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.   

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Seeing Light in Black and White - Week 4

For this final week of seeing light in black and white I decided to attempt some street photography and thought it would be fun to include a dash of humor, and hopefully a little irony, of life in the Big Apple.  



 Please follow along the circle to view the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Stacey Vukelj, fellow New Yorker and street photographer extraordinaire.  

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Seeing in Black and White - Week 2

This past weekend New York City was hit by "Nemo", the first blizzard of 2013, and our neighborhood of Harlem was blanketed by about a foot of snow overnight.  In the early morning hours, just after the sun came up, I decided to take a walk around the local streets before the wonderland was disturbed by shovels and trudging feet.  My intentions from the beginning were to create a black and white collection exhibiting mother nature's artistry upon the streets of my nabe.  I felt there was no greater opportunity for "seeing in black and white".



Please continue along to see the rest of Photo 52's work for this week.  Next up is Erica Obenchain Collins, my friend, extraordinary mother to five beautiful children and a photographer with talent beyond measure.  Have fun cruising through the entire circle!     


Ann Hamilton's "The Event of A Thread"

Last weekend was the final chance to catch Ann Hamilton's large-scale installation for the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, commissioned by the Park Avenue Armory in NYC.  Fortunately we were there and in line twenty minutes before the 12:00 opening because it wasn't long before the line snaked outside and all the way down 68th street to Lexington Avenue.   

Hamilton's "The Event of A Thread" draws together readings, sound, and live events within a field of 42 swings.  We were fortunate to get on one of the swings fairly quickly, which control the motion of the billowing white curtain.  Onlookers could take in the experience from the rafters above, in motion on a swing and even from below the curtain itself.  It was definite worth the trip and worth waiting in line. 




Photo 52: A Play on Light

Holiday Edition - Week 3

I recently read in one of the local papers that Matt Lauer, the host of the Today Show, loves Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree in the early morning when the plaza is empty.  "It gets so busy later, but when I get to the studio at 4:45 a.m., and the tree is lit, it’s actually stunning because you have the place to yourself.”

I thought this was a brilliant idea so one (very) early morning this past week I took the downtown train after a rainstorm had passed through.  I was the only person in Rockefeller Center besides a handful of security guards and a few men setting up a stage down in the ice skating rink.  It turned out to be the most peaceful time to take photographs of what is normally a chaotic tourist destination during the month of December.  It was just me, the majestic tree and the angels that morning after everything had been washed clean by the rain.  

{In light of the tragic loss of so many innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary School this past Friday, I wish to dedicate this image to their memory.  May their souls rest in peace with the angels above.} 

Angels of Rockefeller

Please follow along the blog circle beginning with the talented Cheryl Sawyer, another fellow New Yorker and friend of mine, and continue through to see the rest of Photo 52's holiday captures for this week.


Photo 52: A Play on Light

The Holiday Edition - Week 1

This month our group has decided on a broad, yet seemingly appropriate theme.  Since the holidays are upon us, we will be capturing a festival of lights over the next four weeks, allowing ourselves to be creative with our concepts and images.  We have been looking forward to taking a break from the more technical study of light to using our cameras most freely to capture the season's lights both bold and bright, lovely Christmas bokeh, and perhaps an occasional miracle along the way.  

My photograph for this week was taken during the first snowfall after Thanksgiving.  I opened up my aperture as wide as possible and used manual focus to create a blurred, painterly effect.   My hope was to add to the wintery mood of that late November day.      

Harlem lights

Please follow along the circle to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Kennedy Tinsley, a friend and colleague of mine as well as a very talented photographer in her own right.


Photo 52: A Play on Light

Hard Light - Week 4

There was a lesson in my latest photography course that explored the dramatic nature of film noir.  Often times subjects are placed in very contrasty, hard light.  One particular afternoon, on our walk home from a birthday party, there was fantastic light hitting one of the brownstones on our block.  I quickly took a photo of our three shadows and was surprised by the creepy feel of the image.  It must be the "claw" hand but I think it's a fitting finale to our hard light study - dramatic and mysterious.  

Please follow along the circle to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Kim Dupree, a supremely talented photographer who resides in East Texas with her husband and three children.  

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Hard Light - Week 2

For this second week studying hard light I decided to shoot outdoors.  My image below was taken as we made our way home on an usually warm and sunny November afternoon.  Somehow it was able to alleviate, just a little, the perfect storm and recent nor'easter that befell our great city and surrounding areas.  And the balloon, in its luminosity, the simplest symbol of hope.  

Please follow along the circle to see the rest of Photo 52's images for this week.  Next up is Lisa Rigazio, a talented photographer and friend who resides in the suburbs of D.C. with her husband and two girls.  

Photo 52: A Play on Light

Backlight - Week 1

This week Photo 52, a year long exploration of light that I am working on with several other talented photographers, will embark on a new overarching theme known as backlighting.  Simply put backlighting is when a light source is behind the main subject. Whilst some might find it counterintuitive to shoot into the light, the effects can be quite magical. 

By having the light behind your subject, the finer details of an object can be enhanced as well as the capture of some lovely silhouettes and sunbursts.  Landscape photography works well with backlighting, especially with translucent flowers and foliage or rim lighting of animals and objects in the background.  Even atmospheric elements such as haze, fog, steam or mist can be intensified and therefore alter the mood of an image.

We will be spending four weeks using backlighting as our inspiration and digging our heels in creatively with this fairly advanced technique.  Below is my backlit debut.  


Sugar Hill, Harlem

Next up in our blog circle is the amazingly talented Kennedy Tinsley.  Please click HERE to continue along the chain and see the creative way in which Kennedy and the others used backlighting this week.

ClickinWalk 2012 | New York City

NYC Streets

This past Saturday I participated in the first New York City ClickinWalk 2012 with local photographers, some of whom I know quite well.  ClickinWalk takes place annually in cities across the globe, giving women photographers the opportunity to come together with their cameras and delve into the art of street photography.  The facilitators, who happen to be friends of mine, Justine Knight and Stacey Vukelj, led us from the New York Public Library through Times Square, down Broadway to Madison Square Park, on to Union Square, and finally across town (via the subway) to the HighLine on the west side for sunset and drinks.  It was such a beautiful fall day in NYC and I found myself enjoying the company I was with so much that I sometimes neglected my camera.  However I did walk away with a newfound appreciation for street photography and a few images to share.


Photo 52: A Play on Light

Shadows - Week 3

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine" - Ralph Waldo Emerson


I've found that New York City's early morning has some of the best light and resultant shadows which is this month's overarching theme for Photo 52.  Standing on the balcony of the Columbus Circle train station during a brief moment when the stairs weren't mobbed with people, I was able to capture this young woman in her colorful dress and shoes heading down into the subway.

Staircase stalker

Next up in our blog circle is the exceptionally talented Lisa Rigazio.  Please continue along the chain to see her latest take on shadows by clicking HERE.   

We Remember

"September 11 is a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent, and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity, and laughter." - Deepak Chopra, M.D. 




Rest in peace Ralph Michael Licciardi.  You are missed and remembered. 

Coney Island Rides

No summer is complete without a trip to Coney Island or so I'm told.  Last weekend we finally made it down to the Brooklyn shore to take in the sights, sounds and kiddie rides.  On such a hot sweltering August Saturday it seemed everyone in New York was finding relief at the beach.  We chose to ride the carousel (over and over again!) and catch the breeze up high in the sky.


ManhattanHenge 2012

Manhattanhenge comes just twice a year and is when the setting Sun aligns with the Manhattan street grid. This orange glow of light comes across both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid. A rare and beautiful sight. Hundreds of us risked our lives out in the middle of the street to the chorus of honking horns in order to capture Gotham aglow.