One {September 2014}

Incredible to think that September has already blown by, but here we are. I had a lot of "one" moments this month - a small boy who started kindergarten and learned to ride a bike on his own, a sweet baby who started eating "solid" food and sitting up,  a little time with loved ones in a beautiful place far from home, a return to the working world and all the surrounding logistics, some fun time with family as my father kicked off his retirement...September has been full.

However, I do not have a single image that encapsulates all of those things, and so I'm choosing something else entirely for my One shot. I don't even know if I like this image very much, but I keep coming back to it. I was playing around with shutter speed when out near an abandoned pier on the west side and created some "ghosts." It seemed oddly appropriate, since not far from this spot is where the RMS Carpathia docked after rescuing survivors from the shipwrecked Titanic. 

Please head out to Colorado and see what my beautiful friend Sarah Zalan has seen in her journeys this month, then continue around our small circle!

Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 52}

And...scene! Another year of shooting, another year of collaborating with friends, another year of photography. Participants in Photo 52.2: Framed are closing out the project with a personal favorite from the year. Mine is a new shot and is not a favorite of the year, or even the week, but simply a favorite image I took today. It is a reminder to enjoy the city I live in; the city I love. 

We have some new ideas over at Who We Become and we hope to get them up and running in the next month or two. It is exciting to embark on a continued collaboration with my talented and generous friends - especially one that feels a bit different from our more technical goals of the past two years - and we hope we can convince you to come along for the ride.

Who We Become - week 52.

Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 50}

It is a little sad and daunting to come to the end of a long-term project. As I nearly cross the finish line for our second 52 week collaboration, I find myself with much to think about, both in life and photography (and where the two meet). And so, our theme for week 50 struck me as particularly relevant because I am feeling very out of focus at the moment.

Intentionally out of focus imagery can be beautiful and I do have a few scattered throughout my portfolio. I love the soft ambiance and anonymity they evoke. However, shooting out of focus images is not truly my style, so in an effort to shake off all that has been clouding over my brain these past few months, I used a beautiful sunset at the Great Salt Lake this weekend to create a sense of softness but with some identifiable focal plane. All of my mumblings aside, at the very least, who doesn't enjoy a beautiful sunset? 

Please head over to Who We Become and see everyone else's perspectives. And since some of my friends were with me in Utah, you may get another look at this lovely scene. 

Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 49} - Multiple Exposures

Only four weeks left of Photo 52.2: Framed. We've nearly made it through another year! After a bit of a breather, those of us participating over at Who We Become hope to come back with a new and different project for the coming year, so please stay tuned.

September is here and we're closing out the year with a few creativity exercises. This week is multiple exposure. I hope to learn how to properly do this with film but digitally these images can be created in-camera, if your camera body has the technology, or in Photoshop. Since I have yet to learn how to use Photoshop, in-camera it was for me! Figuring out how to make a dynamic composition will take some time to master, but I had fun creating these cityscapes - a little skyline juxtaposed with our newly minted bike-rider in action.

Please head over to Who We Become and see the other fun my friends have had this week - the sneak peek I had of one of the images blew me away and I can't wait to see the rest!


One {August 2014}

Summer is coming to a close but not without a last hurrah family vacation. This isn't the loveliest or most sentimental shot from the holiday trove, but my wonderful siblings amuse me always and today was no exception. Please head over to my dear friend Sarah's page to see what captured her heart this month!

Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 46}

Our month of traditional compositional technical study continues. This week, it's the golden triangle. If you'd like to geek out on the math, check out some info on the golden ratio to see the fundamentals of the concept. 

However, to offer a basic explanation, we are using the same aesthetic notions that we did with the rule of thirds, but this time, our goal is to create diagonal lines in our images to form isosceles triangles. Points of interest in the image should lie along diagonals and at the intersecting points of the triangles in order to create a dynamic image and lead the eye around the frame. Creating one triangle is relatively simple. Creating two is more of a challenge.

I am having a terrible time articulating how this works so I have also included a screen shot of the Golden Triangle overlay offered as a cropping tool in Lightroom. The lines are faint, but in this image, the angles created by the table, my son's gaze and reach, and my father's bent arm all form triangles within this image, giving it a dynamic flow. 

In the second image, there is a clear triangle created by the road and building leading to the city skyline, but there isn't really a second triangle on the right. WIthout that second ancillary visual diagonal, it lacks the complexity of my first shot. 

Head over to Who We Become to see the angles we found this week. 

Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 45}

We are spending August exploring traditional compositional methods. This week, it is the intentional use of centered composition that gives our images some oomph.  Here, I have a fun iPhone shot of the Super Moon as well as an unusual perspective of Grand Central Terminal. The Park Avenue access tunnel and overpass were closed to vehicles on Saturday and bikers and pedestrians took advantage.

Please head over to Who We Become for everyone's work this week!


Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 44}

August! Nearing the end of summer and the end of our P52. At this juncture in our year-long study of compositional techniques, we bring it back to basics, starting with the Rule of Thirds. Simply put, a photograph is generally (generally!) considered more pleasing to the eye if the frame is divided into a grid with nine equal sections and the subject of the image falls on one of the intersection points. Or with landscapes, the horizon falls on the upper or lower third of the frame rather than in the center. 

This week, my guy and I headed out for a photo walk and took a few this case, of each other. In my image, his face is on the intersection point at the upper left side of the frame. In his image, while I don't really fall on any intersecting points, the stroller and I occupy the right two thirds of the frame. Fun ideas to work on as he gets started.

Please head over to Who We Become and check out our collaborative page this week!

One {July}

This month I have photographed spectacular mountain tops, sparkling hot springs, ancient geysers, and wild bison, yet this everyday image is the one that stole my heart. Please take a peek at the "one" shot my dear friends chose to share this month, starting with the amazingly talented Jessica Remus in Chicago. 

Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 43}

July is coming to a close and with it, our month of creativity exercises. This week's assignment was a fun challenge for me. Our goal was to use layering as the compositional foundation of our images by consciously giving weight to the content in the foreground, middle and background of the shot in order to tell a story.  I found it difficult to purposefully bridge the technical layering - intentionally creating three physical layers - with the story-telling elements.

By way of example, I specifically shot this first image with layering in mind.  I like that the seals act as sentinels, framing my son as he stands in a pool of light. There is a clear background, middle and foreground and the subjects in the image layers are cohesive. However, there's not much of a story going on.

Whereas this shot, which I took a few weeks ago without this assignment in mind, more successfully accomplishes the storytelling layers I had intended to create this week. Small boy taking a break from a family meal - the foreground tells us not only where he is but the drinks and placemat signal my active presence in the scene, despite being behind the camera. The background shows the family and some detail of the restaurant and the middle layer is reserved for my subject. Good food for thought for future shooting. Please pop over to Who We Become - layer week is a good one!

Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 42} - Subject Isolation

Warning, more vacation photos ahead. They may just keep on coming because I have cut myself off from the camera until I wade my way through them.

This week on P.52 we continue our exploration of creative compositions with a focus on subject isolation. This can mean using any number of techniques - lighting, depth of field, framing, etc. - in order to make a subject stand out. However, an alternative interpretation is isolation as a subject itself and this is how I chose to approach the week's theme. 

The vastness of the western United States is astonishing and for me, a feeling of isolation, particularly as it pertains to scope and solitude, abounds. Below are a few favorite shots that embody my take on subject: isolation. 

Please click on over to Who We Become to see everyone else's beautiful work this week!

Tree Skeletons - Yellowstone National Park, WY

Orange Kayak - Grand Teton National Park, WY

Yellowstone Lake - Yellowstone National Park, WY

Legend Rock Petroglyphs - Hamilton Dome, WY

Generations - Cody, WY

Moonrise - Yellowstone National Park, WY

Abandoned School Yard - Hamilton Dome, WY

Oil Derricks - Hamilton Dome, WY

Antler Motel - Jackson, WY

Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 41} - Cody 4th of July

In our second week of creativity exercises, we are focused on filling the frame with our subject or subjects. This can mean isolating a subject by eliminating distractions, creating a tight composition so that the subject quite literally fills the frame, focusing on details, or creating an image filled with multiple subjects that tell the story. 

Here are a few images from my Fourth of July, spent in Cody, Wyoming. This was a whole different kind of "street" photography for me, but this collection demonstrates a variety of ways to fill the frame. Please head over to Who We Become to see some of the beautiful portraits and other gorgeous images my friends found this week!


Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 40}

July, already! As we start to approach the end of P52.2: Framed, we will spend the month using a variety of photographic techniques and tools to imbue our images with a creative complexity. This week, our focus is on Depth of Field as a compositional element. For a great overview of depth of field - the technical details, how it is often used and why a photographer might make certain selections - please head over to Who We Become

As for my selections here, I like how these images form a story-telling series, in large part due to the changes in depth of field. I was shooting with a zoom lens, so while my aperture remained the same, these are examples of how depth of field changes substantially in a wide angle shot versus a tighter frame.  

One {June 2014}

June! And just like that, we are halfway through the year. This month meant the beginning of summer, the end of pre-school for my small guy and a long-awaited visit from the amazing women of this One circle!

I have to admit, I had more fun watching them take in the city than trying to document it myself, but I did get a shot or two. I liked this one - not because it features any of my special people, but because it is of one man, finding an audience for his art. 

Please head out to Colorado to see what my incredible friend Sarah has captured this month and continue around our little circle!