Project 52/Playing with Light: Directional Light [3]

This week’s directional lighting is from the front, and totally artificial.

I love everything about my younger daughter’s dance school. The teacher is sweet, the classes are low key, and the moms are a lot of fun to chat with on Saturday mornings. Instead of a fancy recital, each student does a “showcase” for family and friends to show off what she’s learned during the year. But it is not a great place for photos. A bit of natural light comes in through the window, but not enough to light photos well. The ceiling is black and the walls are light green, so there is no place to bounce an external flash.  The only option was to try my luck with aiming the flash forward. I bought an inexpensive flash diffuser and fired away.

Ballet (with some fun flash shadow)…



And post-showcase treats from Miss Kelly — sunglasses and sucker.Directional-Wk3-3

Next up in the circle is Brooklyn photographer extraordinaire, Kelly Patton.


Project 52/Playing with Light: Directional Light [2]

This week the Project 52 blog circle continues our study of directional light. For today’s photos, I had my family play around in a patch of the yard that was strongly lit from behind as the sun set behind the fence line.

Crazy hair!


When I held the camera closer to the ground for this shot of my older daughter, the backlight created a dramatic haze.


Every week, I am impressed and motivated by the gorgeous photos produced by my friends in the Project 52 circle. Please continue on to the blog of Kennedy Tinsley, who captures beautiful natural light lifestyle photos of her four boys.

Project 52/Playing with Light: Directional Light [1]

It’s a new month and that means a new theme on the Project 52 blog circle. After a month of soft, diffuse light in May, we are looking for light with a stronger feeling of directionality.

We spent two lovely, lazy mornings at home this weekend and a couple of times I came upon my daughter reading or journalling in a beam of light. I could not choose between these two series so I decided to post both!

Here the light is coming from a west-facing window to the right.

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And here, the light is coming from the doorway of a south-facing room.

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Please head on over to the blog of Julie Mak to continue along the circle.

Project 52: Playing with Light: Diffused Light [4]

Sometimes, when your dad is the treasurer of a sailing club, you get stuck going to some really boring grown-up events. But often there is an activity set up for the kids. And if your mom is lucky, it is set up in the exact kind of light she needs for her blog circle that month.

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Please follow the P52 circle to the blog of my friend Jessie Wixon. Stay tuned for our next topic in June, when we add some drama with directional light.

Project 52: Playing with Light: Diffused light [3]

Our May flowers this year have come with lots of May showers. The rain had stopped by evening on this particular day, so we made a stop at a favorite pocket park by the East River to check out the blooms. The overcast open sky above the river served as my diffused light for week 3 of our May theme.

Kate Tulips Kate Close-up

Head on over to see how my friend and fellow New Yorker Stacey Vukelj is diffusing her light this week.

Project 52/Playing with Light: Diffused Light [2]

It didn’t seem like a promising time to catch a diffused light photo as we headed to a playdate at 4pm. We were on the south side of the street in heavy shadow, while the north side was in harsh sun. Then we spied a white building across the street reflecting the sunlight, giving me even, diffuse light for this snap of my daughter (showing off her new front tooth growing in).

Toothless Wonder

Next, please head on over to tinsleyhousephotography to see the work of my friend Kennedy.

Project 52/Playing with Light: Diffused Light [1]

Diffused light has neither the intensity nor the glare of direct light. It is softer and does not cast harsh shadows. Diffused light is scattered and comes from all directions, seeming to wrap around objects. For the month of May our Project 52 blog group will seek diffused light in a variety of settings.

This afternoon I found some beautiful diffused light in a place where I did not expect it – an indoor gymnastics birthday party. The light from the large windows created lovely catchlights in my daughter’s eyes and a vibrancy to the colors behind her in the room.

Jodi's Gym

Please continue around the circle to see the work of my friend Jessie Wixon.

Project 52/Playing with Light: Evening Light

My Jersey Shore category has been quite neglected lately. Between the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which has affected access to most of our favorite waterfront areas, and the winter weather, I simply haven’t been outdoors at the shore much in the past several months.

This Saturday we went for dinner at my grandmother’s place in Sea Bright. While we waited for the cooking to be done, the girls went to feed the ducks in the Shrewsbury River behind the condo. It was our first time this year walking out on the dock, which had earlier been roped off due to storm damage. Last year it was filled with boats on both sides, as were its neighbors. So far this spring only a single boat is back in the water.

Sea Bright evening

Please continue around the circle to see what my friend Jill Cassara has been capturing in the evening light.

Project 52/Playing with Light: Day Light

The second installment of our time-of-day theme is day light. Meaning midday, the kind of harsh, unflattering light that normally makes photographers run for the nearest open shade. With the challenge of shooting in full sun in mind, I headed for a late-morning solo walk on the beach one day on our Panama trip, while the more sensible members of my family stayed out of the sun.

Far down the beach, I crossed paths with a group of locals out for some fun on Easter Saturday.

Playa Blanca kids

What was so interesting down by the water? A lovely creature like this. That they were kicking around like a soccer ball.

Panama jellyfish

Please continue around the circle to the blog of my friend Erica Collins, who photographs truly lovely creatures — her five beautiful children.