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To Be Determined Journal

To Be Determined is a journal of cycling, adventure and photography, curated by a NYC-based cycling team known as TBD Racing or Team TBD. From criteriums to cyclocross to product reviews and travel diaries, it is all part of the TBD Journal.

Memories of Burma

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Eight years ago Lisa and I spent two incredible weeks exploring the cities and countryside of Myanmar, aka Burma. It was a journey that came at a time of immense optimism for the country - we were only a few weeks behind Obama’s historic visit to Myanmar and the people we encountered expressed both adoration for America and a hope for change that we have seldom experienced overseas. The entire trip from start to finish was one of beautiful landscapes and warmth from everyone we encountered - including from the bride and groom at the Burmese wedding that we somehow ended up attending in the middle of our trip.

As tourists, we had glimpses of the underlying tensions of Burmese society - the warnings not to shoot any photographs with military members in the background, the mention of certain areas of the country that were off-limits to foreigners. But optimism was the rule of the day and the arc of change seemed to be bending in a positive direction. Which makes it painful to look back at some of these images and to realize how the story has developed into something very different. But at the time, without the benefit of hindsight, it was one incredible journey - some of our favorite images are herein.

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The Gear

These photos were shot with a Nikon D4 and a variety of Nikkor lenses led by the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 24mm f/1.4. There were perhaps a few instances where the speed of the D4 body paid off, but these were pretty few and far between. Realistically I would have been better served by a smaller body, but at the time that was the only camera that I had. Perhaps my biggest regret was lugging around a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens - for a big piece of glass I only used it very sparsely so it definitely wasn’t worth the extra size and weight in my bag.