Farewell Summer

The boys would like to thank New York City's mass transit - the subway, busses, ferries and water taxis - for taking them to all of our favorite places this summer. All in all it was an excellent ride.

Farewell summer and see you next year.

World Class Sunset

A recent date night took my husband and me on a 47-second rocket ride into the sky.  Inside the elevator at One World Trade, whose doors are a slick three-dimensional time-lapse panorama of over 500 years of downtown Manhattan, we soared 102 stories with hardly an ear pop. 

Needless to say it was a pretty spectacular 360° sunset.   

102 stories above

102 stories below

Photo 52: Within the Frame

Perspective | Aspect Ratio 4:3 {Week 18}

There are many facets to the art of composition including aspect ratio, which is quite simply the ration between the width and the height of an image.  With digital photography you can either set up your aspect ratio in-camera or you can crop an image to a different aspect ration in post-processing.

Most digital cameras, with a few exceptions, use one of two aspect ratios. There is the 3:2 aspect ratio of 35mm digital cameras, and the 4:3 aspect ratio used by micro four-thirds and many compact cameras. The 4:3 ratio is quite popular because it is a 'shorter' rectangle, making it easier to compose photos taken in the portrait format and eliminate unwanted space around your subject. 

Below is an image taken on 34th Street in Manhattan.  With the 4:3 aspect ratio crop in post-processing, I was able to focus in more on the subjects.  Even though the shot is taken within the urban landscape of New York City and the viewer gets a glimpse of said surroundings, the 'shorter' rectangle allows it to be primarily a portrait of father and son going about their daily business. 

Please click HERE to visit our collective blog, Who We Become, and see all of our images in one place.

Photo 52: Within the Frame

Balance: Photographer's Choice {Week 8}

For our final week exploring compositional balance, we incorporated some or all of the elements of weeks prior into our image(s).

There is a corner in Harlem that has always appealed to me. Despite the building being rundown and abandoned, I've always managed to see great beauty in the muted colors, rough textures and various signage across each entryway. The two doors on the right not only balance the gate on the left but also divide the image into halves, rife with similar patterns, colors and rectangle shapes.

Please click HERE to visit our collective blog, Who We Become, and see all of our images in one place.

Promise Land

Photo 52: Within the Frame

Balance [Objects]  {Week 6}

Continuing with our monthly theme, this week we sought to balance objects with the people in our frame.  My image below has a fairly standard template for balance:  lone figure balanced with lone object, in this case a lamppost.  The fence carries the viewer's eye from the left side of the frame to the right, thus dividing the image in half while the dark contrast of the figure and the object give perpendicular grounding to it.  Balance is of course more complicated the more objects you have within the photo, and components such as contrast, the brightness of an object, patterns and size all become important in achieving a good composition.        

So let's see how the others choose to work with balance this week.

Please click HERE to visit our collective blog, Who We Become, and see all of our images in one place.  

Lady in the park

Photo 52: Within the Frame

Balance [People]  {Week 5}

This week begins a new month of compositional study : Balance.  We will be tackling first the use of people within the frame.  Quite simply, balance is an issue of weight distribution and as a photographer you never want too much "people weight" on one side.  Instead you want the viewer's eye to move about the photo with the visual weight evenly apportioned. 

Below is an image I captured at the opening of the Museum of Natural History.  The figure in the foreground and the sign are the counterweight to the line of people ascending the stairs.  The staircase railings also cut the image into two balanced triangles.

Please click HERE  to visit our collective blog, Who We Become, and see all of our images in one place.   

Photo 52: Within the Frame

Geometry for Balance {Week 3} 

In photography the visual power of geometry is achieved through the use of balance, in essence making sure the weight of the lines and shapes in the image is equal to that of your subject.  When done correctly, a most interesting and pleasing composition can be achieved.  This was the compositional challenge for this third week of Photo 52:  Within the Frame.  

Please click HERE to visit our website collective where you can see all of our images in one place.


Photo 52: A Play on Light

Final Week {Favorite Image} 

Hard to believe this is the final week of Photo 52: A Play on Light.  It has been such an incredible journey with these women whom I now consider dear friends, studying and capturing the many facets of light in intriguing and yet very different ways.  To have collaborated with such talent was truly an honor and I am thrilled to be working with them again for the next edition of Photo 52 starting in a couple of weeks.        

For this final week we decided to choose our favorite image from the year.  Without question my favorite is my wide angle shot of West Harlem at sunrise.     

You can check out the very beginnings of the project HERE.   


Harlem sunrise

Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's favorite images from this year starting with Kelly Roth Patton, a Brooklynite whose creativity and style is utterly sublime.  

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Creative settings {week 4}

If you are a New Yorker, especially one who resides in West Harlem, you know where this photo was taken. It is the viaduct on 131st street near the Fairway market and the backdrop in a few Law and Order episodes as well as some big name movies, most recently the Spiderman blockbuster that came out last summer.  I've always been drawn to this structure with its rainbow of steel arches and repeating lines, and each time we drive to Fairway I always kick myself for not having my camera.  Well this last time I did have my camera and was able to capture a photograph I have always longed to take.  Shot with my Lensbaby there is a slight fisheye effect and an even deeper, dizzying intrigue.    


Please continue along the circle to see the rest of Photo 52's creative work this week.  Next up is Jessie Wixon, fellow New Yorker, mother of two gorgeous girls and one of the nicest people I know.  

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Creative settings {Week 3}

"We breathe the light, we breathe the music, we breathe the moment as it passes through us."  ~ Anne Rice

August, our month dedicated to creative settings.  For our third week: a late afternoon Harlem starburst. 


Please continue along the circle to see the rest of Photo 52's work for this week starting with the supremely talented  Kennedy Tinsley.    

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Directional Lighting - Week 5

Maybe it was a moment of reflection or just a chance to catch his breath before taking off again?  Either way my son's fleeting stillness, captured during one of our many trips to the playground, is the subject for this final week of our directional light challenge.  

Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Justine Knight, my talented friend and fellow New Yorker.    

"Boardwalk Empire" in Harlem

Yesterday we were beyond excited to find out that our favorite series, Boardwalk Empire, starring Steve Buschemi was filming down the block from our Harlem digs.  The show takes place in the 1920's during Prohibition so you can imagine the dozens of vintage cars that were lining the street and all the actors dazzling in their finest uptown threads.    

It was such a beautiful spring day in New York City, so my beloved husband and son, donning their best 1920s garb, went for a stroll along the set while I had my camera in tow.

We spotted some of the cast getting styled and even encountered the kindness of the production manager who allowed us to take photos within a cordoned off area.  It was a real thrill.  And if for some strange reason you haven't heard of Boardwalk Empire, click HERE to find out about this amazing show.  You'll be hooked.

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Week 33 : Exploring Evening Light

This week I opted to play around with out-of-focus street photography in the early evening, having been inspired by Photo 52 member, Linda Hooper, who handles the technique exquisitely.  The two images below were taken in a moving car when it had just begun to lightly rain in New York City.  I'm most pleased with how much they look like paintings rather than photographs.  It was a fun, creative venture out of the box this week. 



Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is my friend and fellow New Yorker, Justine Knight.