The Long Way Home

In the Woods

Borrowing the title of a mystery novel, In the Woods chronicles my ongoing obsession with fairy tale-worlds. Years ago when I taught ESL to Bosnian refugees, one of my students described a forest as ‘deep trees.’ My breath caught when she said it. The literal translation from the Bosnian evokes images of serenity or fear, of hard rains or soft snow, of being hidden by a canopy of trees so thick you can’t hear your footsteps, just the sound of your breathing.

I found the place for this project by accident. Originally I went to see a garden in Youngstown featuring the Iron Curtain stations of the cross, but the symmetrical rows of pine trees captured me. It was like walking into a giant storybook, waiting for me to fill its pages. 

October Unblurred on Penn Avenue.

through the trees


ghost children


test shot: tree-stump tripod, 10-second timer


in flight




deep trees


Snow White and Rose Red

Sarah, Liz and I spent the afternoon in Harmony, continuing my fairy tale photo project with a reinterpretation of the tale “Snow White and Rose Red.” In the original Grimm Brothers story, Snow White and Rose Red are kind-hearted sisters who have run-ins with an ungrateful dwarf. They are frequently visited by a bear, who ends up being a prince (did I give it away?). I wasn’t sure where we’d get an angry dwarf, or a bear for that matter, but in this series of photos I concentrated on the closeness between the two sisters. You can find the ‘final’ versions at flickr.


The Girl with the Silver Hands

This September, Jeff and I are co-curators for a fairy-tale themed show at Future Tenant gallery in downtown Pittsburgh. Stasia was the guinea pig for my fairy tale photos. I found it a challenge to interpret fairy tales through photography — we more often see the tales depicted in paintings and illustration. I wanted to do “The Handless Maiden” and considered ‘dissolving’ her hands in photoshop to give the effect of a handless appearance (which I  still may do), but having limited props, a beautiful sunny day and a lovely model were all I needed to create another version of this tale, “The Girl with the Silver Hands,” reminding me about the magic in the limitations of photography. I need to do some shadow and highlight adjustments on the black and whites (and she may even end up in sepia), but here is a preview of what I captured yesterday: (‘final’ versions can be found at flickr.)

8X8 color stasiastasiaupsidedown

An amazing photo by Jeff:


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