Multimedia Journalist Susan Seubert for Smithsonian

A while back, I photographed a story about Haleakala, the volcano located on the island of Maui.  This is a very popular tourist destination where people go to watch the sun rise or go for a hike in the gorgeous volcanic crater.  It is also a sacred place for the native Hawaiian people. I had the good fortune of not only landing the story on the cover of Smithsonian, I also gathered video and audio for a multimedia piece that was subsequently edited by the team at Smithsonian Magazine and published on their web site.  There is now an HD version of the final piece to my web site as well as my Vimeo channel.  I’m very proud of this piece as it was extremely difficult to produce.  I gathered all of the sound in the field. I shot the video footage at the same time I was shooting stills.  It was not an easy task, but I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do so for such an amazing publication.

 

Aloha and mahalo nui loa for visiting my blog!

Photographer Susan Seubert with National Geographic Expeditions in the Kimberley, Australia

The National Geographic Orion anchored at Prince Frederick Harbour, The Kimberley, Western Australia

The National Geographic Orion anchored at Prince Frederick Harbour, The Kimberley, Western Australia

I recently returned from a month spent in the Kimberley region of Western Australia working on board the National Geographic Orion as the photography representative for the National Geographic Society. This expedition is part of a larger program that National Geographic developed by partnering with Lindblad Expeditions to provide unique travel experiences for the adventuresome. I worked along side biologists, zoologists and geologists who illuminated the journey with their expertise. My contribution was pictures – documenting the trip every day and sharing these images with my fellow travelers. I also taught people how to make great pictures under sometimes challenging conditions.

The Kimberley is one of nine regions of Western Australia. It is in the northern part of the continent and is bordered by the Indian Ocean, the Timor Sea, and two Deserts: the Great Sandy and Tanami. The eastern border is Australia’s Northern Territory.

Because we were exploring by ship, most of our shore excursions involved landing by zodiac. This rugged area is sparsely populated, so there was rarely another soul in sight. The Kimberley embodies the true spirit of the Australian outback where one can observe saltwater crocodiles, dugongs, sharks and sea snakes in the wild. On land, furry animals are rare, but we were lucky enough to see a rock wallaby while exploring the Ord River. The Kimberley supports myriad species of birds, which made the trip that much more exciting.

A gray reef egret takes flight. Prince Fredrick Harbor, Mitchell River National Park, Kimberly Coast, Australia

A gray reef egret takes flight. Prince Fredrick Harbor, Mitchell River National Park, The Kimberley, Australia

At King George Falls, I was part of the expedition team leading a group hike up a 17-degree incline to the top of the falls. Because of the lack of rain during the wet season, there was no water at the top, but the view was worth the hot scramble up the rocky trail. Our group climbed without incident so we were able to have a good amount of time to explore the scrub-land that would be otherwise inaccessible during the wet season.

Me, at the top of twin falls. King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia. Photo by Adam Cropp

Me, at the top of twin falls. King George River, The Kimberley, Australia. Photo by Adam Cropp

Below is a selection of images from my adventures on board the Orion in The Kimberley. I hope you enjoy them! You can see all of the images from the Kimberley adventure by clicking here.

Our technical stop at Timor Leste, where the local children sold textiles to us tourists on the pier.

Our technical stop at Timor Leste, where the local children sold textiles on the pier.

Vansittart Bay, Kimberley Coast, Australia

Hugging a Boab tree for good luck at Vansittart Bay, The Kimberley, Australia.  Photo by Cristiana Damiano

Man tasting ascorbic acid defensive spray from green weaver ants in the Kimberley, Vansittart Bay, Australia

Photographer and Naturalist David Cothran tasting ascorbic acid defensive spray from green weaver ants in the Kimberley, Vansittart Bay, Australia

B-24 Liberator plane crash site at Vansittart Bay, Kimberley Coast, Australia

C-53 plane crash site at Vansittart Bay, The Kimberley, Australia

Termite mounds, Vansittart Bay, Kimberley Coast, Australia

Termite mounds, Vansittart Bay, The Kimberley, Australia

A traditional owner explains the Wandjina Rock art at Ngumbri, Raft Point, Kimberly Coast, Australia

A traditional owner explains the Wandjina Rock art at Ngumbri, (Raft Point), The Kimberley, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

The amazing sandstone formations at the King George River, The Kimberley, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

Climbing up to the top of the waterfalls at King George River, The Kimberley, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

King George River, The Kimberley, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

A darter on the King George River, The Kimberley, Australia

Naturalist Anthony Capogreco checks underwater for jellies and crocodiles at Crocodile Creek, The Kimberley, Western Australia

Naturalist Anthony Capogreco checks underwater for jellies and crocodiles at Crocodile Creek, The Kimberley, Australia

Kimberly Coast, Australia, Mitchell River National Park

A venomous sea snake with a fish in its mouth swimming towards us at the mouth of the Hunter River, The Kimberley, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

A basking saltwater crocodile, King George River, The Kimberley, Australia

Gwion Gwion, or Bradshaw Rock Art, dated to be perhaps 50,000 years old, at Jar Island, Kimberly Coast, Australia

Gwion Gwion, or Bradshaw Rock Art, estimated to be 50,000 years old, at Jar Island, The Kimberley, Australia

Sunset sail away from Slug Island

Sunset sail away from Slug Island, The Kimberley, Australia

Unless otherwise indicated, all of these images are copyright © Susan Seubert and may not be used in any form without express permission from Susan Seubert.  Thank you for respecting the images. :-)

How to Prepare for Photographic Travel, with Susan Seubert

I was invited by B&H to be a guest writer to address the topic of how to prepare for travel assignments, and what equipment I brings with me.

You can check out the full post here:

How to Prepare for Photographic Travel, with Susan Seubert

 

Two girls skipping stones at the edge of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana

Two girls skipping stones at the edge of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana

 

Thank you for visiting my blog!  I hope you find the article useful.

Susan Seubert Photographer: Learning by Observing

Four American Robin Chicks in their nest outside our kitchen window

Four American Robin Chicks in their nest outside our kitchen window

For the first time, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to watch a robin build a nest, incubate eggs and have a successful hatch just outside of our kitchen window.  The American Robin is one of the most common birds found in urban settings and will often nest near, or on, homes throughout North America.  I’ve learned a lot about the behavior of Turdus migratorius by observing, and photographing, them almost daily since the babies hatched around the beginning of this month.

American Robin, nesting in a camellia bush in Portland, Oregon with 4 chicks

American Robin, nesting in a camellia bush in Portland, Oregon feeding her chicks blueberries

I read that the the incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days, which was spot on for this mother of 4.  Now we are eagerly waiting for the babies to fledge, as it appears that they are very crowded in their nest and their wing feathers look like they are well developed.

With so many chicks in one tiny nest, I wondered how the nest stays so clean.  It turns out that in addition to feeding the babies worms and berries, the robin also “changes the babies’ diapers” by removing the waste directly from the bottoms of the chicks.  This may not be the most appetizing topic, but I was amazed at how efficient the bird is at keeping house.  Below are some photos from the last week.  I built a “blind” in the kitchen in order to keep our peering eyes mostly hidden so as not to disturb the nestlings.  There was plenty of glare which the blind reduced, but it was still challenging photographing through dirty glass.  All of these pictures were made with the Canon 7D Mark II which has a beautiful sensor and a fabulous frame rate, which is what allowed me to capture such a fast and intimate moment.  The RAW files were processed using Adobe Lightroom.

The Kitchen Window Blind: Baby Robins in their nest in a Camellia bush

The Kitchen Window Blind: Robin chicks in their nest in a Camellia bush

It has been an illuminating experience to watch how quickly these cute little birds grow and I will certainly miss them when they leave the nest.

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

 

Update on June 13, 2015

This morning, three out of the four nestlings fledged!  There is still one in the nest and it looks very ready to leave.  It’s preening and standing up to stretch its legs.  What a wonderful experience this has been.

Update on June 13, 2015

The last robin fledged this evening.  Sniff.

The last to fledge

The last to fledge

 

Susan Seubert’s Fine Art Exhibit, “The Fallacy of Hindsight”

"Entwined", 50x40", Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plat Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

“Entwined”, 50×40″, Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plate Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

April 2015 is “Photo Month” in Portland and to celebrate I’ve mounted an exhibition at the Froelick Gallery entitled, “The Fallacy of Hindsight.”

You can read a review of the show by David Stabler here.

“Looking back, all of us could have made different choices that would have affected our lives today. A job taken or not. A relationship pursued or not. A relocation at a pivotal moment. Susan Seubert’s small, evocative photographs at Froelick Gallery spring from her past, documenting choices she made over the past 25 years.”

The work addresses notions of hindsight bias and memory. In conjunction with the Photolucida Events, I’ll be speaking at the gallery on April 25th at 11am.  The talk is free and open to the public and I hope to see many of you there!  The Froelick Gallery is located near the intersection of NW Davis and Broadway at 714 NW Davis in the DeSoto Building.

Following is the press release:

“In her solo exhibit, renowned photographer Susan Seubert will exhibit two distinct bodies of work on the subject of hindsight bias. 100 Memories, a series of 100 5″ x 5″ photographs recreating moments from the past 25 years of her life, alternating between literal depiction and emotional interpretation of events. Through these she examines her own choices and biases. The High Arctic is a series of photographs taken in June 2014 in the archipelago of Svalbard, where “the vast fields of broken ice sheets demonstrate global warming in the most literal of lamentable illustrations”. Entwined, a stand-alone work, shows its subject holding a large ball of twine which wraps around her face, conjuring feelings of being bound by one’s own thoughts while also possessing the means to control them.”

Here is a glimpse of the installation:

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert's show, "The Fallacy of Hindsight"

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert’s show, “The Fallacy of Hindsight”

 

 

 

Susan Seubert Speaking at the OPTIC Event in New York City, May 3rd and 4th

Please join me in New York City on May 3rd and 4th for the first annual OPTIC event!  This is a free, 3 day conference taking place in venues around B&H Photo in Manhattan.  OPTIC is sponsored by B&H and Lindblad/National Geographic Expeditions.  OPTIC stands for “Outdoor Photo/video Travel Imaging Conference.”  I’ll be there alongside some of my friends and colleagues: Dan Westergren, Ralph Lee Hopkins, Art Wolfe, Cristina Mittermeier, David Middleton and Bob Krist, and am also looking forward to making new friends.

I’ll be giving two lectures over the course of the three day event.  You can see a detailed list of times and venues here.

On May 3rd, I’ll be giving a presentation about how to build a travel story.  I have been a contributing features photographer to National Geographic Traveler for 11 years.  Drawing from that experience, I’ll offer tips on how to best cover a travel story through photography.  This lecture is designed for anyone, from the casual point-and-shoot photographer to the advanced amateur or pro.  I firmly believe that we can all learn from one another, so I hope to elucidate by sharing my experiences as a professional travel photographer.

On May 4th the title of my presentation is, “Food Photography to Catch the Local Flavor.” I’ll show how food can be a unique way to document a culture or enhance a travel experience.  From technical tips about how to make food look great to documenting traditional harvesting methods as a gateway to a larger cultural dialogue, I’ll share what I’ve learned to enhance your travel experience through your lens. Like the previous day’s topic on travel stories, this presentation is designed for anyone at any experience level who is interested in improving their images.

There are 19 speakers slated for this event and I encourage you to look at the web site and tailor your days based on your interests.  Also, B&H will be hosting a trade show and likely have some great deals on gear.  With this arrangement, you can immediately add to  your kit based on the advice from all of the speakers.  I know I’ll likely be doing some shopping!

Thank you for visiting my blog and see you in New York!

 

Commercial Photographer Susan Seubert Shooting in LA for Staples

We recently wrapped a few days of shooting, in sunny Los Angeles, for our client Staples. The campaign, promoting their Copy and Print products, will be released soon and we’ll share that here. Check back for those in a couple of weeks; in the meantime, here are some behind the scenes of our Hollywood adventures.  Written by my rep, Jenna Teeson. :-)

Like every great shoot, we kicked the week off with a toast.  We celebrated a long pre-production (shooting in Los Angeles requires approximately 85 steps in permitting) and finally have the bi-coastal team all together.

Like every great shoot, we kicked the week off with a toast. We celebrated a long pre-production (shooting in Los Angeles requires approximately 85 steps in permitting) and finally have the bi-coastal team all together.

Our prop stylist, Amy Lipnis, transformed a baby boutique into exactly what our creative director had envisioned.  The location, Caro Bambino was incredibly accommodating

Our prop stylist, Amy Lipnis, transformed a baby boutique into exactly what our creative director had envisioned. The location, Caro Bambino was incredibly accommodating

It was all hands on deck to prepare for day one of shooting.  Here I am, removing the logo on the store window.  Susan did the other window!

It was all hands on deck to prepare for day one of shooting. Here I am, removing the logo on the store window. Susan did the other window!

 

Our client and creative director reviewing files, on the fly.

Our client and creative director, reviewing files on the fly, during our shoot day in the Larchmont neighborhood. Thank you to Salt & Straw for being so wonderfully accommodating and for serving us the MOST delicious ice cream!

Our third location was on the Universal Studios Backlot.  We shot on the same street where Desperate Housewives was filmed.  I wonder how many selfies we all took? #wisterialane

Our third location was on the Universal Studios Backlot. We shot on the same street where Desperate Housewives was filmed. I wonder how many selfies we all took? #wisterialane

Here is Susan framing up one of our shots on "Wisteria Lane."

Here is Susan framing up one of our shots on “Wisteria Lane.”

Have camera, will travel.  Susan shot 5 different set-ups that afternoon!

Have camera, will travel. Susan shot 5 different set-ups that afternoon!

Happy client.  Smiles all around.

Happy client. Smiles all around.

Susan treated us to a celebratory toast at the end of day 3!

Susan treated us to a celebratory toast at the end of day 3!

Our wonderful team.  Thank you, Staples, for the opportunity and than you to our incredibly hard working crew.

Our wonderful team. Thank you, Staples, for the opportunity and thank you to our incredibly hard working crew.