logo 1326850227

52 Frames Submissions 2020

See my annual submissions:  2018   2019   2020  2021

Please enjoy my submissions from the 52 Frames Project for 2020

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

2020 52 2020InAPhoto 1069 marco ciavolino2 Post

Masked Face, Six Paced, Home Safe

For me this year is defined by face masks, six foot avoidance zones, and our home which like for so many has become a place of safety, work, and recreation.

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 RAW
Edited with Camera Raw Filter
Nikon 18-300 lens
1/125 sec
ISO 1800
Focal length 30mm

Alternate Photo: Hyper Sanitation

Covid has turned us all into constant industrial hygienists. Even a simple night in a hotel requires a battery of tools to ensure safety.

2020 52 2020InAPhoto 1069 marco ciavolino post


We have made it! We have reached the last challenge of the year. Phew!
WHAT a year it has been, right? In January, no one would have guessed that we would have a it-was-science-fiction-nobody-would-believe-it year. However, the sun still rose in the mornings and set in the evenings. The seasons changed, babies were born, children went to school, students graduated, and couples married. Sort of.. How would you sum up the year 2020 in one single photo? Empty storefronts or chapped hands from too much hand sanitizer? The USA election or the wildfires of Australia? An old man sitting alone in an empty park or a head bowed to say thank you for living another year? It was not an easy year for most of us, and the future is still very uncertain. But we are here right now, and we are able to take a photo of our lives and share it with the world. The good and the bad and the funny and the sad and the beautiful. Because this is what we do at 52Frames.


2020 50 BWMinimalism 1069 marco ciavolino post

Constant Companion

This is my faithful friend, Darcy (a boy, as in Pride and Prejudice). My daughter adopted him in 2007. A few year later she left for college and then work and Darcy became my cat. Did you ever wonder why dogs and cats are such good friends? I guess they just are and that is fine with me.

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 RAW
Edited with Camera Raw Filter
Nikon 18-300 lens
1/60 sec
ISO 5600
Focal length 100mm


A black and white minimalism photo is the ultimate minimalist photo that you can take. Not only is your photo devoid of any colour, but your subject is also extremely pared-down. Regular black and white photos often contain a wide range of greys but a black and white minimalist photo is more stark. The whites and blacks are in sharper contrast to each other and there are often not that many greys in the photo. Pay attention also to your subject matter. Since you are whittling everything down to the barest minimum, the elements that are in your photo are going to have to be extra-strong and capable to carry the entire photo. Make good use of lines, contrasts and composition because what else do you have left? For extra photography joo-joo, shoot a nude black and white minimalist photo.


2020 50 Texture 1069 marco ciavolino post

Scroll down ⇓ for more photos from the shoot!

Texture of the Soul

When considering textures I decided that nothing could compare to the majesty and mystery of the human brain. It is an astounding complex creation that contains the sum of an individual's life and learning experiences. It contains an real time record of every site, sound, smell, touch, image, and experience. All this combines to make each person universally unique and valuable. And yet in moment it is all erased and can never be restored. Thank you so much to Dr. John Patrickson and the Morehouse School of Medicine for this rare and astounding experience. Visit the Wikipedia article on the brain and really consider if there is any rational defense of such a masterpiece of design happening by chance. At the end I put on gloves and handled the magnificent creations and found myself almost without words. This was someone, everything they were, everything they knew, and now they are gone.

360D Photo here:


Nikon D7500
5568x3712 RAW
Nikon 18-300 lens
1/13 sec
ISO 200
Focal length 450mm

2020 50 Texture 1069 marco ciavolino SNAG 0000

2020 50 Texture 1069 marco ciavolino DSC 1370

2020 50 Texture 1069 marco ciavolino DSC 1380

2020 50 Texture 1069 marco ciavolino DSC 1391

2020 50 Texture 1069 marco ciavolino DSC 1399


Texture in photography refers to how the surfaces of your subject(s) look. They can be rough, smooth, patterned, ripped, torn, rippled, speckled, soft, etc. Textures are all around us, and it is going to be difficult to choose which texture to shoot. Just think of curly hair, steel utensils, rusted poles, weathered fences, river rocks, wrinkled skin, fallen leaves, and millions more items. The stronger the contrast between the lighter and darker elements of your subject, the more texture your subject will have. You can also play with the direction of the light to enhance textures. Strong light coming from the side will help to create more contrast and so more textures. Consider using a tripod because you usually want to capture as much detail as you can. More detail means a higher aperture which means a slower shutter speed and potential camera shake. Thus the need for a tripod.


2020 49 Color 1069 marco ciavolino post

Green is All Around

I had fun at the store finding green fruits and vegetables. Just a technical study of a layout I've always wanted to try with my wife's amazing assortment of plates. Next, begin to use it all for meals!

Google Pixel 5
1/78 sec
ISO 62
Focal Length 27mm


Photographs combine several elements such as the amount and direction of light, composition, colors, background, textures and of course, the subject. If you remove one or more of these elements, the rest have a much stronger role in the photograph. In this week's challenge, COLOR has the leading role in your photograph. The choice of which color to photograph is up to you. Your photo may contain touches of other colors but it should be obvious at first glance which color you have chosen. - Your photo can have several subjects of the same color, for example green leaves, lemon slices or an arrangement of pink make-up products - You can shoot one subject of a specific color, for example a red rose, a green bug on a green leaf or a close-up of a car part - Your photograph does not necessarily have to be about subjects in their natural colors, feel free to play with your photo editor as much as you want. Or use paint to change colors in real life - You can also create a monochromatic color photo with the help of a color background. Think for example of an orange on an orange plate or a cut open avocado arranged on a piece of green cardboard. For extra photography joo-joo, take your chosen color photo with ONE click on your camera.


2020 48 Nature 1069 marco ciavolino Post

The Last Cosmos

We planted Cosmos in the spring and these gentle, delicate, denizens of the family of flowers has graced our table for months. This brave bloom seems to be the last flower of the year to emerge from the increasingly cold days of northern Atlanta, GA.

Read about Cosmos here:


We are going outside this week for some ecotheraphy from nature. Mother nature is all around us and we should create an album to celebrate her beauty and variety. If you live in a place in the world that is in lockdown at the moment, remember that nature is everywhere, even that dying cactus plant in your house! Also look out for urban nature, it can be anything from a fallen leaf by your front door or a friendly worm visiting you on your balcony. If you can manage to go out into wider spaces, there is a huge range of nature subgenres to consider. -Landscapes - Seascapes - Animals, birds and insects - Close-ups of natural textures- making trees you main subject - Flowers and plants - Humans interacting in nature, for example hikers, swimmers or people having a picnic or riding a horse.


2020 47 Circle 1069 marco ciavolino Post

Circle of Life: Donating Platelets

I've donated blood for years. With all the advances in medical technology no one has found a replacement for blood and platelets. This is my donation for Monday, Nov 16, 2020. They cycle the blood out, remove the serum and platelets, and then cycle it back into my body. The small pouch on the right are the life saving platelets. This is about the only action I take to directly save lives. Platelets are needed for treating cancer and immunodeficiency diseases. They only have a shelf life of 4-5 days and cannot be frozen or stored like whole blood.


Circles are probably one of the oldest shapes that we as humans know. The sun and moon are circles in the sky, our irises and pupils are circles and many flowers and plants grow in circle patterns. There are also tree rings, orange slices and concentric water ripples. We repeat circle patterns also in the worlds that we create. Just think of table tops, fountains and "traffic circles" (roundabouts). Circles have a strong symbolic meaning for us. It can represent continuity or closure, and many religions value the circle as a metaphor for the "circle of life". You can approach this challenge from various (circular?) angles: Take a photo of an object with a circle shape. (I'd think that spheres would be included in this as well: balls, orbs, death stars, etc..); Take a photo with objects arranged in a circular shape.; Take a photo that represents a sense of continuity or closure for example a day/night photo, a graduation photo or a person removing a wedding ring.; Make use of circular composition to keep the viewer's attention inside the circle. Think vignette, a naturally circular frame, or shooting through something circular. Camera tricks like spinning the camera with long shutter, or a shallow aperture to get some ballsy bokehs.


2020 46 cellphone 1069 marco ciavolino post

Finally Fall in Georgia, US

After living in Maryland for thirty years, with leaves changing in huge swaths in September and October, I was dismayed to not see these beautiful harbingers of winter in Atlanta, until now. Enjoy.

96 dpi
Google Pixel 2 XL
1/370 sec
IOS 51
Focal Length 27mm
Subject Distance: 3.77 cm


Chase Jarvis once famously said that "The best camera is the one you have with you." And which type of camera do most of us carry with us most of the time? Our mobile phones of course! The cameras in mobile phones are getting more sophisticated by the day and it is getting more difficult to differentiate a mobile phone photo from a photo shot with a regular camera. Our phones have basically become an extension of ourselves, and since it is so easy to whip out your phone to take a photo, let's see how creative you can get this week! Work with your mobile phone's limitations - make sure that you have enough light (use studio lights or GO OUTSIDE!) and avoid using any kind of digital zoom. Shooting at night or in low light conditions (indoors) with a phone camera, will NOT get you the most quality image. But also work with your smart phone's advantages. A smart phone can generaly take really good macro/close-up shots and because of its ubiquitous nature, may also allow you to take candid photos in public. There are numerous smartphone applications you can download that allow you to edit on the go, create HDR photos, or shoot with a slower shutter speed. Have fun with it!


2020 45 signs 1069 marco ciavolino 3 700

The Majestic: Symbol of Decades

The Majestic Diner is a landmark of Atlanta (say it right, "Atlanna") near downtown for decades. Their motto is "Food That Pleases Since 1929." And as a customer, I can say it certainly does. If you find yourself in Atlanta make the Majestic a 'must stop' dining experience.


To pull this off I used a tripod, set my ISO to 100 and my aperture to the highest number on my camera color temp to K5000 (I should have shot in RAW as well but forget to enable that!). Then I used the shutter speed to adjust the exposure. I did shots at 10 seconds (which is what the light meter said). Then 8, 4, and 2. Why? I wanted to get the neon perfectly showing the glow and the color with no flare. There really is no way to know the correct exposure which is why you have go from the extremes and then evaluate in Photoshop. Why low ISO and high F-stop? I wanted the sharpest possible image. View the full size version link below.

jpgCLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SIZE VERSION (not recommended for mobile)


Our world is filled with many signs that we often do not notice anymore. Tattoos and labels on clothes, traffic signals and hand gestures. Everyone, and everything, is constantly communicating without words. Even the aliens are leaving messages in crop-circles. You can approach this week's challenge from various angles. You can decide to photograph a real sign, for example a road sign, a logo on a bicycle, the name of a restaurant or a "Beware of the dog" sign. Or you can photograph something that represents something. Migrating birds is a sign that the seasons are changing, a baby's footstep is a sign that he is starting to walk and grey hair is a sign that it is time to visit the hairdresser!


2020 44 abstract 1069 marco ciavolino MOSAIC Post

Click on the photo for a larger version.  

Abstract Me with Me

I used my Google Pixel 2 in selfie mode ("OK Google, take a selfie"). I then uploaded the base photo into Mosaically ( https://mosaically.com ) and added the 2000+ photos from my 2019 photoshoots to create an abstract of me! So much fun. Try it yourself! * You can see an animation of the effect at my site. * You can see a super duper high res version of the photo on my website. Click on the link below the main photo. See link below! You may want to consider purchasing TurboMosaic ( https://www.turbomosaic.com ).

GIF Animation Illustrating the Effect

2020 44 abstract 1069 marco ciavolino animation


Abstract photography allows you to express emotions and ideas without having to create a realistic image. Instead of focusing on subjects, the photographer uses color, shape, lines, pattern, light (and shadow) and texture to enchant the viewer. One of the basic principles of abstract art is to strip away everything until there is just one or two elements left. Think, for example, of an extreme close-up of a sweater that only shows the texture and color of the sweater. Or a photo of apartment windows that is shot in such a way that emphasizes the repeating pattern or the play of light and dark. Motion blur, created by moving the camera or the subject can be used to create interesting abstracts. Abstract photos can also be created with multiple exposures, oil and smoke photography, bodyscapes and unusual angles of elements in nature, to name just a few..:) There is actually a huge range of abstract photography directions to explore, so have fun with this challenge and intrigue your viewers!


2020 43 reflection 6862 marco ciavolino post

Inspired by Snow White: The Impossible Shot

As a child I pondered the wishing well scene in Snow White.  See the screen capture below. How did they get the shot without showing the camera? Of course, this is animation. But I wanted to try it in real life. So here it is.

How I made the impossible shot.


Reflections can easily scale up a photo and add instant wow-factor, you just need to find a reflective surface first! There may be others, but reflections are usually found in these places: Reflections created by a large body of water such as lakes, rivers, and ponds. Keep in mind that the more quiet the water is (less ripples), the better the reflection is. Remember to keep your horizons super-straight in these landscape photos. Reflections in architecture, for example in shop windows or the glass-like material that many new buildings are made from. Smaller reflective surfaces such as puddles, mirrors, lens balls, polished tabletops and kitchenware - for example, shiny spoons or a metal kettle. You can even use the reflective surface of a mobile phone that is switched off. Whichever shiny surface you use, remember that composition rules should compliment both the elements in your photo, the subject as well as its reflection. (If you decide to include both of them in your photo). For example, pay attention that both the element and the reflective element have enough headspace. You may also have to take several photos of the same view at different exposures to create a photo where the foreground, middle and background are all exposed at their respective best.


2020 42 food 6862 marco ciavolino post

Window of a Persistent Hostess

My very good friends live in Charleston, SC (US) in a house built in 1846. The house and the extraordinary garden are the site of many parties, fund raisers and events. These are just a few of the hundreds of tools she has used to craft these amazing events.


The aim of a successful food photography photoshoot is to combine two types of genres. 1. Product photography - to 'sell' your food/ 2. Still life photography - to make your food look like art aka amazing enough to eat! There are many elements to a food photography photo that one should be aware of. The food that you are shooting, the props, the color, the background and the composition should all be carefully considered and placed together in an artful and delicious looking visual.The elements in your photo must blend together just like the layers, textures and tastes of a gourmet meal! Everything in your photo is a decision. Remember that we 'eat with our eyes', so make sure that your food is not too pale or without textures before you even start composing your photo. Always pay attention to the white balance because you want your food’s tasty colors to come through!


2020 41 shootthrough 6862 marco ciavolino post

At the Dentist: 

2020 41 shootthrough 6862 marco ciavolino 52picksMy dentist is amazing. They have all the high tech tools and it makes going to the dentist almost fun! So here is my view from the chair.

Here they are: Atlanta Smiles

Selected as a 52 Pick Photo!


This week we are shooting through things! This can be a 'frame within a frame' type of photo. For example shooting through a window or door, showing us both the window frame and the view within it. However, there are many different types of things that you can shoot through, don't just think square or rectangle. Consider for example photographing a bird through branches, the view from the inside of a washing machine or oven, or the landscape through a tunnel, cave or barb wire. Shooting through something is an amazing composition tool that allows you to accomplish several things. You direct the the viewer's eye towards a specific point, and also add more dimension and depth to your photo. Interest in the foreground of your photo will give more context and/or can be used to tell a story. This is also an opportunity to get really creative and shoot through things such as a waterglass, copper pipe, fabric or a plastic bag. You can even make a mirror prism and shoot through that.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week2020 40 Blue Post

Old Blues

Featuring "Play Parties" by Lead Belly, an early blues and folk singer, from the early 1940s. Classic fedora from the 1930s. J.W. York and Sons Perfec-Tone Cornet SN 37010 from the early 1900s. A candle, and a glass of wine. Everything I need for a blues session.

Lead Belly Info Here: 

Hear the music here:

mp3Download the music here (right click and save link as...)


This week we're capturing all things blue, and there's a lot more here than you might think! You might find a blue object, use blue lighting, or just be feeling blue... Blue hour! Photos taken during the blue hour are very striking but be aware that your window of shooting time is quite narrow. This may not be an actual hour, but it is the time after the sun sets, before the sky turns very dark. Be sure to plan such a photoshoot carefully ahead of time, and definitely look out for any orange in your scene, as that will complement well with the blue (think someone holding a candle or fairy lights, for example) Color grading! You can color grade your image for a 'cooler' blue, cinematic tone (of course this pairs nicely with orange as well, to make a complementary color grade) You can show us someone feeling blue or experiencing a case of the Mondays. How about some bluegrass music? If you have any other interpretation of blue, as usual, you should feel free to be creative and think out of the box!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week39 Tripod3 Post

Super Tri-Bonus Balance

Shot with a tripod with two tripods with a time-lapse and five exposures. This is my GyroBot transversing the tripod chasm. First shot was a 15 second exposure of the bot crossing the entire distance. Then I reset and did four shots with a flash. Then cropped out the background (leaving the string!) of the flash shots for this composite. See the setup and Gyrobot below.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week39 Tripod3 M2

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week39 Tripod3 M1


Tripods are used in various ways and in many different types of photography genres.  First of all, tripods are essential for any night photography, really, as you can then adjust your settings accordingly with a lower ISO. They can help you to prevent camera shake when you want to take long exposure photos, such as light trails, running water, or astrophotography. They are essential when you want to take more than one photo of the same image, such as HDR where you have several shots of the same scene with different exposures, compositing light trails to create different strings of light from moving objects at night, or focus stacking, where you move the camera slightly forward with each shot, to capture an entire macro scene in focus (this usually requires an extra piece of hardware). There's also more advanced techniques, such as stack modes in Photoshop, and star trails in astrophotography. They are also useful in food photography or still life photos where you want to compose your scene first and use your hands to tweak different elements until you have arranged the perfect composition. They allow you to take a self portrait! And finally, tripods are essential for compositing, which is to take multiple photos of a scene with a subject moving around in different positions, and combining them in the edit using "layer masks". This method can also be used for levitation photography! Apart from these technical aspects (and also by relieving you of the weight of the camera), tripods help you in another important, though subtle, way. Tripods encourage a slower and more thoughtful approach to your photo shoot. It connects you longer to your chosen scene and encourages you to stay and explore through your viewfinder a bit longer. For those of you who do not have a tripod or who shoot with a cell phone or tablet, rest your camera on something stable, like a table or stack of books, the concept is the same!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week38 Chair Post

139,800,000 Chairs

Every railroad tie in the world is supported by two chairs. Yes, they are called chairs because the rail sits in the chair and is support by two legs or flanges. For the United States there are approximately 233,000 miles of railroads with an average of 300 ties per miles times 2 chairs per tie.

This train is a tie re-setter. (See below for a full photo.) It moves down along the track and re-sets up to 40 ties per minute to level them and correct settling.

Disclaimer, this train was parked and was being worked on. I did not go on or go near the tracks.

Learn More About Chairs Here:

See the Amazing Machine in Action:

Training videos in case you are looking for a new job:

PXL 20200914 201805256


A chair is a mere inanimate object that one sits on...but is it really just that? A chair is also one of a poltergeist's favourite objects to fling around. A chair is often the 'ladder' of small children to reach something they shouldn't. Chairs give us a place to sit next to the table and support us as we work from our desks. This week's real challenge is how you are going to photograph a seemingly simple object such as a chair. You can focus on the unique design of an artisanal chair, highlight just a specific part of a chair, surprise us with a chair in an unusual setting or tell us a story that has a chair as the main character. You are more than welcome to show us people, animals or things sitting on the chair or using it in some way but remember that the chair is the main focus of this challenge.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week37 SingleFocalPoint1 Post

Sunny Day Cafe is Open for Business

The Sunny Day Cafe, in Bel Air, MD US is open for business. It is the place for breakfast in town. I meet a friend at 7:15 and they have all the outside tables set. By the time we leave all the tables are filled inside and out. People just want to be somewhere else but home.

Google Street View: https://goo.gl/maps/u3wbteMHddX5Ugnv6
Website: http://www.sunnydaycafebelair.com

All my submissions can be viewed here:

Marco Ciavolino
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


What is the main thing in your photo that you want the viewer to notice? What are you trying to say with your photo? A single focal point will not only make your photo more interesting but will also help the viewer to understand your message. You can use the rule of thirds and leading lines to point towards your single focal point but there are several ways to accentuate the focal point even more: 

  • Colors - think of one red apple in a group of green apples
  • Contrast - for example a white flower against a leafy dark background
  • Sharpness and a shallow depth of field - for example a pair of shoes that is in focus shot against a cobble street that is not in focus\
  • Blur - use the panning method to blur out the background while your subject seems to be frozen in motion
  • Position and space - make use the composition rules and make sure that your photo is not too cluttered so that it is easy to see your single focus point.

If you really want the viewer to only pay attention to your subject, you can take a negative space type of photo where the background is extremely minimalistic . However, single focus point photos usually do include some type of background. It adds more context to your single photo point and assists in making it the main subject of the photo.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week36 ThreeChallenges Post

Symmetry, 50 Feet from Home, Details

I saw this effect a few weeks ago on another Framer's album. What a great effect. Eleven exposures around the tree, with HDR in camera. Then I aligned the tree in Photoshop, incrementally changed the opacity on each layer. Then adjusted the brightness and saturation.

21 Symmetry
- Double Exposure (11)
22 50 Feet from Home
- Blue Hour (8:10 pm US ET Atlanta
29 Details
- HDR (in Camera)


Combine any 3 challenges from this year (2020). The Extra Credit would be completing all the extra credits associated with the challenges you picked. One of the best things about belonging to a photography group is that we are constantly shown amazing photographs from some very creative photographers. It is no wonder that we often take inspiration and learn from each other. Sometimes it is an unusual portrait, the camera settings from a cool macro photo, or getting inspired by a beautiful comet photo that pushes you to try something new. We also often learn about new composition rules and photography techniques, or get reminded of others as we page through the weekly albums. This week’s challenge is to look through previous albums and create a photo that combines three of the previous challenges. This will give you a chance to try something that you have learned from fellow photographers or practice a specific skill that you are still working on. This is also a chance to create something brand new and possibly a little weird (by some opinions) by combining three challenges that seems not to have anything in common.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week35 CommmonObjectsPost

Every Culture, Every Time

These three objects transcend every culture and time. Used in a plethora of variations in shape and material, you will find suitable plates, bowls, and cups at nearly every dining experience in the world.


This week's challenge, Common Object, is difficult on two levels. First, you have to choose your object. It can literally be anything - a fork, a table, a slice of bread, a weed growing against a wall, a steering wheel. Second, you are going to have to show us WHY we should look at your photo of this object. Is there some kind of story involved? Maybe there is a nest of birds in your ordinary postbox, or an acceptance letter from Harvard. Maybe your common kitchen knife reflects a puddle of blood? You might also decide to show us the extraordinary and mundane beauty of the object itself. The roundness of eggs, golden light shining through a flower petal, or the abstract pattern of water drops against the glass in a shower. Photographers are often regarded as the documentarists of the world - we point out the things that others do not notice. But we can also choose to show the magic of the world - even in a common object.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week34 RuleOfOddsPost

Hundreds of Stores and Thousands of Customers Past

These three stores are the few remaining early structures along Ponce de Leon Blvd in Atlanta GA. Built in 1940, the spaces have been in continuous commerce now for more than 80 years. The property is valued at more than $2M US and is a landmark of sorts in the area. It currently houses a barber shop, upholstery shop, and an antique store. How many dreams were started here? How many thousands of lives relied on these businesses? We will never know, but can only imagine.

You can see a google street view of my location here.

You can see the full album here on 52 Frames.


The Rule of Odds is a composition tool used to make your photos look more balanced. Simply put, it implies that your photograph will look more pleasing with an odd number of subjects.  Somewhat counterintuitively, having an odd amount of subjects creates balance in your frame, with a centered subject, and an even amount of subjects to the right and left. Still with me? Basically, just have 3 subjects in your frame (or 5, or 7, or 9, etc., but really, 3 is the sweet spot). The more subjects you cram into your frame, the more it will start to look like a group. Note: even though one is indeed an odd number, it's not really what the rule is trying to highlight because there are no other subjects for it to interact with and therefore lacks that sense of balance.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week33 Night Post

Perimeter and Orchard Rd SE Atlanta

I wanted to get this effect right. The bridge near our house gave me a perfect, clear view of the interstate. Taken at 9p ET it shows that the city is getting back to business with lots of traffic again after months of very light travel. This was shot at F36 at a 30 second expsosure at ISO 100.

My Location

View the complete album here:


This week we are going on a night adventure! The absence of light can be really challenging but it will also allow you to create a dramatic and eye-catching photo. Make sure that you are prepared for the lack of light by paying attention to your light sources, working with a tripod and by constant experimenting with various settings to get the perfect exposure. You can also try bracketing - taking a series of photographs at different exposure settings and then blending them together. Photos of skylines, cityscapes and street photography are usually the default subjects of night photography but think also about portraits, astrophotography, light painting and night lights reflecting in a body of water.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week32 NewExperiencePost

Better Than Freeze Dried Ants

With limited access to experiences due to covid my wife and I discussed new foods. She has tried a range of insect foods but I just could not get emotionally ready to do that. So I opted to try SPAM, a uniquely American food I had never eaten, and Vegemite, a favorite of the UK and Australia. Maybe I should reconsider ants.

You can see the entire album here:


It is not always easy to take a photo every single week. Especially if the challenge is something brand new for you or requires extensive practice and experimentation. However, 52Frames is a safe place to explore new concepts and ideas. Every week we encourage ourselves to step out of our comfort zone and create something beautiful. This week we are going to push every single photographer to have a new experience and photograph it. This experience must be something that is personally brand new for YOU. Let's not overthink this! If it's a week where you are feeling less ambitious or super busy (or a perceived minimal access to new things) it can be as simple as a new food you've never eaten, a new street you haven't walked down, or a new photography technique. During these days of being stuck at home (or at the very least, limited to outside experiences), let your brain loose, and think of new things you CAN do, as opposed to the things you cannot do. It doesn't have to be groundbreaking :)


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week31 Water Post


This was a technical experiment. After about four tries I managed to boil a flaslight without it going out, though I did melt it (see it below). I wanted to capture the boiling water in the electric pot.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week31 Water Flashlight

You can see the entire album here:


It is not surprising that "Water" is one of our repeating yearly challenges here at 52Frames. There is a wide range of different types of photos and different photography techniques that you can play with, with the subject of water. From reflections to abstract, from ‘misty’ long shutter speeds to ‘frozen’ fast shutter speeds. You can also try your hand at drip water photography, which is always a fun exercise. Water also comes in various forms which makes this a challenge with a million interpretations. You can consider shooting a body of water (lake, sea, river), water transportation, people or animals interacting with water. From a water droplet to an ocean wave, your job this week is to capture an interesting frame with water.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 2020 30 NegativeSpace Post

Sixty Year Sorting Time

After moving from our family house I am now left with about 20 boxes of videos, photos, tapes, and prints. My goal over the next sixty days is to sort and scan and digitize all that I want to keep and the discard most of it. To do this I bought a light panel to help me sort slides and negatives.

Below is my archival station for the next couple of months including:  Epson Scanner (flat and negative/slide), Kodak Slide Scanner, Canon SELPHY printer for those so important photos, light tablet for sorting slides/negatives, and my laptop set to copy all scans to Google Drive for archival filing on my office server.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 2020 30 NegativeSpace ScanStation

You can see the entire album here:


Our challenge this week, Negative Space, refers to the empty area surrounding the subject in a photograph. The subject itself is often referred to as the positive space and is the thing that we want the viewers to interact with. A large negative space creates strong minimalist photographs filled with drama. Even though the negative space may seem the dominant factor in the photograph, it is this strong contrast between positive and negative space that makes the subject stand out so boldly. You can take the rule of thirds in consideration when shooting with a lot of negative space, but your subject should always remain the main focus. Negative space often has interesting textures or consists of a solid color or color gradient but remember that it should be as clutter-free as possible. There is a reason why minimalist art nearly always has a lot of negative space.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 2020 29 Details S Post

Captured in Conch

This conch shell has been in my family since before I was born. My mom found it sometime in the early 1950's. I marvel at its uniqueness. Never before or ever again will there be one exactly like it. It is like looking up at tree from a hammock and considering that every branch, every twist of a twig, every leaf, is universally distinct. And we are as well. We are created in the image of God, unique, distinct, complex. How will you bring your spectacular combination of unique talents to this world that needs so much help?

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 Cropped in PS
ISO 40,000
1/5000 second
f 20
Focal length: 210

You can see the entire album here:


There are millions of minute details that constantly come together to make up the background of our lives. The soft curls of a baby's hair, a shy smile from a stranger you pass on the street, the colored sprinkles on a doughnut, or the elegant cut of a designer handbag. Your task this week is not only to hunt for those often overlooked details, but also to photograph them in such a way that the viewer can appreciate their beauty. A detail can be revealed in a macro shot, or by placing your detailed subject in front of a neutral background. Or fill your entire frame with your detail. You could also choose your background in order to connect with your detail. For example, a bride holding a flower bouquet or a parent tying a toddler's shoelaces providing more context. Consider also accentuating something specific about the detail such its textures, colors, the way it contrasts with the background or by framing the detail in an interesting way.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 2020 28 EditedByOthers POST

Total Napping

Just taking a break in the GA sun excellently enhanced by R. Derrick Thomas at https://52frames.com/photographer/3220

You can see the entire album here:


Here at 52Frames, all the Framers are on their own individual artistic journey. We have hobbyists and professionals, some only shoot with cell phones, and others own several cameras. However, we all come together every single week to create an amazing album together. We photograph alone, yet we also create together. We often get ideas from each other, give inspiration, and receive helpful advice. So, maybe we do not really photograph alone but are always accompanied by the ideas and momentum of the group. To accentuate this collaborative aspect of 52Frames, and of many, many other creative endeavours we are going to have someone else edit our photos this week. This editor can be anyone. Just check that they are happy to edit the photo for you and will be able to return it to you in time. It can be a fellow Framer, online or real life friend or family member - as long as it is someone else. If you'd like to either sign up to edit, or choose a "Framer" editor, check out our spreadsheet, here! You can photograph anything you want, so feel free to shoot something that you have always wanted to shoot or want to reshoot.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 2020 27 ComplementaryColors Post

Complements to the Creator

This was shot at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in their orchid display. Teleologically speaking I just don't see any way the staggering range of impossible patterns, complexity, and beauty could have happened apart from design even for one flower, much less thousands.

Google Pixel 2XL
ISO 146
1/120 second
f 1.8
Focal length: 28mm

You can see the entire album here:


Complementary colors are two colors opposite each other on the color wheel: - Yellow and purple, - Blue and orange, - Red and green. Complementary colors are often used in design, other visual arts and also photography. They create a natural (and strong) contrast that makes both of the colors brighter and more vivid. It is not by accident that lumberjacks wear red jackets in a green forest or that many of van Gogh’s paintings are so striking. It is fun to go full saturation with complementary colors to see how the two colors pop against each other, but be careful not to create a photo that is too busy. The stronger your colors, the more minimalist your subject should be. Keep in mind that your complementary colors do not have to be highly saturated. You can also play with less vibrant colors and still have your two colors to subtly complement each other.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 26 Flashlight Post

A Better Light

Smoking is a practice that has been with us forever. We now know it kills. Yet on it goes. Let us choose a better light to brighten the world.

Behind the Scenes

I bought a pack of diagnostic penlights and then made a custom label. I kept the lights on with masking tape. Camera on a tripod, my wife was the light picker.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 26 Flashlight HT2.jpg   6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 26 Flashlight HT2.jpg 

You can see the entire album here:


Without some source of light, a photo is just black space. This week, we are going to focus on possibly the most important aspect of photography - the light! Light not only allows our cameras to 'see' but also helps us to add atmosphere or tell a story with our photos. With light, we can change the mood of a photo. Learning to manipulate your lighting will open a new world in your photography! To make things a bit more interesting, your light source this week must involve a flashlight. You can use any type of flashlight, from a penlight to a headlamp, a multi light, or even the built-in flashlight on your cell phone (or use an app for colored light! Or 2 phones!) You may choose to use the flashlight to light a subject of your choice, use the flashlight to create a light painting type of photo, or use the flashlight as a prop AND light source in the photo itself. The flashlight also does not necessarily have to be the only light source. However, we highly recommend that you grab a flashlight, check the batteries, and go have fun! NOTE: This does not at all require you to be outdoors, in fact you will have more success indoors in a dark room. Happy shooting :)


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 25 Background Post

Designed for Beauty

These were shot at the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center in Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, GA. It is a magical place that puts you in a story book setting with 100's of butterfly's all around you. See more shots below.

Learn more about the center.
See my google maps photo.

Other Butterfly Shots

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 25 Background DSC 0414

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 25 Background DSC 0412

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 25 Background DSC 0396


This week we are not only paying more attention to the background of our photos but also making it! The background may play only a supportive role in the photograph, but it still seriously influences the story and atmosphere of the photo and the product that it is showcasing. It is Framer's choice for deciding what the subject of the photograph will be. Maybe consider first what type of background you want to craft or how to best showcase a certain object. Some ideas for making backgrounds are using aluminum foil, creating bokeh, using a white or black sheet, using a laptop screen, a fake wood background, create a background drawn in chalk or a painted wall, make a lightbox, anything else you can think of. Product photography and food photography generally make use of interesting backgrounds but don't limit yourself to these genres. You are welcome to think outside of the lightbox!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 24 20200612 Hands Post

Covid Close

I hadn't seen my mom for 12 weeks. We stopped by today and caught up through the window. Her facility is going above and beyond to assure the health of the residents.

Yelling through the window we update each other!

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 24 20200612 Hands Alt


Our ancestors left their mark behind in the form of handprints in caves all over the world. Just the outline of a hand instantly tells the rest of us that a fellow human was there. This week we are creating our own modern ‘mark’ by creating a photo with hands! There is so much you can do with hands. Hands in photos make a scene instantly more relatable. Adding hands to a food photography shot, for example, turns the photo from a still life into an action photo.You can make a statement with hands. You can convey intimacy with hands. You can create an abstract photo with hands, with all its interesting angles and curves. Consider other hand actions such as clapping flour, smashing a wall, flicking a spitball, or waving from afar. The combinations are endless.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 21 20200604 Dance Post

Learning to Moonwalk like Michael

Moonwalking. Michael Jackson wasn't the first, but he was the best at that amazing illusion of walking forward while moving backward. Hard as I've tried, it's just never going to happen. One less bucket list item.

Jackson's First Moonwalk


This week we are going dancing! As always, we recommend that you interpret this theme as wildly as you like, especially with the added creativity required for those of us who are confined to our homes during this time. You could portray objects that signify dance, like propping up shoes, or throwing a hat and cane in the air, or simply take a self portrait of yourself shaking it off in your living room! Movement in photography is often shown with the use of motion blur, so this is a great challenge to experiment with a slower shutter speed. Or you can freeze a dancer's pose with a fast shutter speed. Keep in mind that you do not have to photograph an entire body shot. Dancing can also be implied by focusing on feet in a dancing pose, an arm curved around a partner's back, shaking hips or a wild expression of someone with headphones on.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20 20200526 FiftyFeet Post

Neighbors at a Distance

We recently moved into a new neighborhood. Our neighbors, with whom we already shared birthday presents and gifts of plants must remain at a distance for now. They are our first friends in our new community but only across the fence. Oh, Coronavirus, go away!

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 Cropped in Photoshop
Shot Raw
Kelvin 7000
f 5.3
1/100 second
120 mm


Professional photographers travel all over the world to go on amazing photo shoots. (Except now they cannot...yet) Even here at 52Frames we explore new landscapes and go on shooting adventures. But now we cannot...yet. We all have different levels of quarantine rules in place but basically the entire planet is staying at home. However, for this week's challenge we want you to go out on a small, baby photoshoot. More or less 50 feet from your home. That is about 15 meters for those of us used to a modern and logical measurement system. The photo shoot can take place near your front door, in your backyard or in the lobby of your apartment building. Make sure to look up or squat down to look for interesting details you may have never seen. You can decide if you want to photograph what you see or if you want to set up a photo shoot with a model or two or even take a front porch family portrait. Often when our lives are narrowed in some way, for example from a sickbed, we finally notice details that have escaped us before. This week we want you to show us what you have found (or created) 50 feet from your home.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 21 20020523 Symettry post

An Oath and Three Bars: From Cadet to Officer

After four years in the US Air Force ROTC program my son took the oath of an officer and received his bars, one per shoulder, and one on his cap, to indicate his transition from a cadet to a Second Lieutenant and now prepares to enter flight school. He, along with more than thirty other young men and women have pledged their talents and lives to defend our nation. We thank them all.


Symmetry in photography is a composition tool used to not only create eye-catching photos but also to add depth and balance to your photos.  Symmetrical balance, also known as formal balance, is created when the two halves of the photo have the same weight. Think for example of a bridge and its reflection in clear water. Or of a front-facing portrait that shows both sides of the face. Symmetry however does not necessarily have to be of an exactly mirrored object. You can also find symmetry in pairs, for example a bride and groom, in leading lines that run parallel, in patterns or repeating subjects such as the columns of a building.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20 20200517 NotWhatYouSee Post

Three Drop Rule

My good friend, Joe, has a work rule called the 'Three Drop Rule.' That is, if you fall asleep three times in a row while working you must stop and take a nap. With a comfy couch in my new office I find it easier than ever to comply, esp in the endless isolation of the COVID world.

Shot raw on a tripod, camera on full manual, and edited in Photoshop. After I isolated myself I raised my image. Then I cloned my layer, filled it black, moved it down to the couch, added a Gaussian blur, and then made the layer 10% opacity to put a subtle shadow on the couch. Then the entire image was given a grayscale and brightness/contrast filter. See source images below.

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 RAW
Auto Color in Photoshop
ISO 800
1/8 sec
30mm focal length

Source Photos

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20 20200517 DSC 9889

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20 20200517 DSC 9889

Photoshop File with Layers

Click on photo to expand.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20 20200517 DSC 9889


In the photography world there are two large subgroups called the documentarists and the 'embleshers'. The documentarists believe that you should shoot ONLY what you see. There is no ironing out of wrinkles, enhancing the color vibrancy or anything else. This type of photographer usually works for news outlets and enjoys street photography where they have to work with what is available.  And then is the second group that style, adjust and manipulate to their heart's content. It may be something as such as playing with light gels, using a watercan to 'make rain' or creating a levitation photo to make your models fly! The final photo and the behind-the-scenes view of the photo setup are VERY different from each other. Our challenge this week is to create a photo that has been styled or manipulated in such a way that what you see is not really the 100% naked truth. You can play with the scale of your objects, for example toy cars that are placed and shot in such a way that they look like real cars. Or use talcum powder or flour to represent smoke, white glue for 'milk', steam from a steam iron to make food seem piping hot or maybe place a sieve in front of a light-source for interesting shadows.

This is a fun and an extremely creative challenge and can be shot in a million different ways. You also get to decide how much manipulation you are personally comfortable with as long as you create a photo that is not really what you see!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200508 Week19 RollOf24 Post

Metal Pigs Can Fly

The house we are leasing is full of the owner's quirky and remarkable sculpture collections. This is my favorite and it greets me each day while I sit on the front patio and eat breakfast.

Just two shots (the first one cropped off the top of the wings).

Google Pixel XL2
1/125 sec
Focal length 27mm


Our cell phones and digital cameras have spoilt us with unlimited shoots and retakes. You can literally take thousands of photos until you have finally shot that single one perfect photo. This week, however, you are only allowed to use one single "roll of film" to shoot your photo (not literally, we mean 24 clicks of your digital shutter!) You get to choose the subject and are also more than welcome to edit as much as you like. But you are limited to only one “roll of film” to take this week's photo. So this means ONLY 24 frames (or 12 if you wanna make it more challenging). And if none of those photos are ‘perfect’, you still have to choose one of them to upload to the album. This is a chance to channel the film photographers of a more analog photo world. Take your time to study your scene or plan it very carefully. Remember to check the background and the edges of your frame and know what is the direction and quality of your light source. Only press the shutter once you are 100% convinced that the frame in your viewfinder is the perfect photo.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200430 LoKey Post

Cadets Apart

A US Air Force ROTC cadet meets with his wing of more than 200 others who are now separated by the global contagion as they try to maintain the camaraderie so necessary for the success of their studies and careers.

I shot this in color, raw, on a my highest standard ISO (51200) to get some grain. Then I added a B&W layer and Brightness/Contrast layer to the main image. The flag was copied from the main image and pasted in a top layer to which a Brightness/Contrast layer was applied to give it just a hint of color.

Nikon D7500
Raw Auto Color
Edited/Cropped/Colored in Photoshop CS
ISO 51200


What is a low key photo? Well, a low key photo is simply a photo that has more dark tones than light tones. Many low key photos will have a lot of dark "negative space" around the subject. Deep shadows can also play an important role in a low key photo. Just like the other genres of photography, low key photos are all about the lighting but the elimination of light is just as important. The fact that only certain aspects of the scene are lit helps the viewer to notice the form, texture or lines that you want them to see. However, pay attention to your highlights. Just because most of your frame will be darker in tone, doesn't mean your highlights need to turn gray. You can have white whites still, so long as they make up a smaller portion of the frame than your darker tones. Also, pay also attention to the shadows! Do you want them visible, or do you want them totally "crushed" to black? Do the shadows help you to tell a story of drama and/or mystery? Low key photography is often used to show loneliness and despair but is also very effective in edgy portraits for both male and female subjects.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200425 Soft Post

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

Four of the softest of the softest. Whiskers on kittens. Talc, the softest item in creation. Rose petals. And cashmere, the softest cloth.

Actually, there is another fabric even softer and more rare than cashmere, and it is vicuña. But at 1000's of dollars per item it was out of our budget.

I tried to find a real kitten but all the animal shelters are closed. I've had this little tiger for more than 60 years so he worked as a stand-in. I was going to put a drop on the rose but I was warned not to damage the cashmere scarf in any way. I bought the talc stone from a scientific supplies company and it is remarkably soft.

Nikon D7500
Raw Auto Color
Edited/Cropped in Photoshop CS
ISO 400


Sometimes one just has to stop for a minute, inhale and take a long and gentle breathe out. It is important to pause and appreciate the smell of roses (or coffee!) and look for the quiet and soft moments to take a break from a life filled with challenges and worries. Our theme this week, soft, can be approached from various viewpoints. You can photograph something with a soft texture such as a baby's skin, a soft- boiled egg or a well-worn pair of jeans. You might decide to shoot something with soft lighting or even go for a soft focus photo. Photos with a soft lighting do not have harsh shadows and are popular in portraits because this light does not show textures such wrinkles and blemishes as well as hard light does. If you want to play with soft lighting for this challenge, keep in mind the warm and natural glow of the golden hour. Think also things that 'soften' the heart such as such friends helping each other, an old couple holding hands or a child whispering a secret in a pet's ear. And if there is any other way to take a ‘soft’ photo, this is the place and time for it!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200413 FastShutter Post

Shower Droplets

The bathroom at the house has two shower heads. I discovered if I pointed the lower one straight up into the main one it makes amazing droplets where they intersect. Then I setup my camera on a tripod and with the light out I opened the shutter on bulb and did a 100% manual flash. After about ten tries and discovering I don't need to use hot water (I steamed up the lens) I got the shot.

Nikon D7500
Edited/Cropped in Photoshop CS
ISO 400
Exposure: Flash in total darkness

NOTE: You can only do shots like this in full manual mode which means you have to learn how to manage your shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and lighting/flashes. Here a great article that will give you a head start!
UNDERSTANDING THE EXPOSURE TRIANGLE: https://www.pixpa.com/blog/exposure-triangle


It is sometimes mentioned that cameras still do not 'see' as well as the human eye, especially in a dynamic range situation. There is one thing that our cameras can do that the human eye cannot, though, and that is to freeze the action! We capture a moment in time with every photo we take, but with a fast shutter speed that moment is extremely small. Often only a long as 1/4000th of a second. As we are capturing motion with our fast shutter speeds, how about capturing some cool action such as drips, spills, breaks or spins? Any type of movement, however, can be suitable for fast shutter speed photography. Think also of birds in flight, people in motion, and ink in water photography.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200411 15 Angle Post

There Are Actual People Out There

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200411 15 Angle 52pickWhen spend your days in a few rooms the excitement of real mail has taken on a new meaning for us all. It is a tactile and real way to get communications from those near and far who we cannot visit. Maybe we will see a resurgence in hand-written letters.

I rented this cool lense for this week from Lense Rentals:

Selected as a 52 Pick Photo!


This week some type of contortion is going to happen. Either by you the photographer as you lie, crouch or perch to shoot a photo from a different angle. (This is NOT a tripod type of challenge! ) Or by the viewer as she turns her head, or the screen, sideways to try and make sense of the photo's angle. You can even stand on your head....or get your model to stand on his or head! Every single photo that we take is shot from a specific angle. Often we do not even pay specific attention to the camera’s angle but this week we definitely are going to! You can think of shooting everyday objects from an angle one does not usually see such as the soles of shoes, inside a bowl of popcorn or the top of a door. Or you can shoot your model from a differernt angle, You can also play with forced perspectives where a foreground and background subject are angled in such a way as to create an optical illusion.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200401 14 Curves Post

Kitchen Curves

Part of the joy of cooking is using so many elegant tools developed over centuries of culinary invention. Every element has its own unique curves from the roundness of a pot, to the elegant twists of a whisker, to the multiple curves of a juicer, and the comfortable handles of knives. Go cook. Enjoy.


Our challenge this week is based on a shape, the shapely shape of a curve! You can decide to take a photo of something (or someone) curvy - think for example of the curves of the seashore, curved branches and grasses, the arches (C curves) in a building or the curves in a spiral. Semi-circles are also types of curves and they can be found in a wide variety of things such as tunnels or a smile. Getting your model to pose with a curve is also another way to interpret this challenge. Curves are also often used as a composition tool to guide the viewer's eye around a photo. Similar to leading-lines but much less rigid. These curves not only guide the eye but also add a sense of movement to a photo.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200323 13 Song Post

Do the Twist: What else do we have to do?

Chubby Checker's, "The Twist," is considered to be the most popular pop song of all time. I have no idea why. The lyrics contain no profound or moving messages and the music is a three chord melody. But somehow it captured the all the generations that have listened to it. So we decided to twist. What else do we have to do now that we are self quarantining?

You can see him "Twist" here: https://youtu.be/pHGXwQeUk7M

The lyrics are here: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/chubbychecker/thetwist.html


Photography and music have a lot in common. Both have to intrigue the viewer/listener with something new and interesting so that they keep on looking or listening. Yet on the other side they still have to appeal to the audience's expectancy of beauty, harmony and patterns. Photography and music also both give the audience the space to interpret the artwork with their own life experiences. This week we are marrying these two art forms by shooting a photo inspired by a line from a song. You can choose to literally recreate the lyrics into visual form or to shoot a photo that represents the emotions you feel when you hear the words of the song.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200318 12 Books Post

Maker of Books

The Linotype Machine. Never has a single device so significantly and widely influened cultures throughout the world. Remarkably, there is a working Linotype just minutes from my house at the System Source Computer Museum (https://museum.syssrc.com).

If you don't know anything about the Linotype Machine watch this:

And this story about the last Linotype published paper.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200318 12 Name Plate

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200318 12 KeyBoard


At least once a year here at 52Frames we challenge the Framers to take a photo of a common object that most of us have access to. It is really interesting, and a bit surprising, to see just how differently our large community style, compose and photograph the same object. This year our common denominator object (or objects) is/are books! Remember that a "book" is not necessarily a paper book, nor is it necessarily a romance or thriller. There are also cookbooks and travel books, notebooks and schoolbooks. Some books are actually scrolls while others are written in Japanese, Greek or another type of code. You could show us the "bookiness" of the book by focusing on the textures, words or dog ears. Or you can decide to photograph a pile of books arranged in a certain pattern or even shoot people interacting with books. Some people read books while others just peruse them. Some people use books as a doorstop while others press flowers in them. Stephen King said that books are a "uniquely portable magic". What better way is there to add some magic to your photography than by shooting a book? 


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200311 11 Triangular Post

When Packaging was Really Awesome

Don't think we improved in design. This dinstinctive container is much cooler than our modern, uni-plastic, beverage enclosures.

All my submissions can be viewed here:

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 (cropped in PhotoshopCS)
1/30 second
ISO 12800
Focal Length 210mm


The intentional use of triangles in photography is another composition tool to create strong and interesting photos. They are used to create stability and sometimes symmetry in your photo. And if you tilt your triangle you have added instant tension or a feeling of imbalance. Just like leading lines, triangles are also very useful to point the viewer’s eye to what you want them to see. The trick is to find these triangles. But don't worry if you do not conveniently live near a pyramid! The triangles in triangle composition are most of the time implied and not real. Think for example of a road disappearing into a vanishing point. The two corners of the road are the base of the triangle and the road's vanishing point is the apex. A diagonal line created by an arm or leg, or even a staircase's railing will also create a triangle. Other triangles are created by arranging three models (or subjects) into any type of triangular shape of your choice - tilted or not. They can even be upside down! Keep your eyes open also for diagonal lines, they often create triangles, It may seem strange at first to look for implied triangles to photograph but once you start looking for them, it will be difficult to unsee them.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200304 09 Abandoned Post

When Eight Was All You Had

NYWorldsFair1964When I was very young I attended the New York City World's Fair in 1960's. I remember distinctly hearing the forecast that in the future we would have 1000's of channels. So we do now. Not thousands, but millions of options. A much of it is just terribly bad. It makes me almost yearn for the early days of communications when there only a few options and every station worked to make its content great and all communications were broadcast in full color imagination.


Our challenge this week is of a more artistic, rather than technical nature, which means that this brain exercise is more open to interpreatioon than some of our other challenges. You can go the metaphorical route and photograph a person "feeling" alone or abandoned, or perhaps a physical object, something that people tend to leave behind (cigarette butt, a forgotten plant, sports equipment gathering dust in a corner). You can photograph an object such as this inside of an abandoned building which would really drive this emotion home. Of course an abandoned building would be an ideal canvas for a challenge of this kind, just make sure you are keeping safe and obeying your local laws! Think about how you can use lighting (or lack of), camera angle (shooting down from above) or composition (negative space around the subject) to give the viewer the sense of abandonment and tell the story of something lonely, lost, or left behind.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200217 07 Color Pallette Post

Forest Ceiling at Atlanta's Airport

Between terminals A and B the Atlanta Airport in GA has an extraordinary display on the ceiling that has become one of the most popular displays at the airport.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 20200217 07 Color Pallette Post Full

This is the full concourse. 


This week we are focusing on COLOR! Unless there is a black and white challenge, most of us shoot in color anyway. This week however, the colors IN your photo IS the challenge, so you are going to have to be very attentive about them. Pay attention to the colors of your subject(s), the colors in your foreground and the colors in your background. You can decide on an analogous color palette, where all the colors on your photo are found next to each other on the color wheel. For example the warm colors in autumn leaves or the cool blue-green colors. Or you can decide to highlight the contrasts by making use of complementary colors. These are the colors that are on the opposite side of each other on the color wheel. ( Red and green, orange and blue, yellow and purple). You can also decide to take a monotone photo where all the colors in your photo are the same or a duotone photo where you use only two colors. Colors can add a lot of life to a photo and can make it POP but be aware of making use of too many colors. To really get the dramatic effect of colors, less is definitely more. Carefully decide on your color palette and then stick to it. There are MANY ways to play with color combinations and you are welcome to interpret this challenge in your own colorful way. Just be intentional about it!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 06 2020 RuleOfThirds Post

Never Break the Rules

Thirds reqires a careful attention to portion remains.


The Rule of Thirds is probably one of the best known and most used photographic composition techniques (and in paintings!). This 'fame' is well-justified because the rule of thirds is extremely useful in composing beautiful photos. Basically, the rule states that your photo should be be divided into 9 squares of the same size with two horizontal lines intersecting two vertical lines. The main subject of your photo should then be placed on one of the intersection points where the lines meet. Apparently, the viewer's eye falls automatically to these intersection points, so it is a good idea to place the thing that they should notice at right at one of these sweet spots. It is as though our eyes expect the rule of thirds to be used. If not, the composition often seems unbalanced and less harmonious. Another way to use the rule of thirds is to place linear subjects, like the horizon or a tree, along one of the lines of your grid. If, for example, you are taking a photo of a sea view, place the horizon on the lower or upper horizontal line and not dead in the center. (An added bonus is that this will help to keep your horizons straight!) There is a tendency to take a rule of thirds photo with only one subject placed on one of the intersection points. There is nothing wrong with that and this will create a strong photo. But consider also using the rule of thirds in a photo with more than one subject (the main subject will then get one of the intersection points) or in a portrait. In a portrait try to place the eye line along the top third-line of the frame or one of the person’s eyes on one of the intersection points.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 05 2020 FromAbove Post

Karaoke Kaos

Martine kicks off her Friday night weekly Karaoke session at Mo's Seafood in Whitemarsh, MD.

Here is her FaceBook page. Sing on!

Ricoh Theta S
2038x3840 Cropped in Photoshop CS
1/30 second
Focal length 1 mm


Our challenge this week is to look at the world from a higher vantage point and shoot the world below. This type of photography is often referred to as 'bird's eye view' photography. We tend to shoot from either eye-level or pointing our cameras just slightly downwards. And yet there is an entire world of different and less-used camera angles to explore that will make your photographs even more interesting and unusual. For example, pointing your camera straight downwards! The exact angle of your camera compared to the world below, is up to you. And you also get to decide how high you are going to go up to shoot down. Consider standing on chairs, stepladders, your roof or using drones, tall buildings, aeroplanes to give you some height. Or just shoot down from right where you are standing! While you are up there, look for interesting shapes and patterns that you are usually not aware of when you are at eye-level with the subject. For example, the boxiness of buildings, the cute way that hair whorls on a someone's head or how a car is basically a rectangle on top of a rectangle. Entire new perspectives pop into view when you are shooting downwards. So go and seek them out in the familiar and not-so-familiar and show us a whole new world!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 04 2020 FillTheFrame Post

Tiny Patient

Dr. Ed Knickman DVM carefully performs surgery on a tiny chihuahua at Madonna Veterinary Clinic in White Hall, Maryland. https://madonnaveterinary.com

Nikon D7500
1/250 second
100 mm


Have you ever taken a photo and only later realized that there is a pole growing out of your model's head? Or there is some kind of unwanted element in your photo that you didn't even notice when you took the photo in the first place? To avoid this unnecessary mistakes, AND to make your photos look less like snapshots, we are going to focus on filling the frame. And what is exactly the frame that needs to be filled? This can either refer to the photo itself or what you see in the viewfinder. Before you even THINK of pressing the shutter, run your eye along the edges of the frame. Is you subject overflowing the edges, or nearly touching it? Good, you have filled your frame. If there are any unwanted spaces, remove them by physically moving closer or zooming in. Now look at the corners of the frame. Look carefully if there is any extra space or wanted elements and then make sure to remove them. If you do not have to use the crop tool later in your photo editor, you have filled your frames beautifully. Your subject IS the subject of your photograph, so give it all the space that you can and fill the frame!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 03 2020 WabiSabi Post

When Eggs Could Fly

Most of us don't remember when eggs were delivered by mail. I discovered that refrigeration is not necessary for short term storage of eggs. This container is from the early 1900's and was manufactured in Barnesville, Ohio, by T. & A. Rogers Co.  [Scroll down for detail photos of the crate.]

Nikon D7500
1/25 second
30 mm

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 03 2020 WabiSabi Supplment 0000 IMG 20200118 065723

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 03 2020 WabiSabi Supplment 0001 IMG 20200118 065647

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 03 2020 WabiSabi Supplment 0002 IMG 20200118 065625


Our challenge, wabi sabi, is an old favorite here at 52frames but may be a brand new concept for the newcomers. Wabi Sabi is a Japanese concept that more or less translates into the art of finding beauty in imperfection. It celebrates wrinkles, rust, liver spots, cracks and frayed edges because they represent the time that has passed and the signs of a lived life. As photographers we are constantly looking for 'beauty' aka something special to photograph. Beauty in the mundane, beauty in the amazing and extraordinary, beauty in the strange and exotic and beauty in the quiet moments. But in wabi sabi week we are going to look for beauty in the old and the broken. The poster child photo of wabi sabi is a beloved but chipped pot. But think of anything have seen better days but still look beautiful in your eyes. It can be anything from an old ripped pair of jeans to a rusted lock or a moss-covered statue in the corner of a garden.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 02 2020 LeadingLines Post

York Road Maryland Facing South from Hunt Valley

York Road, State Road 45 in Maryland, is one the busiest roads in Maryland. Cars flow in from the north from surrounding counties and back out from the south at the end of the day. Even though the camera was mounted on a video tripod and set firmly on concrete, there was still some camera shake from passing cars.

Nikon D7500
8 seconds
100 mm


This week we are focusing on one of photography's big composition tools: leading lines. It is a really strong composition element and very suitable to be one of our first challenges this year. Always keep your eyes open for potential leading lines in your photo shoots because they will help to make your photos pop! To help viewers interact with and understand our photos we can make use of leading lines to: Point to the subject like a subtle invisible arrow saying: 'THIS is the thing that you must look at'. For example a person standing at the edge of a pier. Direct the viewer's eyes onto a vanishing point in the photo. Vanishing points create the illusion of depth in a photo and gives the viewer the feeling that she is IN the photo and not just looking at a flat picture. Think of a path that starts wide and then gradually narrows to disappear into the horizon. Guide the viewer’s eye to move along with the model’s gaze beyond the photo and into the fast forever. Make the viewer's eye slide from one end of the photo to the next like a photo of a spiral staircase. Any linear man-made structures such as roads, bridges, rows of street lights, staircases and buildings will give you an instant line to play with. However, keep your eyes open for less obvious leading lines such as an outstretched arm, diagonal placed cutlery or footsteps on the beach.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 01 2020 SelfPortrait Post

A unique set of skills

Over the years I've worked in so many areas I've lost count. I love that I can do commercial quality video with affordable equipment.

Canon EOS Rebel
1/4 second
100 mm


Dear creative Framers, we have come full circle after a creative year. Back to where it all started. With a self-portrait. It has become a tradition here at 52Frames to step in front of the cameras for the first challenge of the year. This week we will not show the world through our photographers' eyes but rather the photographers that see the worlds. Yes, it is a daunting task. It is so much more comfortable to view the world from our safe space behind the cameras. And it is not easy to be both model and photographer. But remember that your friends and loved ones will treasure a photo of you just as much as you treasure their photos. Welcome also to all the new Framers joining us for the first time. Fasten your seatbelts tightly because this is going to be FUN!! It is guaranteed that it will be challenging sometimes but you will learn to ride the ups with the downs and just keep on shooting. Now, step in front of the cameras dear Framers. It is time to start another creative year! WOOOHOOO!


The XCORP Family of Companies

Enktesis Logo.
*enktesis, LLC assists clients in a range of web technology solutions, marketing communications, business development, and communications research efforts

EmpowerMatsLogo v01 140 01
Empower Mats
Tools to empower visually impaired students to participate in competitive robotics programs.

Robot Mat Logo.
Robot Mats
Build the skills of your current team with our universal training mats. They provide every scenario required to teach all the fundamentals programming and similar robotics systems.

Creative Play Mats Logo.
Creative Play Mats
These amazing mats feature imaginative, play-producing, images designed to provide just enough imagery to spur creativity.

TechBrick Education Logo.
TechBrick Education
TechBrick is an independent robotics and STEM education program for home-schooled, public, and private school students in Harford, Baltimore, and Cecil counties in Maryland.

PaperClipPressHeader02Web 01
You've got an idea. You've written your book, your ideas, your thoughts. Paperclip Press can make it happen.

XCORP2014 / Enktesis, LLC
Baltimore, MD / 410-838-8264
Atlanta, GA / 470-648-3100
Columbia, SC / 803-832-0878
Copyright Enktesis
Contact Info http://meetmarco.com

*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

Privacy Policy

Member of...
CBNBanner Tagline500x185