Blog2015 - saraharnoff

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Silly String

May 22, 2015

Sure, all parents love nice portraits of their kids smiling nicely and pretending to get along to frame for the house or stick in their wallet for future showings off. But you know what makes for more fun? Silly String.

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Get In Close

May 15, 2015

Every once in awhile I like to break out my macro and photograph something mundane. This week, confined to my home due to adverse weather, I converted my laundry room into a makeshift macro studio/terrarium workshop.

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Model Test

May 8, 2015

I participated in a group test shoot this week, again at Photo Collective Studios. It was a pretty crowded set up with half a dozen models and a gaggle of photographers, but the controlled chaos (and not-so-controlled chaos of heavy rain and a police raid going on in an abandoned building across the street) made for a lot of fun.

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Utah Pizza Party

May 1, 2015

Salt Lake City Weekly magazine throws a lot of events, including Beer Fest and the Miss City Weekly Pride Pageant, both of which bring a little extra flair to Utah's conservative culture. Last weekend, it held the first ever Utah Pizza Party bringing a dozen or so local pizza purveyors together to share their culinary craft. I was on hand with Photo Collective Studios at the photo booth snapping shots of the party goers and thought I'd share some of my favorites. Photo booths in general are fun, but I learned something new at this one: You people really, really love pizza.

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The Big 3

April 24, 2015

I photographed a birthday party a couple of weeks ago for a friend whose daughter was turning three. For once, being a fly on the wall at a party was pretty enjoyable, and kids are way fun to photograph in their natural environment.

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Sustaining Our Culture Powwow

April 17, 2015

The Sustaining Our Culture Powwow sponsored by the American Indian Resource Center at the University of Utah comes around every April, and campus was packed for the celebrations. The powwow finished off a week of events geared toward education on Native American issues, as well as seminars and talks aimed at natives themselves to encourage linguistic and cultural maintenance on campus.

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Eia Au, Eia 'Oe

March 15, 2015

The Hawaiian phrase above means "Here I am, here you are," which I thought was pretty perfect for describing my week in Oahu at the beginning of March.

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Days in the Jordanian Desert

February 20, 2015

For the final leg of my Middle Eastern adventure, I got to visit a place I've longed to see ever since watching Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade: Petra, Jordan. After researching the hell out of the Internet to find the best guided tour or day trip, we decided to go it alone and rent a car instead of doing a day tour, which would give us a whopping four hours in the park. And it's a good thing we adventured on our own because you need much, much more than four hours to see everything this historical wonder has to offer.

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Jerusalem

February 13, 2015

Of all the places in Israel I wish I had more time at, Jerusalem would be number one on my list. The history in Jerusalem is almost overwhelming, I could have wandered the old city for days. In the short three days of my visit, I did get to take in the Western Wall, the Holocaust museum, the winding stone alleys of the old city, and some Jerusalem nightlife as well.

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Ya Habibi, Tel Aviv

February 6, 2015

It's hard to imagine Tel Aviv as nothing but a field of sand dunes and scrub, as it was a little more than a century ago when it was founded. The now bustling tech metropolis is juxtaposed with the ancient port of Jaffa in the same municipality, and both are hubs of architecture and busy neighborhoods. We spent a few days in Tel Aviv, visiting the market and learning about the city's history. We were only able to spend an hour or so in both Jaffa and close-by Caesarea, which stunned us with its Mediterranean sunset over rocky shores and Roman ruins. If you visit, definitely plan adequate time for these sights.

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The Dead Sea to Galilee

January 30, 2015

The past month has been a blur of nonstop travel criss-crossing Israel and Jordan. After landing in Tel Aviv (our plane was nearly struck by lightening, so that was an adventure), we immediately set off for Tiberias in the north on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Unfortunately, a few inches of snow in the mountains diverted our excursion from Safed and hiking the Golan Heights, but we spent a leisurely few days getting to know northern Israel and traveling up to the Lebanon and Syrian borders to visit a pomegranate winery, olive oil factory and fire station. We shivered away a quiet Shabbat strolling the promenade on the shores of the Galilee before departing to Haifa and the mountaintop ruins of Masada.

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Best of 2014

January 2, 2015

What a fantastically photographic year it has been. At the end of each December, I challenge myself to pick my favorite few photos from my catalog of that year for my year-end post, but 2014 was more difficult than usual. I pushed myself this past year to do more photo projects, and I have traveled a lot, and it has definitely resulted in a bounty of photos that I am proud of. The difficult part is when I try to separate my emotional attachment to my images and try to sift through the ones that are "good." For some reason, this year's top picks are very landscape-oriented, from the dry desert of Southern Utah, to the lush forest of the Czech Republic. Take a look at my best from 2014 (including my favorite five from Instagram), and then take a chunk of time to go through the comprehensive lists I put together of major photography outlets' choices for top photos and compilations of 2014 in review. A warning: Some of the slideshows contain graphic images.

I'm out for the month of January--starting the new year off by heading to the Middle East for a month. I'll figure out what's next when I get back.

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Back in the Day

December 20, 2014

For the first time ever, I am publishing photos on this blog that are not mine. They are from a collection of old photos that popped up on my desk at the project that I work for, which has been around for about a decade, and in that time has seen a lot of people come and go. A side effect of constant employee change is that we often find random discs, photos, papers, books and other items whose source we can't identify for sure.

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More Voigtlander Adventures

December 12, 2014

Last month, we had some visitors from Australia who had never never experienced the vast scenery variations that Utah has to offer. They'd traveled through Southern Utah and seen red-rock wonders, and they'd seen our alpine mountain peaks, but we decided to give them change of scenery: the barren Bonneville Salt Flats. Only an hour or so from Salt Lake City, the salt flats are what's left over from the Great Salt Lake's incredibly mineral-laden makeup when the lake water evaporates away. Everyone gets a kick out of the random piles of salt along the road and the Morton Salt factory set up seemingly in the middle of nowhere as you drive out. When the lake's water level is high, the drive gets even more interesting, with water surrounding both sides of the road and casting trippy reflections. I always enjoy driving out through that area since it's different every time. This time, I loaded some extremely expired Kodak film into my Voigtlander Vitomatic I for the journey, which produced grainy and somewhat yellow results. But you can take a look for yourself below.

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Home on the Rez

December 5, 2014

No, the rez is not my home, but I do like visiting Shoshone communities a whole lot. This time, I ventured out to Duckwater, Nev., about an hour west of Ely, for a language-teaching workshop. We'd make the drive to the reservation each morning and spend our daylight hours working with residents interested in language learning and language teaching. Then, since there are no accommodations in Duckwater, we'd head to Ely for city livin'. And since there really isn't a whole lot in terms of structures out in that part of Nevada, my journey brings you photos of mostly cows and big open spaces. Fun fact: If you hit a cow in Nevada, you have to pay the rancher who owns it its estimated value. Except black cows, for some reason. Those are free.

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Praha, Praga, Prague

November 28, 2014

Finally, the last entry of my recent Europe saga: a return to Prague, my favorite city in the world (so far). We spent most of our time there wandering around the intricate, windy streets (seriously, there are no straight streets in this town), and saw some of the major highlights. We did something horribly touristy--but also pretty damn awesome--and went to a beer spa. Yes, you can enjoy a relaxing soak in a beer hot tub, beer massage and drink unlimited beer for about $60 per person.

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Through Šumava & Bohemia

November 21, 2014

Though it's been five years since I last set foot in the Czech Republic, one of my favorite places in the world, going back felt like seeing an old friend in passing and picking up right where you left off. We stayed in the western part of the country, the region known as Bohemia, starting in České Budějovice, where the original Budweiser was invented. I'll stick in another Couchsurfing plug here since we stayed with a wonderful family who took us to places we would have had a hard time getting to by bus, including the manor Hluboká nad Vltavou, a stunning white former hunting lodge. The only way I can describe the inside is that it looked remarkably similar to the interior of the manor on Downton Abbey. We also visited the red chateau Červená Lhota, which is red supposedly because a demon-possessed woman threw herself out of one of the windows and her blood stained the formerly white walls of the building. The villagers couldn't get the blood out so, naturally, they just painted the whole thing red.

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Bavarian Castles & Fairy Tale Forests

November 14, 2014

Today, I'm going to finish up my travel log of Germany with the castles of Hohenschwangau and the ultra-famous Neuschwanstein, which boasts inspiring Walt Disney to come up with the idea for Cinderella's Castle.

Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein are almost right next to each other in the same town. However, Neuschwanstein is disproportionately more famous than its yellow ancestor and most people actually skip seeing Hohenschwangau all together. We met a bartender in Munich who went on and on about how making the day trip to Neuschwanstein (2 hours or more by train/bus from Munich) was not worth the time and effort to see just a few interior rooms. And, I have to say, that's true. If we had made the journey all the way to the Alps just for Neuschwanstein, we would have been sorely disappointed. Because the castle was never finished, the 30-minute tour only goes through a few chambers and gives a little history about the castle's builder, "Mad" King Ludwig. The history is definitely interesting (Ludwig had weird obsessions with Grimm fairytales and Richard Wagner, went bankrupt from trying to build Neuschwanstein, was declared mentally insane at the request of his family and confined to their residence in Munich, then drowned with his phychiatrist under mysterious circumstances in one of the lakes on the palace grounds), but the tour is short and a little underwhelming. Yes, the castle is magnificent, but our trip was made worthwhile because we decided to see both castles.

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Deutschland: Munich & Dachau

November 7, 2014

Hey, I'm back and I brought lots of photos. First up: The great city of Munich as well as its outlying concentration camp, Dachau. We really didn't have enough time in Munich (3 1/2 days), which I thought would be adequate, but we barely skimmed the surface of what this city has to offer. And adding to my time mismanagement, I completely underestimated Dachau as well, which I though would only have enough for a short historical tour. Nope. We ended spending four hours there, and we had to skip a lot of the museum since we had to get back to Munich for a previous commitment. Next time, we'll spend a week in Munich to catch up on what we missed.

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