Photo 52: A Play On Light {44}

We are in the home stretch of our P52 and this month's focus is on the color of light. This is a bit of a tricky topic, because the wavelengths that make up visible light cover the entire color spectrum - the colors we "see" are the end result of an object absorbing or reflecting certain wavelengths and not others, not the color of the light itself.  

Another facet of this concept is when we choose to set white balance using Kelvin. The Kelvin scale essentially measures the temperature of light - whether it is cooler (blues/greens) or warmer (reds/yellows) and tells our cameras how to interpret that light. So, for example, a cool Kelvin setting is useful when shooting indoors because the blues in the setting counteract the yellows in fluorescent lights.  

For our first week, we were on the hunt for blue. I found a blue twilight and a bright blue playground, then couldn't put my camera down once I started playing with sunlight reflected in turquoise waters. I had way too much fun standing in the pool with my camera, finding ways to capture ripples and reflections of sun and clouds in the water and the bubbles. So please forgive the excessive share but there are fun details to be found if you look closely. And when you are done, please travel onwards to my dear, dear friend Kami Chaudhery. In fact, the water shots were taken in her parents' pool while we swam to celebrate her birthday on the 4th of July. Please leave her some belated greetings as you check out her gorgeous work! 


Photo 52: A Play on Light {39}

Directional Light, Week One

I closed out last month with a portrait of our small guy, while bemoaning the chilly temperatures we were experiencing at the time. Apparently my displeasure was noted, because this week's similarly-composed portrait was taken in scorching 90F temperatures and pounding sun. Any chance we could just get a nice, comfortable 75F with a light breeze?

Directional light can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. I think of it as using a strong light source and shadows to accentuate a subject, but unlike our month on hard light, this is more about creating dimension or interest using the direction of a light source, so backlight or a softer side light would work as well. My fellow circle members are often a bit more articulate about the monthly description so I recommend taking a peek at what they have to say about it, in addition to their beautiful imagery.  

Here, my light source is midday sun and I loved the little "freckles" on his face created by the shadow of the hat, as well as the incredible light reflecting off the bright scene into his eyes. 

Next, please check out the work of my dear and talented friend, Cheryl Sawyer. She has also been a hot child in the city this week, so please take a peek to see what she found to kick off this new month and continue around the circle!

Photo 52: A Play on Light {34} - Night Light

In our final week of April, Photo 52 members are focusing on night light. I love shooting at night so for our focus week I decided to attempt it with a lens that I don't quite love. It's a little too slow and a little too long for me to shoot the way I normally do on the crowded streets. But it was fun to try and allowed me to focus in on the details. I'm guessing the irony was lost on this particular individual, but I found this visual amusing. 

Please continue around the circle to my friend Jill Cassara in Ann Arbor. She has undertaken a light study on a local sculpture and her images for morning, afternoon and evening have been very unique and beautiful. I can't wait to see what she has in store at night. 

Photo 52: A Play on Light {26}

It is week 26 of Photo 52: A Play on Light and we are officially half way done! It is hard to believe that six months have passed since we embarked on this project. If you are new to the blog, my debut post explaining Photo 52 can be found here

This is our first of four weeks exploring artificial light sources. And what could possibly be more artificial than the neon glow of Times Square? Processed for a little extra sense of commercialism and nary a natural light source to be found.

Please head on over to the East Side to see what my talented friend and fellow New Yorker Cheryl Sawyer found under the glow of something other than the sun.

One {February}

Another month has passed already? Settling on my "one" shot for the month of February was difficult but I knew it would likely come from the series of shots I took this particular evening. While in Rhode Island, my camera and I got a bit of a dunking from a rogue wave while out watching the sun go down in frigid temperatures. It's not every day I am at the water's edge to witness such a sunset, and I was not about to miss it, windchill of 6F notwithstanding. I am happy to report, all of my fingers remain intact. 

Please visit my five dear friends who are joining me in this project. to see what their one shot of February will be, starting in Chicago with Jessica Remus in Chicago. Jessica has an exquisite talent for capturing the essence of childhood in her photography.  

Photo 52: A Play on Light {21} - Pinhole Camera

A Room with a View

ss 6.0, f2.8, IS0 6400 (he sat REALLY still)

Photo 52: natural indoor light, week four. For those unfamiliar with our project, please start here

Last fall, fellow Photo 52 participant Justine Knight and I took a course at the International Center of Photography. Our teacher, Irina Rozovsky, introduced us to the work of a photographer named Abelardo Morell.  He has a beautiful collection of images in his Camera Obscura project and ever since seeing how he turns rooms into giant pin hole cameras, I have been determined to try it. Project 52's last week of natural indoor light seemed like the perfect time. While my images do not compare to his, the experiment was still so much fun that even the wiggliest among us sat still long enough to be included in the photos. 

To create these images, I covered the window in black garbage bags, shutting out all light. Then I cut a hole about the size of a quarter into the middle of the bag. The view from outside came streaming into the room, inverted due to the way the light bounces through the pin hole. The scene was not quite as clear as this to the naked eye but with a long exposure, the vibrant colors of the buildings and the sunny sky came out beautifully. We could even see traffic moving on the ceiling from light glinting off cars on the street below. To quote my father, "Physics is Fun." 

ss 5.0, f2.8, IS0 6400 

Please continue around the circle to see how everyone else is closing out our month on indoor natural light. Next up, Cheryl Sawyer!

Photo 52: A Play on Light {20}

Week 20 of Photo 52, and week three of natural light indoors.

More fun with windows. As to who was having more fun, that is up for debate. 

Please continue around the circle to see what else Photo 52 participants have been up to this week, starting with my talented friend and fellow New Yorker, Cheryl Sawyer.

Photo 52: A Play on Light {19}

A walk with Kermit.

It's week 2 of natural indoor light, this time found in what amounts to an urban tunnel. 

Please continue along the circle to see what the other Photo 52 participants have found this week, starting with Jill Cassara. Jill lives in Ann Arbor and has an amazing ability to capture her beautiful children at the most perfect moments. 

Photo 52: A Play on Light {18}

The holidays are over and it's back to the grind. Photo 52 has abandoned the freewheeling twinkling lights and is getting back to the technical side of things. We will be spending the month of January focusing on the use of natural light indoors. This means the subjects of our images will be a) inside and b) illuminated by sunlight without the addition of flash, lamplight or other artificial light source. The topic seemed appropriate since many of us are currently experiencing some significant drops in temperature.

Plunging mercury notwithstanding, I had a very dear friend visiting this week and we weren't about to spend her entire trip holed up at home. These were taken as we ducked inside to warm ourselves up at various points throughout the day.  

If you are unfamiliar with Photo 52, my initial post can be found here. Please continue around the blog circle to see what my fellow participants are finding as we kick off the new year. Next up is the lovely and talented Julie Kiernan, who is no doubt scoffing at my complaints of cold weather from her home in Minnesota. 

window shopping

long wait for a small table

Photo 52: A Play on Light {17} - Happy New Year!

Photo 52, week 17: Photographer's Choice

The clock is ticking down on another year. I have grand plans to go back and do a year in review for personal albums and so forth but, unsurprisingly, that hasn't happened yet.

So for this week, I'm simply living in the moment. We stopped by Grand Central Terminal the other day, one of my favorite landmarks in the city. When contemplating the coming year with my two guys, the train station seems symbolically appropriate. We will journey together on adventures unknown as our home quietly awaits our safe return.  

May 2013 bring you health, happiness and love. 

Please continue around the blog circle as my fellow Photo 52 participants bid farewell to 2012, starting with my talented and wonderful friend Cheryl Sawyer.

Shop Local

Local love.

After almost ten years in this neighborhood, Christmas shopping at Domus has become something of a holiday tradition for my family.

This evening we headed out for a little stroll and stopped by to pay them a visit. We were excited to discover that their beautiful tree is already decorated and, as always, treasures abound. 

Photo 52: A Play on Light {5}

Stepping out of the shadows, into the light! Weeks five through eight of Photo 52 will be all about backlighting. I often feel that in these photographs the light can take on a life of its own, becoming an additional subject in the frame.

It felt good to be seeking moments in the sun during some remaining fall warmth. And, preceded by a string of cloudy days, this bright morning sunshine was a sparkling reminder to appreciate that without the brightest lights and the darkest shadows, life would be very grey indeed.

Here is a little fun at the Bryant Park fountain. If you look closely, you will see it was also doubling as a very large birdbath on this fine morning.

Please continue along the circle to see the beautiful and ethereal image one of my dearest friends, and amazing photographer, Kami Chaudhery captured of her daughter in Seattle this week. 

Mr. X

My life is far from lonely, but I am a person who craves solitude. Somewhat ironically, I also dislike crowds. There is something about New York though - you can join in the fray or simply stand a little apart, alone in the midst of chaos.

I should note that all of these images were actually taken in very good company - this past weekend Justine and I co-led a photography walk around Manhattan for Clickin Moms.  A wonderful time (we hope) was had by all!

Photo 52: A Play on Light {2}

Playing with Shadows: Week 2

Last week, I joined a group of photographers in launching a 52 week study into light. In this week 2 of our month on shadows, I walked the parks along the West Side Highway in search of a little less concrete and a little more jungle as my source of inspiration. The days are getting cooler, the shadows begin to lengthen by early afternoon, and while summer colors still abound, there is a hint of autumn in the air.

Next in the circle is the exceedingly talented Jill Cassara. Please click through to see what shadows she discovered in Ann Arbor this week.