Last year I did a post called my “Top 12 Photos of 2012”. 2012 was an amazing year for me with many changes; many improvements and a few challenges. I intended to do a “Top 13 of 2013” but after going through the over 11,000 images I made in 2013 and the total flood of memories I just couldn’t reduce the number to 13. 2013 was practically one adventure after another and there was just no way to get too specific. From over 150 finalists I picked 24 images that kind of summarized the year. I also intentionally left out some of the images/memories that I had previously written stories about and some/many memories that were very special but too personal to post.
Like last year, this is not intended to be my best photos of 2013. I am aware that some of the photos presented here are technically pretty horrible and even though my cameras were used to make all of these images I didn’t always push the shutter. This is simply a compilation of images that remind me of some of my favorite moments in last year. I also know this kind of post is terribly self-indulgent. I hope you will forgive me that (and the click throughs at the bottom of the page) too.
This was the scene just outside of my house in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Every day something new and interesting was happening just outside the door.
I made this image while on a photo shoot at Angkor Wat while being guided by my friend Pin Vannak. Vannak was a child during the reign on the Khmer Rouge and would dodge the land mines and play hide-and-seek among the ruins of Angkor. He is now a tour guide so if you need an interesting and educated perspective on the area he is the guy to contact.
While I was living in Cambodia I would often travel to Bangkok. Some of my favorite memories of Bangkok are just sitting in a roadside restaurant and indulging on street fare. The ironically named Soi Texas in the heart of the city has some of the best seafood on the planet.
2013 was also the year I discovered Koh Rong Saloem aka “Lazy Beach” just off the coast from Sihanoukville, Cambodia. It is a place with intermittent electricity, one restaurant, and no internet, but the beach is beautiful, the water is clear and I had a bottle of Mount Gay Rum. Perfect!
In 2013 I also spent a fair amount of time in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Modern history seems to gloss over much of the brutality of the Khmer Rouge and the west’s complicity in it. This image is from the “White Building”. A place where artists used to thrive (before being driven out of town and murdered) now given over to a sad collection of children, drug addicts, the elderly and the poor all living side beside in deplorable conditions. I can’t express how moved I was by the sincere welcome we got from people just wanting us to help tell their story.
This was so fun! I really enjoyed my trip to Vietnam and hope to return soon.
I had only planned to stay a day or two in Hoi An, Vietnam. It has now become one of my favorite places. Beautiful, great food, a nice beach nearby. I think I could live there.
2013 was the first time I got to experience Songkran also know as the world biggest water fight.
Just before I left Cambodia for a trip to the United States I went traveling around Tonle Sap Lake with my friend Vannak. He took me to many of the village he knew as a kid and even to his home village. It was quite amazing to see this way of life. I picked up a few of these baskets to take to family back in Texas.
Before 2013 I had never spent much time in San Francisco, California. What an amazing city! I ate too much delicious seafood, drank too many micro-brews and tried to get a feel for this wonderful place. I met a lot of nice people and made some new friends. Very fun!
- Koh Rong Samloem Island on a Lazy Beach, Sublime
- Reached My Goal to Visit All 50 States!
- Seeing America Through New Eyes
The primary and by far the most important reason for visiting the United States in 2013 was to attend my son’s high school graduation. I am so proud of him. It was great catching up with everyone in California!
A friend in Los Angeles was moving east and needed help moving a car to Texas. Never one to turn down a road trip I jumped at the opportunity. It was great seeing this part of the world again.
One of the best parts about visiting “back home” is getting the opportunity to visit with old friends. I can’t express how grateful I am for good friends; those who are with you through everything, have your back and also make amazing grilled salmon and asparagus.
When I moved back to Chaing Mai I need a little help moving my things across the border. I am still not sure why this guy needed to wear my motorcycle helmet while handling my stuff.
Not long after moving back to Chiang Mai I was asked to photograph the 2013 Zouk Flash Mob. It was great meeting so many fun people in one day and I made many friends that day!
I had never seen the Great Wall before and an opportunity came up and I pounced on it. It truly is one of those things that everyone should see at one point in their lifetime.
Bail is one of those places that lives up to the myth. I sent days SCUBA diving, relaxing, traveling and overall just having a good time. In fact, I am certain there will be more posts from 2014 as well.
Some say that Chiang Mai is the foothills of the Himalayas. I guess if you look at a map technically it is. One thing I know for sure, the mountains just a short drive away are ripe for mini-adventures.
Among the adventure to be had near Chiang Mai are elephant rides. My friend invited me to come along on a trek she had won at a charity auction and this ride was part of the package. Great times!
One theme that seems to run through many of the things that I do in Thailand is monkeys. Not sure why that is. Maybe, birds of a feather so to speak?
Although Christmas celebrations are somewhat muted in Asia there is always a way to make merry! Spending time on Huay Tung Tao is amazing!
As I have said before Chiang Mai is at 24/7, 365 all you can eat buffet of photographic opportunity. This was the scene, 10,000 Monks, one early morning near my place in the city.
There is an opportunity to celebrate New Year’s Eve almost every month in Asia. This was the view from the roof of my building on December 31, 2013.