Norah Turns Five by Micah Albert

Norah, here is to you! You bring life and energy into every room and land you walk into. Your personality and smile is infectious in all of your adventures. You have turned into the most incredible daughter and big sister. Your love of life and willingness to take risk will take you far. 

Happy 5th birthday. 

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The Far West | Northern California Shoot by Micah Albert

I joined-up again with what has turned out to be a great friendship with the boys from The Far West to do another shoot. They currently wrapped-up a month-long solo tour and also opened 8 or so shows for the legendary Dave and Phil Alvin (the Blasters). 

This year, instead of shooting in Silverlake / Echo Park, they rolled up to Casa Albert after opening for the Alvins. The following night we did a little private show in my backyard. It was awesome. 

Here's a few images from the shoot, down the street from my house. 

These guys are truly class acts and welcome in our home any time. 

Exposure #3 - Jordan by Micah Albert

Location: Aqaba, Jordan

My Gear: Nikon D3, Nikon 14 - 24mm f/2.8 

Camera Settings: ISO 640, 1/5000 at f/5.6

Year: 2011

Getting There: I was working  through out the Middle East on a story on the most marginalized youth in the area - mostly refugee and migrant populations and the struggle to maintain a livelihood while operating under the radar of society. This project took me to Aqaba, a Jordanian resort port town on the Red Sea where many marginalized live and work by finding small, off-the-books, tourism jobs.

In Jordan, an estimated 100,000 (The total population of Jordan is 6.5 million) young people have dropped out of school. After dropping out, kids are unable to rejoin the formal system and miss their chance at a college education or vocational opportunities.

Here, a boy flees on his mule, to get away from a non-profit "truancy police" to encourage him to come back to school before he's kicked out. 

What the photo doesn't show you: I got out of bed like any other day, stretched my arms, looked out over the aqua-marine sea and started to put on a shirt when a frantic bang and knock came from the door. I opened to find my Jordanian friend (who was staying in the room next to me) pushing me aside, running right through my threshold scrambling to find my TV remote control. He was talking so fast I couldn't understand him. When the news came on, we watch together, jaws on the floor, as just then the tsunami slammed into the Japanese coast line - Live. 

We went on to a little street cafe and drank tea in silence. Doing any work that day was tough. 


Exposure #2 - South Sudan by Micah Albert

Location: Rock City, South Sudan 4.844720, 31.555762

My Gear: Nikon D4, Nikon 35mm f/2 w/ 2 stop ND Grad

Camera Settings: ISO 320, 1/800 at f/13

Year: 2013

Getting There: I planned on visiting a remote cattle camp village that I'd last visited in 2007. I had tried to get back to this place multiple times since. . Getting to South Sudan is never easy or cheap. Once I finally arrived to Juba, South Sudan my logistics quickly fell through. I was basically stuck in the capital with out an easy way to get 'up-country'. Easter weekend didn't help planning matters either. 

I also utilized connections to get a free flight from Kenya up to Juba with a large aid organization, which meant I was on the schedule of their flight mandate in and out of South Sudan. So I could have forced it to get up to the village I needed to be in, but it would have cost a lot of cash and potentially bumped me from my return flight. In reality, it was a very small window to do a lot in a remote area. 

Instead, Juba - the World's newest capital - was flourishing and I shifted my plans to capture the changes there. So I dumped my plans and tried to capitalize my time while revisiting Juba markets and construction sites (to see and hear about economic growth) and seeing old friends. 

On the outskirts of Juba, is an area called "Rock City". I headed out there, where this photo was taken. It's a little micro-economy where families gather large boulders and break them down, by hand with a hammer and chisel, into very small pieces, that will eventually be bought by local cement manufacturers and local contractors. The smaller the rock the better the pay. About $1.80 per day at best. 

What the photo doesn't show you: It was shot from riding on the back of a moving motorcycle. I spent the whole afternoon riding around on the back of a friends motorcycle as he and I explored the rapid growth. 

Once the amazing light faded away, we headed to a nearby shisha and tea house to catch up with some friends.