Caitlin's Harlaxton Blog

A past advanced photography student of mine has recently created a very exciting blog! Caitlin Seals Schwanke ('07) has been presented the opportunity to spend this spring semester of her college career in England.

Well, wow.

I am about to drop all the connections I’ve recently made here at Baker, leave my family, forgo my excessive wardrobe for a more travel-friendly one, and traipse off to some little village in England, near Grantham, (made known only by Sir Issac Newton and Margaret Thatcher) where I will, I am told, find an old manor house now converted to a college. I am, in theory, allowed to board here for a total of four months and attend fascinating classes in my field of interest, and then be whisked away to beautiful and exotic lands on any given weekend.

As I try to explain my trip to family and friends, I find myself repeating certain points over and over as I try to make this intangibly fabulous opportunity seem real to them and to myself. Four months of four-day-a-week classes and three-day weekends every weekend. Trips to Paris, Ireland, Oxford, Edinburgh, and Wales, not to mention the week in Italy at the semester’s close. Taking classes in Shakespeare and Arthurian legend in Britain. Living in a manor. (It makes me giggle just to say that.) Nothing could possibly get cooler than this.
-excerpt from Caitlin's first post, An Exceedingly Exciting Escapade to England

Caitlin writes exceptionally well and her blog is a joy to follow. AND, Caitlin is also documenting her travels with her camera and has several galleries sprinkled throughout her posts. So what are you waiting for? Click on over to Caitlin's Harlaxton Blog or start by viewing her images of England at Caitlin's Harlaxton Experience (In pictures!).

Caitlin also has a photography website: Caitlin Seals Schwanke Photography


Haiti from Above

On Tuesday, January 12th, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. There is still no accurate estimation of how many lost their lives. Some estimates have been as high as 500,000...the U.S. State Department has been told to expect "serious loss of life."

A photo blog titled The Frame has recently posted a series of aerial images showing areas around the capital taken by the American Red Cross and the Associated Press.

I have posted four below...to see the rest of these incredible photographs click this link -----> Haiti from Above @ The Frame.

Haitians set up impromtu tent cities on Jan. 13, throughout the capital after an earthquake measuring 7.0 rocked the Haitian capital on Jan. 12. Getty Images / United Nations / Logan Abassi

An aerial photo provided by The American Red Cross shows collapsed buildings in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince on Jan. 13. AP / American Red Cross

The Haitian national palace shows heavy damage after the earthquake. Getty Images / United Nations / Logan Abassi

An aerial photo provided by The American Red Cross shows the flattened cathedral in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince on Jan. 13. AP / American Red Cross


Mary Ellen Mattews

Originally from the New York area, Mary Ellen Matthews started her career working in film production and music publicity. In the early 1990s, she transitioned into entertainment photography when she joined the staff of Saturday Night Live.

For the past decade and a half, Mary Ellen has been a top entertainment portrait photographer, creating colorful, iconic images of every well-known personality of the age. Her work documents the uber-famous in myriad fields, from pop stars (Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson) to politicians (Al Gore, George Bush, John McCain), sports legends (Tom Brady, Derek Jeter) to rock gods (Mick Jagger, U2, Neil Young). Her experience includes film and television stills and publicity, advertising campaigns, celebrity weddings, and rock tours.

Since 1999, she has been the photographer for Saturday Night Live, where she has been responsible for creating (and recreating each season) the distinctive look of the show’s still images. Through creative and playful styling and a demeanor that puts her subjects at ease-as well as intense post-production work-she produces unique and recognizable portraits under the manic deadlines of live television.

Mary Ellen lives and works in New York City and East Hampton.


Documenting the Decade

I was in my office on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building preparing for an early meeting. The sound of the first plane was so loud that I looked up and watched as it hit the WTC. I took this photo shortly after the second plane hit. From my vantage point it was impossible to see or understand that a second airliner had hit the tower - all I saw, heard, felt was another explosion. - Matthew Jelacic (Sept. 11, 2001)

From the New York Time's Lens blog (http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com): When Times editors began brainstorming about ways to mark the end of the decade, it didn’t take us long to settle on a course of action: get readers involved.

In soliciting submissions for "Documenting the Decade" we asked you to send photos that helped illustrate what you considered important moments from the decade in news, politics, culture, entertainment, business, sports and technology. We also asked that the photos be accompanied by short personal essays that explained how they defined the decade.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the largest natural disaster in the U.S. with more than 1,836 lives lost. There were bloated, rotting, dead bodies left around for at least two weeks. No one seemed to feel it was their responsibility to pick them up and attempt to identify them. I couldn't help wonder, would this happen if we were San Francisco? Covering the tsunami in Sri Lanka made me sad. Katrina made me mad. - Alison Wright (Sept. 5, 2005)

In the end, we received 2,769 submissions and published 885 of them. As with all projects involving reader-generated content, we moderated the submissions, picking out the best and rejecting those that were poorly composed, irrelevant or, in a few cases, offensive — much the way that we handle reader comments. It’s admittedly a subjective and non-scientific process, but it’s intended to create a rewarding experience for our audience.

I've loved the duplicate digit dates of the decade, starting from the first day: 01-01-01. Although I never did anything in particular to celebrate these dates, apparently many brides made a point to be married on duplicate digit dates. 07-07-07 was a brilliantly sunny Saturday in Bath, England, and everywhere I turned there were newly married couples who had the foresight to reserve the lucky and memorable date for their wedding. - Lisa Fenger (July 7, 2007)

Lisa Iaboni, a senior producer at the Web site, who sifted through many submissions, said she expected to see images of heavily documented news events. But she said she was struck by how many pictures came in that showed “more intimate moments, and how these ‘quiet’ images represented what the decade meant. Some of my favorite images in the collection are more like observations, seemingly mundane moments where the reader points out a behavior or a juxtaposition,” she said. “The best of these images provide a window into how we conduct ourselves in our society, and how it might be unique to this decade.”

Election Night. A defining moment in history. A moment of great pride, hope and emotion. - Alana Cowen (Nov. 4, 2008)

To view the rest of readers' submissions ----> Documenting the Decade at newyorktimes.com.