Portraits both Analog & Digital

Untitled Berlin

Berlin 2017.

The first of a new series shooting digital (above) & analog 35mm (eagerly awaiting from the photolab)


A New Work for Earth Day

A small family of oryx in the evening light of Lewa Conservancy in Kenya

A small family of oryx in the evening light of Lewa Conservancy in Kenya

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
Gary Snyder

Woman’s March Oakland, California 2017

WM 4 WM 5 WM 6 WM 7 WM 8 WM 9 WM 10 WM 11 WM 12 WM 13 WM 14 WM 15 WM 16 WM 17 WM 18 WM 19 WM 20 WM 21 WM 22 WM 23 WM 24 WM 25 WM 26 WM 27 WM 28 WM 29 WM 30 WM 31 WM-1 WM-2


Crowd at the Plaza

Taylor Wessing & the Portrait

The Portrait 1The Portrait 2
The Taylor Wessing Prize.  It’s not often I submit images to competition, but the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize via the National Portrait Gallery in London is a prestigious award I couldn’t resist.  Did I get in?  No.  But I got through many, many gates.  While this year’s entry (above) didn’t win the big prize, it was considered in the top 300 out of over 4300 entries.  Taylor Wessing, I’ve got my eye on you… see you next year.

Model: Pierre Alain Clauzin, Filmmaker & Artist

I am not a Visual Storyteller

Samburu Warriors celebrate their new status in the community in Northern Kenya, 2013

Samburu Warriors celebrate their new status in the community in Northern Kenya, 2013 (uncropped / unretouched)

I am not a visual storyteller.

Let me type that again: I am not a Visual Storyteller.

I am a photographer, a photojournalist, a fine-art photographer, a documentary filmmaker.  All these things, but after this week’s tempest through the photo-world, I will never ever refer to myself as a Visual Storyteller.

And… my work just got better by virtue of the awful truth that world-famous Steve McCurry, the brilliant mind that shot one of the most iconic photographs ever to have been taken, Afghan Girl, was caught red-handed in a Photoshop disaster.

Read the whole kerfuffle here, it’s a doozy:

Botched Steve McCurry Print Leads to Photoshop Scandal

Having managed a studio for a photographer during the ‘shoot & ship’ days, I know full well the work-flow wherein the photographer is considered God and the staff spins around him (or in rare instances, her) processing, editing and retouching the film.  This is the world Mr. McCurry is from.  One in which he is on the road so much that he’s probably accostumed to never overseeing his images on a daily basis.  HOWEVER…

“Today I would define my work as visual storytelling…” .  This scandal calls into question his entire body of work and that of his contemporaries.  As photography students measure themselves against greatness, as they stress themselves out to no end that they’ll never rise to the level of their so-called ‘Gods’, they can now relax.

Truth is, even McCurry isn’t on the level of greatness of his printed images.  I have massive respect for his career, but if this is the path taken (& when did it start?), I ask that he re-categorize his work from that of documentary or travel photography.

So I will say it again, I am not a visual storyteller.  I edit my own photos, yes I do crop on occasion but not often, and use the tools available to work on the exposure and color in a photograph.  I have not, nor will ever add, subtract or move elements in a photograph.  At that point it is visual storytelling, and I’m not interested in it.

Let us all try to be purists, elevate the art and nature of the photograph, do our best to tell things as they really are and perhaps we can articulate some Ecstatic Truth in this world.

Edit: If in 40 years I change my mind about my statement I’ll make that public before showing any work or will not declare it to be truthful photography at all.


So much travel

Birds Eye View

Goddess is a Californian

High Street Oakland

Your Saturday Evening trip with #Uber: The $1,215.43 ride I did not take

How did I take this $1200 ride from NY to NJ while at a Halloween party in Germany?

How did I take this $1200 ride from NY to NJ while at a Halloween party in Germany?

Halloween, 2015.  In a dark warehouse party somewhere in Germany I checked my phone for the nearest cab (Uber is banned in Germany).  Imagine my surprise to find this alert on my phone:

Your Saturday evening trip with Uber from Uber Receipts <> for $1,215.43.

I did a double take at the message thinking I had not read it correctly.  I did.  Amusingly, I grew up in New Jersey and know that Wildwood isn’t the height of glamour for someone in the market for a $1200 Uber ride.  WHAT THE HELL?

Immediately I sent off an enraged Tweet to @Uber, fearful my bank account was about to be drained within hours.  Where would the next ride go?  Baltimore? Miami? Another Jersey Shore crack-den?

To Uber’s credit, they responded to my Tweet in minutes and refunded the money.  However they have not told me how they plan to investigate this issue.  I was able to get into the app and give a poor rating to the driver while requesting a description of the rider (s) who had taken control of my account.  No response.  No response from the driver, no response as to how this matter will be investigated.

Uber has told me to ‘change my password’.  Well, that isn’t  a sufficient for me.  I want to know who these people are, how it happened and what will be done in the future.

I am waiting on their response.  What do you think?  Should Uber not only have called the driver but have alerted the police to the driver’s location or drop-off address?  What action should be taken and how did this happen in the first place?


The Collector’s Circle

The Moran Dear Prospective Collector,

Through the support of the Collector’s Circle, I am able to continue working as an artist, experimenting with technique and journeying into the field to produce new work.

Available work can be seen in Fine Art Print which will be updated with new pieces each year.

Please contact me for questions on print pricing or more in-depth details on the Circle member benefits. If you’d prefer a phone call, please include your number and good time to call.

Once ten people have signed up, memberships are closed until the following year.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration.

Marcy Mendelson

The WaterpointMembership Invitation

There are 4 membership levels open to 10 Collectors Circle Members



Friendship: $750
Select Prints 11” x 14” paper
The image size can be as small as 4” x 6” printed on 11” x 14” paper.

Level I: $1200
Select Prints on 16” x 20” paper with the option of selecting from Friendship Level.

Level II: $2500 
Select Prints on 20” x 24” paper with the option of selecting from Levels I & II.
This format is suitable for images from all the collections available including exclusive access to the Samburu Warrior collection.

Level III: $3500 
Select Large Prints on 30” x 40” with the option of selecting from any level.

Special Producer Level:
Inquire via email to support production of Conservation Filmmaking.

All memberships are payable in advance and nonrefundable. Prints are limited edition, made to museum standards, signed and numbered and signed in pencil on the back.

Please contact me for a full prospectus at

Thank you for your interest, I look forward to welcoming you the 2015 Circle.


Druid Heights

“… something else was on the way, in religion, in music, in ethics and sexuality, in our attitudes to nature, and in our whole style of life” – Alan Watts – In My Own Way

A wild & wooly place.  California’s hidden bohemia.  Where sex, drugs and philosophy thrived among the eucalyptus just a few miles north of the Golden Gate.

The Heights was and is one of those rare places that is known but not known. It was the site of hundreds of amazing parties over the last fifty years and yet remained tucked beneath some freaky beatnik cone of silence, its muddy dirt road still unmarked on many maps…. Erik Davis – The Visionary State

Scroll down for Screenings & Online Rental info:

Druid Heights is a short documentary film by Marcy Mendelson.  Based in Oakland, California & Berlin, Germany, she began her artistic career with a degree in Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design.  Exhibiting her photography in galleries for over a decade, she shifted her focus to photojournalism which led to reporting for National Geographic about the state of cheetah conservation throughout Africa.  This inevitably led to more than just photography.  The demands of complex storytelling naturally evolved into documentary filmmaking.

As a ‘love letter’ to her adopted home-state of California, she gained exclusive permission from the residents of Druid Heights to tell the story of this secret bohemia.

Rent Online:

Watch Druid Heights online:


San Francisco, California on Saturday, January 23, 2016 7:00pm (Please enquire via email for details as space is limited for this special private event)

Sausalito, California on Friday, January 22, 2016 at the Sausalito Public Library 7:00pm (entry is free)

Berlin, Germany on Sunday, May 10, 2015 at Donau115 8:00pm
Facebook Invitation: Druid Heights Screening

Berlin, Germany on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at T Berlin 7:00pm
Facebook Invitation: World Premiere of Druid Heights

Wildlife Works

Prague’s Velvet Revolution 25th Anniversary

November 17, 2014… Prague, The Czech people celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution with demonstrations, street theater and political commentary.

Demonstrators show symbolic red cards to Czech President Milos Zeman

The Velvet Carnival offers the opportunity for people to make a statement about societal issues in a creative manner….to celebrate their acquired freedom in a sophisticated and joyous manner that also reflects upon this freedom critically.

Scroll down for the entire gallery of images