Brian Oh: {food, travel, photo}

Indonesia (i): Hiking Krakatoa

I have a big backlog of photos from trips last year that I'm finally getting around to sorting through. Here's a day trip I took while I was in Jakarta last August out to the Krakatoa volcano. This series of volcanoes, one of which is still active, is the site of one of the largest eruptions in recorded history back in the 1850s. A colleague and I took a boat ride out to the islands and hiked about halfway up the active volcano. It was a surreal landscape. Black sand, bright red volcanic rock from an eruption just three years ago, massive monitor lizards that stole and ate our lunches. Climb volcanoes. They're cool.

Faces in 2015

In 2015 I happened to be engaged in a bunch of photography projects that involved portraiture. Both at home and while traveling, I found myself taking more portraits than I have in my past photography experience. I've grown to appreciate the storytelling potential in capturing faces within the context of place and time. Here are a few of my favorites from the year.

I also have a lot of photos I've taken of kids I've encountered while traveling. They are always the most fun to photograph. I'll post a bunch of those next.

New Zealand (v): Theater of the Sky

I had underestimated the drive time back to Christchurch from Queenstown. That made the last day and half a bit of a marathon drive. Heading back across the Alps to the east coast through the Lindis Pass, I made my way past Mount Cook and to Lake Tekapo. On the shore of Tekapo sits a famous and much photographed church, the Church of the Good Shepherd. It is also set in the Aoraki International Dark Sky Reserve. I didn't have enough time to take on any of the hikes I had hoped to, but I was treated to more dramatic mountains, inky pastel sunsets, and one of the darkest skies I've ever seen. There were some clouds that last night, but I've never seen the Milky Way as vividly unaided before. I definitely walked into several rocks and bushes because I could not keep my eyes off of the sky.

The following morning, I made the final stretch of the drive up the east coast to Christchurch. I ate at KFC, bought a bottle of New Zealand produced whisky (from the Willowbank distillery), and fell asleep at the airport until my flight home. I will return to New Zealand someday.