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

Creative settings {week 2}

This past week my sister and niece came to New York City to visit.  On one particularly beautiful day we traveled the High Line, ate lunch at The Standard Grill and then took in the view atop the Gansevoort Hotel.

My niece is 12 years old and absolutely gorgeous.  While she was looking out over the balcony of the Gansevoort, I started taking photos of her hair wildly blowing in the breeze.  One of my favorites from our dance amongst the skyscrapers is also my creative shot for this week.          

Please follow along to see the rest of Photo 52's creative work for this week.  Next up is Justine Knight, fellow New Yorker and winner of two recent photography contests.  Below are the links where you can see her winning images:  

 

http://kiernangallery.com/eye-on-the-street/   

http://www.clickinmoms.com/blog/how-to-photograph-in-full-sun-photography-tutorial-by-sarah-vaughn/ 

 

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Creative settings {week 1}

Hard to believe that this is the final month of our yearlong journey exploring light.  These last weeks we are allowing ourselves, perhaps rewarding ourselves, the opportunity to play creatively.  Our main goal is to try something different i.e. playing with various shutter speeds, apertures, types of light, angles or lenses to capture something creative and intriguing.   

This first week I attempted the always challenging swing shot.  It's one of my favorite past times to photograph especially in the summer in New York City, but this time I wanted the orange sneakers to be the main subject both in focus and in the foreground with everything else a blur.  Oh, and I wanted to shoot from below.  So I got myself down on one knee, careful not to get kicked in the head, and kept focusing on the moving sneakers.  I used a wider aperture than usual to allow for the bokeh and a higher shutter speed to get the sneaker tread tack sharp.  It's definitely a different perspective than I've attempted in the past ... and a great chance to showcase some bright orange Chuck Taylors.     

Happy swinging!

 

 

 

Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's creative work for this week.  Next up is my dear friend and fellow New Yorker, Jessie Wixon.  She is mother to two stunningly beautiful girls and has talent that extends for miles.  

Photo 52: Color of Light | Blue

Mostly everyone has heard of the golden hour in photography - that time right after sunrise or before sunset when the outdoors turns into a warm, yellow paradise.  But there is a brief period of twilight each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness.  In photography it's quite simply referred to as the blue hour.   

Over the next four weeks Photo 52 will be exploring the various colors of light in our photography starting with the color blue.  With a new baby that wakes up at 5:00 a.m. and my driving need for caffeine, I've been traveling the neighborhood streets during twilight and was able to capture the image below on my walk home.  I particularly like the crosswalk's lack of travelers at this hour as well as the cool light that washes over the concrete.  It's only a matter of time before its filled with people and the light shifts from a cool blue to the warm yellow of another morning.     

 

Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is the supremely talented street photographer, Stacey Vukelj, who is not only my friend but fellow New Yorker.     

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.    

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Directional Lighting - Week 4

This past week some friends invited us to spend the day at the private Catalina Beach Club on Long Island.  It was our first trip to the beach this summer and my son had the greatest time playing in the sand and water with his classmate turned best buddy, Esme.  The photograph below is a favorite from the day and since it was taken in full sun, I was able to get a high contrast image with my little boy in total silhouette.  Just like the Catalina Beach Club and its Art Deco design , I feel this photograph has a retro style, like it could have been taken on a white hot summer day back in the 1950's.

 

Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Linda Hooper, my New York friend and extraordinary talent.   

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Directional Lighting - Week 3

Summer is in session and that means many family trips to our local Harlem playgrounds. While taking photos of my oldest son running around the jungle gym, I noticed that my husband was standing in the gazebo covered in light spots.  My beloved reptilian was the perfect subject for our third week of directional light.

 

 

Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Julie Kiernan, an amazing talent and friend of mine out in Minnesota.   

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Directional Lighting - Week 2

This week I used underlighting to create an image of high drama which, quite simply, occurs when the subject is lit from below.  When I took the photo, the only light source in the room was that coming from the iPad.  As a result I had to crank the ISO on my camera way up thereby introducing a lot of grain to the image.  I don't mind the grain however, since I find it adds to its tension and film noir effect, as if the iPad is a mighty vortex drawing him into its clutches.   

 

Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Linda Hooper, fellow New Yorker and master of beautiful out-of-focus images.  

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Diffused Light - Week 4

It's not surprising how sentimental I've been this final week of my second pregnancy.  The photo below of my first born was taken just before bedtime with a diffuser attached to my flash unit.  He appears so big to me and I'm sure will only seem more so once there is a newborn in the house.  I like the evenness of the light that the flash diffuser was able to create as well as the innocence of his gaze.  And the bruises on his legs are a reminder that he is definitely an active boy growing up far far too quickly.     

 

Waiting for brother

Please take a spin to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Jill Cassara, one of the most talented lifestyle photographers I know.   

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Diffused Light - Week 3

As I mentioned in the first post of our diffused light study, one way to soften the light is by shooting through a gauzy, sheer material.  The photo below was not staged.  I promise.  Rather I was lying in bed when I saw my son playing behind our bedroom curtain and frantically raced for my camera.  With a playful moment so fleeting, I managed to capture the photograph for this week which has since become one of my favorites taken so far this year.  Sometimes in photography you are given a gift.     

 

Please take a spin through the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Erica Collins, a most talented photographer and midwest friend of mine.   

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Diffused Light - Week 2

For this week the car wash was my diffuser.  I've been meaning to take photographs while moving through the wash cycle and this month's theme was just the push needed.  The light was filtered through the car wash's side windows as well as the front window of our car.  It was so much fun to shoot through a surge of water, capturing all the droplets and soapy streaks without the interference of windshield wipers.  

 

 
 

Please take a spin through the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Kim Dupree, resident of Texas and talented senior photographer.   

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Diffused Light - Week 1

For the next four weeks Photo 52 will be tackling diffused light photography which occurs when soft light, with neither the intensity nor the glare of direct light, is used. The light is scattered and comes from all directions, thus seeming to wrap around objects.  Also shadows are less sharply-defined and have a lower contrast.

Shooting through windows or soft, gauzy material or in open shade can soften the light while clouds are an example of a natural diffuser when shooting outdoors.  Photographing subjects in light falling through trees is yet another example and was my experiment for this first week.    

This past weekend we spent the afternoon at the Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Queens.  My husband and I were seated on one of the wooden chaise lounge chairs shaded by a weeping willow tree while our son played along the waterfront.  Despite it being a rather bright afternoon, the willow's canopy provided the perfect diffusion in the series of photos seen below.  Though not typically my style - I usually opt for strong contrast and sharply-defined shadows - I actually ended up liking the images.  The contrast lies rather in the scenery itself -  tall grasses and the East River juxtaposed against Manhattan's skyline of tall buildings.

 

 

 

 

Please take a spin through the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Linda Hooper, my friend and fellow New Yorker.   

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Week 34:  Exploring Night Light

It's the FINAL FOUR!  

This past Wednesday was exactly four weeks away from my scheduled C-section which will take place on the morning of May 22nd.  Our blog circle topic this week is "Night Light", but I find that when darkness falls, I greatly prefer being indoors and relaxed.  So instead I chose to take out the tripod and attempt a self-portrait that more accurately depicts my "night life" these days - feet propped and resting against a bounty of pillows.  Of course a marathon of "Law and Order: SVU" doesn't hurt either.  This is my life.  This is my life at night.  This is the Final Four.       

Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is my talented colleague and friend, Julie Kiernan

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.   

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Week 32:  Exploring Daylight

Around noon the sunlight floods my son's room from the west, creating some amazing shadows.  On a particularly bright day this week (thank goodness spring has finally arrived!) I captured him playing with not only his toy cars, but trying to catch the sunbeams that were streaming through the window.  There were moments where he was so mesmerized by these beams that he didn't even notice me or the big lens encroaching in on his personal space.  My favorite sight however, at this particular time and in this particular room, is always the angelic halo that the sunlight creates as it lands on the hair of my little angel boy.   

 

 

Please continue along the circle to see the rest of Photo 52's work for this week.  Next up is the sweet and talented Texan, Kim Dupree.   

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Week 31 - Exploring Morning Light

For the month of April our group decided to capture light at four different times a day: early morning, midday, evening and night.  This first week I ventured out in my West Harlem neighborhood at 6:45 a.m. when I knew the sun would be rising up and over 145th street.  This is the time of day with the least amount of traffic as well, so every time the street light turned red I would hustle out to the double yellow line and get on bended knee.  I used my wide angle zoom lens in order to get as much of the setting as possible in the frame.  What's not included however, is the handful of lovable lowlifes that were wrapping up their night on the streets.  The funny part to me is how quiet and serene the image appears and yet, at this particular time, I was dodging the harassment of a toothless, pantless (and truly harmless) female crackhead.  Oh for the love of the craft amongst New York City's colorful landscape!  

 

Harlem sunrise

Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Kelly Roth Patton of Brooklyn, New York.