52 Frames Submissions 2019

See my annual submissions:  2018   2019   2020  2021

Please enjoy my submissions from the 52 Frames Project for 2019

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

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 52 2019 BreakTheRules Post

Breaking many rules in a single shot

Off axis, wrong color temp, motion blur, zoom shoot.


Dear creative Framers, we have reached the end of the year and it is time to PARTY!!!  We are going to celebrate our last week of 2019 by letting down our hair and break some rules - in a photographic way of course. There are many good things to say about the rules in photography (and also not just in photography). They were created by generations of experienced photographers and visual artists who learned what type of elements and compositions work and which don't. We basically just get to sit back and enjoy the results of all those centuries of experimentations. Rules also act as a helpful framework for newer and less-experienced artists. This week however, we want to remind you that it is more important to understand the purpose of a rule than to follow it. And one of the best ways to do that is to break the rule. So have fun this week and go and break some rules. Even crooked horizons (if you really must!).

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 551 2019 BWMin2 Post

Sound of One Domino Falling

The easiest setup. A one domino fall.

Magic Method

Very simple. Paperclip taped to the back and run through a hole in the table cloth.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 551 2019 BWMin2 Method1  6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 551 2019 BWMin2 Method2


Dear creative Framers, after nearly an entire year of amazing photos full of color and action, we are going to take everything that you have learned and whittle it down to the bare minimum. Not only are we desaturating to black and white photos this week but ALSO shooting a minimalist photo. The absence of color will accentuate the play of light and dark, the textures and linear lines in your photo. To make these pop in your photo, make sure that you only have a few bold and eye-catching subjects in your photo. Remember that black and white photos do not JUST contain black and white colors, there are many shades of grey (52 !) between these two extremes. Black and white minimalist photos tend to have fewer greys. 


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 50 2019 Water Post

Future Water

We all know the formula. Take hydrogen and oxygen and start burning and you will get water. Do not try this at home.

Nikon D750
1/8 sec
ISO 6400
Focal Length 90mm
Cropped in Photoshop CS


Dear creative Framers, it is time to play with water! As a matter of fact, there are so many types of water photos one can take, that it is nearly a photographic genre all by itself. First figure out how you want to capture water. If you are looking to "freeze" the action, you want your shutter speed around 1/1000 or faster. You can also do this with flash in a dark-ish room, in which case your shutter need only be around 1/125 as the flash is freezing the action. If you want to blur the water, you can start at 1/30 and work your way down, but 2+ seconds will be ideal. Use a tripod or flat surface. As always, we encourage a wide range of interpretations, so think also of people or animals interacting with water., underwater photoshoots, water as a method of transportation, reflections on water as well as water abstracts.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 49 2019 StreetPhotograpy Post

Late Night Liquor in Rural Maryland

In northern Harford County, Maryland (US) stores are far apart. This liquor store is between a very busy veterinarian and local restaurant which fills the parking lot and then some. This guy guards three spots for the liquor store for those who need a quick in and out for beer and spirits.

Google Pixel 2XL
Edited, cropped, and colors in Photoshop


Street photography is a bit like wildlife photography, except it’s humanoids that you are capturing, in their natural habitat. Unlike posed models in studios, or snapshots of friends and family, street photography is usually candid, raw, gritty, and observational. Although generally urban in setting and black-and-white in tone, street photography could capture the human condition in any setting or tone. Pay attention to your backgrounds, and have your gear ready to shoot before you shoot.The best street photography photos often play with light and shadows, so make sure to pay extra-special attention to the light this week. Some tips: Go out to a busy intersection (if you have one) and first find an interesting background. Then, with your settings set, wait for a subject to pass into your frame. You could do the same with light and shadow, waiting for a subject to pass into the well-lit area of your frame.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 48 2019 Post

Museum of Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Over the US Thanksgiving holiday we visited this museum in downtown Atlanta. It is a moving tribute to the struggle for racial equality and history behind it. Of course, Martin Luther King is prominently featured everywhere both in the displays and architecture.

Google Pixel 2XL


Dear creative Framers, if you've had enough of photographing people and things, and would rather concentrate on shape, light, texture, color or movement, then this week's challenge is for you! Looking at the world through an abstract point of view, helps you to pay attention to the minute and fascinating detail that we live in. There are no clear guidelines on WHAT is an abstract, nor rules about composition and framing. So feel free to have fun and explore with anything that catches you. For example, the beautiful deep color of a piece of fruit that you are eating or how the morning light lights up in a cobbled street. Some different types of abstract photography to explore:  Macro, Impressionist Abstract, blurred, Kinetic Abstract, Light Painting, Smoke and Ink Abstracts.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 47 2019 Blessing Post

Memories of Deaf Blessings

For many of my young years we spent the Jewish holidays at my aunt's house in New York. My mom's dad, Nathan, became deaf as young man due to a high fever. He worked for the NY Times as a typesetter and could read quite well. He would read passover each year then hide the matzoh for us kids to find. Please see the additional photos below.

Nikon D7500
F 5.3
1/125 sec
ISO 1800
Focal Length 127mm
Edited in Photoshop CS

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 47 2019 Blessing Gpa

The picture below is likely from the same year. It shows all the cousins (who were born at that time) other came later. In the center are mom's parents, Nat and Reba. My dad shot the amazing photo above of my grandfather reading the Passover. You can see my dad's photos at https://musicwithmike.com/photos

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 47 2019 Blessing Family


As Thanksgiving approaches, we thought it would be a good idea to count our blessings! Look around. What is a blessing in your life? What are you grateful for? In shooting an idea, and not a "thing" you need to think more outside the box! Some quick ideas to get the noggin working: A birthday blessing, a blessing in disguise, or a "Bless you!" after hearing a sneeze!  You can shoot Something that implies the word "blessing"; A religious slant on the word blessing; Something that is a blessing for you in your life (aka something that makes you happy or grateful for); Someone blessing another person; Anything else that you can think of :)


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 46 2019 StillLife Post

We've Come a Long Way

 The Oliver Typewriter Company was an American typewriter manufacturer headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The Oliver Typewriter was the first effective "visible print" typewriter, meaning text was visible to the typist as it was entered. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Typewriter_Company ]

The keys come in from the sides and really, it is a pretty good design.


Still life photography is defined as the "depiction of inanimate subject matter, typically a small group of objects." Think carefully about the.props that you are going to use. They should be interesting to the eye but also harmonize with each other, the background, and the lighting. Be also aware of the colors and textures of the subjects. The most important aspect of still life photography is the position of the props to each other and the negative space around the group of objects as a whole. You want objects of different heights and widths but pay attention that none of the objects break the negative space that surrounds the group. For example, a long bottle that nearly touches the edge of the top part of the photo while all the other objects are in the lower half of the photo. Be aware that this is not a last-minute challenge. Getting your composition and lighting right can take much longer than you'd expect.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 45 2019 Depth Post

Sure Bet

The probability of a Royal Flush in Poker, consisting of the ten, jack, queen, king, and ace of one suit, is 0.00000153908. But amazingly we were dealt one for this picture :)

Nikon D7500
ISO 800
F 2.8
Shutter 1/100 second
Focal length 100mm using a circa 1985 Nikon Series E 100mm lens.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 45 2019 Depth Submit Camera


Dear creative Framers, this week we are going a bit more technical and play with DoF (Depth of Field). DoF basically means how much of your photo is in focus.It is a very powerful tool in your photography toolbox and should definitely be used to its full extent. Let’s say, for example, that you want to tell the story of sadness, you’d only want to focus on a tear rolling down a cheek. The rest of the face and surroundings are blurred. (This is a narrow or small depth of field). But if you want to have everyone’s face in a wedding party in focus, then you have to change the settings to add bring in clear faces. (This is a large or wide depth of field.)


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week44 2019 Delicate Post

Not So Delicate Warning

These kinds of warnings are everywhere. Dire, death inducing possibilities. Each one reminding us of our fragility and the delicate balance of life vs danger.

Google Pixel 2 XL
3024x4032 Cropped in Photoshop CS
ISO 396
F 1.8
Shutter 1/140 second
Focal length (35mm equiv) of 28mm


Dear creative Framers, this week we are going to all go all soft and delicate and access the gentle corners of our lives. The word ‘delicate’ will most definitely have different meanings for our world-wide community. Please feel free to only follow your imagination and creativity – no permission is required for doing something odd or out of the box. You can decide to take a soft out of focus photo by using diffusion techniques such as shooting through panty-hose, putting vaseline on a cheap filter or playing with a Lensbaby. Or you can shoot something that is delicate. For example, newborn kittens, the way that a dad holds his baby, short curly hair in the neck, or how you’d remove eggs from the chicken coop. We all know that the world is tough and hard, so let’s acknowledge the quiet beauty of delicate things in this week’s album. Softly and gently.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week43 2019 Orange2 Post

Nothing Says More Orange than a 1200lb Pumpkin

NB: When I saw this pumpkin I had to re-submit for this week.

Valley View Farms has been a fixture in Cockeysville, MD for more than 50 years. The garden center features a huge range of plants and gardening resources. This year they have a 1200lb pumpkin on display. What a pie that would make! Check them out at http://www.valleyviewfarms.com/

Google Pixel 2 XL
3024x4032 Cropped in Photoshop CS
ISO 46
F 1.8
Shutter 1/2000 second
Focal length (35mm equiv) of 28mm


Dear creative Framers, this week we are focusing on color for our challenge! Black and White photography was a firm base (and probably still is today) in the art of photography. It is, however, essential in any visual art to play with and understand the importance of color.Colors have a VERY strong influence on our feelings. Just think of how calming the sight of the blue ocean is, or how spooky an underground parking lot devoid of color can be. For our challenge, we are going to explore the color orange. It is a strong and bold color that demands attention. In Western tradition, orange is usually associated with warmth and enthusiasm but in Buddhism, it is used to signify the quest for knowledge. The fact that orange is so difficult to ignore is also the reason why it is the color of safety wear and prison jumpsuits. It is said that the color orange stimulates creativity, so let’s make an orange album this week that will make Vincent van Gogh smile. He famously said that “there is no blue without yellow and without orange”.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week43 2019 Orange Post

Beautiful Retro Orange

These beautiful orange tiles are part of a very old demonstration set from American Olean (https://americanolean.com). When life was simpler when there were less than 10,000 color choices.

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 Cropped square in PhotoShop CC
1/80 sec
Focal Length 35mm


Dear creative Framers, this week we are focusing on color for our challenge! Black and White photography was a firm base (and probably still is today) in the art of photography. It is, however, essential in any visual art to play with and understand the importance of color.Colors have a VERY strong influence on our feelings. Just think of how calming the sight of the blue ocean is, or how spooky an underground parking lot devoid of color can be. For our challenge, we are going to explore the color orange. It is a strong and bold color that demands attention. In Western tradition, orange is usually associated with warmth and enthusiasm but in Buddhism, it is used to signify the quest for knowledge. The fact that orange is so difficult to ignore is also the reason why it is the color of safety wear and prison jumpsuits. It is said that the color orange stimulates creativity, so let’s make an orange album this week that will make Vincent van Gogh smile. He famously said that “there is no blue without yellow and without orange”.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week42 Architecture Post

At the Birth of Our Country

Sherwood Episcopal Chruch in Cockeysville, MD, was founded in 1850. Some of the gravestones show birth dates in the 1760's. So some of these members were alive at the birth of the United States. Learn more at http://sherwood.episcopalmaryland.org

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 Cropped square in PhotoShop CC
1/40 sec
Focal Length 27mm
HDR in Camera


Architecture photography first developed from the need to document buildings. It has, however, developed into its own very broad photography genre. You can decide to take the traditional approach and photograph an impressive building from its thoughtfully designed facades. Government buildings, museums, famous landmarks (think, for example, of pyramids or lighthouses) or old stately buildings are good picks for this style. You can also opt to show us a different perspective of a building. A window cleaner on ropes tells us the story of a tall skyscraper - and bravery. Well framed lines of escalators and walkways also tell a story of architecture. Interiors of buildings, cityscapes, and other man-made structures such as bridges, airports, dams, windmills, and highways all slot into this genre too. Go and explore the beautiful interiors and exteriors that were built by so many people of whom we do not even think of today. The architecture of our surroundings may have started as a sketch on a napkin, but now they are the facades and skylines that make up our surroundings and reality each day. These structures definitely deserve their own beautiful album!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week41 MyLife Post

Stuff of My Life

* Gray field 48 star flag
* Dannon yogurt lids we collected in college in 1977-79
* My first SLR. Nikon FE2. Crashed with a third party motor drive
* Mr Green Celery circa 1970 or earlier. Friend of my children.
* A mug from our wedding. One for each person in the wedding party.
* Strange squeeze toy from the 1960s
* The minifig and LEGO parrot that has ridden on every world championship robot from TechBrick
* My first corporate seal
* VHS of a presentation documenting my 9 weeks in Haiti during graduate school
* My grandfathers pocket watch circa early 1900s
* The Wittenburg Door: A satirical Christian magazine that kept me sane in seminary
* My wife's early key ring token
* My childhood companion pet tiger
* Anniversary card from my wife

Nikon D7500
Shot Raw
1/125 sec
ISO 1250
Focal Length 27mm


How would you show us a glimpse of your world in one photo? Something that is particular to YOU in this specific week of the challenge. Would you show us what you are making for supper, or your route on the way to work/dropping off the children/going to the supermarket or taking care of elderly parents? Or maybe you will show us one of your hobbies, the sports that you do, your shoe collection or the books stacked next to your bedside. Is there something special that do you for fun, volunteer work or a delicious guilty pleasure? It does not necessarily have to be an "everyday life" photo. If you are doing something amazing this week like traveling or going to the opera or getting married then show us this part of your world!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week40 Minimalism Post

Mostly Tile

Just tile and a comb. Enjoy.

Shot with a Google Pixel X2
F 1.8
1/60 Second
4mm focal length


Dear Creative Framers, this week we are going to use a minimum amount of components to tell a strong story. In minimalist photography, everything is stripped away except the absolute essentials. But you have to make sure that what is left in your photo is strong enough to stand on its own and also be interesting enough to engage the viewer.  The components that are usually shown in minimalist photography are: color, shape, line, texture and, of course, light. These components are often strong and eye-catching and can also be soft and pastely. Minimalist photography may seem easy and simple, but take care to pay attention to the few components in your photo. Do they interact with each other? Does this interaction say something of interest to the viewer? Think for example how the ‘plantness” of a green plant will be accentuated against a red wall or the how geometric lines of a building will be highlighted in strong blacks and whites. Or how the smooth texture of a river stone will contrast in a wrinkled hand.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week38 Details 700

Details in the Scales

One of my clients, American Scale and Equipment Company (http://amscale.com) does commercial calibration at ISO standards for all kinds of scales from truck scales to precision bench scales. This case contains federally certified weights from 100g to 1mg. You cannot touch any of the weights with your hands because the oil from your skin effects the accuracy. That is why tweezers are included.

Details Week 2019 38 amscale

I added my client's logo to the photo and had it printed on metal by https://bayphoto.com and sent it to Tom and Larry, the owners of American Scale (http://amscale.com). They've been a great client for more than 10 years and it seemed like a good way to thank them!


One of the ways that a photographer becomes an artist is by capturing small and often neglected details. Instead of just shooting the world as is, the artist-photographer knows how to tell us an entire story with a specific small detail. The viewer becomes involved in the photo by ‘solving’ the visual clues and by trying to figure out the context of the details.Think for example of a close-up of a man gulping down a bottle of water. The focus on the beads of sweat on his face or the condensation on the bottle tells us the story of a hard day’s work in the hot sun or that of an extra-gruesome workout. By zooming in on the details, the photographer forces the viewer to interact with the photo by zooming it out in their minds. Detail photos are often macro photos but can also be of anything that is small in size or small in relation to the background. You can draw attention to the details by using a shallow depth of field, zooming in or by shooting a repetitive pattern (that is, a multiplication of the details).


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week37 SingleLightSource 700

Laser Painting Tigers

I played around with the BULB function on my DLSR then used a laser pointer to paint the tiger. Just a fun experiment.  Here is my setup.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week37 SingleLightSource Setup


Did you know that the word photography literally means “drawing with light”. As we all know, without some type of light there just won’t be a photo. Sometimes, however, we are more focused on composition, looking for cool textures or telling a story with our photos. So this week’s challenge is all about the light. FIRST, think of what your light source will be before you think of a subject to photograph. The fact that you only have one light source available means that you are also going to have to think about where you are going to place the light and what type of shadows you want to create. It is okay to use the sun as your single light source but challenge yourself to be really conscious of the light. Ask yourself from which direction the light is coming and pay attention to what type of shadows are made. Harsh light will create sharper shadows and diffused light will make softer shadows. And does warm light really create cool shadows?  This is the week to suffice yourself with the light creative Framers – so let’s light up the album!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week36 Transporation 700

Mass Transit that Works: MARTA

We'll never have national mass transit. But we do have many amazing regional systems. Atlanta has MARTA which quickly and efficiently can whisk to key points all over the city for a couple of bucks.


Dear creative Framers this week our challenge is to shoot a mode of transportation. You know trains, trucks, canoes, hot air balloons or anything else that will get you from point A to point B. Most of our transportation is of the common garden (and boring) variety unless you are one of the lucky souls in an exotic location or unique vehicle this week. So think of ways to bring a new perspective to your vehicle of choice. Maybe zoom into a small detail such as the texture of the wheels or the cracked leather seat, or capture an unusual angle or point of view, for example shooting down into a rowboat from a bridge. Or look for something funny, such as 50 people trying and squeeze through one train door during rush hour. Telling a story is ALWAYS a great idea in our photography challenges. Show us how strangers are sleeping on each others’ shoulders on the aeroplane (airplane), or how a dad is teaching his daughter to ride her bicycle, or how a young couple ride together into the sunset on a white horse. We usually think of humans using transportation but remember that also goods and animals – hello fish tube! – are constantly moved around.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week35 Distortion 700

Flowers out of Focus

So, as always, if 52Frames challenges me to do something I would never have done I'm going to do it! So I 'lense whacked' a flower with my Nikon D7500 and circa 1985 Nikon Series E 50mm f1.8 that I bought when I purchased my Nikon FE2 the same year (what a great camera!) I've included a photo of the lense below.

Extra Credit: Lens Whacking: Take a distortion photo with the lens whacking technique.

Nikon D7500
F 0 (no lense)
1/250 second
ISO 320
0 mm focal length (no lense)
Lense whacked with a circa 1985 Nikon Series E 50mm f1.8
Post edited in PhotoShop CS

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week35 Distortion Camera


Dear creative Framers, every week we play with light. Most of the time, however, we do it in a very linear and realistic manner. The light usually goes with a straight angle into our cameras and creates a realistic, though upside-down image. The cameras flip the image and all is right in the world.But not this week! This week we are going to distort all that we see by messing around with light, lenses or perspective. You can distort light by shooting through a glass filled with water. You can distort perception by shooting through a cracked mirror or a body of water with ripples. You can shoot through a cloth to distort color. You can put Vaseline on your lens to distort the clarity of your image. Whatever your method, let’s show a distorted view of reality this week. Feel free to distort your photo in ANY way that you want. The 52Frames community is an excellent space to experiment, play, and embrace imperfection.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week34 Fork 700

There is only one Fork, 21051

There are towns with fork and forks in the name. And there is a town of Forks in the state of Washington. Only one town is named Fork and it is in Maryland.

Fork, MD. Population 388 / .4 square miles.

360 degree photo on Google Maps


Dear Creative Framers, our challenge this week is to photograph a fork. Yes, just a fork.It may seem strange at first to have to photograph such a common object. Most of us have some type of fork in the kitchen drawer… or in the garden shed. And we may not really think that it is an interesting subject to photograph. But actually, the real challenge is to photograph that ‘boring’ fork in an interesting and creative new way. You can photograph a fork with food, a fork abstract, a fork in a strange setting, a fork shot from an unusual angle, a fork with other forks or utensils, people using forks to eat, people using forks in an unusual way. Unusual art made from forks, or a fork casting a shadow. Forks made from metals or plastic or wood. And the same for a large garden fork…or a small cake fork… If the word fork says to you ‘a fork in the road’ or ‘forking code’, or anything else, then fork away!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week33 Night 700

Would you let a knight out on a dog like this?

Seriously, the knight was afraid.

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 Cropped square in PS
F 7.1
1/200 second
ISO 51200
50 mm focal length
Flash manual at 1/64 power


It is that time of the year again that we head out during the night time and point our cameras upwards!The Perseids, the annual meteor shower, are putting up their yearly show again. This is an excellent opportunity for us to try out astrophotography, or sharpen your skills if you are already comfortable shooting the night skies. Since not everyone has an optimal vantage point to observe the Perseids or can have an entire week of rainy weather, our theme this week is night photography rather than astrophotography. You are more than welcome to point your camera horizontal, rather than upwards and show us how the night time looks in your corner of the woods. Maybe it there will be fireflies in a meadow, children playing with sparklers in the garden, someone staring into a campfire or the reflection of lights in a body of water. So pack up your tripods, flashlights, and bug repellent, dear Framers. Or dress up warmly if you are going to see the Southern Cross. Wait until it is nice and dark outside and then go and shoot the night.


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week32 Warm 700

Morning Sun Warms my Caffeine Startup Drink

I put my glass down on my desk this morning and single ray of sun lit my cup.

Nikon D7500
5568x3712 Cropped square in PS
125 second
93 mm focal length


Dear creative Framers, close your eyes for a few seconds, think of the word “warm”. What are you feeling or what image you are seeing in your mind? Are you feeling the sweat sticking your hair to the back of your neck because the weather is so “warm”? Do you see yourself cuddling under a warm blanket, or sipping a warm drink? Perhaps you think of warm in terms of “color tone”, making you think of red, yellow or orange – the warm colors. Or the warm light of the golden hour. Or maybe warm is a feeling for you – that warm feeling of spending time with your family or having a good time with your friends. There are many ways to visually interpret the word warm, so let’s put together another creative album that will warm the heart of anyone looking at it! (see what we did there? ya, I know, impressive.)


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week31 Product 700

Motorola Flip Phone with Fat Battery

This was my first semi-smart phone that could sort of access the internet. Compact, easy to use, and could take a fat battery with a run time of up to a week (just try that today!) And it had a real antenna. Better yet, it is placed on a circa 1995 Mac Keyboard and in front of a 17" Mac pro CRT monitor. And, though you can't see it, it is attached to a Power Computer 100 Tower, the only licensed macs ever built. Still works. Is that enough retro?


This week, dear creative Framers, we are going commercial! The world of e-commerce is growing by the day and with that the need for professional high-quality photographs that will help to sell the products. You get to decide what product you want to ‘sell’ and how to style, light and photograph it. Are you going to use models that will show us how to use the product? Or maybe you will decide to isolate your product against a white background. Or maybe you can tell a story about the product, stirring up the emotions of the viewer and making it irresistible to ‘buyers’. Whatever your approach, just remember that the product is the main star and focus of this week’s photoshoot. You are welcome to write a slogan for your product but please write it in the title or comment area. Your product photo has to catch the viewer eye all by itself! For extra photography joo-joo, WE will give you a brief. 52Frames is your client the client and will tell you what type of product we want you to photograph for us. Make sure to follow the “client’s” guidelines to keep them happy!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week30 Mundane 700

30 Doors a Day

In general, an individual walks through more than 30 doors a day, every day. So over 80 years that is 876,000 doors. These are important doors in my life: Our front door, our back door, the door to our family room through which 100's of friends have passed, the door to parent's senior facility, our shed which houses our power stuff, and the local grocery store. What doors are part of your life?


The mundane is anything that is ordinary or not really important or special. Those small things or moments that make up our lives that we do not really pay attention to. When you think about it, however, those small and seemingly insignificant things play a large role in making us the people that we are.As photographers, we are constantly honing our skills to show viewers the world as we see it. This week we are going to put together an album showing the hidden beauty of a mundane (seemingly) subject or moment. That unexpected splash of color of a flower growing from a concrete wall, a teenage couple holding hands in a supermarket aisle, passersby patting the head of a friendly dog or the washing on a line flapping in the wind. We sometimes forget how wonderful and intriguing our everyday life is. Luckily we have challenges such as these to open our eyes a little bit wider!


6862 MarcoCiavolino Week29 Music 700

Butterfly Ballet

We have butterfly bushes in the front of our house. I love this time of year because I walk out of our house to find 20-30 butterflies and other winged creatures flittering around. I often imagine their precise balance and movements of a vast ballet as they go about their delicate work.


Photography is a visual medium but music is about hearing something, so how are we going to make people see sound? One of the biggest challenges of photography is that we use this 2-dimensional medium that essentially connects to our viewers' sense of sight. But when we are creative, we can use photography to tell stories. With the help of creative placement, textures, and lighting, we can invoke feelings for our viewers, as well as trigger other senses such as hearing. This week, you can decide to photograph musicians in action or musical instruments. You can capture people experiencing music. An audience raptly listening to an orchestra, dancers going wild on a dance floor or someone with earphones tapping out a rhythm. Your music can be interpreted in many different ways. Put your creative thinking cap on!

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week28 OddItems 700

Bottom of the Basket

Where do they go? If we only could know.


The “rule of odds” is a composition guideline that is generally more prominent in art and design but totally works for photography too. This guideline states that an odd number of subjects (three, five, seven, and sometimes nine) is not only more appealing to the viewer but that it also allows for more interesting ‘shapes’ to be created such as triangles and pentagons.The rule of odds is often used with subjects that repeat themselves such as three flowers or five band members but your subjects do not necessarily have to be the same. They just have to come together as a unit. Think for example of a cup of coffee, a muffin and a teaspoon (mmm..happy place). The rule of odds and the rule of threes are often used interchangeably since a grouping of three is the most popular odd grouping you will see in photography. You can use the rule of odds effectively for more than three subjects but its best when the subjects are more similar in shape and position, for example, fighter jets flying in formation.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week27 EditedByOthers 7149 700

Much Improved Location

Me with some of my life treasures edited by Brad Hepp of JBH Communications (https://www.jbhcommunications.com). Brad was a classmate in graduate school and a life-long friend.

Source Photo

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week27 EditedByOthers 7149 Source


Life is a collaboration, and as we have mentioned before, art is not created in a vacuum. We inspire and learn from each other’s creations and are happy for the advice and feedback from our fellow photographers. This week we are going dial up the collaboration aspect MUCH further and have someone else edit your photo. You shoot a photo of anything you want, send it to your editor and then upload the edited photo that you have received. Your editor can be anyone you want – just first 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, family member, real-life friend, Instagram buddy or even a work colleague.

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week26 HandsInFrame 700

Please Sign our Guest Log

A friend's wedding offered a guest 'log' which will later become their coffee table. How fun!


Hands in the frame seemed to have started to become a thing with the use of Instagram. Sometimes you just have to take a photo of your ice cream and with no Instagram husband ( :)) around, people started to include their own hands in the frame. By including hands in their photos, photos get a more intimate and relatable feel to them. It is as though the adding of hands in the frame, instantly start telling a story of what the hands are doing. Even though we are taking inspiration from the popular hashtag #handsinframe – feel welcome to play with this theme in any way that you want. You can shoot your own hands, or the hands of someone or something else. The hands can be part of a food photography shoot or doing something else, such as changing a car’s oil or plaiting hair. You can also decide to make the hands your main subject and only focus on them. So, hands on deck creative Framers, get those hands in the frame this week!

6862 MarcoCiavolino Week25 Blur 700

Blur Motion Study

I used this week to experiment with shutter speed and blur. At what point does motion change from sharp, to blur, to motion. These are the six transitional shots.


We are capturing motion again this week, creative Framers. Though instead of being fast and freezing the action, we are taking things slow this week. So slow actually that we will create intentional blur.There are several ways to create blur in a photo but it usually involves some type of movement. Either that of your subject or the movement of your camera or zoom lens. It is easy to create a blurry photo but it may not be so easy to create a good photo with blur. Give yourself extra time to experiment with various camera settings, types of movement, background choices, types of blur, and of course your STORY. Photos are often judged by their focus and level sharpness, so we are totally going off-script this week by capturing the beauty of an unfocused world!

6862 MarcoCiavolino 201900611 HighSpeed 700

Catching the Pop of Corn

What do corn pops look like? Like this. See my website for shot of the setup but overall I made quite a mess (but got to eat some of it). And also you can see a very cool shot where I captured the steam trail below.

Super cool steam trail shot.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 201900611 HighSpeed Steam 0000 DSC 6607 700

Here is the setup:

DSC 6683R

Nikon D7500
1/8000 sec exposure
Fixed White Balance K5000
F 13
ISO 51200
Focal Length: 100mm
Avocado Oil
Orvile Redenbacher's Original Popcorn


It is the fast shutter speed challenge this week creative Framers! This means that you are going to have to look for something in motion to shoot.With a fast shutter speed, your camera’s shutter opens and closes very quickly. Only a small amount of light enters the camera with the result that moving subjects seem as though they are frozen in action. Think of a bird in flight, a gymnast paused in the air, a race car frozen on the track, a drop of water suspended forever in the air. You can decide to take your photo indoors where you will be able to create the motion and control the lighting, or you can go outside looking for action. The secret then is to be ready with your camera. Have your camera’s settings ready, anticipate the action, and then shoot! If your camera has burst shooting capabilities, this is the challenge to use it.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 201900607 Stairs IMG 20190607 700

The First Step of Stairs

Every stair starts somewhere. In this case, Home Depot, Bel Air, MD.


Stairs photography is usually considered part of architecture photography but it has spiraled into its own sub-genre. It is probably because staircases naturally provide so many features that photographers want to include in their photos. Nearly every staircase is designed with composition elements such as leading lines, symmetry, interesting shapes and patterns. Try and focus on your composition and story and of course, as always, be aware of the light. Shadows and light often contrast with each other on staircases and can give a very different atmosphere to your photo depending on the time of the day. There are many staircases that are beautiful and photogenic all by themselves but if you want to add a model or two to your stairs, go for it!

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190527 BlackWhite DSC 6447 700

How I love the clickity clack

How I love the clickity clack
That only printed white and black

This amazing typewriter from the 1920's still works perfectly. And it harkens to simpler day with one typeface and one color. One time at a STEM meeting at our house a young student grabbed his dad and said, "Look dad, it has the printer built in."

Nikon D7500
Shot Raw Color
Converted to B&W in Photoshop CS
f 18
45 mm


Dear creative Framers, it is black and white photography week! It may seem like an ‘easy’ challenge: just take a photo and turn it in black and white...but black and white photography can be a bit more challenging than it seems at first. Color photography can be more forgiving than black and white photography. We see the world in color and it is often the main thing that we pay attention to in a photo. But the moment color is removed from a photo the textures, the use of light, the composition and the way that space is used is so much more prominent in a photo. Pay special attention to the tonal contrast, the range of light and dark areas, in your black and white photography. Since we do see in color, the tonal contrast will often be the first thing your viewers notice in a black and white photo. A high tonal contrast, with clear whites and true blacks, will make your photos pop out more. And a low contrast photo will have a more soft and dreamy feel to it. This week, find the light amidst the shadows!

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190524 SongLyrics 700

The Perpetual Song

"Happy Birthday" is the most frequently performed song in history. With more than 360,000 global births per day and global population of 7.3B (more than 600 million birthdays per day) this song is sung in nearly every country and language. It is the first song most of us remember hearing and maybe the last one we will remember. Our life begins nine months before that day. Mother's swoon, grandmother's ask, fathers paint and build, and siblings listen intently to the sounds of their new brother or sister. Then we mark the day of your emergence into the light as your "Birth Day." And of course, like so many other parts of our culture, the ability to celebrate it with an endless stream of merchandise nulls its significance. Let's stop an reflect on the path we've taken from conception to now. Who have we influenced? What good have done? What can we do with the rest of our lives?

You can see all the variations here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_birthday_songs

The Assignment

Art doesn't exist in a vacuum. Just as we like it when other people read our stories, listen to our music, like our photos, and eat the food that we have made, we also take inspiration from what other people have made. We experience art, internalize it, and finally interpret it by creating our own version of it. Just think of fan fiction and all the memes that pop up every week after a Game of Thrones episode! This week creative Framers, we are going to actively exercise this interpretive skill
by taking inspiration from your favorite song lyric, or specific line from a song. Don’t forget to fill in the name of the song and/or the lyrics that have inspired you in the title or caption section when you upload your photo.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190518 LyingDown 700

Waiting for My Wife at BWI

While waiting to pick up my wife at BWI I decided to take a quick nap in the parking garage.


Shot JPG Hi (5568x3712)
Nikon D7500
f 3.8
125th sec exp
Focal Length: 36mm
Slight color adjustment and sharpened and cropped square in Photoshop CS

The Assignment

Dear creative Framers, we know that photography can sometimes be exhausting, so this week we want you to take a rest WHILE you are shooting this week’s photo! That's right, the challenge this week is to simply lie down somewhere and shoot upwards. You do not literally have to be on the ground. (though we highly recommend it) but you will have to be at a lower point of view from your subject. We often tend to only see (and shoot) subjects that are on our eye-level. There is a reason why supermarkets place expensive products in front of us. So this week, we are going to bend our knees, strain our necks, and look at the world from below. The sky, the trees, whatever you see above you -- have fun!

6862 MarcoCiavolino 201900509 Week 19 Texture 700

Slow Consumption

Moss of varying types slowly consumes our wooden fence. These samples have been at it for 12 years so they aren't quite ready to escape from Shawshank.


Shot JPG Hi (5568x3712)
Nikon D7500
f 36
3 sec exp
Focal Length: 195
Slight color adjustment and sharpened in Photoshop CS

The Assignment

It may seem strange to consider textures as a subject for photography. Textures are about our sense of touch, or how something feels for us. For example, sand is rough and grainy and a glass of water is smooth and maybe a bit wet.But…we can still photograph a subject in such a way as to make the viewer understand how the subject’s surface would feel like if she could touch it. We must not only look for something with an interesting texture to photograph, but we also have to photograph it in such a way that we enhance the textures.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 201904307 Week 18 Darkside 700

The Man in the Monitor

Just a simple use of my webcam to expand on a common phrase. Enjoy the darkness!

The Assignment

As photographers, we are always working with light. As a matter of fact, we are a bit obsessed with it. We are constantly looking for the light, paying attention to the quality of the light and then capturing the way it lights up our subjects and creates an atmosphere. This week, however, creative Framers, instead of photographing the light, we are going to shoot the darkness. (But yes, we still need some light to do it!) You can make this challenge about low key photography. This type of photography has predominantly dark tones and colors and are dramatic and full of mystery. Other avenues to explore are underexposed photography, high contrast photography and shooting the night sky and stars. But you can also choose to photograph the dark side of human nature. So let’s explore our dark sides dear Framers and create an album this week full of shadows and mystery. The stars may have won the sky thing, but the dark still has a lot of territory.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190427 Week 17 Upsidedown 700

World Upside Down

Again, we visit the upside down world of celebrities, who, according to the magazines have more problems per square inch than the average person. With all their wealth they could just rent Dr. Phil 24 hours a day. What hope do we have?

Shot with a Google Pixel XL2 which of course would not let me take an updside photo so I did it post edit. But I tried.

The Assignment

One of the first lessons that most of us have learned here at 52frames, is that you have to check that your horizons are level and not tilted. This week, however, we are not only going to tilt our horizons but totally turn them upside down. What is up is going to be down and what is going to be sideways is going to be right ways. Confused? Good, and welcome to the upside down challenge, creative Framers! You are going to have to explore situations that will create upside down images such as reflections, turning your camera upside down, flipping images in your photo editor, or shooting through a glass ball, glass of water or water drops. Or you can just take a photo of someone doing a handstand or any subject that is upside down! No need to make this complicated! You can also simply shoot anything with the camera upside down. (You could also just flip any photo in the edit, but that's not really the point of the challenge)

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190410 Week 16 Nature 700

Sowing Wild Goats

View the 360 degree image here or below:

Three wild goats live at the retirement facility that is home my parents. They greet you at the bottom of the hill and chase your car up the road. I guess now they will be my GFF (goat friends forever).

Ricoh Theta SC
Converted with Theta+ app to a little planet view

Here is the 360 degree five: Click, Drag, Zoom!

The Goats!


The Assignment

Dear creative Framers, we know that you have been working hard on the weekly challenges. Life and everything it throws at you can be stressful, so for this week, to help you to fill up with health and happiness, we are sending you to take a break in nature! You can take a landscape photo, or shoot trees, plants, animals or bugs. Nature macro or texture photos are also an option. And don’t forget the beauty of a lake, waterfall or ocean. Nature photography is sometimes defined as outdoor photography. It is up to you to decide if “outdoors” means your garden, a nearby park or a 20km trek up a remote mountain. It is also up to you to decide if you want a show a person experiencing nature in your photo. Let’s make a beautiful, relaxing and natural album this week!

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190410 Week 15 700

End of a Long Shift at the ER

Shot at 6:43p Eastern

Another long day at the second busiest ER in Maryland at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. Wait time exceeded 4 hours all day they had as many as 8 ambos there at once. Thank you to the talented women and men who staff our county's EMS, Fire, and Police force, and ER professionals.

Nikon D7500
1/200 sec
27mm focal length

The Assignment

This week, creative Framers, we have a beautiful but challenging challenge for you. You have to shoot a blue hour photo!The blue hour is the time period just before sunrise and just after sunset. The sky turns a beautiful ink blue because the Earth’s atmosphere only receives and scatters the sun’s shorter blue wavelengths. The longer red wavelengths scatter into space, not even reaching us. One of the reasons this makes the blue hour so special is the fact that it instantly adds a wonderful storytelling mood to your photo. Just shoot an early morning jogger or surfer against this blue sky, and you have shown us an entire story. Or think of a commuter staring pensively out a window with the blue hour outside. Or maybe show us an all night party-goer walking home in the morning as the sky is turning from black to blue. Another reason the blue hour is so special is that it is a bit elusive. It not only takes place during an inconvenient time of the day but the constant changing of the light means that you may have to make constant adjustments to your settings. AND your time-frame is quite limited. You will probably only have 20 – 40 minutes to take your photo. Plan your shoot carefully, creative Framers. The light of the blue hour is amazing, but you will have to work for this gift. Figure out before the time WHAT and WHERE but especially WHEN to shoot during the blue hour.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190403 Week 14 Food 700

The Wild Tomatoe

The Wild Tomato: our signature giant homemade meatball & homemade Wild Tomato sauce, topped with a farm fresh fried egg, fresh shaved Parmesan & basil, baked in cast iron, served with grilled flatbread points. 

I love new restaurants and especially those establishments that seek to create new dining experience and not replicate so many other restaurants. So when'The Wild Tomatoes American Kitchen' opened in Bel Air, MD, I stopped by and I've been there many times since. Check our their site and look at the menu.  http://wildtomatoamericankitchen.com/

It is most unique. This photo is their signature appetizer (but really a meal!). Of course I consumed this and the wine immediately after the shoot.

Nikon D7500
1/80 sec
48mm focal length

The Assignment

Food photography is a HUGE photography genre - there are a countless number of styles and of course kinds of food that you can photograph. Sweet or savory, vegan or carnivore, high or low key, with people or without, there are many ways to tickle the taste buds. As a creative exercise, food photography ticks numerous boxes. You must not only light and photograph the food (that you probably have made yourself, too), you must also source props and style your food. You have to carefully match the colors of your food and props or background. But most important of all, the food has to look tasty. Your number one priority is to make your viewer’s mouth water. So creative Framers, what are you cooking up for us this week?

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190325 Week 13 New DSC5935 700

New Car Experience

One the most exciting days is the day you buy your first new car. We were married for 8 years before we were able to buy our first new car. Before that was my wife's old Chevette with the ceiling liner falling down, a huge Mercury Monarch with a red velvet interior, finally we bought a new Toyota Corolla Wagon. Then a minivan or two as our family grew. Modern drivers will never have the satisfaction of 'turning over' the odometer from 99999 to 00000. I don’t know what would happen at 1M miles, but I've never gotten past 240,000.

The Assignment

Dear creative Framers, we are closing a circle with this week’s ‘New’ challenge. Last week we celebrated the old in our lives and this week we are looking for new things.You cannot really appreciate something if you do not know its opposite. Just as there is no black without white, no wet without dry, there is no old without new. So what is new in your lives? Maybe it is a new job, a new experience, or maybe a new camera…! Sometimes the new things are small and not fully appreciated such as a new day or a new piece of clothing. Other times they are huge and amazing like a new baby or starting a new chapter of your life. This week we are celebrating ALL the new things!

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190318 Week 12 Old DSC5929 700

1896, 1924, 1956, 1998

Four generations starting with my granddad (in the photo) born in Italy in 1896 and came to the US in 1901 through Ellis Island and worked as handyman and painter in NYC. My dad, born in 1924, still active at 94 years old. Joined the Navy at 17 and fought in the South Pacific. He was tugboat crewman, a teacher, a professional photographer, an amateur musician and more. Me, born in 1956. A theologian, technologist, and marketing/communications consultant. And my son, born in 1998, a Junior in college, Air Force ROTC, and headed to pilot training. My grandfather lived with us so my life exposure spans 1896-today. Amazing.

My Grandfather at a Bus Stop in Frenchtown NJ

This photo was taken by my dad with a 620 box camera held at waist level similar to this camera.

Brownie2 overview3

M Ciav Sr NYC Bus 700

The Assignment

We have an interesting challenge for you this week creative Framers. The challenge is “old” and yes, you are going to have to think first WHAT you would define as old before you even start shooting.Just like every other week, you are encouraged to interpret this theme in any creative way that you can think of. You can, for example, edit a photo to make it look old. You can take a photo of an elderly person or an “old” object such as a music cassette or a dial phone. Maybe you can go and look in your granny’s for some vintage clothing. Or you can even try and take a photo with an old camera. Our wabi-sabi lovers can go and look again for beauty in the old, the worn, or anything else that shows the patina of life. Remember that we are quite a diverse group here and everyone will think a bit differently about EXACTLY what is old, so please keep that in mind. We live in an instant and fast-paced world and just about everything seems old in a few months or even weeks. So this week, we are making space for the old and showing that it is still beautiful and appreciated.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190318 Experimental 11 700

Field Reset Team Little Planet View

You can remap 360 degree photos into these little planet views. Very fun! 

Here is the 360 Degree View!

The Assignment

This is the week that we not only challenge our comfort zone, but we are jumping waaaay over it!Experimental photography is usually described as making use of alternative techniques. Alternative techniques are generally defined as techniques that are not usually used in photography. We are going to interpret this as techniques that YOU do not usually use in your own photography. The goal this week is to either Experiment with a new technique (or style, editing app or genre or whatever) that you have never tried before OR Explore a bit further with a technique, style, editing app or genre that you are not very familiar with. So, if for example, you have struggled with a lens-whacking or impressionist photo before, this week is the ideal time to try it again. Or if you shy away from taking portraits or still lifes, maybe try it this week! We are definitely embracing imperfection this week, so don’t worry too much if you are struggling with something unfamiliar. We are after all,just experimenting this week!

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190308 Symmetry 700

A Symmetry

Beauty consultants tell us that perfect facial symmetry is considered beautiful. We are not beautiful because we are symmetric. We are beautiful because we are created in image of God and every individual since creation is a completely unique combination of features, personality, skills, experiences, and ideas. What causes me to cry and pray is the realization that we will never see the face and share the lives of so many innocents killed by abortion and range of despots and dictators. Today, will we choose life or accept the inevitable death of so many? "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Do we?

Nikon D7500
Photo Cropped/Edited in Photoshop CS


Symmetry in photography is another composition tool that will not only add balance to your photos but will also make them more intriguing for the viewer. Our eyes will often linger longer over a subject that seems at first to have something “different” about it, such as a subject that appears twice. On the other side of the coin( ! ), our eyes enjoy seeing a balanced photo where the two horizontal or vertical sides of a photo are the same.There are several ways you can interpret and photograph symmetry. You can take a photo of a pair of subjects; think, for example, of a portrait of twins or of two beach chairs next to each other. Or, you can use some type of reflection to create a “mirror” symmetry where you have two opposite views of the same subject. It is possible to photograph mirror symmetry (or balanced symmetry) without the help of a reflection. Think of standing in the middle of a bridge with the exact view on the left and right of you. And then there is also rotational symmetry, where the same pattern repeats itself in a circle, for example, the iris of an eye or the outer edge of a decorated plate. Explore the various types of symmetry in your photos this week, creative Framers, and make our viewers do a double take!

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190301b NegativeSpace 700

Terminal Negative

We all grow up accepting the negative and positive side of batteries but not knowing if it matters since nothing has ever exploded if they are reversed (except car batteries). However, do follow the directions. Don't try this at home because it really does matter and your electrons will be happy.

Nikon D7500
Photo Cropped/Edited in Photoshop CS


Our week nine challenge is about nothing! That is right creative writers, this week we are photographing negative space. Negative space is a strong composition tool not only used in photography but also in design, paintings, and more. Basically, negative space is the area that surrounds a subject. You may have noticed that the subject is sometimes referred to as the positive space. Think, for example, of a single word typed on a piece of white paper. The typed word is the subject or the positive space, and the white paper is the negative space. Negative space may ‘look’ as though it is nothing, but it has a very important supportive role. It makes the subject stand out, adds balance, and often brings context to the photograph. The flypaper that supports a trapped fly, a cliff that gives a rock climber her background, and the blue sky against hanging clothes that tells us it is washing day — all are examples of negative space.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190221 Uncommon 700

Superman riding a donkey on the back of a truck.

Nothing more than a very strange combination on the back of a truck seen near the Hickory interchange in Harford County, MD. How this came to be is a mystery. Its true meaning long lost. Its journey is long, arduous and dangerous. If only it could share it's wisdom from miles of travel.

Google Pixel XL2
Photo edited in Photoshop CS


This week, creative Framers, we have a challenge for you that will make you ignore the default view of things. As photographers, we are not merely the memory keepers of our family and friends’ worlds or the ones who accentuate the beauty of our world to everyone else. We are also the people who pay attention to the details that others often miss. We photograph and show them to people who are often amazed at what they have overlooked. As an exercise for ‘seeing’ the hidden or the unnoticed, we are going to photograph something that is uncommon. It can literally be something that is unique, such as an albino peacock, strange food, or somebody sunbathing in the snow. Or it can be something photographed at an uncommon angle – for example, lying on your back and shooting straight upwards at a painted ceiling or a meadow of flowers. A model can strike an uncommon pose or you can go all unreal on us and create an uncommon abstract photograph. You might even photograph a common subject but focus on something uncommon such as the tail of a chameleon, or the knees of an old man or maybe create an uncommon scene with a rabbit hopping along a beach!

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190216 CityAtNight 700 

Hotspots in Rural Maryland

10:30p in Fallston MD. Two happening places open: McDonald's and Texas Roadhouse. Definitely choose the Roadhouse.

Google Pixel XL2
Photo edited in Photoshop CS


This week, creative Framers we have a more technical challenge for you. Your mission this week is to go out at night and take a photo of your city…or town. And if you do not live anywhere near a city, then just go outside and capture your surroundings at night!You are definitely going to have to play with your camera’s settings. Experiment with a longer exposure (a tripod will be of great help) as well as the aperture and ISO. The lack of light is going to make it difficult to get the perfect exposure, so it is a good idea to experiment a lot with various settings. You can also try bracketing your photos – taking a series of photographs at different exposure settings. You can then choose the photo with the best exposure (out of the hundreds) or blend several photos of different exposures together. Photos of buildings, cityscapes and street photography are usually the default subjects of night photography but think also about portraits, light painting or light trails. They can also be very suitable for this week’s challenge. Our humble desks not only provide us with a designated space to do our work but often also the anchor of our creative lives. It is time to create a beautiful album in its honor.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190204 Office Post 700 

Thoroughly Modern Office

What a crazy world we live in. One person can have at their fingertips the resources of thousands of workers a decade ago. During any week I can design logo, shoot and edit a video, manage a few hundred websites, do massive database work, hold online video conferences and a thousand other tasks. But around me are the friendly artifacts of the past to keep me anchored.

Shot with a Nikon D7500
Photo merged and edited in Photoshop CS

Assignment:  Our theme this week, creative Framers, is “Your Desk”. You are more than welcome to interpret this theme literally and shoot the physical desk in your home. Maybe with a notebook, laptop and cup of coffee elegantly arranged on top of this desk. Or you can photograph the calligraphy, beadwork or architectural blueprints that you create on your desktop.Or maybe you can give your imagination free reign and think of your desktop merely as the base for anything that you create from this space! For thriller writers, their desk can be the floor of a murder scene, covered in blood stains. For developers, their desk can be the base of the matrix or part of a three-dimensional app. “Your” desk can also be interpreted as any place that you get your work done. Maybe it is a table at the local coffee shop, or a table at a plant nursery, an operating table, a prep table in a kitchen or that of a train or an aeroplane. Our humble desks not only provide us with a designated space to do our work but often also the anchor of our creative lives. It is time to create a beautiful album in its honor.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 20190201 Week 05 Dirty 700

Bane of my Life

No matter how many times I plan to unload the dishwasher and keep the sink clean I don't. And just go until I run out of dishes. I suspect I'm not the only one.

Shot with a Nikon D7500
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Assignment:  Here at 52Frames we often challenge Framers to really stretch their creative muscles. This week’s theme “Dirty” is definitely one of those types of “I do not have an idea what to shoot” challenges. We trust however in your creativity and are sure that your amazing imaginations will come up with another beautiful and amazing photo album! You may take a photo of a cook’s hands (or those of a gardener), a messy kitchen, or an interesting abstract of all the flotsam of an upturned handbag or the grease in a dirty oven. Dried mud on hiking boots or paint smears on an artist’s hands. A young child eating chocolate or an adult struggling with a juicy sandwich. So get down and dirty this week, creative Framers – make dirt look beautiful…:)

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week4 Macro 700

Fruit in Focus

I used this week's challenge to try focus stacking. After a couple of tests I settled on some fruit. I took eight shots and use Photoshop's align on import and blend tools to get a shot of sharp fruit.

Shot with a Nikon D7500
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Source Photos

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week4 DSC 4488

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week4 DSC 4489

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week4 DSC 4490

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week4 DSC 4491

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week4 DSC 4492

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week4 DSC 4492

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week4 DSC 4494

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week4 DSC 4495

Assignment: One of the important traits of a photographer is the ability to notice and photograph the wonderful details of life. We often see things that most people do not even notice. It is sort of the photographer’s ‘job’ to see these hidden details, to photograph them and show to the rest of the world how beautiful our world really is. This may all seem a bit daunting but the good news that it is not difficult to develop your photographer’s eye. Macro photography, taking photos of small things larger than life-size, is an excellent exercise for honing this special eye. So this week, creative Framers, we are going to photograph small things. Insects are often a popular subject for macro photography but you can also look for moss, water drops, feathers, seeds, and crystals. Other subjects for macro photography are detailed textures of just about anything, zoomed in body parts (for example eyelashes or a cat’s nails) or small details of inanimate subjects such as the bristles of a toothbrush of the stamens of a flower.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week3 HelloFromHere 700

Bringing STEM to the Blind and Site Impaired

This is FIRST LEGO League Team 180 Optimum from the Maryland School for the blind (https://www.marylandschoolfortheblind.org). Students from the Baltimore area blind and site impaired student population have been participating in FIRST LEGO League for the past six years. This year, for the first time, they could fully participate in the competition, using a tactile mat developed by Empower Mats (http://empowermats.com) a division of Robot Mats (http://robotmats.com). They can also program in Quorum, a text-based programming language for the EV3 Robotics that is fully accessible. At this Maryland State Qualifier they were awarded first place for their project research. The goal of empower mats is to allow these inquiring young students the same opportunities as their sighted counterparts in competitive robotics programs.

Shot with a Nikon D7500
F 4.5
ISO 2500
10 mm
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

Using a Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-P VR DX rented from the great people at Lens Rentals

Assignment:  One of the best things of 52Frames is that we are introduced to fellow photographers from all over the world. We not only get to cooperate together every week in creating an amazing photo album but we also learn from and inspire each other. AND on top of that, we get to see photos from far and near! Every single week the albums open up into hundreds of windows into corners of the world that many of us will probably never see in person. This week we are celebrating the fact that we are an amazing bunch of photographers from all over the place! So it is time to show us where you live…or maybe where you are traveling at this week... :) You can choose to show us your hometown, city or farm with a ‘wider view’ such as a famous landmark or unfamous landmark. Or maybe a cityscape or skyline. Or you can show us a more ‘narrow’ view, for example, the cute barista that makes the best coffee in town, or that blind busker with his patient dog or your special meditation spot under a giant tree.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week2 RuleOfThirds 700

Title: Sound of Thirds

The core of western music is the triad of thirds. It just sounds good.

Assignment:  Hi creative Framers, our challenge this week is the “rule of thirds’. It is one of the first composition rules that new photographers learn to create interesting and balanced photos. And it is also a nice and calming challenge after the dreaded self portrait! The basic idea is to imagine dividing a photo into a grid of thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have nine blocks. This grid helps you to find the four important parts (the intersections of the lines) of the image that you should consider placing your subject as you frame your image. You can also use the lines of the grid themselves for placing your subject. Studies show that the viewer’s eye tends to go straight to one of the intersection points rather than the center of the photo. Using the rule of thirds makes your photo only look more balanced but helps the viewer to find it pleasing to look at it. Personal note: I don't actually like the rule of thirds so much! Like any "rule" in photography, use it merely as a guide, and trust your intuition. The rule of thirds will help you especially in the beginning of your photographic journey, to compose better, more balanced images. Think of this as your first tool in your toolbelt.

6862 MarcoCiavolino 2019Week1 SelfPortrait 700

Me 1959-2019

This photo was taken by my father in or around 1959 in Clinton, NJ in our old Ford Woody Wagon. I tried to reproduce it and incorporate both.

My dad produced hundreds of photographs in New York and New Jersey from the late 1940's through the 1970's. Many were assignments and three are in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Many were shot with a 4x5 bellows camera or early 35MM SLRs. All were hand printed. Check them all out at: https://musicwithmike.com/photos

Shot with a Nikon D7500
F 5.3 @ 1/15 second
ISO 100
Focal Length 127mm
Cropped and edited in Photoshop CS

The Assignment: Hi there creative Framers!! It is a New Year and as tradition states, our very first challenge is a self-portrait! What fun...or maybe not..right? Us photographers are notorious for hiding behind our cameras, it is both our security blanket and our happy place. But once a year, at least here at 52Frames, it is time to step in front of the cameras for a change. Creating self-portraits offers both a serious artistic challenge and a way to build your photography skills. And you have the most patient model ever...yourself! Often, the best way to learn about lighting, portraiture and human composition in general, is using the most willing model that you have available...and that's YOU! So don’t be shy creative Framers, have fun, experiment a little, think outside the box, and show us 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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