Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Images published in Himal Magazine

The Nepali magazine Himal ran two of my images in print and on the web in a story on trekking to Khopara Ridge in the Myagdi District of Nepal. Now I know that शैली बस्नेत is Nepali for Andris Bjornson, as listed in the photo credits.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Roll Your Own Peace Corps

"Whether it’s the trekking guide who shares a closet-sized apartment with his sister, the homestay host who can’t scrape together the cash to repair her leaky roof, or the bright-eyed children who study in a thatched-roof schoolhouse, people in developing regions bring you face-to-face with the massive gaps in standards of living.

Confronting this economic divide can generate powerful emotions ranging from shock to shame to outright anger at the state of the world.

Point these emotions in a constructive direction, though, and you may find yourself planning your next big trip around finding a way to help."

I've been quiet for a few months now, but the whole 'packing up everything I own and moving to Nepal' thing has kept me busy. Here's a piece I just did for on planning your own volunteer experience by getting in touch with local NGOs in developing countries that need the skills you already have.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Another KPAM Radio Interview: Exploring Malaysia

Pat Boyle at the Azumano Travel Show on KPAM 860 in Portland interviewed me again, this time it was a broad overview of exploring Malaysia. Check out the audio below:

It seems like every time I talk to them, we end up talking about leaches. I'm really not that fixated, they just keep coming up...I swear.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Images on the UNA-USA Media Blog

A few select pictures from my June trip to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina with Adopt-A-Minefield are up on the UNA-USA Media Blog along with some audio I recorded of a demining metal detector in action.

Hopefully more images to come from this trip soon. I've almost completed work on a slideshow telling the story of the tight bond between demining dogs and their handlers.

Landmines are bad, people...really bad. Visit to learn more and donate.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cambodian Dirtbiking: Another interview with KPAM

Apparently the guys at KPAM in Portland liked my first interview on Borneo trekking enough to ask me back to do another, this time on my Cambodian dirtbike trip to Preah Vihear.

Incidentally, Preah Vihear has been in the media spotlight lately. On June 8 it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and Thailand wants in on the tourism dollars. The Thai government is disputing Cambodia's claims to the temple, and hundreds of Thai and Cambodian troops have been in a standoff on the temple grounds for the past week.

Hopefully the standoff won't turn violent, but it sounds like tensions are high. Now might not be the best time for a visit.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Giving Back to your Subjects

(photo by Thomas Holton)
"As traveling photographers, we are often in the unfortunate position of taking from subjects less fortunate than ourselves without giving anything back. On an ideological level, I like to believe that a great image comes from a collaboration between photographer and subject. However, we capture images, show them off to friends and relatives, promote ourselves professionally, and maybe even sell prints. For the barefoot pilgrim, the hungry child, and the lonely grandmother with the tattered shawl though, life continues unchanged."
Here's a short article I did for Collective Lens on the one-way "take but don't give" relationship that sometimes exists between photographers and their subjects, and what one photographer did to help when the subjects of his long term documentary peice narrowly escaped disaster.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Andris Bjornson on the KPAM Portland Travel Show

A producer for an AM radio travel show up in Portland came across my Matador piece on Borneo trekking, and contacted me for an interview. People have always told me I had a good voice for be the judge!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sarawak: Trekking In The Kelabit Highlands

"Sarawak trekking takes more than a little slogging through muddy, leech infested territory. As you remove your sock to flick off what seems like the thousandth bloodsucker to wriggle its way through the mesh of your boot, you may find yourself questioning your choice of destination.

Surrounding you, though, will be some of the most bio-diverse forest in the world: home to 15,000 species of flowering plants, 3,000 species of trees, and 221 species of terrestrial mammals. "

Another one of my articles is up at It's a destination guide on a trekking adventure in the Kelabit highlands of Malaysian Borneo.

Monday, May 12, 2008

SF Camerawork - 2008 Portrait Party

I spent my weekend digital teching at SF Camerwork's 2008 Portrait Party fundraiser.

SF Camerawork is San Francisco's only nonprofit photography gallery. For the Portrait Party, they get established photographers to donate their time to shoot portrait sessions at Left Space studios. Donors get a professional portrait session, and support Camerawork all at the same time.

I organized and backed up as many as 6 sittings from each of 8 photographers over two days in a single Lightroom catalog on a Mac Pro. It was definitely up to the task. At one point, I had a photographer editing her work as I imported work from another photographer in the background and burned a CD of exports for a third.

The only real bottleneck was the ancient CF card readers, which couldn't take advantage of the 150x cards most of the photographers brought. I guess that's what you get when you tech with someone else's gear.

It was great seeing such a wide variety of shooters in action. I hope to work with Camerawork again in the future.

Monday, April 14, 2008

297 Talented Photographers - And I'm One of Them

So this free online promo put together by Rob Haggart, former director of photography for Men's Journal and Outside, got a fair amount of industry buzz.

Basically, he took open submission of 2 images each for over a thousand photographers and edited them down to 297 images. I made the cut, and I'm honored to be among such great company. There's some fantastic stuff in there.

Mike and Brittany - March 29, 2008

I feel like it's some kind of rite of passage as a photographer that I shot my first wedding a few weeks ago. My good friend Mike got married in Columbus on a beautiful sunny day, and I was there to document the whole thing. A slideshow of some of the highlights is here.

Congratulations Mike and Brittany!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cambodia Beyond Angkor Wat

"If you want to see the real Cambodia, round up some friends for a dirt-bike adventure through former Khmer Rouge territory to the stunning mountain temple of Preah Vihear."

...another piece for the guys at This one's a how-to destination guide on a dirtbike trip to a remote temple called Preah Vihear near the Thai border.

Trekking the Mt. Kangchenjunga Circuit In Nepal

"If you'd rather share a cup of sweet tea with a Tibetan refugee than a bottle of beer with another backpacker, this is the Himalayan trek for you."

I've been doing some writing recently for a cool new travel site called that runs destination guides on out of the way spots you might want to visit. This piece is on trekking to the basecamps of Mt. Kangchenjunga, the third tallest mountain in the world. Enjoy!

Independent Trekking in Tibet

"The onslaught of the Chinese tourism machine has most definitely taken its toll on the kingdom at the top of the world, and all-inclusive package tours abound in Lhasa. Tourists pay exorbitant sums to be whisked around the province in Land Cruisers, often by Chinese drivers just as new to Tibetan culture as their clients. For independent travelers there are other more rewarding options available and Lhasa is just a few days hike from a 'real' Tibet adventure."

I did a story recently for a website called TransitionsAbroad on independently planning a trekking adventure in Tibet.

In light of China's recent violent crackdown on protests there, it's probably not even feasible to go at this very moment. If nothing else, though, it should give some insight into why the Tibetans deserve better.