the undersea world located just in front of their doorsteps. The Sunday edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on August 22nd included five of these photos on the front page to accompany an article written about the local islanders working to protect their marine sanctuary on San Miguel Island.

 

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Our Asia That Travels - Featured Photographer

Joel Barquez, the editor of the Our Asia That Travels website featured a few of my photos in August 2007, thanks again Joel!

 

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IZStyle.com Feature: "Two Weeks in Bangkok and All I got Was This Lousy Coup"

In 2006 I contributed some stories and photos to IZStyle.com, a website launched by Stefan Lessard (the Dave Matthews Band bass player) as a creative outlet. I got in touch with him to see about contributing some of my work to the site, and he put me in touch with his editor, Mike. I put together a few stories such as this one about Bangkok that they featured on the site. Thanks again Stefan and Mike for using my work!

 

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IZStyle.com Feature: South China Sea Kayaking

<p>In 2006 I contributed some stories and photos to IZStyle.com, a website launched by Stefan Lessard (the Dave Matthews Band bass player) as a creative outlet. I got in touch with him to see about contributing some of my work to the site, and he put me in touch with his editor, Mike. I put together a few stories such as this one about Sea Kayaking in the South China Sea that they featured on the site. Thanks again Stefan and Mike for using my work!</p>

 

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