When Personal Work Gets Published. Wayfarer Magazine Shares Leigh Beisch’s trip to Italy.

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I always enjoy seeing the personal work that a photographer in our group shares with the world.  While I of course love seeing anything they shoot, I particularly enjoy seeing what Leigh Beisch shares.  This is because she is a food photographer  so when she shares with us something other than food, it is a new insight into her vision.  Seeing the imagery from a recent trip to Italy, it was no surprise to learn that Wayfare Magazine had encouraged her to shoot for them while there. Here is what Leigh had to say about the trip and her imagery.

Here is what Leigh had to say about the trip and her imagery.

“I am excited to see some of my photos from my trip to Rome in the first printed issue of Wayfare Magazine. When I mentioned to a friend and colleague Peggy Wong that I was taking a trip to Rome, she told me that she wanted to see my photos when I returned and that she may want to include them in the first printed edition of Wayfare Magazine (a cool new travel mag that turns that category a bit on it’s head.)

What was nice about this request was that it wasn’t really an assignment. She wanted to see the photos that I would take for myself, she was especially interested in seeing what I shot for my personal series of work entitled “Bodies of Land” which is comprised of out of focus landscapes, or in this case cityscapes.

I also played a lot with Instagram for this trip since I liked the format, the accessibility to capture things at any time and the tones that were rendered with some of the filters. I am usually not a big “effects” photographer, nor do I like a lot of retouching. I liken the filters to using different types of film or printer paper.  “

Here is the text that accompanies the images in the magazine:

Photographer Leigh Beisch, along with her husband, father, and ten-year-old daughter, forgo their annual trip to Cape Cod for something a little more mysterious. Here we get a light-filled glimpse into the beauty of a region teeming with old world intrigue.

“We decided to rent a small apartment in Trastevere, located on the outskirts of Rome and just south of Vatican City. We booked the apartment for two weeks so we could spend one week as tourists and the next week as locals. While Rome is where scale and extraordinary monuments are on display at every turn, the color and texture of this neighborhood are what captured our hearts. Here we felt like we could experience art, not just see it. The building of our tiny rented apartment had the most amazing rustic front door that was designed to keep out invaders during the medieval period. There was also a stone staircase that was so worn with age that I could imagine a young slave girl carrying water up them thousands of years ago. Staying here instead of a hotel allowed us to let the language of the place—the people, the light, the smells—to seep in and shape our experience. The family and I enjoyed being part of the neighborhood’s everyday routines, sampling from the well-visited osterias and trattorias; shopping at the local designer clothing boutiques; and enjoying the famous Sunday flea market, Porta Portese. One place we frequented was local trattoria La Scala, where my daughter would order her favorite dish of spaghetti con burro e parmigiano, a simple dish of pasta with butter and parmigiano. One of my favorite dishes here was the tagliolini cacio e pepe con fioridi zucca e pachino, a pasta with a beautiful squash blossom layered on top, then sprinkled with parmesan and ground pepper.”

SEE. I spent some time shooting for my personal work  entitled “Bodies of Land,” which is a series of abstract  landscapes that are out of focus with the subject matter being light and color. This allows me to create a more timeless landscape that captures the imagination.

EAT. My father and I woke up early a few mornings to photograph. Before we headed out, we stopped at the local Bar for morning cappuccinos and jam filled pastries. I loved the colorful trays here

Our first morning in Rome, we headed to the Piazza di Santa Maria, where we found a beautiful fountain guarding the entrance to the Basilica of Our Lady, or Basilica di Santa Maria, one of the most ancient churches in Rome. So ancient, in fact, that it’s one of the few churches where you can see Christ depicted as a living prophet, rather than on the cross. It was here that I noticed the light streaming in through the clerestory, illuminating select statues and giving the sense of divine light. This light shaped my experience in Rome, becoming my subject matter and focal point of the trip. The photo of the portal looking out onto the wall with a row of dotted trees was at the entrance to Hadrian’s Villa, a Roman Emperor of the 2nd century AD. The wall pictured here was built to be just one mile long, which was the length of the palace and, according to our guide, the distance that the Emperor’s physician had advised him to walk every day. The morning light of this photo gives us a glimpse into what one of the Emperor’s walks might have been like. From the cobblestone streets and terracotta and maize buildings cast in deep wine hues to street windows dotted with laundry lines, Rome was richer than I had ever imagined. I loved the color of the place, and the way the light would fill ancient crevices to reveal some things and hide others. It felt as though this light held the secrets of Rome.”

To see more of Leigh’s work, please link here.

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“To be really good at photography you have to be obsessed with it.” Andy Anderson

© Andy Anderson - wwww.andyandersonphoto.com

Just last week, Greg Bennett, Creative Director at WORKtoDATE  featured Andy Anderson their blog.  He republished part of the interview that Anne Telford wrote about Andy for a  Communication Arts feature story.  It struck me as I read it that Andy’s passion for photography is as timeless as his imagery.

Thank you Greg for sharing Andy’s work and vision.  To see the images featured and read the article, link here.

24 hours with a few 24 year olds in Argentina is all it takes for Richard Schultz to stay in the moment.

© Richard Schultz - http://www.rschultz.com

There are a series of images that Richard Schultz took on a trip to Argentina that I consider some of my favorites.  The people in the photographs are young and hip and clearly not American.  There is something compelling about the images that made me want to know more about the story.

When I asked Richard what was behind the images and what the photos meant to him, here is what he had to say:

 “The images are personal shots from a night…and morning…spent with some 24 year old friends in Argentina;  where the outdoor discos don’t even open until 1am.  While I was here, I was reminded that shooting keeps me in the moment.  Even though I’m old enough to be their father, at 43 thankfully I’m not… But, once I start shooting, any sense of tiredness or distraction or age difference totally disappears and I get caught up in the moment. To the chagrin of my assistants, I can do this for days.   For me, photographing is re-energizing and it always amazes me that energy is so totally based on engagement.

 Now, I like to party, but it’s just been a while since I’ve been dancing at 8am with a champagne bottle in one hand and a camera in the other.   But every once in a while it’s fun to let loose.  I want to have something to look back on and smile about when I’m 86 and cruising around in my PowerScooter.

 The best part of any of this is always the gift that people give me, the access into their lives and having them feel comfortable enough to forget about the camera, that’s the gift.

To me it’s like candy.”

To see more of Richard’s candy, link here.

 

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Life Support Japan -a cause that has tremendous meaning for Kevin Twomey.

Kevin Twomey recently went to Japan to visit his in-laws.  He returned with a varied collection of striking new work that was very different than what I was used to seeing him shoot.  I thought the images were incredible and wondered about the story behind them.  I asked Kevin to write a blog entry about it.  He did and it was ready to go when the earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11.

He immediately asked to re-write his original post.  Here is what he had to say.

“My love for Japan started 16 years ago when I was visiting my college roommate’s family in Tokyo.

I remember that my first impression of Tokyo was overwhelming.  The language, the constant flow of people, the new smells, the neon lights.  It was all very unfamiliar to me.  I would wander around the city with no apparent plan while I tried to make sense of it all.  Invariably I would find myself drawn to the trains.  They felt familiar.

Japan is a train-spotter’s paradise. The Japanese take great pride in these bullets  of efficiency, and with good reason: they run fast,  surprisingly smooth and on-time.  I grew up riding regular trains and knew that even though these Bullet trains were technologically superior and more sophisticated, they had the same power and determination of the trains I grew up riding.

With my map in hand and a confused look on my face, I hopped on and let the train decide where we were to explore next.  I was immediately comforted  by how determined the train was as it snaked from one stop to the next, never deterring from its plan; much like the commuters who shared the train with me.

There is a word in Japanese, “Shoganai” which in its simplest translation means “such is life.” I find that it goes deeper in the Japanese culture and that the people embrace this word wholeheartedly.  I started to understand this while riding on that train.  As I looked around at everyone packed in like sardines I compared it to my experience on the NYC subways.  Yet here, there were no complaints, no fighting for personal space.  There was an acceptance of the situation.

As we traveled further away from the city, all of a sudden I wasn’t overwhelmed by the strangeness of the land.  From inside the train I began to appreciate the varied landscapes of the country and notice the kindness on the faces of the people.  I wanted to know more about this magical place.

And so began my love affair with Japan.

I have been back many times and each time my experiences are varied and each time I learn so much more.  I am fortunate to have married a woman whose family still lives in Japan so now when I go back to visit I get a stronger sense of the culture.  They have shared with me their deep sense of tradition and for that I am so grateful.

On my most recent trip this past February, with my camera in hand, I found myself once again drawn to the trains.  I stood at a railroad crossing and waited for the express train that runs between Tokyo and Narita airport to feel the excitement of the trains as they passed.   I watched the flow of people in the stations as they moved on to their next destination and was drawn to the swiftness of how they went about their business.   Eventually, I of course hopped aboard.

I was enamored with the energy of the day and took photos from the platform, the side of the tracks and inside the speeding train.   I captured those elusive elements that turn an ordinary commute into something dynamic;  the  passing landscape, reflections moving across windows and the kinetic energy  of the oncoming train on an adjacent track.

How could I have known that in just a few short weeks the lives of those travelers would be forever changed by a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami?  How could I have known that the places I visited would be completely devastated?  What I saw on the news conflicted with the memories of our trip that were still fresh in our minds. I felt helpless.

I immediately wanted to reach out and repay some of the kindness that the people of Japan showed to me.  A friend let me know about Life Support Japan and I knew this was a very relevant and immediate way that I could help.  It was obvious to me which images I would donate.

I am grateful that my wife’s family has survived and that we are able to communicate with them.  I am heartbroken by the stories we hear from them and the ones we see on the news.  I wonder what is next for the people of Japan.

I find comfort in knowing that just as the trains were determined and steadfast in their purpose, so are the Japanese people.  I am confident that the energy I felt when I photographed them will never leave and the people of Japan will survive.  I am looking forward to a time when I can return and witness this for myself.

Please do link to Life Support Japan and find a meaningful photograph to purchase (or even donate).  Your generosity will go a long way to supporting a country very much in need of our help.”