The Next Chapter

Posted by on September 19th, 2012

In the past, I have hinted that there were some big changes for me on the horizon — now I can share them with you. After almost six months of living out my dreams in South America I’m returning to the United States and beginning the next chapter of my life. On October 1st, I join the dedicated team at Vittana as their community manager. Continue reading

Postcard: Santiago

Posted by on September 13th, 2012

The country of Chile runs 2,700 miles down the Pacific coast of South America, from the arid reaches of the Atacama Desert in the north to the bitterly cold waters of the Drake Passage in the south. Almost smack-dab in the middle, you find the capital city of Santiago.

Maybe I’ve been gone for too long, but from the moment I left the airport, I got the feeling that I was home. I don’t know if it was the avocados, the wine, or the laid-back coastal vibe, but Chile — Santiago especially — felt like this crazy upside-down version of California. The landscape was familiar, the climate was too, and parts of Santiago could blend seamlessly into Los Angeles or San Francisco. Continue reading

Postcard: Peru/Chile Border

Posted by on September 11th, 2012

It’s dry here. Drier than almost any other place on earth. You would have to go to some of the alien landscapes in the interior of Antarctica to find a place with less rainfall. On the bus ride from Arequipa to Tacna — a Peruvian outpost on the border with Chile — I couldn’t help but think the closest thing I had ever seen to the Atacama Desert were the photos sent back from Mars rovers. Sometimes the bus would travel for an hour without passing a single blade of grass or scrubby bush. The hills and mountains looked like barren and unmovable sand dunes of shale. Where we encountered life, it clung tightly to the sides of small rivers; desperate for water and shade. Continue reading

Postcard: Arequipa

Posted by on September 8th, 2012

Colonial Arequipa was built from stones that look like they came from another planet and has a vibe like no other place I’ve visited in Peru. On the surface, this city with it’s gridded streets and familiar plaza-centric structure shouldn’t feel any different, but walking through it brought back more memories of southern Spain than Cusco or Puno. Continue reading

Postcard: Puno and the Road to Arequipa

Posted by on September 4th, 2012

Four days ago I watched the outskirts of Cusco disappear in the rearview mirror of the bus. In these short few days of travel, I’ve already covered several hundred miles and visited two cities. The first was Puno, a town people visit mostly because it is on Lake Titicaca. The funny thing was, I never even got on the lake. Continue reading

Hello New Friend Goodbye Old Friend

Posted by on August 21st, 2012

First, some very sad news. My B+W circular polarizer has taken a trip to filter heaven. I’d like to tell you it died protecting my lens from a motorcycle crash or falling on jagged rocks during a mountain climb, but the sad truth is that it met its end falling two feet off of my bed. Continue reading

I don't have a photography degree. Clearly I have no idea what I'm doing. Photo by Ben Ayers

Should I Get a Photography Degree?

Posted by on August 18th, 2012

I don’t have a photography degree. Clearly I have no idea what I’m doing. Photo by Ben Ayers

Okay, you are considering a career in photography and want to know if you need a college degree. Before you are up to your eyeballs in art school debt, I hope you will at least consider this advice — go to college but major in something else. And I would give the same advice to anyone considering a degree in journalism. Continue reading

Dirtbiking in the Andes near Cusco (6 of 9)

On Assignment: Posts from a Motorcycle

Posted by on August 16th, 2012

I’m hitting a super busy season here in Peru. As my time in Cusco comes to an end (We are heading for Chile on August 31) I’m wrapping up assignments for four different non-profits/travel companies. Getting everything done is a little stressful but mostly a lot of fun and I’m glad my time in Peru is ending on a high note. Continue reading


August Wallpaper and Cover Photo

Posted by on August 12th, 2012

This month’s wallpaper and cover photo come from a lake high above the city of Cusco in Peru. Click on the photos to open a full resolution version, then right click and select “save as.”

About the image: This photo was taken on a Canon 40D with a 10-22mm lens at  21mm. My exposure time was 1/250th of a second with an apature of f8.0 and an ISO of 400. I used Lightroom’s graduated filter feature to darken down the sky and add color.

Catching up on Peruvian Photos

Posted by on August 10th, 2012

Time is flying down here in Peru. Between making movies and talking to some cool storytellers, I realized I haven’t done a post of my photography since Machu Picchu — that changes now. I’m collecting the best shots from July-August and posting them here.

The photos in the slideshow come from a week of exploring the historic sites around Cusco, a crazy fiesta I shot for a client, and a recent trip to weaving communities with an NGO.

Looking back on these photos it’s amazing to see how many adventures I’ve had recently. I guess when you live overseas, extraordinary things start to seem mundane. I wonder if returning to the States in September will feel like I’m visiting a new country. Honestly I’m kind of excited to see my old haunts with fresh eyes.

Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.