A Whale of a Year

October 16, 2018
humpback, whale, Tonga, Joanna Lentini, underwater photography

Humpback mother and calf (Megaptera novaeangliae) | Kingdom of Tonga


Up until recently whales eluded me underwater.

I encountered the first of several species right around the time I started to wonder if it would ever happen. But it wasn’t easy. The ocean never is. That first in-water encounter was with a pod of killer whales in June in the southern Gulf of California. I was there because of a hurricane—Aletta to be exact.

Two days later a different system rolled in. That one they referred to as Bud.

In hindsight, Bud was another blessing.

Because of Bud I met a second species of whale. This time in the Revillagigedo Archipelago—30 hours by boat in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This large pod was of the false killer whale kind and the encounter equally grand.

Orca (Orcinus orca) | Gulf of California


But the humpback jaunt, was the trek of all treks. A journey to a far away kingdom known as Tonga. From New York the southwestern Pacific is far—mind-bogglingly far. But worth it? You bet. When the conditions are ripe, Tonga is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

The whales spend July through October there. Mothers raise their calves, males chase after females, calves try to tempt you away from mum’s glaring nugget of an eye.

It’s blissful. Really.

And then just as quickly as it begins it ends. They move south into frigid temperatures to sustain themselves. To Antarctica.


false killer whales, whales, revillagigedo, Mexico, Socorro, Joanna Lentini

False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens) | Revillagigedo Archipelago

Vanishing Ice Exhibit | Novado Gallery

July 20, 2018

My images are being exhibited at Novado Gallery in Jersey City, NJ between July 11 and August 19. The opening reception was on the 11th and an Artist Talk will be held on Wednesday, July 25 at 7pm. If you are in the area it would be great to see you there! From Manhattan the gallery is accessible via the Path train and is situated just a few short blocks from both the Grove Street and Exchange Place Stations.









Exhibit at Novado Gallery Jul 11 – Aug 19

July 2, 2018

I’m excited to share I will be exhibiting some of my work at Novado Gallery in Jersey City, NJ between July 11 and August 19. The opening reception will be held at 7pm on the 11th and an Artist Talk on July 25. If you are in the area it would be great to see you there! From Manhattan the gallery is accessible via the Path train and is situated just a few short blocks from both the Grove Street and Exchange Place Stations.






NOVADO GALLERY PRESENTS, “FIRE & ICE”, July 11-August 19, 2018, featuring two solo exhibitions with Joanna Lentini’s large and medium-scale photographs on aluminum and Michael Dominick’s molten iron and gold leaf paintings on canvas. The contrast in presenting exhibitions with these two artists in the heat of summer provides the viewer with formal appreciation and food for thought.

Gorgeous contrast is what heat and fire can produce through artistic process, and Michael Dominick’s work reveals an undeniable aesthetic created through loss. Trained as a sculptor with a background in foundry work, Dominick’s current art form is scorched organic surfaces, reliant in part on the loss of materials through the hurling of 2800-degree molten iron onto the prepared canvas surface. Intensive preparation of the canvas surface, full body protection for the artist and his assistants, and melting the iron is required prior to creating these large and medium scale works. The process is a performance in of itself, with videos available on UTube (Michael Dominick’s Molten Iron Paintings – Zen and the Art of Liquid Fire). Dominick is the founding member and main organizer for New York City’s Manhattan Iron Project. While Jersey City is just being introduced to this work, The Manhattan Iron Project has become well known for their public molten iron performances in dozens of locations including: 20th Street in Chelsea, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, and at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn. Through the deliberate, rugged and gestural processes, Dominick creates gorgeous expressionist works through the combination of strength and fragility.

Cooling us off during the “dog days of summer” with her photography printed on aluminum, Joanna Lentini’s images were created over the course of two expeditions: one to the High Arctic in 2015 and the other to the Antarctic Peninsula in 2018. Lentini, a professional freelance photographer, writer and editor, developed a fascination with the massive sculptural forms of the icebergs and the fragility of the environment of Greenland’s Scoresby Sound. The icebergs exist in a paradoxical state of majestic and massive proportions, while their existence is gradually extinguished due the warming climate. Lentini has captured what photographers in the future may look upon with envy— with these images that may appear be timeless, but destined to become markers of our planet’s history. From a purely artistic standpoint, Lentini has captured the beauty of forms found in some of the planet’s harshest climates. Cooly printed on aluminum, her exhibition includes straightforward captures of the frozen landscape in color, in black and white, and also abstractions created with motion that are a dizzying, visual brain-freeze. Lentini captured her images from above and below the water’s icy surface for us to enjoy, as we take shelter from the scorching summer heat into the gallery’s cool interior. (continued)

“Fire & Ice” Artist Talks at Novado Gallery: Joanna Lentini will give an artist talk for her exhibition: “Vanishing Ice” on Wednesday, July 25, at 7pm.

Michael Dominick will give an artist talk and demonstration for his exhibition, “Molten Iron Paintings” on Thursday, August 9 at 6:30pm. Both talks are free and open to the public. All works in the exhibition are available for sale.

Novado Gallery is Jersey City’s largest commercial art gallery, located at 110 Morgan Street, between Washington and Warren in Jersey City, NJ 07302. On the web at www.novadogallery.com

Please contact Anne Novado or Steve Pearlman for more information. 201-744-6713 or novadogallery@gmail.com

Mailing address: Novado Gallery 350 Warren Street Jersey City, NJ 07302

Summer hours are: Sunday 11-3, Monday and Tuesday by appointment, Wednesday 10-7, Thursday 10-6, Friday 10-6, Saturday 11-4.


Antarctica & South Georgia

April 9, 2018

Joanna Lentini, Antarctica

Antarctica. A word that conjures images of wild, vast expanses of nothingness. A place where adjectives such as harsh and desolate cannot begin do the realities of the space justice. A feeling that evokes a sense of curiosity.  The wonder of what this world would look like without our fingerprints smudged across it. Where an abundance of wildlife roams…and populates some of the landscape in the way that only humans do. 

Perhaps it’s something that is engrained in the collective unconscious of us all. But I’ve always had an inclination towards places devoid of humans—places so raw and alive. And so, a journey to the continent had been on my mind for many years.

This past March, I co-organized a small group of adventurous souls to the land before time. Putting the connection that was felt into words is beyond me at the moment. I haven’t had enough time to reflect on the experience. But like every journey, I know that it has changed me once again.

I hope you enjoy the images and find outdoor spaces that nurture your soul. Remember, we don’t need to travel to the ends of the earth to do so…

“If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it.” ―Andrew Denton


Joanna Lentini, Gentoo Penguin, Shetland Islands, Antarctica


Joanna Lentini, South Georgia


Joanna Lentini, Antarctica


Joanna Lentini, South Georgia, Albatross


Joanna Lentini, Antarctica


Joanna Lentini, South Georgia, elephant seals


Joanna Lentini, South Georgia, king penguin


king penguin, south georgia, joanna lentini


Joanna Lentini, South Georgia, King penguins



Siena International Photography Awards

October 30, 2017

The Siena International Photography Awards recently recognized one of my images, Between the Sheets, in its annual photography competition. The image is of a kittiwake cruising over pack ice around 80º north in the Arctic Circle.

The image was entered into the Fragile Ice category and was awarded “Remarkable Artwork.”


Some images from the awards ceremony and exhibit Beyond the Lens in Siena, Italy: