I’ve taken the past six months off from social media—no Tweeting, blogging, etc. (although I did occasionally post a noteworthy #Crocs&sox photo on Instagram). There is so much noise on the web (the electoral noise may be over, but the consumerist noise will continue to rise). I’m thinking about how not to contribute to the din of it all.

I recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of my brain aneurysm. Of course, it’s not the aneurysm that I celebrated, but my 1-in-10 survival. Today is the day that I came home from Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, still in need of tremendous healing, but able to join my family around the Thanksgiving table. A year later, I’m doing fine. There seem to be no long term disabilities.

Understandably, I think a lot about the spaces in my mind. The following are several self-metaphorical photographs that I created in my studio this fall. They are part of the work that I’ve been doing for my MFA (which I’ll write about soon). Contrary to the suspicion that everything is digitally manipulated these days, they are straight photographs created with a 4×5 camera and a vintage BetterLight scanning back. They represent where I’ve headed with my trichroic lighting since I first wrote about it here.


Syl_Arena_BL_161009__022, 10/9/16, 4:35 PM, 16C, 9000x12000 (0+0), 150%, Custom, 1/25 s, R47.6, G30.0, B54.3

Fig. 1: Syl Arena, Ela, Chromogenic print, 2016.

Syl_Arena_BL_161009__019, 10/9/16, 2:45 PM, 16C, 9000x12000 (0+0), 150%, Custom, 1/15 s, R47.6, G30.0, B54.3

Fig. 2: Syl Arena, Loak, Chromogenic print, 2016.

Syl_Arena_BL_161009__020, 10/9/16, 3:25 PM, 16C, 9000x12000 (0+0), 150%, Custom, 1/10 s, R47.6, G30.0, B54.3

Fig. 3: Syl Arena, Prin, Chromogenic print, 2016.

Syl_Arena_BL_161009__016, 10/9/16, 1:17 PM, 16C, 9000x12000 (0+0), 150%, Custom, 1/10 s, R49.9, G30.0, B31.1

Fig. 4: Syl Arena, Venk, Chromogenic print, 2016.

Syl_Arena_BL_161008__012, 10/9/16, 9:17 AM, 16C, 9000x12000 (0+0), 150%, Custom, 1/25 s, R19.9, G0.0, B1.1

Fig. 5: Syl Arena, Schen, Chromogenic print, 2016.


5 Responses to Recent Works

  1. J. Alan Moll says:

    Syl –
    Your successful “return” gives joy to so many of us Canon “strobists” that benefited tremendously by your keen creative understanding of location speedlite imaging! Even if your next journey is focused on your MFA pursuits, thank you for your fine tutoring in speedliting!
    Peace and Light,
    J. Alan Moll

  2. Eric Stoner says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Syl. Much to be thankful for!
    Eric Stoner
    Canon USA

  3. Rex M Gigout says:


    It is good to know you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I wish you a very good Christmas, and a safe, healthy, and happy New Year. I am thankful for your guidance in Speedliting, at two Speedliting Intensives, in Houston and Austin, plus, of course, the books. Perhaps I will see you in Montana at RMSP, eventually; maybe 2018.

    Rex Michael Gigout

  4. These are terrific photographs!

  5. Mathew L says:

    Hey Syl,

    Just checked back in here, and great to see you posting again! Congrats on the anniversary. I have great memories of the workshop in Paso Robles a few years ago and it would be great to work with you again.

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