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BUZZING ALONG THE HIVE TRACK OF KOLKATA
Passion Project Still In Progress I am looking forward this year (now that the pandemic is pretty much over) to getting back to work on my Kolkata Cab story this year. This project came about on a trip to India back in 2017 when my partner in crime Russ @rklika asked me if I would like to go with him to India to photograph the Apatani Women of Ziro Valley and the Konyak Tribe "Headhunters" of Nagaland. Both tribes that will loose a part of their culture when the last tattooed person dies. As I am on these adventures, I am always looking for other projects to sink my teeth in. On this trip we learned that Uber has come into Kolkata and started shutting down the essence of this city by eliminating these colorful cabs and replacing them with Ubers. Essentially losing a part of the cities culture. I was intrigued and started working on it, coming back the following year in 2018 to work more on it with the help of a few awesome Nat Geo editors. I hope you will take the time to see and learn about a project in progress and read an amazing story written by Taylor @tayleenam City. Home. Hive. Yellow taxi cabs buzz along Kolkata’s hot, honking, congested mess of traffic like bees in a swarm. These vehicles share the streets with rickshaws, tuk tuks, buses and pedestrians carrying suitcases, children and even baskets of good. Rickshaws are labor-intensive. Tuk tuks are small and uncomfortable. Buses are crowded. And one can only travel so far on foot. Yellow taxi cabs, then, are truly what it means to move in and around Kolkata. If anyone needs to get anywhere, a yellow taxi cab is poised, ready to weave a path through the crowd. It has been this way for as long as anyone can remember. Since August 2013 brought the advent of app-accessible big-corporation driving services like Uber, more and more yellow taxi cabs are left to idle on the very streets they used to dominate. Because the Ambassador cab manufacturer was forced to close in 2014, just months after Uber was introduced to Kolkata, the yellow taxi cabs and their drivers must now face a fast-approaching expiration date. But wait. This is not a lament about the tragedy of Western World technology infiltrating yet another culture. This is not a sermon about preserving the old way of life. This is a love letter; a dedication to the yellow taxi cabs and their drivers who have, for generations, defined Kolkata like a bee colony defines its hive. Link to full story and images here A cab driver maneuvers the Kolkata streets at night heading to the Maidan Park area on October 28, 2017. The landmark yellow Ambassador cabs of Kolkata, India is what has defined this bustling city. However, with the closing of the Ambassador cab manufacturer in 2014, just months after Uber was introduced to Kolkata, the yellow taxi cabs and their community of drivers must now face a fast-approaching expiration date. Mukesh Shaw & Montu Das play cards on a street corner near the Naba Baghbazar area on July 12, 2018, in North Kolkata. A cabbie drives by the outside perimeter of the Shyambazar Sunday Kolkata Pet Market in North Kolkata on July 8, 2018. At the market you can find different rare species of bird, rabbit, guinea pig, dog, pigeon, different kind of colorful fishes for aquarium, plants and flowers. A cab driver maneuvers through the Kolkata streets looking for a fare on July 5, 2018. Though taxi services started in Kolkata as early as 1907, the iconic Ambassador became a standard taxi model only in 1962. Despite its British origins, the Ambassador is considered as a definitive Indian car and is fondly called the "king of Indian roads". The automobile was manufactured by Hindustan Motors at its Uttarpara plant near Kolkata, West Bengal until the plants closure in May 2014. Cab driver Arun Kumar Bharati, who has been driving an Ambassador yellow cab for 21 years. July 11, 2018. Parked on the side of a busy street, A cab driver takes a late morning nap in the back seat of his cab on October 28, 2017. In Kolkata, most cabs are painted yellow with a blue strip in the middle. A couple of plant vendors load up a cab in the Shyambazar Sunday Kolkata Pet Market in North Kolkata on July 8, 2018. One of the Ambassador’s best features are its roomy back seat and enormous trunk. A mechanic works on a Ambassador steering column in a small shop down the narrow back allies of the Mullick Bazar on October 28, 2017 in Kolkata. Radiator repairman Maserul Hauk says that the Ambassador cabs are his main customers, fixing 8-10 radiators a day. He also sells them for 4-5000 rupee’s with is about $56-$70.00. An Ambassador cab drives through the Howrah flower market on July 4, 2018 in Central Kolkata. Yellow cabs may physically disappear from the streets of Kolkata in the coming years, but their legacy will continue–honking and humming and buzzing along the hive track of history.
Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site in 30+ Degree Temperatures
Kicking off 2022 with our continued quest to visit all the Parks in Texas! What turned into canceled international trips and lockdowns during the height of COVID birthed the yearning to get out and explore, and what better places to explore than right out your front door! So my good friend, travel buddy and fellow combat photographer Russ @rklika and I launched 2022 with a recent four day camping trip to Seminole Canyon State Park in Val Verde County, west of Comstock, Texas. And we did it while the temps were in the 20’s and 30’s. We were multilayered up during the whole trip and enjoyed steaks while huddled around the campfire keeping warm at night and occasionally visiting with neighbors who were from up north looking for warmer temperatures down south during their winter months. Seminole Canyon is a small State Park with about 12 miles of trails that look down into the beautiful canyon. You can pretty much hike everything in three days. They do offer a guided (about eight hours) canyon hike to visit more of the rock paintings. We will be back for that. My goal for this trip was to find color in a desert environment in the middle of winter. I do have to say that the most impressive part of this State Park was its staff of amazing rangers and volunteers that were very friendly and very knowledgable. We were even giving some incredible ranger breakfast tacos one morning to warm our spirits! Definitely ask for their famous breakfast tacos!!!! LOL Lastly, a must do for this park is to take their guided four hour tour to one of the rock shelters nearby witnessing the history and rock paintings. Our guide was awesome and so knowledgeable. I seriously learned so much and hands down our tour was the best I have had in a long time. I hope you enjoy the images and they inspire you do go out and explore something! Also head on over to @rklika to see his beautiful take on our trip. Click here to see more parks we visited: Caprock Canyons State Park & Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas Seminole Canyon State Park Sitting on more than 2,000 acres, displaying jagged canyons cut through the Chihuahuan Desert where the Pecos River flows into the Rio Grande. The area has been inhabited by humans for some 12,000 years, who lived in natural rock shelters carved into the canyon walls. Thousands of years later, another culture called the “Archaic people” lived in the dry rock shelters, leaving their mark on the environment through some 200 rock paintings throughout the area. The park contains some of the most outstanding examples not only in Texas but in the world. Extensive pictographs of the Lower Pecos River Style, attributed to the Middle Archaic period of 4,000 years ago, adorn rock shelters throughout its canyons. Research into the meaning of Lower Pecos River Style murals suggests that the images may communicate important elements of the culture’s belief system, such as shamanic journeys to the land of the dead and symbolic relationships with animals and peyote a hallucinogenic cactus. The U. S. Army was the first American presence in the Lower Pecos region. In 1851, Lieutenant Nathaniel Michler did a reconnaissance of the Rio Grande above and below its junction with the Pecos River for the United States and Mexico Boundary Commission. After the Civil War, Lieutenant John L. Bullis and his Black Seminole Scouts operated in the area. They blasted a wagon road into the Pecos Canyon near the Rio Grande to provide the military with a shorter route between Forts Clark and Davis. The canyon is named in honor of these scouts. Sources: the internet. #texasparks #texasstateparks #camping #exploring #igtexas #seminolecanyonstatepark #texascamping #southwestplants Seminole Canyon on the Fate Bell pictograph site/trail. Sotol cactus surrounded by Cenizo on the upper Canyon Rim Trail. Seminole Canyon from the upper Canyon Rim Trail. Sotol on the upper Canyon Rim Trail. Dried riverbed near Panther Cave Pictograph Site on the U.S./Mexico border from the lower Canyon Rim Trail. Small stream near Panther Cave Pictograph Site on the U.S./Mexico border from the lower Canyon Rim Trail. Thorns from the Cylindropuntia Leptocaulis (Christmas Cholla) on the lower Canyon Rim Trail. Trees surround a water spring on Windmill Nature Trail. Bird nest near Desert Vista Camping Area. Doe near Panther Cave Pictograph Site on the U.S./Mexico border from the lower Canyon Rim Trail. U.S./Mexico border near Panther Cave Pictograph Site from the lower Canyon Rim Trail. Mexico border across the Rio Grande River near Panther Cave Pictograph Site from the lower Canyon Rim Trail. Natural rock shelter carved into the canyon walls near Panther Cave Pictograph Site from the lower Canyon Rim Trail. Rock paintings on the walls of a natural rock shelter carved into the canyon on the Fate Bell pictograph site/trail. Seminole Canyon floor on the Fate Bell pictograph site/trail. Rock paintings on the walls of a natural rock shelter carved into the canyon on the Fate Bell pictograph site/trail. Ocotillo on the upper Canyon Rim Trail. Reflection of trees surrounding a water spring on Windmill Nature Trail. Sunset from Desert Vista Camping Area. Sunset from Desert Vista Camping Area. The moon after sunrise from Desert Vista Camping Area.
Finally, Some Time To Play
It has been an incredibly busy year for me and I am blessed for that given the year we ALL had before! However, it really hasn't given me any down time to relax or even play since May. This last Saturday I was afforded the opportunity to attend the Army vs. Air Force Commanders Classic game at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. What made it even more special was shooting with my Combat Camera buddy Scott Reed. He procured the passes. One field access pass and one media access. We were not on the hook to produce for anyone. I thought what if? So I decided, lets just sit up in the stands with a 200-500 mm lens, a beer in hand, and shoot the whole game at 1/2 sec (1st half) or 1 sec (2nd half). And here are the results from it. Now I am not saying these are great, but to me they are fun and will hopefully inspire me and maybe even you that we need to take the time to stop what we are doing, take some down time for ourselves, smile, imagine what if and go out and play! Army Black Knights win 21-14 in overtime over the Air Force Falcons on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, at Globe Life Field in Arlington during the 2021 Lockheed Martin Commanders’ Classic, presented by USAA. The Army Black Knights football team takes the field. The Air Force Falcons football team takes the field. 1st Quarter 9:33, 0-0 1st Quarter 5:23, 0-0 1st Quarter 2:12, 2nd & 7, Ball on 12, 0-0 2nd Quarter 12:19, 3rd & 8, Ball on 21, 0-0 3rd Quarter 7:35, 2nd & 9, Ball on 21, 7-0 Army 4th Quarter 13:18, 1st & 10, Ball on 40, 14-3 Army Air Force fans 4th Quarter :24, 4th & 12, Ball on 13, 14-11 Army. Air Force to kick field goal to tie it up. 14-14 OT/1, 2nd & 8 Ball on the 23 Army storms the field after in OT win. 21-14 OT/1, 4th & 6 Ball on the 7
Safari Down Time
After our amazing accomplishment of summiting Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania it was time to rest our bodies and enjoy some down time! So, what better way to do that than take in a few safaris and truly enjoy the beauty Africa has to offer. Over two days the team from Sheep Dog visited Tarangire National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. We experienced so much!!! Below are a few images of what we saw. Tarangire National Park Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania after Ruaha, Serengeti, Mikumi, Katavi and Mkomazi. The national park is located in Manyara Region. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses through the park, being the only source of water for wild animals during dry seasons. During the dry season thousands of animals migrate to the Tarangire National Park from Manyara National Park. The Tarangire River has shriveled to a shadow of its wet season self. But it is choked with wildlife. Thirsty nomads have wandered hundreds of parched kilometers knowing that here, always, there is water. Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania Ngorongoro Crater, extinct volcanic caldera in the Eastern (Great) Rift Valley, northern Tanzania. The caldera measures between 10 and 12 miles across and has an area of 102 square miles. Its heavily forested rim rises 2,000 feet above the caldera’s floor to an elevation of 7,500 feet. Ngorongoro is thought to have formed about 2.5 million years ago from a large active volcano whose cone collapsed inward after a major eruption, leaving the present vast, unbroken caldera as its chief remnant. The caldera’s floor is predominantly open grassland. It is home to a diverse array of animals including elephants, black rhinoceroses, leopards, buffalo, zebras, warthogs, gnu (wildebeests), Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles, and the densest population of lions in the world. The local Masai people also graze their livestock in the crater. Lake Magadi, a shallow soda lake ringed by extinct volcanoes, is renowned as a habitat for great flocks of pink flamingos. Tarangire National Park: Giraffe Tarangire National Park: Giraffes Tarangire National Park: Elephant Tarangire National Park: Baby elephant nursing Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: Elephants Tarangire National Park: Lioness Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: Female ostrich (hen) Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: Jackal Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: Hamerkop Tarangire National Park: Young male impala Tarangire National Park: Lilac-breasted roller Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: Hippos and Cape buffalo Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: Elands Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: Zebras Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: Lions
Mount Kilimanjaro "Climb For A Cause"
This past August, I had the opportunity to work with a great veteran organization called Sheep Dog. The assignment was to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a team and document the good the bad the ugly and everything in between. This beautiful mountain didn't disappoint and what made it even better was the incredible team I was blessed with documenting. These are the guys you want in your corner for every situation life throws at you. On August 10, 2021 @ 8:15 am and at 19,342 feet, my world was forever changed and a brotherhood was forged with teamwork, trust, sweat, blood, tears, perseverance, faith, courage and so much more. We started with a team of 12 and ended up with 9 of us summiting. This bucket list adventure was one of the hardest things I have ever accomplished and photographed at the same time. I started this journey on my knees grabbing the earth in my hands and asking God to walk with me on this journey grabbing my hand when I needed it. I also did the same thanking him on the top, and a final time when I stepped off. He was there the whole time, I truly felt him. I hope you enjoy their Journey! Click here to see full photo story: Mount Kilimanjaro Climb For A Cause
Mount Kilimanjaro Terrain
ter·rain /təˈrān/ noun · a stretch of land, especially with regard to its physical features. On August 10, 2021 @ 8:15 am and at 19,341 feet, my world was forever changed and a brotherhood was forged with teamwork, trust, sweat, blood, tears, perseverance, faith, courage and so much more. We started with a team of 12 and ended up with 9 of us summiting. Before I post our Sheepdog Kilimanjaro climbing story, I wanted to show the amazing and rough terrain we hiked through on the Lemosho Route to reach our goal of summiting. I started this journey on my knees grabbing the earth in my hands and asking God to walk with me on this journey grabbing my hand when I needed it. I also did the same thanking him on the top, and a final time when I stepped off. He was there the whole time, I truly felt him. For more information on Kilimanjaro Routes please visit the best site I found: https://kilimanjaroroutes.com Day 1 Elevation: 7,742 to 9,498 ft Habitat: Rain Forest Day 1 Elevation: 7,742 to 9,498 ft Habitat: Rain Forest Day 1 Elevation: 7,742 to 9,498 ft Habitat: Rain Forest Day 1 Elevation: 7,742 to 9,498 ft Habitat: Rain Forest Day 1 Elevation: 7,742 to 9,498 ft Habitat: Rain Forest Day 1 Elevation: 7,742 to 9,498 ft Habitat: Rain Forest Day 2 Elevation: 9,498 to 11,500 ft Habitat: Savannah tall grasses, heather and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards Day 2 Elevation: 9,498 to 11,500 ft Habitat: Savannah tall grasses, heather and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards Day 2 Elevation: 9,498 to 11,500 ft Habitat: Savannah tall grasses, heather and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards Day 3 Elevation: 11,500 to 13,800 ft Habitat: Moorland Meadows Day 3 Elevation: 11,500 to 13,800 ft Habitat: Moorland Meadows Day 3 Elevation: 11,500 to 13,800 ft Habitat: Moorland Meadows Day 4 Elevation: 13,800 to 15,190 back down to 13,044 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 4 Elevation: 13,800 to 15,190 back down to 13,044 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 4 Elevation: 13,800 to 15,190 back down to 13,044 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 4 Elevation: 13,800 to 15,190 back down to 13,044 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 4 Elevation: 13,800 to 15,190 back down to 13,044 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 4 Elevation: 13,800 to 15,190 back down to 13,044 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 4 Elevation: 13,800 to 15,190 back down to 13,044 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 5 Elevation: 13,044 to 13,160 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 5 Elevation: 13,044 to 13,160 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 5 Elevation: 13,044 to 13,160 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 5 Elevation: 13,044 to 13,160 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 6 Elevation: 13,160 to 15,331 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 6 Elevation: 13,160 to 15,331 ft Habitat: Alpine Desert Day 7 Elevation: 15,331 to 19,341 back down to 10,065 ft Habitat: Arctic Day 7 Elevation: 15,331 to 19,341 back down to 10,065 ft Habitat: Arctic Day 7 Elevation: 15,331 to 19,341 back down to 10,065 ft Habitat: Arctic Day 7 Elevation: 15,331 to 19,341 back down to 10,065 ft Habitat: Arctic Day 7 Elevation: 15,331 to 19,341 back down to 10,065 ft Habitat: Arctic Day 7 Elevation: 15,331 to 19,341 back down to 10,065 ft Habitat: Arctic Day 7 Elevation: 15,331 to 19,341 back down to 10,065 ft Habitat: Arctic Day 8 Elevation: 10,065 to 5,380 ft Habitat: Rain Forest Day 8 Elevation: 10,065 to 5,380 ft Habitat: Rain Forest Day 8 Elevation: 10,065 to 5,380 ft Habitat: Rain Forest
2021 Fourth Of July "Playing With Fireworks"
I hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and it was filled with fun, family and plenty of fireworks! I always feel like a big kid during this holiday and absolutely love setting off fireworks with friends and family. There is always a lot of laughing followed by a, "Jeremy, you may not want to do that". However, when I am not playing with the fireworks, I enjoy photographing them and trying to see what cool shapes and colors will explode in front of my lens. I hope you enjoy my take on the firework show that I attended at the Dallas Country Club surrounded by my beautiful family and friends. Let's also remember it is called Independence Day commemorating the day in 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress. The purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to announce and explain our separation from Great Britain.
MOH Bennie G. Adkins Dignified Transfer
On Monday, December 12, 2020 American Airlines operated a special flight (Flt 1966) carrying the late Medal of Honor recipient CSM Bennie G. Adkins and his family from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. before being buried at Arlington. American Airlines numbered the flight “1966” for the year in which he acted heroically in Vietnam to receive the U.S.‘s highest military decoration. Full honors were bestowed for CSM Adkins and his family as the Soldiers from the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Ft. Campbell, KY performed the transfer and the Patriot Guard Riders from Atlanta and Washington lined the runway with American flags. Adkins received the Medal of Honor in 2014 from President Barack Obama for his service during the Vietnam War at the Battle of A Shau in 1966, during which he rescued fellow soldiers and killed between 135 and 175 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers while sustaining eighteen wounds to his body over the course of a 38-hour battle and 48 hours of escape, according to Adkins’ Medal of honor citation. “When the camp was attacked by a large North Vietnamese and Viet Cong force in the early morning hours, Sergeant First Class Adkins rushed through intense enemy fire and manned a mortar position continually adjusting fire for the camp, despite incurring wounds as the mortar pit received several direct hits from enemy mortars,” the citation reads. “Upon learning that several soldiers were wounded near the center of camp, he temporarily turned the mortar over to another soldier, ran through exploding mortar rounds and dragged several comrades to safety.” You can read his full citation here In April, he lost a battle to COVID 19 at the age of 86. He will be buried with full military honors on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 and will be laid to rest with the remains of his wife, Mary Adkins, who died Feb. 12, 2019, and is already laid to rest in Arlington. This was a great honor to document for me as I have had the pleasure of having CSM Adkins in front of my camera for one of my favorite Medal of Honor portraits ever. God bless and thanks for being a true American Hero! R.I.P. CSM Bennie G. Adkins, February 1, 1934 – April 17, 2020.
Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas
This past weekend I thought it would be a great idea to take my wife @dandrasimmons on one of my camping trips with my military buddy @rklika. What was supposed to be a beautiful trip in a breathtaking environment with plenty of trails to hike quickly turned into a not so great trip for my wife. You see, when Russ and I go camping we like to rough it and maybe push ourselves a little too hard for “men our age” out on the trails. On Friday evening we arrived at out campsite and started to set up camp. On my recent trips I have found it more enjoyable to sleep in a hammock under the stars and foolishly thought it would be a good idea for my wife to do the same. In theory, it sounded great and she was onboard. Realistically, before she even was able to sit in the hammock she stepped on a huge tree thorn that pierced her shoe and went into her foot about an inch. First aid was provided. Next, it was time for bed. Let’s just say I was awakened numerous times to help her get in and out to go to the bathroom. Oh, and then there was that time she just fell out of it. The sun finally rose over the park and due to lack of sleep from the previous night we slept in and didn’t set out on our planned hike until 10 a.m. We were supposed to have hit the trail at 7 a.m. As we started the hike, spirits were high and the temperature was not. What we thought was a 4-5 mile hike to a fern cave turned into a 7.5 mile hike with temperatures hitting in the 120’s by late afternoon. My wife was a trooper and made the full hike, but was completely drained and near heat exhaustion. There was a time at the end of the hike that I was praying she wouldn’t collapse. We found out later that this was a freakishly high temperature day and that there were three helicopter rescues and 12 people had to be attended to by paramedics. My wife is always up for an adventure, but had had enough of this camping thing! We cut our trip a little short. I did learn that my wife will never go camping with me again unless it is glamping or she is in a camper/rv. I learned that she does not like hammocks or long hikes in high temperatures. I also learned that if I want to go camping with the guys, all I need to say is that its primitive camping where I am going and I will get a free pass. There is so much more of this beautiful park to explore and I look forward to hiking its dusty red trails again soon! Caprock Canyons State Park is three miles north of the quaint Texas town of Quitaque. The park is comprised of 15,313 acres and is the third largest park in the Texas state park system; its terrain is the roughest. The harsh, yet beautiful terrain at the park is distinguished by steep escarpments, exposed red sand- stones and deep, highly eroded and rugged canyons. The park is abundant with wildlife, including bison, mule and white-tailed deer and imported North African aoudad sheep. Common Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. ”Hay sierras debajo de los llanos" (there are mountains below the plains) was a common phrase used by early Mexican travelers who crossed through the area. Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Smooth Caprock Canyons cliff walls on the Upper North Prong Trail at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) in Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Barbary sheep also known as the arrui or aoudad, is a species of caprid native to rocky mountains in North Africa. Although it is rare in its native North Africa, it has been introduced to North America, southern Europe, and elsewhere. A dead tree reaches out amongst the living trees in the canyon's floor of Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Sunrise over Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Dried river bed near the Lower South Prong Trail at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. The canyons in the western part of at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas, support several species of juniper trees. Junipers are coniferous trees and shrubs in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. South Prong at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Powerful forces of erosion have chiselled away at the easter edge of the High Plains for the last 3 million years. Every spring and summer, severe thunderstorms reduce raging torrents of water that scour canyon walls and etch deeper and deeper into the bedrock. Geologists estimate that Caprock escarpment is being eroded at a rate of approximately 1/2" each year. Maidenhair ferns grow from the canyon overhang around the natural springs at Fern Cave on the Upper North Prong Trail at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Caprock Canyons State Park Quitaque, Texas, is the home of the Texas State Bison Herd. At one time, 30 to 60 million bison roamed the North American plains. The vast herds weren’t in danger of extermination until professional hide hunters arrived on the plains. Thus began the “great slaughter.” From 1874 to 1878, hunters decimated the great southern bison herd. Estimates from 1888 were that less than 1,000 head of bison remained in North America. Caprock Canyons State Park Quitaque, Texas, ranks the third largest state park in Texas with 15,313 acres. Wind and water over the eons shaped the rugged beauty of Caprock Canyons State Park in the Panhandle of Texas. A lone tree extends out from the rim of the canyon in North Prong at Caprock Canyons State Park Quitaque, Texas. A rock with its colorful layers lays exposed on the bank of an arroyo at Caprock Canyons State Park Quitaque, Texas. An arroyo, also called a wash, is a dry creek, stream bed or gulch that temporarily or seasonally fills and flows after sufficient rain. Flash floods are common in arroyos following thunderstorms. Caprock Canyons high red cliffs are made of sandstones and shales from the Ogallala Formation, and crossed by bands of white gypsum, making up the beautiful topography of the State Park in Quitaque, Texas. Caprock Canyons bottomland along the Little Red River and its tributaries support tall and mid-level grasses including Indian grass, Canada wildrye and little bluestem, cottonwood trees, wild plum thickets and hack- berries. Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) on the Lower South Prong Trail in Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Sunrise at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas, near Wild Horse camping area.
BBQ Relief: Uniting "My America"!
On assignment with Mercury One documenting Operation BBQ Relief during Hurricane Laura: This last week as I was working in Lake Charles, Louisiana for the aftermath of Laura, I witnessed the power of a hot meal bringing smiles to faces who have lost everything. I saw hearts warmed and tears flowing as those being served questioned why anyone would care to help them. The biggest thing I witnessed and was reminded of in spite of all the division and turmoil that is happening all around me is that this is MY AMERICA!!! This is how I truly see our amazing nation…a place of loving human beings and organizations coming together for the better of mankind, instead of the divided country our media portrays us to be. Hurricane Laura came ashore on the border of Texas and Louisiana as a Category 4 storm early Thursday, August 27, 2020, ripping apart buildings and severing power lines. Over 800,000 customers were without power and at least four deaths have been reported in Louisiana. Hurricane Laura sustained winds of 150 mph, Laura's eye made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, at about 1 a.m. CDT before plowing a path of destruction north toward Arkansas, where the weakened storm was predicted to then curve east through Kentucky and Tennessee by Friday evening. Operation BBQ Relief quickly came to the aid of the communities and first responders affected by Hurricane Laura's destruction by providing hot meals in their time of need. Big thanks to Bennie J. Davis III for the edits!
New Gallery: Konyak Tribe, the Headhunters of Nagaland, India.
Living Out Their Last Days As Legends from the Past For generations upon generations, the Konyak Tribe of Nagaland, India had made headhunting not only a legitimate livelihood, but a rite of passage for young men in the past. Nagaland exists as a remote tribal state, nearly hidden among valleys and jungles, and home to diverse people groups located in Northeastern India. Now, the oldest generations are remembered by the visual marks of a tradition and way of life that has been banned. Yet the old men still bear the title with dignity. According to Konyak warrior Chopa, he expressed pride in his heritage by relating that the British successfully wiped out villages, but the Konyak remained strong to their physical and cultural roots: “We the Konyak are the most powerful. We stay here. We are dominant.” Click here to read and view the full story on my website.
Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas
Last week I was really feeling down and depressed as my trip to Iceland was put off and my trip to Namibia was canceled for this year due to the damn COVID. My great travel buddy and fellow retired Army Combat Photographer Russell Klika said, “Why don’t we just go down to Big Bend for a couple days and camp?” Let me tell you, it was just what the doctor ordered and got me out of the funk I was in!!! Our campsite was beautiful, and this AMAZING park I have never visited did not disappoint and comes highly recommended! We explored the back roads and small towns around; we hiked (park has 238 miles of multiuse trails) a lot and ate great at our campfire laughing and telling stories into the night. Summer is supposedly their monsoon season and we enjoyed amazing clouds and late afternoon rain. I am not a landscape type photographer at all and asked Russell not to photograph me shooting a damn flower, but there was so much beauty around us and inspired the creativity that the COVID pandemic had taken from me. Here is my take on the breathtaking Texas State Park that is called Big Bend. I WILL BE BACK! Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas This remote park features rugged mountains, steep canyons, amazing views, unparalleled night skies, and solitude in a high desert setting. It is located in far west Texas in the high desert setting of the northern Chihuahuan Desert. Summers are hot, winters are mild, not much rain falls, and the scenery is magnificent. Temperatures typically exceed 100 degrees by late morning and can reach as high as 130 degrees in the sun. The State Park is over 300,000 acres and extends along the Rio Grande from southeast of Presidio to near Lajitas, in both Brewster and Presidio counties. The landscape varies from river lowlands to deep canyons, from high plateaus to steep-sided mountains. The elevation ranges from about 2,300 feet along the Rio Grande up to 5,135 feet at Oso Mountain. A wide variety of mammals, snakes and birds make their home in the high desert environment as well as some wild Texas Longhorns. The full moon at 7am still rests in the sky above the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Sunrise in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Agua Adentro Mountain, Sauceda Road in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Greater Roadrunner, River Road, FM 170. Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) at our campsite Pila Montoya 3 in the Upper Fresno Backcountry Zone. These unusual looking plants remain dormant throughout much of the year, but leaf out within 24–48 hours after sufficient rains. The leaves drop when the plant can no longer wick moisture from the soil. Agua Adentro Mountain in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Adult male Greater Earless Lizard - (Cophosaurus texanus scitulus) on the Puerta Chilicote Trailhead in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Sotol cactus (Dasylirion liophyllum) is composed of a cluster of numerous linear, flattened leaves that have hooked teeth along the margins of the leaf. The leaf bases are spoon-like. A tall flower stalk is produced each spring that has light colored, nondescript flowers clustered together. Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) frames the Sotol cactus on the Puerta Chilicote Trail. West Fresno Rim: The Puerta Chilicote Trailhead provides access to a system of trails in the wild and rugged areas of the Bofecillos Highlands and Fresno Canyon. Dragonfly, West Fresno Rim: The Puerta Chilicote Trailhead at Ojo Chilicote. Closed Canyon Trail. This slot canyon carved its way through a mesa as it makes its way to the Rio Grande. The trail is approximately 1.4 miles long, round-trip. Clouds and the canyon walls reflect in a puddle at Closed Canyon Trail. Echinocactus horizonthalonius. Two species of echinocactus are found in the Big Bend area - e. texensis, which has pronounced ribs and very heavy, sharp spines, and the slightly less threatening horizonthalonius where most spines lie against the body, apart from the central spine which points out and downwards. Ocotillo on the Puerta Chilicote Trail. Telephone pole at Rio Bravo Restaurant, Hwy 170, Terlingua, TX. Ocotillo flowers. When in bloom, Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) is among the desert's most beautiful plants. In mid-spring, brilliant, fiery red-orange tubular flowers appear in clusters at the tips of the plant's tall, sharply-spined stems. Flowers are pollinated by bees, butterflies, and many other insects, but they are also flashy beacons, attracting hummingbirds and orioles who appreciate their sweet nectar. Bofecillos Mountains in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. The Bofecillos are the remains of an extinct volcano, composed primarily of conglomerate sandstone, tuff, and basalt and featuring great examples of tertiary volcanic activity. Wild Texas Longhorn in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Rock Art was left here at Las Ceuvas as early as 3000 years ago, long protected by the overhanging rock in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Cat Tails at the lush springs and a seasonal waterfall named Ojito Adentro. Its name translates to “little spring within.” Ojito Adentro is unique because it contains water most of the year, an unusual feature in the dry desert of Chihuahuan in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Ojito Adentro Trail looking at Cuesta Primo in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Late afternoon storm rolling through River Road, FM 170. Chihuahuan Desert storm and sunset in Big Bend Ranch State Park. The night sky at Solitario (on the left) and Pila de la Posta (on the right). The Solitario is a large geologic formation in Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas. When viewed from above, it suggests an impact crater; though it is actually the eroded remains of a laccolith.
Three images for every year as a photojournalist, 2000-2020. This project spawned from the shutdown of the world due to COVID. The down time was perfect, allowing me the forced opportunity to go through my archives and get twenty years of work organized. The goal of Two Decades is to feature work that I have not showcased on my website or posted to my social media. After all the archiving was done I came away with over 14,000 keeper images. Click here to see the full new gallery on my website.
Third Annual Heroes & Hammerheads Shark Fishing
It is called fishing, not catching!!! So, we didn't land any sharks THIS time. However it was an amazing trip with 8 veterans who will forever share their bond of Padre Island. Story By: John Henderson, Legacy Farmstead The third annual Heroes & Hammerheads Shark Fishing event put on by Legacy Farmstead non-profit organization out of Boerne, TX, did not disappoint. Envision camping under the stars, hearing the waves crash against the sand, listening to the sounds of musicians around a campfire, sharing stories with your brothers, and fishing for some larger than life sharks. Friday morning everyone was pumped to make the trek down to the Padre Island National Seashore where our adventure began. Once we entered the National Park we traveled 40 miles down the beach to an isolated peaceful spot where not even cell phones worked! We stepped out of our vehicles and breathed in that ocean air, felt the warm breeze blowing, heard the waves crashing, and paused in the silence to take it all in as we knew we were about to have an incredible weekend ahead where lives would be changed. Right away our team went to work to get our camps set up. The very first thing we always do is fly our American flag high. From getting tents assembled to digging the fire pit everyone had a task. Some guys got shark bait rigged up and ran out in the water by kayaks while others prepped the rigs and poles. We had an incredible barbecue team made up of San Antonio area fireman that cooked a wonderful meal. At sunset Isaac Jacob, a country music artist from New Braunfels, TX, played acoustic by the campfire. As people introduced themselves and began getting to know one another and their individual stories, the crashing waves sealed immediate bonds between brothers who served for the same reason at different times and different places with one goal in mind. Saturday kicked off with breakfast over an open flame and some sunrise fishing in the surf. The guides prepared our crawfish boil lunch on the beach. The afternoon was spent with more fishing while hiding from the sun, enjoying the breeze. Our bbq team fed us like kings once again with brisket they smoked all day and elk sausage. We had another amazing night sunset fishing and hanging around the campfire listening to acoustic music from Zach Nytomt, a country music artist from Ft. Worth, TX. Sunday morning is always hard. Once you’ve spent a couple days in the great outdoors with men you’ve grown to love and respect for their courage, bravery, and struggles they’re individually dealing with, it is difficult to part ways. From the salt water and sand to the sunsets and sunrises, the rhythm and sounds of the ocean is all therapeutic. The goal of this event is to bring veterans and first responders together, roughing it for a few days, in an incredible beach atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Letting the natural bonds and connections made here open the willingness to share their stories, struggles and triumphs. If just one man leaves feeling more empowered, and ready to take on the world around them after this weekend, we know we did our jobs. All we do is provide the atmosphere; the group of men who join us provide the impact on each other without even knowing it.
The PA Review, Ep6: FACES
The human face has more detail than any other part of the human body and it evokes the true universal language; Emotion. But what role does this play in securing funding for our commanders or enhancing relationships with the community or bringing awareness to mental health, etc. What role do we play in connecting an audience with our goals and how do we do that? Join us as MSgt (ret.) Jeremy Lock and Dr. Mark Frank, Social Psychologist, discuss faces, expression, emotion and all the parts it plays in communicating a message to your audience. The PA Review: Host: Jeff Curtin Guests: Jeremy Lock, Dr. Mark Frank
Faces Of A New Revolution
Over the years I have covered many Black Lives Matter protests here in Dallas, Texas. This year I am beginning to see a new younger and more diverse group of people standing up, arm in arm, and demanding change for the cause. This portrait project will show that this is not just a black and white issue anymore, it is ALL our issues. And with diversity, the movement will come together in hopes to make some real changes. Here are a few images from the start of my project taken on June 13, 2020 at the protest/rally for: Black State of Emergency - Standing up for Black Lives - George Floyd & Breonna Taylor.
George Floyd Dallas Memorial Service & Protest
The Next Generation Action Network holds their George Floyd Dallas Memorial Service & Protest in Dallas, Texas, U.S., June 8, 2020. The memorial for Floyd started at the Dallas Police Department with speeches and songs. Then the group took to the streets in a protest walking to City Hall and then back to the Dallas Police Department where a candle light vigil took place. The death of George Floyd, an African-American man, occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, on May 25, 2020. Since his death, protest have occurred in cities across America. His family held a public viewing for Floyd at The Fountain of Praise Church in Houston on Monday, June 8, 2020. A private funeral service was held the following day at 11 a.m.
Solidarity Rally & March For George Floyd in Dallas, Texas.
The Next Generation Action Network holds their Solidarity Rally & March For George Floyd in Dallas, Texas, U.S., June 1, 2020. The rally started out at the Dallas Police Department and then was moved out of the curfew zone to Frank Crowley Criminal Courts Building where protest organizers and attendees were given a chance to speak to the crowd. Hundreds of protestors then began their march, ending up halfway on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge where they were met by police officers shooting what appeared to be rubber bullets, smoke and flask bangs before being surrounded and detained. The death of George Floyd, an African-American man, occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, on May 25, 2020. Since his death, protest have occurred in cities across America.
"More Life" Memorial Day 2020
The words of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Audie Murphy, read by actor Barry Corbin. "Oh, Shenandoah" performed by Danny Wright, audio engineering by T.J. Callaway. Images courtesy of award-winning photographer, Air Force veteran and combat photojournalist Jeremy Lock. Giving thanks and my appreciation to those who paid with their lives for our great country and all our freedom! And god bless their families! So excited to see this and play a small part!!! Special thanks to "More Life" with Jody Dean for including me in this project.
Some tear sheets from some recent work here in Dallas, Texas during the COVID pandemic. Dallas salon owner of Salon a la Mode Shelley Luther speaks to the crowd of a supporters at the "Open Texas" rally to re-open Texas businesses, places of work and religious services shut down by restrictions put in place to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as they gather in a park outside of the City Hall in Frisco, Texas, U.S., April 25, 2020. Luther, the Dallas hair salon owner was issued a citation after reopening her business, violating local and state executive orders to stay at home. REUTERS/Jeremy Lock
Blue Angels Dallas Flyover Salute May 6, 2020.
Anyone in Dallas get this first shot??? Just kidding, the first shot was from a story I worked on back in 2012. LOL
The others are my take on todays flyover as the Blue Angels salute our frontline COVID-19 responders. Thanks to ALL our responders during this time and a huge thanks to the Navy for recognizing them! God bless the good old USA!
4th Annual Food In Fashion
It was a huge honor to emcee this year’s 4th annual Food in Fashion with my beautiful wife D’Andra Simmons at the newly opened Virgin Hotels Dallas. I was also able to set up a quick on site studio to capture some of the fashion designs as well. One month ago, 12 restaurants and restaurant-related businesses were introduced to 11 fashion designers. They were given one month to create. The only direction given to the designers was that at least ten percent of what is visible must come from their restaurant partner. Proceeds from Food in Fashion benefit career-development programs in the restaurant and hospitality industries. The need for a skilled restaurant and hospitality workforce is great in North Texas. D'Andra and I being foodies absolutely enjoyed our evening for a great cause! DESIGNER: Lizzie Jones, Retrograde Designs PARTNER: Jose on Lover’s MODEL: Sara de la Cruz DESIGNER: House of No Lady PARTNER: Asian Mint MODEL: Derrel Hall DESIGNER: Abi Ferrin PARTNER: Parigi MODEL: Jennifer Davis Long DESIGNER: Status Design Studio, Sarah Thomas PARTNER: Americano MODEL: Alivia Smith DESIGNER: Audrie Austin PARTNER: Qdoba Mexican Eats MODEL: FeLisa Gambrell DESIGNER: Truanjl PARTNER: Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream MODEL: Danica Cheung DESIGNER: Ivette Custom Design PARTNER: La Madeline French Bakery and Cafe MODEL: Sonia Quezada DESIGNER: El Centro College design students under the guidance of Maria Luna PARTNER: Greenville Avenue Pizza Co. MODEL: Maria Murillo DESIGNER: Tatiana Diane PARTNER: The Owner’s Box MODEL: Tatiana Diane DESIGNER: University of North Texas design students under the guidance of Dr. Kim Williams and Margaret McKoin of The Time Group PARTNER: Old Hickory at The Gaylord Texan MODEL: Ty Cain
Costa Rica Down Time
I do love me some Costa Rica!!! Costa Rica will always have a special place in my heart, as this was where my wife and I honeymooned back in 2014. Since then I have traveled back alone and with my wife for some much needed downtime and surfing. The images below are a combination of two trips I took this year. My first trip was by myself to where we honeymooned in Mal Pais. I went alone as my wife went on a girl's trip with the women of my family. The second trip was with my wife and some friends of ours to Dominical. Although I truly enjoy all of Costa Rica, my favorite is Mal Pais.
The Social Movement TV Show
Proud to be representing team Operation BBQ Refief for a new Reality/Docu-series ‘The Social Movement’ If you were asked to Change the World... how would you do it? What issue would you start with? Who would you want by your side? What Legacy would you want to leave? Shot in Montreal, Canada over four days this past summer, comprised of 4 teams of influencers, business leaders, investors, visionaries, producers, public figures, celebrity business moguls from across the globe solving real global issues. Here are some teaser images I shot in between working on our world solution. COMING AT YOU IN 2020!!!!!!! Team leader David Marks ready to kick butt on the competition! First look and sizing up the competitors!!!! We got this!!! Proud to be representing team @opbbqrelief. @michaelxcampionwriting down our teams progress as we try to work through our solutions to a world issue. The one time you have been locked in a room racking your brains trying to solve a global issue with amazing people and you just need to break out and have some fun time!!! Let’s you know you are still a fun bunch of humans trying to do good in this beautiful world of ours! Team OBR is back at it hard again working on our solution. Our young competition prepping their project presentation! Team Operation BBQ, we got this!!! I don’t even think they are old enough to drive! Team leader David Marks @pitmaster_david and Michael Campion @michaelxcampion take the long walk to meet the mystery judges to pitch our solution to solving a worldly problem. We are in great hands with these two amazing individuals! Made our first pitch to the judges, now it’s time for a little down time and preparation for our next final pitch to the masses!!! Nothing better than @leeharvey22 getting pampered by @amyjinkc before we take the world by storm. And the winner is..... All teams gathered on stage for the announcement of the winning team. The series will launch in 2020 so stay tuned and check out @socialmovementtv for updates. Win, loose or draw, what an amazing experience to be involved with incredible people for an amazing cause!
Dallas First Baptist Palm Sunday March For Eternal Life
@firstdallas, Dallas, Texas, Palm Sunday. On Sunday, April 14, 2019, my church, First Baptist experienced a night of worship with singer Michael W. Smith and observed The Lord’s Supper. After service, the congregation led by Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress participated in the March for Eternal Life as they carried a lit cross to Klyde Warren Park proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ. Happy Easter!
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