Look inside my 5 year project "This Myanmar Life" now on exhibition in Saskatoon, Canada
Join me on one of my "Un-tours To Myanmar"
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Adventure traveler, photographer, and storyteller. Come along with me as I share my encounters at the far reaches of the globe.
My Freshest Work
The Tazaungdaing Fire Balloon Festival (Festival of Lights) had such a reputation that I avoided going for years. Now, each year... I can't stay away from the awe-inspiring madness and beauty.
Read all about what the festival is about, and how to see it for yourself.
Five years in the making. One year of planning. 13 days of stories and adventures on one remarkable journey.
On those first trips I made to Myanmar more than 5 years ago, I remember thinking to myself, "Maybe if I don't write about the things here, I can have all of this for myself."
The feeling was fleeting, and since then I've always been interested in sharing the magic of the country, through my documentary work "This Myanmar Life," my photography, my writing, and my talks. After the first Un-Tour to Myanmar in October 2016, I knew I was on to something special.
Below is a small selection of what we experienced together, and a few snippets I published along the way (live to Instagram).
I hear from so many travelers to Myanmar who want to make sure that their money goes to the people, and not to the government or croonies. In the past few years, there has been a big boom in creative social enterprises in Myanmar, and I wanted to shine a light on them. Find the best places to spend your money and make the biggest difference.
The old British hill station village of Kalaw is easily one of my favorite places in Myanmar. While seen as most as just the place to start the very popular Kalaw-to-Inle trek, it's so much more than that.
The cool mountain air, mixed with the beautiful pine forests and a relatively mellow vibe make for a great stop on your Myanmar adventure. The biggest mistake people make in coming here is that most only stay for a single night.
Nearly five years ago, I took my first trip to Myanmar (Burma). Before I stepped across that border that very first time, there would have been no way for me to know that I would be traveling back more than a dozen times through the beginning of 2016, and spending more than a year in the country documenting the changes in Myanmar through the stories of the citizens.
Today marks the opening of my debut photography exhibition which melds stories with images called "This Myanmar Life" in Saskatoon, Sk Canada. It's a unique project that flows into the online world with additional stories to follow, as well as more information about the project.
While I'm most known for my travel, landscape, and cultural photography, one of my real passions is creating more abstract images with my camera. I'm looking to create moods, often by "smearing" or "melting" colors. I've been attracted by the more abstract in art and imagery for quite some time, and most of the paintings and artwork I've collected around the world for myself fit the same sort of mold.
Amongst a group of hundreds walking down the dusty street in Nyaung U (Bagan), you'd think the group of kids dressed as zombies and performing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" would be the focus of this piece.
Sorry, not strange enough.
There are a lot of ways to pay the bills in this world. Some just choose more dramatic ways than others.
Take this man for instance. He's set up shop working the street in the center of Siem Reap is his own way, and he's about to put on a show.
He pulls his trailer down the street, and double-parks his trailer in front of a motorcycle and a minivan with his torturous tools of the trade an arms-length away. The trailer has the worst sounding horn loudspeaker you've ever let pierce your eardrums, and a
Clowns, brides, a pregnant women, an 80's rocker, even a chain gang. As it turns out, no one was immune. Hundreds of them shuffling down the street, reaching out at passengers in cars and moaning or growling at any humans they met in their path.
And I was at ground zero: Post-apocalyptic downtown Saskatoon.
Packed like sardines in a sold out club that has mediocre sound. It's hot... like sauna hot. The rain? It's coming from inside this low ceiling-ed building and is provided by the perspiration of the crowd. I'd dance like there was no one watching, but there's no room to move anyways. We all just sort of shuffle in place.
But the music is good, and that's about all you can ask for.
While most so-called "street art" is barely a hair more special than comic-sans is to the font world, on occasion you do stumble upon something special.
I carry around more than my fair share of camera gear, but sometimes a quick shot with my mobile phone is just what the doctor ordered.
As England is to pubs, Myanmar (Burma) is to tea shops. You'll find them everywhere, sometimes lined up one after another, with their little plastic stools and small tables spilling out onto the sidewalks and into the streets.
Let me introduce you to one of my favorites, Shwe Ya Minn tea shop. Located on the market block of the small "hill station" town of Kalaw (Shan State), it might be tough to spot without a readily visible English sign. Instead, you'll have to look for the crowds.
Although open all day, often from 6am until 10pm, the busiest times are early in the morning for...
*A warning to my more squeamish visitors, this story includes graphic images*
The drums: pounding. The crowd: dense. The colors: vibrant.
In a word,
It was after 5:00pm, and I had spent the day on nearby Bilugyun (Ogre) Island in the heat of Myanmar (Burma) summer. I was exhausted. So exhausted in fact, that when I caught a glimpse of a line of 150-odd monks walking toward us on the other side of the road my first instinct was to just move on.
Then, something I'd never seen before.A row of people walking on the other side of the road. Brightly colored garland draped over-top of an apparatus some were
See all of my Photo Essays...
Myanmar / Burma
"When a girl is educated, everything changes"
"We see things differently..."
Lightmoves Creative is the outlet for creative professional photography services in the travel space. Our talented group of photographers have worked around the world creating stunning visual work for companies and organizations looking for more out of their brand.
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"Technology For Travelers"
Too Many Adapters is a leading source of technology news, information and resources for travelers. Our writers traverse the globe, smartphones in hand and luggage in tow, providing real-world accounts of the gear they use and the challenges they face.
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Having been separated from much of the world for decades thanks to a corrupt military regime and economic sanctions from much of the Western world, the country and its government have begun to open up more recently.
The simplified version of this change that is portrayed in much of the media is just a thin slice of what's going on inside of the country. How the future of the people there will be shaped in years to come is what interests me, and is the focus of a long term project of mine.
The first of several gallery showings will be open in Canada in June 2016, with a book and public speaking engagements to follow. Read more