Sunday, March 17, 2013

Harlem scape: West 143rd steet

West 143rd street b/t Riverside Drive and Broadway. Harlem, NYC March 2013. Ocean Morisset Photography.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The SOUL OF PHOTOGRAPHY workshop NYC Apr. 27-May 18

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Expand your creativity creating compelling images that tell stories. Register for the SOUL OF PHOTOGRAPHY workshop today!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The End of the Road

The end of the road  has many connotations. In my case, it’s the end of my cancer journey. I’m having surgery today to have my port-a-cath (the funny looking button and straw sticking out of my chest) removed. The port has been my gateway for receiving twelve rounds of life-saving chemotherapy. Having the surgery to remove it is a definitive marker of my remission. My oncologist had me keep the port in for 12 months after my last round of chemo, “just in case” Hodgkin’s Lymphoma reared it’s ugly head. The cancer never did return and I can’t even hold my breath about it any more. 

I remember when i first got the port surgically implanted in my chest. I had just been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two weeks prior. Two weeks later, I started my first round of chemo. It’s been quite a journey with a bittersweet end. Though I won my battle with cancer, many other warriors haven’t been so fortunate including young Mohammad Ayan. At the tender age of fourteen, Ayan reached out to me when I was first diagnosed and encouraged me to Never, Never, Never Give Up. I never did. Instead, I became intimately acquainted with my spirit of resilience and created self-portraits documenting my journey. I like to think that my creativity was just as crucial as the chemotherapy being infused in my port.

Ayan, never gave up either. He fought all the way to the end. There is no reason why two people on the same chemo regimen have different outcomes. Life, as incredible as it is, is also unfair. So as I prepare for my surgery this morning, I’m counting my many blessings with great humility, grateful that the end of this road is here and a new road paved with possibilities is just around the bend.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The SOUL OF PHOTOGRAPHY workshop Apr 27- May 18, NYC

Introducing my new spring photography workshop:

Escape from the routine and indulge your passion for photography in this new 4-week spring workshop with Internationally exhibited and published Photographer Ocean Morisset!

The SOUL OF PHOTOGRAPHY Workshop is specially designed to hone your "eye", helping you to SEE better, capture compelling images that tell stories and letting go of our habitual personal obstacles to truly experience our world.
Workshop participants will also learn how to overcome fear of approaching people to photograph on the NYC streets, learn to recognize how light interacts with subjects, shoot in various lighting conditions, improve composition, and learn new techniques for communicating with the world through your photography!

Finally, through your own individual photography and participation in the workshop, you will make new discoveries about yourself and your relationship to the world.
The SOUL OF PHOTOGRAPHY workshop takes place over four (4) spring weeks and will consist of:

--Guided group shooting outings on the streets of NYC
-- Informal classroom critiques and photography discussion
--Photo assignments

**Workshop limited to six participants**

Main shooting/workshop dates will take place on four Saturday's: Apr. 27, May 4, May 11, and May 18th. In between these dates, the workshop will continue on line with photo-assignments, further discussion, photo-sharing and critiques. We will shoot alot!

This workshop is open to all amateur and Pro photographers using SLR's or iPhones. If you're looking to be INSPIRED,
LEARN new skills, have FUN with Photography, MEET other people passionate about photography, SHOOT in the greatest city on earth, then this workshop is for YOU!
Spring is a great time to come out of hibernation and hit the warm streets of New York City, guided by a SOULful photographer who is patient, loves people and passionate about photography.  I look forward to helping you develop your photography skills!


For inquiries: Please email me at
To view my own photography, check out my website at:

See you soon!
Ocean Morisset

New Exhibition: Sea Drift at the Brooklyn Arts Council, New York

I'm proud to be one of seven artists participating in this great exhibition, Sea Drift at the Brooklyn Arts Council! 

Through the lens of symbolism and ritual, Sea Drift, a group exhibition featuring the work of seven Brooklyn-based artists, presents a meeting of mythic ideas and contemporary realities regarding the waters surrounding Brooklyn. 

The participating artists in Sea Drift bring a range of practices and approaches, both traditional and contemporary to the exhibition. The common themes of journey, memorial, salvaging, remembrance and transformation are apparent among them, shaping their work and their understanding of water. Sea Drift shows a potential for artistic expression to ebb and flow, to drift between the real and symbolic.
The pull of the tides, the lure of the sea, and the mystery and power of oceans and rivers has through time manifested in a rich body of folklore, symbolism and ceremony.  Water is necessary for human life, and due to this obvious importance, water has taken on considerable symbolic value in communities both religious and secular.  Much of this is depicted in rites and rituals, collections, journeys and performances, which portray ideas of water beyond the literal.  
Water as an everyday aspect of Brooklyn's landscape has been, and continues to be, in flux. Formerly crucial maritime uses have mostly disappeared, and waterfront access is now commoditized, a perk for those moving into newly residential areas. But in fact our relationship to the shoreline is not solely one of ownership, but of understanding, interaction, and respect for this unique place. 
Three of the artists show documentation of traditional cultural expressions concerning water. Ocean Morisset’s photographs of the 23rd annual Tribute to the Ancestors of the Middle Passage document a ceremony that memorializes the thousands of African slaves who died in the Atlantic passage to America. Every year hundreds of Brooklynites come to the shore of Coney Island to send flowers and prayers in remembrance. Their ritual actions transform the same location of Larry Racioppo’s photos of mermaid parade revelry into a healing place of offering. Racioppo also has regularly documented and participated in Italian Williamsburg’s annual Roman Catholic Feast of St. Paulinus and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, popularly called the Giglio Festival. The centerpiece of the festival, performed in Brooklyn for over 100 years, is an enactment of St. Paulinus’ miracle story, from Nola in southern Italy. It tells of the Saint’s journey by sea to rescue boys captured by pirates. In its yearly re-enactment,  the parading of a 65' tall tower called the gigli (lily), and la barca (boat), are separately carried on over one hundred men’s shoulders. The tower represents the lilies thrown at the Saint’s feet upon his triumphal return with the boys and it is the boat's symbolic role to help actualize this narrative of miraculous recovery on the streets of Brooklyn.
A journey is also presented in Angela Jimenez’s photographs of Crete, George Kortsolakis’ homage to his homeland, from which he emigrated in 1955. By the side of his house, Kortsolakis began his miniature recreation of Crete in 2002. This work of memory-based folk art is devotional in its obsessive detailing, figuratively drifting Kortsolakis from Bay Ridge to the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.  
Randy Duchaine has documented both working and playing aspects of the New York harbor, including tugboat races, the Polar Bear Club meetings, and competitive swimming.  These group interactions with the water can be seen as culturally-created secular rituals.  
Unlike the activities shown in Duchaine’s images, transformation can develop from solitary and fairly passive expeditions and interactions with the water. Marie Lorenz builds wooden boats, taking them out on weekly journeys to the uninhabited islands and coasts of Brooklyn and Queens. Once there, she begins her ritual of collection, learning about the environment through direct interaction with what the tides have brought that day. Lorenz’s art emerges from a personal transformation, which develops into her own modern ritual. Willis Elkins works in a similar fashion. His collection of nurdles, “mermaid’s tears,” look like sand, or perhaps beach glass, but instead they are raw plastic, a new reality of detritus on Brooklyn’s waterfront. The nurdles’ journey to our shores is impossible to know, yet we are confronted with the environmental repercussions. 
Is there ritual in this depository role our waters have taken? A form of urban labor that takes on the feel of dystopian ritual is seen in Stephen Mallon’s series Next Stop Atlantic. The creation of artificial reefs is a practice dating back to the 1600s, and is currently in process along the Eastern Seaboard, with over 2,500 subway cars sunk offshore.  Seeing the subway cars, something so iconic and crucial to millions of New Yorkers’ daily lives, splash into their watery grave is deeply disorienting. But it reminds us that the bodies of water surrounding us are much greater, much deeper, and more powerful than we usually understand. 
Sea Drift is on view from March 7 - May 24, 2013 at the Brooklyn Arts council located at 55 Washington street in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. For more information visit the Broolkyn Arts council website: