2017 The Year in Pictures for Travel and Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert

2017 The Year in Pictures for Travel and Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert

My how time flies! 2017 was another whirlwind of travel and exploration: I visited both poles, watched dolphins in Mexico, went whale watching in Hawaii, marched with three million of my fellow Americans in Washington, visited castles in England, had my first true Guinness in Ireland, hiked along the coast in Wales and explored Vancouver, BC by boat. I took over 20,000 photos while on assignment this year which although is not a record, it’s certainly a lot of images!  Below are a few of my favorites, marking my global journey for this past year.  My hope is that by showing the beauty and diversity of this marvelous world, that you will be inspired to travel.

The view of Mt. Hood and downtown Portland, Oregon from Pittock Mansion in Forest Park

I started the year off on assignment for Vox Media, shooting a story about my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Here is the view of Mt. Hood from Pittock Mansion.

Puerto los Gatos, Baja, Mexico, Gulf of California

First stop on the 2017 World Tour: Baja! Always one of my favorite places on Earth, the Gulf of California is wild and beautiful. We enjoyed a sunset beach bbq at Puerto los Gatos.

Women's March on Washington, Washington, DC, USA

Second stop: Washington D.C. for the Women’s March. We will persist!

Humpback Whale watching from a large, inflatable raft in the 'Au 'au channel off of the coast of Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawaii, USA

Third stop: The ‘Au ‘au channel off of the coast of Maui to witness the annual migration of Humpback Whales from Alaska. We’ll be heading back there this year!

Booth Island, Antarctica

Next up, Antarctica in February. This was the last trip of the Antarctic season, so we explored the southern ocean to see incredible landscapes and wildlife. Here is a Gentoo Penguin colony with gorgeous ice in the distance.

Gold Harbour, South Georgia

One of my favorite places on Earth: Gold Harbour, South Georgia. Here we were treated to a rainbow and King penguins on the beach.

Susan Seubert talking about her show, "Not A Day Goes By," at the Froelick Gallery in downtown Portland, Oregon, USA

I opened my show, “Not A Day Goes By,” at the Froelick Gallery in April. The work was also shown at this year’s Venice Biennale.

Banner of John Yeon's Shire, photograph by Susan Seubert, hanging on the exterior of the Portland Art Museum for the exhibition, "Quest for Beauty"

I have been photographing John Yeon’s, “The Shire,” in the Columbia River Gorge for the last 7 years and the book was finally published. The Portland Art Museum used one of the images to announce the show about Yeon.

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In May, my family and friends joined us in Venice for my opening at the Venice Biennale! Definitely a high point in my artistic career, the Biennale is the most prestigious venue for fine art on the planet. Picture here is me with my mom on the balcony of the Palazzo Bembo, home to the European Cultural Center that hosted the exhibition.

Hornsund, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

After returning to the U.S. from Italy, it was back across the puddle for adventures starting in Arctic Svalbard where polar bears ruled the day!

Polar Bear, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway, Europe

A once in a lifetime sighting: we watched a polar bear take a bearded seal, then proceed to have a feast. Even our Norwegian guides had never seen such a site! This is why traveling with National Geographic makes all the difference.

Hellmobotn, Tysfjorden, Norway, Europe

After spending time in Svalbard, we headed over to the famed fjords of Norway. We hiked and explored these beautiful waterways which was a joyous experience.

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Back in Oregon, science rules! We were some of the first in the United States to witness a total eclipse of the sun. I photographed it through a spotting scope.

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The diamond ring effect during the total eclipse of the sun. Taken in McMinnville, Oregon.

Maine Multimedia Workshop, Rockport, ME

The end of August took me back to school at the Maine Media Workshops where I learned about short form, multimedia storytelling from the master himself, Bob Sacha.

The Library at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Europe

I had a brief moment at home before heading back to Europe, where Ireland awaited! I landed in Dublin and after visiting the stunning Library at Trinity College, we headed straight to a pub for a proper pint of Guinness!

Bodnant Gardens, Llandundo, Wales, Europe

From Ireland we sailed for Wales, where we visited the lush Bodnant Gardens in the rain.

Fowey, England, Europe

After exploring Wales for a few days, we headed to England, where the charming town of Fowey welcomed our rather large ship into port.

Grouse Mountain Skyride Surf Adventure is a summer opportunity to ride on top of the Grouse Mountain Gondola viewing platform as you ascend 1610 meters to the top of Grouse Mountain.  On a clear day, you can see for miles and your view will include all of

After my adventures on board the National Geographic Orion, I flew back to North America where I had an assignment to photograph lovely Vancouver, British Columbia. We had stunning weather! This is the Grouse Mountain Skyride Surf Adventure, with views back to the city from the top of the aerial tram.

Bordeaux, France, Europe

As soon as I wrapped the shoot in B.C., it was back across the Atlantic to meet my husband in beautiful Bordeaux. Here is Le Miroir d’eau at Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux during the blue hour.

Venice, Italy, Europe

After eating and drinking our way through France, we hopped an EasyJet flight to Venice, to take in the sights, and my show, one last time. Here is the Basilica San Marco in the morning, Venice, Italy.

Washington, DC, America, USA

We flew back to the U.S., and no sooner had we touched down, then I had some meetings to attend in our nation’s capital, so I flew to DC for a quick trip.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Lahaina, HI, USA

Then, it was back to Hawaii for us. I was fortunate enough to be invited to photograph the Keiki Hula Festival at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel. It was inspiring to see these young people carrying on the Hawaiian tradition of hula.

Lahaina, HI, USA

My husband got to catch a few waves before I had to wave goodbye and head off to…

Charles Hotel, Boston, MA

Cambridge!! I had a fantastic shoot for the Charles Hotel. We spent a week making a library of images for the hotel’s new web site. I’ll post more about this shoot once the job is live!

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Luckily for me, there was still time after Boston to head back to Hawaii, where I was able to enjoy some beach time with my husband. Cheers to an incredible 2017!

 

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.

 

Photographer Susan Seubert in Smithsonian Magazine

The April issue of Smithsonian Magazine features a photograph that I made on assignment in Washington, D.C. last November.  I was invited by the magazine to make an image of the Green Book, a guide first published in 1937 for African Americans who traveled by car and needed to navigate the segregated United States.  The magazine was started by Victor H. Green, a black postal carrier from Harlem.  It began as a slim, 15-page directory with recommendations in the New York area and listed safe places for black travelers to visit. These included gas stations, hotels, beauty salons, golf courses and even individuals who welcomed people into their homes.  The guidebook grew as people contributed to the directory and eventually this publication encompassed areas outside of the U.S. You can read the story here.  The image was created using the wet-plate collodion technique, known as an Ambrotype, a photographic process that dates back to about 1851 and was used as documentary photography tool during the American Civil War.  I have used this process for a variety of applications from magazine stories to personal projects.

The Green Book, photographed at the archives of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Green Book, photographed at the archives of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

 

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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”

 

 

 

Fine Art Photography: The Digital Divide by Susan Seubert

Yet another long overdue post…

This year I was one of  24 artists/teams selected for the citywide Oregon Biennial, Portland2012 which was held earlier this year. Portland2012, the Biennial of Contemporary Art, is a major survey of work by visual artists who are defining and advancing the contemporary arts landscape in the state.  The show was presented by Disjecta and curated by Prudence F. Roberts.

My installation at Disjecta is titled, “The Digital Divide,” and consists of a series of QR codes installed in the gallery which, when scanned with a smart phone or other hand-held device, takes the viewer to videos and/or text.  The artist statement follows below.  You can view the installation on my fine art web site here.  The videos can be watched by scanning the QR codes from your computer screen, or by visiting the multimedia portion of my web site.  I would like to thank the fabulous people at Disjecta, Ms. Roberts, Marc Greenfield and all the volunteers that helped make this piece possible.  Tri-Met was a wonderful sponsor and included some stills from the videos on the sides of buses and on bus stop shelters throughout the city of Portland.

A still from, “The Digital Divide” installed on the side of a Tri-Met bus as part of Disjecta’s Portland2012, A Biennial of Contemporary Art

A still from “The Digital Divide,” an installation piece for Disjecta’s Portland2012, A Biennial of Contemporary Art.

The following is the artist statement for the piece:

To explore ideas of toxic waste, environmental impact due to rapid changes in technology, specifically communications technology, I have chosen to create a series of videos, which are accessible via QR codes using smart-phone technology. New methods of communication, (cell phones, smart phones, computers), have created forms of consumption which have had a direct correlation to the environmental impact of that consumption. Although not obvious, many natural resources are used to manufacture technological goods that we now rely on for communication. These materials are often harvested from third world nations, the most famous example being the Democratic Republic of the Congo where the thirst for Colton has fueled violent conflict. Some heavy metals are used in the manufacturing of communication technology such as cadmium, lead and arsenic. The rapid change in such things as processor speed and memory capacity has led to an enormous turnover in electronic hardware waste. (One statistic cites that the performance values of Information and Communication Technology double every 18 months.)
QR (Quick Response) codes are a type of matrix barcode, which consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. They were designed by the Japanese in the early 1990’s to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. The use of the QR code is growing as a point-of-purchase symbol, where the consumer can scan the code and be taken to a video about whatever product to which the code is connected. The codes can be used for urls, text or numeric information. The problem is that the consumer must have a smart phone, access to the Internet and the application that allows the camera to read the code. Using QR codes as a method of communication, in order to see the actual visual information it conveys, most of which could normally be seen using our eyes through traditional media, one must use a camera. Eyes will simply no longer suffice to handle the task of reading, (i.e de-coding), the image.
Semaphore signal videos installed on the Internet, transmitted to the viewer via QR codes, emphasizes the digital divide that is currently prevailing in our global culture.
Working on the assumption that most viewers of this piece will not be able to read the semaphore signals as letters, (which form a sentence relevant to each location where the video was made), and that there will also be a number of viewers who will not have the relevant technology to read the QR codes, the piece will have effectively alienated the viewer from at least one critical portion of the piece, therefore encompassing both ends of the digital divide. I chose to use the Semaphore code because it is being phased out as a means of communication. Although it is still used in certain military situations, (such as refueling ships or moving munitions at sea), it will soon be gone as a method of communication. The Semaphore Flags system is used for conveying information at a distance by means of visual signals with hand-held flags.

file under: Serious Talent

When I looked at yesterday’s Oregonian Newspaper, I was quite pleased to read Barry Johnson’s article about Plazm Magazine’s new issue.  In today’s economic climate, it’s extremely difficult for all media outlets to keep on keepin’ on, but even more challenging to publish an independent magazine about culture, art, and design, (among other esoteric subjects).  Plazm Magazine received a grant plus some Kickstarter money in order to keep up its great work and just launched its most recent issue, number 30.  To be associated with Plazm Magazine is a tremendous honor, but even better when my name is included with “seriously talented” people like John Jay, Todd Haynes and Yoko Ono.  You can read the article here.

Plazm Magazine from the archives

Wet Plate Collodion Photographer Susan Seubert reviewed in Equine

Any ink is good ink and this morning I was pleased to read a review in The Oregonian of the group show that my work is in at the Froelick Gallery called, “Equine.”  I made the piece that was curated into this show for my last exhibition, ” r e s t r a i n t.”  When the gallery owner saw the piece, he decided to hold it for this show.  The image is of a bridle with blinders and made with the wet plate collodion process. This piece has sold to a private collector, but I’ve included the image below and there is a link to the review here.  It’s always satisfying when an arts writer understands the territory I’m negotiating with my work and this brief review is no exception.  Thank you Bob Hicks!

"Horse Bridle with Blinders," 5x4", ambrotype, 2011