Monday, December 5, 2016

Bush + Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah, 2016


While my trip to Lebanon had to be cancelled in order for me to be in Utah, it has turned into a fortunate series of visits to the national parks. This image is from my recent trip to Arches National Park, a space that looked like it was designed by the most divine of landscape artists.

Sheer, red cliffs rise from the earth, the most delicate of arches form windows for us to see what is on the other side. The colors are as vibrant as any oil masterpiece, and even more so. The air is clean and fresh, giving me more energy to continue on the trails.

Three days were spent walking around the park, and I was unable to find a single piece of trash anywhere, a single tiny piece of paper. The place left me speechless and I look forward to this weekend's trip to the venerable Zion National Park!



Note: Image made with a Sony RX100M3.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Monument Valley National Park, Border of Arizona + Utah, 2016


This was the view three hours ago as we looked for the perfect spot to photograph the valley for sunset. Earlier in the day I met a fellow photographer and we ended up spending the entire day together, making my time in the park that much more enjoyable. 

We talked shop of course, and shared stories regarding our work. We spent two hours at this very spot, taking it all in and waiting for the shadows to start walking further and further on the floor of the valley. The space is truly humbling, incredibly spiritual.

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Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dancers + Friends, El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, California, 2016


A month or so ago it was my honor to photograph these two incredible dancers and friends at this timeless space. At first it was Cami who had responded to my casting call for dancers near Los Angeles, then Taylor graced us with her presence.

We met in the city and drove out to El Mirage for the afternoon. We were fortunate on that day, for earlier in the week the wind was out of control in the valley. When we arrived it was warm and just slightly windy. When the wind did pick up a little, they never complained and incorporated it into their movements. We exposed a few rolls per outfit, and moved the car from one location to the next in order to change the background as well.

Sometimes working with two people can present a challenge, but these two incredible spirits represented the highest of their art form in my humble opinion. They only needed a minute to discuss ideas, and presented incredible feelings frame after frame with very little time in between. This impressed me deeply then, and even more so now after seeing the results.

Watching them work together, and move from one expression to another was like sitting down for a performance. There were times when it was necessary to remind myself that my job was to document the performance, while still enjoying it. To have been granted the opportunity was both an honor and a privilege; and my hope is that the images are a testament to their physical talents and spiritual kindness.



Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sisters + Courtyard of School, Rajasthan, India, 2015


When my work began in this region a decade ago, it did so with little context. Regardless of the number of stories told to me by my Indian friends or those traveling before me, nothing could have prepared me for what was to come. While the general presentation was somewhat overwhelming, the learning was accomplished through the nuances. 

Then one day we were visiting this very spot thanks to the graces of Humana India when one of people from the foundation asked me to stop. It seemed that one of the girls wanted to tell us something. All gathered around us while this young student shared a snapshot of her life with us.

Paraphrased from my memory 10 years later, here is what she shared with us: "Before this school, I never cared about washing my hands, taking care of my skin and brushing my hair. Before this school I walked around this village without sandals, and never thought much about what will come. Since this school began, I think about my future, wash my hands and take care of myself every day. This is what this school means to me."

To see her standing here next to her younger sister makes me very proud of the work Humana India did in this village for so many years. She is an impressive, young woman now and has begun her own family. My hope is that her voice will be heard, and that her daughters in the near future will attend schools just as she was able to do.



Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M2.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Camille + Sky, El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, California, 2016


This past year was a truly remarkable one thanks in part to this exquisite dancer, and her incredible heart. She responded to my casting call for dancers this past October, and never let the communication go as we went back and forth. She was totally engaged in the concept, giving her 100% throughout the process.

Even before we met she shared the clothing options, all dark and timeless according to my preferences. With respect she asked for the company of a friend, a friend who turned out to be a dancer and as wonderful of a spirit. We met in Los Angeles in front of her apartment and headed out to El Mirage for the afternoon.

We were lucky on that day, for earlier in the week the wind was howling in the valley. When we arrived it was warm and just slightly windy. When the wind did pick up a little, they never complained and incorporated it into their vision. We exposed a few rolls per outfit, and moved the car from one location to the next in order to change the background as well.

Watching Camille move from one expression to another was like sitting down for a performance. There were times when it was necessary to remind myself that my job was to document the performance, while still enjoying it. To have been granted the opportunity was both an honor and a privilege; and my hope is that the images are a testament to her physical talents and spiritual kindness. 



Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180mm combination onto Ilford Delta 100 film.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Young Student, Panipat, Haryana, India, 2016


Three years after my initial visit to this region we were taken to this young girl's school, thanks to our hosts from my first visit. The years had helped form a bond between us, and they wanted to introduce us to a school in which they were involved. So one morning Nirvana Bodhisattva and I were introduced to this community,and its beautiful students.

For the sake of efficiency, Nirvana Bodhisattva and his team went about speaking with the teachers while I walked to each classroom making portraits of every single student. She was one of these students, and walked over near to the doorway to have her portrait made. She seemed calm while her friends had their portraits made, and became a little anxious when it was her turn to do so. She did however make the most beautiful portrait, and at the same time a deep impression on me.

While I am in love with the single image, there is so much that is missed with the single exposure: the way she sat while her friends had their portraits made, how she reacted when it was her time to stand up, and how her eyes moved in between shutter releases.

Her school will be the third one in this region to be presented for collaboration, and we hope that the success in our first two schools will inspire all of you to join us.


Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Anyel + Patricia, Guanabacoa, Cuba, 2016



Today was a long day in Salt Lake City, but a thoroughly rewarding one with a wonderful team doing its best for our patients. When I returned to my room, I was greeted by the best news: the film from this summer in Cuba is now ready for review!

So in light of this news two images are being shared from one morning with these two wonderful women. One has been a friend for a few years, while the other was brand new to our photography. They however worked perfectly together, one in front of the lens while the other changed in Alejandro's 1954 Chevrolet.

Our work in this small town made Alejandro quite the star, as we visited many times with different dancers and models. He took to his stardom quite well, always smiling and waving as we drove slowly down the streets.

For our session we were blessed with the stylings of Yudel R. Contreras Garcia, an incredibly gifted clothing designer living in La Habana, Cuba. This beautiful man gave us a selection of designs for our use, and allowed us to use his clothing on more than a few occasions. This is our second year of collaboration, and I look forward very much to next summer's inventions from his studio.


Note: These images were made with a Sony RX100M3. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Neighbor's Son, Village near Alwar, Rajasthan, 2016


This beautiful boy lives next to my dear friend in a small village just outside of Alwar, Rajasthan. He and his sisters' features immediately caught my attention when visiting my friend one afternoon, and we photographed them the very next day. There was something about these children, always smiling and smiling beautifully!

Their smiles exuded pure love and understanding. They watched as my interest increased as each one of them was photographed. They were naturals in front of the lens, and my friend Mukesh knew that they affected me deeply.

After we were finished with the portraits for the morning, we continued with the digital camera in the neighbor's courtyard. The children loved being photographed, and I loved photographing them. Every time we returned to their village, I remembered their names and this made them smile even more.

I cannot wait to see them in February, and to see this very smile on their angelic faces!


Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Boys Will Be Boys, Rural Kisumu, Kenya, 2007


Going through the negatives from almost ten years ago in Kenya has made me want to go back to the continent as well as print some of the negatives never printed. The scenes have a timeless feel to them, and they are complimented by the traditional school uniforms of the students. 

During my time in Kenya boys and girls were photographed equally, a departure from my work in Asia. The boys were wonderful, and had their own flavor to present. Some were serious, some were withdrawn and some were anything but either such as the young boy in between the two!

On this afternoon we visited a school deep in rural Kenya, and made photographs of the students under cloudy skies. We decided to make group photographs to see how individuals in small groups would react to each other. The results were all over the place, and all were wonderful to document.

Next year around this time will be my return to the continent, and this time perhaps to the southern half. 


Note: This image was made with a Nikon analog system.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Young Student + Field, Village near Kairana, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2016


Continuing the series from this region of India, this student's portrait is presented. Thanks to our generous hosts Imdadullah Nadvi Imdadullah Nadvi Imdadullah Nadvi and Munshad Ali Chauhan, we were able to spend a week in this troubled region of India and make portraits of the most exquisite children. 

This school happens to be the school in their village. These two brothers are now in a position to change the system of education in their region, as one is an Islamic leader while the other is the political leader. They both hope to make serious advances on behalf of their community, and especially the children.

Soon we hope this young girl will have access to a full education, in addition to her traditional training. Her portrait was made just behind the mosque, right before their classes began. Her expression is etched in my mind, and moves me to fulfill my end of the conversation from earlier this year.

The place is beyond my ability to describe adequately, and upon seeing it for the very first time I knew this was a place I needed to be. Next year when we do return we will return with a plan, and the funds to help that plan come to fruition. I can feel it in my bones, as real to me as her image is to all of you.



Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.