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kids!

 i've been photographing in studios more. i like having a little more control than i usua;;y have when on locattion. seeing more, so to speak, without distractions. while i am best known for working with daylight i have an extensive background working with lights from my assisting days. i guess it's a good thing i assisted everyone from fashion to still life to travel photographers way back when! i'm still working my way through it and having a great time playing. here are a few that i quite like so far.

i've been photographing in studios more. i like having a little more control than i usua;;y have when on locattion. seeing more, so to speak, without distractions. while i am best known for working with daylight i have an extensive background working with lights from my assisting days. i guess it's a good thing i assisted everyone from fashion to still life to travel photographers way back when! i'm still working my way through it and having a great time playing. here are a few that i quite like so far.

beavers

i went camping this weekend to clarence fahnestock state park in cold springs, ny. the weather forecast called for 90% overnight showers but since the kids had been looking forward to it for so long we decided to just go ahead and do it anyway. it was only our first time camping as a family so why not do it in the pouring rain? i had purchased a cheap tent from kmart a year or two ago, it'd never been used outside of my kids bedroom and i worried about getting soaked during the evening rainstorm. we fared well and stayed dry, despite all of my worries (i actually had a stress dream that my husband and i got up in the middle of the storm to put a layer of plastic drop cloth between the tent and the fly). better than our neighbors anyway, some of  whom i noticed ended up sleeping in their cars. if you ever end up at this park i strongly suggest campsite 36. it close to the bathrooms (but not too close), feels more situated in nature than the others, has a great view of the pond from above, and a soft, flat footprint to set up your tent. the best part of the trip was the short hike we took around pelton pond. on it's southern end i discovered several curiously cut tree stumps which i surmised must have been the work of beavers. i had never seen beaver gnawed trees before and i found them novel and beautiful. and a little creepy. the huge chunks of wood shavings besides the tree trunks made me realize how big and strong beaver teeth and jaws were. for a second i worried about killer beavers wandering into our camp in the night.

the chew marks and bites, on the stumps and trees were so precisely placed. it was fascinating to see their handiwork.

beaver stumps at pelton pond
beaver stumps at pelton pond
beaver gnawed tree
beaver gnawed tree

ode to anne

anne rosenthal is a most gifted artist and teacher. she teaches art to kindergartners through 6th graders at my children's public school. i always marvel at what she is able to draw out of her students. one of my favorite projects is the shrunken apple head dolls she works on with her 4th graders. she asked me to photograph some of them and i had more fun than i thought possible. we turned a cardboard box into a set and draped it with some scrap fabric. i had a sudden irving penn inspiration and shot a lot of them into the corner. i never played with dolls as a child but i had more than a little fun coming up with scenarios for these wonderful characters. the apple heads have a shriveled grotesque quality which the children were encourage to embrace. i love this man in black, like a brother of The Wall from the game of thrones. and the rich old lady with the fluffy white dog! that is real mink she is has draped on her shoulders, an old coat someone gifted to anne that she lets the kids cut up for their artwork. i love all the details the kids added,  giving us some insight into how a child's mind works and thinks.  the gypsy not only has a crystal ball and tarot cards, she also has a baby she stole (it's blond while she has black hair) becasue in a kids mind gypsies are like that.

the quality i find most remarkable about anne is how she continues to be inspired by the kids. i've heard her rhapsodize about a 2nd grader's tempera painting and quality of blue they mixed for the water. she has clever rules like never using black, the children have to make black by mixing the primary colors, which results in a gorgeous array of greys and darks of any tones and hues instead of one dimensional, flat blacks.

this a public thank you to a dedicated and talented teacher and artist. we feel incredibly lucky!