Posts Tagged ‘environmental’

Angel Island escapade

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
Ning jumping on Angel Island
Ning jumping at Angel Island
Ning portrait at Angel Island
Ning portrait at Angel Island
Ning portrait at Angel Island
Ning portrait on Angel Island

A couple of weekends ago, I boarded a sailboat headed to Angel Island with five models I’d never met before and a handful of other photographers. Once we docked at the island, the skipper who happens to be a Nikon shooter asked if I’d like to try out his lenses.

“Which one would you like to try?” he asked.

“Um, how about the 300mm,” I said.

“Really?” he asked.

I grinned and nodded.

The Nikon 300mm f2.8 lens is a tank. And also happens to be $5,000. He said okay and helped me put it on my D700. Then he made the mistake of turning around to peer back into his photo case. Before he turned back around to me; I had already scampered off the boat, off the dock, and onto Angel Island with one of the models by my side. I cradled the 8-lb. camera and lens with both arms like a newborn and we giggled like elementary school BFF’s. We made it to the shady side of the island past the picnic tables and went to work.

When we got back to the boat, one of the other photographers on board said that the skipper joked that since I disappeared I must have hopped on the ferry back to San Francisco with his lens. I wouldn’t do that! After returning the tank, he told me he never shoots that lens without a tripod. Too heavy. Heh. I guess all the early morning bootcamp workouts have been paying off because I handheld it for 130 shots.

Model: Ning Ma
MUA: Cindy Crabtree

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Friday, July 15th, 2011
Elyssa holds Raleigh in a blankie

Glamping = glamorous camping. Satisfying your craving for the outdoors and your penchant for a good meal, nice glass of wine, a comfortable bed, and (when you’re with me) an impromptu rockstar photo shoot.

Earlier this summer, over two dozen of my friends and I ventured out to Angels Camp in Frog County for the weekend. We stayed in cabins, had full electricity and wi-fi, took coin-free hot showers, and filled our bellies with some deliciously prepared meals.

Some of us went ziplining, one of us foraged for wild mushrooms, most of us enjoyed Starbucks in the morning and ice cream cones in the afternoon. Despite this, we totally roughed it: we got bitten by bugs, caught frogs, had a frightening encounter with a wild horse, let a toddler swallow (nearly) whole a bag of chewy bears, and went nose to nose with an emu. Oh yeah, we roughed it alright.

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Way to go, Elyssa!

Friday, July 1st, 2011
Junior Nationals volleyball star Elyssa

2011 USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championship Top Ten Team Player

Elyssa jumps with guitar and volleyball

Elyssa, pre-teen jumping wonder

Elyssa and her volleyball team just placed 6th at the 2011 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships after 9 games in 4 days in Atlanta. What an amazing ride! Congratulations!!!

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Week 51: I love the lightlife

Friday, December 24th, 2010
AM in the rain on Christmas Tree Lane


Every December for the past 60 years, 52 homeowners on Thompson Street in Alameda string thousands of lights and display other holiday decorations for Christmas. Every home on Christmas Tree Lane is aglow with lights and even the center median is decorated.

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Week 42: Just another anti-gravity moment

Friday, October 22nd, 2010
hammocking time lapse, upstate New York


Night 1 sleeping time: 3:30 am to 5:45 am

Night 2 sleeping time: 3:15 am to 5:45 am

Night 3 sleeping time: 2:45 am to 6:15 am

Mini time-lapse power snooze on Day 4: priceless.

Thank you, Eddie.

In other news, only 10 more weeks to go in my 52 Project and in 2010!

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Week 41: Fall into place

Friday, October 15th, 2010
Miguel Anaya at the Eddie Adams Workshop


It will be awhile before I fully process my experience at the 23rd Annual Eddie Adams Workshop. One thing I can say for sure is that I experienced magic at Eddie’s barn.

During a 1:30am portfolio review, an editor flipped to the 2nd page of my book and told me that she remembered seeing my jumping photos during the selection process over the summer when 1,500 photographers applied for 100 spots at the workshop. Her feeling back then was similar to mine: what was this person thinking? Doesn’t she know this is a photojournalism workshop?

I am so glad that doubt didn’t get in anyone’s way, and that I made it to upstate New York this past week. Yes, there were times when I felt like a fish out of water among all the documentary photographers, but it was one-sided. Everyone I met made me feel welcome. And inspiring presentations by Howard Schatz, Al Bello, and Henry Leutwyler showed me that this workshop is for photographers who love movement too.

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, I spent 11 hours with the superb Gray Team at an adult home for our team assignment “The Fall of Life.” I had picked a name out of a hat that indicated I would be following the Jeffersonville Adult Home’s eldest resident, a 94-year-old man who mostly stayed in bed. Could my assignment have been any more different than what I am used to shooting? No, and that’s the whole point of EAW: be pushed and challenged, get out of your comfort zone, fall, pick yourself back up, stretch, grow, see differently, see more.

It became clear early on that there was zero chance that I would get a shot for this week’s 52 Project while on assignment. With an average of 2.75 hours of sleep each night and days filled with presentations, shooting and editing, I accepted that I wouldn’t even have a chance to take pictures of the autumn foliage while I was there. Then on Monday, the last morning of the 4-day workshop, Miguel Anaya, a workshop participant and former dancer with Bill T. Jones, the White Oak Project and many other dance companies, approached me saying he had seen my portfolio from afar the night before and wanted to talk to me later. I asked why, and he said: Because I’m a dancer.

In a sea of photojournalists, a dancer looking for a photographer found a photographer looking for a dancer. Magic.

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Week 39: Something wicked this way comes

Friday, October 1st, 2010
Week 39: Something wicked


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Week 35: Peering over the pier

Friday, September 3rd, 2010


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Week 23: Adapt

Thursday, June 10th, 2010


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Week 22: Internalized

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
Conflict Internalized


Meet Dudley. He dances with the Printz Dance Project, RAWdance, and Janice Garrett and Dancers. We had a fun afternoon of shooting in the Presidio where a new installation called Presidio Habitats recently opened.

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