National Geographic Photo of the Day by Dub Sonata

My image "Under The Waves" (re-titled "Above The Clouds" by NatGeo editors) was published on the homepage of National Geographic as their "Photo of the Day" today, January 15, 2017.

This image and place is very special to me. I have been a frequent visitor to Mount Tamalpais since my very first trip from New York to Marin County in 2003. Now a Bay Area resident myself, I've spent the last 3 years living in a town called Fairfax, located at the foot of this unique mountain. Many days and nights I've explored this terrain, honing my photography skill set and building my portfolio, but most of all, enjoying moments like the one captured in this image.

This particular image was shot on an October morning just before sunrise with a Canon 5D Mark iii, on a 70-200 f/2.8 Mark ii lens at 200mm; f/14; ISO 50; 20 seconds, using a Lee Filters Big Stopper (10 stop Neutral Density filter).

2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Competition - Shortlisted Entries by Dub Sonata

Two images I entered into the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition have been shortlisted as editor's favorites and subsequently published in several mainstream media outlets.

Regardless of who wins, being highlighted in such an esteemed competition is a win itself. Both images have been made available as wallpaper via download on National Geographic's website, here, and here.


Yuna @ Mystic Theatre, Petaluma, CA by Dub Sonata

I shot a very intimate Yuna performance at Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, CA, on Saturday night for I first heard about Yuna while traveling through South East Asia a few years ago (she's from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and she's since become of my favorite current artists. This was my second time seeing her perform and she rocked it- I'm glad I got to shoot this show as opposed to the sold out San Francisco show on Sunday because I was able to get as close as I wanted to get the kind of images I like- more environmental portrait style as opposed to documentary music photography.

She performed her new single "Crush," (the record features Usher)  along with crowd favorites "Lights and Camera," "Mountains" and "Lullabies."


Yuna's opening act, Fool's Gold signee Bosco also put on an interesting performance that left me anticipating what's next for the Savannah, GA artist.


Yuna's new album Chapters drops this Friday on Verve Records.


Jadakiss & Busta Rhymes Live by Dub Sonata

I shot a Jadakiss / Busta Rhymes show last night at Resorts World in Queens. Shooting live music is one of my favorite types of photography, especially legendary artists who I grew up listening to. I was a little late having taken the train from the Bronx but I arrived just in time. Normally at this venue I'm competing with several other cameramen/women for the best points of view and elbow room but last night I was the only photographer with access to the pit thanks to Overdrive Productions. Both artists put on a great show, performing a multitude of classics from their repertoires. Jada went on first, followed by Busta who had his usual hype man Spliff Star on stage with him and eventually brought out fellow Conglomerate artist O.T. Genasis of CoCo fame, with DJ Self spinning in between sets. Check out some images from the night below:


Published: National Geographic by Dub Sonata

National Geographic published one of my recent images from Myanmar in their Your Shot story "Built to Walk," curated by esteemed photographer John Stanmeyer and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Paul Salopek. The photo essay focuses on human migration and parallels their current project, the Out of Eden Walk, which "involves walking across the planet for almost a decade in the footsteps of the first human ancestors who trekked out of Africa during the Stone Age and discovered the world."

My image is of a boy carrying firewood down a dirt road presumably back to his home in Bagan, Myanmar. It was taken about an hour before dusk and the sun's light was just beginning to turn nice and golden. I began stalking rays of light, waiting for unsuspecting pedestrians to pass through them for photo ops. The village was shrouded in trees and therefor largely shaded, making such light even prettier and more dramatic. I suppose I was simply in the right place at the right time to have been able to capture this moment, as the boy entered and passed through the light in the blink of an eye.

A boy carries firewood through a lonely sliver of light back to his home in Bagan, Myanmar.

A boy carries firewood through a lonely sliver of light back to his home in Bagan, Myanmar.

I felt that this photo was a good fit for Built to Walk because although the subject isn't migratory, he's in fact doing something just as primal: walking in search of firewood- something the vast majority of people reading this entry only have had to do while camping during leisurely trips into the wilderness. For millions of people around the world, simple issues like obtaining heat and potable water are critical tasks that require lots of planning, working, and in this case, walking. Here's what National Geographic Fellow/Foreign Correspondent Paul Salopek had to say about the image:

Fabulous moment, Christopher. The chance of light--gone in an eye blink--is thrilling. A wonderful moment for Built to Walk, and a tidy caption, too.

You can check out the story here; there are some truly amazing images and I'm honored that mine was one of thirty selected out of over 10,000 submissions to be a part of the it. Congratulations to the other photographers and to John and Paul for putting together a great story. If you are a photographer and not yet a member of the Your Shot community, you should check it out. It's a great way to gain exposure, have your work critiqued and potentially be published in one of the highest regarded magazines in the world. I will be posting more entries on my most recent trip through South East Asia in the days and weeks to come so please stay tuned!



Back on the Left Coast by Dub Sonata

After spending the month of January in Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, I'm back in the Bay Area. It was a nice quick trip but it feels great to be home feeling inspired for a new year and a new body of work.