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!

p52.2: Framed {week 38}

If you are someone who has ever asked about my photography, you will have heard me say - repeatedly - that I am not a family photographer of any family other than my own. It's not my thing, it makes me nervous, I don't know what I'm doing and However, I have made the very occasional exception, including recently when my gorgeous friend and her equally beautiful family up and left for the west coast and I decided they need some "goodbye NYC" images as part of their farewell. 

In our final week of classic portraiture, our topic is "group portraits" and below are a handful of my favorites of this sweet, sweet family. I wish you the very best in your new home and thanks for letting me share. New York will miss you! 

Please head over to Who We Become to see our collection of group portraits this week!

P52.2: Framed {week 37}

This week over at Who We Become, we continue our exercise in portraiture - this week with full body portraits. Full body portraits are personal favorites of mine because of the amount of context these shots often include. I found my fabulous subjects at a summer street fair and while they would look awesome anywhere, I like how the hustle and bustle of the environment, as well as my tight shooting quarters, are evident.

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

Photo 52.2 Framed {week 36} - School's Out For Summer

I have to admit, I miss getting out there with my camera. These days, with a new baby and a kid on summer vacation and other things keeping us busy, I am finding it hard to shoot for myself. My goal is to make a return to street photography more of a priority in the coming months but in the meantime, I am going to cut myself some slack and try to ease back into the swing of things by focusing on my small boy/big city project instead. So, if you come across a random woman running around the streets of New York cajoling a four year old to try and look less miserable doing things he normally loves to do in exchange for some form of sugar, while also attempting not to knock the baby tied to her chest senseless with her say hello. 

This week in our portraiture study, our compositions are built around half or three-quarter body shots. Unlike the traditional headshot, the partial-body composition often also includes more contextual surroundings and is a fundamental compositional basis for many classical artists. I attempted some different angles on my happy camper on his first day of summer break and found the partial-body shots angled from above (and below) to be my favorites.  

Please pop over to Who We Become to see what else we all found above the belt this week. 

P52.2: Framed {Week 35}

It's a new month, which means we Photo 52.2 participants have a new topic. During June, our focus within the frame will be on compositional methods in traditional portraiture. For our first week, we are experimenting with the classic headshot. A headshot generally includes just the head and shoulders in the frame. While neither of these would work well for a business profile, they meet the "head and shoulders" criteria and are images of two (and a bit) of my very favorite heads, so I think they'll do nicely.  

Continue over to Who We Become and check out the cuties and beauties featured in headshot week!

P52.2 Framed {Week 34} - Color Study 4

It's Photographer's Choice in our final week of color study and we are finding creative ways to put what we've learned to use. My images are not particularly colorful, but shot with our lessons in mind. The first is a nod to analogous color schemes, with hints of green and blue, and the second draws on the complementary tones of red and green. 

Please head over to Who We Become and see how my fellow participants rounded out the month. 

P52.2 Framed {Week 32} - Color Study 2

Happy Mother's Day and welcome to week 32 of P52.2 Framed. We are in our second week of color study - this time using complimentary colors (colors across from each other on the color wheel) as the foundation of our images. 

I was searching all over for useable color combinations this week and at the eleventh hour I hit upon some blue/yellow combinations. First, some bubbly at brunch and then some fun graffiti. 

Please check out what the rest of the group has found this week over at our collaborative site, Who We Become

P52.2 Framed {Week 31} - Color Study 1

It's a new month and spring has finally arrived for most of us. With the improving weather, we are hoping to brighten things up a bit by embarking on a color study. For our first week's assignment, we focused on creating images with analogous colors (colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel, such as the warm tones in my image) or with a monochromatic color scheme - varying tones of the same underlying color or the more traditional black and white. 

I admit, this shot was not taken with our assignment in mind, but with the beautiful red and yellow flowers, her orange shirt and her gorgeous smile, I had no choice but to post this image of my dear, dear friend and fellow P52 participant, Kami Chaudhery.

Please click on over to Who We Become to see what everyone is up to as we say hello to the month of May!

One {April 2014}

So far, 2014 has proven to be an action-packed year for all of us in the One circle. Babies, weddings, school, big moves...we are not resting on our laurels. As April comes to a close, I know I'm not the only one who is struggling to find time behind the camera, but find time we do - if only for the most important things. Like a one-month "birthday"! 

Please take a moment to pop around our small circle and see what my other amazing friends have found noteworthy this month, starting with the wonderfully talented Sarah. She has been in the throes of hosting a wedding, so perhaps we'll see some of the fun chaos, or maybe a peaceful moment in between...

Photo 52.2: Framed {Week 30} - Split Tone

It is week 30 for P52.2 Framed, and our final week on utilizing tonality as a compositional element. After three weeks of using lighting techniques to create mood, this week we turn to split tone color. Split toning adds a color tint to the highlights and/or shadows of an image, while leaving the mid-tones alone. It can be used in black and white as well as color photographs, as demonstrated below. Split tones can have a significant impact on the overall feeling of an image and is a fun, creative technique to employ once in a while. 

Please head over to Who We Become to see our collective work this week - it's a fun and colorful collage!

As shot

Pink highlights, blue shadows

Standard black & white

Black & white with red highlights, green shadows