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Susan Carnahan: From Attorney to Fine Art Photographer

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Former HP Attorney, Susan Carnahan, is now an award-winning fine art photographer who specializes in nature and travel photography and whose work has appeared in group and solo shows in the U.S. and Russia. Twenty-two of her images are featured in an exhibit entitled "Japan: Nature in Winter"

at the Woodside Library, 3140 Woodside Road, Woodside, CA. The exhibit runs through April 29.

Susan retired from HP after spending 24 years in the HP Legal Department as attorney and managing attorney.

She has been a photography enthusiast for many years, but it was on a visit to Japan that she fell in love with the beauty of the native cranes that roost in Hokkaido, the northern-most of Japan's four main islands.

Retiree Spotlight

The crane is the largest bird in Japan and is known in Japanese as "tancho" and in English as the Japanese crane or red-crowned crane. The crane is also regarded as a sacred emblem in Japan and represents peace, longevity and fortune.1

The work with Japanese cranes and photographing the sandhill cranes, who winter in the California Delta and other California locales with shallow water and marshes, has caused her to become passionate about photographing all 13 species of crane of the world. Cranes are found in all continents except South America and Antarctica.

"I make images that touch my feelings of awe and wonder at the beauty of nature, the human form and ordinary objects. Photography is my way of isolating positive meaning in the midst of sensory overload. I am moved by clean, simple lines and predominantly quiet, calm images."

- Susan Carnahan

Susan’s work is printed using an HP Designjet Z3100 44” Photo Printer and on HP Hahnemule fine art paper, which brings the images to life with rich color and deep contrast that are a hallmark of Susan’s photography.

What's next for Susan? She is experimenting with printing on silk, canvas and other textiles. In addition to being drawn to the grace and beauty of the cranes, including their elegant dancing, Susan now understands how each of these species is threatened by their shrinking habitats. She will be working to secure some grants to help cover the cost of photographing the world's cranes. She hopes to photo and multi-media work to highlight their plight. Cranes are an "umbrella" species, so saving their habitats will help save many other plant, animal and insect species. Her next venue will be the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in Mountain View, California in June through August.

You can view her images here

Learn more about the HP Designjet Z3200 44” Photo Printer


(1) National Geographic, January 2003, Tsuneo Hayashida, National Geographic, October 1983

Image used with permission, copyright Susan Carnahan