Last Look


Outgoing university photographer Michael Marsland shares one of his favorite shots.

Michael Marsland

Michael Marsland

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What do Leonardo DiCaprio, Aretha Franklin, Sonia Sotomayor ’79JD, Paul McCartney, five past US presidents, and several Handsome Dans have in common? Michael Marsland, the official Yale University photographer for the past 30 years (and in fact, a photographer at Yale since 1975), has snapped them all.

This winter, as Mike was getting ready to retire to focus on special projects, we asked him to pick a favorite photo. He chose this image of a woman exiting Berkeley College to Elm Street. “I like the way all the elements come together,” he says: “the arch, the shadow of the gate on the stonework,” and how “the sole of her flip-flop has pulled away from her heel in anticipation.” The photo is one among many in Picturing Yale, a just-published book of his work—that is, of a tiny fraction of his work—over the decades. “It’s a smaller moment in a larger landscape,” says Marsland of the photo. “It’s a little bit of a metaphor for my own situation. Leaving but beginning.”

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