Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Reflecting on Reflections - Two shows in December

December is always a busy, joyous time in the city for photographers and photo enthusiasts – PhotoNOLA , the New Orleans Photo Alliances’ photography festival kicks off December 10-13th.  The four day festival hosts a Gala at NOMA, an education day, portfolio reviews, gallery talks and month long exhibitions throughout the city. 
I’m super excited to participate in two exhibitions in conjunction with this festival.  Opening December 2nd,  I have photos on display in a Group Art show at Crescent City Brewhouse (527 Decatur) that includes photography, paintings and drawings. The show runs through January 3rd.   December - February,  I have photos on display in a shared show at Buffas (1001 Esplanade) with Eliot Kamenitz that we titled  “Works in Progress”.  The show opens December 9th. 

While pondering what to display for these two shows,  I discovered an old “to-do list” on my computer from December, 2014.  You know its been a busy year when my December 2015 to-do list date has the exact same items on it. Looking back on the year I thought some nice, slow paced nostalgic prints would be best.  Then I realized that’s all I really shoot anyway. 

At Crescent City Brewhouse I have five of my small town pieces reflecting not time in the past, but in the present.  I’ve always been drawn to the timelessness of our very real, very modern world.  I love how photography captures our past in the present and influences our future.

General Store, Hwy 1

At Buffas, located just outside the Quarter, I thought it a good opportunity to showcase some photos from Photo Workshops that I lead in the French Quarter (and Garden District) for American Photo Safari.  In trying to decide how I wanted to portray the FQ, I realized I have a whole lotta reflection photos. It makes sense, I’ve had more than one workshop participant ask me “are we on the puddle tour of new Orleans?” (why yes, yes we are…) 

Heart of the City
 So there I go, combing through photos of what I know will be great reflections and then I realized – I was in most of them.  Oops.  

  Apparently I am drawn to reflective selfies  - which opens up an entirely new topic altogether...  Ha.Ha.  
 Not quite ready to branch out in the solo selfie circuit just yet, I put together a group of photos reflecting  an old quarter in what is becoming an increasingly modern city, as well as some lumen prints reflecting various symbols of the city.  (So natch, the termites made the cut).   

Passing Time               2015
NOLA Termites Under the Stars

Also in the show are landscapes from Eliot Kamenitz  and pieces from his Urban Archeology series. Come check out our Works in Progress on Wednesday, December 9th during the Worlds Most Open Mic. 

 For a full list of PhotoNOLA exhibitions, click HERE

Group Art Show - Photography, Paintings, Drawings & More
Crescent City Brewhouse
527 Decatur
December 1 - January 3rd
Opening:  December 2nd  5-7pm

Works in Progress - Photos by Eliot Kamenitz & Natasha Sanchez
Buffas Bar & Restaurant  
1001 Esplanade (Back Room)
December 1 - February 29th
Opening:  December 9th 6-10pm

 **For info on Photo Workshops Visit American Photo Safari.  I lead Garden District photo workshops Wed and Saturday and French Quarter workshops throughout the week. We teach photo/camera basics and composition - and how to shoot lizards (thats just me)**

Lizard Rest

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Importance of Pondering Carrots

I wrote a song about carrots and a whole new world opened up. I’ve since gotten into carrot photography and made some new lumen prints, thought I'd share. 

 My carrot-as-art sojourn began  one day recently when I discovered  – I was out of carrots, oh my.  Not wanting to face the world without my beloved carrots, I hurriedly dashed to the store to immediately remedy this dire situation.  While on my way, I had another realization….who does this? haha.  Who flees to the grocery store in the middle of the afternoon to restock the carrot supply?  Or, the better question may be – cui bono?…who benefits?  

Two Carrots    2015

I don’t need to tell anyone of the nutritious virtues of carrots.  They taste good, they're good for you and bunnies love them.  More importantly, carrots are a root vegetable and they can help you to see.  My worldview often stems from looking at the root of matters. As a photographer and songwriter, I rely heavily on my vision, especially as I travel the world.  Therefore, it is no wonder that I will keep a tangible source of sight nearby.  Plus, look at the news we wake up to.  I find its better to arm myself with a clear vision just to face the news of the day and to decipher what is really going on in the world. 

Three Carrots & a Wayward Stem  2015

Anyhoo, long ramble cut short:  My carrot crisis led me to write a song about carrots.   But just like my Angus Young song isn’t about Angus Young, nor is my Justin Timberlake song about Justin Timberlake (though my Searching for a Tall Boy song is about a Miller High Life), my carrot song isn’t really about carrots, it is about all the rambling stuff above.  As a photographer, I got really interested in the photographic possibilites of The Carrot and began experimenting with Lumen Prints.  I overcooked the first batch, this is the second. Or third. I forget.  I have a lot to learn about printing veggies. 

So, to answer my own question - Who Benefits?  I would have to answer with Who Doesn't?   Sometimes what we need most in this world is a fresh perspective and a healthy outlook.  

Thats a whole lotta carrots.  

Sun Carrots   2015

I don't have a recording of my Carrot Song, you'll just have to check out my 3rd Thursday gig at the Neutralground (October 15th)  or at Nattie's Songwriter Circle at Buffas October 18th.  Til then, here's a gem I found on youtube.

happy carrot pondering.


(to appease all the internet medical fact checkers & WWII myth debunkers: this post is philosophical in nature and I am aware that "more studies need to be done on carrot vision benefits"...21st century disclaimer)

text & photos
(c) Natasha Sanchez

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Reaching New Heights - at Driskill Mountain, Louisiana

Not only have I traveled the world from A(Algiers) to Z(Zwolle), I have also traveled the world from top to bottom.  Starting out in New Orleans with the lowest elevation of -8 feet below sea level, I eventually found my way to Louisianas highest elevation – Driskill Mountain at a staggering elevation of 535 feet.  

 On a whirlwind weekend trip of the world, I couldn’t help but notice that all the signs were there to let me know that the World Tour was on its way to higher this passing plane. 

and Poland’s General Store.

Driskill Mountain is located in Bienville Parish, south of Ruston and east of Shreveport.  The mountain sits on private property, which is graciously offered to the public by the landowners. After walking a little ways down the road you begin the (not so) harrowing hike up the hill (mountain).
 The trail is marked to let you know you are on the right path. 

Its about a 15 to 20 minute hike unless you stop to take pictures of butterflies,

tiny pinecones,

 ginormous trees,

and cool lighting. (then its about an hour)

Once you get to the top of the world, I mean, mountain, there is a kiosk to let you know you’ve made it and an overlook to Jordan Mountain, elevation 492 feet.   

 There are also benches in this very peaceful setting to contemplate things like…”where do you go when you’ve been to the top of the world (tour) and back?”

Guess you get back on the road.  
 Til next time..

World Tour News:
The Louisiana World Tour:The State of My World, an exhibition of 21 silver gelatin photographs, is on display at Northwestern Louisiana University in the Hanchey Gallery through September 26th.  The Louisiana World Tour will also be featured during the Lousiana Cultural Studies Conference in September. 

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

Shop the Shoppe:

About the WORLD TOUR:
The Nattie Concepts World Tour began in 2011 under the premise that the world is as large or as small as you want it to be. Since that time, over 20 "international" destinations have been visited in Louisiana. 
Check out a preview of the Louisiana World Tour on my website

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cats Claw - The Positives, The Negatives & The Biscuits

I’ve always loved cat’s claw.

 A vine known in these parts more as an invasive and pesky weed  than a medicinal herb with healing properties, cat’s claw is by far one of my favorite lumen print subjects. Its claw-like tendrils never fail to fascinate me.  Even when entwined with every object in sight.  The prevalence of it in my world led me to start creating lumen prints from it early on. 

Cats Claw & Vine, Crescent City Illumenations 

Oddly enough, it turns out that my actual cats claws have the same healing affect.Who woulda thunk?


  As many in my inner circle know, and by inner circle I mean - Facebook,  Rhoda left this world last month after a short battle with cancer. She leaves behind nearly 15 years of loving, fun and adventurous memories, tons of photos and her presence will always be felt .

She also left behind some of her cat claws.

Rhodas Claws found about the house

It dawned on me after this posthumous find, that with its regenerative properties, a cats claw makes a purrrfect lumen subject.  After all, I’m always searching for fallen flowers and leaves (and the occasional bug)  to give them new life via a lumen print. Plus I like to match.  Cats claw, the vine, is one of my favorite lumen print subjects.  Rhoda's my favorite photo subject.  Why not combine the two?

Due to claws being So Tiny (despite the scratches & scars),  and in keeping with the circumstances of this new lumen extravaganza, I decided to create a Positive from a Negative, and print these claws on film as lumen negatives.  So now the claws can appear larger than life (which is more accurate as to  how they feel). 

Rhoda Moon

Cats Claw & a Cats Claw

Biscuits & Claws
So, while Rhoda is not around to make biscuits anymore , her claws live on in a slightly less painful way.  
And I'm okay with that.  

Thanks for the inspiration, Rho.
Rest in peace. 

Me & Rho

Rhoda Sanchez
November 2000-May 2015

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lumen Print Workshop March 21st in Covington

On Saturday, March 21st, in conjunction with STAA's Antiquarian exhibit celebrating 19th photography, I’ll be conducting a Lumen Print workshop at the St. Tammany Art Association in Covington. 
Lumen Printing is one of the earliest photographic processes. Using only sunlight to imprint an image on to paper, it goes through one chemical bath to reduce light sensitivity. 

Clover, Stem & Stars
(c) N. Sanchez

There are many reasons why I love the lumen print process – the uniqueness and surprise of the final print, the colors, the nostalgic and sometimes dreamy look, the process of monitoring the sunlight itself.  Yet what I love MOST about lumen prints is – the authenticity.  It is simply an imprint of What Is. It is a record of our world.
Elephant Ear
(c) N. Sanchez

But just like in “camera photography”, where our perspectives can shape our world-view, the same holds true for lumen printing.  Creating with shapes and objects to tell a story or create a feel makes the prints become more personal.  It is both a record of the world – as is – and an expression of how we choose to see the world. 

Like with Termites.  

Tiny Termite.
(c) N. Sanchez

Or maybe it's just a purty picture on the wall.  
(c) N. Sanchez

Either way,  Lumen Printing a fun creative process with limitless possibilities. 

Starry Butterfly
(c) N. Sanchez
Join me on March 21st from 11-3pm  to explore those possibilities and welcome in the Spring - a great season for lumen printing! (We'll also discuss the effect of the seasons on lumen printing, among other things like paper types, emulsions, sunny days, cloudy days, and more..)  This workshop is open to the public. All materials will be provided,  though participants are encouraged to bring personal items of their own if they wish.  

To register, click the link below to download the registration form:

Lumen Print Workshop
Instructor: Natasha Sanchez
March 21st, 2015

St. Tammany Art Association
320 N. Columbia
Covington, LA

For more of my lumen prints, including fLight -my latest series of feathers, 
visit my online galleries:

Happy Almost Spring!

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

Monday, February 9, 2015

Where in the World is the World Tour?

I started my 43rd trip around the sun here:

2014 was a busy year – the two large projects I started in 2011, the Louisiana World Tour and fLight - a lumen print series of feathers  -were more or less completed by the end of the year.  But for every end there’s a beginning and I thought taking flight for my birthday in January might be a good way to spread my wings and expand my world.

I saw Egypt:

egyptian obelisk

and, according to some school kids running thru the place, Hogwarts. 
(I think they were Hufflepuffs)

selfie in a castle

..and even a touch of home:

mardi graz graffiti

I explored the world of ancient lizards

ancient lizard

and took selfies with ancient bird/reptile wings after reading about the similar composition of bird feathers & lizard scales and getting really excited. 

In July 2011, after my inaugural World Tour trip to Algiers, I pondered the purpose of the World Tour:

'Or maybe it's to confirm that the world is as only as big as our perspectives, and the extraordinary can be found right in our own backyards - if only we are open to seeing it.'

The World Tour definitely opened my eyes to a much larger world and the feathers kept me grounded. 
 Now it seems both projects are ready to fly.  
So you can imagine that the best photographic surprise of the trip was realizing, while looking at the 6,000 cell phone photos I took of the Egyptian obelisk, that I had unwittingly captured my two projects in one photo – the worldly obelisk along with a pair of feathered birds soaring high in the right hand corner. (best to zoom)

World Tour fLight

'Twas a nice way to begin the end. 

til next time..

Flying Among the Stars

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

About the WORLD TOUR:
The Nattie Concepts World Tour began in 2011 under the premise that the world is as large or as small as you want it to be. Since that time, over 20 "international" destinations have been visited in Louisiana. 
Check out a preview of the Louisiana World Tour on my website
About fLight:
A collection of lumenescent feathers.  The feathers I've collected and printed as lumen prints, solar photograms, represent the years 2011 to the present, as I transition, or rather, fly feather first, into the dawn of middle age.  
Check out a preview of fLight on my website