African Woman, a photograph by Ellie Seif

“African Woman,” photograph

This image was taken in Shakaland, South Africa, in a Zulu Village Cultural Center. The young woman was resting against a tree with the light bathing her in a lovely serene pose. I was thoroughly taken in by her composure.

My photographic work and creative challenges have evolved since my retirement as an educator ten years ago. The driving force of my evolution as a photographer emanates from my interest in people, nature, and diverse environments around the world. I seek images that capture a specific moment in time, recording what sometimes eludes us as we go about our daily lives. I attempt to use my photography to create an illusion of permanence from that which is fleeting. My nature photography includes close-ups of the “common,” while my landscapes seek to celebrate the wonder of the expanse of our surroundings. A desire to understand and communicate cultural similarities and differences motivates my images of people and the urban environment.

I seek to make the ordinary special and the mundane exciting. I want to create in the person who views my work a sense of wonder and discovery such as, “I never saw the landscape of Philadelphia that way,” or “Is that what the inside of a tulip looks like?” In the words of Marcel Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Ellie Seif,, Website