Caught in the middle

Favorites from 2023

Whatever hopes I had for adding to my nature photography portfolio in 2023 were interrupted by Typhoon Mawar on May 24. The storm struck Guam as a category 4 typhoon. Its wind and rain caused heavy damage, particularly in the northern portion of our island. Our family, based in central Guam, was without water for 14 days and without power for 29 days. In some ways, the recovery continues seven months later.

God intervened just before the storm arrived, speeding it up and turning it toward the north. “Things could have been so much worse,” we repeated to ourselves on the morning of May 25, when we emerged to view the aftermath. Our family weathered the storm in the KHMG studios, where we were able to provide live updates until we lost our generator at 3:00pm that day. We were the last radio station on the air. Both the AM and FM dials would be silent for a few more days.

Everyone on the Harvest staff was back on campus soon to work on cleanup. I took hundreds of photographs through the next week, mostly documenting the damage. Someday I’m hoping to sort, sequence, and share those images here. I didn’t take another landscape image until late June. One of our regular hikes to Pågat was in rough shape. The jungle canopy was peeled back and the trail was littered with an untold number of downed trees. This made the imagery a little sad.

By July, we were ready for a trip to the states. We hadn’t been back in four years. There were photography opportunities there, as I captured favorites for this collection in Washington, Montana, and Ohio. We had a wonderful time visiting family and some much needed rest after a grueling storm recovery.

The school year started just days after we arrived home in August. There were still many recovery projects in progress and trips to the beaches and jungles were limited. As a result, I captured fewer landscapes, but managed to archive ten that I am happy with. Thank you for having a look at them here.

I am excited to see what 2024 holds for my photography. I have already started a project featuring my family, began shooting in black and white for a change, and hope to make progress on a book featuring my Guam work. It appears I will have some time to shoot through the Christmas season. I’ll share what I can here.

Merry Christmas and have a wonderful new year!