Thursday, November 5, 2009

...unattached... the images

The images that are featured in my first solo show ...unattached... are now online. Please take a bit of time to check them out! The opening went beautifully... thank you so much to everyone who came! The estimates for number of guests at the opening are between 200 and 250 people! Yay!

...unattached... - Images by Talya Arbisser

Sunday, October 25, 2009

First Solo Show

I know... I know... I've been out of touch for WAY too long. I've been working on posting pretty heavily to Facebook... but I shouldn't have left those of you who've been following me the longest out. For that I apologize.

So much has happened since February. Graduation from the International Center of Photography... a move back to Iowa... a 'long-term' project that stole my heart and so much more. The big news right now however is my first solo show. ...unattached... opens Friday, Oct. 30 from 7 - 10 pm. I am extremely excited about it! I feel bad about having neglected this blog... but I did want to make sure I shared it with you all. Today I got some very positive press in the form of one of the papers I interned for - The Quad-City Times... feel free to check out the wonderful article here I'm also including the poster for my show in this post. If any of you are in the Quad-City area in the next 2+ months I'd love to see you!

I do hope this post finds all of my readers well?! I will attempt to post more often here than I have been... but if you are on Facebook... please fan me - 'Photos By Talya'!

For now I bid you all goede nacht (goodnight) more to come soon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Can't sleep so I'll post a favorite

It's been forever since I've posted on here, I guess because I always want to type too much when really I could just post photos. So that's what I'm going to try to do from now on... if I don't want to write anything, I will at least post recent photos every now and then. Thank you for continuing to ready my blog :-). 

Here's a recent favorite I shot when I saw batman crossing 42nd street. My best to all of you who are reading this! 

Also a bit of exciting news before I go, I'm working on a book to sell back home in Iowa of some of the images I made while in Amsterdam! I'll pots on here when I have it ready!

That's it for now... I should be adding more photos soon. Cheers


Thursday, December 4, 2008


Wow... more than two months since my last post! It's been a pretty busy semester. I took some photos for my flash class today that I'm actually quite happy with... I'll try to post my portfolio photos from the semester once I have those picked... hopefully to kind of catch you up... but meanwhile here are some portraits of my friend James. Hope this post finds everyone well!

1st and 3rd picture were taken with a slave flash and umbrella, whereas the 2nd and 4th were taken with a slave flash and soft box. Cheers all!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy 5769!

L'Shanah tovah - Happy New Year, 5769! It's been an interesting year, I've been to four different countries - the US, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands - I spent 6 months interning for the Quad-City Times - and I've lived in three very different cities - Davenport, Amsterdam, and NYC. 

To top off this exciting year, I attended Rosh Hashanah services in a rather  unique location, on the 45th floor of 7 World Trade Center, it was an awe inspiring location, and looking down from services onto Ground Zero produced some interesting reflections on my part as I'm sure it did for others. The service itself was also unique, put on by the Tribeca Hebrew community and featuring Storahtelling (a radical fusion of storytelling, Torah, contemporary  art and traditional ritual theatre). After seeing the view Monday evening when I attended with  my friend Aliza, I knew I had to bring my camera Tuesday morning!
Tuesday morning, when I brought along my camera, the light was not as beautiful as it had been the night before... a bit overcast and fairly flat, but I'm still quite happy with this image of my awesome friend and roommate for the last few weeks Annie, shooting her own photo of the Manhattan skyline.
Bee photo shot near the Hudson River.
After services ended we walked to the nearby Hudson River for a ritual I really enjoy called Tashlich - which is basically a symbolic way of releasing your sins and transgressions from the previous year in the form of bread crumbs released into (flowing) water. The ritual was accompanied by spirited musicians from Storahtelling playing everything from guitars to bongos to an accordion. There was much merriment and dancing. Very enjoyable and fairly cleansing - nice to start the year off fresh!
This little girl was having such an amazing time with her parents!
Finally I topped off my Rosh Hashanah celebration by having a delicious dinner with my grandmother Joyce at her apartment overlooking the George Washington Bridge and upper Manhattan. I think it's fair to say 5769 started off with some beautiful views of my new home city!

In other news, I start school officially on Friday - my first class will be History of Photojournalism, a 3-hour a week course which I already have homework for, a 1 - 2 page essay on my favorite photo book. Unfortunately my books are all at home (in Iowa), but I think I know what book I'd like to write on, and hopefully they will have it in the extensive and beautiful International Center of Photography (ICP) library. OK... I'm off to prep for school. 

Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Trying to see the light...

School hasn't even officially started yet... and I'm already trying to see the light... We've been shooting these last couple of weeks for a scavenger hunt, and I've been attempting to use the light to my advantage to make stronger photos. Here are a few of my favorite portraits from this past week that were enhanced by light. There has been very basic photoshopping, and with the exception of the center photo no cropping.
Young girl in Central Park with her father
Quick nap on the subway to Queens (raised platform)
Snoozing on the Staten Island Ferry
I've always known that good/bad light can make or break a photo... after all photography is all about capturing light... but I feel like being around all of these creative types is really bringing out my eye for truly seeing the light before taking my images... and I find this to be an exciting time!

We finally turned in our scavenger hunt photos today... we'll be editing them down to our group favorites starting tomorrow. I decided to give my camera a rest, which maybe wasn't such a great idea, as I ended up in a situation where I really would have liked my camera (although I wonder if I would have been brave enough to pull out my massively indiscrete camera).

I was returning from hanging out with my friend Stas in Astoria (Queens) tonight, about half past 11 pm. Perhaps I watch too much Law and Order, but it was my first time walking through an outer borough, this late, without another person with me so I was a tad nervous. I quickly made the walk from his apartment to the last stop on the N/W track to board the train, which is where the trouble started. Sitting at the opposite end of the bench I sat down on was a large man carrying a bag, with a very big scar running down the side of his face. As the train started to go, he began making kissy noises towards me and making very lewd gestures whenever he caught a glimpse of me in the reflection of the window across from us. Not sure what to do, I tried my best not to look in his direction and ignore him, as I knew I would be switching trains to the 7 for my journey to Grand Central Terminal.

As I exited the N/W train I was upset to see him get up and follow me. Once on the platform, as I awaited the 7 train's arrival, I managed to signal to a woman that I was nervous. The man, who was evidently extremely drunk, tried speaking with her, incoherently, when I positioned myself on her opposite side. As he seemingly took the stairs to go to another train, I relaxed, and went over the thank the woman for getting my hint that I was nervous.  Just after thanking her though, he came back, and as we boarded the 7 he followed us into the car. I got into a conversation with the woman, Barbara, as we took off towards Grand Central Terminal, and she mentioned that in the 2 months she'd been taking this route at night, she'd never run into a problem. As we talked I started to calm down. All of a sudden we hear a string of obscenities,
 and as the two of us turned to see what the commotion was, we realized that one of the guys who'd been hanging out at the opposite end of the car was on top of scar face, and was to put it bluntly, pounding the crap out of my would be (creepy) suitor. 

Barbara and I tried to get away from the fight, which was between us and the next car we could go to. She had the good sense to pound on the door leading to a conductor, who came out at the next stop to see what had happened. Thankfully the hitter took off, and to my relief (although probably his detriment) scar face went after him, and then the train left the station without either man on board. I tried explaining to the conductor what I had seen, and then another man came up and explained what had happened. Evidently scar face was saying pretty disgusting stuff about the other guy's group in Spanish, not realizing that those in the group actually spoke Spanish... oops!

After the melee was over, and we had told our stories, we pulled ourselves together as we got into Manhattan. Lucky for me Barbara lives not far from me so we walked most of the way home together... but as we were getting off the train, despite being fairly shook up, all I could say was how much I wish I'd had my camera!

OK... it's 2:40 am here... obviously it's been an exciting night but I really need to catch some ZZZZZs. For a pleasant last image I'll leave you with a photo of the reason I'm most excited to be in NY... I'll be able to see my adorable nephew Meir a lot more often and watch him grow!
Lilah Tov,

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New York City

New York City baby! Man it feels good to be back in the Big Apple! I've been pretty busy these last couple of weeks, so I'm sorry for the delayed post... I hope to keep more on top of this as I shoot my way through a year of International Center of Photography.

Yup! I'm finally here, and the last week and a half have been a whirl-wind of information, photos, and meeting new friends. I've been attending orientation classes for 8 days straight now, and have 2 more to go before I get a break. It's been a tiring, but fun week, and I really can't believe I'm actually going to school for what I want to do!
I took the above photo during my walk home on my first day of orientation. I was feeling inspired, and going for something different than I normally shoot. I really felt it worked best in black and white! I found a wonderful, fully furnished apartment in the Murray Hill neighborhood, located about a .85 mile walk from my school, which is located at 43rd and 6th Ave (aka Avenue of the Americas). At a good pace, it takes me about 15 minutes door to door, which is extremely convenient!

I'm really loving my time here so far; I've made a lot of new friends, and have been enjoying orientation activities meant to allow us to get to know each other such as a beautiful cruise around the city last night, and last Sunday a trip to Coney Island with our cameras! We were actually quite lucky to be able to shoot the last day of Astroland, the Coney Island amusement park that has been in operation since 1962, and supposedly closed it's doors for good after we left September 7th. (I say supposedly, as the closing of Astroland was announced in 2007 as well - although they are saying it is probably for real this time). 
My classmates and I spent a beautiful sunny day, getting plenty of Vitamin D and shooting images of a large variety of whacky characters and happy children.

Orientation for ICP is almost a month long, and culminates at the end of September with a slide show of images shot during two weeks of a scavenger hunt. We were given a list of photos we should be looking to shoot to fill certain categories including documenting a trace of someone or something, photograph something invisible, and making an American Photograph, etc. The whole class of 2009 (80+ people - 38 of whom are in the photojournalism/documentary program with me) were split into groups A through F for orientation. In the end each group will have four photos filling 19 categories for the final slide show! Today we got our first glimpse of everyone in our groups' photography. I entered nine photos for the day, including the one below, which will definitely be in the final edit!
This photo was taken at a street fair on 6th Avenue yesterday. The man in the photo was wearing protective glasses as he stirred a huge vat of kettle corn. I shot the image through the dirt and grease stained netting separating onlookers from what I can only assume to be splattering oil. The image will either fit into the American Photograph or the Wild Card category! I was extremely happy to get a great reaction from my peers, as this image took the screen. 

OK. That's it for tonight! I'm extremely tired, and have to be up again in the morning to show that I can print a black and white print (you know, from film - in an actual dark room!)

Thank you so much for reading. Cheers!