What I did this summer

As many of you know, I had about the best imaginable photography assignment this summer, making images of high school students in World Learning’s Experiment in International Living in France and Spain. The goal was to get shots of students: 1)  in a European setting, and/or 2) simply having fun.

My first evening in Paris, John Meislin, EIL director, tells the French Community Service Group that they will be doing a ten-hour scavenger hunt in Paris the following day.
Each student pair had an opportunity to lead the rest of the group in the scavenger hunt all over the city. A sample question: Impasse St. Denis: Find a chase roues and find out how it was used.
Confirming the correct metro stop for the next part of the hunt, which ended up lasting nearly 14 hours, but resulted in enough points to win a surprise boat trip to Italy for the entire group.
Still in Paris! This small replica of the Statue of Liberty is on an island in the river Seine. Who knew?
The French theatre group throwing their scripts into the air, confident that they'd memorized their lines—all in French—for a performance the following evening.
Each of the French Photography group students had a opportunity to share the vision for their work, en Français, during the photography exhibition.
Chocolate, whipped cream, and caramel. What could go wrong?
After a short plane flight to Barcelona, a three-hour bus ride brought me to the small town of Cadaques (COD-ah-CASE) on the northeast coast of Spain.
Mimi, a student in the Picasso, Gaudi, and Dali Group, loving the Mediterranean.
Guille (GEE-ay), the artist who worked with the group, grew up spending summers in Cadaques, so he knew every walking trail, and every great local restaurant.
Tyler looks for shells with a little help from one of the locals.
Genny, the group leader, and Guillle lead the group back to Guille's apartment for lunch.
Salvador Dali's summer house in Cadaques is now a musuem. Like his art, his home was eccentric, fun, and full of the unexpected.
Maria, Josh, and Ashley take a break near a fountain in Dali's garden.
A children's play egg. Dali had a thing for eggs.
Such as this number gracing the top of his summer home.
This image has not been vetted by EIL's lawyer. It's really safer than it looks.
Mimi and Jake in the small town of Pals. Cool name for a town.
Helping make a chocolate cake for dessert.
Then to Barcelona for three days. Here, the Spanish Language Immersion Group approaches the stunning Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, the cathedral that famed architect Antoni Gaudi worked on for 43 years until his death, and which is still under construction (following his original plans) after 129 years.
Trying to catch the scale of this amazing space.
Jennifer, the group leader, holds on to her hat.
A moment of exuberance in the cathedral.
Karaoke in the metro station.
Gnocchi and four cheeses after a tour of the Museu Picasso.
Admiring some of the famed Barcelona street art.
The Spanish Flamenco, Arts, and Folklore Group tries out the rental bikes by the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona.
Buying a picnic lunch at the Market de la Boqueria, a street market that has been in business since 1270 AD, thereby making it older than the Brattleboro Farmers Market.
After lunch in the Parc de la Ciutadella, the Flamenco group tries to appear pensive for the camera.
Which lasts about 10 seconds.

Leslie flew in the next day, and we spent a week together in Cadaques and Barcelona before heading back to Vermont. Next year, Latin America? Keeping my fingers crossed!

Dartmouth Commencement

I had the opportunity to be a staff photographer at Dartmouth’s commencement yesterday, and though it threatened to rain, it never did. We just had beautiful soft light.
Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the college's popular and dynamic president.
President George H.W. Bush received an honorary doctorate for his bravery in World War II, and his long life of service to our country. Yesterday was his 87th birthday.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush, as poised and gracious as ever.
In a seeming non sequitur, Conan O'Brien also received an honorary doctorate and gave the commencement address.
He kept everyone, including President Bush, laughing for nearly twenty minutes before talking about how to deal with disappointment, referring to his loss of hosting the Tonight Show when NBC gave the position to Jay Leno. You can see the address at


The real stars of the show, of course, were the graduates.
There was a mixture of joy, relief, and pride on everyone's faces.
And celebration between classmates who supported and encouraged one another over four years.


His graduation gown will never smell quite the same.
Joy, relief, pride, and disbelief.
After the ceremony, families express their feelings as well.