May 2014

Post image for Photographer Irene Searles casts her lens on the people and landscapes of Burma

Some things are worth waiting for. This is very much true for viewing InMenlo photographer’s Irene Searles’ photos of Burma, which she took on a February 2013 photo workshop trip led by Mark Tuschman.

Cat Comfort_IreneUpon return, she did a cursory glance of the 8,000 images that she captured but didn’t fully circle back on her body of work until this year. “I took a Photography and Light Room class at Foothill taught by Kate Jordahl,” she explained. “The Burma photos became my class project. I first narrowed them down to 1,300 and then down to just under 200. In consulting with my photography mentor Neal Menschel, that number got bumped up to 244.”

In time she selected 25 images that she processed and printed. “I wanted to have a range that showed the culture, landscape and people of Burma with a good variety of types of shots — portraits, landscapes, details,” she said.

Woman in purple_Irene

The Burma project featured a number of firsts. It was the first time Irene had printed her own color photographs (she’d previously printed black and white). “It was a bit of a learning curve to calibrate the monitor and make sure the colors matched the image,” she said. “I did a lot of test prints — a few I printed just once.”

This was the first major photo project Irene has done since chronicling the construction of Freewheel Brewing Company, which remains on display there. It was also the first time she used Light Room and Photoshop rather than Aperture.

Boy and balancing_Irene

Irene summed up her experience: “I did not expect to have any good landscape photographs, but two of my favorites are more landscape/architectural. That was  nice surprise.

“My downfall as a photographer is that I talk to people. Sometimes that leads me in being too interested in my subjects outside of  what I’m trying to do photographically. I’m working on making photography a craft and finding the moments.”

Irene is also working on putting together a website where her photographs can be purchased. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in buying any of the images that accompany this post — or seeing more of her Burma work — contact Irene directly at ivsearles@gmail.com.

Morning monk_Irene

Photos by Irene Searles; (c) 2014

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Paula Hamilton wants to change your kids attitude towards math this summer

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Paula Hamilton is hoping that her new math camp this summer — Mathitude — will get campers as high on math as she jumps on a trampoline. Ok, she didn’t exactly put it that way. But we’re presuming her enthusiasm for all things mathematics might come as part of the competitive spirit she displayed when she won the […]

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Cherith Spicer’s Namesake Cheesecake keeps favorite Peninsula cheesecake recipe alive and well

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Maybe it should be obvious that there’s actually a person behind Namesake Cheesecake, one of the commissary businesses that operates at 425 El Camino in Menlo Park. To Menlo Park residents who grew up in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the name has particular relevance. This was the era when going to Rickey’s Garden Hotel […]

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Twelve M-A students receive Student Service Awards

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Twelve students received Principal’s Student Service Awards at Menlo Atherton High School PTA’s May 27th meeting. Each year, the PTA and Principal Matt Zito present these awards to 9th through 11th grade students who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to volunteer service in the Menlo-Atherton or greater community. Criteria for selecting recipients includes social value […]

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With camera in hand, Alice Cummings records the plants of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

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By her own account, long-time Menlo Park resident Alice Cummings fell back into photography rather than pursuing it. “When I was growing up I had a dark room and an enlarger and would make prints for my family,” she said, sitting at a picnic table at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, where she is a […]

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Possible mountain lion sighting in west Atherton this morning

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The Atherton Police Department issued a statement that resident in the area of Walsh Road/Belbrook Way spotted a potential mountain lion sighting in the area this morning (May 27). As a reminder, if you see what you believe to be a mountain lion, don’t approach the animal, go indoors and contact the police department.

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Pace Gallery comes to Menlo Park as pop up, offering exhibits through end of June

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The flooring at the new Pace Gallery in Menlo Park has a bit of a factory-filling, a fact that shouldn’t be surprising given that it’s the same space where Tesla’s were once assembled. The Pace pop-up gallery first opened last month with an exhibition of the works of Alexander Calder. The second exhibition atthe temporary […]

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Great Frame Up in downtown Menlo Park hosts M-A student art show

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The Great Frame Up store on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park, is hosting the Menlo-Atherton High School Creative Self-Expressions Art Contest. The students in the Drawing and Painting, Photography, and Ceramics classes at the high school submitted their work from the year. The teachers of the classes chose a few to be featured in the […]

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“Go for the gesture!” says photographer Jay Maisel

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I was very fortunate recently to participate in a week long photography workshop in New York City’s Nolita area taught by Jay Maisel. Maisel is a well known New York photographer – having done commercial work for many years before moving on to only shoot images for his own portfolio. His New York street photographs […]

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Herschel Cobb recalls good times with grandfather Ty in book Heart of a Tiger

Thumbnail image for Herschel Cobb recalls good times with grandfather Ty in book Heart of a Tiger

Herschel Cobb recalls the moment at the Sharon Park duck pond when his then-preschool-age daughter turned to him with a request: “Tell me stories about when you were a little boy.” “There was nothing suitable for her ears,” he says. “But I did have memories of wonderful times with my grandfather [Ty Cobb] in Atherton […]

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Menlo Park City Manager’s budget workshop set for Tuesday, May 27

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Residents are invited to attend or watch the 2014 City Manager’s Budget Workshop on Tuesday, May 27 at 6:00 pm in the City Council Chambers. The evening will include a presentation on the City Manager’s Fiscal Year 2014-15 Proposed Budget and the ten-year financial forecast. A public hearing will be held at the City Council’s meeting on […]

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