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Old Town Alexandria Assignment

In the late spring I traveled to Alexandria, Virginia on assignment for the tourism board, Visit Alexandria. Most of the time was spent photographing the historic Old Town, which George Washington once called home. An easy hop to the other side of the Potomac from Washington, D.C., Old Town, Alexandria boasts exquisite cobble stone alleys and some of the finest historic Americana-style architecture in the country including the landmarked Spite House, a residence that is just seven feet wide.

What also sets the Old Town apart is its sophisticated cultural scene including a thriving art community complete with an arts center located in a former torpedo factory on the waterfront. You won’t find big box stores here. You will find a large concentration of indie boutiques and a wide range of restaurants with cuisine from around the world. Old Town and its waterfront and parks are very walkable. The main artery is King Street.

The weather gods cooperated in full. In fact just 45 minutes after wrapping up on the last day, which included working with models, it down poured. Here is a sample of some of the images from the assignment.

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Cote d’Azur Bound

I have back to back travels coming up starting with a trip to the Cote d’Azur followed by an assignment for a tourism bureau back in the U.S. (more on that later).

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There is a reason I like to head to head to Southern France and surrounds this time of year. The weather and light are typically excellent and the high season crowds have not descended just yet.  Pictured here is a bird’s eye view of Monaco taken almost exactly a year ago. If you look to the right of the frame you can spot the Royal Palace.

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NYIP Travel Photography Course

Some time ago I was asked by the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) to contribute my expertise to a new travel photography course. I was delighted to take part and the course launched late last year. I wrote chapters on several aspects of travel photography including seeing the world with new eyes when capturing travel images. Successful travel photography should immediately transport the viewer to the destination and make them want to go, or at the very least see more.

When asked by aspiring travel photographers how to get started one of my so called mantras is that you don’t have to leave home. No matter where you live there is always travel related subject matter to photograph. Creating compelling travel photography does not mean that you have to travel to exotic destinations. This point is highlighted in NYIP’s video promoting the travel photography course.

For those of you not familiar with NYIP it offers of wide range of online photography courses. Not all of you may live in a part of the world where photography courses are offered within a short distance. Or perhaps like many you can’t commit several hours a week to attending a course due to a demanding job and all else that fills up your time. NYIP is licensed by the New York State Education Department and accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. You can find out more about the travel photography course here.

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World’s End

World’s End looks like the end of the world but not in the apocalyptic sense. A remote valley located between Llangollen and Wrexham in North Wales it is one of my favorite spots on earth – no people or buildings, stunning vistas and the cleanest air I’ve ever inhaled. A single lane road winds through and up and down the mountains where the light seems to change with the wind, illuminating layers of heather covering the hills.  The only sounds are those made by sheep, which for some reason sounded like men trying to imitate sheep.


I’ve visited World’s End many times throughout the years since childhood, thanks to having a mother who was born in North Wales and a large extended family who remains there. It’s a family ritual, perhaps our Celtic Mecca, and one of the few places on earth that instantly clears my mind and soothes the soul. I spent two weeks earlier this year in North Wales photographing the mountains and historic “proper Welsh” villages where English is spoken as a second language. I drove through World’s End no less than three times this trip, thanks to patient cousins who helped me chase the light.

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Day of the Dead Mexico

Mexico is always on my mind this time of year as Day of the Dead or Dia de Los Muertos takes place in early November. It is a mixture of pre-Hispanic and Catholic traditions. The belief is that the spirits of the deceased return for one night to be reunited with loved ones.

Day of the Dead is not a time to mourn. Instead it celebrates and honors the dead. It is filled with humor and artistry unique to Mexico.

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Families set up altars dedicated to the deceased and decorate their graves. The elaborately decorated altars, which typically include a photo of the deceased, marigolds, candles, sugar candy skulls and paper cut outs resembling lace, are completed with offerings. The offerings are meant to welcome the spirits and include items such as food and drinks they liked. Graves are decorated in a similar manner.

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Day of the Dead culminates with all night graveyard vigils. From evening until dawn families sit around graves meticulously cleaned and decorated. The atmosphere in the graveyards is spiritual and celebratory and visitors are welcomed with smiles.

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I’ve had the good fortune to witness and photograph these traditions in the beautiful colonial cities of Oaxaca and Patzcuaro, which are the epicenters of Day of the Dead festivities, as well as Mexico City on several occasions and will most definitely return one day. You can see a full gallery of images here.

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Nonprofit Work

broadwayandballetPart of the work I do is for nonprofit organizations. I enjoy collaborating with people who make a positive difference for others.

Over the summer I took this image in the early morning on a perfect day in Central Park to be used in promotional materials for The Broadway and Ballet HERO Awards, a benefit for HERO (HIV Experience Resources Organization). HERO is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people get around and get through the system that hinders timely assistance for the newly diagnosed and people living with HIV/AIDS. The awards will be given to organizations and individuals who have gone above and beyond to help the HIV/AIDS community including The Actor’s Fund.

The gala will feature performances by talent from the Broadway and ballet communities.  The roster includes dancers from the American Ballet Theater and a host of Broadway veterans whose credits include Billy Elliot, Chicago, Wicked and Little Shop of Horrors to name a few.

The event will be held Sunday, October 19th, at 42 West located at 516 West 42nd Street in Manhattan from 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $20 and all proceeds benefit HERO. You can find full details here. If you are a theater and/or ballet fan and in town hope to see you there. I’ll be photographing the performances of course.

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UK Bound

I’m heading to the UK for a few weeks. Time will be spent mainly in North Wales and surrounds. This trip is both personal and professional. I’m a half Brit and will be attending a family wedding. I have a large extended family there and look forward to seeing everyone.

I’m also looking forward to photographing the beautiful countryside, villages and do a fair amount of castle hopping.

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This image was taken on my last trip in the Spring of 2012. The aim was to capture patriotism with a humorous twist in the run up to the Summer Olympics. It was one of two days when it didn’t downpour without mercy non-stop, the bane of a travel photographer’s existence. Hoping for better weather this time. Photographs to follow when I return.

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Imperia, Italy

While in the south of France last month I took a side trip to Imperia, Italy which lies along the Ligurian Coast on the Italian Riviera. Imperia was created by Mussolini in the 1920s when he combined Porto Maurizio, Oneglia and surrounding villages.

Oneglia has a colorful harbor with a variety of eateries lining it. Yachts and fishing boats share space in the harbor. Porto Maurizio is a hilltop medieval village overlooking the Mediterranean. You can easily spend hours wondering its steep alleys and back streets.

Both tend to be less visited than some of the more tony neighbors, such as San Remo. This is part of their appeal in my opinion. They are worth a visit if you happen to find yourself in the vicinity.

These are a few the images I took while there.

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Promenade Des Anglais

I spent about two weeks earlier this month photographing the Cote d’Azur. I love photographing this part of the world before the summer crowds descend. Beautiful towns and cities along the coastline with medieval villages perched above create the perfect work environment for a travel photographer. Based in Nice, France I traveled up and down the coast to Cannes, Cap D’ail, Menton and Monaco among other locales.

These photographs are a few taken of the world famous Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The Promenade hugs the Mediterranean and runs the length of the city. Sun worshippers populate the beach and fitness enthusiasts and amblers the pedestrian promenade. Signature blue and white umbrellas line this stretch of coast.

The boulevard is lined with aristocratic architecture from the Belle Epoque era when European nobility summered in this part of the world. The Hotel Negresco is the grande dame of Le Belle Epoque architecturally speaking and the icon of Nice.

I also took a side trip to Imperia on the Italian Riviera. More photographs to come.

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Classic Macau Exhibition

I’m excited to be part of a group exhibition, Classic Macau, which opens this week at the New York Academy of Art. Last December the Macau Government Tourist Office invited 10 U.S.-based artists including photographers, painters, illustrators and videographers to spend several days in Macau, China to capture their impressions of this unique destination.

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Classic Macau will be up at NYAA’s Wilkinson Gallery in Tribeca from April 25th through May 6th. After its New York run the exhibition will travel to Los Angeles where you can see it at the Samuel L. Freeman Gallery from May 16–18.  If you are in New York or Los Angeles during these dates stop by if you get the chance. You can read more about the exhibition here.