Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I've got a new and improved blog!


Hi everyone,

First of all I would like to say thank you to all who have been following my blog. Since the very first post, I've enjoyed reading your comments and hearing your encouraging words. Even those of you who have not commented.....it's just nice knowing that you're interested in what I have to say. If it weren't for all of you, I wouldn't be doing this....so, again, thanks for coming along for the ride so far....it's nice to have you on board.

This blog is important.to me, because it's my way of sharing my experiences, insights, and opinions. Since it's important, I felt compelled to take it to the next level, so I hired a woman named Suzette Durazo, (a recent graduate of Platt College of design in San Diego), to get it up and running. I think you'll like the new blog; it's a bit more elegant and personalized than my free "blogger" blog.

Anyway, if you don't mind migrating over to my new blog and re-signing up or whatever, I would appreciate it.

This blog will remain up indefinitely but all new posts will appear at

www.karlgrobl.com/blog 
Sorry folks, as of midnight January 1 I am having some difficulties and my new blog  is off-line. I'm working on it and hope to be back on line soon!


If you have comments, suggestions or constructive criticism, I'm all ears...there's a contact page where you can drop me a note.

Well....I guess that's it, I'll see you over at my new blog address..... www.karlgrobl.com/blog
Sorry folks, as of midnight January 1 I am having some difficulties and my new blog is off-line. I'm working on it and hope to be back up soon!

Thanks,

Karl


Friday, December 18, 2009

Back From a Quick Trip to Chicago


Sorry for not having posted for such a long time. I have quite a few things in the hopper at the moment and haven't have time to write. Just yesterday afternoon I returned to San Diego after visiting my folks in Chicago. Now I'm  back to work.......Please hang in there for a few more days as I'll be announcing the launch of my new, improved, blog.

Have a great weekend.

Karl

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Good News From Afghanistan



Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, "Our relationship with Afghanistan is a long-term commitment," "As security improves our relationship grows ... especially with economic and political development. Speaking of development and commitment; with funding from USAID, one of my biggest clients, Education Development Center (EDC) has been implementing education  programs in Afghanistan. In 2005 I had the opportunity to document those projects.
If I've learned one thing while traveling all over the world and shooting for countless NGO's it's that education can make a country more self sufficient and secure. An educated populous is probably less vulnerable to exploitation by some charismatic, but tyrannical leader or political party. Education is, as the say; power.

In Afghanistan there is a huge need for education. According to EDC, "Many Afghans who grew up during decades of war and repressive rule are now in their twenties, struggling to find their footing in a dramatically altered and rapidly changing country. Deprived of the opportunity for schooling in their early years, many are unable to read. In rural areas, about 70 percent of heads of households cannot read or write." Women are also at a great disadvantage when it comes to learning. Women in Afghanistan are more often than not denied any formal education at all. EDC has been working to change that.

EDC's Literacy and Community Empowerment Program (LCEP) is a groundbreaking community development project that connects rural villages throughout Afghanistan with an integrated package of literacy, governance and economic empowerment opportunities. LCEP is the first step in a larger, more ambitious long-term initiative to create sustainable literacy and community development opportunities for Afghanistan's rural population. Click here to see a slide show and learn more about what EDC is accomplishing.

We hear a lot of bad news from Afghanistan, so I thought I would point out something positive. And, oh, by the way;  if you were wondering about the photo of the bridge (below) in my previous post...that's another EDC project. I guess you could say that EDC is building bridges, both literally and figuratively.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Gandamack Lodge, Kabul



With the news websites awash with talk about the time frame for troop withdrawls from Afghanistan, I've been reminiscing about my 2004 trip there. I ended up clicking on some video footage and was reminded of a guy I met, named Peter Jouvenal.  He is the BBC cameraman who shot the liberation of Kabul in November 2001. Peter opened the Gandamack Lodge in Kabul later that year. Since then, Peter's place has been a hang out for journalists, similar to the Oloffson in Port au Prince, Haiti, which I wrote about here...but that's another story.

Anyway, the Gandamack must be buzzing these days and I keep wondering who might be staying in the room I occupied during my visit to Kabul. The room in question is on the main floor next to the front desk, just down the hall from the gun display/sales cabinet.

The door to the room had been kicked in a few too many times and it wouldn't latch, but that really didn't matter, because anyone trying to get in would first have to get through the iron gate out front, or scale the barbed wire fence and navigate past the armed guards, dogs and the two guys brandishing AK47's at the door. Besides, since the room didn't have a private bathroom, the broken door made it more convenient when I had to go down the hall to use the facilities.

On one wall of my room was a kerosene heater from the 1970's with a dilapidated vent system that leaked like a sieve. The room smelled like a fuel depot, but hey, it was my temporary home and the other guests at the lodge were pretty interesting folks, so I was happy to be there.

On my first night there, the Taliban blew up a school just down the street and the explosion woke me up.  After that, I slept fitfully for the rest of the night, and was anxious to get breakfast and meet some of the guys who I had heard drinking and partying well into the night.  It turned out that they were two British ex-SIS guys (Secret Intelligence Service) and a retired Navy Seal from Iowa. They were all doing private security in Kabul. Arriving at the long, family style, breakfast table they each un-holstered an assortment of 9mm semi-automatic pistols and several clips of ammunition.  One Brit had a copy of Soldier of Fortune Magazine under his arm. 

The first guy to speak greeted me with "So, what the Fuck are you doing here?", I replied that I was in Afghanistan to take some pictures for an NGO doing a women's education program and several community development projects funded by USAID...he looked a little confused at my answer, then asked me what I was "packing".
"Uh....Canons" I said as I reached under the table to pull out my Mark IIs, one with a 70-200 f 2.8 and the other with a 16-35 f2.8 attached. ...the two Secret Service guys and the Navy Seal looked at each other, shook their heads and burst out laughing, then the second Brit exclaimed... "goddamn, you're fuckin' crazy!"

That was my welcome reception in Kabul. For the next few weeks I would travel around the country photographing Education Development Center's programs in and around Kabul and in the north near Herat.
I'll be blogging tomorrow about that experience and the NGO, Education Development Center, for whom I have shot jobs on 4 continents.

 
Bt the way, for those of you planning a visit to Kabul for the holidays, it's good to know that Peter has body armor for rent right there at the Gandamack and he will even help arrange fixers and/or body guards for you. Oh, also...don't forget the house rules at the Gandamack, which clearly state that only sidearms are permitted in the dining room, so please, leave those RPGs and your larger weapons at home or in your room.

The Gandamack is located at Sherpur Square, next to the UNHCR HQ, just up the road from DHL, across the road from the queues for visas at the Embassy of Iran. TELEPHONE +93 (0) 700 27 6937 there website is here

Friday, December 04, 2009

Hopital Albert Schweitzer, Haiti



While on the topic of Hospitals, I feel compelled to share with you the story of another truly amazing hospital, this one, in Haiti. Back in 2001 I shot a job for Health Volunteers Overseas. One of the locations that I photographed was HAS or Hopital Albert Schweitzer (yes, it’s Hopital not Hospital). HAS was started 50 years ago and the story behind it is one, that I think, you might be interested in.


HAS was started by William Larry (Larimer) Mellon, a member of the wealthy Carnegie Mellon family of Pittsburgh. Larry fell under the spell of Albert Schweitzer, the Nobel laureate, physician and humanitarian who started a hospital in the African country of Gabon. Following in Schweitzer’s footsteps, Larry Mellon, well into his 30’s, enrolled in medical school, became a physician and built a hospital in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Mellon’s story and the story of HAS is told in the book “Song of Haiti”, which should be on Oprah’s must read list.

I’ve had the opportunity to shoot for HAS many times and my visits there are always eye-opening and inspiring. The work being done there by HAS’s crew of dedicated humanitarians is astonishing. Have a look at the HAS website to learn more about this amazing institution. I produced a rudimentary video for HAS, but since I made it quite a while ago, a plug-in required. Sorry.

While in Haiti, I usually make it a point to spend at least one night at the Oloffson hotel in Port au Prince. It’s one of those places where journalists hang out, and  one always meets interesting people there. Here’s a short piece I did about the hotel and it’s colorful proprietor, Richard Morse.

Have a great weekend, and I'll try to post on Monday.
Cheers,
Karl

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Angkor Hospital For Children, Cambodia

Yes it's true, just last month posted about Angkor Hospital for Children, but I'm posting again for two reasons. First, because their 2008 Annual Report just came out, full of images that I captured while shooting their story for Town and Country Magazine earlier this year. 

And secondly, because Friends Without a Border is having a Photography related charity event in Los Angeles this month which benefits the Angkor Hospital for Children!  As you may remember from the article in Town and Country or my earlier posts, The Angkor Hospital for Children was started by photographer Kenro Izu

THE FRIENDS WITHOUT A BORDER'S 1ST ANNUAL LOS ANGELES GALA  will take place on Thursday, December 10th, at the historical Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel The evening includes both silent & live auctions with a special "Children" portfolio by famed National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry

There are also musical performances by Robin Thicke, celebrity hosts Paula Patton, Kate Hudson, Josh Jackson, Ali Larter & Hayes MacArthur, Eva Longoria Parker, Molly Sims, Anne Hathaway, Stephen Moyer, Amaury Nolasco, Jennifer Morrison, Rebecca Gayheart & Eric Dane, with special guest emcee Matthew Lillard. 
View the Invite. View the Catalog.  Including the piece I donated here
For inquiries, email mayanna@fwab.org or call 323.843.2870.

If any of you folks are looking for a fun night out in Los Angeles, which benefits a great cause, check it out!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

PADF: The Pan American Development Foundation:

Over the last 8 years I’ve done quite a bit of work for The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), shooting for them in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Cuba, so I’m going to take this opportunity to highlight them in my blog today.
PADF is a non-government humanitarian aid organization that works to empower disadvantaged people and communities in Latin America and the Caribbean to achieve sustainable economic and social progress, strengthen their communities and civil society, and prepare for and respond to natural disasters and other humanitarian crises.
Haiti is the poorest country in this hemisphere and being so close to the USA, one would think we would hear more about it than we do. In Haiti, PADF does everything from promoting agricultural development, to building rural infrastructure, implementing soil conservation, and supporting agro-forestry and improved watershed management. They also work to improve public sanitation, and have a program designed to improve border relations with the Dominican Republic. In April PADF received a $1.1 million dollar grant to expand their work there.
In Colombia PADF has two primary areas of focus; internally displaced persons and former coca growers. PADF provides humanitarian assistance, job training and placement, and related services including health, education, and basic sanitation. Here’s a short slideshow I made about their program to help incenitivize coca farmers to grow non-illicit crops.
A diverse organization with great people and great programs, PADF is one of those organizations that doesn’t get enough attention in the media, so I’m hoping you take the time to check them out, and perhaps pass this info along.
Saludos,
Karl

Friday, November 27, 2009

Packing for a trip:


People often ask what supplies and equipment I take with me on my travels. So, here we go…I’m going to break it down for you into three parts. The following describes absolutely everything that I bring on a trip, down to the smallest item. This list is the result of a re-examination of the contents of my bags at the end of each trip, and eliminating any unused item. It doesn’t matter if I’m traveling for two weeks or four months; I always pack only the followin items.

First let’s examine my “checked luggage”. It contains all my clothes, toiletries, and non-essential photography gear. Starting at my feet and working up….1 pair Lowa Tempest hiking shoes. 1 pair flip flops, 2 pairs of ankle length socks, one belt, 3 pairs of Kuhl Jeans , 1 pair of Levi’s 560 comfort fit, 25% poly 75% cotton jeans (this is the one indulgence I grant myself…there is nothing better or more comfortable than a pair of good ole’ American-made, Levis). Next, 6 pairs of underwear, two Coolmax T-shirts, 2 hats, 1 pair nylon running shorts, which can double as a swim suit, 2 Eagle Creek Leg Stash money holders, a dozen plastic zip ties, a few rubber bands, a blower to clean my cameras, 4 extra AA batteries and charger, 1 extra AAA battery, electrical adapters, my Canon Mark II battery charger with 2 extra camera batteries, a Pac-Safe security net and four Snickers bars. All of these items are packed into 3 "packing cubes", two small and one medium.

Next let’s look at my toiletries, they include toothpaste, tooth brush, cortizone cream, triple antibiotic ointment, deodorant, chapstick, tums, razor and shaving cream, sunblock, nail clippers, dental floss, a Leatherman Mico tool, scissors, a flashlight and eseential medications packed in mini zip-lock pill containers which you can purchase at most drug stores.

All of the above items are packed into a Eagle Creek Hovercraft 25, which, when full, weighs 26.6 lbs, or just under 12 kg. I've never paid over-weight charges, even on small regional carriers, many of whom limit checked baggage to 15kg.

Next is my carry-on backpack. It contains my laptop computer and power supply, passport, passport sized photos, cell phone & charger, Ipod Touch with earphones and USB cable, Ambien sleeping pills, ear plugs, two Sharpie markers (one fine point, one medium point), and the guide book(s) for the country or countries that I am traveling to.

Finally, let's take a look at my camera gear. It all goes into my Think Tank belt system: 2 beat up, old, Canon Mark II bodies, a Canon 16-35 f 2.8, a Canon 70-200 f 2.8, Canon 580 EX flash, SanDisk CF Cards, flash memory sticks, external hard drive, reflectors, micro-fiber cloth, brush, press pass and Sony voice recorder.

In my pockets I carry , a Zebra F301 compact pen, chapstick, cash and a Moleskine, Cahier writing pad.

That’s it, that’s everything…nothing more, nothing less.

For more details please visit the "equipment reviews" section of my website.

Bon voyage!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cambodia: 30 Years After the Genocide:



Cambodia has a special place in my heart. I work there often, shooting stories for my NGO clients and also visit as part of an annual photo tour I lead. So, I always log on to the Phnom Penh Post to see what's up and check on news about the ongoing trial of those responsible for Cambodia's genocide in the mid to late 1970's. Today's news was that prosecutors in the trial of a former Khmer Rouge prison chief asked a U.N.-backed Cambodian court Wednesday to sentence Kaing Guek Eav, known as "Duch", to 40 years in prison for his role in the torture and deaths of thousands of his fellow Cambodians during the communist Khmer Rouge regime's rule from 1975 to 1979.

As part of my photo tour, I visit Toul Sleng Memorial and Choeung ek (the killing fields) and over the years I have shot many images of S-21 prison the skulls at Choeung ek. I keep telling myself I need to put together photo story about it and post it to my website. Perhaps writing that here in my blog will light a fire under my butt to do it. Anyway,  Toul Sleng (S21) prison, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is the site is a former high school which was used as a prison, interrogation and tourture center by the Khmer Rouge regime. Tuol Sleng in Khmer; means "Hill of the Poisonous Trees" or "Strychnine Hill".

From 1975 to 1979, an estimated 17,000 people were imprisoned at Tuol Sleng (some estimates suggest a number as high as 20,000, though the real number is unknown). At any one time, the prison held between 1,000-1,500 prisoners. They were repeatedly tortured and coerced into naming family members and close associates, who were in turn arrested, tortured and killed. 

So, today, with Cambodia's genocide trial in the news, I thought it would be a good idea to make a post and encourage all of you to learn more about Cambodia's dark past. As with Auschwitz and Rwanda...everyone always says...it will never happen again...let's hope it doesn't.

Two final notes, those interested in photojournalism and a photographic record of Cambodian history, I share this.....Last week, while in Bankgok waiting for my flight home, I was perusing a bookstore and saw a new book by Roland Nuveu entitled The Fall of Phnom Penh. The book contains Roland's images of the invasion of Phnom Pehn and I found it fascinating.


And, to see a story I did for Zuma Press, entitled "Cambodia's New Killing Fields" click here
Have a happy Thanksgiving.....and please do take a moment to reflect upon just what that means for us.... in this country we have a lot to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Philippines: Massacre in Mindanao


Yesterday I blogged about my work documenting human trafficking in The Philippines, and today I woke to news about a masacre in Mindanao. To say the least, I was saddened to hear about the recent violence there.

News agencies report that more than 45 people were killed in the remote town of Datu Abdullah Sanki in Maguindanao.According to reports,100 armed men believed to be supporters of the vice-mayor's political opponent attacked a convoy on their way to register the candidacy of the Vice-Mayor for the gubernatorial post in the coming 2010 elections.

For decades, elections in Mindanao have been fraught with problems of violence and fraud. My recent assignment with the Asia Foundation was to document the work they are doing to help facilitate violence free elections.

While in Mindanao, I accompanied The Asia Foundation's staff on a meeting with commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in their heavily guarded encampment, near Cotabato. The Asia Foundation is working with MILF to try to broker a peace agreement among the conflicting factions. (Today the MILF issued a statement condemning the recent killings).

I also documented several pre-election seminars, which The Asia Foundation was conducting, aimed at preemptively mitigating election violence.

The situation in Mindanao is complex, with many political and religious groups all vying for position and power.  Organizations like The Asia Foundation play a key role in helping to remedy this volatile situation by bringing key players together and encouraging dialog, but unfortunately, despite their best peace building efforts, tragedies like today's incident, still occur.

With the international spotlight now temporarily on Mindanao, I hope that more international attention will be paid, and perhaps additional strides will be made to help this troubled region.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Human Trafficking

I've recently returned from four months worth of assignments and people have been asking me what types of stories I was shooting for my NGO clients (Non-Government Organizations). So, why not use the blog to explain.....In August I was in the Philippines working for two different NGOs one for a story revolving around the conflict between the Philippine government and Muslim insurgency groups, Abu Sayyaf and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The other story was a documentation of the Human Trafficking problem.

Human trafficking is big business in the Philippines. Men, women, and girls are trafficked for labor and sexual exploitation to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, North America, and Europe. The government and NGOs estimate the number of women trafficked to range from 300,000 to 400,000 and the number of children trafficked range from 60,000 to 100,000.

My client, The Asia Foundation supports halfway houses in the ports of Manila and Davao. The halfway houses provide services to intercepted victims of trafficking, including temporary shelter, repatriation, referral, and telephone hotline counseling.

Among the many people I photographed and interviewed was this young girl who escaped from her "employer". With the help of an information leaflet that she found on a ferry boat (a leaflet distributed by The Asia Foundation), she was able to reach a halfway house where she found food, shelter, counseling and financial assistance, giving her the ability to return to her village.

This is the kind of shoot that keeps me motivated....if I can help The Asia Foundation get the word out , perhaps this program will be able to continue and even expand, and there will be more success stories, like this one.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Desperation

Last night, while driving home, I saw a man in the median holding a cardboard sign which read "Homeless Veteran: Need Money, Please Help". I immediately though about a family that I encountered in Myanmar two months ago.

Since I travel extensively in the developing world I've grown accustomed  to people asking for "donations". I usually give to those people who are obviously disabled in some way, for example mine victims in Cambodia, club footed people in India, and/or those in makeshift wheelchairs; because in most developing countries, services for these people is severely lacking.

Anyway, while in a Burmese market, photographing vegetable vendors, I saw a woman with two disheveled children watching me. I noticed that her tiny, skeletal body was visibly trembling and there was this terrible look of desperation in her eyes. The woman looked at me but said nothing.. It was immediately obvious to me that she was in serious need,. I stopped shooting and just looked back at her. There is something terribly visceral when you see this kind of look in another human being's eyes, and I thought to myself, my god, in this country, with virtually no social services, life must be incredibly difficult for her.

Not knowing what to do, and since she wasn't asking me for anything, I looked at her children and then back at her, smiling as if to say...wow, your children are beautiful, then I motioned with my camera as if to say "can I take a photo?"...no reaction..... I bent down near the two children and using the screen on my digital camera, showed them a photo I had just taken of the vegetable seller just across the aisle. The children both smiled, as children do when they see something interesting and new. Next using my wide lens, I snapped a quick headshot of the two children and showed them... their faces lit up with smiles. With a bit of rapport established and some sign language, I communicated that we should go over to a colorful old truck that was parked just a few yards away. She and the children followed.

I made a photo of the three of them and then a few more photos of the kids standing in front of the truck. Then I reached down with both hands and lifted the little girl up and placed her on the seat of the truck. To my surprise and horror, she was light as a feather and as I lifted her I could feel every rib in her tiny little chest.  I thought to myself, this child has got to get some food! After a few minutes of making and sharing pictures of the children, I smiled at the mother, folded my hands in the Asian "wai" meaning " thank you" and "I respect you". She looked back at me and in her eyes, I could once again see her terrible sense of desperation. Reaching into my pocket, I grabbed some Burmese Kyats and as I shook her hand to say goodbye, I transferred the money into her palm.

For the rest of the day, I couldn't stop thinking about her and her situation. I wondered what her life must be like and how she survives..and what she must feel, being responsible for her two children. Now I regret that I didn't do more for her. I should have purchased a few kilos of rice or something that would help sustain her and the children for a few days.

Since my encounter with this poor Burmese woman and her two children, whenever I see a homeless person with a sign here in the USA, I'm reminded of her and I wonder how she is doing.

No, I didn't give anything to the guy I saw last night, or others who hold signs and stand in the median here at home. I'm confident that they get enough to eat (and smoke and drink). It's those who are truly desperate that I wish we could do more to help.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Experience with the new Cotton Carrier Holster System


For the longest time, I've been looking for a "waist/holster" camera carrying system that would allow me to carry my cameras "naked", allowing immediate, easy access. Last July, prior to leaving for four month's worth of assignments in Asia, I spoke with Andy Cotton, the inventor of the Cotton Carrier. Andy was launching a camera carrying system for photographers working in what I'll call, highly active situations. The system is designed to be worn as a chest harness and has an optional second "holster" which can be added. Andy and I talked and agreed that I would field test his Cotton Carrier system. Andy tried to convince me to use the chest harness, but I told him I was only interested in the "second holster". Anyway, I persisted and Andy agreed to send me just 2 bare holsters without the chest harness.

I applied the two holsters to my Think Tank Speed belt and gave the "hybrid" combination of Cotton Carrier Holsters and Think Tank Steroid Speed Belt a field test while leading my India photo tour. I also asked one of my tour guests, Peter Fay a well known San Diego based photographer try it out.  Peter is a retired engineer.

Shown below is Peter with his Canon MarkII and 70-200 f2.8 lens hanging in the Cotton Carrier Holster, mounted on a Think Tank Steroid Speed Belt, similar to how I used it.


During the trip, I also ran into Nevada Weir and the National Geographic photo tour group, and low and behold, one of the members of her group was using the Cotton Carrier System! Vicki Athens, a podiatrist and professional photographer from Michigan, was using Andy Cotton's 2-camera set up. Vicki says it's the best camera carrying system she had ever used! Shown below is Vicki with a local Sadhu at Gadisar Lake, near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

 
The Cotton Carrier system is a great way to get the heavy load of camera gear off of your neck and into a position where your cameras are safe, stable and readily available at a moment's notice. The chest harness system that Andy suggests accomplishes all these things. My "aftermarket" application of the Cotton holsters in combination with the Think Tank Steroid Speedbelt worked OK, but I found that the holster, when placed on the Think Tank belt, resulted in my camera hanging too low (Andy had warned me of this, which is why he encouraged me to use the chest harness set up). That being said,  I really did like the fact that I had the weight of my camera off of my shoulder and was ready for instant use (quick draw), from my hip. Below, you can ssee Andy's photo of the "second holster" in use and Andy wearing the 2-camera set up.
In summary, the Cotton Carrier is a well made, innovative system for active photographers who need a stable, quick-release camera carrying system. Learn more about the Cotton Carrier and watch Andy's instructional videos at the Cotton Carrier website.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

David duChemin's Visionmongers Book Released



I'm sifting through mail that has accumulated since my departure in July (it's hard to believe, I had been on the road nearly 4 months!)...anyway, David interviewed me back in June and included my story in his newest book: VisionMongers. Visionmongers is about Making a Life and Living in Photography.
The book is peppered with inspirational and real-world case studies from photographers from various disciplines, including: Chase Jarvis, Kevin Clark, Gavin Gough, Zack Arias,Dave Delnea and, yours truly.

As encouraging as it is realistic, VisionMongers is about making a life and a living in photography.

David is a great guy, with a seemingly endless energy for photography and writing. If you have not already seen it, check out his blog. In my opinion David's blog the best photo blog on the net. I read it weekly for inspiration. see http://www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/

Back in San Diego after 4 months on the road: Catching up on correspondence.



I've been back in San Diego for two days now but my body is still on Asia time, so I'm up all night and falling asleep at mid day. The generic Ambien tablets that I bought in Delhi are helping but as usual, it will take a few weeks for me to readjust.

With plenty of coffee, and little desire for sleep, I'm catching up on correspondence. My friend, John Cantrell, Editor of Town and Country Magazine with whom I worked earlier this year, on a story about Cambodia's Angkor Hospital for Children, just informed me that our story, entitled "Opening The Way" was awarded Honorable Mention yesterday, in New York, at the min’s Editorial & Design Awards.

















I'm delighted that the story is getting additional media attention because Angkor Hospital has a special place in my heart. If you have not had a chance to read the story please have a look here. http://karlgrobl.com/TownAndCountryAHCarticle/Index.htm

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bodhgaya India


Bodhgaya, Bihar, India. It's here that Buddha attained enlightenment...I'm trying to attain it too, but it doesn't seem to be working. I am here shooting for Pathfinder International. Pathfinder began working here in 1999 to advance the reproductive health needs of underserved and vulnerable populations. Today I was photographing a (FCA)Female Change Agent, meeting with a young mother to discuss family planning and contraception. For more info about pathfinder visit www.pathfind.org. In a few days I will head back to Delhi, then to Bangkok and home...it has been a long 4 months on the road!