Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006 - what a year!

This year’s travels have taken me from the Sea of Cortez in Mexico to the Yangtze River in China;

from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong to the Andes of Ecuador;

from the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Ontario to a Maxum Yacht in San Diego Harbor.

I climbed the rocks in Queen Creek, Arizona, and surfed the reef in Cardiff by the Sea, California.

I celebrated Labor Days in two different parts of the world: International Labor Day (MayDay) in Chongqing, China, and Canada’s Labor Day (Sept) in Toronto, Ontario.

I celebrated Dia de Los Muertos with two different cultures - photographing a Oaxacan dance and celebration in Oceanside, California;

and days later joining Quechua families at the graves of their loved ones in Cayembe, Ecuador.

I explored the history and culture of the American Southwest, visiting pueblos and cliff dwellings in New Mexico,

and photographing cultural performances by Native American dancers in Arizona.

I flew on a trapeze and flew over Siberia. I rode an elevator with Henry Kissinger, and shared a stage with Hinton Battle. I lit incense with Monks at the Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai, and was blessed with holy water at El Sanctuario de Chimayo in New Mexico.

I appeared in two infomercials, a music video, a documentary, a multi-media art gallery exhibit, two boat catalogues, a gameshow, the North County Times, some stock surf images, a Fox news special, and on stages on both coasts of the U.S. My photography has appeared in travel brochures, inflight magazines, websites, greeting cards, stock collections, and right here on my website which debuted this year. And its only just begining.....
May 2007 bring health, happiness, and safe travels to all of you, and thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in seeing the world with Mira Terra Images! There is more to come in 2007!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dam the Yangtze!

In April 2006 I captured these images along the Yangtze River:
In the image above, signs mark where the water levels are expected to reach. No signs of warning for the images below.

Only six months later, these quaint villages and serene settings are gone. Under water. Drowned in the rising waters of the Yangtze.

Higher up on the banks, newly built cities appear - stark, devoid of charm and character, and crammed full of high-rise apartments with no elevators. The relocation barracks. I hear tales of a 90-year-old woman, whose family lived and fished for generations in a simple clay home along the banks of the Yangtze, now forced to live 10 stories above the ground in her new high-rise apartment. She hasn’t stepped outside since the day she moved in.

Startling images of the same bridge in April then 6 months later in October:

No words can describe the feeling of floating over entire cities, towns, villages, and ancient monuments toward a massive man-made hydroelectric dam project. It’s eerie.

The local guides tell us the dam was built to prevent flooding downstream. Meanwhile upstream, whole cities and villages are not just flooded, but drowned. There’s a lot more behind that dam than water.

Throughout the entire downstream cruise from Chongqing to Yichang, the current flowed against us. Imagine, a man-made structure so powerful that it reverses the course of nature. And, despite victorious claims from the engineers, the dam is still years away from completion.

Dam the Yangtze. I am in awe of what I see, but can’t help wondering what I don’t see.