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52 Frames Submissions 2021

See my annual submissions:  2018   2019   2020  2021

Please enjoy my submissions from the 52 Frames Project for 2021

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

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

2021 10 Negative Space 1069 marco ciavolino Post

Positive Cat Relaxing

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


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


2021 09 Details 1069 marco ciavolino post

Threadbare Friends

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


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


2021 08 Roll Credits 1069 marco ciavolino post

Sole Survivor

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

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


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


2021 07 Golden Light 1069 marco ciavolino post

The Only Barely Sunset Day

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

2021 07 Golden Light 1069 marco ciavolino weather 


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


2021 06 Single Focal Point 1069 marco ciavolino post

Reading Dreams

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

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

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


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


2021 05 Horizon 1069 marco ciavolino post

Our World Turned Upside Down

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

The location: Piedmont Park, Atlanta


2021 05 Horizon 1069 marco ciavolino location


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

2021 05 Horizon 1069 marco ciavolino Photoshop


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


2021 04 Water 1069 marco ciavolino post

Wet Morkie

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


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


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

2021 03 ShootLow 1069 marco ciavolino post

Jump Hemingway!

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

Hemingway in Real Life!

2021 03 ShootLow 1069 marco ciavolino portrait post


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


2021 02 LeadingLines 1069 marco ciavolino Post

Path to Pasta

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

2021 02 LeadingLines 1069 marco ciavolino setup

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


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


2021 01 SelfPortrait 1069 marco ciavolino Post

Yes she still needs me when I'm 64

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


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


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

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