Well into the new year

It's been a while from my last entry, fall became winter, winter became spring and cherry blossoms have fallen from above to make room for the finest of greens, summer is just around the corner.

I initially intended to write a blog entry reflecting on the 2012 year and new outlook to 2013, but such a comparison is no longer valid this far into the new year, time just slipped away. Images, memories and the accumulated knowledge from all experiences are carried on to this year just like wrinkles and scars on a leather briefcase that get better with time. Looking ahead over to the ever expansive sea of possibilities, may it be a good year to all, a year of creativity health and bliss.

Over winter a full beard graced my face. The beard was something I never let grow more then a few weeks, and only now realize its the face of the man I am. I am glad I got to meet the bearded man reflecting in the mirror. With the warm weather we have been experiencing and in anticipation of the the coming summer heat, I shed the winter whiskers in exchange for my clean shaved look, lets see how long I can keep that going.

 Funny how there is always something new we can learn about oneself, I encourage you to try it, let your beards grow and meet the new you at least once. 

Photography, If you love it let it go.

I woke up one day, and realized that for well over 2 years I have relentlessly photographed edited, composed, clicked and painted with light each and every day. This fact is by far an amazing feat in my mind and nothing but a positive, but I needed a break. I wanted to step away from behind the view finder for a time, before I felt I needed to, if that makes any sense at all.  I quickly realized that the camera was missed, and the joy from creating images never left me, it wont be long before my camera is glued right back up close to my right cheek bone, scanning composing and painting with light.

Lately I'm back to shooting in more ways then one, I am working on a photo/ video production for a tactical shooting school, reliving and training in that way once again is both demanding and exhilarating. Funny how both instinctive shooting and photography are similar, swift target acquisition, a relentless amount of decisions need to be made in split seconds and in many cases there is no second chance. I find the click much more fulfilling then a bang, but it is a discipline in which if you don't train it you loose it.

The buzz of the email msg letting me know another stock image was purchased is always cool but last month I came across a Time Business Article that was using one of my commercial stock images for sale on Getty Images, this was a special tickle being "Time", so pardon the self promotion tidbit, but I thought it was kinda cool. Always better then to come across my images being used without permission or being passed as someone else's work, which sadly happens as well.

A river runs through it. Hiking the Billy Goat Trail with my girls on a sunny winter day... Priceless :)

A river runs through it.

Hiking the Billy Goat Trail with my girls on a sunny winter day... Priceless :)

Student to teacher

Teaching Photography at Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts (BUCDIA) in Georgetown was a great honor and experience, but the dismal pay left far to many question marks to jump in and do that more often. Reflecting back at the school program, I cant help but be privileged by that fantastic experience, amazing talent of teachers staff and student, I miss it dearly. 

The Wall52 Project book which I was rushing to complete is finished and in the blurb book store, but will be re published with the right cover and smaller fonts and a missing entry, all which will be resolved with Blurb ASAP, and might just keep this edition change it to soft cover as a cheaper option, I will keep you posted on that.

“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be”     anonymous 

Graduation

Professional Photography

Its official, I am a graduate, that was the easy part... now I have to live up to it.

What magical powers does this document poses you ask, my answer is simple, none. The magic is inside, and the learning process is like a grand buffet, where one gets to sample a multitude of foods before deciding the direction of a gastronomic experience. Funny how a photography career is like food, the tastiest foods, aren't the one ones that are good for you or quench ones thirst. The approach seems to be much the same, sustenance before indulgence, in short nutrition before desire. But a life without desire is one not worth living.  What do I desire?  When I can answer it truthfully, my inner compass will lead the way, I trust it. Until then, sustenance, a good nutrition and daily workout, still talking photography but that's the trainer in me, and a reminder that I need to work out.

Back in the USA

Landed on US soil on Saturday,  Again we were split up , by an Isle only this time. Flight delay's, long lines at US customs at dawn, re screen all luggage at 1st port of entry, shuttle bus to regional gates, two jet-lagged kids and a two month old baby, Stroller, car, seat and my Pelican case with camera gear. ( I will post a review of that case down the line)  Fun times!!! but we made it. Note to self buy a 50ft  sailboat with blue water capacity, and sail next time.

The art of racing in the rain  Garth Stein.

The art of racing in the rain  Garth Stein.

Arriving home, we all had mixed emotions, the comfort of home called to us, but this time it was empty, no barking joy and excitement from our dog Zodi, it was a reminder of how much life has changed and empty without him, I think we all found our way to the corner of the sofa where his spot was, just to smell that comforting smell once again. While away, I was fortunate to read a beautiful book, recommended to me by my friend Seth, who just experienced a loss of his 4 legged companions. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” a novel by Garth Stein

Is a wonderful, heart wrenching life story of a family from the a the the point of view of the canine narrator Enzo. This book found me at the right time, and I would recommend it with the warmest of recommendations to anyone, dog lover or not. Some books leave you with timeless gifts, this one did just that and more. Thank you Seth.

Do yourself a favor, and read it before they make a movie out of it, oh too late, motion picture in development :)  "The Movie Link"

Last days in Israel

The old port city Jaffa.

Jaffa is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a harbor that has been in use since the Bronze Age. The city’s history is connected to a series of successive conquests through the millennia. In biblical times, Jaffa was ruled by the Egyptians, the Canaanites, the Philistines and other ancient peoples. The tribal Israelites of the post-Exodus period then ruled untill the Assyrians, then the Babylonians and other conquerors. The Romans captured and destroyed Jaffa during Maccabean times.

During the Middle Ages, Jaffa came under Arab control and served as a major regional port and provincial capital. The Crusades marked a violent period with fighting between the Christian forces and Saladin who tried to keep the area from falling to Christian rule. When the city came under the control of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, it was in ruins. During the 18th century pirates took control of the port. World War One brought British control with the Mandate period that lasted until Israel’s independence in 1948. Following Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, Jaffa became part of the new State of Israel, and then was folded into the municipality of TelAviv-Jaffa.

Today’s Jaffa is a city with a diverse population of Jews, Muslims and Christians. Jaffa is a socio-economic mix of young artists, new wealth and older, less affluent inhabitants. Culturally, Jaffa has become a place where creative types of all kinds live, work and set up shop, making its streets a maze of discovery.

View from Kalamata

View from Kalamata

We started the evening at Kalamata, a gem of a restaurant sitting atop of the old city with a commanding view of the Mediterranean sea. The camera was with me, but the grilled artichoke hearts with Thahini sauce, cold beer, warm soothing sea breeze and hypnotizing view had my full attention, best I could do was a quick Instagram iPhone shot, to make sure this moment was recorded and stamped in my memory bank.

As night fell we explored the old city streets, and met up with good friends R&R and their beautiful kids for an evening of great big smiles, beer and even some trance dancing with the kids in the old harbor, good times indeed.                                                    Cheers to you all, Miss you already. 

Looking back at the last days in israel, it seems like it was ages ago, and not even a week has gone by. The leaves started changing here, and we came back to cool fall days, leaving behind summer, sand and a sun that sets in the ocean, as it should be. Blue at Tel Baruch beach in North Tel Aviv, became a second home. The girls loved the shallow warm Crystal clear waters, a far cry from the dark cold deep and powerful Atlantic waters here on the east coast.

A pace of life that revolves around water and light, infused with smiles and laughter, family friends. As the sun starts to set, the hunger awakens, and the salty lips need that cold refreshing post "fun in the sun" beer, and a cold israeli salad with tehini, simple and delightful. Eating in the open air, leaning back in the bamboo sofa, watching the sky turn pink and then orange as the blue hour sets in

Blue

Family, Friends... Sea and Sun

Watching the girls, play into the night, and feels so at peace with the beach while sipping on one capuchino after another, I cant really ask for anything more, I am complete. Then back to reality, where I strive to find the balance and a pace that leads to such a life, Family, Friends... Sea and Sun.    

Farewell Tel Aviv, until soon 

View from Namal Tel Aviv

The young generation

Israel

Hard to believe how fast time flies at times. We landed in Israel just over a week ago, jet lag has faded away, but the tiredness of making each day count is apparent. The change in the quality of light is always interesting, light here is bright and flat mid day far more then back home, but when the sun is low, the golden hour isn't holding back, and gifts its true beauty at full force.

Yours truly, raising a cup of wine at Cafe Sigal. taken by Roee Yaniv.

Yours truly, raising a cup of wine at Cafe Sigal. taken by Roee Yaniv.

The freedom the kids have here is glorious and a reminder of my childhood here, my two older ones are in seventh heaven and speaking fluent Hebrew. My old neighborhood hasn't changed much aside from a missing orange orchard (now new private homes) and the addition of the lovely Cafe Sigal, which has become our official hangout, and espresso addiction management center.

All three sisters had their babies in the past number of months, so it has been a baby reunion, or a Milk Maid get-together, depends who you ask.

We spent a day at Caesarea, where one can walk through the ruins of Herod's port city, it was true a joy.          I wish I could of stayed longer to photograph the softer colors there, but we opted to go for a swim in the ocean under the Caesarea Aqueduct, where sheltered by the ruin of ancient breakers, little fish nibbled on our feet in the warm clear waters.

Aqueduct of Caesarea

The Aqueduct brought running water to the old city of Caesarea, along a raised aqueduct. The source of the water was the springs of Shummi, 10KM away. Herod build the aqueduct in the 1st C BC. later, in the 2nd C AD it was expanded by the Romans. Later, 2 more aqueducts were built.

The camera has been a recorder of excursions, babies, smiles and good times, but I do find myself wishing for the time to head out hunting for images, the creative juices are calling out, but on this trip, time has been condensed somewhat, but still the good old 5DMKll is in hand.

Family lunch at the Coffee Bar in Tel Aviv is always an outstanding gastronomic experience. The menu is well thought out, and the food is good. Seeing the Isle of Islay's Caol Ila (scotch) sitting there brought a smile, and an immediate toast went out to Yolit, Moti, Lena and Yotam, who were probably sipping the same golden drink as I was. Cheers! see you next week.

I am savoring the simple food of Hummus & Thehina (thahini sauce) with a dash of lemon and olive oil, the diced Israeli salad and the local Goldstar beer, all of which can be had back in the US but the taste isn't even close. Eating good seafood at Yulia restaurant, along Namal Tel Aviv while the spray of crashing waves finds its way to you is pretty close to perfection.

Almost every day has ended as it should, in the warm waters of the Mediterranean, either at Blue, Kachol in Tel Baruch or like last night, at the “Metzitzim” beach where we played and body surfed in the churning swell, yes swell...these were rideable, maybe a surf sesh before I leave?

Back in my home town

Visiting my home town, Kiryat Ono Israel, I don't get to visit to often, but every couple of years I find myself drawn back here. The flights here were unpleasant , as expected nowadays. And once again the fulfillment of a seemingly simple reservations by an airline, is impossible, and we, a family of 5 with 3 kids one of whom is 8 weeks old, were split up on an overbooked international flight. The bulkhead which we reserved went to customers who payed extra for legroom, that was the explanation. but that is the end of my rant… ah the Joy of Air Travel.

The true joy of flying

The wonder and excitement in my daughters eyes, easily made up for the frustration. looking out the window while a sunset reflects over river, the blur of green on swift take off and a sweeping banking turn over Tel Aviv right before landing, its in those moments I am a kid once again. 

Reflecting on a sunset

Back in my home town, and among family which has expanded, lots of babies and smiling faces, Cheers to you all near and far, may it be a Happy Hebrew New Year.  

Shana Tova.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” - Dr. Seuss

This week has been a heart wrenching week, I had to say goodbye to a dear friend, I put my dog to sleep on Monday. Zodiac had an amazing life, spanning two continents endless miles of hiking mountain biking and running in the ebb and flow of the oceans. Breaking this news to our daughters was just as hard as letting him go. Zodiac was 14 years old, Strong, Beautiful, and hilariously terrified of plastic bags flying in the streets.  

Travel well my friend,  life sure isn't the same without you. I miss you.

Zodiac 1998-2012 Cheers Buddy.

The love and heart warming affection that poured in from you all, my friends near and far was overwhelming, and a blessing. It is your words I borrowed when words couldn't make their way out of my mouth, and once again I was reminded that this hard time is the unspoken promise we give our four legged fury friends when they come into our lives, and how the simple and pure advice from good old Dr. Seuss can ring true, altho I did my best to follow his advice, I could not hold back the tears.

We donated his beds leashes and food trays to the humane society, it was a good way to get the kids to get some closure, and to see how their dog is still vital even when not among us.

Today I  needed to re charge and move on, and what better then a swim at the local municipal pool. It was a moment of sheer joy and surprised to find the outdoor Fitness (olympic) pool open, being a cool cloudless clear fall day, I was ready for the indoor grind of warm and busy 25meter lanes. This outdoor pool is large, deep and crystal clear, its not new and had many leaves at different stages of their descent to the bottom, this just added to the sense of depth and size. The sun soothed my back, and a swift relaxing pace came easy as I gazed at submerged leaves sparkling in the water, it was like swimming in a Monet work of art. I swam for over an hour inhaling and exhaling in no rush but in total tune with an internal relentless pendulum, the slower I stroked the faster I seemed to glide, it was the best swim of my life. One would think that would take place in a crystal clear mountain lake, or a glassy sunset lit lagoon, nope... this one was at a municipal pool, in Rockville. I guess I needed it.

Needles to say this wasn't a great week for image creation, but images have been seen and felt, and will find their way to my view finder, no doubt.   N.

Chanting for a good rebirth, and asking all the Enlightened Ones to protect him on his journey.       Namaste.

Chanting for a good rebirth, and asking all the Enlightened Ones to protect him on his journey.    

  Namaste.

Last day of school

That's it, done. I am writing this with such mixed feeling, its like that hot chick at the bar; 

"I hate to see her gobut love to watch her leave"  

Its been an amazing year and the growth was both meaningful and rewarding. I am just finishing the last touches on my new web site, and this blog which i hope to keep up.

My new website: www.n-harrison.com

My new website: www.n-harrison.com

A big thank you to all the Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts team, you have been illuminating in so many ways , its been a pleasure and an honor.  

      Thank you.    

  Nathan.  

Transient

Ren Fest MDRF

Summer is officially over, and that is never a good thing, but the sound of drums and bagpipes rising from the forests of revel grove is music to my ears. Maryland Renaissance Festival is in full swing, every weekend from the end of Aug to the end of October. Ren Fest has been the consolation prize after loosing summer, and what a great gift it has been, the sounds colors smiles and great friendships over the years keep on giving. Cheers! or should I say Huzzah !

Elvish smiles

The Rogues are back this year for the first two weeks, The fair isn't the same without them.

The weekend is right around the corner, and more images and good times are to come, please enjoy a selection from my view finder. Cheers!