60 thoughts on “hillary atiyeh – hot springs”

  1. panos skoulidas

    Très Jolie…
    Beautiful … Mysterious…
    Bravo Hillary…
    That’s Hot…
    Like the ancient Greek “Classic” era…
    Like a dream…
    That stimulates and wakes up the brain…
    Makes you wanna wake up…
    and live “life”
    For some reason this photo is Serene..
    Relaxed ..peaceful..

  2. the curves, the shapes and forms, the figures, the light, the movement…something mystical and like a dream sequence – really an extra-ordinary photograph! but i do find the foreground figure on the left a little obstructing.

  3. The mystical aura,
    the floating motion,
    the restrained tonalities…
    all conspire for a visually interesting image
    full of varied nuances.
    I found Panos’ reference to Greek classicism very fitting.
    Well done!

  4. Its the child that is being lifted..
    the circles..
    that I like..

  5. The Naked And The Nude

    For me, the naked and the nude
    (By lexicographers construed
    As synonyms that should express
    The same deficiency of dress
    Or shelter) stand as wide apart
    As love from lies, or truth from art.

    Lovers without reproach will gaze
    On bodies naked and ablaze;
    The Hippocratic eye will see
    In nakedness, anatomy;
    And naked shines the Goddess when
    She mounts her lion among men.

    The nude are bold, the nude are sly
    To hold each treasonable eye.
    While draping by a showman’s trick
    Their dishabille in rhetoric,
    They grin a mock-religious grin
    Of scorn at those of naked skin.

    The naked, therefore, who compete
    Against the nude may know defeat;
    Yet when they both together tread
    The briary pastures of the dead,
    By Gorgons with long whips pursued,
    How naked go the sometime nude!

    –by Robert Graves

  6. Very serene Hillary, I’d like to know the circumstances behind the photograph.

    Also, don’t you find it interesting that so few comments have been made here? We can deal with war, homelessness and poverty but certain subjects are (not necessarily this subject) if not taboo, at least uncomfortable. Thank you for sharing Hillary.

    Best wishes,


  7. Today I was at work and I had some spare time so I clicked on burn and this image came up. And right at this moment another photographer walked in and asked me: Reimar – what kind of images are you looking at?
    My reply was: A nice picture of beautiful women!
    The female body is always a pleasure to my eye! I like the playfulness of the bodys in the image. Looks like they are having a good time!
    Hillary, a wonderful image!
    Your work reminds me of Zena Holloway. Do you know her?
    Glad to see an image like this here on burn.
    Thanks a lot!

  8. hillary – this is a lovely image. i agree with erica – marble statues coming to life. can’t wait to see more..

  9. This image is from Breitenbush Hot Springs in the heart of the Oregon Cascades. It’s an intentional community of about 60 people that own and operate a “retreat and conference center”. This place was home to me for 4 years in the mid nineties. Recently the decision to create my first focused body of work around Hot Springs led me inevitably back to Breitenbush. I go up when I can and twice a year the camp is closed to the public and the staff get to relax and bring in peeps to work for them. I’ve been up both times to work in Oct & again last month in an effort to reconnect with old and new people in the community.

    After work two of my girlfriends and I went down to the swimming pool. The pool is originally from the 30’s and is only used when the camp is closed. Hot Water, walls with a gorgeous patina and my girlfriends willing to let me take their picture…..seemed to me like a good scene. I shot two rolls (1 color, 1 B&W infrared) with a Nikonos V that I purchased last month. Other friends were hanging out too and since being naked is the norm….they were comfortable with me swimming around them with a camera and mask. That’s it really….hope that answers your question…

  10. As for the comments…I welcome any, all or none.
    Maybe we have more to say for situations that we can hope to possibly change.
    Perhaps taking a moment to pause or meditate on something beautiful and intrinsic leaves us just feeling instead of thinking and reacting.

  11. Thanks Gina…There are more images from Hot Springs on my website .
    I started this project in July, posted some of my favorites but it definitely needs a good edit….

  12. I just noticed that I duplicated Jeremy Wade Shockley’s comment way above! I guess it really is a beautiful, timeless image!

  13. Hillary, I too am fortunate to have an opportunity to live in a clothing-optional environment where women feel comfortable in their skin. Your beautiful photo reminds me of that sacred place and the women who gather there. But, you’ve gone beyond that here. As has already been noted, this image has a timeless quality, to me almost a mythic sense, as in water goddesses at home in their element. The light, composition, focus, subjects come together into a exquisite whole. Brava!


  14. Hi Hillary…congratulations on this picture. I just can’t stop going back to look at it. It really seems to possess a life of it’s own.

    I looked at the whole series on your web site and it is very intriguing, with quiet a variety. I was particularly drawn to series #7 and #9.

    I am curious how you decide on the use of black and white and color since you are combining the two? Are you thinking of this as a book, exhibition…?

  15. Davin…This is very very interesting. I have read about Voyager 1 but was completely unaware there was a list of what was actually on it. Fantastic to hear David’s images are on there. That’s a pretty huge honor to be chosen by the late, great Carl Sagan…he was an amazing popularizer of astronomy. I highly recommend his books to anyone who hasn’t read them. For a teaser of his work see… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p86BPM1GV8M

    David…Do you know which images they are? According to the Nasa Voyager site the images are ‘Father and daughter (Malaysia)’ and ‘Sunset with birds’.


  16. As many before have already said I also have an impression that this photograph has some antique Greek flavor but not a classical one but rather having a new meaning. Looking at this bodies I recall a book by John Fowles “The Magus” and imagine myself to be Nicholas Urfe spying after a secret and mysterious night life of modern nymphs. This leaves a feeling of fascination together with some uneasiness and shame.

  17. How cool is this? truly a great honour. Voyager 1 took off in 1977. Long time ago.
    Currently I am reading „ A Short History of Nearly Everything“ by Bill Bryson which I highly recomend to read for everyone who wants to have a better understanding of this place we call home. At school I learned some of what Bill Bryson writes about, but forgot most of it. Bryson has found a way to explain science and make it fun and entertaining.
    So, if I imagine voyager to be deep into space, by our standards, but by the size of the univers it is just around the corner.
    Hillary, sorry fort his comment at this place, but I find this note of Davin very fascinating.

  18. Hi Hillary
    I do have some questions I would like to pose, but firstly let me start by saying; visually and intellectually I enjoy your photograph. I think it “visually ponders” the basic fundamentals of humanity in that we are in our essence, a primitive communal species of being, however modernistic in terms of ideology and societal behaviour we have progressed (or regressed).

    There is for me a visual catalyst that gives the scene so much providence in tying it to the implications of togetherness and consequently community you later allude to. That is the inclusive impression of youth in this scene which inherently leads to a maternal impression and so, to a visual sense of family, community etc. It’s in that visual discovery that the photograph is alleviated from an otherwise usual point of interest perhaps designed or initialised on the premise of the female form, and allows me a s a viewer more of an associative visual connection with you…. in designing and creating this moment. I think it is important to visually recognise that in the maternal impression, is the solitary impression of physical interaction, touch. To me that is significant.

    Okay, Hillary I wonder if I may ask…
    Why did you choose to create this photograph in the presence of woman? (I know the obvious answer is, you are a woman)
    If the chance to create this scene in the presence of men within the community had been presented, would you have taken it?


  19. Way to go Hillary! I knew good images were waiting there in those Oregon springs ;) By now it shouldn’t surprise me, but I’m still thrilled by the fact that we all can find our own unique voice, perspective, mood, for similar subjects. Thanks for the reminder…

  20. Wow! Hillary Atiyeh has certainly caught my attention with this very unique photo. I sit here looking and studying all the figures and just wonder what all is happening under these vast waters. What was in the photographer’s mind while photographing this? Fully knowing anyone who sees this will all have different versions of what Hillary was thinking while snapping this very captivating glimpse into life under water. A story within a story. When a photograph can seduce one’s imagination as this one has, the photographer has achieved her goal! You keep wanting to go back for more, to try to understand the depth of this photo, to get to the real meaning behind it, what is it meant to convey to ones who see it? So many questions. Brilliant work! Brava! More More

  21. Guillermo Labarca

    Kirill Surov pointed to me about this page. I am glad that the first thing I saw was this photo, make me wish to see more, specially the series about Hot springs. The whole series is wonderful, it has a magic atmosphere, a forbiden world full of mystery. I put your page in my favorites, I think I will come back often.

  22. Damn…
    I knew that DAH is giving FREE online
    WORKSHOPS… for citizens of this earth..
    But I can’t even imagine that he took it
    a few million light years further..!!????
    Now he is trying to enlighten
    ALIENS about photography.. also..
    Damn David!!!!!
    U took it too far…
    Man, u r the man…!

  23. Laura, thank you for your words of encouragement….I have been thinking about this project as perhaps a series of books and large prints. Hot Springs are all over our planet and there are different cultures/communities that spring up around them. Since I live in the U.S. it is likely that I will return to many of those springs first. Each one is different, all in natural settings that have it’s own personality and culture.

    Next would be an attempt to Travel to many places in the world where Hot Springs are most prolific and see what the culture is like there, stay a while and photograph, perhaps coming up with an entirely different body of work from each place. I am assuming each culture will have a different essence that I hope to communicate. The similarities of the human body, community and sensuality is what I hope to convey but then again it may all take an unexpected turn as that is part of the journey and the joy.

    As for the mix of B&W and Color, I will continue with my preference for Infrared Black & White film but I love to experiment and play… I will use several cameras…different mediums and hopefully, through a certain way of seeing and doing it will all come together. I know this is somewhat taboo to mix it up but I am going to try. I am just at beginning of this project so right now I am considering new concepts and going back to what inspired me about photography in the first place.

  24. Thank you all for your comments and enthusiasm about this photograph…
    At the moment I am taking a photo workshop at Breitenbush and only had time to respond to Laura’s comment today. There’s several feet of snow here, hot water to jump into and many photos to edit to show to the class tonight. I will be able to log on to the internet again tomorrow and respond to more questions that were asked…
    …again, thanks.

  25. SEAN…

    i must admit this whole Voyager thing was pretty interesting….of course what i really loved about it, was that the “Sunset with Birds” photograph was one that my mother told me to go take!! no joke…i remember she said “you just HAVE to go to the dismal swamp (which was about 15 miles from our home) and shoot the winter geese”..so i did it out of some sort of obligatory be a good son keep mom happy mode…the “Father and Daughter” photograph i made in Malaysia of a fisherman holding his naked daughter…both photographs were published double page in Natgeo about 5 years apart…but neither was ever in my “portfolio” of “personal best”… i am sure they were both chosen purely for the subject matter rather than for any photographic or esoteric reason…still, pretty cool and the ultimate “message in a bottle”… and for sure, mom’s are usually right..

    cheers, david

  26. REIMAR…

    yes, Hillary , sorry for being in this space, but you can blame Davin!! when i publish his essay soonest, you can jump in there!!

    Reimar, the world is always so so full of coincidence…Bill Bryson was the author of the story I did on Spain for Natgeo back in the early nineties..he was so so funny all the time in real life…we traveled a lot together and his enthusiasm certainly sparked my photography..

    cheers, david

  27. HILLARY…

    i certainly hope you are thinking book with this subject…i too went to your website and think you are definitely off to a great start…can you keep going??

    cheers, david

  28. Dear Hillary,

    I have enjoyed your works very much.
    When I saw this photo … It reminded me of “The Turkish baths” of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.
    I’ve had much concerns of works of ‘under water’…
    I love stream, voices and lights of water.

    Thank you very much.

  29. DAVIN…

    just joking amigo…many people get confused…in theory, chat unrelated to the daily selected essay or single is under Dialogue, but there is no penalty whatsoever for posting here!!

  30. I like that this photo has all women and the one child in it (also a girl) there is a different energy when there are all women in a group… however it was just circumstance…I am comfortable photographing men as well and just came from photographing in the springs with a pool full of them…

  31. david…

    yes, I am thinking books….Yes, I will continue to build on this body of work…I leave a lot of room for spontaneity but I have lined up a few sessions with friends and their families today and tomorrow…any chance you might help me edit in the near future???

    Thank You, this was just the push I needed…..


  32. I find this photo utterly beautiful.. it definitely has a timeless artistic nude quality (as much printing style as composition) but it also has a sexual undercurrent that is both wholesome and erotic. This leaves me with feelings of desire and nostalgia.

Comments are closed.