Prior to 1975 and the unification of Vietnam, Saigon had thousand - tens of thousands - of Cyclos working for private transportation firms. Once the country unified after 1975, these became trade organizations set up by the Hanoi government as cyclo cooperatives. The city’s 24 districts had around 40,000 Cyclos, including up to 5,000 in Districts 1 and 4 alone. Many families father’s and son’s shared the same Cyclo - working in shifts as a way to generate much needed income, especially post-1975 and the reunification of Vietnam. The father may have pedaled the Cyclo in the daytime and son in the night time - each using the Cyclo to augment their already slim wages. In the late 1980’s and just about when Vietnam implemented the beginnings of Doi Moi or ‘Renovation’- the city cooperatives broke up - part of the privatization of many industries after Doi Moi. Saigon established a Cyclo trade organization formed in 1991 with around 900 Cyclo’s - but many remained independent in most other districts of the city. Along with these progressive changes in the city’s and country’s economic program, Vietnam’s economy grew quickly; the economy expanded at an average annual rate of 7.5% in the period between 1991-2000. Since then, a cooling economic market, domestic turbulence and again, as before, an increasingly controversial ‘situation’ with neighboring China has combined with almost unbridled growth within the city to create an environment hostile to Cyclos. A mad dash for the automobile and a traffic situation that would make most physically drained and sick if one were to commute daily as many Vietnamese still do, has made the Cyclo increasing obsolete at a time when a sustainable, cheap and readily available solution to transportation makes sense. Hanoi has already made Cyclo traffic in Saigon illegal on all major streets. Sleek, easy to maneuver and with the driver high above the passenger, affording views for both that are unobstructed - the Cyclo and it’s connection to Vietnam’s cultural history seems as likely to be on the endanger list as street-side Bia Hoi’s, Garden cafe’s and narrow alleys.
I was commissioned to do work for one of Oregon's premier cannabis companies, Shango. I decided to photograph the cannabis plants more like I envisioned James Audobon would have treated them.
farm to table / farm portraits
For a year I followed 3 local urban farmers, photographing their farms, the markets they sold out of as well as visiting over 20 Portland weekend markets. The work resulted in 2 separate projects - a series of editorial images and collages of the farmers I followed that was shown as a gallery exhibition as well as shown at various venues in Saint John's neighborhood. The second was a series of extremely large portraits of farmers for a solo show at The Evergreen State College.
Out-takes from a story about Eastern Oregon beer I collaborated on for the LA Times.
More than just a beer story, the feeling and culture of Eastern Oregon came through in the work. Vast open stretch of horse country, a writer's guild in Enterprise OR and the amazing historic town of Imnaha OR.
The informal street portrait has for years been one of my favorites. I love meeting new people that represent all the various layers of life. I believe all people have something to contribute and if we open ourselves to them and their story - we'd learn much more about ourselves.
I spent a couple years traveling to Marin County photographing the forests there. These images each are comprised of between 50 - 100+ captures stitched together to create a final image with incredible detail. The ability to also print these extremely large (4' x 8') at 300 DPI allows my final output to be suitable for large spaces. One individual print creates the illusion of a window in a wall to another place.
With the sweeping changes in photography that digital has afforded - much of the process of photography has changed. Whereas with film - the composing, photographing and processing all are a fairly lengthy endeavor. Creating extremely large and resolute images is a way for me to connect to the classic world of film photography. Combining between 40-100+ images together to form one final image means that the process itself takes time, the stitching and editing of the images takes time as well as the final output and printing. Most of the images can be printed between 2' high - 4' high with some lengths stretching to over 11' wide.