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Atlanta & Smyrna, GA
Columbia, SC

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52 Frames Submissions 2021

See my annual submissions:  2018   2019   2020  2021  2022

Please enjoy my submissions from the 52 Frames Project for 2021

If you love photography and love a challenge consider joining us at https://52frames.com

Visit my profile at 52 Frames here:  https://52frames.com/photographer/enktesis

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Testing the Speedometer

Can my Honda mini-van really do 160MPH as indicated?

Disclaimer: Only in Photoshop


Wait? Week 53?? Yes, every few years we have a 52Frames "leap year" due to the apparently-not-so-consistent calendar, so we have to add ONE more challenge week this year in order to reset our challenge calendar again! This way, our first week's deadline is actually sometime in the beginning of January as opposed to the end of December! So, what better challenge could we have for this week? Of course it's break the rules! And it's not just a pun. Breaking the rules is an important photography method, I even dedicated a whole chapter about it in my Shooting 101 Photography Course. You can view this chapter THIS week for free, here. Shoot at an angle, overexpose, create motion blur. As long as you are breaking with intention, your artistic license will enable the viewer to view your frame this week in the most unique and creative way. Of course you can also take the literal approach and convey someone or something that is breaking some rule. It's the final challenge of the season and we want you to get out there and have fun with this one.

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Inestimable Memories to Me

2021 52 Three Challenges 1069 marco lenseThis is our first tree in our new house. It's a small older house with only room for small tree. My wife carefully selected the most memorable creations from our cache of ornaments collected over 33 years.

Three Challenges and Extra Credits:

NOTE: Shot with a 1950's Nikkor 50MM 1.4 lense.

* Week 2021-31: Wide Aperture with f/1.4 / Portrait.
* Week 2021-19: ISO 100 / Full Manual
* Week 2021-6: Single Focal Point / f/1.4

Our Tree 2021

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Well, the year end is almost upon us and we'd like to see what you've learnt over the whole year and see you combine at least three of this year's challenges in your photo. You could combine some of our technical challenges like ISO 100, Slow Shutter or Black And White with any of our creative challenges like Just Breathe, Nostalgia or Music. The combinations are limitless just like your creativity and imagination. We feel this is a great way of exercising our skills at thinking out of the box and getting better on our photography journey. Perhaps there are some techniques or shots that you got constructive feedback on, that you'd like to give a try once again. This community inspires us all to learn, grow and embrace imperfection. Together.

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You Can Figure it Out

Keep Away, also called Monkey in the Middle, Piggy in the Middle, Pickle in a Dish, or Pickle in the Middle, or Monkey, is a children's game in which two or more players must pass a ball to one another, while a player in the middle attempts to intercept it. The game could be considered a reverse form of dodgeball, because instead of trying to hit people in the middle with the ball, players attempt to keep the ball away from them. The game is played worldwide.

Background and Rulz


This week, we're looking for shots that show being In The Middle. This could be SO many thing: Your favorite sandwich, an object in the middle of a wall, the middle of the day or night , maybe you're in the MIDDLE of nowhere? Want to be more literal? Compose your photo with your subject in the center of the frame for a balanced look and feel. With all the tools we've gathered this year, you might think about what you can use to lead the eye to the center — maybe leading lines! A peanut butter sandwich certainly gives us something in the middle, but you also might use the sandwich concept for something other than food - like a child's smile with a missing tooth. Get creative and start thinking out of the box — We love it when you do that!

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Many Whites Many Blacks

I have been forever fascinated by the insane range of available paint colors provided to today's homeowners and designers. The differences are subtle and of course with modern paint mixing tools, the only have to stock the white base and the machine will mix any color. Whites and black have the same variations. So many choices. You can even bring in a chip of the bizarre 1950's aquamarine from your grandmother's bathroom that she instists you use to repaint and they will match it.

Worlds Blackest Black

More fun:

Sherwin Williams Color Finder

White at Home Depot

Black at Home Depot

Here is the original color version

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It's been a year full of beautiful photos often full of colors, and now is the time to step back and enjoy the simplicity that is Black and White Minimalism. The key phrase to say to yourself as you consider what you'll shoot is "Less is more." Use this week to challenge yourself to see the lines, the textures, and the many shades of black and white, with a little gray coming into the picture. Playing with the contrast bar will give you several options with the same shot. Maybe you'll decide to raise the contrast and really emphasize the dark blacks and grays, or you might like lowering the contrast and showing off the brighter whites and light grays. For a really strong contrast, remember to pull in a lot of black and white with little gray coming in your edit. Black and White on its own conveys a distinct feeling, so different from a color photo, and adding minimalism will give a very clean and uncluttered feel to your photo. Consider choosing a strong subject to draw our eye, as it will need to be more engaging than the lure of negative space that should occupy most of the canvas. And your story! While minimalism might feel stark and cold, when you bring in your blacks and whites, your lines, your shadows, you'll find your photo can convey warmth and emotion. Enjoy this challenge, Allow the freedom of minimalism to awaken your creative juices.

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Nails Hold the World Together

After some research I found that the single most common created object is nails. They have been used for millennia, in all forms, wooden, iron, steel, and more, to build nearly everything. No building has been constructed without the use of nails for some part of the construction. Thank you to Home Depot in Smyrna, GA for the use of their nail aisle (https://www.homedepot.com/l/Cumberland/GA/Atlanta/30339/121)

Interesting Reading:

Nails: Clues to a Building's History

History of Nails

Nails and Wood Screws

Fixing Our Old House: Historic Nails

The Humble Nail – A Key to Unlock the Past


A ball, a door handle, a fork - no, I haven't lost my mind, these are just a few common objects that we see all the time without batting an eye. So let's take a closer look at these details in our lives and make them the star of the show this week! In other words, let's make the ordinary become extra-ordinary.  Composition is key here - so try and arrange things in your shot to convey depth, emotion, or perhaps even a surreal, thought-provoking moment. It's up to you how much drama or story you want --do you want to get up close and personal to show only part of your subject by using a macro lens? Or will it look better if you zoomed out and placed things of context that subtly add to your story? Do you want to create something funny? Or perhaps something much more meaningful? Take your time, craft your story, and show us the common things in life that perhaps deserve a second look.

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Every Old West Tintype

I was in Enid Oklahoma (US) over the Thanksgiving holiday. It is the home of Simpson's Old Time Museum ( https://www.skeletoncreekproductions.com ) which is 90,000 sq feet of astounding early western items of all types. They have movie set quality rooms like a tavern, doctors office, chapel, bank and more. The owner, Rick Simpson, has a million stories to tell and is featured in a number of western action films produced by their company. I researched old western tintype photos and tried to reproduce the effect here. Links to tutorials and resources are below the photos.

Watch This Amazing YouTube Video: 
Shooting with a 130 year old camera - Tintype photography with the Rochester Optical Premo B

Wetplate Supplies (you will need to add a camera.)

More about Tintypes here: 

How to do wetplate photography:

Another gem of a local museum. They are all over the world tucked in cities and towns. When you travel always search maps for local museums. Start by searching for the phrase "local museums" and add the city/state/region like this, "local museums atlanta ga."

Original Photo Below

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Rick Simpson

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How to Create Vintage Old Photo Effect in Photoshop

How to: Give Your Photos a Vintage Tintype Effect

Photoshop Supply: Dust Textures

More Textures

Parchment Paper and Grunge Edges: Search...


Inspiration - as photographers and creative artists we're always looking to get innovative shots and capture that moment in time. Some of us look to the world and others look within for fresh and new ideas, but there's an untapped resource that we'd like Framers to pay attention to this week. The work and styles of our fellow photographers, especially those who have been recognized for their talent and style by the world at large. We want you to be Inspired By A Photographer. For all that we learn by ourselves, a great deal of knowledge and ideas can be acquired by observing the work of masters in their field. We recommend you look at the work of the early masters as well those who were well known for their modern and post-modern take on photography. At the same time, if you know someone - a mentor or fellow Framer whose work you admire and whose style has helped raise your game, feel free to show us how you came to be inspired by them too. Photographers who inspire us aren't necessarily locked into particular types of photography and neither should you - architecture, portraiture, street, documentary, nature and wildlife, abstract and surreal - look at the genres that appeal to you. We're asking you to be inspired by these teachers of the art, which means you might choose to shoot in a similar color palette or artistic style as they would. Others are known for certain unique compositional characteristics which you could apply to your idea of a shot. One final thing - we're a global community and we'd love to see your take on photographers who have been an inspiration to you from all parts of the world, not just the Western Hemisphere. Let's learn from the best and get better at our art. “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants” - Sir Isaac Newton, 1675

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Air Frame

This is the business end of a Lockheed YC-141B StarLifter housed at The Aviation History & Technology Center at Dobbins AFB in Marietta, Georgia US (https://ahtc360.org). This is a great example of a local government/private partnership that allows a group of dedicated veterans to maintain these aircraft on land provided by the county and the base. For $5 you can get up close to some great aircraft. It is hard to understand how big the C141 is. I had to shoot from across the property to get a 300mm shot.

The Aircraft

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Paying attention to your scene's BACKGROUND is generally as important as the main subject you are shooting. But sometimes we can get rid of the backgroud ALTOGETHER by filling our entire frame with our subject. When you fill the frame with your subject, there are less distractions to the viewer. You eliminate everything except that which you want the viewer to see. You don’t run the risk of having a pole appear to be growing out of your model’s head or your subject being so far away it’s difficult to know where we should be looking. You don't need to balance EVERYTHING that you have going on in the scene in front of you. This week, move closer to your subject (like, with your feet, but you can also use a long lens). Whether it’s a person or an object, we want to really see the details. You might choose a pattern to fill the frame, or you might use the face of a humanoid. The Googles will give you so many great examples. When this week is over, hold on to the lesson and remember that you always have the option to simply zoom all the way in and let your main subject do all the talking.

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Wabi-Sabi Me

Wabi-sabi means looking for beauty in things that are not new and shiny. Rust, wrinkles, cracks in pots, chipped paint. Well that's us! This is a call with my other 62+ MBA classmates (there are eight of us in total) who are in a masters program at Georgia State University. We each shared how the younger students seem very appreciative of the experience and wisdom we bring to our classes.


Wabi-sabi means looking for beauty in things that are not new and shiny. Rust, wrinkles, cracks in pots, chipped paint? That’s where you’ll find the beauty for this idea that comes from a Japanese concept that centers around acceptance of imperfection and impermanence, 侘寂 . And this is a tenet of our 52Frames project, to embrace imperfection. This week, we ask you to seek this beautiful imperfection in the world around you. For those who prefer antiques to modern decor, you have a head start! We are always looking for beauty as a photographer. Wabi-sabi allows you to narrow your view and expand your definition of what is beautiful. If you've never looked, we think you're going to love what's waiting in an otherwise forgotten corner of an old building or a field with a rusted fence or old farm equipment. Beauty remains where we often think it's past its prime, of little benefit. What’s great about a challenge like this is that whether you use a phone, a drone, or something in between, technique is up to you. And if you look around and see nothing “old or broken but beautiful,” maybe you can dig into the back of your closet and see what beautiful surprises you've long forgotten about. Don't separate beauty from ugliness, for there is beauty in all that we see.

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Anatidaephobia – Fear of Being Watched by A Duck

Thanks to Amazon I was able to get 71 ducks for $15US to help me break my fear. I know it's weird, but they do have beady eyes. I had considered very serious topics like death of spouse, losing my mind, or global nuclear war. But my good friend, Jonathan Mauer encouraged me to take a lighter approach. A little research yielded lots of options.


For the record: I'm not really afraid of ducks.


The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  - Franklin D. Roosevelt  Heights, Spiders, Darkness, Clowns, Roller coasters, Cooking a soufflé. What are you afraid of? Some things make us uncomfortable and some things are downright scary. Being in 52Frames is scary for some of us - putting our (iimperfect!) work out there for people to see, critique, and associate with us. This week, we’re asking you to think of something you would be willing to do that might make you uncomfortable or is a fear you want to face. Heck, maybe cleaning out that garage is a fear - that might be an interesting photo! This should be a FUN exercise. See where your imagination takes you. Maybe it’s not a fear out in the world, but a fear within photography. Some of us are pretty afraid of taking pictures of strangers, for instance, so that might be a great way to meet the challenge AND accomplish the EC (what we like to think of as an extra challenge). From starting a new class, going to the dentist, taking up a new hobby, embracing fear is all around us, and often is the springboard to affecting change in our lives, and starting something great.

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Knight Moves

For this challenge I looked for a shot that would be nearly impossible with a DSLR. I used a super wide angle lens on my Pixel 5 in wide mode. I printed a chess board and cut a hole in the center for the lens and put the phone under the board. I used the self-timer to get the pic. Not bad...

See mehods below:

I used the Movo SPL-FE Super Fisheye Lense at Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08S45WC1X

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2021 44 CellPhone 1069 how 0001 2021 44 CellPhone 1069 Board


How many times have you found yourself saying, “Oh, I wish I had my real camera!” and then proceeded to shoot with your phone because you remembered the words: The best camera is the one you have with you. It really is true, and allowing yourself to be challenged by using the phone is the next best step to helping you learn camera phones are a great option! We have hundreds of Framers who submit every week using their phone camera, so while this might be an easy challenge for them, we’ll hope they give themselves an extra challenge with the extra credit. Shot With a Phone will be a great opportunity to learn how to use some of the tools available in many phones today, and you’ll definitely want to check out some of the great apps for editing on your phone. 52Frames is all about learning all we can about photography. While many of us boast of our big lenses and fine bodies (camera bodies!), it's a great lesson to learn to utilize the tools you have at hand - and most of us have a phone most of the time. If you actually don’t own a mobile phone with a camera, maybe you own a tablet. If you don’t own a tablet either, you can get creative and shoot a photo of someone else’s phone camera. Don’t sell your creativity short!

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Walls of Steel: The 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

This magnificent car was the first vehicle acquired by the Miles Through Time Automotive Museum in Clarksville, GA US. It is hard to describe how much Sheetmetal is used to make this car and its overall size. It literally is a moving wall.

Here is the entire story of the car: https://youtu.be/nHURREIX7N8 The car has its own website: https://pops59.com

You can learn more about the museum at https://milesthroughtime.com and its founder at https://milesthroughtime.com/sean-mathis/


If you think of a wall as just a meaningless background, we invite you to think again! Walls. Many can make for delightful subjects all on their own - considering their shape, texture, contrast and sometimes even depth. They might become characters in the scene, instead of acting as guides or leading lines, as they often do. You could opt for a minimalist approach using just a flat, unending surface, or focus close upon the textures and grit. Such a variety of materials and structures walls are engineered from - stone, wood, concrete, or plastic. We invite you to let your creative juices flow to transform the sometimes mundane wall into a story that speaks to the viewer.

2021 42 LowKey 1069 marco ciavolino post

Workdays are Sometimes Eighteen Hours

Working from home has some benefits like occasional showers, working in your shorts, anytime naps, and more. But it also compells us to work endlessly, stopping only for meals and bathroom breaks. Ah, how some long for the land of cubicles.


We try to expose you to many genres of photography throughout the year's 52 challenges, and low key is a favorite for many photographers. If dark and moody is your thing, pay attention. Let's get down to basics right off the bat: when you shoot low key, try to use more dark tones than light - the opposite of what we were trying to achieve in high key. It doesn't mean you under expose your photo (though you certainly may choose to do that), but you intentionally darken the tones, and you can do that from the start with your use of lighting and choice of background. If you're totally lost, begin with a black background, and the histogram will be left-heavy. You can build from there with your lights and shadows as you explore the edges and curves that appear. And if you are stuck at home, remember low key is as simple as catching a person with sunlight on their face while indoors. This would create a low key image. If all you have is a phone camera, this will make it pretty doable for you. Words to think about when shooting might be: dark, moody, dramatic, high contrast, and shadows. Settings to think about when shooting will be: fast shutter, low iso, and low aperture (f-stop). Don't feel you must limit yourself to a black-and-white photo, though. There are great uses of light and shadow in low-key color photos, too!

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Custom Filter Cat: Darcy

I experimented this week by making a custom filter from a plastic insert sheet, some markers, and an old filter ring. High ISO for grain. See below.

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We're looking at high-key photography this week. Simply put, it's high contrast, brightly lit photographs usually with a lack of shadows or background detail. High-key shots although usually most often seen in portraiture can be used in many other genres of photography - street, landscapes, food (especially on white plates), product and abstract shots to name but a few. The idea is to eliminate background clutter and distraction entirely so as to allow the viewer to be drawn in to the main subject of your photograph. Lighting and angles are crucial to this form of photography and hopefully, this will be a good training exercise of sorts for many of us. Although we can overexpose the image, that's not necessarily the best way to get a high-key shot. Play with the composition, lighting and depth of field to achieve that high-key look. Consider times of day and outdoor locations that are normally too harsh with the available light to make your shots work for this challenge.

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Movies I would like to have starred in.

I can dream. Can't I?

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Lord of the Rings
Citizen Kane
Back to the Future


A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities - J R R Tolkien  Many photographers use their mind's eye to capture a slice in time. There are also those among us who choose to make an image according to what they imagine. This week, we'd like you to compose an image that could be taken from a dream. It could be transcendental and ephemeral or just something as simple as playing in a field as a kid. This challenge is very open and subject to your interpretation and take on things. You could try different lighting techniques and textures to add creative distortion or even employ techniques to show levitation and flight (a common theme for some in their dreams). Things could take an abstract and surreal turn, if you prefer to show something minimalistic. We'd love to see a fantasy story play out if that's your cup of tea or perhaps even replay a memory that one might see often. Dreams have no limits and neither should this week's challenge. Be open, be free, be creative.

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Every day I see Eve, then there was this one day...

So here is the first person's first person view of that eventful day that broke their routine. NB: I couldn't bare to ask any friends to be Eve so she is an iStock model. The arm is mine.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Genesis 3:6


This week, we're asking you to share with us. Give us a peek into a slice of your day. Who knows? Something that you might consider mundane and routine might well be thought of as being super cool by others. Share a moment of your day that makes what you do special - whether it's in the company of others or perhaps a moment of solitude far from the madding crowd. Consider letting in others into a moment that defines you - perhaps as you indulge in a hobby or passion - whether it's cooking, gardening, working out, painting or anything else that's part of the daily grind. It doesn't have to be something around the house or even indoors, but hopefully it's something you do on a near-daily basis. Show us the things that matter - maybe a family tradition, or a favoured nook or something you do consistently at a particular time of day. Just share and let us in. EXTRA CREDIT: First Person View

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The Curves of Your Lives

Call me crazy, but at 64 I'm starting a Masters of Business Administration program at Georgia State University and Global Economics is one my first two courses. Our professor, Dr. Daniel Quiggin, is explaining how all trade events, from a swap to a full out purchase, can be presented on an Indifference Curve. Add two Indifference Curves in opposition and you have an Edgeworth Box that can describe with some precision the optimal trades that can be made between two individuals or entities. And we all do this every day without knowing it.

Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, Langdale Hall


This week's theme takes a detour from the straight and narrow to something more natural and organic - curves. Let's capture things that aren't straight in shape - the organic curve of body parts, a winding country path, maybe even a beach ball. Look at the way the curve is defined - what seems straight from one perspective, could well be curvy if you take a few steps to get in the right position. There's plenty of curves that could grab your eye - architecture has edges of buildings and stairwells, food photography involves plenty of arcs and curves as well. Roads and meandering streams and rivers abound with curves, if you like taking landscapes. You could also abandon the obvious and shoot something abstract like fabrics or liquid droplets - the possibilities are limitless. You could even use radial curves as a base for your photos composition just as you would leading lines - except the lines here aren't straight but arc toward your subject. Curves in your photography can often lend an air of softness and comfort which could just be enough to make a good image, a great one. Be observant, change your perspective if you need to, and do remember to be flexible.

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Few Remain of the Brave Ones

A WWII veteran salutes the flag at a 911 ceremony in Smyrna, GA on 9/11/2021. Every week we lose hundreds of veterans of WWII. The bravery of the thousands of men and women who helped the US and allied forces bring WWII to an end is without parallel. In their wake a flotilla of tens of thousands of young men and women have stepped up to continue the effort and make a pledge, not to a man or government, but to an idea, the US Constitution. It is part of the Oath of Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Soldiers: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same..."


To keep things even, this week we're highlighting the men! Your challenge this week is to portray what MAN means to you --care, kindness, toughness, guidance and so much more. Tell us a story that resonates with both you and the viewer. What does masculinity look like to you - let's have a look at facets of your subject - whether physical or emotional. Your subject need not be a professional male model - they could be someone you know or even a perfect stranger that might have caught your eye. Whoever your model is, your image should be about their story, their life and who they are. You can also opt for detail --get in close, men offer different textures than the female form which can be very interesting to highlight, especially with a hard light. If you really feel stuck, feel free to photograph something you feel represents masculinity to you. To all the six packs and dad-bods out there, you are all perfectly imperfect.

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The Bird Lady of Smyrna

Kathryn is a Master Birder who works at an amazing local garden and feed store: Neighbors Feed & Seed ( https://www.neighborsfeedandseed.com ).

She is the local advisor to 100's of bird lovers in the Cobb County, GA, area and creates her own custom blends that she insists are the best in the world!

You want answers? Kathryn has answers and you can handle the truth (about birds).


This week is a tribute to the stronger half of our population, and probably the most photographed subject in the history of photography. What is a woman? What are the nuances and subtleties unique to this mysterious gender? You can opt for a classic portrait or try your hand at a candid shot --caught in a fleeting moment. You could focus on details or show us the big picture - how women make the world, and everyone who lives in it, better. You can photograph women that show us grit and femininity or a classical viewpoint of women, or what women means to YOU. If you don't have a female model handy (or willing) feel free to go for something impromptu on the street, If you really feel stuck, feel free to photograph something you feel represents femininity to you.

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I loved these boats when I was a child. I photographed the boat and box and used a 1950's ad as an example to recreate a similar ad. See below for behind the scenes and process discussion.

Kids everywhere love the real putt-putt sound of this amazing tin boat. Just fill the tank with water, light the candle and wait for the steam power to build up and power your boat. You will have hours of fun. Buy more and have races! Challenge your friends.

* Two candles
* Real flames
* Steam power
* Putt-putt sound
* Realistic captain
* All metal boat
* Big wake


Here is the original ad.


First I shot the boat and box in my lightbox.

DSC 3204

I then created a layered Photshop document with solid color representations of the colors in the ad.


Finally, save a copy and made it flat. Then I made the layer a smart layer, and applied a Filter > Pixelate > Color halftone screen at 45 degree angles and 5 dots to simulate the old print ad screen.


Hey - remember that time when...? Yup, that's what we call nostalgia - we want to see your take on what brings a smile to your face when you see something that reminds you of those times. Get creative with both the subject as well as your processing. Photography that is nostalgic is about sharing your perception and memory of a time, place or event that was significant and that others can relate to easily, as well. If people can look at your image and go, "Oh yeah, I remember that!"", you've hit the mark. Feeling nostalgic can also have aspects of melancholy and be poignant too - like missing home and family and showing those emotions is an art all by itself. Work on crafting a solid narrative first, then build it up with nostalgic elements if it serves your story or message well. Don’t just go for retro aesthetics alone, use it to add to your image and point of view.

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Texture of Thought

The printed word (whether on paper or screen) is the singular method by which great ideas and thoughts are transmitted from generation to generation. These are the intitial contributions to the world of reading in our recenty opened Little Free Library. Learn more at https://thebeelibrary.com and https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100071355464642



Photography is all about evoking sensations in the viewer - this week's challenge is to stimulate a sense of tactile look and feel by making texture the theme of your image. Texture in an image is often associated with details, so look to incorporate things that make these features stand out - feel free to add contrast or edge contrast (clarity) to your shots to bring out these fine details even more. While texture generally invites the small details as we see in Macro Photoghraphy, it's not all about going close - you could take landscape shots of fields or mountains, or perhaps some lines in the sand, there's texture all around you! Make the viewer relate to the subject of your photo from within their own experiences - images of rich gooey chocolatey syrup, soft fabric, or perhaps coarse sand can transport the viewer within the image. It's helpful to look for patterns and subjects that are easily recognizable and relatable. As with most things in photography, try not to overprocess too much, as there's the law of diminishing returns there when things start to look fake. See it. Feel it. Shoot it.

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At the end of the day: A couch, a book, a dog.

'nuff said.


It's fair to say that the majority of people take most photos during the day. But there's something magical about taking photos at night. Taking images at night has its own allure - the way artificial light can be used to set color tones, the rich interplay of shadow and light, the contrast between dark, light and all the shades in between. The kicker here is letting enough light into your camera to properly expose! Sure you can raise your ISO and introduce more noise, and you can lower / widen your aperture number and have a thinner focus plane, but the secret sauce is lowering that shutter speed! Just wrapping your brain around manual still? Simply set your camera down on a flat surface or tripod, and dial that setting down in Tv or S mode and have fun! That's all there is to it!  You can get creative with light painting techniques, shoot long exposures for light trails and so much more. Night portraiture in an urban setting can be interesting with light from store windows and street lamps. Street photography can be bright and colorful or even surreal depending on the environment and how you choose to take your shot. Of course, you don't have to be outside, there are all sorts of setups you can do within the confines of your home, and you can even use something like a desklamp to help you expose those long shutters shots! Embrace the lack of light and take some artsy night photos!

2021 32 LineFromASong 1069 marco ciavolino post

How does it feel to be without a home

Rolling Stone ranks Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" as the number 1 song of all time. I've probably heard this song a thousand times without fully comprehending the lyrics.

It tells the story of someone who has lost everything, home, wealth, prestige, and finds themselves with no place to go. Something I have never experienced.

Here is the chorus.

How does it feel?
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You can watch him sing it here:

I suggest you read the lyrics carefully along with the video.

"Like A Rolling Stone"

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal

How does it feel?
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody's ever taught you how to live out on the street
And now you're gonna have to get used to it
You said you'd never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel?
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal

How does it feel?
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're all drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you'd better take your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?


Earworm : (noun) /ˈɪəwəːm/ a catchy song or tune that runs continually through a person's mind. I learnt a new word some time ago  and it made me think about how a particular tune or a line from a song often keeps playing in our minds. It can be triggered when we see, hear or sometimes even smell something out of the blue. This week, we're going on one of our more fun challenges - take a photo that shows us your take on a line from a song. This is a wide open challenge and can be interpreted in many ways and it's all up to you. You can recreate a scene from a lyric, or display a feeling that you feel the singer is giving over. This is a line from a song, it doesn't need to be the Title of the song. Also, do remember that we're a global community so feel free to take a shot that's relevant to a song in a language of your choice - local or otherwise. Naturally, please write a little in the description so your fellow Framers have an idea about how the image and the song lyric speak to you. Music encompasses all aspects of life - the fun, the romantic, the crazy, the melancholy, the thoughtfulness and oftentimes socially relevant topics and I'm certain this week's album will cover the same spectrum. 

2021 31 WideApeture 1069 marco ciavolino post

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Luke 15:11-31 in the New Testament of the Bible records the story of the prodigal son. My mom did a series of sculptures of significant Biblical stories. This one, that illustrates the story, has always been my favorite.

You can read the entire story here:


This was shot with my 1950's 50mm Nikkor F1.4 lense which is just amazing.

2021 31 WideApeture 1069 marco ciavolino1 

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We've had a macro challenge this year, which was basically getting as "close as you can" to your subject with the gear that you have. This week, we're interested in seeing your image using using the "widest possible aperture" that your gear allows. This is NOT as complicated as it may seem, if you are new to the concept. The w i d e s t aperture is noted by the smallest "f-stop number" your lens can go, and it is usually denoted by something like "f/1.4 "or "f/2.8". The lower the number, the wider your aperture, the shallower your depth of field. What's a depth of field? I'm glad you asked. It just means that it's the amount that will be in focus from a distance point from your camera to your subject, and from that subject and whatever is behind it. So, a "shallow" depth of field (wide aperture, low f-stop number) could show a blade of grass in focus, and everything behind it blurred out. A "deep" depth of field could display a scene with mountains and waterfalls and lakes that all entirely in focus with nothing blurred in the background. Shooting at your widest aperture will get you those professional looking shots where your subject is in focus and the background is blurred. This works great for portraits! It also lets in the most light, which can come in handy in low-light situations. If you're shooting at night, the blur (or "bokeh") in the background can take on those cool circular shapes that you often see in higher end photography. Mobile phone users, you can do this too! Use your camera's PRO mode or another app that lets you select the your aperture setting, pick the widest aperture and you're well on your way to accomplishing this week's challenge. If that's too much to ask of you, get in close on a subject in low-light conditions (night, indoors, etc..) and your phone will probably be automatically setting you to its lowest aperture setting! Don't worry about the number. Shoot at whatever lowest aperture your gear can go. If you are on a zoom lens, you may find that zoomed OUT will give you a lower number, than when you are zoomed IN. This challenge is a hybrid of a technical and creative challenge - think about why you want to take this picture and then what you need to do to make the image work - look at your choice of lens, shooting distance, lighting and time of day and of course, your location.

2021 30 Distorted 1069 marco ciavolino Post

Projected Distortion

 Distorted (clipped) wav image projected on my screaming face.


This week, we're going to use various techniques to make our photos look "distorted" - whereas we normally want our photos to be as tack sharp as possible (where needed), this week we will experiment with adding distortion to make our photos more interesting, abstract, and maybe weird! You could shoot through items that distort the light and/or focus, such as fabric or a prism. You can rub vaseline on your lens (filter) to achieve a fun, blurry abstract shot. You can intentionally overexpose to distort your image with excess light, or simply blur your focus to the point of abstraction. The options are endless and it's up to you to make your frame as distorted as you like! (blurred, out of focus, vaseline, prism, mirrors, overexposed, PS'd, etc..) Remember, a wide angle lens (or fisheye) will also create a form of distortion that could be a lot of fun to play with. Mirrors can distort reality in all kinds of ways. And finally, the more adventurous among us could try their hand at more advanced techniques like "Free Lensing" 

2021 29 ProductShot 1069 marco ciavolino post

My Mom Died on July 13

My mom passed away on Tues, July 13 at 11a ET. She had 87 amazing years. So now my sister and find ourselves again in the capable hands of the funeral home with so many choices to make.

My mom, was an artist, educator, entrepreneur, American Sign Language Interpreter, and grandmother.

You can see her amazing artwork here:


Time to put ourselves in the shoes of a pro - Product Photography isn't as simple as it might seem at first. Consider putting yourself in the shoes of someone shooting for a magazine or website - what are the things that a client would want you to portray for putting their product in the best light possible? (pun intended!) Spend some time thinking about how to portray your product in the cleanest and clearest way, while keeping it interesting and unique --the background, the ambiance, the lighting, even the choice of lens you use can have varying effects. It doesn't have to be so serious, and it doesn't even have to be in a studio setting. Many ads today are meant to look like more of a lifestyle snap, so feel free to use your creative expression to sell whatever EMOTION you are trying to convey that is connected to your "product"!

2021 28 Transportation 1069 marco ciavolino post

Signs of the 70's

My neighbor owns this 1978 Volkswagen T2 bus and plans to fully restore it as a beach car. These vans are completely woven into the mythos of the 1970's.



Getting from Point A to Point B is something that most of us do so frequently that we barely give it a second thought. Since we're all on a collective journey here at 52Frames, we thought why not get a Framer's point of view on things that get us from here to there. We're not just talking trains, planes and automobiles this week: everything's fair game including wagons, strollers/prams, pogo sticks, paragliders, unicycles, Zorb balls, horseys and even a Star Trek transporter if you have access to one. Show us what's special about that old car someone you know restored by hand, or maybe what you feel when you're able to race around in your ATV on the dunes. Perhaps you're an avid sailor and can show us peace and tranquility on a boat or how it takes all your skill and a bit of luck to navigate the rapids in your kayak. For the less adventurous among us, tell us what you like or what irks you about your daily commute in that bus. Or perhaps you keep it more local and want to show us your shoes, walking stick, or wheelchair! There are stories waiting to be told everywhere. You can choose to shoot something at rest or when it's moving, so remember to adjust your shutter speed and other settings appropriately to get the image you want. Transportation is an intrinsic aspect of all our lives that isn't often given its due - let's try and bring it to the forefront this week.

Week 20210630 27 Black and White Post

Continuous Fight Since 1601

I discovered today that there is a global community of tens of thousands of people who hold tournaments and events based around 16th century combat. They agreed to use the time machine to let me get photo before sending me back to 2021.

You can see a color version and some fight photos below.

Here is one of the main organizations:

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is an inclusive community pursuing research and re-creation of pre-seventeenth century skills, arts, combat and culture. The lives of participants are enriched as we gain knowledge of history through activities, demonstrations, and events.

Week 20210630 27 Color Post

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Black And White photography - its power lies in its ability to focus our attention on the form of light, in the absence of all color. Black and white can evoke a variety of emotions for the viewer. Portraits and street photography are popular genres for this style, but black and white can enhance all forms of photography: Architecture, abstract subjects, macro, texture, or even Landscapes can all be very distinct subjects for B/W photography. There is a bit of skill involved here - we need to learn to see the world in a more monochromatic way, we need to focus on where the light is hitting, and where the shadows are being cast. What shapes can we see? What textures are catching our attention?. Any image can be turned into a black and white shot, but we're here to learn and get better, so let's aim to get good photos that can tell a story better by showing it in fewer colors than we normally see. Black and white processing looks great for detailed texture like water droplets, waves in the sand, the wrinkles of an old smile, or an abandoned concrete wall. Pro tip: If you can, set your camera to black and white so that you are seeing what your monochromatic world looks like around you, in realtime as you shoot!


Week 20210624 26 Just Breathe Post

The Last Turn is the Best Turn

The best part of any trip is the last turn into our driveway.


It's been an interesting year (or two). It seems like there's more being thrown at us than usual, and at times this can feel overwhelming. So this week we wanted to highlight the two most important words in the English language: Just. Breathe. Really. Do it now. Doesn't that feel nice? This week, we want you to take a step back - figuratively or even literally - take a few moments to center yourself and then shoot. It's important to learn patience and not to force things - to just let the feeling flow through you. Technical skill is well and good but as photographers we're capturing slices of time - images that depict ideas, stories, emotions, or even the abstract. And so, like many others, this one is pretty open to interpretation: you can recreate a yoga class, or show one's breath on a cold day. You can portray a meditation scene, or some kind of calm amidst a storm (like 3-year olds getting ready for bed) Look at the world around you in ways that you might not usually consider. It's an amazing place if we just take a moment or two to reflect. And just breathe.

2021 25 Macro 1069 marco ciavolino post

Last Clip Clop

I love old horse shoes. Who wore them and what adventures did they have?


What is a macro photo? Technically, a macro photograph is one in which the size of the subject on the image sensor is life size (1:1) or greater - or in other words, making tiny things larger than life. For our project, however, don't worry about ratios or anything like that, just GET IN CLOSE to something small, and we shall call it macro! Macro photography makes one think about composition and lighting in ways completely different from other genres like portraiture, landscape, or street photography. The main technical difficulties faced by macro photographers are having a very small depth of field to work with (just a small area of sharp focus) and secondly, a lack of light to illuminate your subject correctly. You may want to make your f/stop a higher number for this reason, or take a small step back, and as for the adding light, a simple lamp or off camera flash should help with that!  Don't feel restricted to insects and tiny organisms, you can get some amazing macro shots with liquids, electronic components, the inside of a watch, and so many more subjects. Your composition could be relatively abstract by looking at patterns and textures, or you could choose to show us the finer details that one might often overlook. Many cellphones nowadays also have the capability of taking macro shots or near-macro shots. Look for the macro symbol (often shown as a flower Macro icon - Download on Iconfinder on Iconfinder ) in your camera app of choice. (OFTEN YOUR PHONE TAKES BETTER MACRO SHOTS THAN YOUR CAMERA, but don't quote me on that please) You're going to want to take a lot of exposures to find a good shot, so go right ahead and keep practicing and improving. And remember the macrographer's adage: If you don't look ridiculous taking the shot, you are probably doing it wrong.


2021 24 Doors 1069 marco ciavolino post

Puppy Eyes

Really, how can you ever leave a yorkie home? He does his best to guilt us into taking him everywhere.


Doors - if you think about it, they're so metaphorical aren't they? Like us, there are all sorts - from rusty picket fences to ornate and gilded entrances. Each can tell so many stories about what lies beyond it. We'd love to see your interpretation of a particular door's significance. The way you tell it to us matters as well - you can capture the expanse of a door with a wide angle, or a macro shot of just the details. You can tell the story of walking through the door, or a glimpse of what's beyond. You can create a miniature story. It can be a car door, a revolving door, or even a metaphorical door. As always, we want you to remain unencumbered and not limit yourself to just doors in a house. Go out and be creative, and show us our leading star in this week's role - the humble door!

2021 23 Music 1069 marco ciavolino post

Memorial Day 2021

The Georgia 116th Army National Guard Band plays 'America the Beautiful' at the Smyrna, GA, Memorial Day event.

Click and drag on the photo below to look around the ceremony.


Music - humankind has always known just how much it can touch our very core. Music can elevate us or make us sad, it can lift us out of times of despair and can allow us just let go and dance. We want to see how you can tell an audio story visually - show us something that plays a tune in our mind's eye when we see that image. Capturing sounds in an image isn't possible, but capturing the feeling of that moment is. It could be as simple as someone playing an instrument or just rocking out on their earphones. You could focus on subtle nuances and details or make us see the bigger picture, the choice is yours in how you want to tell your story. You can incorporate other genres like action, night photography, portraiture or street photograpy when looking out for a subject for your music story. Or you might take inspiration from our "Line From A Song" challenges over the years to help tell us of a song lyric that speaks to you. If you're fortunate enough to shoot a live gig, you might want to look to capture the emotion, creativity, chaos and intensity of being able to share music with other human beings. Music and photography are creative arts - show us how you bring them together.

2021 22 Wide Angle 1069 marco ciavolino post

Bottom of the Bottle

Literally. I cut the bottom of a wine bottle off using a bottle cutter (you can see it at my site) and took a wide angle shot of the drops of wine being poured into the glass. Just an experiment.

2021 22 Wide Angle 1069 marco ciavolino bottlecutter


It's time to look at the big picture - that is, shoot with a wide angle. With a wide angle lens, you're getting a larger canvas than usual to craft your composition. A photographer can use wide angles not merely for landscapes and architecture but even for street photography, portraiture, and photojournalism. Wide angle lenses often distort the image but it's up to you to use that characteristic advantageously - for instance, using a wide angle lens for pet portraits allows you to get up close and personal - the distortion can often bring out singular features like their eyes. Most mobile phone cameras are wide-angle by design, but some now have an additional lens for ultra-wide capabilities. This challenge is anyways more about the composition, rather than the gear. Get low to the ground and angle upwards, this will yield a wide-angle look regardless of the specific gear in your hand. If you don't have access to a dedicated wide-angle lens, shoot as wide as you can with the equipment you have - try generating a composition that gives the viewer the impression that a wide-angle was used. Clear the scene in front of the camera convey a more expansive view. Get lower to the ground and angle up. Or try your hand at miniatures --you are only limited by your own creativity! There's a great deal of promise and versatility in a wide-angle shot. Let's see all the creative ways we can come up with to showcase it

2021 21 Portrait 1069 marco ciavolino post

I Want to Think Like Keith Wobeser

I love learning from other creatives (which is all of you!). However, Keith Wobeser is one the photogs who consistently gets great responses. Always clever, always technically perfect, always engaging. You can review his portfolio here: https://52frames.com/photographer/5026

I used an adaptation of a famous portrait of Salvador Dali to express my fascination with Keith's work.

NOTE: Keith's photos were used by permission and the base photo is in the library of congress.

Original Photo

Portrait photograph of Salvador Dali, including objects, cats, and water caught in motion.

How the photo was created:

2021 21 Portrait 1069 marco ciavolino source


Portraiture - perhaps the genre of photography that most embodies the perfect mix of science and art to represent photography as a whole. It's how we as photographers can capture a small slice of a human being's emotions, story and life experience. Try and tell a story with your image --let the viewer get to know your subject and what they're about. Sometimes called an "environmental portrait", your subject's surroundings are an extension of their personality and psyche. Do remember to include the background, lighting, and composition in your planning and thought processes. After all, we're trying to go beyond a simple snapshot and capture a person's identity. You could plan the scene beforehand with your subject, which can help to convey a specific emotion or intensity. Finally, if you're going in close - always keep in mind, that the eyes are the windows to the soul - so make sure they are well-lit, and in focus!

2021 20 Red 1069 marco ciavolino post

The Hunt for Red Snapper

Since we are spending a week in Miramar Beach, Florida (US), I searched for what was 'red' about the area. Only one consistent result: Red Snapper. This is a favorite white fish in the region and is served in restaurants and homes everywhere.

Thank you to S and the great folks at Shrimpers Seafood Market in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. If you are in the area be sure to visit them: http://www.shrimpersseafood.com

2021 20 Red 1069 Fish marco ciavolino 

2021 20 Red 1069 Store marco ciavolino


Red is the color at the long wavelength end of the visible spectrum. I dunno what that means but there's so much more to this primary color - it's seen in Nature, in the Animal Kingdom, and in Flora. The Elemental aspects - Fire, Earth, Water, & Sky are often tinged in this shade that is so evocative of emotion. Across cultures, red signifies various aspects of the human condition from anger and intense passion to auspiciousness and good luck. This is a color that binds us through our blood: it doesn't matter what you look like on the outside - we all bleed the same color. Show us aspects of life connected with the color red. Juxtapose your images with well-thought intent and bold emotion. Show us a rounded understanding of how red interacts with complementary colors or other relationships like analogous or split. Show us images that depict EMOTION - rage, love, passion, warmth, celebration, vitality, intensity, and so much more. Let's paint the town red.

2021 19 ISO100 1069 marco ciavolino post

Regular Old Awesome Family Portrait

Family portraits have been taken since the earliest days of photography. This week seemed like a perfect week to break out my 1984 Nikon Series E 100mm lens, shoot manual, on a tripod, at ISO100, in raw format. Just before we did the shoot (about 7:15pm Atlanta, GA) the sky became totally overcast giving me perfect, even light. Thank you to R, A, C & B for being great models!

Shot at F11, 1/160 of second, at ISO 100 with manual white balance.

Alternate Shot

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Light Meter (Vivitar #30 circa 1960) and Lens (Nikon Series E 100mm F2.8 purchased new in 1985)

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This week we're focusing on one side of the Exposure Triangle that I would describe as the boring sibling of the other 2. ISO - specifically the lowest ISO setting your camera can be set to. This number varies by device and is often between ISO 50 and ISO 200. The most common lowest setting, however, is ISO 100, hence the name of this challenge (but don't get too hung up on the number, we probably should have called the challenge "LOW ISO"). ISO level is all about light sensitivity and comes from the olllll' days of photography where we shot with film - film with lower ISO numbers would take slightly longer to react to the light than when compared to film with higher ISO numbers. So you'd pop in "high" ISO film for dark scenes that were very reactive to the light, and "low" ISO film when shooting in sunny conditions, as it was less sensitive to the bright light. In the digital world, a higher ISO number simply does 2 things: 1. makes your exposure BRIGHTER 2. Introduces more "noise" or grain onto your image. And there's the rub, or the trade-off. Today you can amp up your ISO and shoot in the middle of the night, but the results will not be very clear. When shooting with the lowest ISO, usually called the "Base ISO", we are ensuring the MINIMUM amount of grain possible, ie - the clearest image. Generally, this should be our first goal when shooting. And only when we are in darker environments, should we adjust to higher numbers accordingly. Stay in the light for this week's challenge! You can only shoot at low ISO's when there is a lot of sunlight (or flash-lighting) available! Do yourself a favor and get outside. Still can't get enough light into your camera? Get a tripod and lower that shutter speeeeed. Your camera's "Base ISO" will give you the clearest and sharpest images in terms of noise and grain - but what that number is exactly depends on what camera you are using. A quick google search will let you know what that sweet spot is for you. MOBILE PHONE users - There is a "manual" setting on most phones that will allow you to control ISO. You'll see a big difference right away, so get into the sunlight! You can also download a more advanced camera app that will allow you to manually control these settings

2021 18 Fabric 1069 marco ciavolino post

First Weave: 1999

My two older daughters made these in 1999 when they were 7 and 9 years old. For many of us, making potholders at school or summer camp was our first exposure to the concept of fabric. How small, seemingly fragile threads can combine to form strong durable materials. These two potholders have been used nearly ever day for the past 22 years they have many years go to.

It was quite a journey to this photo. I tried to get in touch with local hand weavers group for two weeks. They were covided out and did not want to help. So I ordered a square loom from Amazon so I could make one and put it in the picture, but Amazon pushed delivery out more than 4 days, so I had to cancel that and ended with just the potholders which have surely stood the test of time.


Something a little tangible this week - Fabric- it's what we wear, it's how we express and depict ourselves to others, it's an extension of our personalities. From glitzy, glamourous evening wear to humble, utilitarian items like aprons, smocks, and boiler suits, this week's challenge encompasses textiles in all their shapes, colors, and forms. Fabrics are everywhere, not just clothing - flags, tablecloths, embroidered doilies, and what have you.... You can be as elaborate as a fashion photographer shooting in the wind, or give us something as simple as a macro photo of your bath towel threads. You can be humorous or grand. You got some nice wide options with this one. You can also always find ways to inject humor into your shoot - how many of us remember tying a sheet behind us and pretending to be a superhero?

2021 17 Nature 1069 marco ciavolino Post

To Boldly Grow Where No Plant Has Grown Before

I have always been fascinated by the tanacity of plants that find a crevice a crack, and fault, in a concrete world.


Ah... the Great Outdoors - if the last year and the restrictions that abound in so many countries right now, have taught us anything - it's to be grateful for Nature and being able to enjoy it at length. Showcase a scene for us that shows awe or even aww. Nature includes flora, fauna and everything in-between. Can't leave the house? Nature can be as simple as a leaf, or a tree, or a bug you've found in the yard. It could be produce from your kitchen. You can recreate a nature scene. Where there's a will, there's a way :) For those more ambitious, you can slap on a tripod and capture slow moving waterfalls and streams, or even astrophotography. Don't forget to pay close attention to the light and how it helps the story you want to tell in your frame. This week, take a look at the world around us and capture a tiny slice of it.


Keith's edit of my poses.

2021 16 EditedByOthers 1069 marco ciavolino Post

Veni Vidi Vici 

Keith Wobeser and I decided to do mutual 'edited by others' project. We each sent each other a set of funny poses (included below) and went crazy on each other's images. Keith turned me into a statue. I put him in a whimsical jungle. All around good fun and photoshop expertise. Thanks Keith! Keith does consistenly amazing work and you can see his album here: https://52frames.com/photographer/5026  Click on either picture to enlarge it. Enjoy the whimsy.

My edit of Keith's Poses.

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I also edited Nichol Beus Harris' Photo
You can see her work here:  https://52frames.com/photographer/2071

MarcoEditsNicole v01 post

Our Poses

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Control. As photographers and artists, we're used to controlling how we want to depict a particular scene. But, sometimes, just sometimes, it helps to see things from a different point of view. That's why we ask our community to tackle this challenge every year - to learn, to grow from seeing different ideas and points of view. Please note that you are NOT restricted to having your images edited by a fellow 52Framer - you can get your kids, a colleague or even your immensely talented Golden Retriever to perform edits on your work. In short, anyone can edit your photo. After this challenge, we hope that you gain some understanding and nuance even when you critique others' photos on a weekly basis in the community - after all, not everyone sees eye to eye. Please sign up to be a volunteer editor and also use this sheet to connect with fellow Framers to have your images edited by them, if you so choose. Enjoy the process! Your final image may not be what you would have done, but that’s the point! The challenge is to ease control and try something new.


2021 15 Trapped 1069 marco ciavolino post

Week202115Trapped52PicksTrapped in 1949

A 52 Picks Selection!

This is our interpretation of a classic noir photo for the movie "Trapped" from 1949. My neighbors, Anthony and Randi, donned their costumes for this classic remake. Just had to procure a suit and tie from Goodwill, a fedora and wig from Amazon. And a toy pistol from Richards Variety Store in Atlanta

See Behind the Scenes shots and original poster below.

And you can watch the movie here:

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Week 20210405 15 Trapped BTS4

Week 20210405 15 Trapped BTS2

Week 20210405 15 Trapped BTS3


We've had a few challenges based on technique recently, so this week we're going in a different direction: emotion — specifically the feeling of being trapped. Your photo could perhaps evoke a sense of vulnerability or isolation (not such a crazy concept these days, ay?) Or, you can go a metaphorical route like being "trapped at your desk", or something simple and humorous like eggs going into a pan, or showing a high streak number on 52Frames. It doesn't have to be complex! You might consider allowing the viewer to extrapolate from your image and complete the story via their own imagination (read: think to yourself, "could the viewer understand my story without reading my caption text?") Think about composition and angles - extreme angles will give different emotions - shooting from above and shooting wide gives the feeling of vulnerability and being lost, while shooting wide from below will give you the opposite effect (sometimes referred to as the superhero angle, not what we would want for this challenge.)


2021 14 Fast Shutter 1069 marco ciavolino post

Hard to Stop a Fast Dog

Our morkie, Hemingway, goes to doggy day care twice a week. In spite of his diminutive size, he can outrun all the other dogs. Even at an 8000th of second he can nearly outrun the camera!



Photography is all about freezing a moment in time. And this micro second can actually be controlled by you.. by tweaking your SHUTTER SPEED. Shutter speed is basically a window in your camera, that let's light in the longer it's open. This also controls how much movement you capture in your frame --a FAST shutter speed will freeze movement (think 1/4000th of a second) and a slower shutter speed will blur movement (think 1 second or longer) This week, we want to see you use fast shutter speeds to freeze the motion in front of you. A shutter speed quicker than 1/500 of a second would be a good starting point. What is considered fast really depends on the context of your scene. A racecar on the track would require a faster shutter speed to freeze the action, than a person walking on the street. Keep in mind that the faster the shutter, the less light you are letting in, so you may have to shoot outside while sunny, lower your aperture number, or raise your ISO, in order to properly expose for your frame. Add more light to a scene, if needed, with strobes or a lamp, and don't forget to have fun! Mobile phones and point and shoots (do people still use these), put your setting into "sport mode" and shoot in mid-day, and your camera should automatically adjust to a very fast shutter speed.


2021 13 Slow Shutter 1069 marco ciavolino post

Finite Keystrokes

We are so far from chalkboards. Every day we type, tap, or swipe, thousands of times. Globally it is incalculable. You can find out approximately how many keystrokes you have left in life at this site: https://www.keysleft.com

According this this site I have in my remaining lifetime:

193,535,997 Keystrokes Left
1,382,399 Tweets Left
64 Novels Left
387 Computer Programs Left
19,353 Love Letters Left
967,679 Emails to your boss left


Photos are most often captured in the proverbial blink of an eye. But slowing down the shutter-speed can yield some amazing photos that can't be seen with the naked eye. Slow shutter speeds and long exposures mean capturing a longer amount of 'time', as well as light. This could give you smooth, rippleless water, or light trails down a highway, or epic night and astro shots where there would technically be very little light "in real life". Slow shutter-speeds can ALSO convey a sense of speed with motion blur. There are loads of techniques and skills that you can use in conjunction with a slow shutter speed. Light painting, abstract shots, and panning, to name a few. For most shots with a slow shutter speed, you'll want to keep the camera steady on a tripod or fixed surface, but you can get some tremendous shots with ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) - there is a difference between out of focus and intentional blur, though so look to get some creative angles and movement to add nuance to your image. Don't forget to look up as well - capturing the movement of clouds is also a good use of slow shutter speeds - just remember to ensure you don't lose detail in the exposure (or use an ND-filter).


2021 12 Window Light 1069 marco ciavolino Post

Sisters Reading

C reads to her sister, B, in her yet to learn to read imaginative language. At nine months and three years they are our future!

C was featured in "Single Focal Point" here https://52frames.com/albums/2021/week-6-single-focal-point/photo/enktesis


For all the time, money, and effort spent by pros in lighting their studios, it's often the humble window that shines through the best. Window light can be soft, harsh, warm, cool and many more things in between. It depends on the location of the window, time of day (or even night), how big the window is, and what you have in front of it. Windows are also excellent framing devices and work well to draw attention to your subject. While portraits are often the most common use of window light, the uniformity of light often makes for good product and food photography shots. Window light through curtains tends to be softer and diffused which adds uniformity to the lighting conditions - always a good thing. Versatility is the name of the game this week in terms of lighting conditions and we can't wait to see how you make the best of it! Extra Credit: Use a mirror.


Week 20210308 11 Color Relationship v01 Post

Relationship between color and emotion

This is based on a study by N. Kaya and H. Epps in which ninety-eight college students were asked to indicate their emotional responses to various colors and the reasons for their choices. I aggregated the tables into nine key emotions. Let's see if you can match the colors with my looks!



You can download the report here:

You can download the report here:  

Behind the Scenes

I first created the grid in photoshop, and I made it very large (12,000x12,000) in case I wanted to print it in a large format. I created the nine color panels to match the color descriptions. Then I setup my green screen with my LED panels lights and shot the nine emotional faces. The face photos were then loaded into a new photoshop document, sized and cropped into a 4000px square format. Next remove the green with the magic wand tool. Then converted them to grayscale. Next, I duplicated the grayscale faces back into the color grid document and put them in a layer folder. This folder overall was set to a 60% opacity. I then applied a brightness/contrast filter to each layer set to Brightness 20/Contrast 90. Note that I had to apply this filter to each face layer individually so I could set the filter to only effect the layer below and not all layers below. See photo.

Week 20210308 11 Color Relationship BTS


It's time to pay attention to the C O L O R S in your photo this week! Try and think about how the colors in your photo interact with each other. There are many "color relationships" you can choose from. You might go with "complementary colors." which pushes contrasting colors that appeal to the eye. You might even choose to go for a minimalistic color approach, where you use slightly different versions of the same color. Use the same color palette throughout your frame for an easier, more streamlined look for your viewers OR do the opposite, and have pops of different color in order to bring out different aspects or subjects of your photo. Analagous colors are those that belong in the same range of the color wheel - they're more subtle and often can be interpreted as being similar to each other. Finally, consider the emotional connect that certain colors bring out within us all -REDS might represent passion and warmth, BLUES are often associated with calmness, GREENS can make us think of vibrance or even act as a balance between warm and cool colors. We live in a world of C O L O R - it's time to pay extra attention to it this week.


2021 10 Negative Space 1069 marco ciavolino Post

Positive Cat Relaxing

My faithful friend, Darcy, has been absent for a while. Time for him to get back in play as he relaxes in his favorite cardboard box. He's been my companion for more than 12 years and now has a new friend in our Morkie puppy.


Negative space is actually a very positive thing! :) Negative space refers to the space around your subject, and when done right, can actually both attract attention to your subject and it's spacious surroundings! Using negative space will yield a great "minimalism" approach; this of the old adage "less is more". Take out all distraction. Keep your whole frame clean of "clutter". This is also a great time for asymmetry to play more of a part in your composition. Look out for clean backgrounds like walls or an overcast sky. Negative space need not mean plain and bland backgrounds - texture and contrasting colors can also be used to play a part in "framing" your subject effectively. Striking a good balance between the negative space and your subject is essential - make the space work for what you want to depict.


2021 09 Details 1069 marco ciavolino post

Threadbare Friends

This tiger (about 5" tall) and the brass dog are two of the few, maybe only items, that I have treasured and carried about more than six decades. They represent so many memories, and so many adventures. The bare threads of life showing. I'll carry them to the end.


Hello dear Framers! This week we're going to be looking hard and close at the finer points of your world. The details that evoke interest are what we're after. Look closely at shapes, structure, texture, and even color. This week you really want to pay close attention to sharpness and focus . However, do be careful that you don't go overboard - it's easy with modern day processing software to over-sharpen and over-process images. Use the tools at your disposal appropriately. Our world abounds with details that are often overlooked - from architectural features to macro shots of the tiniest creatues. Portraiture and close-ups are filled with the details of what makes us, us. The play of light and shadow often helps to bring out details we might otherwise have overlooked. This week's challenge is meant for us to work on our technical as well as our observational skills. Remember when you are out seeing the world, to really look.


2021 08 Roll Credits 1069 marco ciavolino post

Sole Survivor

After 40 years John found the family that had abandoned him as a child. At first he was elated to discover he had a brother and sister and that his parents were happy to see him. What he could not have known was that his sister was holding a dark secret which John's reappearance triggered. This leads in short order to the death of his parents, brother, and finally him, as his sister strolled away with the family dog still holding the secret that had destroyed the entire family.

NB: Three cars stopped to ask if I was OK during this shoot. It's good to have concerned neighbors.


It's the last scene of your movie, just before the credit roll, what shot are you leaving your audience with? Relax! This is much easier than it sounds. This challenge may seem more elaborate than others, but it really doesn't have to be. You can show a hand on a doorknob, or a couple walking into the sunset. You can create a scene of celebration, or a scene of despair. A smile from a loved one, or piece of broken glass on the ground. Or even a dimly lit room with nothing much going on. It's your "movie", and you can do as little, or as much, as you want with it. This is a creative EXERCISE. The whole point is to get those creative gears spinning in your brain, this is the muscle we are working out over here. The scene is yours to create, and you can make it as simple or as complex as you wish. The point of this challenge is to simply CREATE A STORY.


2021 07 Golden Light 1069 marco ciavolino post

The Only Barely Sunset Day

Since we have not had a clear sunrise or sunset for 4 days and next 4 look the same I managed to get this one shot off of our house. It will have to do.

2021 07 Golden Light 1069 marco ciavolino weather 


Let the light in, dear Framers! This week we're looking to make the most out of the good, soft, golden light that happens twice each day. Golden Hour, or "Magic Hour", is usually considered to be the first "hour" after sunrise and the last "hour" before sunset. The reason this happens, is because when the sun is low in the sky, the atmosphere naturally filters out blue and violet light allowing yellow and reds to reign supreme for a brief period. As photographers, we know that Golden Hour sunlight lends a magical quality to all sorts of images - portraits, landscapes and even street photography. This light is more flattering, warm and casts [slightly] softer and longer shadows - being able to use these qualities can significantly improve a photo. If you're planning on shooting cityscapes, you'll get vastly different light and shadows depending on which Golden Hour of the day you're shooting in. Golden Hour light is also highly directional due to the low angle of the sun over the horizon- be sure to use that to your advantage. Although, both sunrise and sunset offer golden light, there are subtle differences in the light especially in your area - do be observant about things like haze, clarity and the overall temperature of the air to make the most of these unique times of day. A geeky digression: the length of golden hour will vary with where you are on the planet and the time of year. Plan your shooting accordingly. Some golden hours last minutes, and others last hours :) Please Note: Not everyone has access to golden hour this week and that's OK! If you cannot shoot during golden hour for whatever reason, you can still capture the essence of golden hour, by creating soft orange light, that comes in at a low angle. You could do this with a lamp, or even an orange bounce reflector while the sun is out.


2021 06 Single Focal Point 1069 marco ciavolino post

Reading Dreams

C is absorbed by her books (though she has not yet learned to read). The stories she makes up about the books are fantastical and amazing. What a delight the unfettered creativity of youth can be!

Shot with a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 NIKKOR-S Auto (1966-1974)
F 1.4
ISO 100
1/60 second

Read more about this amazing lens at Ken Rockwell's Site


It's time to focus... on a single point. Let's clarify: this does not need to be "literal" focus (where one thing is in focus and the rest of the image, blurry) and it doesn't really need to be a POINT either! Rather, we just want you to ask yourself: Where do I want my viewer to look? In general, you want to LEAD your viewer into ONE part of the frame, which usually is your main subject. You can achieve this with a shallow depth-of-field focus, obviously, like the eyes of the subject in a portrait, or you can achieve this with something like color: a bright road-sign that draws the viewer's eye directly to it. Another example of color could be a yellow flower amidst a sea of blue flowers, if such a thing exists (ahem-photoshop). You can also achieve this "focal point" by playing with light. Think of a sliver of natural light pouring into a window and highlighting a person's face, or object, among very deep shadows elsewhere in the frame. It's all about grabbing the viewer's attention and while this can be subjective at times, the challenge for this week is to make it as "obvious" as possible.


2021 05 Horizon 1069 marco ciavolino post

Our World Turned Upside Down

Everything has changed. Everything is different. Someone asked me, "Are people in Atlanta nice?" And I said, "How would I know?" No place to go. No friends to do things with. Constant threat of infection. Surely, our world has turned upside down.

The location: Piedmont Park, Atlanta


2021 05 Horizon 1069 marco ciavolino location


I shot two photos. One of just the scene, then one of me in the scene. I flipped the base image. Then removed the sky and water from my image. And yes, I had to cut out every railing opening one at a time because the water color was too close to railing color to magic wand it.

2021 05 Horizon 1069 marco ciavolino Photoshop


The horizon is where the sky meets the surface of the planet. OK, now let's simplify. This challenge does NOT need to be outdoors, nor does there need to be an actual horizon!! The object of this challenge is quite simple:  Make sure your photo is level. Any horizontal lines in your photo should be level/straight, regardless if it's a body of water meeting interplanetary space, or not. When you have a clear horizon line, like the example photo to your left, it should be easy to keep that line straight in camera (use the line guides you see either in viewfinder or on LCD screen), or clicking a few buttons in post, so long as you are mindful of this practice! The idea is, that your photo should appear STRAIGHT, and not crooked, to the viewer, regardless of lines in your photo, or if the photo is "actually" straight in real life. This is merely an exercise in shooting level, and this should really be the first lesson of any photography course! A crooked photo will be the first thing a viewer sees, and likewise it should be the first thing you correct when importing your photo onto your computer (see Module 2, Chapter 1 of my "Shooting 101" course) But not all horizon lines are necessarily natural - or even visible - and that's where your mind's eye comes in. If you happen to have a literal horizon line to show off in your photo, how best to place it in your image is really up to you - and that's why photography is as much art as it is a science. You could opt for a low horizon line to show off a magnificent sky, or if your image is better off with more of the foreground, consider using a high horizon line. A nice rule of thumb I once heard was you want either 2/3rd sky and 1/3rd land, or 2/3rd land and 1/3rd sky. But, I mean, go crazy and do what looks good to you!


2021 04 Water 1069 marco ciavolino post

Wet Morkie

How could I not use our new morkie, Hemingway, for this shot after his first bath? I mean, really, what is cuter than a wet morkie?


With over 70% of the planet's surface covered in this stuff, it's time to make a splash. This week's theme allows us to get very versatile and creative - we could go for a calm and tranquil depiction with a slow shutter speed or choose to FREEZE the action with a fast shutter speed (this week's extra credit part). We see water everywhere, whether it's seasides, lakes, rivers or waterfalls. For those of us in more urban locales, there are plenty of locations of interest as well - swimming pools, fountains or even your kitchen sink! See if you can go beyond a direct and obvious composition - make the viewer feel what you were feeling when you took the shot. You could go with a single small drop of water or have an ocean in focus. Just go with the flow...


Scroll down for a portrait of Hemingway! ⇓⇓⇓⇓

2021 03 ShootLow 1069 marco ciavolino post

Jump Hemingway!

We just brought home a morkie (Maltese + Yorkie). His name is Hemingway (after Ernest Hemingway) because we plan to have great adventures with him. I laid on the floor on my back and shot with the camera over my head (I cannot get any lower). Though he looks huge due to forced perspective, is only about 14 inches long and weighs 7 pounds.

Hemingway in Real Life!

2021 03 ShootLow 1069 marco ciavolino portrait post


It's time to get down... well, not to party - but to GET LOW! Squat, bend, lie down, whatever it takes to view the world from the unique angle of close to the ground. One of the easiest and most important techniques to use, low-angle photography creates immediate interest to the viewer, and often yields a more expansive view of the world. This is especially important when documenting children or animals, due to their proximity to terra firma, as you are getting "down to their world". There's a lot of story you can craft from this low vantage point. In cinema, shooting a character from below is sometimes referred to as the "superhero angle" as it conveys this larger-than-life feel to the character. It's best to ask yourself before you shoot--what is it you are seeing in the scene in front of you and what do you want to convey to the viewer? Street photography lends itself quite well to shooting from the ground as well. At wider angles, your foreground elements need even more attention when shooting low, because they will appear much larger than those elements at a distance. This week, raise your photo game by going low !


2021 02 LeadingLines 1069 marco ciavolino Post

Path to Pasta

All the key ingredients to make an awesome bowl of pasta. Just wanted to try a food layout and the extra credit challenge.

2021 02 LeadingLines 1069 marco ciavolino setup

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 RAW
Edited with Camera Raw Filter
Nikon 18-300 lens
1/5 sec
ISO 400
Focal length 50mm


This week we're looking at using a compositon technique that calls attention to a particular area of your photo through the use of directional lines. Leading lines are the key compositional element that carries our eye through the photograph to a point or area of interest. Use leading lines to guide your viewer to the part of the image that you feel garners the most attention. Now, some lines will be rather obvious but you can compose or use elements in the frame that may not be conspicuous but still perform the task of leading the viewer's eyes to where you'd prefer. Do pay attention to the depth of field in your shots - it's an important factor when composing the entire image with the intent of using leading lines. Another aspect is that leading lines need not be straight at all - curves and squiggles can just as easily be used to channel direction. There are plenty of leading lines in the world around us from a winding river in Nature to architectural edges of buildings in a city. There's tremendous potential to get very creative with photos in natural light as well as after the sun goes down - think long exposure car light trails. Despite being such a simple technique, leading lines are extremely versatile, and can enhance most photographs. All we need to do is look for them with a little attention until it's second nature.


2021 01 SelfPortrait 1069 marco ciavolino Post

Yes she still needs me when I'm 64

Yes she still needs me, yes she still feeds me, when I'm 64. Turned 64 on Dec 29. So many great memories and so many more to make.


2021!! Anything but 2020 has a nicer ring to it, no? Dearest Framers, it's time for new beginnings - time to look ahead, and make some choices about how we want to shape our year, but most important, to learn to appreciate ourselves. Focus on the creative sparks that make each of us individuals. That make you, YOU. As is tradition, the first challenge of each year is a Self-Portrait. We do this because:  A) We wanna see your beautiful faces, obviously. B) It's not easy. Yea, that's right.. this whole photo-a-week thing ain't always a picnic, so we hit the ground running. C) It's vulnerable. What better time than the begining of a new year, to take stock of yourself. Remove those voices in your head that are holding you back. And get in front of the camera and Just. Be. You. Show us a new side of yourself. Show us what makes you, you. This is a time for shedding inhibitions and being vulnerable - as photographers, staying behind the viewfinder can be a defense mechanism of sorts. As Elsa sings - Let It Go ... We'd love to see whatever you'd like us to see - moods, ideas, joys, pensiveness - we want to see you.


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*enktesis, LLC is a private consultancy, led by Marco Ciavolino, assisting clients in a range of web technology solutions, marketing communications, business development, and communications research efforts. He has been involved in the web space since 1995 and since that time has directly developed and collaborated on numerous web projects from small niche sites to large enterprise projects.  Want to know more? Contact me via email or phone  (marco@enktesis.com / 410-838-8264).   Full contact information at meetmarco.com

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