Photographers

Post image for Dan Fenstermacher blends activism with photography

Menlo Park resident Dan Fenstermacher combines photography with activism to produce a distinct documentary style.

For his master’s thesis at San Jose State, he photographed people with a diagnosed mental illness. “I have OCD myself,” he said, “so it was relevant to me and my family. Mental illness is so misunderstood. Many people with a diagnosis can be very successful at what they do.”

He recently travelled to Puerto Rico which he found “still really messed up.” “Many people are still without water or electricity. I’m putting a documentary photo project together in collaboration with my friend and fellow photographer Harvey Castro to raise money for solar generators which would help a lot.”

One couple he met and photographed is Reynaldo Rodriguez Cruz and Carmen Violeta Rodriguez Cruz (pictured below). “They have blue tarps on the roof; hence the blue hue on the photo,” he explained. “They spent the hurricane sheltered in the kitchen during Maria. They witnessed their roof blowing away. Everything they had inside house was destroyed.

“FEMA assistance was denied two to three times. They had to prove their ownership of the home. He explained it was an inheritance, that he’d lived there his whole life; they had six children there and now have 12 grandchildren. They only received $2,000 in assistance. He had to go with the owner of the land so he could attest the Reynaldo was the owner of the house.”

Dan first picked up a camera when he was a kid. His stepfather was a photographer, and he got his first camera for his 21st birthday. Recently two of his photos were winners in two categories in the Palo Alto Weekly annual photo competition. They were both taken on a trip to Havana.

In addition to environmental portraits, Dan enjoys street photography. “It’s fun and relaxing and you don’t have to think too much. I did one project that featured smokers. It evolved organically when I realized a lot of the people I was photographing were smoking.”

Another of his street photography projects was photographing rickshaw drivers in Delhi.

“What I love about photography is that it’s so powerful,” he said. “It can changes lives and situations. That’s what I hope to do — make a difference.”

Photo of Dan by Scott R. Kline (c) 2018; photo of Puerto Rican couple by Dan Fenstermacher; used with permission

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Photographer Stuart Jacobson holding open studio again this year

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We discovered photographer Stuart Jacobson walking home last year from shopping at the Menlo Park Farmers Market and stopped by again this morning. He has a houseful of  lovely landscapes and captivating animal-in-the-wild photographs and will be available to talk with visitors until 5:00 pm today (1260 Middle Avenue). His home studio will also be […]

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It’s a photo a day for InMenlo contributing photographer Irene Searles

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The third time is the charm for a project that InMenlo contributing photographer Irene Searles has tried to do two previous times — posting a photo every day on Facebook and Instagram. She began this year on January 1. “I also try to take a photo every day,” she says. “My rules are that they’re […]

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Matt Weil photographs the Bay Bridge from the same vantage point of 85 years ago

Thumbnail image for Matt Weil photographs the Bay Bridge from the same vantage point of 85 years ago

It is a homecoming of sorts for civil engineer and serious amateur photographer Matt Weil whose photography show, “The Bay Bridge: An Engineer’s Perspective,” is on display at Cafe Borrone. Matt grew up in Menlo Park and would wander into Cafe Borrone walking home from Menlo-Atherton High School. “I remember seeing the different art on the […]

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Nathalie Strand uses her iPhone to take photos, making captivating composites

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If ever there was a body of work that validated those big Apple billboards touting the iPhone as a camera, it’s photographs taken by Menlo Park resident Nathalie Strand. Her basement studio is a treasure trove of images, one of which is on display at the Hall of Justice (400 County Center) in Redwood City […]

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M-A sophomore Lena Kalotihos reflects on last week’s student walkout in words and pictures

Thumbnail image for M-A sophomore Lena Kalotihos reflects on last week’s student walkout in words and pictures

We at InMenlo are big fans of photography and blessed to have such a great crew of contributing photographers. We also try to support emerging photographers, in particular, those attending local high schools. In that spirit, we showcase some reflections on last week’s student walkout that raised awareness about gun violence on school campuses from Menlo-Atherton […]

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Former Menlo Park policeman’s artwork is on display at Cafe Zoë

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Photographs by long-time friend of Menlo Park, Glenn Raggio, titled Images on Metal are on display at Cafe Zoë through the end of March. Glenn served for 15 years with the Menlo Park Police, where he was appreciated for his unique style of community policing as well as his regular newspaper column for the Almanac News, in […]

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Saluting a quartet of InMenlo’s photographers on International Women’s Day

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We at InMenlo count ourselves very lucky to have a crew of wonderful contributing photographers. Four of them just happen to be long-time female contributors, so we’re saluting them and featuring four of their inspiring photographs on International Women’s Day. Frances Freyberg has traveled the world taking photos; our paths first crossed in 2010 when […]

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By the calendar it’s winter, but Windy Hill Open Space is in spring bloom

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InMenlo contributing photographer Betsy Sergeant Snow hiked up Windy Hill Open Space Preserve last week, the first outing for her at one of the Peninsula’s favorite open spaces. She emails: “We did the whole loop, and those white blooms are cherry blossoms in the parking lot :). “I loved the view of the ocean from […]

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Elephant seals strutting their stuff at Piedras Blancas captured by photographer Robb Most

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What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than to head to Piedras Blancas to see elephant seals, particularly since that day just happens to be the peak of the mating season, according to the Friends of the Elephant Seals website. If that wasn’t InMenlo contributing photographer Robb Most’s exact thought, it’s close enough. Accompanied by […]

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Photographer Ian Ruhter bring’s “perfect imperfections” to Art Ventures Gallery in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Photographer Ian Ruhter bring’s “perfect imperfections” to Art Ventures Gallery in Menlo Park

When invited to view “the world’s largest ambrotype” at Art Ventures Gallery in Menlo Park, there was an immediate pivot to discover just what this was. A quick web search revealed that an ambrotype “is a positive photograph on glass made by a variant of the wet plate collodion process. Like a print on paper, it is viewed […]

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