Susan Seubert at the 2017 Venice Biennale: Virtual Tour

My show at the 2017 Venice Biennale opened last week and there was much rejoicing.  This is a true milestone in my career as an artist, so a group of us gathered, drank Prosecco and toasted to the beautiful city of Venice.  I’ll be heading back later this year to the Palazzo Bembo, where the show, “Personal Structures,” will be on display until November 26th.  If you are going to be in Venice, this 15th century building is about a block from the Rialto Bridge and admission is free. If you can’t make it, here is a 360 degree view of the installation of my work, from the, “Asphyxiation” series.  You can also look at the work on my web site here.

 

National Geographic Photographer Susan Seubert wins Gold at NATJA

National Geographic Photographer Susan Seubert wins Gold at NATJA

I was completely taken aback when my cell phone pinged, “Congrats @susanseubert winning #NATJA gold for your photos in ‘Saving Old Bangkok’ in the Aug/Sept 2014 @NatGeoTravel.”  The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) had held its annual competition for excellence in travel publishing and I was awarded gold in the category of Photo Essay.  Since I hadn’t entered, I had no idea I was even up for an award! I would like to thank my editors and the entire staff of National Geographic Traveler for giving me this fantastic assignment as well as congratulate the magazine for winning the grand prize for Travel Publications!  Go Team NGT!!!!

The opening spread for the award winning photo essay, "Saving Old Bangkok," for National Geographic Traveler Magazine

The opening spread for the award winning photo essay, “Saving Old Bangkok,” for National Geographic Traveler Magazine

National Geographic Traveler had assigned me to photograph a story about a small group of people in the old city of Bangkok who are actively working to preserve some of the remarkable wooden houses and other structures in the neighborhoods on Rattanakosin Island, on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River.  The project is being spearheaded by architect Worapan Klampaiboon, who has a small guesthouse on Samsen 5, the Samsen 5 Lodge.  I spent just over two weeks wandering the streets photographing the people, guesthouses, neighborhoods, markets and temples that are all located in this area.  One of my favorite places to explore was around one of the guesthouses, Baan Dinso.  Everywhere, daily life spilled on to the streets.  Being able to spend time walking through the narrow roads of these areas allowed me to experience what the architect saw: an architecturally important area that had fallen into disrepair but was still salvageable. I photographed a group of old wooden homes that had been transformed into an arts center by a kindly couple who happened to be friends with my translator. This ended up being one of the opening pictures along side an outdoor bathtub at a renovated guest house, the Old Bangkok InnYou can read the story here.  Thank you for visiting!

Monks during prayer at Wat Suthat Thepphawararam a royal temple of the first grade, one of ten such temples in Bangkok.

Monks during prayer at Wat Suthat Thepphawararam a royal temple of the first grade, one of ten such temples in Bangkok.

The neighborhood around the Bann Dinso Guesthouse

The neighborhood around the Bann Dinso Guesthouse

Wat Ratchanaddaram, a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Ratchanaddaram, a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand

Susan Seubert Photography’s Picture Chosen as one of National Geographic’s 30 Best Travel Pictures in 30 Years

Zed's surf school at Surfer's Point on the South Coast of Barbados

Zed’s surf school at Surfer’s Point on the South Coast of Barbados

This past November, National Geographic Traveler Magazine celebrated its 30th Anniversary. The magazine was launched in order to ” ‘inspire members [of the National Geographic Society] to go and experience [destinations],” complementing National Geographic, “which has taken its readers to places most of us will never reach.'” This is quoted from the editor’s note in the November 2014 edition, quoting National Geographic editor Gilbert M. Grosvenor‘s editor’s letter from the first magazine launch in 1984.

The issue celebrates how photography has played an important role in the magazine’s history with a segment called,”30 Years in Pictures, The Best Photographs From the Pages of Traveler Magazine,” and one of my images was included.  Keith Bellows wrote, “In this anniversary issue we celebrate our 30th year through the camera lens, offering a chronicle of changing times. Since 1984 we’ve shot more than 3.4 million photos and published some 36,000.”

Having an image chosen from that number must be what it feels like to win the lottery. 🙂

You can see the picture on my web site here or on National Geographic Traveler’s site here.

 

Susan Seubert Photography’s Image Chosen as One of the Best in 2014 by Dutch National Geographic Traveler

 

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, using a Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens on a 5D Mark III

A photograph from a story I shot about Idaho, Wyoming and Montana for the Dutch edition of National Geographic Traveler was recently named one of the top 6 images published by the magazine in 2014.  When I think of the thousands of images each photographer shoots and submits for each story, I feel humbled to have an image so honored.  I can only marvel at the editorial work needed to winnow so many images into just 6 for an entire year.

The image that was chosen is a picture of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, (shown above).  There are two Amish girls skipping stones on the lake. I remember this moment vividly. The editor and I had stopped for a break. I noticed a group of women and girls reading the interpretive signs next to the lake.  These women were so striking in their dresses and head coverings that I couldn’t resist making some images of them. The color of their clothing seemed to come out of the landscape itself, which had a very blue cast that afternoon.  I thought my timing was off as they were just leaving when I started to approach them, but luckily I had started to take pictures of the unfolding scene while on my way over to where they had gathered to admire the lake.  I had my regular, two camera set-up at the time: one 5D Mark III with a 70-200mm and a second 5D Mark III with a 24-105mm.  First, I began using a 200mm to photograph the women from the back, which made a very pretty picture.  However, I had gotten close enough to use a shorter lens when I noticed the girls skipping stones. Although I was only able to take a few frames before they darted off, I managed to get the shot. This experience was a nice reminder that it only takes one frame to capture a beautiful moment.

Two Amish women admiring the view of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana

Two Amish women admiring the view of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana, photographed using Canon’s 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM on a 5D Mark III

Justin Woodward named finalist for James Beard Award Rising Star Chef of the Year

Castagna Restaurant in Portland, Oregon not only happens to be in my hometown, it is also one of the finest restaurants at which I’ve had the pleasure of dining.  One of many things in life I’m grateful for is the fact that my husband loves to cook and has quite a talent for making everything: from dashi to demi-glace, pasta or seared duck breast with peppercorn infused, poached pears.  Because of this, it’s very difficult to find a restaurant that can out-do what my amazing partner in life creates in our humble home kitchen.  Castagna is the only restaurant we’ve been to together where when we sit down, we prepare for the question that always arises, “how did he do THAT?”  The food at Castagna is art and is often celebrated, (and criticized), for the same reasons.  However, there is one undeniable fact: you can’t eat like this anywhere else in Portland.  The food at Castagna has amazing attention given to not only the quality of the ingredients, but also the beauty of them.  The service is absolutely world class.  The desserts, like this chocolate dish, are some of the best I’ve ever encountered, thanks to the pastry chef,  Eve Kuttman. Although I love the food scene in Portland, I’ve always felt that Castagna is in a class of its own.  This year, the chef Justin Woodward is receiving the recognition from the James Beard Foundation in the form of a nomination for Rising Star Chef of the Year.  Congratulations Justin!  Thank you for all of your creativity, hard work and delicious, incredible food.

Executive Chef Justin Woodward of Castagna Restaurant. Nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation

Executive Chef Justin Woodward of Castagna Restaurant. Nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation

The dining room of Castagna Restaurant in Portland, Oregon

The dining room of Castagna Restaurant in Portland, Oregon

Castagna Restaurant

cherries, almond ice cream and birch

Castagna Restaurant

Cucumbers, salmon cured in cypress and yogurt

Susan Seubert in National Geographic Traveler’s Best Photos of 2012

Dan Westergren, the senior photo editor of National Geographic Traveler Magazine, has named his ten favorite images that were published in the magazine in 2012.  I am very proud to be included in this selection of photographs!  Last summer, I was assigned to photograph two of the ten Travelers of the Year for the magazine.  Both of the people happened to be in Honolulu, a quick, direct flight from my home town of Portland.  I shoot regularly in Hawaii because I’m based there for four months out of the year.  It was fun and challenging to try and create images that were not only interesting, but spoke to the identity of both nominees.  I blogged about the shoot in a previous post which you can read here.  Dan chose to select the image I made of Theron Humphrey while on assignment for the magazine for inclusion in the Ten Best Traveler Photos of 2012.  Thank you Dan and National Geographic Traveler for this outstanding honor!  You can see all ten pictures and Dan’s comments by clicking on the image below.

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Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert shoots Travelers of the Year for National Geographic Traveler

Earlier this year, I was sent on assignment by National Geographic Traveler Magazine to the island of Oahu.  Two out of the ten people who had been nominated for “Travelers of the Year” awards were in Hawaii – one as a visitor and another as a resident.  Travelers of the Year is NGT’s inaugural celebration of individuals who explore the world with passion and purpose.  I’m often already based in Hawaii,  but it’s such an easy flight to Honolulu from Portland that it was a natural fit.  The story is out now in the December 2012 issue of the magazine.  You can read about all ten notable travelers here.  My two subjects were very different from one another, but both were passionate about travel.

Linda Yuen is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met.  She’s well into her 80’s and still travels regularly.  She and her husband snorkel weekly at Hanauma Bay Park, a beautiful, protected bay on Oahu that is frequented by tourists and locals alike.  Linda and her husband swim a mile out from the beach once a week, help people who are visiting to identify undersea creatures and walk up and down the big hill to get in and out of the water. I get winded just thinking about it!  It would have been ideal to shoot there, but the park has very strict hours and we would likely have to get a permit, so we had to find a different location for her portrait session.  I thought that the best photo would be of her with her snorkel mask on, in the water.  She was so brave to agree to this!  Most women I know at any age wouldn’t be at all thrilled at the idea of appearing in a major national magazine in a swimsuit, but she was game.  I had location scouted the beach in front of my hotel the night before to see if it would work with light, water depth, swell issues, (I didn’t have a water housing with me), and we agreed that Sans Souci Beach would be the perfect place for a late evening shoot.  She and her husband not only like to swim there, they also like to eat dinner at the restaurant in the hotel there.  A perfect fit!  We had about 30 minutes of glorious light.  Her sweet husband acted as my assistant and held the extra camera gear while I went in the water with Linda.  She has such a beautiful smile and her face is full of life, so it was easy to get a wonderful photo of her.

Linda Yuen, one of National Geographic Traveler Magazine's 2012 Travelers of the year photographed in the water on the island of Oahu at sunset

Linda Yuen, one of National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s 2012 Travelers of the year photographed in the water on the island of Oahu at sunset

Theron Humphrey is a young man who self-assigns projects that take him on adventures with a purpose.  He was nominated for a project where he interviewed people from all 50 states.  At the time we met up he was on his 50th state – Hawaii.  We photographed him in several different scenarios, but my favorite location was one he had found the previous day, in a park on a hillside overlooking downtown Oahu.  First I photographed him on a swing.  This idea worked conceptually because he’s very much a free spirit and swinging into a seemingly infinite space seemed apropos.  The second location was just down the path from the swing, up on a tree platform. Theron gingerly made his way up into the branches of the tree and I followed and stood as far back on the platform as possible, constantly reminding myself that I could easily fall backwards and break my neck!  It was worth the effort even though it’s a more serious portrait. The gaze is straight at the camera and he’s out on a tree limb with no bottom in sight.  When you follow your heart to the extent that he does for his photo-based projects, you will end up out there in the world in new and challenging environments and, quite literally, out on a limb.

Theron Humphrey, one of ten National Geographic Travelers' "Travelers of the Year"

Theron Humphrey, one of ten National Geographic Travelers’ “Travelers of the Year”