Visual Musings: A Cambodian Retrospective

It may be shocking, but life isn't only about wine.

As you may already know, I am passionate about photography, principally because of the ways it can evoke a powerful, emotional response and dialogue, and how it affords a visual expression of societal observations (whether positive or negative). There are stories on every corner, in every alley, on every wave and nature trail. They happen in a moment. For me, the excitement of photography is to capture and document these candid moments of life and human nature. Photography reminds me to stop and observe, to appreciate and reflect on the natural beauty of our world, and to engage with those around me.

Life can be beautiful and inspiring; it can be difficult and uncomfortable. It can spark joy and reflection; it can cause fear and disappointment. All are integral to the human experience. My photography journey is a humble attempt to capture historical and cultural narratives that I observe, and express the intimacy of human relationships.

And sometimes I take pretty pictures, too. Hawaii is a wonderful and consistent reminder of the breathtaking beauty of the natural world, the immense privilege we have to explore it, and the responsibility we must take for proper stewardship of our home.

Images can often convey emotion and invite reflection in ways that words cannot. Looking through the lens should always result in seeing life with greater clarity, and helping others to do the same. For these reasons, I offer the first in a series entitled Visual Musings that offers themed photo essays of place, purpose or narrative.

For me, no trip greater encompasses all of these components than my Cambodian sojourn in the summer of 2016. Emotion and thoughtful reflection were working overtime. Tremendous poverty and long-endured persecution were interspersed with joy and generosity that exemplified the incredible character and resilience of the Cambodian people. Engineering feats nearly a thousand years old demonstrated the limitless capacity of human innovation. And, of course, the stunning natural beauty of Southeast Asia. It is truly one of my favorite places on earth.

On the two-year anniversary of that trip, it is a fitting commencement to my Visual Musings.