Fun with lighting

I'm home for the holidays and catching up on my blog. I've been learning a lot about lighting this semester from Greg Heisler who is a new professor at Newhouse. He is a master of light, an incredible teacher and an inspiring mentor. This is my favorite portrait I've made so far:

    Marcus Stanley  as Dionysus. 

 

Marcus Stanley as Dionysus. 

The studio is such a fun place to explore, play and create. It's been a fun challenge creating a canvas with interesting light rather than finding it in the world. While I still see my work continuing in a photojournalistic tradition, don't be surprised if you see me in a studio more often.

Sneak Peek from my Summer in Nashville

I know, I know. I was supposed to be doing this blog thing in earnest. Instead, it's been four months since I've said a damn thing.  All I will say is that grad school is a time suck. A worthwhile, incredible time suck, but a time suck all the same. However, today I am very excited to share a small snippet of my summer adventures! 

As some of you know, I spent six weeks of my summer photographing Bells Bend, a rural community northwest of downtown Nashville. It is an incredible place that has fought off development for more than a generation and has embraced a group of young, organic farmers that have moved to the area over the past six years. It is one of the last rural neighborhoods directly outside Nashville, a city that is rapidly growing and changing. "The Bend" is not only special for its pastoral beauty, but for the community of people, young and old, that have bonded over their love of their neighborhood.

This is only a small introduction to this wonderful place that I had, and continue to have, the privilege to document. I've already been back once this Fall and will be flying back in a couple of weeks for a Bells Bend wedding! I'm working on a lot of exciting manifestations of this project and will try to update as often as I can.

Thanks to my dear friend, the incredibly talented photo editor, Erika Colbertaldo, for this beautiful edit.  And if any of you happen to find yourselves in Nashville before the harvest is over, head to a local farmers market and buy some produce from Bells Bend Farm, Six Boots Growers Collective and Old School Farm or some flowers from Humble Flowers.

Click on the image below to head over to the gallery:


Pete of Six Boots Growers Collective.

Pete of Six Boots Growers Collective.


Adventures in San Diego

I know I haven't done a "Hello World!" blog post yet, introducing myself and my work and whatnot. But life isn't a straight line. It takes twists and turns and sometimes evens veers off into a ditch. So I'm going to do this a bit out of order and just jump into the present.

It's been a whirlwind of a month. I may have finished my second semester of grad school four weeks ago, but I have been even busier on summer break than I was in school!

My most recent adventure was a trip to San Diego for a family wedding. Many of the members of Clan Nathan in attendance I met for the first time that night. There were even a few cousins I didn't know existed!  It was wonderful to learn more about my own personal history and see where I come from. And yes, my Jewish side of the family lives up to the stereotype; lots of doctors and lawyers and a whole lotta love.

This was the first time I got to meet my Great Aunt Mildred. Every year for my birthday and for Hannukah, I always got a card from Aunt Mildred. At 96, this women is glamorous and I told her as much when I met her. Her response was, "Honey, the word is gorgeous !" Did I mention that she's also spunky?

My Great Aunt Mildred.

My Great Aunt Mildred.

After the wedding, I spent two days exploring San Diego. Traveling solo has become one of my favorite things to do. It started when I was studying abroad in college and it stuck with me as I continued my career as a photojournalist. I never saw myself traveling solo, but I find it so peaceful. It's a great way to clear one's head, gain some perspective and go at your own pace. I find that you always meet the best people when you're traveling by yourself and end up in places you never thought you'd go.

This is Ivania, known as Panda in her family. "She looks Chinese!," her mother Marcella said to me. "But she's just plain Mexican!" Ivania and her family were hunting for crabs and waiting for sunset at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.

This is Ivania, known as Panda in her family. "She looks Chinese!," her mother Marcella said to me. "But she's just plain Mexican!" Ivania and her family were hunting for crabs and waiting for sunset at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.

Lifeguard Stand, Ocean Beach San Diego

Lifeguard Stand, Ocean Beach San Diego

Submerged hippo at the San Diego Zoo.

Submerged hippo at the San Diego Zoo.

Lilia, a waitress at Veg-n-Out restaurant in San Diego.

Lilia, a waitress at Veg-n-Out restaurant in San Diego.

 

 

 

Naptime

Just wanted to share this photograph I made today of Lydia and her daughter, Lydianyz taking a nap.

I've been spending time with Lydia and her family this semester working a story about teen mothers in Syracuse.  I'm always humbled and amazed when I am able to witness these small, intimate moments.

Nothing better than an afternoon nap on a cloudy Sunday.

naptime.jpg

Mongolian Eagle Huntress

Saw this article on BBC News and just had to share. 

Israeli photographer Asher Svidensky shot this beautiful story on Ashol-Pan, a 13-year old Kazakh girl learning the skill of falconry in Western Mongolia.  The BBC reports that approximately 400 falconers in this region working with golden eagles. Ashol-Pan is the daughter of a prominent hunter in the region and may very well be the only female practitioner in a field that is taught to young boys. 

I love this story. First, it's beautifully shot and shows the stark beauty and wildness of western Mongolia. Second, it's a story about a little girl learning that she can be anything she want to be. And what better lesson to teach to young girls today than that?