Exports for The Wall Street Journal

    Matt Craig at the WSJ sent me on what has to be one of the funnest assignments I've been on in a while. The story is on the difficulty facing exporters. Demand for US products in spiking in Asia, due to a weak dollar and a faster than expected economic recovery. However, decline in US consumption has left exporters with few options for delivering their goods. In 2009, imports fell 28%, causing shipping prices to rise by 40%. Add to this the delays of as much as four weeks for shipments to Asia and – because they get paid upon delivery – you can see the strain it is putting on farmers.

    I shot the LA Harbor Grain Terminal – a family business that has been around since the 1950's. It had just rained and the colors and textures were just beautiful. The company moves the products – sugar beet pellets, compressed hay, soy bean meal, cotton – from rail cars and trailers onto shipping containers that are then taken to the harbor for shipping. VP Dwight Robinson and his staff – many of whom are second generation workers – could not have been nicer. I also tried to shoot the harbor itself, but I did not have access, so what I did manage was through chain link fences and/or out of my car window while driving across bridges. Many thanks to Matt and also the kind folks at LA Harbor Grain Terminal for their hospitality.

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    There were birds everywhere because of the food.

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