Emily Nathan's Tiny Atlas Quarterly Finds Life in the Fire
In the human experience, fire is a dichotomy. On one hand it brings light and heat, providing necessary utility for those who wield it. On the other, it burns. Unharnessed, the flames that lick turn to destruction as they tear through anything in their way. The final issue of Tiny Atlas Quarter in their quadrilogy of the elements, Fire, has released with Emily Nathan at the helm. The issue examines how fire plays in our lives, and the lead story was shot by Emily herself, an examination of Point Reyes, California. The current fires tearing their way across California are a natural result form the record droughts, and they’ve created that same destruction, but in years that aren’t as dire as this, the fires still burn. In fact, they’re a part of the ecosystem in the western United States. That process is disguised as destruction, but is really a refreshment for the land, an essential part that makes the world function as it does, a unique and necessary feature to that way of life.
Point Reyes is one of the locations in California where fires are crucial to the ecosystem. Before the time of recorded history, lightning strikes started these fires but as the Coast Miwok moved into the land they also harnessed the cleansing power of fire to help the life in the area thrive. Plants like the Bishop pine, that feature in some of Emily’s imagery, require fire for their lifecycle. It is the intense heat that encourages the trees to release their seeds that thrive in the soil refreshed by the flames, and for a tree whose existence is threatened by their small numbers, the fire is crucial. This land, burned and born thousands of times over, wakes up after the tiny deaths brought by the flames and begins again.
Emily’s story imagines what you would see as you visit Point Reyes, paired with illustrations by Sharon Hwang to fill out the experience. Every issue of Tiny Atlas is about carrying the experience of travel to the viewer in a way that is casual and comfortable rather than the idolatry of excess. The voyages continue through the issue with other stories including one in Mayanmar, where hot air balloons are lofted into the air with fire, and another in the Kalihari desert whose incredible heat feels like stepping into flame. To catch the full issue, and to see the world through fire’s lens, check out the latest issue of Tiny Atlas Quarterly online.
Emily Nathan Finds Casual Grace for Ritz Carlton
The Ritz Carlton name is synonymous with luxury and grace. Emily Nathan is synonymous with exploration and intimate moments. When they came together for a shoot highlighting the environment around Ritz Carlton’s Dove Mountain Resort, they wanted to find what both of these style share. They started with the styling. Sarah Cobb found dresses that were paired with minimal accessories, minimal hair and makeup, and finished barefoot, to keep everything gorgeous but casual. “We were just trying to let the desert take the lead,” Emily explains. “It was a pretty beautiful park in the desert there. A beautiful area, populated by those huge saguaro cacti, like from a cartoon.”
Emily’s style involves a lot of planning, but once everyone is on set, she likes to let things unfold naturally. By doing that, and encouraging a relaxed and exploratory rhythm, real moments are able to unfold and present themselves. When the model saw the vintage car, one of those moments presented itself. “The owner of the car, who had like 30 vintage cars outside of Phoenix, was driving on the dirt road,” Emily explains. “But the model really wanted to drive, even though she had only driven once or something. But if a stunning model asks a guy if she can drive his car he says, 'Yes.' So he let her drive.” The car and the model survived, but it’s times like these that make a shoot rich with authentic experiences and emotions.
For those who don’t know, Emily Nathan is also the mind behind Tiny Atlas Quarterly. Tiny Atlas is something of a traveling lifestyle online magazine. Collections of stories and submissions from allover the world illustrate lives in every corner of the globe. Tiny Atlas has brought Emily to American Deserts and snowy mountains and everywhere in between. Usually, it’s just her and her camera, her models, and maybe a few others along for the ride. This myriad of experiences has helped Emily become a master of run and gun situations. She tells us how Tiny Atlas has helped her in shooting situations like venturing into the desert for Ritz Carlton. “I’ve learned to just be comfortable and flexible in all scenarios, and be comfortable leading a team down a dirt road where I’m not sure what the picture is. How important it is to be confident that you can take great pictures and to have a great team, and just know it’s going to be okay. You don’t have to know exactly what’s going to happen.” That sense of exploration creates fertile ground on which beautiful images can arrive in the camera and not be forced into existence.
Tiny Atlas Quarterly Gets Down to Earth
The endless white expanse of White Sands is actually gypsum, a stone that is a main component of chalk. The crystals are crunchy and course, and bounce light like a soft mirror – any photographer’s dream. When Emily Nathan took a shoot out to White Sands for the latest issue of Tiny Atlas Quarterly, it was almost like checking a line off a bucket list; it was somewhere she’d been wanting to visit for a long time. “It’s an amazing, amazing place,” Emily gushes. “I’ve been to a lot of places, like so many places. And I don’t usually want to take selfies or sort of freak out about a place. But White Sands is just stunning. For photographers it’s like kryptonite.” But she did take selfies, and photographs of her real life photographer friends, Sera Lindsay and Philip Eastman, wearing Teva’s latest footwear. “I had to keep taking pictures. I took pictures from the car, every moment. It’s just spectacular. It’s so beautiful,” she says
To bring this shoot into focus for Tiny Atlas, Emily conscripted a miniature team of artists for their signature flair. “There’s just all these layers like a typical Tiny Atlas story. We worked with graphic designer Lauren Crosier on the typography and Heather Day who’s a painter,” she says. She chose Heather’s work specifically for the aesthetic interpretation that it would bring to the story. Inherent in the name of the publication is that it is about travel, and spaces, and how people interact with those spaces. How the world can become an atlas, a map, as we find our way through from one place to the next. Heather’s work was pitch perfect for Emily to combine with her photography. “A lot of [Heather’s] paintings have a sort of mapping sentiment to them that are abstract. We simplified her work to fit the imagery,” says Emily
When pairing with a brand like Teva for her own publication, the most important element is integrity. The pairing has to make sense, and for Emily, the relationship with Teva made sense because Teva understands what Tiny Atlas is all about. When they came to Tiny Atlas, they wanted to stay true to the vision of the publication. “We worked with Teva from the beginning, and they really looked to Tiny Atlas to do our thing which was cool. They wanted us to find locations that were inspiring for us, that worked for our content, and then they wanted real people for models,” she says. So that’s what they did. Armed with cameras, friends, and the gypsum crystals of White Sands, they stepped into this otherworldly setting and found another pin to sink into their atlas.
Emily Nathan Brings Her Authenticity to Target
On the surface, Target might seem like a different artistic angle for Emily Nathan, the creative mind behind Tiny Atlas Quarterly. Tiny Atlas’ signature is the apex of lifestyle photography. Using the whole world as a backdrop, Emily and her collaborators do not manufacture compositions. Instead they attend the unfolding of the world, and document the beauty they find on the other side of their lenses. Target is known for highly stylized, conceptual imagery that might seem contrary to Emily’s wheelhouse. But it turns out it’s a different side of the same coin. “The challenge is to breathe life into that scenario,” explains Emily. “I have to try to have it be the Target poppy colors and somehow carry an authenticity to it and bring a little life and reality.” That’s exactly what Emily is known for.
In Tiny Atlas, Emily is on a never-ending pursuit of authenticity, so when she has babies in front of her camera for Target, she’s immediately in her element. “Babies are not capable of being inauthentic,” Emily explains. “When you’re doing that kind of shoot with an adult it’s a lot easier for the adult to fake their emotions. But babies: if you want them to giggle, you have to make them happy. If you want them to sleep, you actually have to make them tired.” Like with her lifestyle shoots, she has to bring moments of reality into the shoot to make it happen. When she’s in Big Sur, she follows a conservationist on his daily trek to save that ecosystem. When she needs an image of a sleepy baby, she has to quiet the set and walk the baby around and around until he falls asleep. Emily’s pursuit is authenticity, so what she shows us truly is authentic.
Emily is a mother herself, and came to the project with a mother’s eye. Children can be unpredictable and sensitive. You cannot anticipate how they’re going to react over the course of a long shoot, and Emily is sympathetic to the changeable nature of children. Sometimes a baby needs a break and finds a little bit of distress. Of course, if their expression doesn’t align with the plan for the shot it can be frustrating, but Emily is more aware of the larger picture. “As a Mom I want that baby to be comforted. So the baby goes and gets comforted by their Mom and if they feel like playing they come back.” Until then, Emily works with what she has, eking as much real life as she can out of every moment.
Emily Nathan Keeps It Real
When Emily Nathan tasked her magazine, Tiny Atlas Quarterly, with presenting an interview with fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, she already had a structure for the interview to fit into. TAQ is in the middle of a four part series with each subsequent issue inspired by another element. The latest issue is “Water,” so most of the conversation with Cynthia is centered around water, and Lake Tahoe acts as the backdrop for the entire shoot.
Tiny Atlas Quarterly is first and foremost a “lifestyle approach to travel.” That’s what sets them apart. The shoots Emily does aren’t the run of the mill planned shot lists and set-ups deal. Instead, it all happens authentically and organically. Every moment is really happening in front of the camera. “The way that I approach production is a series of activities that people can actually experience,” explains Emily. As they were going through the day on Lake Tahoe, setting up the situations that played out in real time, Emily learned that the model doesn’t really swim or go out on water when left to her own devices. So they put the model behind the steering wheel of a beautiful, vintage Italian boat, pulled the throttle to the max and let her drive. “She was driving this Italian vintage speedboat as fast as it could possibly go in lake Tahoe and you see that on her face,” says Emily. “You know? It’s a real moment because she was stoked! She had never been on a boat!” If Emily were to set this shot up, with a bunch of lighting rigs and an actress, she still would not have been able to get an image like the one she captured, no matter how hard she planned. Since Emily does it for real, she’ll get that shot every time.
In addition to spending the day on Lake Tahoe for Cynthia Rowley, Emily also went to Big Sur with conservationist Charles Post to shadow him and discover his work for the first time. They went to his research station up on the top of Big Sur, hidden away behind miles of switchback roads and dense forestry. “We were waking up at sunrise and Charles has his binoculars out and is telling us all the birds the we’re seeing,” Emily describes the beginning of their day together. “And then we’re hiking down to the creek and looking under the stones and seeing the different larvae that are supposed to be there and looking for birds, and hiking up and down the creek.” Charles knows this land, he loves this land, and he’s trying to help this land stay alive. Human activity and habitat expansion threatens specials and environments all over the world. Big Sur is no different, and Emily is able to offer us a look at how the people on the front lines do their important work.
Emily is based out of California, and ironically the “Water” issue released at the height of California’s drought. But almost that same day, it started raining. When asked if she thinks the magazine broke the drought, she said “I wouldn’t say I did that…” with a laugh.
To read, and experience, the rest of Tiny Atlas Quarterly's "Water" issue, click here.
Emily Nathan's Tiny Atlas shows a huge world
The newest issue of Tiny Atlas, "Air," has been published online and that means that Emily Nathan finally gets to take a breath. The photographer, creative director, editor, and publisher of Tiny Atlas can now take some time back with her family who were her inspiration for starting the magazine in the first place.
Now in its fourth issue, Tiny Atlas keeps growing and growing, and Emily is balancing it out by taking a larger role. Most of the photography is still hers, since it is her background, after all. But in order to ensure quality with all her new disciplines she is taking her time. “If I’m going to write something, it has to be good,” she says.
Yes, Tiny Atlas is online, but you must be careful not call it a blog. It’s not a blog. Emily says, “It’s a fully freehand HTML website on purpose. It’s the way real magazines feel – it’s something that magazines haven’t been able to replicate online.” What you get are digital issues filled with fixed content that have been carefully conceived and edited by Emily. It’s an immersive online experience tailored for considered consumption. Emily describes the format of the online magazine by saying, “Part of why it’s so nice is that it’s so clean and simple. The experience on the site is what a lot of people also really enjoy.” Perhaps the reason they enjoy it is the unique experience it offers in an age that’s filled with distractions. Emily underlines this point saying, “This lack of clutter and noise, is really hard to find in our time.”
Tiny Atlas has become a little corner of the internet where one can go and lose themselves in content, rather than be distracted by buffering the latest update.
Even though Tiny Atlas is a packaged delivery, it sill offers a certain amount of interaction. The Portraits and Place sections are filled with portraits and environmental photography from a long list of rotating contributors, some new collaborators, some Tiny Atlas veterans.
The next step? Emily asked herself the same question, “How can we utilize this whole skill set that we have?” She’s looking to explore new and innovative ways to pair up with clients and approach consumer outreach in a whole new way. Now that she manages this carefully orchestrated creative space she sees the opportunity for growth and integration. “Advertisers are trying to connect with consumers, and consumers have so much control over their visual space.” With Tiny Atlas, those worlds could coalesce into a creative execution, resulting in a successful new way of reaching a captive audience. “You don’t want to see advertisers getting in the way unless they have something interesting to say,” and Emily has set herself up to help them find what it is they need to say.
Emily Nathan's High-Energy Promos for MasterCard
Emily Nathan shot a series of high-energy images for MasterCard Singapore that were also launched in the Chinese market. "The concept was real lifestyle moments that could have been caught on a phone and uploaded to Instagram," said Nathan, who took to Singapore's popular Praelum Wine Bistro, the Hard Rock Hotel, and Marina Bay Sands resort. "For the Marina Bay Sands picture, to get the models in the mood, I had them dance up the stairs together. I would teach them a few moves, we try it together, and they'd do it on their own for the camera."
She noted her involvement with the project began during the casting – "which was nice because I could meet the models and give them a head's up as to what they'd be doing during the next few days" – and that her first assistant and digital tech came along with her. "I think that's the best way to work internationally … to have your two main people and direct a local team that has access to the area in a capacity that you don't."
Emily Nathan's Tiny Atlas Quarterly Celebrates the Winter Solstice
Emily Nathan recently released the winter solstice issue of Tiny Atlas Quarterly, her online lifestyle and travel magazine, with a limited-edition print annual to follow. Aside from overseeing the entire project, Nathan contributed a pair of stories to the issue. The first, "Fieldwork: Fine Art in South Kona," features Klea McKenna in conversation with Aimee Friberg.
"For 'Fieldwork,' we try to share personal takes on places as well as highlight an artist's work," Nathan explained. "It's a mini-library shoot, in which you can relay a narrative in twenty pictures." McKenna brought Nathan to Hawaiian lagoons, local beaches, and Kaaloa's Super J's for pork lau lau. "She took us for a walk on her family's land and collected materials that she uses for her large-scale photograms, and she also picked some finished pieces for me to shoot," the photographer said. "Then, I captured a few organic moments, like Klea at home in the morning because the lighting was beautiful."
Nathan approached "Kona Punch" as she would a fashion editorial. "I began with a mood board for the story and worked with a stylist on the clothes I hoped to use, and all of the models belong to a local agency called Niche," she noted. "I wanted to have textural layers, so my sister, who is an artist, created these watercolor paintings (with art direction from Liz Mullally) that she then collaged and manipulated on the computer. It's very analog-meets-digital, which is a part of the Tiny Atlas ethos – we're not one dimensional." Similarly, Nathan pointed out, both pieces include lodging, food, and activity suggestions. "That's another layer; the resources are a big part of this and not afterthoughts."
Tiny Atlas's printed annual is slated for publishing in the spring, thanks to a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. "Not only is Kickstarter 'Business 101,' it teaches you a lot about your audience," Nathan remarked. "Right now, we're gathering all of the hi-res images and artwork from the whole year – early spring 2013, summer 2013, and the solstice issue – and the next steps are figuring out what the cover and layout will look like."
Emily Nathan Redefines Travel Images With Tiny Atlas Quarterly
Emily Nathan is redefining travel imagery and reportage with her website – and soon-to-be magazine – Tiny Atlas Quarterly. Launched to show the photographer's take to prospective clients, Tiny Atlas has swiftly evolved into a space for those who share the same opinion as Nathan: Travel magazines leave much to be desired. "There's always the 'bed shot,' and the 'food shot,' and I love a beautiful room and a good dinner, but I want to shoot those elements if they're extraordinary, not because it's what's expected," she said. "It doesn't relay the feeling of flying in a small airplane and landing somewhere unimaginable, and that's the experience I want to capture."
Inspired in part by her on-assignment commissions, the summer edition spans San Diego to Finland. Among the articles: Nathan, writer David Prior, and illustrator Olivia Suchman's piece titled, "Demystifying Abalone"; "Field Work," curator Aimee Friberg's exploration of fine art in nature; and "The House at the End of the Street," a fashion and beauty story – two topics that interest Nathan more and more, and propel Tiny Atlas into the lifestyle realm.
Nathan has a devoted team. Her husband, a user-experience designer at Intuit, built TinyAtlasQuarterly.com. "He made it with live type over the photos, which is rare. Most people use a blog format or an arrangement without live graphics – some individuals in the UI world have seen [Tiny Atlas] and told me it's amazing," she explained. (Photoshelter concurs: "Most photographers maintain a crappy old blog where they post some 'personal' pictures and talk about their creative slump. And then there's Emily Nathan ... ") Her priorities were for it to be beautiful and engaging. A friend, Liz Mullally, is the art director; Real Simple and Apple vet Deb Hearey acts as Nathan's photo editor; another cohort, Jill Lindenbaum, does PR; and Nathan's studio manager assists with the production. Finally, the artist mentioned a 70- or 80-year-old writer on the East Coast, who's helping her develop the text for the project: "I want it to be more open – poems or fiction or memoirs with a strong sense of place."
With two issues online, this fall's Tiny Atlas Quarterly will be accompanied by a moderate print run, which Nathan hopes to fund through Indiegogo: "Printing is the next level of commitment. A tangible product will grow the readership and make way for potential partners and advertisers." She plans to stock the magazines at small bookstores and boutiques located in big cities for its first season, and, "if it doesn't prove to be financially beneficial, then we'll keep it online." Nathan has nothing to worry about, though. "I have photographers pitching me stories right and left," she shared, when pressed. "From those pitches, I'm already thinking about what it should look like ... there's a lot coming up! Upstate New York, the Pacific Northwest, international sights ... " She trailed off, yet another indication that Tiny Atlas is full of possibilities.
Visit Tiny Atlas Quarterly here.
Emily Nathan's Sporting Life for Ritz-Carlton
Emily Nathan and Ritz-Carlton continued their long-standing partnership with a ten-page editorial by the photographer in the luxury hotel's summer magazine. Titled "En Plein Air," Nathan's images set a warm-weather wardrobe against a backdrop of outdoor activities – canoeing, tennis, and reading the newspaper on a bench beside a Prada golf bag; the latter, our idea of sport.
Nathan and her crew traveled to Reynolds Plantation, Georgia, for the shoot last spring. "While we couldn't quite go in the lake yet, the infinity pool [at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge] is kept at perfect temperature," she said. "[Being the] lifestyle girl that I am, I jumped in with the model, Angela, and walked some laps while shooting (and snuck in a few laps of my own)."
Agency: Meghan Conway at the Wall Group
Stylist: Marina Muñoz
Hair: Alejandra Nerizagal for Redken at Factory Downtown
Production: Yael Knopf at Black Market
Makeup: Janeiro for Mac Pro Cosmetics at Art Department
Model: Angela Highsmith at Marilyn NY
Emily Nathan for Ritz-Carlton Summer 2012
Emily Nathan photographs coastal fashion for the Summer 2012 issue of Ritz-Carlton Magazine. The ten-page spread was inspired by the area's earth and sea tones. The shoot took place at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, California. Half Moon Bay featured a wide expanse of settings including manicured lawns, rugged cliffs, and the hotel's own room side fire pits.
As a Bay Area local, Nathan says she has "an obsession with the way light falls." She's also an avid surfer; the model posed with her surfboard in one photograph. Nathan calls one of the locations, nearby San Gregorio, their "hero beach." She says, "There is so much to see there-massive pieces of driftwood, a fast-moving river, sea birds, and even sea caves that I was able to scout with the production's state park ranger."
The summer 2012 issue of Ritz-Carlton Magazine is out now.
See more of Emily Nathan's photography here.
Publication: Ritz-Carlton Magazine
Issue: Summer 2012
Photographer: Emily Nathan
Stylist: Shannon Dunn >
Emily Nathan Captures Spring and Summer for TOMS Youth
Emily Nathan collaborates with TOMS on the spring and summer campaigns for their children's collection, TOMS Youth. Nathan captured several children wearing TOMS against a plain backdrop on location in a Los Angeles studio.
The late photojournalist Dan Eldon inspired the spring collection. Eldon was killed in Mogadishu in 1993 while covering the Somali War for Reuters. His photography, quotes, art and even his fingerprints were all used on the shoes' designs. When TOMS told the Eldon family about the line, the family sent along some of Eldon's prized belongings to be included in the shoot. His camera, the one he was using the day he was killed, appears as a prop in several of the images, and his beads are worn as a belt by one of the young models.
The summer campaign features the children with popular summer props like a beach ball and sand buckets, while wearing bathing suits, t-shirts and shorts.
The campaigns were Nathan's second and third collaboration with TOMS.
See more of Nathan's photography here.
Emily Nathan Captures Spring Fashion for Ritz-Carlton
Emily Nathan photographs spring fashion trends for Ritz-Carlton Magazine's Spring 2011 issue. The quarterly publication recently re-launched with a new design and a new focus on luxury, fashion, and lifestyle. For their Spring 2011 issue, the magazine wanted to capture the both the iconic and old San Francisco and the new and fresh San Francisco. The city's many juxtapositions are reflected in the clothes and the locations.
Nathan captured the model in various locations around the Bay Area over the course of a two-day shoot. Locations like City Lights Bookstore and Crissy Field represent the old San Francisco, while the shot in the tower at the deYoung Museum, seen above, represent the new San Francisco. As much of Nathan's portfolio is lifestyle and outdoors, many of the shots were taken outside into a wider landscape. The crew headed into the Marin Headlands, where Nathan photographed the model overlooking the city.
See more of Emily Nathan's photography here.
Publication: Ritz-Carlton Magazine
Issue: Spring 2011
Creative Director: James Truman
Photo Editor: Cory Jacobs
Photographer: Emily Nathan
Model: Margareth Sands
Stylist: Shannon Dunn >
Emily Nathan for Vogue Australia Living
Emily Nathan captures the San Francisco food collective OPENrestaurant for the March/April issue of Vogue Australia Living. The project was started by Stacie Pierce, Jerome Waag, and Sam White, all part of the Chez Panisse restaurant staff. It mixes the avant garde art scene with the organic and sustainable food culture of the Bay Area. OPENrestaurant explores issues around food and society by turning the restaurant into an artistic medium and making it available to cooks, farmers, artists, and activists. The collective meets one night every few months to enjoy local food and to discuss a specific issue.
Nathan photographed the collective in a warehouse in Allameda on the edge of the bay. Many of the collective's resources and food come directly from the bay. Nathan captured the chaos and bustle of the event with a digital medium format camera and a 35 mm. She wanted it to be more lifestyle rather than a standard food shoot. Nathan calls the piece "a fun but sophisticated story with a documentary element."
The March/April issue of Vogue Living Australia is on newsstands now.
See more of Emily Nathan's photography here.
Publication: Vogue Living Australia
Photography: Emily Nathan
Emily Nathan Brightens Up Martha Stewart Weddings
Emily Nathan traveled to Wilbur Hot Springs in California to capture the wedding of Eunice and Daniel for the Spring 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings. Eunice and Daniel's wedding is the focal point of "The Color Issue" and Emily's photo graces the cover. The bride took her inspiration from Tim Walker and the wedding features a parade of animal silhouette puppets, a Vaudeville-stage altar, and flea market and vintage finds.
Personal touches included garlands made of pom-poms of coffee filters that Eunice hand-dyed, custom-made cockades by Tricia Roush worn as boutonnieres, and Eunice's hand-stitched dress by Iain Harris Bartlett. Guests dined on bites such as fried green tomatoes, Tahitian vanilla and mocha buttercream cake, and a pie bar. The signature cocktail of the night was "Marital Bliss," a blend of St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Hendrick's gin, lime, and soda.
The wedding took place at a solar-powered hotel about two hours north of Napa. During the wedding, Emily Nathan encountered nature in more ways than one. Upon her first evening, she met with bulls in the dark of the night and had to shoo them away. Later on, Nathan and the Martha Stewart team explored the area to scout the perfect field of wildflowers to hold the invitations. They found a small patch of purple clovers and arose the next morning at dusk to shoot the intricate wedding invitations resting within the blooms.
All still-life shots were taken the day before the wedding to ensure their pristine, photo-ready condition. Nathan stayed to celebrate the union and photograph the wedding. In order to be considered for the magazine, prospective brides and grooms must submit wedding material to Martha Stewart Weddings. The attention to detail that Eunice and Daniel dedicated to their wedding is chronicled in Nathan's images.
Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2010 issue is available on newsstands now, be sure to keep an eye out for the cover and feature story by Emily Nathan.
Senior Style Editor: Katie Berry
Associate Style Editor: Britni Wood
Art Director: Brooke Reynolds
Photography: Emily Nathan
Emily Nathan's Magisterial Gaze
Curator Carol McCusker had a vision, put out a call for entry, and one thousand submissions flooded in from 200 artists. McCusker narrowed it down to forty five photographs that now form "New Directions 2010," showing currently at Wall Space Gallery. Emily Nathan's "Green Sea" epitomizes the premise of the "down and out" motif of the show.
"Down and out" refers to the point of view of looking down from a high vantage point and out to a vanishing horizon that Albert Boime called a "Magisterial Gaze." Ms. McCusker hoped that "the photographs would show a variety of ways that 'down' and 'out' can be imaged; and the emotional liberation such points-of-view can have on our often confined and overly responsible psyches."
During her travels, Emily Nathan shot "Green Sea" in Byron Bay, Australia.
Explains Nathan, "In my travel images I have two main visual threads. In 'travel' images I usually describe a place by focusing on one detail from the traveler's perspective. I direct the viewer to see a place how I choose to see it (through the light on someone's face, a detail in a building, the color or texture of water in a given place). In 'turismo' images I usually frame up the travelers themselves- exploring how people relate to and visit within our communities and our natural world. "Green Sea" falls a bit in both areas, but ultimately it is a "turismo" image because the subject matter to me (as a surfer myself) is the surfers."
Says McCusker of Nathan's "Green Sea," "[Emily Nathan's surfers] hold enough odd beauty in their familiarity... to make us see the extraordinary in common vistas."
Concludes Nathan, "The ocean is not ours for taking so much as its ours to share and respect. Respect the ocean and your fellow surfers and then you can experience the divine."
New Directions 2010 is showing now at Wall Space in Seattle, Washington. To view more of Emily Nathan's work, view her portfolio here.>