Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Julia Edelman, a senior at Ross, made this photograph of a girl running past a wall in a Tijuana neighborhood near the border with the U.S. She used a slower shutter speed to achieve the colorful motion of the girl running.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Julia Edelman

Carlos, a resident of a nursing home in Ensenada, was captured by Brenna Leaver, a senior at Ross. Leaver made many portraits of the residents of the home, the only one of its kind in Ensenada.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Brenna Leaver

A landscaper trims palm trees at a park in Tijuana along the Mexico-U.S. border.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Brenna Leaver

Leon Xu, a student from China, made a beautiful photograph of his friend Brenna Leaver as she walked along the barrier wall at the U.S.-Mexico border as it reaches the ocean in Tijuana. Xu paid careful attention to color to make this photograph.


A resident of the senior center in Ensenada, photographed by Mark Chang. The students worked on portraits to help them over come their shyness in photographing people.


Nikki Betuel, a senior, photographed children reciting their morning prayers at an orphanage in Rancho de Gloria, Mexico. Ron Haviv, a photographer with VII photo agency, helped the students compose and frame their images.


Tristan Lorich waited patiently for a cyclist to pass in front of the barrier wall separating the U.S. from Mexico in Tijuana to give it a sense of scale.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Tristan Lorich

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On the road with young photography students: Ensenada, Mexico

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On the road with young photography students: Ensenada, Mexico

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On the road with young photography students: Ensenada, Mexico

By Michael Robinson Chavez

Ensenada, Mexico – Brenna Leaver waited for Carlos to become lost in thought before she snapped the shutter, making a moody portrait of the man at a senior care center in the Baja California port city of Ensenada. Leaver is part of a group of students from the Ross School in East Hampton, N.Y., that is being accompanied by Ron Haviv of the photo agency VII and myself on a trip through California and Mexico. We are helping them with their vision, their ability to tell stories and, occasionally, with their orders at Mexican restaurants.

We are traveling in a Road Warrior-like caravan of six RVs down the scenic coastal highway of northern Baja. After negotiating the Tijuana gantlet successfully we settled in at the Hotel Las Rocas in Calafia and gathered to discuss story ideas with the students. There are 30 of them, a small army, so we divided them up into smaller groups. Alexis Martino of the Ross School is the leader of the trip and had that unenviable task. My group headed back north to document life along the border wall and the next day south to photograph residents of the only care facility for seniors in Ensenada. For most of the students it is their first time in Mexico.

The dividing wall between the United States and Mexico amazed most of the students. Leon Xu, 18, a student from China, made a wonderful photograph of Leaver walking along the barrier. Not all of the students have studied photography and for many this was their first time seriously trying to capture moments and tell stories.

Baja served as a great exercise. We are off to California’s Central Valley next to look at the effects of the historic drought on the agricultural communities there. The RV caravan rolls on.


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