Morenadas DancersI can't imagine how old this Juniper tree is, how many storms its weathered, how long it has stood its ground. But as the sun set over Keys View I was fascinated by its tenacity and beautiful texture and location. This image is a High Dynamic Range photo that compiles the shadows and highlights of several images.Amazing colors form in the ocean as the sun sets

Into the Gran Caldera de Luba, Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea

January 3, 2013 Into the Gran Caldera de Luba In a week I leave for Equatorial Guinea, where I will spend two months trying to film primates on the southern part of Bioko island, off the coast of Nigeria. I am jumping on board the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Project’s Scientific Expedition of the Gran Caldera …

An adventure to find the Bioko drill

An adventure to find the Bioko drill In December of 2011 I was looking for an adventure. My wife Shalynn and I had spent the last year rotating between short-term jobs, staying at friends’ and parents’ houses, and reliving the memories of our 6-month backpacking trip through South America. I was also nearly finished healing …


This is the story of living with a flesh-eating parasite… on my face.

-Post 1: Hello my name is Adam Spencer, and I have a flesh-eating parasite called Leishmaniasis

For over a year now, I’ve been battling a flesh-eating parasite… on my face. My girlfriend and I went on a volunteer trip through South America, and our decision to live in the jungle determined my fate. Despite our vigilant efforts to avoid bullet ants, bot flies, poisonous snakes, malaria, and yellow fever, but when I let my guard down for a mere ten minutes at the end of our stay in the Peruvian Amazon, my life would change completely… CONTINUE READING

-Post 2: Traveling through the Salt Flats of Uyuni: I first noticed the parasite

My first step on this nightmarish journey through Leishmania began in a fittingly surreal location: the Salt Flats of Uyuni. Shalynn and I left the jungles of Manu in early January to travel on through Lake Titicaca and La Paz, and on to Cochabamba, where I had set up a volunteer position working as a documentary producer for Sustainable Bolivia… CONTINUE READING

-Post 3: Kisses on the Cheek

Some how we made it back from Uyuni. It wasn’t easy – that’s for sure! Our train that was supposed to leave at 1AM didn’t leave until 10AM the next morning. Not that I’m a haughty gringo that expects everything to be on time, but we all boarded the train at midnight and expected to be woken up by the lurch of it starting up… CONTINUE READING

-Post 4: ¡Carnaval! Party! Parasite! Purloined!

Carnaval in Oruro is THE Place to be for the beginning of Lent in Bolivia. After we finished our volunteer projects, we went with 50 others from Sustainable Bolivia to the gem of Bolivia. Oruro is a beat up town of 400,000 people that hosts another 200,000 or so for 22 hours straight of dancing and drinking…CONTINUE READING

-Post 5: La Paz Again: The Low Point of our Journey

After getting robbed in Carnaval, after exposing an infection on my face to booze, cold, crowds, and open air at Carnaval, after having the time of my life at Carnaval, the repercussions of our blended fortunes fell heavily upon us…CONTINUE READING

-Post 6: Our Inglorious Return from the Trip of a Lifetime:

My sister and brother-in-law picked us up from the airport. As we walked up to them at the luggage return, wearing our alpaca sweaters, the worn jeans that had been our daily pair for the journey, and me with a large hat and a large bandage on my face, Kyle turned to Shalynn and said, “Well its good we recognize you because he looks like a crazy man!” CONTINUE READING

-Post 7: Medical Mud on the Tracks: Finding a Nickname for a Flesh Eating Parasite

By the time I got home to Oregon it was obvious that the injections I got in Bolivia were not winning the battle. I met with my travel doctor and brought the drugs I got from Bolivia: the bactrum pills I got at a pharmacy and the 4derm ointment and prescriptions for the injection from the doctor in La Paz. Soon I realized I would have to force action to get this thing taken care of…CONTINUE READING

-Post 8: Leishmaniasis: Inception

After struggling with an open wound on my face for nearly three months, I found out that I had a flesh-eating parasite called Leishmaniasis. I had visited several doctors, contemplated empty theories, had chunks ripped off of my face in biopsies, and in the face of the growing realization of the situation I was in, I was actually relieved to learn I had Leishmaniasis…CONTINUE READING

-Post 9: Leishmaniasis: an unpleasant guest.

Development of a parasite (and all those gross pictures you’ve been waiting for).

Leishmaniasis is a flesh-eating parasite common in tropical areas all around the world. It is a protozoa that lives within sand flies, which are one-third of the size of mosquitoes and very hard to trace. The protozoa enters the skin when a sand fly carrying the parasite bites a warm-blooded animal. The white blood cells attack the foreign body but then are not defeated…CONTINUE READING

-Post 10:  Parasite Treatment with Ambisome

In order to treat my Leishmaniasis Brazilienses parasite, I had to begin a 21 day, daily, infusion of a toxic anti-protozoal anti-fungal medicine called Ambisome. The day after I got the official results from the CDC I went in to the hospital to get a PICC line inserted into my arm so I could get the medicine pumped into my body and rapidly diffused by my heart…CONTINUE READING

-Post 11: Becoming the face of leishmaniasis

On a grumpy day in May, 2011 Shalynn began clicking around on the Animal Planet website. A friend had told her that I should submit my story to the show “Monsters Inside Me.” I didn’t think it was that funny, having a tennis ball of oozing scab stuck to my face and a scrape down my throat caused by the monster inside me at the time. But Shay took the initiative and sent a testimony to the generic comments form on the Discovery website… CONTINUE READING


As a photographer, I consider it a distinct honor and a joyful pleasure to be able to share, encourage, capture, and share again, such moments of pure love and celebration.