English Riding

Every sport has its distinctive style—just has Western riders are known for cowboy boots, chaps, and denim, English riders have their own garb. Though the style is very formal when in the ring, I’m particularly interested by the array of patterns and colors hidden under collars and sleeves that are revealed when in the barn.

English Riding

Self-Portraits of a Sabbaticaler

I’m interested in how scientists are depicted in media. They seem to always be in one of two modes. Either smiling at the desk with a screen and board filled with data/equations:

Self-Portrait at Berkeley Lab

Or in the lab, with fancy apparatus and appropriate PPE. This may be real evidence of a sort of dichotomy in the lives of many working scientific professionals: some of the time is spent at a desk, doing the sort of email-answering/paperwork-submitting tasks that are common to many fields, but the rest of the time is spent in a more technical setting. I’d really like to see a broader view of how scientists spend their time. Could the whole breadth of the approach be captured in a single image, like some elaborate Baroque painting?


Bokeh City

That skyline is recognizable, even shrouded behind 200 mm f/2.8 bokeh. Though many people in the Berkeley Hills watched this scene, and though I wasn’t the only one with a camera, the unique light-twisting effect of bokeh means that I’m the only one who captured this pattern and this moment. My favorite details are the individual pieces of grass, bright and sharp against the softness of the Emeryville background.

Bokeh City

Riders of All Ages

Though most sports have an age of peak ability, English riding seems to be wide open to riders of all ages (though the cost of riding horses can remain a separate barrier.) Today, I wanted to look back at some of my portraits from past horse shows. First, a shot of young Hanna Rose Egan at the 2014 Kentucky Summer Classic.

The Young Competitor

I’ve heard that dogs and their people start to look similar, but I’ve never heard an equivalent edict for horses and their owners. Perhaps that should be reconsidered in light of this portrait from the 2014 Lake Placid show.


Double Exposures

As with my photograph of the Seattle Public Library, I’m exposing my inner hipster with these images. Double exposures had an element of serendipity and excitement when they originated from film cameras. I guess I’d call these more studies or experiments in how to bring together the landscape images I’ve enjoyed creating with the portraits I find myself taking for practical purposes: LinkedIn, passports, school webpages, etc.

Tower Inside

With these imagines, in particular, I’ve played with the idea of “stacking” the face and the main subject of the other image (be it lighthouse or galaxy NGC1275 overlay data from the Hubble Telescope).


Golden Wedding

St. Lawrence University’s Herring-Cole Grove (a.k.a. the “Enchanted Forest”) in autumn is flush with golden leaves that carpet the ground and frame the sky; this makes the perfect compliment to the Gunnison Memorial Chapel from which these two just exited. I can’t help but be grandiose when remembering a day like this one.

Golden Wedding


Waking up early on a cold morning can be tough, but riders never seem to have trouble getting up for a show. (Caffeine seems to help!) I loved the moment of calm and intimacy between horse and rider in this particular image, and the comfort it conveys.

The combination of chestnut horse and bright red Coke can also goes a long way to making the scarlet and brown St. Lawrence color scheme appealing.


Self-Portrait V

In the realm of landscape photography, I’m interested in the details and the gradients of the landscape, the way it stretches before the viewer and displays the gradient between dense urban environments and empty, person-less ones. In taking a self-portrait, I’m interested in the same types of details: the misting raindrops collecting on my hair and the herringbone pattern in my shirt and the field of stubble on my jaw, and the way these details of texture combine to make a collective picture of me. There, the dense information of my face tapers away to the less person-specific aspects of neck and shoulders that could belong to anyone.

Self-Portrait V

Ariadne Turns 1

If I may digress from stark images of winter landscapes or warm seaside expanses for a moment to something more personal: I recently attended a birthday party for my one-year-old niece. The extended family was overjoyed, and she was a bit overwhelmed. In the landscape of warm woods and deep shadows and Persian rugs, the sense of “home” was overpowering. This was a place that could exist at almost any point in the past 150 years, somewhere in New England.

Ariadne Turns One