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52 Frames Submissions 2018

See my annual submissions:  2018   2019   2020  2021  2022

Please enjoy my submissions from the 52 Frames Project for 2018
If you love photography and love a challenge consider joining us at https://52frames.com
All comments welcomed!

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

6862 MarcoCiavolino ThreeChallenges 700

 Mirrors, Squares, and Self Portrait

This mirror ball was purchased in 1989 for a dramatic presentation. My daughter took it to college years later and has hung it in every place she has lived. You can see it installed in her apt at my website (below). This images shows squares, mirrors, and a self-portrait high abstracted, all colored by her Christmas decorations.

Current Installation

6862 MarcoCiavolino ThreeChallenges Room

Shot with a Nikon D7500
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Assignment: We have MADE it creative Framers! We have reached the last challenge of 2018!! It was fun, it was challenging, it was SO difficult sometimes and other times it was a bit magical. We said goodbye to some Framers and welcomed so many new members. We complained and went on photo walks. And week-by-week we took photographs. And now, just before we jump into 2019, it is time to look backward and look through these photo album each and every one of us has created this year. What have you learned? Which challenge should you like to re-shoot? It often happens that we take the inspiration and lessons that we have learned in one challenge and use them in the following weeks. So for this week’s challenge, we are going to do exactly that. We are going to revisit not one, not two BUT three challenges! Look back through the challenges we had this year and decide which three you can combine for this week in ONE photograph. What better way is there to say goodbye to 2018 than looking through the year’s challenges? Remembering the good and the bad weeks, marveling at the amazing work of our fellow photographers and above all, knowing that we did what we love to do: We took photographs.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Sillouhette 700

Scene from my front yard. Early Morning


Dear creative Framers, we have one more challenge this year where we have to pay extra attention to the light. Because photography is.all together now. ALL ABOUTTHE LIGHT!  In photography, a silhouette is defined as the subject’s outline that appears dark against a light background. Silhouettes photos are often very dramatic and attention-grabbing because of the strong contrast between dark and light. They are created by placing the subject between the photographer and the light source in such a way that the subject blocks the light. Don’t confuse shadows and silhouettes. A silhouette is the outline of the subject itself while a shadow is the shape of the subject. Shadows usually fall on walls or the ground. It sounds a bit confusing but when you start backlighting and shooting your subjects, you will get it. Think of silhouette photography as the opposite of regular photography. Instead of lighting the front of the subjects, you are lighting their backs. Your light source can be the sun, (sunsets and sunrises often create spectacular silhouettes) light streaming through a window or even studio lighting.


6862 MarcoCiavolino BreakTheRules 700

Vegetable Slide

Breaking the rules, let me count the ways. In camera blur, off angle, no clear subject, color balance wrong and more. What fun!

Shot with a Nikon D7500
Edited in Photoshop CS


We have been working hard the entire year to learn the photography rules but now it is time to BREAK them!!! The problem is just that to know that you are breaking a rule, you must first know that there is a rule in the first place :) Just like everything in life though, one must sometimes go with your gut in photography. One has to go out in that midday sun and shoot a photo with the sun in front of you, with no leading lines or rule of thirds in sight! It is often when we give ourselves the permission to relax and ignore the rules, that the artist in us can play and create to its heart’s content. So dear creative Framers, you can either go and look for a rule to consciously break. OR you can just go and shoot without paying too much attention to the rules that we often keep in the back of our minds. OR you can take a photo of a rule breaker!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Windows 700

Longing for the Jungle

My faithful friend, Darcy (from Pride and Prejudice) has been a indoor cat from day one. He will sit by this open window for hours observing the comings and goings of birds, foxes, deer, and whatever else he can imagine. He got out once, and came racing back through the open door a minute later. But his world is our home and he seems happy with that.

Shot with a Nikon D7500
Shot JPG HI @ 5568x3712
F 5.61/125 second
ISO 1000
Focal Length 183mm
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Assignment: Photographers have always had a love affair with windows, from View from the window at Le Gras to Robert Frank’s Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey to numerous gorgeous Windows photos from our own 52Frames albums. Some argue that it is because a room with a window is a continuation of the eye with its pupil and the camera with its lens opening. Others say that we love windows because they represent an interesting contrast – windows allow us to connect with the outside world and yet at the same help us to place a screen between us and everything outside the window. Your challenge this week creative Framers is to decide if you want to shoot from the outside in or from the inside out. Your window can act as a frame, provide a reflection or you can even shoot through a window. You can shoot a train, car, airplane or boat window. Repeated window patterns or a large stained glass window. There are windows everywhere, so go and show us how the world looks through your window!


6862 MarcoCiavolino 24Exposures700

Boat Ride, Rye Beach

My father (now nearly 94) was a freelance photographer in the 50s, 60s, and 70s in New York and New Jersey. The Museum of Modern Art in NY owns three of his photographs. The most famous of the three is "Boat Ride, Rye Beach" which, as far as we know, is the first published example of using sprocket holes in the final print. You can see from the number on the film, it was the end of the roll. 

You can read the entire story of the photo and watch my dad discuss the image at Lomography.

Shot with a Nikon D7500
Shot RAW @ 5568x3712
F 4.8
1/125 second
ISO 2200
Focal Length 75mm
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Assignment: This week creative Framers, we are going to bring homage to the photographers who came before us. Or to the photographers that we once were. We are not going all the way back to daguerreotypes or black and white film but to the 1980s and ’90s. That is right, to the time just before mobile phones and digital cameras came on the scene which allows us to take hundreds of frames of our sushi boat. Photos were often taken on a roll of film with 24 frames that had to be developed in a laboratory. Yes, a laboratory. So for this week’s challenge, you will only have 24 clicks to take your photo. Of anything you want. But take your time, plan carefully, think of your composition and shoot with care. If your only decent photo from the 24 frames has your model’s head cut off, then this is the photo that you are going to have to submit. You do not have the option of a re-shoot! Try and have a film photographer’s mindset this week. Don’t just grab your camera and start pointing and clicking one shot after another. Study your scene carefully, pay attention to the background, the direction and quality of the light and what message your photo will have. Take a deep breath, keep focusing on your photo and only then press the shutter gently. If you want to be even more authentic, DON’T LOOK AT YOUR CAMERA until after you’ve shot all 24. After all, you wouldn’t be able to see any of your photos until they were developed 


6862 MarcoCiavolino Gratitude 700


With all four children out of the house and my wife traveling constantly my cat, Darcy, is my daily companion. Whenever I get up and walk into the kitchen, he will appear from wherever is sleeping and demand a special treat. And he is always full of gratitude. I love cats.

Shot with a Nikon D7500
Shot Raw @ 5568x3712
F 4.8
1/125 second
ISO 3200
Focal Length 68mm
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Assignment:  Sometimes it is the small things, a delicious cup of tea at the end of a long the day. The cat warming your lap as you watch TV together or the first bit of green poking through the earth after a long winter. And sometimes it is the big things...the birth of a long prayed for baby. Celebrating a family member’s birthday who survived cancer or seeing your children graduate or get married. And sometimes it is the things that we often take for granted. Clean drinking water, the ability to read, fresh sheets on a comfortable bed in a cozy home, the taste of the first fruit of a new season. Someone to love. Dear creative Framers, what are you grateful for?


6862 MarcoCiavolino InTheMiddle700

 In the Middle of Time

I love these old advertising clocks. At one time I had more than 10 of them. You can buy them on Ebay and some go for thousands of dollars. They light up in the back and make wonderful, analogue sounds when they run. All of these will keep perfect time.

Shot with a Nikon D7500
Shot JPG High @ 5568x3712
F 4.81/60 second
ISO 9000
Focal Length 84mm
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Assignment: This week creative Framers, we are looking for wild and wonderful interpretations for the words “In the middle”. It could be a photo of a middle child or a child (or teacher!) in middle school. It could be something that is happening in the middle of the night, or in the middle of nowhere. It can be a photo of the filling in the middle of a sandwich. You can also photograph subjects that are placed in the middle of a frame. Study symmetrical photography and consider turning on the grid in your camera to get a perfect symmetrical photo. Remember to look to the right and look to the left, but take care to stay right in the middle!


 6862 MarcoCiavolino Opposites 700

Opposites Won by One

What would bring a one horned horse, and tyransaurus rex, and a minion together? Only a carnival machine at the Green Turtle sports bar in Aberdeen MD. And you know they will be best friends forever since it is impossible to win. But go ahead and try!

Shot with Google Pixel 2Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Here is the full machine:

6862 MarcoCiavolino Opposites Extra1

Assignment: Dear creative Framers, our task this week is to not only photograph subjects that we do not expect to see together but to also portray the attraction between them. The photo is not just about the different two elements but also about the connection or tension between them. Think for example of a wrinkly grandmother holding a toddler in her arms (the opposites) and the toddler is gently touching the granny’s skin (the attraction). Or a tall and short person not only standing next to each other but also making eye contact over the distance that separates them. Two women dressed in dressed in clothes from different religious but cooking together in a kitchen. This challenge has a strong storytelling element to it. The attraction between the two elements pulls the viewer in and will make her wonder how the two opposites came together in the first place OR what is going to happen next. Don't worry if you find yourself without models this week. By just placing two different objects next to each other, you are already creating tension in your photo.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Macro 700

Time Cannot Erase the Birth of John Sappington

The sole representative of the life of John Sappington, MD b. Dec 15, 1801, d. Nov 18. 1863. Time cannot erase the record of his birth and death. 

Shot with Nikon D7500
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

6862 MarcoCiavolino Macro Site

The Assignment: Photographers are explorers. Every week here at 52Frames we go on another adventure. We stuck our noses in remote abandoned buildings, investigated the play of light during the golden hour and used mirrors to look at reflections. This week we are going to enter the world of the tiny, a.k.a macro photography! Macro photography is taking photos of small objects to make them look life-sized or larger. Anything small, such as insects or things that we don’t normally get to see up close with the naked eye such as the detail in a coin or a flower are the usual candidates for macro photography. Pay special attention to your focus because it can be tricky to get a macro photo in focus. Play with your exposure triangle, make sure you have enough light and be prepared to take LOTS of photos.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Mechanical 700a

Mechanical: Still Running Since 1940

Somewhere along the line I bought this Revere Model 80 projector at a Good Will. When my children were young we ordered several 8mm silent cartoons and they were fascinated. The Model 80 was manufactured in the early to mid-1940s still works flawlessly and is an impeccable example of simple, perfect, industrial design. Everything about it is engaging from the distinctive sound of the film loop to the smell of the bulb to the gentle heat it generates. The power cord is still in perfect condition. Since it came with B&W rocket research films I wonder how many secret briefings did it see? How many projects did it support? We will never know, we can only imagine.

How I Shot This

6862 MarcoCiavolino Mechanical Shoot 700

I put a cardboard screen on my gray backdrop. Then I used a dome light on the floor and adjusted the distance get uniform lighting between the projector and the screen and keep the rest of the room dark. The first two shots were done with the tripod in a low position. Shooting in full manual I experimented with shutter speed to get the right effect on the reels. I ended up at 1/6 second which showed motion, but maintained the integrity of the reel as a shape. A fixed whitebalance of 'sunlight' was used since the floor light is 5000k. Then I did the shot of the projection itself (shown) with the camera on auto/no flash.

Shot with Nikon D7500
Raw 5568x3712
F3.8 & F4.8 & F5.6
1/6 sec & 1/250 sec
ISO 100 & ISO 5000
Focal Length 36mm & 75mm & 210mm
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS


The theme is mechanical which means that we are going to step out of the matrix this week and go analog. Our focus will be on metal rather than plastic (though it is often combined) and the raw, physical realness of the machines what we or have ancestors have built. Though we live a very digital and plastic world, we still have a surprising amount of mechanical machinery and industry all around us. Just think of windmills, clockworks, bicycles, farm machinery, steam engines, assembly lines in factories, shipyards and processing plants. This is also an excellent week for trying the lesser known genre of industrial photography. Industrial photography can include anything from a company’s products, the CEO, machinery, infrastructure, or the employees working in the manufacturing section of the company. Focus on a mechanical element in your industrial photo and you have nailed this week’s theme!


6862 MarcoCiavolino WabiSabi 700

Wabi Sabi Before it Was a Thing (Week 2018-42)

I learned that I was wabi sabi before it was a thing.  The mug in this photo was a gift to our wedding party at our wedding in 1988. This is my dad's mug mug. We gave the potter a photo of each person and he re-clay-ated their faces and each mug was personalized with their name. So this clearly  a wabi-sabi since it is imperfectly hand created and each mug was distinct in way that could never be mass produced. I still think wabi-sabi sounds like a 1960's dance move, but it is mug instead.

Shot with Nikon D7500
1/125 sec.
ISO 10000
Focal Length 210mm
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Assignment:  The wabi sabi philosophy originated from Japan and in a nutshell (an old half-decomposed nutshell of course) it means to celebrate the beauty of a naturally imperfect world. This philosophy is actually a combination of two words: ‘Wabi’ which means an understated elegance through rustic, simple and natural design. And ‘Sabi’ means seeing beauty in the flaws that come with age. In a world filled with AI, blockchains and cell phones that get smarter every two months, it is essential to stop and appreciate the beauty of the old, the rusted and the cracked. The race after the latest shiny thing will never end and it is often the old stuff with a worn patina that gives us the most comfort. Wabi-sabi teaches us to be content with the chip in a beloved mug and to appreciate the wear and tear of a lived life. So this week, creative Framers, show us the beauty in imperfection. It would be the wrinkles in a smiling face, a decomposing flower, the cracked spine of a beloved book or an art table covered in used paint brushes and muddied paint.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Portrait 700

Self Portrait with Staff

With all my children out of the house and my wife working my days at my home office are punctuated by a few video conferences and the needs of my office buddy, Darcy. He is a great cat and seems to know just when I need a break or he needs a treat. In between I manage my four companies, a wide range of client projects, and work with TechBrick Robotics as its executive director.

Shot with Nikon D7500
1/100 sec.
Focal Length 100mm
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Assignment: Welcome to the portrait challenge creative Framers! You can choose if you want to ask a stranger if you can take her portrait, do a self-portrait or take the portrait of a friend, family member or acquaintance. Edward Steichen said that “A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” So take your time to first hang out and chat with your model. Any stiffness and uncomfort will be always visible in the photo. Also make sure that you know where your light sources are and pay attention how the light falls on your model’s face.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Anthro 700

The Friendly Faces of BWI

While waiting for my wife's flight, I found these nine friendly faces watching the travelers in the Baltimore Washington airport. I have felt, for years, that designers cannot help but mimic the symmetry and beauty of creation in industrial design. It's everywhere and we expect it to be there. And so, here it is again!

Shot on a Google Pixel XL2
Cropped and composited in Photoshop

Assignment: Anthropomorphism is the act of assigning human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. A few well-known examples of anthropomorphism are the teapot, cup and candle-holder in the Disney movie of Beauty and the Beast, the Pixar lamp and robots that look like humans. The most common feature that we usually recognize is the human face because we are hardwired to see them. However, the female shape of Coca-cola bottles, scarecrows and those human-like bottle openers are all examples of anthropomorphism. You can create an anthropomorphic photo, walk around with your camera looking for something interesting or hike to that tree that you remembered looked like a screaming ghost. This is a fun and imaginative task creative Framers but remember that it is still a photo challenge. Check your lighting, composition, horizon, background, etc. etc.. Don’t just snap a photo of a rose that looks like a skull. Create a scary and haunting photograph of the skull rose that makes the hair at the back of your neck stand up straight!


6862 MarcoCiavolino InspiredByAPhoto DSC 1804p 700

6862 MarcoCiavolino InspiredByAPhoto Grid 240

Times Square Kiss 2018

This is one of the most iconic photographs of World War II.  I always thought it would be fun to re-shoot so we did. My friends, Leu and Stacey, helped out (and practiced alot) to get a reasonable representation of the original photgraph.

I created a reference grid from the original photo to get the center and general layout. Then I brought the new picture in over the old one with transparency set on the layer to size Leu and Stacy. And it worked! Click on any image to see a high-res version.

V-J Day in Times Square

You can read the entire story here:
The Story behind the Famous Kiss - U.S. Naval Institute

6862 MarcoCiavolino InspiredByAPhoto 1807 LS 240

Shot on a Nikon D7500
5568x3712 raw
f 3.5
1/400 second exposure
ISO 200
Focal length: 30mm
Mastered and cropped in Photshop CS

Assignment: This week, creative Framers, we are going to take a photograph that is inspired by another photograph. If is often by actively trying to copy something that we learn to really appreciate the effort that went into the creating the photo in the first place. It is all about the light. We have said it a million times and will probably say it again another million times. So study your chosen photo carefully and try and figure what out are the light sources. Are there any shadows? Are the shadows soft, or strong and in which direction do they fall? Study the facial expressions of the model, is she smiling with her eyes? Or are just the corners of her mouth lifted? What is the emotion that you think the photographer tried to capture? Pay attention to the background. How did the photographer use it to tell her story? You can decide if you want to try and recreate the photo 100%, just use certain elements of it, or take on your own photo, inspired by its essence.


6862 MarcoCiavolino FromAbove Submitted 700px

Robot From Above

TechBrick Robotics prepares their robot for a weekend competition. FIRST Robotics Competition team FRC3941, Absolute Zero Electricity, meets weekly on Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland along with our other teams in the FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge programs. FIRST INSPIRES is one of the leading producers of active STEM professionals. You can learn more at http://techbrick.com

Shot on a Nikon D7500
5568x3712 raw
f 3.5 @ 1/125 second exposure
ISO 1250
Focal length: 27mm
Mastered and cropped in Photshop CS

 Assignment: I am sure that everyone in our group will agree that one of the fun parts of being a photographer is that we get to observe the world while hiding safely behind our cameras. Our cameras allow us to be both spy and memorykeeper. This week we are going to add vertical height between our cameras and subjects and spy from above! You can shoot a flat lay photo, be inspired by #fromwhereIstand photos, fire up the drone or show us the world from the tallest building in your area. Photos shot from above are often shot straight down with your camera 90 degrees to the ground but there is nothing wrong with a bit of an angle. The rule of thumb though is that the horizon is generally not shown. So add a bit of height creative Framers with a long arm, a selfie-stick, a ladder, stairs, drones or an aeroplane. Do what you have to do to go UP so that you can spy from ABOVE and shoot DOWN!


6862 MarcoCiavolino FIVE Submitted 700px

Frenzy at Five Guys

Five Guys is a unique American restaurant that just makes great burgers and fries and great milk shakes (and a few hot dogs). Get 'em single or double, dowse the fries with vinegar, and go for it. The ordering sounds like a restaurant from any old movie. Order your burger, and string of unitelligible code will be yelled to the cooks behind the register. Then off they go. Hot, amazing burgers with all the toppings you could want.

Shot on a Nikon D7500
5568x3712 raw
f 22 @ 1/4 second exposure @ ISO 100
Focal length: 27mm
Mastered and cropped in Photshop CS

Assignment: This week creative Framers, our challenge is the number five. Look around in your world and look for anything that in some way has five in it. It can be five fingers or toes, a five-month old baby, something that happens at 5 o’clock, five people sitting around a table or five people walking down a street. It can be five ballerinas, five cats, five flux capacitors, five crayons, a pentagon or a quintet. If you choose to shoot five objects, the challenge is going to be a lesson in depth-of-field and composition. Remember that a higher number aperture will create a wider depth of field and more of your objects will be in focus. That is, if you want them all to be in focus! (a lower number aperture means a shallower depth of field, which means more blur in front of, and behind your focal point. You can decide to shoot five different objects if you want, but we encourage you shoot five objects that are the same. For example, five teaspoons instead of a tea set. Keep in mind some composition “rules” such as leading lines, filling the frame and paying attention to the background, when you arrange your five subjects, so that you can create the most “pleasing” frame for the viewer.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Chaos Submit 700px

Global Fringe Chaos

Between my two college stints I traveled with a Christian singing group. We stayed in more than 500 homes. I spent a summer in Haiti while in graduate school. I spent a week in England in High School. In every house I have stayed in one can find "The Drawer." Every house has one. The place of last resort for unfiled or rarely (never) needed items. So why buck thousands of years of tradition? We have three (only two shown due to embarassment).

Shot on a Nikon D7500
5568x3712 raw
f 4.5
1/125 exposure
ISO 2200
Focal length: 48mm
Mastered and cropped in Photshop CS

Assignment: One of the best things about our weekly photo albums is having a look at each other’s creative interpretations. We are not only quite an international bunch but every single one of us comes with our own personal baggage and a different way of looking at the world. This week we are going to see who is a bit more tidy than the rest of us!  Just HOW messy does your world have to get for you to think that it is getting chaotic? Does one dirty pot equal a chaotic kitchen? Or maybe three young children ‘helping’ to make cookies? Maybe it is a cup of spilled coffee on a white dress shirt or a crazy light painting abstract. It could be unbrushed hair or a cheering crowd.  Chaos is so interpretative and so personal, so we expect a beautiful chaotic album from you this week Framers! Color without the lines this week and show us the beauty of disorder.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Texture Submitted 700px

Texture in Craftmanship Circa 1905


These elegant textures are from the inside of bank building in Havre de Grace, Maryland. The building was built in 1905 and safe around the same time. This was a period of industrial craftmanship done elegantly and precisely without any of the automated machines we have today. Look carefully and try to image the careful precision, each piece, shape, and swirl, done by hand.

Click on the images below to see the bank and safe door.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Texture DSC 0575  6862 MarcoCiavolino Texture DSC 0580  6862 MarcoCiavolino Texture DSC 0589

The bank has been turned into a banquet facility and wedding venue (http://labanquedefleuve.com).

Shot on a Nikon D7500
5568x3712 raw
f 3.81/125 exposure
ISO 3200Focal length: 26mm
Mastered and cropped in Photshop CS

Assignment:  We live in a three-dimensional world and are used to a world with depths and textures. We enjoy running our amazing sensitive fingers over a baby’s soft skin, petting a cat or dog or slipping into bed covered in freshly laundered sheets. Photos sometimes look ‘flat’ to us because we are so used to everything having some type of texture to it. Your challenge this week creative Framers is to add textures into the two-dimensional world of photography. Look for something (or someone) with texture and then pay close attention to how the light is accentuating it. Shoot at different angles and apertures and then decide which photo you how it would feel if you could only touch it. You will notice how your photos will come more ‘alive’ when you consciously made sure that there is texture in your photos. Our sense of sight experiences the world from a distance but our sense of touch brings the world up close and personal. This is a great way to make your photo even more relatable to your viewers. So let’s make a ‘touchy-feely’ album this week!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Purple Submit 700px

As I walked around the supermarket I realized that purple is frequently if not always used for gentle warnings or some indication of a particularly gentle product. Soft touch soap, gentle cat food, friendly warning, goat milk, and choice figlets.  All stand out as a special kind of product. So go live a purple life!

Shot with a GOOGLE Pixel XL2
Cropped and composited in Photoshop CS

Assignment: This week creative Framers, we are going to be inspired by the color purple for our challenge. You are welcome various hues of purple in your photo or even other contrasting colors in your photo. The color purple must however still obviously be the main theme of your photo. Purple has always been a unique color. It is not as common in nature as the other colors and have been associated with royalty and spiritually in the past. In our modern times, it is a symbol of rebellion, creativity, and counterculture.Purple can be a bit of a ‘two-faced’ color. It is a secondary color created from red and blue, a warm and a cold color. Purple retains both these warm and cool properties. It can be a calm and soothing color or it can dark and vengeful! It will be up to you to show us the ‘true colors’ of purple!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Night POST 700px

Looking North on Maryland Avenue at the Bolt Bus Stop in Baltimore

Along the east coast, particularly between NY and Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, there are about a dozen discount bus lines that provide rides at a low as a few dollars per ticket (if purchased way in advance). The Bolt Bus stop right in the middle of Baltimore on a bridge. Go figure.

Camera: NIKON D7500
Format: Raw at 5568 x 3712
Color: sRGB
F 5.6
Exposure 1/80 second
ISO 12,800
Focal Length: 140mm
Cropped Square and sharpened in Photoshop CS

Assignment:  Going on a night photo shoot sometimes feel like exploring new territory. Everything looks just a little bit more different in the night and even very familiar places or objects have a totally different ‘atmosphere’ about them. Some views are more romantic or breathtakingly beautiful at night. While other places (which is actually totally boring during the day) have a sinister and scary feel about them during the night.Going on a night photo shoot sometimes feel like exploring new territory. Everything looks just a little bit more different in the night and even very familiar places or objects have a totally different ‘atmosphere’ about them. Some views are more romantic or breathtakingly beautiful at night. While other places (which is actually totally boring during the day) have a sinister and scary feel about them during the night. This is your challenge this week, creative Framers. Go and have a night adventure! Show us something beautiful, or scary or maybe even something magical…Experiment with your camera’s setting and always be aware of your light sources. Play with the absence of light and help us create a magical night photography album!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Squares SUBMIT 700px

I started looking around (which is one of the major points of 52frames) and was amazed at how many squares are part of my daily life and part the memories extending back over 30 years of marriage. A square is like vanilla icecream. It is just a perfect shape.

Shot with a NIKON D7500
Various settings.
Cropped and composited in Photoshop CS.

Assignment:  Chocolate squares and dice, quilting fat quarters and windows and elevator buttons, and not to forget SpongeBob Squarepants! The square shape is probably not an organic shape but we definitely like to make square things, don’t we!? Maybe because it is so solid and symmetrical, but it is definitely a shape that one sees everywhere in various sizes and flavours. So this week, creative Framers, we are going to have to be square! You can photograph square objects (and then keep noticing squares for the next two months!) or you can play a bit more with this week’s theme. You can take photos of life in the village square, people doing a square dance, calculate the square root of a number, show us how to fit a square peg in a round hole or even turn a pyramid upside-down because as you know, it is is hip to be square!


6862 MarcoCiavolino WhatIsIt DSC 0087 Submitted 700px

Amazingly engineered to seek a secure footing. Our bedroom is slowly invaded.

You can see the answer here:https://enktesis.com/innovative-projects/52frames#whatisit

Assignment:  Our photos are usually portraits, landscapes, objects arranged in an interesting way, or other real things that we identify with as soon as we see the photo. We play with the light and composition to show these things or people, or views in a flattering or eye-catching manner.  This week, however, we want to tease the viewer and make them take a second look at the photo, maybe turn their head sideways and then STILL wonder “What IS it??”. You can approach this week’s challenge from various angles. You can either shoot an abstract photo or a macro photo, take a photo from an unusual angle or take a photo of an unusual phenomenon or object. You can even crawl underneath a table and take an artistic photo of the chewing gum stuck there! So creative framers, show us the world through your weird and creative eyes. We need to make an album this week that will puzzle the viewer and make everyone ask: “WHAT is this!?”

6862 MarcoCiavolino WhatIsIt DSC 0087 Solution


6862 MarcoCiavolino Elements DSC 0077 Submitted 700px

This is the main fireplace in a house owned by a friend of mine. Its first appearance on the tax rolls was in 1772 and it was standing well before that. So here you have the elements that have been in use for nearly 250 years. Fire in the fireplace. Metal for the pot. Water in the pot. Earth in the bricks. Wood for the fire. Every time I'm there I try to imagine the thousands of converstations that were had, the debates won, the love stories told, the children fed. And during prohibition it was a speakeasy. More stories to imagine.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Elements DSC 0080 House Web

Assignment: The five elements (earth, wood, fire, water, metal) refer to a Chinese philosophy that says that the five elements constitute everything in our universe. These elements do not just stand on their own but also have specific interactions and relationships with each other. It is a huge philosophy and used in Chinese medicine, feng shui, fortune-telling, and martial arts. You are welcome to focus on one of the five the elements, a combination of two or more of the elements or of the interactions between the elements.


6862 MarcoCiavolino ExtremeContrast Submit IMG 20180716 191208 700px

What is all this nonsense. The tabloid racks are the contrast of contrasts. Stories of the super wealthy who manage to have petty problems. Jon Benet's killer found for the four thousandth time. Diets that can never achieve the results shown. Sex that no one can have. Stories of people's lives who will never have any impact on ours. Recipes we will never cook. Shocking untold stories. Trapped again movie stars. Torn apart by monster moms. The hottest bodies. Jen finds love again. Who cares? Not my life or your life and never will be.

Assignment:  High contrast photography usually refers to tonal contrast – the contrast between the lightest and darkest areas of a photograph. Meaning, the shadows will be very dark and the light areas very white. There will be hardly any shades of grey. Just lots of strong whites and blacks. Our challenge this week, however, does not have to be just about the light (for a change!) Contrast can add an extra level of depth to your photos and there are quite a few ways to use them. The use of complementary colors will allow you to add color contrast to your photos. And content contrast is added to photographs by playing with rough and smooth textures, straight and curvy lines, small and large elements, and so on. High contrast photos are not the soft, ‘misty morning, diffused light’ type of photos. They are usually shot with strong or harsh light and are dramatic and confrontational and have a strong message to convey. So fill the album this week with high contrasts creative Framers, there cannot be a yin without a yang!


6862 MarcoCiavolino GoldenHour Posted DSCN0451 700px

Peeking Moon

Here you can see the sun peeking through the trees with the moon heralding its soon rising.

Assignment:  The golden hour (also known as the magic hour) is that period of the day just after sunrise and just before sunset. It is sunlight’s first and last appearance of the day. And yes, it totally deserves the name ‘golden hour’ because this gentle soft-hued light gives everything and everyone a beautiful yellow glow.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Detail Posted 700px

Smart Carts

For my entire life I have faced long lines of parked shopping carts that force you to walk all the way from one end to the other and wait for each person get a cart. Some smart manager figured out that putting the carts in short rows the entire process would be much easier and faster. Simply brilliant.

Assignment:  Detail photos are not merely macro photos. It can be of any subject that is small in size or small in relation to the background. They are often used to tell the story of a situation by focusing on only a small portion of the big picture. You can draw the viewer’s attention to these small details with depth of field, panning, leading lines, complementary colors or by having your subject lighter or darker than the background.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Mirrors Posted 700px

Mirrors on the Ground

6 mirrors give us a view the flowers and the sky.

Assignment:  Mirrors at first glance (!) can be useful for taking a really cool reflection photo. However, we really want to encourage you to enter a new realm this week. You can create mirror abstracts, play with shards or small mirrors, mess around with optical illusions or make interesting composites.


6862 MarcoCiavolino OverExposure Submitted 700px

At The Charles

We went to see 'Will you be my Neighbor' at the historic Charles Theatre in Baltimore, MD. Great film. Great theatre.

Assignment: This week, creative Framers, we want you to break one of the firm rules of photography and create an overexposed photo. Technically, an overexposed image is simply a very bright image. You can create it by shooting into your light source (just be careful please!), add more direct light to your scene, adjust the aperture or slowing down the shutter speed. So yes, this is an excellent opportunity to experiment with your camera’s settings again.


6862 MarcoCiavolino 100Steps HR Submitted 700px

All The Tools in the World.

My neighbor, Mike, of 12 years has worked for Snap-on Tools for decades. That means he has every tool I could ever need. Big plyers, tiny plyers, pullers, pressers, turners, chargers, finaglers, and more. It's 100 steps I've taken many many times. Every body needs a neighbor like Mike.

Assignment:  We often hear about how social media distorts the reality. People tend to post photos and write about the special occasions in their lives. We get to see photos from that trip to Greece or a special event such as a birthday but not of the husband snoring on the couch or the unkempt garden. So this week, creative Framers, we are re-distorting reality and showing the beauty right outside our doorsteps. As a matter of fact, 100 steps from your door. We will leave it up to you to decide exactly which door to start counting from. It could be from the door of your apartment building, the front door of your house, the back door or the door from your workplace or a regular hangout. It must just be a door that you personally regularly use.


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180609 Partners Submitted 700px

Last Days of a Good Dog

My lifelong friend Bill with his dog of 15 years, Tucker. His dog has a rapid neurological failure that is making it hard for Tucker to walk and breath. He's been Bill's constant companion for years and it is not likely he will live more than a couple of more weeks. Tucker was a wild and crazy puppy and is now a quiet, affectionate friend.

NB: They had to put Tucker down about two weeks after this photo was taken. 

Assignment:  Howdy our creative paaaardners in photography! This week is all about partnerships. It can be your better half, a friend, a child, a workout or dance partner or maybe a partner in crime!! A business partner, a pet, or your favorite food. If there is an object that makes life that much sweeter for you, then this is the week to take a photo of it. It could be a coffee machine, a handbag, a tablet or your bicycle. Let’s celebrate all those people, things or animals that are near and dear to you and show us who your partner is in your life right now!


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180603 Tools Submitted 700px

Today's tools are Unprecedented

Today's tools are incomprehensible. One person, one work area, two computers, five monitors, television, webcam, three printers, label printers, studio speakers, stunning bandwidth, 6 cores, 12 threads, gigabyte Ethernet, four IP phones. Typical day allows for video, audio, spreadsheets, photoshop, illustrator, and more. The previous output of 100's of people is now at my disposal. Unprecedented.

Assignment:  This week creative Framers, we are celebrating our unique tool-using abilities. Human beings are the only species on this planet that use and make tools, except some chimpanzees and bonobos of course. Our ancestors not only started using rocks as tools but they also used other rocks to shape these tools in the way that they needed them to be. Since then, we have come a long way and there are tools today for just about every task you can think of. There are literally a million examples of tools that you can shoot from surgery tools to measuring tools to drawing tools to electrical tools. You will get extra credit on top of the extra credit if you photograph a truly unique or strange tool this week!


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180519 TrueBlackandWhite Submitted 700px

Gray Cat on a Black Guitar Case

Cats will sleep anywhere and seem to find solace it perceptually enclosed spaces. I left the guitar case on the couch and Darcy has found it to be a particularly cozy place for deep cat sleep. Of course he also sleeps on a piece of paper on the table, a small keyboard box on my floor, and at the end of our bed. He is a good friend.

Assignment:  Usually a black and white photo is taken in color by your camera and then desaturated or filtered in your photo editor into black and white. For this week’s challenge however, you shouldn’t use your photo editor to turn the photo in black and white. This means that you are going to have to look for, or create a scene, that is already black and white…aka "true black and white."


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180519 Dislike Submitted 700px

Death by Any Means is Death.

I dislike death. I dislike the death of innocents. I am flabbergasted by the contradictions surrounding abortion. We rejoice when a celebrity has a baby. Yet in the same day, infinitely valuable little human's lives are terminated hours or minutes before birth. We talk about 'baby bumps,' instead of swellings of insignificant tissue. We live in a country where one can be arrested for killing a puppy, but not baby. We live in a country where if even a toe is still in the mother the brains can be sucked out of the baby. We've made it so easy to kill we've forgotten how to care. How did we get here? When did the vagina become the passage to freedom and life? The moral and societal consequences are staggering. Learn more at https://invisibleinfants.com.

Assignment:  There is something that everyone dislikes whether it is doing the laundry for the 30 millionth time, the sound of a baby crying, inconsiderate smokers or the daily commute. We are pretty sure that you will not have to think for very long to think of something! This is however an ideal challenge to tell a story with your photo. Are any senses shown in the photo? Why do the viewers realize that your photo show something that you dislike? Maybe it is something universal that we all dislike or maybe they can see the reason in your photo.


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180507 NegativeSpace Submitted 700px

Beauty fills space.

Walking into the Wegmans in Abingdon, MD, I saw this great negative space behind the flowers with colorful plants and a nicely textured wall. I moved plants away, leaving only one plant. I then brought the image in Photoshop at 13x19in @300dpi and sharpened the image. Then I cropped just the plant on a new layer and increased the saturation to 80 the made that layer 60% opaque.

Assignment: Negative space is one of the most important composition concepts in photography. And not just photography. Negative space has been used for hundreds of years in art, design, and architecture. It is also sometimes referred to as ‘white space’. Negative space is the area in the photo around the subject. So in the example above, the wall is the negative space. The young girl is the main focus in the photo and we want the user’s eye to go straight to her. The negative space plays a supportive, though very important, role by making sure that the subject gets all the attention. The wall ‘blocks’ other elements that can steal the viewers’ attention. The use of textures and colors create a contrast to make the subject stand out even more. And the lines in the negative space also point towards the subject.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180505 BodyParts Submitted 700px

Double body entendre

In spite of increasing automation, there are many industries that rely exclusively on the skilled labor of experienced technicians. Auto body work is one of these. Thanks to great folks at Jones Junctions Body Shop & Collision Center in Fallston, Maryland, I got this great shot of the fine art of auto body repair where experienced hands return badly damaged cars to new.

Assignment:  One of the advantages of becoming a photographer is that we to see the world with a totally new mindset. We start noticing patterns and shapes and the play of light during the day. Our eyes look for the less obvious and re-consider the ordinary with different angles or another point of view. For this week’s challenge, you must direct your honed photographer’s eye and shoot a very familiar landscape, those of our bodies. Look carefully and slowly at your hands, arms, legs, face, etc. Clench a fist or stretch your feet as far as you can. Pay attention to the wrinkles, spots, veins, and curves. There’s so much beauty in our temporary homes, free your mind and capture it! You can choose to photograph unusual angles of body parts, bodyscapes or creative abstracts of the body. Please note – if you are submitting a nude photo, tick the appropriate checkbox on the form so that we can comply with Facebook’s nude policy. We will redirect your photo with a link in the description.


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180426 Circles Submitted 700px

What's more circly that speghettios?

When I sat down and thought about circles I realized they are everywhere. But favorite circle as a kid was a bowl of O's. And you get to say, "Uh oh! Speghettios!" If you don't know what we are talking about watch this https://youtu.be/34Vp6dvqC7Y And, of course, I consumed these for dinner after the shoot.


Assignment:  he rectangle and square frames of photographs are the norm and we don’t even think that it could be different. We also have design ‘rules’ such as the rule of thirds, balancing elements and leading lines that all support this format. But this week, creative Framers we want you to use circles to focus the viewers’ attention to the middle of the frame. Strong harsh circles can suggest containment and defined limitations but if you look for circles in nature you will find them to be softer, inviting and pleasing to the eye with their never-ending frames. In both scenarios, however, the circle forces us to look inwards and deeper into the photo. Once you start looking for circles, we guarantee that you are to start seeing them everywhere! We want you, however, to look beyond the obvious circles such as steering wheels and road signs and look a bit deeper for more unexpected circles.


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180417 Abstract SUBMITTED 700px

Abstracting the Master: A Tribute to Alexander Calder

Composited in PhotoshopComposited in Photoshop

I abstracted the challenge to try something I had always wanted to do: create a photo mosaic. So this photo was made in my mind.
When I was about 8 years old my parents to me to an Alexander Calder show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. That visit was a formative part of my understadning of art. Why? Because in the midst of his flowing, abstract, works, was real craftmanship and skill. The welding and balance of his big pices and the intricate details of his wire sculptures all impressed me with the need to express art through skill.  I stood, as an 8 year old, in front a large Picasso abstract and thought, "I could that. It's just so much splashed paint." But with the Calder works I realized I would have to maste a number of skills to begin to reproduce his work.

So here is an image of Mr. Calder abstracted with 1200 images from the the last few weeks of 52 Frames.

If you go here: https://findpagenow.com/go/52frames20180316

You can see the original photo of Calder, my colorized version, and also download a super large version of the mosaic.


Assignment:  There is something that everyone dislikes whether it is doing the laundry for the 30 millionth time, the sound of a baby crying, inconsiderate smokers or the daily commute. We are pretty sure that you will not have to think for very long to think of something! This is however an ideal challenge to tell a story with your photo. Are any senses shown in the photo? Why do the viewers realize that your photo show something that you dislike? Maybe it is something universal that we all dislike or maybe they can see the reason in your photo.


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180410 Kitchen SUBMITTED 700px

Too Much Stuff

When we were growing up we never had a set of matching dishes or silverware. We had two cast iron pans and cast iron griddle that made everything. But today the choices are endless and affordable. I would say, "Ill take one of everything." My kitchen would never recover.

Assignment:  Kitchens all over the world, now matter how humble or how fancy they are, definitely deserve the label of being the heart of the house. We cook the food for our loved ones in the kitchen, we meditate over a cup of coffee in the kitchen, we often treat the kitchen as the command center for running our families’ lives. This week, creative Framers, the challenge is to use this amazing space as background or inspiration and show us what is going on in the kitchen. You could photograph abstracts of your kitchen utensils, or macros of the fruit and vegetables in the fridge or any baking, cooking, eating or other random activity that takes place in the kitchen. You could capture the afternoon light coming through the window, or capture your kids having a food fight!


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180407A SUBMITTED 700px

Cat Jumping for A Treat

My cat, Darcy (from Pride & Predjudice) jumps on the hutch for a snack any time I walk in the kithen. I wanted to see how he jumped. I shot this in video mode, extracted the frames in Premier, then composited the photo in Photoshop.  While it doesn't have all the blur I expected, it still an interesting study because cats are just cool.

Assignment:  Dear creative Framers, this week we are going to see some action….but just a bit blurry. Our challenge, motion blur, requires some type of movement that is captured with your camera by utilizing what’s called a long shutter speed. Camera blur is often avoided in preference of sharp and in focus photos. This week, however, we are going to use motion blur to add a three-dimensional feel of movement to our photos. The shutter speed will generally be longer than a second but it really depends on the subject you are shooting. Note that the challenge should not be confused with an “out of focus” shot, or focus blur. What we are after here, is what’s called motion blur.



Easter flowers at our local Giant supermarket shot with a spherical camera.Easter flowers at our local Giant supermarket shot with a spherical camera.
I have more than 9.5M views of my photospheres on Google Maps.

You can see them here:  https://www.google.com/maps/contrib/113541788084055653910/photos/

Assignment: Your challenge this week, smell, is quite easy to introduce but it is not going to be so easy to photograph. How can you visually capture something that you cannot see? You are going to have to be as creative as you can and imply smell in your photos. It can be a good or bad smell. You can have people, animals or aliens doing the smelling or you even photograph an object, for example, an overflowing dumpster, that will convey the sense of smell to your viewers.


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180324 BW 700px

A scene from our kitchen showing the watercolor our mortgage broker gave us of our house when we purchased it and the bottles of sand, rocks, and soil, we have collected from our various family trips over the years.

I pulled out my Olympus XA, purchased in 1981, and ordered  roll of Tri-X 400 from Amazon. You can see camera here in the folder '20180324 BW Support Photos' https://findpagenow.com/go/52frames20180316

Assignment:  We have been able to take color photos for a very long time now. As a matter of fact, Kodachrome film was invented in 1935! And yet black and white photography is as popular as it always has been. It definitely still plays a very strong role in just about every genre of photography. Looking at the world in black and white (as a photographer!) will force you to see things differently. Color is no longer a distraction and you can focus more on what makes a black and white photo pop – the relationship between light and dark. Your challenge this week creative Framers is to pay attention to the contrasts, the textures and patterns and the play of light when you shoot in black and white. Your photos will not only have a timeless, classic feel to them but your creative eye will sharpen even more.


6862 MarcoCiavolino 20180316 Candid Posted 700px

Liz Matory, candidate for Maryland's second congressional district, shares her campaign and message with a potential supporter.
I found my old Sony Mavica Mini CD Camera and did the same shots.  You can see the shots and the camera here in the folder '20180316 Candid Support Photos'https://findpagenow.com/go/52frames20180316

Assignment:  In candid photography the photographer takes photos of people who are unaware that their photo is being taken. You will often find this type of photography in magazines such as TIME and National Geographic. You are catching people in the act of living and documenting the beauty and weirdness of everyday life. We are however adding a twist to the assignment this week. You must SET UP a portrait, photography session, fashion shoot or street scene to make it look like a candid moment.


6862 MarcoCiavolino IMG 0008 700px

Last snowy sky in Maryland.

Assignment:  We have all heard of landscapes where most of the attention goes to the ‘land’ part but there is also such a thing as a skyscape where we focus mostly on ….yes, on the sky. This week creative Framers, your challenge is to keep your eyes on the sky, wait and look and search for something dramatic and then photograph it. It is up to you to decide if you want to capture clouds, the sky during the blue hour, the sunsets or sunrises, the night sky or to even shoot the moon. The sky, as they say, is your limit. You also don’t have to photograph JUST the sky. You are more than welcome to have foreground elements, people, silhouettes, etc. and whatever. As a rule of thumb, the sky in skyscapes usually take up two-thirds of the photo. In landscapes the sky is often limited to one-third or even less. This however, is merely a suggestion. Your sky photos are totally dependent on your own interpretation and the strength of your neck muscles.


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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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