Though this might seem glamorous and exciting, it’s not always so. Mostly, my life involves spending time researching and arranging trips as far as two years in advance, investing in (a euphemism for “throwing money at”) new equipment, and enduring the seemingly endless list of cruel and unjust indignities heaped upon travellers these days in the name of security and “passenger convenience” (a euphemism for “making my life miserable”).
What makes this all worthwhile, of course, is the unique experiences I’m fortunate enough to have, and the many wonderful people I have the opportunity to meet and befriend.
To this end, I have a strong preference for going places that are remote and unexplored, or sometimes to areas that are not so difficult to reach, but are inexplicably unknown or under-appreciated. In other words, I’d much rather visit non-touristy places than be stuck in a mass-market hotel surrounded by a swarm of vacationers.
I find that I learn much more about myself, the world, and life in general this way, which is the inspiration underpinning all the images and stories I create.
I wasn’t always like this. Being the product of a conservative Asian upbringing, I used to lead what is generally considered a “respectable” life. I earned an honours degree/ magna cum laude/ Phi Beta Kappa from an Ivy League school, had a successful career, private club memberships, credit cards galore, lots of material possessions…all the criteria by which modern societies pass judgement on people.
My fatal flaw, I suppose, was my penchant for exploration and taking risk. I’ve never been comfortable being comfortable, which in part manifested as my enthusiasm for travelling as often as possible, both for work and during whatever time off I could manage.
At some stage, I figured out that staying in 5-star hotels does not constitute a cultural learning experience, so I began to take chances on my sojourns away from the creature comforts of my urban cocoon. I found myself at various points in my travels drifting in a small wooden canoe in the middle of the Sulawesi Sea without food or water, floating face-to-face in deep ocean waters with an 11-metre sperm whale pummelling me with sonar and giving my left fin a taste test, twiddling my thumbs while placed under house arrest by former Indonesian leader Suharto, being surrounded by hundreds of sharks in the middle of a feeding frenzy, and many other (mis)adventures…all of which led me to the stark realisation that my priorities were entirely misplaced.
My life hasn’t been the same since.
Photographs, words and video are the tools I use to communicate what I experience and observe. My sincere hope is that the tales I relate and lessons I try to convey will have some meaningful, positive and lasting effect upon the people whom I meet, and hopefully by extension, on the world. A bit fanciful perhaps, but this is, after all, my website, so I’m allowed to be idealistic.
I do my best to post thoughts, images and observations from my travels on this site, so please bookmark this site, or better yet, follow me using RSS.
I also organise trips and adventures, usually with an emphasis on underwater photography, and I tend to prefer visiting destinations that are remote, unique and off the beaten path.
If you’d like to consider joining me on one of my excursions, here is a list of some of my upcoming trips, which I try (though inevitably fail) to keep updated and current.
I also send out emails from time to time to provide information on new trips and update previously announced ones. If you’d like to be on my email list, please fill in the form below. I don’t send spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
I get asked questions often about the equipment I use. It seems as though imaging technology is improving and changing every day, so it’s virtually impossible to maintain a complete list of equipment I use.
I keep a list of the main hardware and travel kit I use on this site, which is tied to Amazon. If you decide to order any of the equipment I use and recommend via this link, I will receive a small commission from Amazon, so I can continue to do mundane things like eat. It doesn’t add to your cost in any way. In all cases, I only list and recommend equipment that I use and am happy with, so if you have a question about any of the gear, let me know via the contact form below.
This is what I currently use underwater:
I don’t receive commissions for any of the underwater gear, but again, I only list the equipment that I use. If I receive any gear for testing, I state so clearly, so there’s no confusion. For clarity…I will not write something positive about a product or service that I do not feel comfortable endorsing and using myself.
If you’d like to reach me, please use my contact form. Everything else goes direct to spam. Seriously.
Enough rambling. Please enjoy the photographs on this site, but I ask that you respect the time, effort, and expense I’ve invested in creating these images and refrain from using them without permission.
Here is my policy on providing photos for free: Requests for Free Photographs. Please read this before contacting me to ask for free images.
Finally, I hope you’ll find the time and motivation to stray a bit from your own comfort zone…to experience and learn something new.