Summer Solstice Fossil Expedition at the End of the World - in Venice, Louisiana (Ancient Louisiana World Tour)

I spent the Summer Solstice at the end of the World in one of my favorite World Tour sites, Venice.

Sunset in the marsh

 I first photographed Venice in 2011 during the dawn of the World Tour.  I wrote a blog, "Further Down the Road", that featured my Not So Slight and Very Unnecessary anxiety about *how* I was going to photograph this worldly wonder.   By the third trip down it was obvious that Veniceclearly spoke for itself.  This time around, on the Ancient World Tour, fossils were the motivation.  Well, fossils and jaw dropping sunsets.

Summer Solstice Sunset in Venice

Water rules the road in Venice

 as does the wildlife.

makes ya wonder about rush hour

The Ancient World Tour speaks to the original settlement of our world, the natural environment.  I thought the Summer Solstice, a time to celebrate and respect light, the perfect time to go fossil exploring. Using the lumen print process (printing with the sun!) to create a "modern" fossil (term applied loosely) even the smallest blade of grass or the tiniest flower gives an immense sense  of our intricate and fragile existence.

Venice Marsh, Venice Flower, Venice Tall Grass, Blades of Venice

After all, it's the little things that create this expansive

world we all share and live in for just a short while. 

Til next epoch..

End of the Solstice at the End of the World

All content (c) Natasha Sanchez

 

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The Louisiana World Tour, a philosophical and photographic road trip through the state of my world, 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. The Ancient Louisiana World Tour began in 2016 and aims to complement the Louisiana World Tour by honoring the  natural landscape and those who came before us.  Follow the blog for more exciting adventures! 

 

The Ancient Louisiana World Tour Begins at the Beginning - in Algiers, Louisiana

Its a new World Tour Era!

There are two things I've always wanted to incorporate into the World Tour - lumen prints and our ancient past.  Louisiana is far older and wiser than its recorded years so I have a launched a new component to the World Tour:  fossils.  Ok, modern fossils. Ok, lumen prints more precisely. Ok, massive artistic license..... I love the lumen print process for its magnificent simplicity - a solar photogram resulting in an impression of our World - as is. So I'll be revisiting & impressing upon many of those fascinating locales that we all know and love. (Get ready   Poland, Hamburg & Lisbon- I'm coming back atcha!)  Shadowing my inaugural World Tour,  I decided there was no better place to start my Ancient World Tour than the first place I could ever call home, Algiers on the West Bank of the Mississippi in New Orleans.

I wasn't quite sure how i wanted to start my fossil expedition, I just knew I wanted to make lumens from all those international locales. Yet when I teach photo workshops in the French Quarter - I often look to the past, envisioning how the French Quarter used to look as a French colony or how it looked under the Spanish rule after it was rebuilt after the fires of the late 1700's.  It took a while, but it finally dawned on me to apply that same logic to my artistic endeavors.  I wanted to visualize how Algiers & the city of New Orleans looked before it was even a glint in a Frenchmens eye - it was a cypress swampland, natch.

Thus begins my first World Tour experi-prints:  bona fide fossils, complete with swampy scenes and cypress knees:

Algiers Cypress Tree Fossil, Lumen Print, 2016

Cypress Branch, Lumen Print, 2016

Cypress Knees, Lumen Print 2016

Algiers Cypress Fossil, Lumen Print 2016

Swampy Scene, Lumen Print, 2016

I could easily get lost in thought in Ancient Algiers

what with the wildlife and natural landscape 

But then its kinda hard to miss the modernization.

Today, cypress trees line the sidewalks of Algiers alongside relics of our present and past.

Bacchus & Oyster Shell

I'm looking forward to revisting the State of My World and exploring said relics and fossils. I'll be stopping off at antiquity here and there as well.  Check back as I create modern fossils from our ancient past.

Til next time...

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

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 Youngsong isn’t about Angus Young, nor is my Justin Timberlake song about Justin Timberlake (though my Searching for a Tall Boy song isabout 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.

Til then, here's a gem I found on youtube.  happy carrot pondering.

(c) Natasha Sanchez

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?

Rhoda

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 & 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

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 toAlgiers, 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