Ms.Vitri Photos: Blog en-us (C) Ms. Vitri Photos (Ms.Vitri Photos) Tue, 10 Jul 2018 20:10:00 GMT Tue, 10 Jul 2018 20:10:00 GMT Ms.Vitri Photos: Blog 120 80 Estonia in 5 days        Though it's considered part of the Baltic States, Estonia shares more similarities with its northern neighbor, Finland, the most apparent being the Finno-Ugric language. With a flat mainland and 2,355 islands, Estonia is one of the least populous E.U. member states with a population of a little over 1.3 million. Inhabited since around 9000 B.C., ancient Estonians were some of the last European pagans. Over several centuries, Estonia shifted in between German, Danish, Swedish and Russian rule. National sentiments arose during the 19th and 20th centuries. On February 24, 1918, independence was declared. By the end of World War II, Estonia was annexed by the USSR. However, Estonia's de jure state was preserved by diplomats and government in exile. In 1987, a singing revolution began against Soviet rule which culminated with restoration of Estonia's de facto independence on August 20, 1991. Since independence, the nation has rapidly developed its IT sector, which earned them the moniker: e-Estonia. In 2005, Estonia become the first country to conduct elections over the internet, and in 2014, the first nation to provide e-residency.

       I spent 5 days touring and photographing various points of interest in Tallinn, Tartu and Haapsalu. 


Day 1 - Tallinn

       Tallinn, Estonia's capital and largest city, is situated on the northern coast of the country along the shore of the Gulf of Finland. First established in the early medieval era, modern day Tallinn is a balanced mix of old and new. Something out of a fairytale book, Tallinn is littered with colorful gabled houses and medieval buildings that line the cobblestoned streets with guard towers along the enclosed city walls. Often dubbed the Silicon Valley of Europe, Tallinn has the highest number of startups per person in Europe and is the birthplace of many international companies, including Skype.

       Old Town, the city's historic centre, is one the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. In the days of the Hanseatic trade league, Old Town was divided into Lower Town and Toompea Hill. Lower Town housed the merchants and churches, while Toompea was and still is the country's administrative center. Nestled in the center is Town Hall Square. Used as a marketplace and meeting point for many centuries, the square is now a hub of activity with quaint outdoor cafes, cozy restaurants and whimsical shops. 
Town Hall Square

Tallinn's cobblestoned streets 

       Commanding attention in the center of Old Town is the towering Town Hall (Raekoda) that has dominated the square since its completion in 1404. Considered Scandinavia and Baltic countries' "oldest surviving town hall," it currently functions as a museum and occasional concert venue. 

Town Hall

       Perhaps the brightest looking government building I've ever seen, Toompea Castle was built during the 18th century and is home to the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu). The current structure was erected on the foundations of the crumbling eastern wing of the fortress that was a stronghold for the city in the 13th and 14th centuries. 

       Nestled within the walls of Tallinn is Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. An orthodox church built in typical Russian Revival style, the cathedral is dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky who won the Battle of Ice in 1242. The cathedral is richly decorated with onion-like domes and eleven bells that were cast in St. Petersburg. The largest bell weighs 16 tons! 

       A few blocks from Old Town is Kassikohvik Nurri (Nurri Cat Cafe). A cozy cafe with delightful dishes and adorable furries, this cat cafe is must visit! I had a great time playing with and photographing the cats who are a mix of playful youngsters to suspicious adults. Oh, and you can also adopt a cat!

Nurri Cat Cafe

I ended the day at Patkuli viewing area, a wonderful spot that captures the beauty of lower town from above the hill. The red roofs and church spires are as picturesque as postcards suggest. 


Day 2 - Kadriorg Palace & Harju County

       East of Tallinn is Kadriorg Palace. Considered the grandest example of palace and park design in Estonian architectural history, the place was originally built as an imperial summer residence for Tsarina Catherine I. Complete with a garden, fountains, hedges and flowerbeds, the palace was modeled after Versailles according to the wishes of Peter the Great, Catherine's husband. Currently, the palace houses the Kadriorg Art Museum.

       Thereafter, I traveled further east to Harju County to explore Lahemaa National Park. En route to the bog, I stopped by Jagala Waterfall, the highest natural waterfall in Estonia at 8 metres tall. Located on the lower course of the Jagala River, approximately 4 km before the river flows into the Gulf of Finland, the waterfall is quite wide at 50 metres. 

       After a few quick snaps, I continued east to Viru Bog. For those who don't know what a bog is (myself included, before this trip), a bog or mire/quagmire/muskeg is a wetland that accumulates peat - a deposit of dead plant material. Frequently covered in shrubs rooted in moss and peat, the gradual accumulation of decayed plant material functions as a carbon sink. Bogs often occur where water at the ground surface is acidic and low in nutrients. Water within and flowing out of the bog is characteristically reddish-brown. a result of the dissolved peat tannins. Viru bog is one of the most accessible bogs in Estonia with a 3.6 km wooden trail throughout the bog.

Aerial view of Viru Bog from a lookout point

Bog and wooden trail Tannins from the dissolved peat

       Approximately 30 km north of Viru Bog is Juminda Tuletorn (Juminda Lighthouse). Built in 1937, it is a circular concrete tower with a lantern and double gallery. The upper portion is painted red, while the lower tower is painted white. The lighthouse has consecutive bursts of bright light every 15 seconds and can be seen from 15 nautical miles.

The area surrounding the lighthouse is littered with several species of mushrooms. Not sure which were edible and which were not.


Day 3 - Tartu 

       Tartu, the country's second largest city, is considered the intellectual centre of the country, hence the nickname "university city." It is home to the University of Tartu, the nation's oldest and most renowned university established since 1632. The Supreme Court, National Museum and the Ministry of Education and Research are also located within this major hub. The most memorable buildings were Tartu Cathedral and the Town Hall. 

Tartu Square

University of Tartu

       Tartu Cathedral is a former Catholic church located on Toomemagi (cathedral hill). Badly damaged by Protestant iconoclasts, the cathedral fell into decay and is now an imposing ruin overlooking the lower town. 

Tartu Cathedral

Domes of the cathedral

Toomemagi, the surrounding hill and area, was landscaped as a park in the 19th century. It's picture perfect during autumn. 

       Within the park are Angel's and Devil's bridges. Angel's Bridge (Inglisild) is not named after an angel, but rather due to confusion in translation. It's said the bridge was named after an English garden - in Estonian, the word for English (inglise) is similar to the word angel (ingel). However, no English garden was ever planted on the hill. More than likely, the bridge was named in to contrast to the nearby Devil's Bridge. The multi-pillared wood bridge links two knolls of Toome Hill.

       Devil's Bridge (Kuradisild) is robust concrete arch constructed in 1913 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty. The name is borrowed from the bridge's construction supervisor, a German named Werner Maximillian Friedrich Zoege von Manteuffel, whose last name roughly translates to "man-devil".

       The Town Hall is the seat of Tartu's government. Located in Town Hall Square in the city centre, it was built in an early Neoclassical style with Rococo and Baroque details. The hall shares many stylistic similarities with the older town hall of Narva. 

Directly infront of the town hall is the Kissing Students sculpture and fountain. One the most recognized symbols of Tartu, the fountain has remained in the same place since 1948 where newlyweds and their guests would visit it for luck.


Day 4 - Haapsalu

       Two hours west of Tallinn is Haapsalu, a resort town, once a favorite summer spot of Russian Tsars. I visited Haapsalu Railway Station, a wooden station operational since 1904. The station once served passenger and cargo trains on a daily basis. However, as of 2014, most of the track has been removed with the former rail bed now used as a bicycle path. 

Railway Museum

Railway Platform

       A quick car ride away is Haapsalu Bishop's Castle. Once the residence of the medieval Prince-Bishops, the castle was founded in mid-13th century and remained in use until the end of the 17th century. Accordingly to legends, during full moons in August, an image of a maiden, The White Lady, appears on the inner wall of the chapel. The story goes that a canon fell in love with an Estonian girl, who he secretly brought into the castle. She hid by disguising as a choirboy and remained a secret for a long time. Eventually, she was discovered and the Bishop's council decided that the girl should be immured in the wall of the chapel and the canon was to be put in prison where he was starved to death. Placed within the wall, the girl's cries were heard for sometime. Some believe that she grieved not for herself, but for her beloved. 

Haapsalu Castle 

Castle Towers


Day 5 - Tallinn  

       Tallinn was once Europe's greatest fortified city and still houses a vast range of defense towers and historic gates that collectively make up the Walls of Tallinn, a World Heritage Site. The first wall was constructed in 1265 at approximately 16 feet high and 4.9 ft thick at its base. Since then, the wall was significantly enlarged and strengthened. A portion of the Wall connecting Nunna, Sauna and Kuldjala towers can be visited.

       Located on Toompea Hill, between the city wall and lower Tallinn, is the Danish King's Garden. Legend has it that this is the spot where a flag descended from the sky during the Danish invasion and turned the course of the battle in favor of King Valdemar II. The flag later became the national flag of Denmark. The garden is picturesque with flowers, trees, benches and spectacular views to the lower town, a medieval wall and two fortification towers. 

       St. Olaf's Church tower is the tallest spire in Old Town. Once the tallest building in the world from 1549 to 1625, the steeple's 159 metres spire served as a signpost for approaching ships. Dedicated to King Olaf II of Norway (also known as Saint Olaf), the church was once the centre for the city's Scandinavian community before Denmark conquered Tallinn in 1219. During the summer, visitors can climb 232 steps leading to the observation at the 124 metres tower platform for fantastic 360 degree views of Tallinn and the Gulf of Finland.

Lower towers of St. Olaf's

St. Olaf's Church (the observation deck is the square around the tower)

]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 5 days in estonia baltic states baltics canon days in estonia estonia estonia in 5 days europe northern europe photography travel what to do in estonia Thu, 29 Mar 2018 04:36:37 GMT
A day in Philadelphia        The largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the 6th most populous city in the U.S., Philadelphia is an ideal city to visit. Boasting an extensive list of must see places, we tried to focus our day trip to a few historical gems. 

       Our first stop was Eastern State Penitentiary, a radical 19th century prison designed to create social change. Located in the Fairmount section of the city, the penitentiary remains one of the most famous prisons in the world, with its most memorable inmate being the legendary gangster Al Capone. With it's distinctive "wagon-wheel" floor plan, Eastern State set the standard for penal reform with its soaring castle-like Gothic architecture and its founders' Quaker-inspired belief that solitary confinement could help reform criminals. Interestingly, the 11-acre site had central heat, running water and flush toilets before the White House did! Some scenes from The Shawshank Redemption were also filmed here. The prison opened in 1829 and remained operational until 1971. It now operates as a museum and historic site where guided tours are offered year-round. We spent 2-3 hours exploring the prison and the surrounding grounds.

Prison miniature 

Prison cell blocks

Prison yard

       Thereafter, we headed over to Independence Hall between Center City and Old City. The hall is the building where both the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and subsequently adopted. It is now the centerpiece of the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia and is pictured on the back of the U.S. $100 bill

Independence Hall 

       Once housed in the steeple of the hall was the Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence. The bell is now located in the Liberty Bell Center within the Historical Park, across from Independence Hall. The notable crack on the bell remains somewhat of a mystery. However, the most likely explanation is that a narrow split developed in the early 1840's due to 90 years of hard use. In 1846, the city commissioned metal workers to repair the bell. They widened the thin crack to prevent its farther spread and restored the tone of the bell using a technique known as "stop drilling." An image of the bell also appears on the $100 bill.

       Philadelphia's City Hall is the seat of government for the city located at the heart of the city's center. The largest municipal building in the country, it is a fine example of Second Empire style architecture. The masonry building's weight is borne by granite and brick walls measuring up to 22 feet thick. The principal exterior materials include limestone, granite and marble. The only structural and exterior metallic parts of the building are the upper portion of the clock tower and the bronze statuary. From 1894 to 1908, it was the tallest habitable building in the world at 548 feet. 

City Hall from side street and City Center

City Center Square

We explored the surrounding streets adjacent to the City Center in awe of the amazing architectural details on several buildings.

We ended the day by trekking over to the City of Brotherly Love's best known landmark - the LOVE sign. Designed by Robert Indiana, the LOVE sign is iconic, with recreations in several globally.

Additional images can be viewed here.

]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) a day in philadelphia america constitution hall independence hall liberty bell philadelphia philly photography roadtrip usa Wed, 14 Mar 2018 19:43:56 GMT
A Weekend in New England         I've been on several photography related trips over the the last few years, yet my editing of said trips has been lacking. I figured blogging the trips would help curb my editing procrastination. Without further ado, here's a snapshot of my road trip through New England in Autumn, 2015.

At 3 a.m. on Saturday morning, we drove 5+ hours from NYC  to Vermont. There was a stunning sunrise along the interstate headed north. 

Our first stop was Quechee Gorge in Vermont along Route 4. The gorge is the deepest in Vermont at 165 feet. It cuts through the bedrock of Devonian Gile Mountain Formation and the Mesozoic mafic dikes. The Ottauquechee River flows through the bottom of the gorge and is often used for kayaking. 

Thereafter, we headed to Lost River Gorge/Reservation in New Hampshire. The reservation is a protected area with a series of caves along the gorge in the White Mountains. The Lost River is so-named because the brook draining the southern part of Kinsman Notch disappears below the surface in a narrow and steep-walled glacial gorge. The reservation is accessible via wooden paths and stairways in and around the gorge.

Our our way out of New Hampshire, we cruised along colorful routes before stopping at the base of White Mountain for a quick snap.

        The next day, we headed to Maine. On our way, we crossed the Penabscot Narrows Bridge. There was an observatory on the 2,210 feet cable-stayed bridge, the tallest public bridge observatory in the world at 420 feet in the West Tower! The views from the tower were breathtaking! 

We continued our drive through Maine to Cadillac Mountain, located on Mount Desert Island within Acadia National Park. The mountain's summit has an elevation of 1,530 feet and is the tallest mountain in the park and the eastern coast of the United States. We spent the entire day stopping along various points of interest along the 3.5 mile winding and narrow road en route to the mountain.

Thunder Hole is a natural wonder carved out of coastal rocks. The small cavern at the bottom of the inlet, coupled with the combination of waves hitting the rocks and the release of air from the cavern cause a thunderous boom, hence the name.

At the mountain's peak were draw dropping views of the coast and park as far as the eye can see. At 1,500+ feet in the air, clouds hugged the landscape to create a picturesque image.

A bit further out, cruise ships and yachts can be seen off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Naturally, the sunset was beyond gorgeous. 

        On Monday morning, we drove to Plum Island in Massachusetts. As a barrier island, Plum Island is 11 miles long and is named after the wild beach plum shrubs that grow on its dunes. It is located within parts of four municipalities in Essex County: Newburyport, Newbury, Rowley and Ipswich. It was raining, and the beach was mostly covered in mild blanket of dewy fog, lovely nonetheless.

On our way to Boston, we stopped by Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich. Castle Hill refers to the 165 acre drulim surrounded by sea and salt marsh and the mansion that sits on the hill. The former summer home of Mr. and Mrs. Richard T. Crane, Jr. (famous for plumbings), the estate includes a historic mansion, 21 outbuildings and designed landscapes overlooking Ipswich Bay. The mansion, gardens, enormous lawns and bay area are scenes worthy of postcard memorabilia. The estate features prominently in Witches of Eastwick, Flowers in the Attic and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

Estate interiors

Estate from Grand Allee/lawn

The Grand Allee/lawn facing the ocean

We arrived in Boston late afternoon amidst rush hour traffic. Utterly confused at the circular roadways, we parked the car and headed on foot to downtown and Beacon Hill. Along Freedom Trail, we stopped by Faneuil Hall. A marketplace and meeting hall since 1743, this beautiful red brick structure is packed with tasty treats and touristy knit knats. No wonder it's rated #4 in America's most visited tourist sites by Forbes Traveler!

We continued on to Old State House. Built in 1713, it was the seat of the Massachusetts General Court until 1798, and is one of the oldest public buildings in the U.S. It now serves as a history museum operated by the Bostonian Society and has been designated a National Historic Landmark since 1960.

A few blocks over, we entered Beacon Hill. A district of federal-style row houses, narrow gaslit streets and brick sidewalks, this quaint neighborhood is beautifully scenic. 

We left around 8 p.m. and were home before midnight. Quite an active weekend, but one filled with lasting memories and 1000+ photos (more available here).

]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) america autumn boston canon colors lobster maine maple syrup massachusetts new england new hampshire outdoors photography roadtrip usa vermont Tue, 13 Mar 2018 03:25:26 GMT
2016: A Year in Review                      What a year! Never would I think this hobby of mine would be such a treat. I've met so many amazing folks over the last 6 years since picking up the camera in 2011. 2016 has been an exceptional year. I shot two weddings, an 18th styled shoot, a mother & daughter session and several portraits sessions. It's more than I ever shot in a year. Here are a few of my favorites.

]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) colors editing outdoors photography wedding Tue, 07 Feb 2017 21:51:45 GMT
Shubh Deepavali             It's been forever since I've posted. However, it's Deepavali (Diwali), and I must share some rangolis! Diwali is the festival of lights, and Hindus across the globe celebrate this auspicious day by lighting diyas (little decorated clay pots) and candles around and outside their homes. The lights outside their homes symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. This year, my family and I decorated Ganesha and peacock rangolis. Here are some shots I took during the course of the evening. 

Happy Deepavali from the kitties and us!

]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) colors diwali diyas ganesha photography Mon, 31 Oct 2016 02:49:50 GMT
52 Frames: Levitation Week 6: Levitation

Week 6: LevitationWeek 6: Levitation

]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks editing photo challenge photo project photography Fri, 12 Feb 2016 03:26:19 GMT
52 Frames: Shoot from Above Week 5: Shoot from Above

Week 5: Shoot from AboveWeek 5: Shoot from Above

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2.2
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 800
     Focal length: 50 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography Sun, 31 Jan 2016 23:45:01 GMT
52 Frames: Shoot from Below Week 4: Shoot from below

Week 4: Shoot from BelowWeek 4: Shoot from Below

         Shot this from the foot of the servants' stairs at the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site at Hyde Park, NY. For post processing, I added a matte effect and enhanced the brown colors to give a golden-look to the overall image. 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 3200
     Focal length: 50 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks beautiful colors fifty two frames photo challenge photo project photography Sun, 31 Jan 2016 02:58:04 GMT
Natural Light Photography Tips Over the last two years, I’ve developed a love for portrait photography. Ever since I bought the 50 mm 1.4 lens, I learned to appreciate shooting with natural light in a whole new perspective! Here is some general information when considering shooting with natural light.

Preparation: Before any shoot, you should have at least some details planned out (and set up) ahead of time. You ought to consider the location, your subject’s wardrobe, hairstyle, accessories or props, the specific camera gear you’d be taking along, the time you’ll be shooting and so forth.

Location: I cannot stress this enough! Location is a key factor when shooting with natural light. Depending on the type of shoot you have planned, you may choose between an urban and rural landscape. Thereafter, you can further narrow your choice between solitary or a more populated environment (remember you can always find great urban spaces that is not overflowing with people). You should always keep in mind the amount of light that is present in the space you plan to shoot. Therefore, it’s best to scope the area you wish to shoot in beforehand.

Urban (populated) vs. rural setting

Patience and décorum: Working with any subject can be challenging (especially if you’re meeting that person for the first time on the day of the shoot). If you’re working with an experienced model, then posing may be relatively easy and the shoot should be over quickly. If you’re working with someone who’s still learning their angles, then direction must be clear as crystal. Throughout this session, you should be polite and patient with your subject. If they are uncomfortable or at odds with your direction, It will definitely come across in the photos. I usually try to make shoots educational by giving the subject a brief overview of the angles I’ll be shooting from, the poses and expressions I want them to try. I always remind them to let me know if they’re uncomfortable with anything and that we can definitely try other options. Always take a few breaks so that both you and your subject can relax during the shoot. Finally, it takes a few clicks before you get the shots you’re looking for. So don’t become frustrated if you haven’t gotten what you’re looking for within the first 50 or 100 photos.

I absolutely love shooting portraits with natural light. It compliments most subjects gracefully and it’s totally free! It’s crucial to remember that natural lighting changes every hour, and varies depending on the season and location you’re shooting in. That said, here are my seven tips for shooting portraits with natural light.

1. Back light: Depending on your style, you may choose to filter the light through trees, foliage, buildings, etc or have your back light be light via sun flare or hazy lighting. Always remember that you can attach a lens hood to your camera to further reduce haze in your backlight. Whichever you prefer, always consider how this will affect the overall frame of your image.

2. Where you should stand: Almost always, you should stand in the shade. In doing so, you can control the amount of sunlight that may seep directly into your lens. If you’re in an open space with no shade, then position your camera in such a way that the sun is at a slight angle to your camera.  Again, make sure that the light is not entering your lens straight on (unless you want to mimic a sun flare, etc).

3. Quality of light: Position your subject in such a way so that they are adequately lit by sunlight. It is paramount not to underexpose the most important element of your photo – your subject. Additionally, do not bounce harsh light off of your subject or have them look directly towards the sun, otherwise there will be unflattering and distracting contrasty blobs on your subject. They will also squint and get watery eyes! All that said, it’s best to shoot during the “golden hour” when shooting with natural light. The golden hour is usually during sunrise or sunset. 
















Left image: subject facing sunlight (harsh light); right image: subject lit with natural light via reflector
















4. Positioning your subject: if you scouted the location beforehand, then you’d know where to position your subject. If you did not, then you may want to spend a few minutes positioning your model in several spots to see what how well the lighting compliments your subject. You can assess the light by having your subject turn 360 degrees and see how it changes on their faces or bodies.
















5. Use the light to your advantage: I always carry a reflector with me to capitalize on natural light (especially if the light begins to vanish at sunset). You can reflect light unto your subject by bouncing it off of the reflector. You can use different layers of the reflector to achieve different light results. For example, a diffuser will make the bouncing light less harsh on your subject. A silver reflector, will make the bouncing light a bit brighter on your subject while a copper/yellow reflector will add a warm glow to your subject.  Left image: natural light w/reflector diffuser; middle image: light behind subject w/ copper reflector; right image: natural light only
















6. Camera settings: In any type of portraiture, it’s vital to have a connection with your subject. You may have great lighting and a beautiful composite, but the image will not be truly appreciated if the shot lacks a connection with your subject. To achieve such a connection, focus on the eyes is key. Whenever we look at a photo of another person, the first thing we connect with is their eyes. Be sure to make the eyes a focal point. You can always use manual focus if your autofocus doesn’t get it quite right. It is also imperative to use a large aperture (low f-number) to blur out/bokeh the background so that does not distract from your subject. 
















7. Practice and have fun: Two things: practice makes perfect and photography should be fun. Photography is an art, and portraiture photography is no exception. Don’t be afraid to ask family, friends or acquaintances to pose so you can practice your techniques and learn to efficiently communicate with your subject. Finally, you can make your art look any way you want it to. As long as you’re happy with your final product, then that’s all that really matters. 















Left image: natural light; right image: natural light with reflector
















Happy shooting!



]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) colors editing natural light outdoors photo challenge photography Fri, 22 Jan 2016 08:57:00 GMT
52 Frames: Greetings From Week 3: Greetings From (Westchester)

Week 3: Greetings FromWeek 3: Greetings From            This week's theme required Framers to showcase their hometown. I chose Kenisco Dam in Valhalla, Westchester for my shot. At the height of the damn, there is an amazing view of the Kenisco Reservoir. I shot the above image just as the sunset began. In post processing, I desaturated the yellows and whites. I increased the blues and greens so there was balance between the sky and water. I adjusted the clarity to add some depth to the space between the water and the sky. Finally, I added a heavy vignette in the lower part of the image to add a bit of contrast.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/250
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 18 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography Thu, 21 Jan 2016 04:37:15 GMT
52 Frames: Black & White Week 2: Black and White

Caption: Les Yeux

Week 2: Black & WhiteWeek 2: Black & White

           For this week's theme, I kept it simple. I shot the above image using a LED continuous light held directly above the cat. I used a wide aperture to highlight the fur textures and whiskers on the cat. In post processing, I made the image B & W. To further enhance the image, I increased the clarity around the nose, eyes and upper mouth. I tweaked the shadows and blacks and added a blue undertone via split toning. Here's a before and after.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 500
     Focal length: 50 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography Tue, 12 Jan 2016 00:21:02 GMT
52 Frames: Self portrait Week One: Self Portrait

Caption: Renewed

Week 1: Self PortraitWeek 1: Self Portrait

          HAPPY 2016! As we enter the new year, 52 Frames once again required photographers to put themselves before the lens. Week 1 had us dig deep to try and display our personalities, personal style and faces in a way that made us feel comfortable or vulnerable. I had no idea what to do for my submission, except that it needed to be different from last year's. I did some research on some notable self portraits and ultimately decided to be playful with mine. 

          I rubbed some tempura paint on my face, upper body and hair. I sat in front of a white backdrop with a soft box to my right. I got my clicker and began posing. After 100 odd shots, I decided to call it a night. I browsed my captures and edited six. Thereafter, I tried to decide on which image popped the most. Finally, I settled on the above image because it captured the magic of eyes piercing through the photo. Here's a before and after.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 320
     Focal length: 50 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography Tue, 05 Jan 2016 05:41:45 GMT
52 Frames: What I've learned Week 52: What I've learned

Caption: Tranquil

Fifty Two: What I've learnedFifty Two: What I've learned

        What have I learned? -- That it's okay to not overthink a photo. That natural light can be used more advantageously than studio lighting. That photography gear is not nearly as important as learning to make the best use of said gear. That patience goes a long way. That artistic drought is a real thing. And finally, that inspiration and art can be found in almost everything, we just need to look a bit harder. Here's to saying goodbye to a wonderful 2015, and a big HELLO to all that 2016 has to offer.

        The above shot was taken against a window. Natural light filled the frame as the kitty was basking in the sun. This image was edited to add some clarity and a bit of vignette.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/320
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 35 mm

     smile emoticHere's to saying goodbye to a wonderful 2015, and a big HELLO to all that 2016 has to offer.

]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography Tue, 29 Dec 2015 22:16:32 GMT
52 Frames: Two Challenges Combined Week 51: Two Challenges Combined

Caption: Carefree

Challenges included: One light source & focus

Fifty one: Two Challenges CombinedFifty one: Two Challenges Combined

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 50 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography Sun, 20 Dec 2015 09:41:21 GMT
52 Frames: Body Week 50: Body

Caption: Tangled

Fifty: BodyFifty: Body

         This week was truly a struggle. I had several ideas I wanted to try, but in the end... I had no time! This shot was super ad hoc and impromptu. I had my sister wear knee high socks and I wrapped LED white lights around her legs. I shot 17 frames and edited 4 images. Finally, I decided on the above image as it was a great mix of focus and blurriness. The entire process from start to upload took 30 minutes (talk about efficiency!). Here's a before and after.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 50 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks christmas colors editing lights photo challenge photo project photography Sun, 13 Dec 2015 03:43:51 GMT
52 Frames: Behind the Subject Week 49: Behind the Subject

Caption: The Land of Dolls

Forty-nine: Behind the subjectForty-nine: Behind the subject

        'Tis the season of everything festive and beautiful! Yesterday, I saw The Nutcracker performed by high schoolers of New Canaan. It was absolutely spectacular! I used my 18-135mm f/3.5 to shoot because I was some distance away from the stage. The above image is one of favs from the show. I edited the still in LR to add more of a snowy-night feel. I increased the blacks and shadows, and played around with RGB curves until I had the right amount of contrast between the ballerinas and background. Here's a before and after.

        Here are some additional shots from the performance. To view more, click here.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/180
     ISO speed: 1600
     Focal length: 92 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks ballet colors editing nutcracker photo challenge photo project photography Sun, 06 Dec 2015 19:48:02 GMT
52 Frames: Animals Week 47: Animals

Caption: Doggy Sass

Forty-Seven: AnimalsForty-Seven: Animals

           Decided to change it up this week by photographing a dog :). LB was quite the poser! Special thanks to his human companion for letting me capture all his sass. Here are some other shots from this adventure.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/1000
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:59:27 GMT
52 Frames: Extreme Angle Week 46: Extreme Angle

Caption: Les Fleurs

Forty-Six: Extreme AngleForty-Six: Extreme Angle

           This week, I decided to keep it simple by shooting dried flowers hung upside down. I SOOC image was pretty dull, so I edited the shot in Lightroom to make it pop. I increased the clarity, darkened the shadows, increased the saturation/vibrance, and played around with split toning for added color variation. Here's a before and after for comparison.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 125
     Focal length: 35 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing flowers photo challenge photo project photography Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:57:12 GMT
52 Frames: Emotion Week 44: Emotion

Caption: Blah

Forty-four: EmotionForty-four: Emotion

       Yet another last minute photo that resulted in a lucky shot! My cat was playing in a box on the patio and just as he was about to yawn, I snapped this. His opened mouth and empty stare suggests that he's feeling pretty "blah" (hence the caption). This shot was edited in LR to increase the sharpness and increase the yellow and green tones. 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/250
     ISO speed: 125
     Focal length: 50 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:55:41 GMT
52 Frames: Sound Week 40: Sound

Caption: Mind Controller

Forty: SoundForty: Sound

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 800
     Focal length: 50 mm
]]> (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:54:20 GMT