Shining Sea Bikeway

On Friday, after my dentist and ophthalmologist appointments in Falmouth, my ophthalmologist recommended walking to Woods Hole on the Shining Sea Bikeway (so named because the author of “America the Beautiful” was born in Falmouth) instead of backtracking on the town roads to the landing where I’d come in. It was four-and-a-half miles to Woods Hole, which I kind of barreled through because I was trying to make the 5:00 ferry back to MV (spoiler: I made it), but…what a walk. The Cape shore is simply beautiful.

(okay, so this was taken on the ferry, not the bikeway…but look at the rainbow!)


Sayonara Homerun

Five years ago (to the day, actually), I got off a plane in Tokyo, Japan, and started a two-week baseball-watching extravaganza. I took the train from Tokyo to Sapporo back to Tokyo to Chiba back to Tokyo to Hiroshima to Fukuoka back to Hiroshima to Osaka to Kyoto to Tokyo. I watched seven games at six different stadiums (this was, at the time, equal to the number of stadiums I’d been to in the US). I didn’t speak any Japanese at all, but I did know baseball, and I had a freaking blast.

A group of whimsical Rice alums gave me a scholarship to do this (, and it remains the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me. How on earth do you top it? Also, when can I go back?

Anyway, they’re pulling together a book commemorating all of the Goliard trips (look at all the cool places people went!), and asked everybody who’s taken one to submit a photo and a blurb about their experience. Mine were directly related to photojournalism/The Future, so I’m posting them here.

They don’t sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” at the Fukuoka Dome. Instead, during the seventh inning stretch, the entire crowd does a balloon release: people buy the long, thin, balloons beforehand and blow them up just before the stretch, letting them go in (near) unison. The balloons soar as a scattered cloud, then fall back to earth in a rainstorm of color. The crowd cheers and claps; the game continues as usual. It is both puzzling and fantastic, which is a pretty good way to describe the entire experience of watching Japanese baseball as an American raised on songs about peanuts and Cracker Jack.
When I took this picture, I didn’t know if it had even come out. The LCD screen of my camera cracked two days into my two-week stay, and I had no way of knowing what any of the images post-break looked like, or even how many remained on the memory cards I’d brought with me (I should have just brought a good old-fashioned film camera). I was in Japan to watch baseball, but I was also there to photograph it. I had just finished my junior year; I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I thought I might want to be a photojournalist.

I hadn’t planned to be at this stadium in the first place. When I made my carefully plotted itinerary before leaving (so designed to hit up as many baseball games as possible and to avoid the problems of trying to book hostels despite not knowing a word of Japanese), I left Fukuoka off the map. The city’s in south Japan, on Kyushu. I thought it was too inconvenient. Plans change.

I’ve always liked the act of “getting there” just as much as the state of “being there,” and the random, roundabout path I took in getting to my current job–as a photojournalist!–was as fun and eventful as the job itself is now. The seeds were planted before my Goliard trip, but they didn’t start to truly germinate until I was there, in Japan, doing my best to capture the spirit of the game I loved so much and do justice to the ways it’d been tweaked for a different group of fans. I still can’t quite believe the whole trip happened, and am still grateful beyond words to the people who made it happen in the first place, who believe in cultivating the “Why not?”–the little piece of crazy that we Rice kids all have inside. Thanks for helping us get there, wherever we were all going.

I also got to meet Bobby Valentine, but that’s another story.

Texas and the 50mm: A Wedding in Waco

People keep telling me that I’m at That Age when friends start to get married seemingly right and left. I’ve only been to three so far, which doesn’t seem like that many (we’ll see what happens next summer, when the season rolls around again). I hadn’t been IN a friend’s wedding until last month, though, when I was part of the bridal party for my college roommate Kim’s wedding.

Rice ring! Yay!

Texas and the 50mm: BATS!

There is a colony of Mexican free-tailed bats (I don’t have a clue what free-tailed means) that lives underneath the Congress Avenue bridge in Austin.

More than a million bats live under said bridge, and they all come out at dusk go to find dinner. This sounded like something that would be interesting (by interesting, I mean AWESOME) to photograph, so on my last night in Austin, we went down to the river to see what was up.

We weren’t the only ones.

From a photographic standpoint, I was a little disappointed to find out that most (but not all) of the bats fly east to find their food. And I felt ridiculously hampered by the 50mm, but it was still, as expected, AWESOME. If you’re ever in Austin between May and September, definitely go check it out.

Alex’s sunglasses. No bats in this one (darn it), but you can see the Austin skyline!

Texas and the 50mm: Downtown Austin + the Capitol

After I went to Houston for a weekend, I took the bus up to Austin for a few days.

The bus ride went right through the corridor of Texas that’s been having all the wildfires. Just a wee bit scary…

I was staying with my friends Alex and Emre, who are both at UT and in classes most of the day, which meant I had a whole lot of time to just wander around downtown Austin. Since I’d never actually been to Austin before, this worked out perfectly.

That said, I don’t think Sixth Street by day is quite the same as Sixth Street by night:

I also went to the Capitol building. Twice. The first day, I just walked over to see what all the fuss was about. The second day, I decided to go inside to check things out, and walked in right as a tour was starting. Hooray!

Almost backed into the street trying to make the whole building fit into the scope of a 50mm.

Texas and the 50mm: Safari in the Heights

My friend David moved to the Heights a few months ago, which is a part of Houston I know nothing about (considering I lived in Houston for four years I know alarmingly little about the city, because I didn’t have a car when I was there). David said the neighborhood was ripe for photo safari-ing, so we went roaming around at magic light time.

I’m not very good at taking scenic shots (coincidentally, I have another friend named David who IS very good at this, and you should look at his work), so it was nice to practice without worrying about whether there was an actual assignment riding on the photos.

SOMEBODY hasn’t posted his pictures yet (ahem), but whenever they’re up they’ll be at



Texas and the 50mm: En Route

I’m a month behind on these posts. Better late than never!


I celebrated my 6-month anniversary with the Gazette by taking a vacation (isn’t that always the way of things?).

The main reason for the vacation was to attend my college roommate’s wedding in Waco, but it’s hard for me to go to Texas and not, well, visit everybody else I know there, so I made a couple of other stops along the way (Houston and Austin).

I brought one lens with me: my 50mm. Push comes to shove, I’d have picked the 20mm over the 50 any day, but that lens is still broken.

Logan Airport, surprisingly empty for a Friday afternoon…