Posted on October 26, 2022
It feels like many of the things
we depend on, believe in, or take for granted
are coming apart. And a few are crumbling.
These images are reminders that
disorder or even disaster may be lurking
amid the beauty one can still find.
Posted on July 11, 2022
A feather was lying along the path through the woods. It was large and beautiful, and had belonged to one of the birds that lived there in the trees.
When I brought it to the City I quickly learned it did not belong here.
You can see what happened and the message it left.
Posted on August 23, 2022
Behind the shining facade luring you in
there is always a back door,
sometimes hidden away in a quiet alley.
These unglamorous places near the heart of town
can offer surprises and food for the imagination,
often telling a different story about where you are.
Posted on June 13, 2022
The veins in the leaves and the thicket of plants at the water’s edge.
The moss swaying in the wind, the curve of the roots and the space beneath them.
Even the lowly weed that like a tree camouflages the urban infrastructure.
These natural abstractions help me connect to the natural world in ways I might otherwise miss.
Posted on January 23, 2022
Downtown Savannah cuddles up to the south shore of the Savannah River and is just downstream from a major container port. Ships are sometimes routed close to the shore, close enough that you can feel the thrum of the engine in your chest as the ship passes by.
It is sobering to know this huge ship piled high with truck-sized containers represents only a tiny fraction of what we consume each day, one small link in the supply chain.
Posted on September 7, 2021
Hazy dreams of a day at the beach. Blue skies, family and friends, wrapped in the warm Gulf air and waters.
But then comes the runoff after the rain, the oil, the dead fish and other Red Tide detritus, reminders of what else that warm water holds.
Posted on May 25, 2019
The morning air thick with the smoke of open fires, vehicle exhaust, and the smell of dense humanity.
Chaos in the streets, the poverty, a flash of wealth, millions of lives swirling around in plain sight.
Cars, trucks, phones, plastic, and more plastic, yet somehow a feeling that it has been this way for ages.
Posted on March 22, 2019
The Sultanate of Oman is on the southeast tip of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the war-torn Yemen. Despite Oman’s proximity to that war, there was very little evidence of the humanitarian catastrophe so nearby.
Oman’s oil wealth and use of imported labor is evident. Nevertheless, Oman does not exhibit the overwhelming urbanization and development of either Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Old Muscat, in particular was human-scaled with plenty of friendly pedestrian activity.
Oman’s coastline in the Muscat area is rugged and mountainous. The ocean-side outcroppings were ideal locations for the 16th century Portuguese forts, like the Al Jalali Fort that is the backdrop for the Palace. The mountains and stones they provide for construction gave Muscat some of it’s ambient color.
The images below are all from Muscat, the sprawling capital city. Click on one of the links above to see more work.
Posted on December 14, 2018
Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and a centerpiece of downtown Dubai, is also central to the Dubai government’s push to diversify its economy beyond oil. In pursuit of the dream of becoming a center for tourism, real estate and other investment, a new metropolis and collection of skyscrapers has sprung from the desert floor.
Dozens of nearby buildings are under construction — including some that would dwarf the skylines of other cities. Construction labor is provided by South Asians and other foreigners at very low wages. The rules and legal rights of non-citizens, especially for those without wealth, remain unclear and subject to change. Dubai is one of the United Arab Emirates, and is ruled by its Emir, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
There is a gloss of modernity, consumerism, and openness to tourism and investment from around the world. But underneath — even for the casual visitor — there is also a tension caused by glimpses of exploitation of workers from other lands, codes of behavior with invisible lines that must not be crossed, and a dispiriting effect from the lack of human-scaled spaces and structures in and around the downtown.
Many of these pictures were taken from the observation deck on the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa. There is a second, more expensive observation area on the 148th floor, 6 floors of corporate suites above that, and another 9 floors for mechanical, communication and broadcast equipment.
Posted on November 28, 2018
It isn’t exactly instant, but in the space of a few decades, Abu Dhabi has gone from a desert town to a metropolis. Skyscrapers are sprouting from the ground, and the camel’s nose of oil wealth is much more than just under the tent.
Development may be a strategy to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil, but it is hard to imagine who will occupy all these expensive new buildings coming onto the market all at once. On the other hand, just building them may be the more immediate goal right now.