PUSH creative challenge: Backlighting

After falling off the PUSH wagon for a few months, I’m back on track…at least for now. We are following the Clickinmoms monthly creative challenges. This month’s topic is backlight. I played with the setting sun and trees in two different locations in the last couple of weeks.

My parents’ backyard:


Push-July 2014

Push-July 2014-2

Atlantic Highlands harbor, NJ

Push-July 2014-3

Push-July 2014-4

You may have arrived here from Lisa’s blog. Click on to Michele’s site to see her creative take on backlighting.


PUSH creative challenge: Words/numbers

Last weekend, we had our first mild weather in recent memory. You know it’s been a long winter when mid-40s is a treat. My older daughter and I took a late afternoon walk from Manhattan over the Queensboro Bridge (a.k.a. 59th Street Bridge). We live quite close to the bridge, but for whatever reason I’ve never taken my kids up over the footpath. It was such a nice day that we decided to walk all the way into Queens, up to Roosevelt Island, and back to Manhattan on the tram. We had some beautiful late afternoon light along the way.

For the PUSH creative challenge, here’s my take on words and numbers. Evidently, the owners of this garage thought both were necessary to make sure their message was clear.


Please continue on to Catherine’s blog to complete the circle. Or you can go back to Michele’s blog.

Or, linger for a moment to see a few more photos from our walk across the bridge and through a somewhat down-at-the-heels part of Queens.

The pedestrian and bike path along the bridge:


Looking up:



The Roosevelt Island tram viewed from the bridge. We would ride it home after our walk.


The Roosevelt Island Bridge viewed from the Queensboro Bridge (with the Triboro Bridge beyond).


The N train emerging from its tunnel under the river:


Almost to Queens!


Urban backlight:


On the Roosevelt Island Bridge after a very long walk:


PUSH creative challenge: Reflection

The PUSH blog circle is forging ahead for 2014! This year, we will be following Clickinmoms.com’s monthly creative challenge. Our theme for January is reflections, and these cooperative birds at the harbor in Atlantic Highlands, NJ helped me out.

You may have arrived here from Catherine’s blog. Next up in the PUSH circle we welcome a new member, Michele.

Push - reflection

Push - reflection-2

PUSH creative challenge: Getting in the picture

Like a lot of photographers (and women/moms in general), I am pretty shy when it comes to actually getting in the picture. And December was such a busy month that a self-portrait shoot for this month’s PUSH Creative Challenge theme was not going to happen. But scrolling through my own and my husband’s Instagram feeds from 2013, I found there were more decent — even creative — snaps of me than I expected.

Next up in the PUSH circle is Catherine, or you can go back to Lisa’s post. I’m looking forward to starting a new year of creative challenges with this terrific group of photographers!

Push Dec 2013-2 Push Dec 2013-3 Push Dec 2013-4Push Dec 2013-14Push Dec 2013-15Push Dec 2013-16 Push Dec 2013-5 Push Dec 2013-6 Push Dec 2013-7 Push Dec 2013-8 Processed with VSCOcam with 6 preset Push Dec 2013-10 Push Dec 2013-11 Push Dec 2013-12

PUSH creative challenge: Spooky

Descending into a creepy dungeon??



Or just trick-or-treating in a Manhattan apartment building?


Where you will announce your intention to eat 5 pieces of candy tonight


And then ride the elevator back home.


Tonight’s SPOOKY post is part of a Clickinmoms creative blog circle. You may have arrived from Catherine’s blog. Please click on to be spooked by Sara’s interpretation of our October theme.

PUSH creative challenge: Humanizing a non-human

This month’s PUSH creative challenge, humanizing a non-human, was a tough one, and some in our circle decided to post other creative choices instead. But the assigned theme struck a chord with me. In a composition course I took about a year ago, we had to pick three words we would want others to use to describe our photography. The three words I chose were:


(actual picture taken for course assignment in October 2012!)

While capturing personality is an obvious goal for portraiture, I also love when a photograph of a place or object manages to convey some sense of the “personality” of its subject.

On a recent weekend we went to Mt. Mitchell Scenic Overlook in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. The park has the highest elevation on the Atlantic seaboard between Maine and the Yucatan with terrific views of Sandy Hook Bay and New York City, although it was a bit overcast on this particular day. When I saw these binoculars, I knew I had my humanized non-human, and my daughter was totally tickled to contribute the body parts.

PUSH September-4

On a more somber note, the park is also home to Monmouth County’s 9/11 memorial. Explaining that day to a 7-year-old is no easy task. I was struck by the grave look on the face of this eagle, who sits atop the monument listing those who died from the towns in the area where I grew up.

PUSH September-5

Next up in the PUSH circle is my friend Lisa Rigazio. You can also go back to the blog of Catherine Woelk.

PUSH creative challenge: Motion blur

Machine gunners, Funland, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware


Usually, I’m trying to stop motion in photos of my children’s active lives. Slowing my shutter speed and steadying my hand to capture motion blur was a challenge for me this month. Please continue around our PUSH blog circle to see my friend Lisa‘s take on motion blur. Or, if you would like to take this ride backward, go to Catherine’s blog.

PUSH creative challenge: Mobile phone

The first of the month means that it is time to post July’s PUSH creative challenge. I am participating in this challenge with a group of talented photographers from around the US that I met through the Clickinmoms forum (happily there is some overlap with my “real life” friends). We have a creative theme each month that is designed to push us out of our photography comfort zones.

July’s “mobile phone” theme coincides with a stretch where my iPhone is pretty much my photography world.  At the beginning of June, I saw that busy times ahead at work would likely keep me from getting out much with my “big camera”. To motivate myself to keep looking for interesting light and compositions, I joined up with another group of Clickinmoms for a daily photo project on Instagram. There are no set themes, just a commitment to post a photo every day. And I’m happy to say I’ve kept up for two months and counting, and that giving it the #cmig365jul tag pushed me to aim for a high quality photo every day.

So here you have it —  my life in July 2013 in 31 tiny little squares, from the camera that is always with me.

July1 July2 July3 July4 July5 July6 July7 July8 July9 July10 July11 July12 July13 July14 July15 July16 July17 July18 July19 July20 July21 July22 July23 July24 July25 July26 July27

July28 July29 July30 July31

Please continue around the circle to see Linda’s interpretation of our theme, or head back this way to Catherine’s blog.

PUSH creative challenge: Shallow depth of field

Once a month, I link up with a circle of photographers to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and explore a creative challenge. Depth of field (trained photographers can skip the next two sentences and go straight to the photo) refers to the amount of a photo that is in focus — with a little knowledge and practice, we can choose whether to have the whole scene in focus or have just our subject in focus and blur out the rest of the scene. “Shallow” depth of field means that just a slice of the photo is focus.

Resting on a park bench after a long hard afternoon of sprinkler play.


Thanks for checking out our circle! You may have arrived here from Catherine’s blog. To keep going, please click along to check out Jennifer’s work.

And if you’d like to see the sprinkler action that tuckered my kiddo out, check out another recent post of mine that featured the sparkling afternoon light.