Sky Chasing

I've recently been obsessed with chasing the sky at beautiful times of day. I really can't explain it, but it's the only thing I've wanted to photograph/film for the past two weeks. I think it's just one of those things where I've been so caught up with finals, that the sky seems so peaceful and relaxing. I've never been one to want to wake up at sunrise, but for some reason I found myself awake at 5 AM almost every morning aching to go out and shoot. 

It's funny, because during my first photo class ever, my teacher told me to never photograph the sunset. "The sunset," he would say, "is a cliché thing to photograph, so just don't do it." So, I told myself I would never photograph the sunset. Here I am, however many years later, finding myself just wanting to photograph the gorgeous sky. To get myself over this statement, I told myself that the sunrise was different from the sunset, so therefore it was not cliché. Then, I realized I just wanted to photograph the sky regardless of it being "cliché" or not. 

Skyworks Project

I'm really excited to announce that I'm one of the newest member of Skyworks Project , which is basically a group of (really awesome) students who are extremely passionate about drone technology. I've been photographing what they do, learning all about drones, as well as writing posts for their website. 

Here are a few frames I made this weekend for them! The first two are in-camera double exposures.

4 Amigos and Michael Newler

Yesterday was an incredible day. Newhouse worked extremely hard to put on this amazing event of the 4 amigos: Seth Resnick, Stephen Wilkes, Clint Clemens, and Eric Meola. It was an entire day of critiques, talks, Q&A sessions, and having the opportunity to meet some really talented people in the industry.

I made a new friend, Michael Newler, who is the founder of the Canon Explorers of Light. At about 11:30 PM at the reception, he called me over to talk and the next thing I knew it was 4:30 AM and we were still chatting about photography. I learned so much more about myself, math, and photography in that 5 hour conversation. Thank you so much Michael for your words and time. It was an honor to meet you and hear all about your life long incredible journey.

I also had the opportunity to not only listen to Seth Resnick, Stephen Wilkes, Clint Clemens, and Eric Meola speak, but to share my work with them as well during a critique session in Mike Davis's class. It was really great to have them give feedback and advice on how to move forward on our 'bodies of work in progress.'

RECAP: Some words of advice from our guest speakers:

Clint Clemens
•Photography is problem solving
•You can't just photograph one thing. You need multiple things to happen in your life
•Advertising is about telling a story in one picture
•If you shoot with a telephoto lens, you're an observer, and if you shoot with a wide angle lens, you're a participant
•Invest in yourself and take small chances
•Focus on and do what you love
•Learn something new every day; you're always a student
•Embrace technology and change
•Your greatest teacher is failure

Seth Resnick
•Find your MUSE
•Come up with a written vision statement for yourself
•Keyword images and keyword yourself: see which images that you take also have you in them
•We're only as good as our last picture
•Take breaks. Your mind needs them
•Write down why you love places
•He started photographing his thoughts that he would write down in the morning
•Great quote by Imogen Cunningham: "Which is my favorite photo? The one I'll take tomorrow"

Eric Meola:
•"What is a photographer?" - He collects quotes about this to try to define what being a photographer means
•If you're "freelance" - you're unemployed
Stop always looking down at your cellphone. "You want to look out and dream, not look at the little thing in your hand"
Make a statement: This is who I am and this is what I do
•Everything is out there happening every day, but we are not out there everyday, and so we don't see everything
•Sometimes you just start photographing things and you're not sure where they're going to go
•What's the story? 

Stephen Wilkes:
•Work on a body of work
•Find a mentor
•Day to Night series -- he considers himself to be a "Street photographer 50 feet in the air."
•Don't show the work that you don't want to do
•Find a creative way to innovate yourself into the market
•Be your own rep for awhile

I'm so thankful to be able to attend a university that can make these kinds of events happen. Thank you, Newhouse, and all of the staff who made this event possible.

(Left to Right), Stephen Wilkes, Eric Meola, Gregory Heisler, Seth Resnick, Clint Clemens, being photographed by Mike Davis and JC Carey, as Dean Branham of Newhouse looks on.

(Left to Right), Stephen Wilkes, Eric Meola, Gregory Heisler, Seth Resnick, Clint Clemens, being photographed by Mike Davis and JC Carey, as Dean Branham of Newhouse looks on.

Michael Newler & I. 

Michael Newler & I. 

Thanksgiving Part I: The Macy's Day Parade

The Macy's Day Parade, New York City, NY. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Photo credit: My Dad, Sandy Stoll. 

Photo credit: My Dad, Sandy Stoll. 

Some days are just about experience and having fun. Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and enjoying spending time with family.

This morning, my parents and I walked over to watch the Macy's Day Parade. I had never seen it live before because usually I'm traveling during Thanksgiving time, so it was fun actually seeing it in person. We mainly watched it from afar - we were standing around 33rd and Broadway and then later walked to West 35th and 8th to greet those who had just walked in the parade. 

I knew I wanted to get a few frames, just for fun from today, but it was such a funny experience trying to take a picture! Every time I was about to snap a photo, dad would pull me over to take a photo with someone in costume, or he would hand me his iPhone to take his picture. At first I was frustrated because I would wait for something to happen and just as the moment would happen, he would pull me away so I didn't get the shot. I realized though, that today wasn't about getting the shot. It wasn't about working hard to work a scene. It was about spending time with family and enjoying the experience. I'm just thankful to have had the opportunity to spend the day with my family. 

Here are some photographs I took today (even with Dad pulling me away, haha).

Supporting the World

This past week, Syracuse University has shown its support for tragedies around the world. On November 14, 2015, the Hall of Languages building was lit with the colors of the French flag in order to commemorate those who were affected by the tragedy in Paris, France. 

The Chancellor of SU, Kent Syverud, sent out an email on Saturday titled, "Our Thoughts are with Paris." On December 21, 1988, 270 people, including 35 Syracuse University students, were killed in a terrorist attack on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The email begins with describing how SU was changed forever after this day. He continues, "our hearts ache for our friends in France and for all the men, women, and children affected by yesterday's terrorist attacks. It's a feeling all too familiar for the Syracuse University community." 

Last night, the Syracuse community gathered around the Wall of Remembrance for a candle vigil and moment of silence in support of Paris, Beirut, and the Russian airliner crash in Egypt. (An article and gallery of images, including some of mine, are featured on The Newshouse.)

I'm thankful to be a part of a community who can join together during hard times around the globe. 

First Post & Drones

Here and there I've had little blogs about various things, but I realized it was time to have one universal home base. So, welcome to my official blog where I'll post some pictures, talk about life, and occasionally rant about my ideas or some really good food I just ate. 

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Today I met some really awesome people who taught me all about drones. I spent a great amount of time talking to Arland Whitfield, a senior at Syracuse University, who is extremely passionate about drone technology. He's the founder of the Skyworks Project, which "aims to discover what is possible with drone technology, both technically and socially." (  

Also, a special thank you to Chase Guttman for teaching me how to fly them!