He and Ed both work for Reuters, and they are among the very few journalists and photographers I've been impressed with. He doesn't simply take a few shots for ten minutes and move on. He absorbs the entire day.
I run into him this morning at an Internet cafe and comment on the photos I see on the laptop screen.
"That's my style."
They decided to come to Phi Phi rather than bigger Phuket or Khao Lak as they wagered the feel here would be "less formal, more private and personal as they'd be among their own people." With the prime minister in attendance and the grand staged events in harder-hit Khao Lak there was the possibility for reserve.
His photography is suffused with the essence of his philosophy: "I like real people, not politics."
He switched from architecture to photojournalism because it "felt right."
"I missed the click of the camera when I was doing architecture, but I never missed drawing when I was photographing."
One day he speaks to a governor and the next day a Vietnam Vet. It's talking to people from all walks of life that is a bonus. I replied how many people at home feel reluctant to tell me to "have a good time" since this isn't a "holiday." However I enjoy talking to people this year much more than laying on the beach last year.
He writes on the revisit here to Phi Phi one year later:
it was meaningful to bump into some familiar faces,
whom were mourning when i met them a year ago
Sometimes words fail us. His photos speaks volumes.
Bonus: Bazuki's photo gallery of the last two days of remembrance on Phi Phi island is visceral and real. An absolute must visit. (The photos are owned by Reuters or I'd share a few now, here.)
p.s. As an LSU graduate in Baton Rouge, he loves the New Orleans area. Being based in Kuala Lumpur he wasn't top of Reuters list to cover Katrina. Hmmm, these are exactly the kind of situations that the artisan journalism microfund is intended for.