Menlo Park 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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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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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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Taking a photo journey with David Hibbard on the Olympic Peninsula

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We were delighted to reconnect with Menlo Park-based photographer David Hibbard and take a photo journey with him around the Olympic Peninsula in Washington where he’d spent eight days that he described as “not long enough.” He explained that he was just getting back into photography after a number of family responsibilities hindered his time […]

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Barry Fleisher and his camera head coastside to catch fishermen at their work

Thumbnail image for Barry Fleisher and his camera head coastside to catch fishermen at their work

When we asked Menlo Park-based photographer Barry Fleisher how he shifted from chronicling the construction of the new Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital to capturing fishermen working out of Pillar Point Harbor, he said he saw more similarities than differences. “They’re both about people at work,” he said. “Hard and sometimes dangerous work.” His latest project […]

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Photographer Stuart Jacobson in taking part in Silicon Valley Open Studios this weekend

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By his own account, Menlo Park resident Stuart Jacobson loves taking photos of wildlife and making big prints. “But my landscapes are probably more successful as not too many people want big photos of animals over their sofa,” he told us when we stopped by today to see his photographs, part of the 2017 Silicon […]

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Photographer Frances Freyberg cast her lens on Hawaii

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Menlo Park photographer Frances Freyberg, a frequent contributor to InMenlo, is the featured artist at the Portola Art Gallery this May. You can meet her in person at a reception on Saturday, May 6, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. The exhibit, titled “The Colors of Hawaii,” features landscapes and seascapes, as well as floral and wildlife […]

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Wishing you all a happy Easter, happy spring!

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This morning we celebrate the determination of a crawling baby, who just happens to be the son of long-time contributing photographer Frances Freyberg. She took him to Burgess Park for the egg hunt yesterday, not realizing “what a madhouse” it would be. That didn’t seem to bother Dylan, who demonstrated his crawling expertise in the […]

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Photographer Merrie Asimow takes her cameras on an African adventure

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Menlo Park-based photographer Merrie Asimow may be most-known for her horse photography, but a 10-day trip last August to Kenya and Tanzania yielded some equally wonderful wildlife photos. She’s a self-described “Nikon person,” and brought two bodies along on the trip — a D750 and D500, along with two lenses, a 24-70 mm and an 80-400 […]

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Peninsula Photographic Arts Guild hosts “Envisioning Cuba” exhibit

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Menlo Park-based photographer Barry Fleisher is one of 10 photographers whose works will be shown at a Peninsula Photographic Arts Guild exhibit from September 17 to November 9. An artists’ reception will be held on Saturday, September 17 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. The exhibit is at Avenue 25 Gallery, 32 West 25th Avenue, San […]

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Big Dish area will be closed for five days in August

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The popular walking destination for Menlo Park residents, Stanford’s Big Dish area, will be closed Monday, August 15 through Friday, August 19. We’re using that announcement to showcase some of InMenlo contributing photographer Irene Searles photos of the area’s creatures. The closure will allow for coordinated maintenance activities in and around the area. According to a […]

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