When I was living in India, I managed to spend some time in the Andaman Nicobar Islands where I captured the above image of a young man free diving in the ocean. I would have never guessed that this image would find its way onto the cover of Jake Stephens debut album “How The Water Feels” – but am super stoked that it did! I met Jake many moons ago at Virginia Tech where we spent every free second rock climbing. Jake went on to ride as a nationally ranked cyclist (inspiring one of the songs on his album The Ride to Key West) and work as a solar company executive. Over a year ago Jake made an abrupt break from the rat race to pursue this creative endeavor. The album drops on November 15th. Pick it up on iTunes HERE!
It was a beautiful spring day hiking with my bride-to-be (although I didn’t know that at the time), on Eagle Creek trail outside of Portland, Oregon. Moments after I snapped this frame a giant dead tree careened over the falls and almost took out my future wife! Fortunately the fates had a different plan for the image and it has made it’s way into National Geographic online HERE.
This summer I reconnected with an old friend from high school named Michael. After some small talk, Michael recounted the story of the last ten or so years that we had lost touch. After college, he had worked for a few years on hydrogen and hybrid technology at Ford before taking a leave of absence to sail around the Caribbean. What started out as a medium length trip, turned into nearly two years aboard a small sailboat island hopping with his wife. When they had their fill, he and his wife and began looking for a place to settle down, and eventually picked a small town in the rocky mountains of Colorado. I asked Michael why he decided on this town rather than a city that could offer much more in the way of employment, and he said “We decided to find a place to live that we absolutely loved, and once we found that place, we made it work financially.”
This thought really resonated with me, because I have always felt I should begin with the end in mind. And that is in fact the intention that landed my wife in I in Bend, Oregon. In 30 minutes we can be climbing at Smith Rock, or cross country skiing in the shadow of Mt. Bachelor. There is a symphony of nature all around to photograph and a small airport that can get me to anywhere on planet earth in just a few hops. With the wonder of the internet and FTP, I can make it work financially. Cheers to living in this day and age!
Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, in early December I found myself on the side of a volcano at 11,141 feet on the Big Island of Hawaii photographing a story for the New York Times. The story revolves around the research facility and dedicated staff that has been taking continuous measurements of CO2 in the air since the late 1950’s. Its a great read and an honor to be featured on the front page of the NYT. You can read it online here listen to the audio slideshow here and see the slideshow here. Enjoy!
Before I attended college in the mid 1990’s, I lived on the Crow Indian reservation in Montana helping to run an after school youth center. During my time there I became dear friends with a Crow Indian musician named Kenny Pretty on Top, who has just released his first Christian & Gospel album titled Beautiful Revolution – Near To You. Given Kenny’s talent, I am surprised it took him this long to release a studio album and expect to see many more in the years to come!
A Kingston Images shot of rock climbing at Trout Creek, Oregon was recently featured in National Geographic’s online gallery. For any rock climbers out there planning travel to Oregon, Trout Creek is a must. A long approach hike with a short burly uphill section at the final leg rewards you with stellar splitter cracks in perfect columnar basalt/volcanic tuff rock. At the base of the cliff, many of the columns have fallen over – creating the feeling of walking over fallen greek columns at the acropolis in Athens. Bring tape – the cracks are much sharper than they look! A lesson this nomad learned the hard way…
2008 was designated the “International Year of the Potato” by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. According to Jacques Diouf, the Director-General of the FAO, “The potato is on the frontline in the fight against world hunger and poverty.” I produced the above image while living in Tamil Nadu, teaching photography at Light and Life Academy, south Asia’s first photography school. In the background you can see a large tea plantation that produces much of the CTC tea for the Tetley tea company. I was just recovering from a nasty case of typhoid fever when I took this frame and was only strong enough to click off half a roll or so before exhaustion forced me to retire to my bungalow that shared the same hillside as the potato farmers.