Ms.Vitri Photos: Blog https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog en-us (C) Ms. Vitri Photos msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:36:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:36:00 GMT https://www.msvitriphotos.com/img/s/v-12/u924620767-o393471826-50.jpg Ms.Vitri Photos: Blog https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog 120 80 San Diego to Seattle https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2019/6/san-diego-to-seattle      I've always been interested in doing a cross-country trip, so I figured I'd give it a go by indulging in a week long excursion from San Diego to Seattle. Not exactly cross-country, but a 4100+ miles trip nevertheless. After weeks of meticulous planning (almost down to the hour), some friends and I took off from NYC to San Diego on a Saturday. Continue reading for our crazy journey.

Day 0: San Diego

     We left NYC at 6 p.m. and were in San Diego by 9 p.m. (yes, we time traveled). We picked up our rental from the airport and drove to a Super Target for supplies. We bought fresh fruits, water, salted snacks and a cooler to store our munchies. Thereafter, we headed to our hotel in Torrance for some shut eye.

 

Day 1: L.A. & Sequoias

     The next day, we were pretty rested and ready for the long day ahead. We had breakfast and left the hotel around 9:30 a.m. Our first stop was the Hollywood Star Walk. Comprised of more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard, these stars are a major tourist attraction in L.A. (approximately 10 million visitors per year). 

The TCL Chinese Theatre can also be found on Hollywood Boulevard. This historic movie palace was originally named Grauman's Chinese Theatre. In 2013, the Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL Corporation purchased the facility's naming rights and changed the name to the TCL Chinese Theatre. 

Fun fact: nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints and autographs are in the concrete of the theatre's forecourt. 

A short drive from Hollywood Boulevard is the Hollywood Sign. An American landmark and cultural icon, this famous sign is situated on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains. "HOLLYWOOD" is spelled out in 45 ft (13.7 m) tall white capital letters and is 353 ft (107.3 m) long. It was originally created in 1923 as an ad for a local real estate development, but due to increasing recognition, the sign remained.

The valley close to the sign is quite beautiful.

     A bit after noon, we began our drive towards Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Surrounded by groves of the world's largest living trees, deep canyons and vast caverns, these two parks are a must see for any traveler.

Established in 1890 to protect 404,064 acres (631 sq. mi.) of forested mountainous terrain, the parks are most notable for their giant sequoia trees. Five of the ten largest trees in the world can be found in the Giant Forest, where the General Sherman tree reigns as the the largest tree on earth. 

We continued our journey along the Generals Highway, occasionally stopping at different points of interest (mostly for photos).

Afterwards, we had dinner and headed for our hotel in Fresno.

 

Day 2: Yosemite 

     On our second day, we had waffles for breakfast and headed 1.5 hours towards Yosemite National Park. An icon of America's majestic natural beauty with its dramatic waterfalls, giant sequoias, abundant wildlife and awe-inspiring cliffs, Yosemite attracts approximately 4 million visitors each year. 

Encompassing an area of 747,956 acres (1,168 sq. mi), Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, ultimately leading to President Abraham Lincoln's signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864. Thereafter, John Muir led a successful movement to have Congress establish a larger national park by 1890, one which encompassed the valley and its surrounding mountains and forests, thereby paving the way for what is now the National Park System

Notable attractions include:

Viewpoint at Yosemite, CAViewpoint at Yosemite, CA Tunnel view

Corlieu Falls

Swinging Bridge

Bridal Veil Falls

El Capitan 

Yosemite Falls

Fun fact: Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in the park, dropping a total of 2,425 ft (739 m) from the top of the upper fall to the base of the lower fall. 

CA 105, CACA 105, CA View of the mountain road from a lookout point on CA-105.

Before leaving the park, we had dinner and drove 3 hours to sleep in Oakland.

 

Day 3: San Francisco

     The third day was to be the longest. We had a very early breakfast and were out the hotel by 7:45 a.m. We had tickets for the Classic Cable Car tour of San Francisco with Hornblower for 9 a.m. We were a bit late, but I called ahead and asked the tour guide to wait for us. They did, and we wound up having the second cable car to ourselves! 

     San Francisco (Spanish for Saint Francis) is the cultural, commercial and financial hub of Northern California. The 13th most populous city in the U.S.A., San Francisco was originally founded on June 29, 1776 when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asis. The gold rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. In 1856, it became consolidated as a city-county.

Along our tour, we visited the following:

San Francisco City Hall

Painted Ladies, SFPainted Ladies, SF The Painted Ladies

Mrs. Doubtfire's House

Palace of Fine Arts, SFPalace of Fine Arts, SF Palace of Fine Arts

Fun fact: Scenes from The Rock and My Name is Khan were filmed at the Palace of Fine Arts.

The most famous of all the San Francisco landmarks is no doubt, the Golden Gate Bridge. Connecting San Francisco to California's northern counties, the tremendous 746 ft (227 m) tall towers with a strait spanning 1.6 km (1 m) held together by its sweeping main cables in its signature orange vermillion color is truly a marvel of modern engineering. 

GGB, SFGGB, SF Side note: there was no fog on the day we visited San Francisco, However, we still felt the full effects of "fogust" as it was quite cold compared to the heat from L.A. and the parks.

Our tour ended a bit after noon, and we had lunch on the pier at Fisherman's Wharf.

      After lunch, we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods. Located 12 miles north of San Francisco on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific Coast, Muir Woods is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The park protects 554 acres (almost 1 sq. mi) of old growth coast redwood forests. The forest is regularly shrouded in a coastal marine layer of fog, thereby making it a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. 

Muir Woods, CAMuir Woods, CA The park is also home to various species of wildlife. We were lucky to see fox cubs.

We ended the day with a 4.5 hour drive to our hotel in Eureka. 

 

Day 4: Northern Californian Coast

     The fourth day was solely dedicated to driving from Eureka, CA to Newport, OR - a total of 6.5 hours. Naturally, we made some stops along the way to explore and snap photos. 

Before leaving Eureka, we drove by the Carson Mansion. Constructed in 1884-1885, this large Victorian house  is three stories high with 18 bedrooms, a tower and basement. The house is considered the most grand Victorian home in America. Originally the home of William Carson (one of Northern California's first major lumber barons), it has been a private club since 1950. Unfortunately, the house and grounds are not open for tours. 

Thereafter, we drove to Trinidad State Beach. Located 20 miles north of Eureka off Highway 101, the beach is a secluded cove near the town of Trinidad. The offshore rocks are part of the California Coastal National Monument. We spent 30 minutes walking around and dipping our feet in the cold Pacific waters. 

A short drive north of Trinidad State Beach are the Redwood National and State Parks. These parks protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood old-growth forests, totaling 38,982 acres (157.75 sq km). These trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on earth.

The park is also home to several indigenous grassland prairies, flora and fauna.

A short drive north along the Redwood Highway is False Klamath, which offers spectacular views of the coastline.

An hour north of the parks is Crescent City. Named for the crescent-shaped stretch of sandy beach south of the city, Crescent City has a total population of a little over 8,000. Due to the richness of the local Pacific Ocean waters and the related catch, and ease of access, Crescent City Harbor serves as a home port for numerous commercial fishing vessels. 

Side note: Crescent City's offshore geography makes it unusually susceptible to tsunamis. Major damage to the city occurred in 1984 by the Good Friday earthquake off Anchorage, Alaska and the March 11, 2011 earthquake off Sendai, Japan.

Upon entering Oregon, the roads were covered in fog which made our drive a bit difficult.

We wound up getting to Newport after 10 p.m. We stopped by Snug Harbor Bar & Grill to grab some food and headed to our hotel in Siletz Bay. Turns out, the bar sold some of the best clam chowder I've ever had!

 

Day 5: Beaches & Waterfalls in Oregon

     Finally, we were in Oregon and ready for some waterfalls! We left our hotel around 8:30 a.m. and headed for Cannon Beach. An affluent tourist resort destination, this beach is known as a weekend getaway spot for Portlanders. Cannon Beach is recognized by its well-known landmark, Haystack Rock. This igneous rock has an elevation of 235 ft (72 m) and is often accessible at low tide. The rock is also a protected marine sanctuary, where events are prohibited within 100 ft (30 m) on either side of the rock. Near the Rock are the Needles, two tall rocks rising out of the water. 

Haystack Rock, ORHaystack Rock, OR Two hours east of Cannon Beach is Columbia River Gorge. Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m) deep, the canyon stretches over 80 miles (130 km). This scenic area protects the spectacular canyon where the Columbia River cuts through the Cascade mountains - with cliffs and overlooks of Washington to the north and Oregon's mountains and waterfalls to the south. The gorge is unique in its natural and cultural history, as well as its designation as a National Scenic Area. It is also a vital transportation and communication corridor where trains, barges and highways support interstate commerce, and natural forces generate wind and hydrologic power.

Dozens of awe-inspiring waterfalls spill from basalt cliffs, lining the Historic Columbia River Highway, including the famous Multnomah, Bridal Veil and Latourell Falls. 

Multnomah Falls, ORMultnomah Falls, OR Multnomah Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Latourell Falls

Ponytail Falls

View from behind Ponytail Falls

     A short distance away is Mount Hood. Mt. Hood's perpetually snowy peak - crowned by twelve glaciers (one for every thousand feet it rises above sea level),can be seen from miles away. It's peak is also the highest point in Oregon and the fourth highest in the Cascade Range. 

Fun fact: Mt. Hood is considered the Oregon volcano most likely to erupt and is characterized as "potentially active," although it's been dormant for a long time. 

We ended the day a bit early and drove to Portland for dinner. We sampled doughnuts from Voodoo Doughnuts and had a tasty spread at Joe's Famous Crawfish.

Thereafter, we drove over the I-5 bridge connecting Portland, OR to Vancouver, WA. We clocked in at 10:00 p.m. (our earliest night on the trip).

 

Day 6: Mt. Rainier & Seattle

     On the sixth day, we left at 8:30 a.m. on a two hour drive from Vancouver to Mt. Rainier National Park. Ascending 14,410 ft (4,392 m) above sea level, Mt. Rainier stands as a icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mt. Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning five major rivers. 

We entered the park via the Nisqually Entrance Historic District and were given an extensive brochure by the park rangers on how to protect ourselves from bears. We drove along Paradise Road with stops at:

Cougar Rock

Ricksecker Point

Narada Falls

Reflection Lake

Side note: the lake was completely frozen, even in June! Hence, no reflection :(

We stopped for souvenirs at the Henry Jackson Visitor Center, where we bought postcards and a teddy.  Our way down the mountain road, we came across a black bear cub (more like a toddler?). We snapped some photos while staying in the car, knowing that mommy bear was probably close by.

We left a bit after noon for our two drive from the park to Seattle. 

     A seaport city, Seattle has an estimated 730,000 residents and is the largest city in both Washington State and the Pacific Northwest region. Situated between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, about a 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canada-U.S. border, Seattle is a major gateway for trade with Asia and is the fourth largest port in North America. 

Our first stop was Pike Place Market. This public market opened in 1907 and is one of the country's oldest farmers market. A place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants, the market is named after the central street, Pike Place. The market is Seattle's most popular tourist destination, with over 10 million visitors annually, and is the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world

After the market, we passed by the Seattle Gum Wall. Located in an alleyway in Post Alley under Pike Place Market, the gum wall is a brick wall covered in thousands of used chewing gum dating back to the early 1990s. Parts of the wall are covered several inches thick!

Fun facts: the wall was only cleared off once, it's 50 ft long and features many gummy designs.

Finally, it was time to make our way over to the Space Needle. We had sunset tickets. One of the most recognizable landmarks in the world and a treasured Seattle icon, the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair - "The Age of Space" exposition. At 605 ft (184 m) tall and 8,660 tonnes, it is one of the most photographed structures in the world. It was built to withstand winds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h) and earthquakes of up to 9.0 magnitude. The tower's saucer shaped "top house" offers visitors Seattle's only 360-degree indoor and outdoor panoramic views of downtown Seattle, Mt. Rainier, the Puget Sound, along with the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges.

Fun fact: the Space Needle is the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River. 

We ended the day with a beautiful, albeit chilly sunset on the observation deck of the tower.

Thereafter, we headed for our hotel in Lacey, W.A.

 

Day 7: Olympic National Park

     On our last day, we explored Olympic National Park. With its incredible range of precipitation and elevation, diversity is the hallmark of this park. Encompassing nearly a million acres (1562.5 sq. mi), the park protects a vast wilderness and several distinctly different ecosystems, including glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rain forests, and over 70 miles of wild coastline. 

Most of the roads in the park were closed due to melting snow which caused us to detour quite a few times. The main highlight was the Hoh Rainforest Throughout the winter season, rain frequently falls in the Hoh Rainforest, contributing to a yearly total of 12 to 14 ft of precipitation each year. The result is a lush, green canopy of both coniferous and deciduous species, making it one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S.A.

     We left a bit early as it was a 4 hour drive from the rainforest to the airport. We got caught in a bit of traffic in Tacoma, WA, but we were still able to catch our overnight flight back to NYC. We were home by 9 a.m. on Sunday. It was a definitely an intense itinerary, but we managed to visit every place on our list. Quite the accomplishment indeed! We walked over 25,000 steps each day and wound up with quite the stash of postcards.

     I'm very excited for the next cross-country trip. Not sure when that'll be, but I'm sure that itinerary will be less hectic than this was :) Additional photos can be viewed here.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) california my name is khan oregona photography rainforest San francisco seattle space needle travel USA washington yosemite https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2019/6/san-diego-to-seattle Mon, 03 Jun 2019 02:17:33 GMT
Helsinki in 12 hours https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2019/5/12-hours-in-helsinki      Helsinki is a city where urban life and beautiful nature combines. It's also a very compact, navigable and pedestrian-friendly city which makes it possible to explore within a short time. Twelve hours was just enough time for a short ferry ride from Estonia to experience Finland's easygoing capital. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, Helsinki is 80 km (50 mi) north of Tallinn (Estonia's capital). The city's urban population is approximately 650,000, making it the country's most populous center urban area in Finland. After Stockholm and Oslo, Helsinki is the third largest municipality of the Nordic countries and has been deemed "the Daughter of the Baltic."

     We arrived in Helsinki at 8 a.m and bought a day pass to ride the tram from the ferry terminal into the city. With 57 million annual passengers and 11 lines spanning the city, the trams are Helsinki's preferred form of transportation and must-try element while visiting the Finnish capital. I should also add, the trams are quite cozy inside.

     Our first stop was the Senate Square. The square and its surroundings make up the oldest part of central Helsinki and form a uniquely cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel (1778-1840): Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland. A statute of Alexander II stands in the middle of the square. Helsinki Cathedral is arguably Finland's most famous and photographed building. Originally built from 1830-1852 as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, it was known as St. Nicholas' Church until Finland's independence in 1917.

Helsinki Cathedral

View from the Cathedral

     A few blocks southeast of the Square is Uspenski Cathedral. Completed in 1868 in the Katajanokka district of Helsinki, the Uspenski Cathedral is largest orthodox church in Western Europe. With its golden cupolas and redbrick facade, the church is one the clearest symbols of the Russian impact on Finnish history. There are 13 onion-like domes, representative of Christ and his 12 disciples. 

Nearby the Cathedral is a marina connected by a bridge laden with love locks.

     South of Uspenski is The Old Market Hall, which has been serving Helsinki customers since 1889. Designed by Finnish architect Gunnar Nystrom, it is strategically located just next to the Helsinki Market Square, close by the sea. Very popular with tourists, the market offers a bit of everything: breads, cheeses, meats, pastries and beer!

     West of The Old Market Hall is Pohjoisesplanadi, dubbed "the chicest street in Helsinki" due to all the fanciful shops. We stopped by the Akateeminen Kirjakauppa (Academic Bookstore) to browse for souvenirs. 

Center of the Esplanade

Main shopping center

Interior of the bookstore

     North of the shopping center is Helsinki's Central Station. As the main station for commuter rail and long-distance trains departing from Helsinki, the station is used by approximately 400,000 per day, of which 200,000 are passengers. Designed by Eliel Saarinen and inaugurated in 1919, Helsinki Central was chosen as one of the world's most beautiful railway stations by BBC in 2013.

We had some delicious currywurst from a small shop inside the train station. 

     On our way to visit the underground church, we stopped by Santa's Souvenir Shop. As the home country of Santa Claus, you can find a year-round Christmas shops all across Helsinki. I was more interested in the clay-fired candle houses at Annensoppi

     After shopping, we headed to Temppeliaukio Rock Church. Excavated directly into solid rock, the church is situated in the heart of Helsinki, at the end of Fredrikinkatu. Designed by architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, the church was completed in 1969. It is one of the city's main attractions because of its special architecture. The church hall is covered with a dome, lined with copper, and supported on the rock walls by reinforced concrete beams.

Apart from the stunning architecture, the church has also an organ with 43 stops and 3001 pipes. Due to it's underground position, the church has great acoustics and is a popular venue for concerts. 

     Thereafter, we took a 20 minute walk to Sibelius Monument. This world famous monument by Eila Hiltunen is dedicated to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). Unveiled in 1967, the monument resembles organ pipes and is made of welded steel with over 600 pipes in a wave-like pattern. A smaller version of the monument is located at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. A similar work by Hiltunen is located at the grounds of United Nations in New York City.

     We ended the day at Cafe Regatta. An outdoor cafe with a small, red cottage by the sea in Toolo with a vintage countryside interior and decorations, this cafe is the definition of cozy! I highly recommend the hot chocolate and blueberry cake.

I also suggest grilling some sausages by the open fire in the front yard.

     Finally, we made our way to the closest tram and headed back to the ferry terminal. By 9 p.m, we were back in Tallinn. We had walked over 35,000 steps in 40 degree rainy weather, but it was definitely worth the 12 hours! 

More photos can be viewed here.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) baltic Estonia europe ferry Finland Gulf Helsinki helsinki in 12 hours life of photographer of photography Tallinn travel travel europe https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2019/5/12-hours-in-helsinki Mon, 27 May 2019 23:06:47 GMT
Day trip to Newport, Rhode Island https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2019/5/day-trip-to-newport-rhode-island      Living within the tristate area offers a lot of one day and weekend getaway opportunities for the adventurous at heart. I personally love exploring nature and various relics of times gone by. Not surprisingly, Newport, Rhode Island encompasses a little of everything: beaches, cliffwalks, gilded homes and lots of seafood! A seaside city located just 37 miles southeast of Providence, Newport is known as New England's summer resort and is famous for its historic mansions and rich sailing history. 

     A 3 hour drive from NYC to Newport, we arrived a bit after 10 a.m, just as everything began to come alive in the city. We had purchased a 5 house ticket, which included access to the Green Animals Topiary Garden. Nestled in scenic Portsmouth, the garden is the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the U.S. Today, there are more than 80 pieces of topiary throughout the gardens, from an array of animals to ornamental designs and geometric figures. The manicured grounds also include flowerbeds, fruits trees and a vegetable garden. 

     Thereafter, we headed over to Ochre Point to begin our tour of the mansions. The first was The Breakers. Built in 1893 as a summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II in Italian Renaissance architecture, the building became a National Historic Landmark in 1994. The 70 room mansion covers one acre of the 14 acres estate on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and is the largest of the Newport mansions. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, the mansion was made fireproof as possible via steel trusses and no wooden parts, with the boiler located in an underground space below the front lawn. The largest and most opulent house in Newport, The Breakers' interiors are truly breathtaking. Unfortunately, indoor photography was not allowed. Here are some shots from outdoors.

     Next, we headed to The Elms, the "summer cottage" of coal baron - Edward Berwind.  Fashioned from Chateau d'Asnieres, The Elms was designed by Horace Trumbauer. Completed in 1901, the exteriors were constructed with a steel frame with brick partitions and a limestone facade while the interiors and furnishings were designed by Allard and Sons of Paris. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996.

     A short walk over, we explored Marble House, the gilded age summer residence of Alva and William Vanderbilt. Inspired by the Petit Trianon at the Palace of Versailles, the mansion was designed by Richard Morris Hunt, and was built between 1888 and 1892 at a cost of $11 million. Upon its completion, it became the social landmark that helped spark the transformation of Newport from a relatively relaxed summer colony of wooden houses to the now legendary resort of opulent stone palaces. The mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. 

     A few blocks over is the Rosecliff. Commissioned by silver heiress, Theresa Fair Oelrichs, the residence was designed by McKim Mead and White and was completed in 1902. Modeled after the Grand Trianon of Versailles, the summer home was specifically designed for entertaining on a grand scale with the largest Newport ballroom at 40x80 feet. The ballroom has been featured in several films, including True Lies and the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby. Unfortunately, the house was closed to visitors due to preparations being conducted for the floral show.

     We skipped the remaining houses for a walk along the shoreline via Newport's enchanting 3.5 mile cliff walk. The scenic walk was beautifully serene with panoramic ocean views of crashing waves and the touch of cool sea breeze. 

     We finished the day with a lavish seafood dinner at the Red Parrot.

Additional photos can be view here.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) gilded age mansions Island" New England newport photography Rhode travel travelography USA vanderbilts https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2019/5/day-trip-to-newport-rhode-island Sat, 18 May 2019 14:43:06 GMT
Iceland in 72 hours https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2019/5/iceland-in-72-hours       I've always wanted to visit the Land of Fire & Ice. So when I found some cheap tickets in the off-season to Iceland, I did not hesitate on putting together a three day itinerary that would allow me to explore a good half of the island. I figured, I could always return for the icebergs and the whales. 

Day 1: Reykjavik 

      We flew overnight from JFK to Reykjavik. The flight landed 30 minutes ahead of time. By 7:45 a.m., we had cleared customs, gotten our bags and picked up our car. By 8:45 a.m, we were in Reykjavik. We parked the car and headed over to Landsbankinn to exchange currency so we'd have some Icelandic Krona if the need for paper bills arose. We stopped by a few Puffin and Polar Bear gift shops. 

We had an amazing breakfast at 101 Reykjavik Street Food consisting of golden-fried fish and chips and the most delicious lobster bisque that Reykjavik has to offer. We were the first customers of the day as the owner had just opened his doors at 11:00 a.m. We chatted a bit and laughed about us looking like hungry tourists who just got off a plane (that's exactly what we were!). 

      Thereafter, we walked along Skolavordustigur towards Hallgrimskirkja. A Lutheran Church, it is the largest church in Iceland at 74.5 metres (244 ft) high and among the tallest structures in the country. Inspired by the sea stacks at Reynisfjara, the church took 41 years to build. A lift can be taken to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovation while we were there.

Interesting fact: the concert organ is the largest in the country. It was constructed by Johannes Klais Organworks in Bonn, Germany and has four manuals, a pedal, 72 stops and 5275 pipes. It is 15 metres (49 feet) high and weighs 25 tones.

We continued down Frakkastigur, where we stopped at Valdis for ice-cream. The strawberry cone was pretty tasty!

Here are some additional snaps from around town.

      Afterwards, we headed to Laekjartorg to meet with some other tourists for a 1.5 hour free walking tour via Follow Me. We stopped by the Sun Voyager, the Icelandic Court of Justice, Parliament House, the National Theatre of Iceland, among many other notable places.

      Being major foodies, we stopped by the Seabaron and Vagninn Fish & Chips for some munchies after the tour. The fish kebab and lobster bisque from the Seabaron were quite tasty. However, the Vagninn Fish & Chips was a bit of a disappointment. Both lacked seasoning and crispiness! 

      Our last food stop was at Hlemmur Matholl (Reykjavik's Food Hall). It was smaller than what I expected, but still offered some tasty bites. We got Vietnamese spring rolls and a sandwich.

      Before leaving Reykjavik, we drove to Grotta Lighthouse. It was low-tide, so we walked over the sand to the lighthouse, instead of trying to balance on the huge rocks that formed a pathway from the mainland to the lighthouse. It began to drizzle, so we kept our visit short. 

      We ended the day with an hour drive to our Airbnb in Hestfjall. It was a lovely location between Selfoss and Hella. We ended the night in a hot tub waiting for a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Unfortunately, we were not lucky to see it. 

 

Day 2: South Iceland

      We began the day with a light breakfast at our Airbnb. On our drive out, we stopped to take photos of some very model-like horses. They seemed to have been waiting for their photo-op.

      Our first stop along Porsmerkurvegur Road was Seljalandfoss. One of Iceland's best known waterfalls, Seljalandfoss is 65 metres (213 feet) tall and has its origins underneath the glacier Eyjafjallajokull (the volcano beneath this ice cap last erupted in 2010 and caused havoc at airports across Europe). There is a path that leads you behind the waterfall with cliffs that create a wide cavern. It is breathtakingly beautiful. However, be prepared to be soaked! 

      A short walk from Seljalandfoss is Gljufrabui, also known as Canyon Dweller. It's a hidden waterfalls behind a small opening in a considerable cliff in Hamragardar. At 40 metres (131 feet) high, the falls is fed by the river Gljufura. 

After drying our coats, we got back into the car and headed to Rutshellir Cave

One of several man-made caves, the main cave is arched and at least 20 metres (66 feet) long and 2.5 metres (8 feet)  high. It was used for storing hay and livestock.

Here's a look at the entrance and the inside.

      We continued on to Skogafoss. At a drop of 62 metres (204 feet) with a width of 25 metres (82 feet), Skogafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. Due to the high amount of mist/spray from this thundering beauty, a rainbow (sometimes double rainbow) appears every few seconds! 

Fun fact: parts of Gerua were filmed here. This picturesque song was a tad-bit difficult to film. See behind the scenes here.

This snap was taken at water level.

The waterfall and south Iceland's coastline can also be viewed from above, albeit after climbing 527 stairs.

      Finally, it was time to make our way over to Solheimasandur (the abandoned plane wreck site). This was a particularly difficult visit as it takes approximately 60+ minutes one way to the plane, while facing some 30 mph winds! Surprisingly, we did it in 48 minutes, after a lot of eye-wiping from teary eyes due to the intense winds.

Regarding the wreck, in 1973 a U.S. Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and was forced to crash land on the black beach at Solheimasandur. Fortunately, everyone survived. Allegedly, the pilot had simply switched over to the wrong fuel tank. The remains of the plane are still on the sand near the sea, and is absolutely picturesque against the black sand. It's very surreal-looking, almost appearing to be from another planet. 

      Approximately 30 minutes drive west of the plane wreckage is Dyrholaey Peninsula. The top of the peninsula offers breathtaking views in all directions. To the north, there is the Myrdalsjokull glacier, to the east there is the stunning black lava seastacks of Reynisdranger, and to the west lies the endless black sand coastline. 

In the south (the front of the peninsula), there is a huge black arch of lava reaching out into the sea, from which the area gets its name. Dyrholaey translates to "the hill island with the door hole." 

Here's a shot of our car from the top of the peninsula.

      At this point, we were famished. We drove to Vik and had an early dinner at Halldorskfaffi.

Icelandic cod, with wedge cut potatoes and salad.

The food was delicious and we were moments away from Reynisdranger View where puffins were nesting.

Though we saw the puffins, it was quite difficult to get a photo of them (they're pretty tiny). Luckily, a well-equipped photographer with an extraordinary telephoto lens had just finished shooting some of the birds. He was kind enough to show us some of the shots he captured. 

      Our last stop was Reynisfjara Beach. The sun was setting and most of the light had disappeared behind the cliffs. This world-famous black sand beach is just beside the small fishing village of Vik i Myrdal. With its enormous basalt stacks, stunning panoramas and roaring Atlantic waves, Reynisfjara is widely considered to be the most pristine example of Iceland's black sand beaches.

The reason for the sand at Reynisfjara being black is that it is formed from heavily eroded volcanic rocks (or extrusive igneous rocks), which are black (or obsidian) to begin with as they have been formed from cooled lava which turns black as it cools and hardens. The most well known volcanic rock found in Iceland is basalt (there are at least 25 different types on the island). 

Interesting fact: accordingly to local Icelandic folklore, the large basalt columns were once trolls trying to pull ships from the ocean to shore. However, they were dim and went out too late in the night, as dawn broke, the trolls were turned into solid stone. Another legend includes a husband whose wife was kidnapped and killed by two trolls. The man followed the trolls down to the beach where he froze them, ensuring that they would never kill again. I guess you can say the Icelanders really love their troll stories.

Our car against the black sand.

      We drove 1.5 hours from Vik to Fluoir, where we again soaked in a hot tub at our Airbnb waiting for the aurora borealis. Unfortunately, no luck.

 

Day 3: Pingvellir National Park

      On our final day, we drove along Laugarvatnsvegur Road towards Pingvellir National Park (anglicised as Thingvellir). Our first stop was Skalholt.  

One of Iceland's most historic places, Skalholtskirkja was an espiscopal see, a school, a seat of learning and administration for more than 700 years. The present Cathedral was consecrated in 1963 and is renowned for its Summer Musical Festival. 

      Our next stop was Faxi waterfall.  Here's a view of the road from the car.

Fed by the Tungufljot River, Faxi falls is often described as a smaller version of Gulfoss, but not as powerful. 

      Finally, we headed to the crown jewel of the Golden Circle Road drive - Gulfoss. Translated to "Golden Falls," it's one of Iceland's most iconic and beloved waterfalls found in the Hvita river canyon in south-west Iceland. The water travels from the Langjokull glacier before cascading 32 metres (105 feet) down Gulfoss' two stages in a dramatic display of nature's raw power. 

Side note: trying to get a cute self-portrait can be quite difficult amidst the spray and high winds.

      Another marvel along our drive was Strokkur Geysir. Found in the Geysir Geothermal Area, Strokkur erupts approximately every 20 minutes with blasting water to heights of around 15 to 20 metres  (50 to 65 feet) high. Active geyers like Strokkur are very rare around the world because many conditions must be met for them to form. Thus, they are only found in certain parts of highly geothermal areas. The first condition necessary is that an intense heat source, magma, must be close enough to the surface of the earth for the rocks to be hot enough to boil water. Secondly, a source of flowing underground water is needed. Finally, to facilitate the burst, a complex plumbing system that allows the geyser to erupt. Above the intense heat source, there must be space for the flowing water to gather like a reservoir. From this basin, there must be a vent to the surface. This vent must be lined with silica so that the boiling, rising water cannot escape before the eruption. Quite complex indeed!

      Thereafter, we visited Efstidalur II for some farm to table ice cream. The quaint ice cream bar has windows looking into the dairy barn. You can also visit the animals.

Side note, this dog greeted all guests at the door. 

      We continued to Laugarvatnshellir Cave for a tour with the "Cave People." The Cave of Laugarvatn is the only cave in Iceland where people actually lived (two families actually, you can read about their stories here).

We paid for a short tour and story-telling by a friendly gentleman who was dressed in his best tweeds. 

      Afterwards, we headed to Oxarafoss. Known as the waterfall in the Ax River, Oxarafoss is nestled inside Almannagja in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.  Interestingly, the waterfall is actually human-made. Geologists and historians have discovered that the river Oxara was moved hundreds of years ago to channel the water for the members and visitors of the Icelandic Parliament Althingi in the 9th century. 

We were running short on time, so we briefly toured Logberg and Drekkingarhylur

      We left the park around 6:30 p.m. to make it in time for our 7:30 p.m. reservation at A. Hansen. We figured we'd end the trip with a proper sit-down dinner consisting of homey Icelandic dishes. We were more than satisfied with the hearty lobster bisque, lamb fillet and pork ribs. Would definitely recommend!

      We ended the day at our Airbnb in Hafnarfjordur, 30 minutes away from Keflavik. We clocked in early, as our flight was 8:30 a.m. the next day and we needed to be at the airport by 6 a.m. to return the car and check in. Our flight left on time and we were back in New York by 10:30 a.m (EST).

      It was a wonderful, albeit a bit hectic/overwhelming trip. Checked off most of the things on the itinerary, but of course, there's a whole other half of the island we didn't visit. As such, a second trip is definitely in order to see the icebergs, glaciers and whales!

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 72 editing europe fireandice gerua hour" iceland in outdoors photography seljalandfoss shahrukh khan skogafoss travel visit iceland https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2019/5/iceland-in-72-hours Sat, 11 May 2019 21:54:51 GMT
Estonia in 5 days https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2018/3/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)

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (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 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2018/3/estonia-in-5-days Thu, 29 Mar 2018 04:36:37 GMT
A day in Philadelphia https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2018/3/philadelphia-in-a-day        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.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) a day in philadelphia america constitution hall independence hall liberty bell philadelphia philly photography roadtrip usa https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2018/3/philadelphia-in-a-day Wed, 14 Mar 2018 19:43:56 GMT
A Weekend in New England https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2018/3/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).

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) america autumn boston canon colors lobster maine maple syrup massachusetts new england new hampshire outdoors photography roadtrip usa vermont https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2018/3/weekend-in-new-england Tue, 13 Mar 2018 03:25:26 GMT
2016: A Year in Review https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2017/2/2016-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.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) colors editing outdoors photography wedding https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2017/2/2016-a-year-in-review Tue, 07 Feb 2017 21:51:45 GMT
Shubh Deepavali https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/10/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!

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) colors diwali diyas ganesha photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/10/shubh-deepavali Mon, 31 Oct 2016 02:49:50 GMT
52 Frames: Levitation https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/2/52frames-levitation Week 6: Levitation

Week 6: LevitationWeek 6: Levitation

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/2/52frames-levitation Fri, 12 Feb 2016 03:26:19 GMT
52 Frames: Shoot from Above https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/52frames-shoot-from-above Sun, 31 Jan 2016 23:45:01 GMT
52 Frames: Shoot from Below https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks beautiful colors fifty two frames photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/52frames-shoot-from-below Sun, 31 Jan 2016 02:58:04 GMT
Natural Light Photography Tips https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/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. 

Happy shooting!

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) colors editing natural light outdoors photo challenge photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/natural-light-photography-tips Fri, 22 Jan 2016 08:57:00 GMT
52 Frames: Greetings From https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/52frames-greetings-from Thu, 21 Jan 2016 04:37:15 GMT
52 Frames: Black & White https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/52frames-black-white Tue, 12 Jan 2016 00:21:02 GMT
52 Frames: Self portrait https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2016/1/52frames-self-portrait Tue, 05 Jan 2016 05:41:45 GMT
52 Frames: What I've learned https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/12/52frames-what-ive-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.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/12/52frames-what-ive-learned Tue, 29 Dec 2015 22:16:32 GMT
52 Frames: Two Challenges Combined https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/12/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/12/52frames-two-challenges-combined Sun, 20 Dec 2015 09:41:21 GMT
52 Frames: Body https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/12/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks christmas colors editing lights photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/12/52frames-body Sun, 13 Dec 2015 03:43:51 GMT
52 Frames: Behind the Subject https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/12/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks ballet colors editing nutcracker photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/12/52frames-behind-the-subject Sun, 06 Dec 2015 19:48:02 GMT
52 Frames: Animals https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/11/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/11/52frames-animals Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:59:27 GMT
52 Frames: Extreme Angle https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/11/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing flowers photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/11/52frames-extreme-angle Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:57:12 GMT
52 Frames: Emotion https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/11/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/11/52frames-emotion Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:55:41 GMT
52 Frames: Sound https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/11/52frames-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
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/11/52frames-sound Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:54:20 GMT
52 Frames: Break the rules https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/9/52frames-break-the-rules Week 39: Break the rules

Caption: Imperfect

Thirty-nine: ImperfectThirty-nine: Imperfect

Basically, the focus is off :) 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/9/52frames-break-the-rules Sun, 27 Sep 2015 14:36:52 GMT
52 Frames: Personality https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/9/52frames-personality Week 38: Personality

Quote: My soul is a hidden forest where you will find gems of my past life.

Thirty-Eight: PersonalityThirty-Eight: Personality

       Another tough one! This week's theme required us showcasing our personalities without using ourselves. I decided to go with my roots for this one. I chose Indian bangles as my subject, and shot outdoors. The final edit had a heavy vignette to draw attention to the detailed artwork of the bangles. In a nutshell, the bangles highlight my ancestry, while the outdoors symbolizes my love for nature. The heavy vignette captures my editing preference of rich, yet subtle colors that sometimes border on a goth-like finish. 

        Here's a before and after for comparison.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 87 mm

 

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/9/52frames-personality Sun, 20 Sep 2015 15:45:08 GMT
52 Frames: Dream https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/9/52frames-dream Week 36: Dream

Caption: Limitless

Thirty-six: DreamThirty-six: Dream

"See the dream around you."

          This week was tough! I knew I had to get creative, but I had no inspiration. Late Saturday night, I decided to go "girly" with this. I strung my trusted ivory tulle in and out of some tree branches, and adorned the wall with some vines and roses. I had my model stand in between the tulle as I tried shooting from several angles. Eventually, I settled on her back facing the camera with her head turned ever so slightly to reveal a subtle outline of her face. Very little editing was done in post-processing. I blurred the background further, added some warmth and added a matte finish by adjusting the RGB curve in Lightroom. Here's a before and after.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/9/52frames-dream Sun, 20 Sep 2015 15:43:41 GMT
52 Frames: Fire https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/9/52frames-fire Week 35: Fire

Caption: Agni

Thirty-five: FireThirty-five: Fire

"Closing my eyes doesn't help. Fire burns brighter in the darkness."

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/30
     ISO speed: 800
     Focal length: 64 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/9/52frames-fire Sun, 06 Sep 2015 04:03:57 GMT
52 Frames: Wabi Sabi https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/8/52frames-wabi-sabi Week 34: Wabi Sabi

Caption: Broken

Thirty-four: Wabi SabiThirty-four: Wabi Sabi

“I have to remind myself to breathe -- almost to remind my heart to beat!” 

          Been super busy! This was a last minute shot of an illustrated scene of Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights, complemented by a dried flower stalk. I laid the drawing and stalk on a tiny table facing a window. The light was absolutely perfect! I quickly edited the shot in LR to increased the clarity and tweak the RGB curve to achieve a softer color tone for the final image.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/800
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/8/52frames-wabi-sabi Sun, 23 Aug 2015 16:01:04 GMT
52 Frames: Edited by Someone Else https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/8/52frames-edited-by-someone-else Week 32: Edited by Someone Else (Ali Kvidt

Extra Credit: Portrait 

Thirty-two: Edited by Someone ElseThirty-two: Edited by Someone Else

“A kitten is, in the animal world, what a rosebud is in the garden.” 

           Introducing our new cat, Seraphina! This little cutie joined our home July '15. She's a calico tabby who is full of energy. For this week's theme, I shot her and my sister against a plain wall adorned with hanging butterflies. Since the theme required the photo being edited by someone else, I had the amazing Ali Kvidt work her magic. She opted for a B & W finish, which is pretty stellar... as the colored option was kinda odd. Here's a before and after.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm

 

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/8/52frames-edited-by-someone-else Sun, 09 Aug 2015 05:35:21 GMT
52 Frames: Magic Hour https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/8/52frames-magic-hour Week 31: Magic Hour

Caption: A world of my own.

Thirty-one: Magic HourThirty-one: Magic Hour

“It was the Magic Hour, the moment in time when every leaf and blade of grass seemed to separate, when sunlight, burnished by the rain and softened by the coming night, gave the world an impossibly beautiful glow.”

          This was shot on the steps below Kensico Dam in Westchester at around 5:45 pm. The sun was setting, and the trees were awashed in the orangey-hues of the sunset. In post processing, I simply increased the warmth and played around with the RGB curve to enhance to green and blue undertones. 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/60
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 20 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing fifty two frames outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/8/52frames-magic-hour Sun, 02 Aug 2015 05:43:53 GMT
52 Frames: Unusual https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/7/52frames-unusual Week 30: Unusual 

Caption: La Fille 

Thirty: UnusualThirty: Unusual

          This was a tough one. In addition to having no time to shoot this week, I had no creative ideas. I shot these photos two hours before submission! I let my hair loose, and wore a salmon colored eyelet dress with a basket hat so I could look extra "girly." For those who know me, I'm a jeans and tshirt kinda girl. Whenever I wear a dress, it's a bit of an indulgence. Hence, my "unusual" was me donning a cute dress and showing off my long hair (which has been growing for over a year now). I went a step further by cropping the photos in odd ways (something I try generally try to avoid as a photography don't). The images were edited in Lightroom to add a matte look, with a few tone adjustments to add some variety to the different shots. 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/60
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks 52frames colors editing photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/7/52frames-unusual Sun, 26 Jul 2015 16:28:16 GMT
52 Frames: Street Photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/7/52frames-street-photography Week 29: Street Photography

Caption: In the moment.

Twenty-nine: Street PhotographyTwenty-nine: Street Photography

        Took a paparazzi shot of New Yorker in Bryan Park. This image was added in Lightroom to add vibrance, increase clarity and a touch of vignette.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/7/52frames-street-photography Sun, 19 Jul 2015 23:37:20 GMT
52 Frames: Water https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/7/52frames-water Week 27: Water

Caption: No water, no life. No blue, no green.

Twenty-seven: WaterTwenty-seven: Water

         This was shot at sunset during the golden hour. The image was edited in Lightroom to increase clarity and add some tone adjustments.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/200
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 106 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/7/52frames-water Sun, 19 Jul 2015 23:33:35 GMT
52 Frames: Negative Space https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-negative-space Week 26: Negative Space

Extra Credit: White Background

Caption: Maybe tonight we'll start all over like it's the first day of our lives.

Twenty-six: Negative SpaceTwenty-six: Negative Space

       Last year, I won the Negative Space challenge on 52 Frames. My setup was simple. It was a black shawl coupled with a handful of dried yellow roses. For this week's challenge, I decided to blend a black and white background to create a subtle dewy-like backdrop. I hung a black backdrop against the wall and draped ivory tulle infront of that. I attached a orange & yellow butterfly to the tulle as a focus point as I was using the lantern as my only source of light. I instructed my model to hold the lantern at the midway point between her and the butterfly and began shooting. After quite a few out of focus and blurry shots, I captured the above image. 

       Very minimal editing was needed to transform the shot to what I wanted. I increased the clarity and saturation around the center of the tulle, butterfly and lantern. I sharpened the thinner layers of tulle to create a sand-like look and increased the blacks to create a more dramatic contrast to enhance the negative spaces. Finally, I adjusted the colortones to create a bluish shadow undertone. Here's the original image, along with a shot of the background and the lantern used.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/10
     ISO speed: 1600
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 frames 52 weeks colors negative space photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-negative-space Sun, 28 Jun 2015 04:39:44 GMT
52 Frames: Dress up https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-dress-up         Week 25: Dress up

       Caption: The earth is art, the photographer is only a witness.

Twenty-five: Dress upTwenty-five: Dress up

         This week threw me for a loop. I had zero ideas and absolutely no motivation. This was a haphazard shot that took quite a bit of editing to transform from mundane to something aesthetically pleasing. I visited Kykuit Mansion in Sleepy Hollow yesterday, and made a quick stop to Blue Mountain before returning home. I slipped on a vintage dress over my clothes, let my hair loose and stood in the rain with toes crossed hoping for a good shot. There was very little light to work with and my external flash hardly made a difference. Out of 50+ takes, I had one image I sorta liked. 

         The above was edited in Lightroom to readjust the exposure and create focus around the subject. To achieve this, I lightened the shadows around myself and decreased the exposure and highlights elsewhere. Thereafter, I tweaked various color tones for a less saturated image. Finally, I increased the blacks, shifted the RGB curve and played around with split toning until I had just the right amount of reds and blue undertones. Here's a before and after of the above image. 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/60
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 18 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-dress-up Sun, 21 Jun 2015 11:14:24 GMT
52 Frames: Transportation https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-transportation          Week 24: Transportation

Twenty-four: TransportationTwenty-four: Transportation

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 18 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-transportation Sun, 21 Jun 2015 05:15:29 GMT
52 Frames: Focus https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-focus Week 23: Focus

Extra Credit: 1.8 Aperture or lower

Twenty-three: FocusTwenty-three: Focus

        This was a completely unplanned shoot. Earlier this week, I searched for inspiration by browsing works of fellow photographers. I came across this beautiful image by Lauren Laveria. I tried to recreate the scene, but I didn't have enough vines nor could I capture the subtle beautifulness as well as Lauren did. So I scrapped the idea and decided to piece together some props and hope I'd create a background worthy of a fairy. I placed some tree branches against a wall and weaved ivory tulle around it. I took a few shots and absolutely hated how plain and dull the setup looked. I draped the vines over the tulle and placed a handful of flowers on the vines in several places. Thereafter, I had my model sit in the open space between the branches. She had to be super careful as the slightest movement could've made the entire background collapse. I had her wear a floral headband I had made weeks prior, and then instructed her on posing. We wound up with 300 shots! 

         The above image was my favorite from the shoot. The shot was edited in Lightroom to add a heavy vignette, and for color correction so the image could pop. Here's a before and after comparison.

          Here are some other takes from the shoot. 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/200
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks beautiful colors editing fifty two frames model outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-focus Mon, 08 Jun 2015 17:10:03 GMT
52 Frames: Advertisement https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-advertisement Twenty-two: AdvertisementTwenty-two: Advertisement Week 22: Advertisement

Extra Credit: Jeans Ad

Tag: "Give a girl the right pair of jeans and she can conquer the world."

         This week, I opted for the extra credit challenge. The challenge was to shoot an ad based on one of three creative briefs put forth by the 52 Frames Committee. I chose the jeans ad.

          This shot was taken during sunset a few blocks away from the High Line, NY. One of my best muses and I got together and shot a few different looks during this shoot. In preparation for the shoot, we discussed hair, makeup & wardrobe. The basic idea was to have photos portraying an edgy female in somewhat "masculine" poses. I asked that she style her hair so that it would be textured and full, with a smokey eye and red lips.

          About 50 shots later, I had my image. This shot was minimally edited to change the overall color tone of the photo. I wanted the end product to have a cool and matted look. To achieve that, I tweaked the RGB curve and adjusted the color tones to have a bluish-red highlight with a bluish-green shadow.

         Additional photos can be viewed here.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2.2
     Exposure time: 1/500
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
 
Update: My shot was featured on the 52 Frames Fb Homepage! Here's what they had to say.
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks advertisement colors editing model outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-advertisement Mon, 08 Jun 2015 17:08:38 GMT
52 Frames: Architecture https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-architecture Twenty-one: ArchitectureTwenty-one: Architecture       

            Week 21: Architecture

            Location: City Hall, Philadelphia. PA

           Last Sunday, some friends and I got together and did a day tour of Philadelphia. We left NY around 8:30am and got to downtown Philadelphia by 11am. First, we toured Eastern State Penitentiary. It was once the most famous and expensive prisons in the world, but stands today in ruin as a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks. We toured the prison for a good three hours. Thereafter, we drove to the heart of Philadelphia and had lunch at a cozy spot blocks away from Independence Hall. We continued the tour by visiting the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Love Monument, Constitution Center, City Hall and the famous Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Suffice it to say, we were all spent on the drive home.

          This shot was taken at one of the four entrances to Philadelphia's City Hall. I stood 10 feet away from the base of the building and aimed my camera upwards to capture this shot. I tried to get as much of the lower columns as I could, while still capturing the upper most tip of the building. I converted the image to black & white in Lightroom to add a dramatic look. I decreased the blacks and increased the highlights to add more contrast to the smaller details embedded within the columns and windows.

         Additional photos can be found here.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 18 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-architecture Mon, 08 Jun 2015 17:07:12 GMT
52 Frames: One Light Source https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-one-light-source Twenty: One light sourceTwenty: One light source

Week 20: One Light Source

            Shot this around 2 am Sunday morning, and she looks radiant! This was a hectic week. Was super busy at work all week, and had another shoot for Saturday. Finished that shoot at 6 pm, picked up a few friends and headed to dinner. Luckily, there were staying over for the night as we were headed to Philadelphia the next day. So we set up the softbox and took turns shooting our respective photos!

           This is a shot of my very close friend, Roslyn. Before the shoot, I had her style her hair on one side so I could place some flowers and pine leaves in it. We then practiced posing (this was the first time she was acting as my muse). We shot 50 takes, and I had my photo!

            This image was edited in Lightroom to add a bit of warmth and decrease the highlights. I increased the blacks so they weren't as black, and I readjusted the shadows to add a subtle orange-pink glow. Finally, I adjusted the RGB curve for a soft matte look, and slightly increased the clarity for a touch of sharpness. Finished all time minutes to 4 am, submitted and went to bed... we were scheduled to leave in the morning at 8 am!

            Special thank you to Roslyn for being such a sport! The remainder of the group's album can be seen here.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm

           

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/6/52frames-one-light-source Mon, 08 Jun 2015 17:05:24 GMT
When unplanned collaboration yields beautiful results https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/5/when-unplanned-collaboration-yields-beautiful-results         A good friend of mine posted a fantastic shot of a model she stumbled upon in NYC last week. I was awe-struck by the image. It was the perfect framing, with great expression and lighting. I asked her to send me the file so I could add a few tweaks to it to see if she liked a slightly edited version. She not only sent me that image, but another! I edited both images in LR and resent for her approval. She was pleased, and so was I!

            The first image was adjusted for exposure and a bit more clarity. Thereafter, I tweaked the RGB curve and played around with split toning until I got just the right amount of yellow and blue undertones to complement the model's face. The second image was a bit harder to edit since the model was not facing the sunlight. I adjusted her skin tone colors so it was as similar as it could be to the first image. I deepened the blacks and shadows to add a bit of texture to her hair and adjusted the color curve to give it an overall matte look. Here's a before and after of both images.

           I wish I had a few moments with this beauty. I'd love to hand her a parsol and take some super girly shots! Ah well... headed to an adventure with my friend this weekend. Stay tuned for more photos! 

To view my friend's work, click here.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) colors editing outdoors photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/5/when-unplanned-collaboration-yields-beautiful-results Tue, 12 May 2015 20:22:18 GMT
52 Frames: Behind the Scenes https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/5/52frames-behind-the-scenes Eighteen: Behind the ScenesEighteen: Behind the Scenes

 

Week 18: Behind the Scenes

Location: Ford Foundation, Manhattan. NY.

 

        I was at somewhat at a lost for this week's theme. I didn't have enough time to request permission to "off limits" location, and I didn't want to settle for shooting a behind the scenes photoshoot. So I compromised. The Ford Foundation is not an "off the limits" location, but very few folks seem to know that their atrium garden is open to the public for recreation.

          I visited the building after work, and verified with security about taking photos before I got my camera out. He was super nice! He basically said, "Go crazy!" I walked around the garden twice before deciding on what angle I wanted to shoot from. Ultimately, I decided to do an all encompassing shot with the garden, stairs and offices. I shot with at 18mm portrait.

         I edited the image in Lightroom to tone down the overexposure and adjust the clarity for a sharper overall look. Thereafter, I tweaked the RGB curve to add a matte-like feel to the shot.

        Here's the link to the group's album.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 18 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/5/52frames-behind-the-scenes Tue, 12 May 2015 20:03:55 GMT
52 Frames: Macro https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/4/52frames-macro Week 17: Macro

Seventeen: MacroSeventeen: Macro

            This is a shot of a prickly cactus that was taken with a Canon 60 mm 2.8 lens. I used natural light from a nearby window as my light source and took five shots from different angles. I edited the image in LR to crop, rotate and tweak the color tones. Here's a before and after of the above image.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/4/52frames-macro Thu, 30 Apr 2015 21:39:17 GMT
52 Frames: Through a Child's Eyes https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/4/52frames-through-a-childs-eyes Week 16: Through a Child's Eyes

Sixteen: Through the Eyes of a ChildSixteen: Through the Eyes of a Child

            Didn't have the time to collaborate with a child for this week's theme, so I dug into my childhood books and toys for inspiration. Eventually, I decided to feature Pooh and a collection of stories for my submission this week. The set up was pretty simple. I balanced the book on the table and positioned Pooh's hand on the book to make him seem as though he's inviting you to come sit and have story times with him. I used an external flash to minimize the shadows and quickly edited the image in Lightroom.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks childhood colors photo project photography poohbear https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/4/52frames-through-a-childs-eyes Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:35:13 GMT
52 Frames: Nature https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/4/52frames-nature   Fifteen: NatureFifteen: Nature           

 

            Week 15: Nature

          "We never noticed the beauty, because we were too busy trying to create it."

 

         This was a fairly simple challenge, just head outdoors and shoot pieces of nature that caught the eye. Unfortunately, New York has not yet had 'spring" weather. There are very few blossoms to be seen anywhere. As a result, I searched for non-flowering plants as my inspiration for this week's theme. I noticed this amazing cluster of poison ivy vines about a block away from my house sometime last week. So I headed out to that very spot and snapped a few shots of the vines from several angles. Thereafter, I quickly edited the image in Lightroom to change the overall toning of the image. I made the greens more subtle, but increased the saturation on the yellow/brown leaves. I also tweaked the RGB curve to add a matte-like look and to soften the blacks. It's not the most captivating image, but I do like the final result. 

       

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm

 

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks 52frames nature outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/4/52frames-nature Tue, 14 Apr 2015 19:06:23 GMT
52 Frames: Abstract https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/4/52frames-abstract          Fourteen: Abstract

         Extra Credit: Nude

Fourteen: AbstractFourteen: Abstract

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/4/52frames-abstract Mon, 06 Apr 2015 02:33:54 GMT
52 Frames: Levitation https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/3/52frames-levitation            Week 13: Levitation

           Caption: Awoken 

          Thirteen: LevitationThirteen: Levitation Crazy week! This challenge truly threw me for a loop. I went back and forth in my head all week on ways to portray levitation without having to indulge in Photoshop. However, I never got the time to experiment. Moreover, I knew my shot would either be a self portrait or of the cats. I had no models to work with, and my sister is away on vacation. I did extensive research on posing, before and after stills of levitation and layer masking in PS. I bought a stool and way too many flowers because I knew I wanted a prop, but hadn't decided on the color or the amount of flowers. I transformed my living room into a full studio with a black background, softbox and several other lighting sources. I set the stool in the center of the backdrop and got to shooting. After enduring an hour of uncomfortable posing and blood rushing to my head, I had a few takes to work with. Thereafter, I took a shot of the backdrop without the stool as the layer that would be used to erase the stool and any other imperfections. While in PS, I also extended the background and flipped the angle of my pose to make it more "levitating." Here's a  SOOC and the edit before the reposition. 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 800
     Focal length: 19 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks editing levitation photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/3/52frames-levitation Sun, 29 Mar 2015 23:10:37 GMT
52 Frames: SOOC https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/3/52frames-sooc Week 12: SOOC

Twelve: SOOCTwelve: SOOC

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/3.2
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks fifty two frames outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/3/52frames-sooc Sun, 29 Mar 2015 23:10:19 GMT
52 Frames: Ritual https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/3/52frames-ritual            Week 11: Ritual

           Caption: The Way of the Cross

Eleven: RitualEleven: Ritual

            Not much to say this week. I wanted to photograph someone praying the rosary. However, I couldn't locate mine, so I wound up taking a photo a crucifix necklace. Funny enough, the cover photo from this week's album was of someone praying the rosary! This image was edited in Lightroom to add some contrast.

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/3.2
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/3/52frames-ritual Fri, 20 Mar 2015 15:43:41 GMT
52 Frames: Reflection https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/3/52frames-reflection              Week ten: Reflection

             Caption: Cats are connoisseurs of comfort. 

Ten: ReflectionTen: Reflection

           This image was shot and edited in 90 minutes. I was super pressed for time and completely devoid of innovative ideas. I kept it simple by using a mirror, my cat and natural light. I laid the mirror flat on the floor so that it was well lit by the light from the window. Then I had my cat lay on the mirror (with someone helping to hold her in place). I took 25 takes, and quickly sorted through what I had to work with. The above image was edited in Lightroom to clone several areas to make it seem like I used an endless mirror. I had sharpened the the facial outlines of the cat, and blurred the outer perimeters of the shot. I also tweaked the RGB and tone curves to add a bit of red-orangish glow to the overall image. 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks cat colors natural light photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/3/52frames-reflection Sun, 08 Mar 2015 18:17:32 GMT
52 Frames: Black & White https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/3/52frames-black-white             Week 9: Black & White

            Caption: The Lady

Nine: Black & WhiteNine: Black & White

            I was super pressed for time this week, so I kept it pretty simple. I had my subject wear an oversized striped sun hat and we got to shooting. I had my subject sit two feet in front of a black backdrop. I used an external flash pointed directly at the ceiling so that the light would bounce downwards and fill the outlines of my subject and the hat. The image was edited in Lightroom to adjust the contrast and RGB levels. 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks beautiful photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/3/52frames-black-white Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:00:03 GMT
52 Frames: Make a Statement https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/2/52frames-make-a-statement            Week 8: Make a Statement

           Extra Credit: Photojournalism

           Caption: "it hurts, but that's ok.. I'm used to it."

Eight: Make a StatementEight: Make a Statement          There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, 'There now, hang on, you'll get over it.' Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer. -- Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees

          This week was quite the challenge. It's no easy task capturing an image that can "make a statement" without including a few words to convey what you're trying to portray. This was made even harder with the extra credit being photojournalism. I spent almost four days researching photojournalistic images, social issues captures, and so forth. Eventually, I settled on a simple portrait that would include some words and soft lighting to convey my chosen topic, "depression." 

        The above image was inspired by a striking image I came across while browsing through depression related photography. I tried to recreate the image as closely as I could, while adding a bit more of my personal touch to the final edit. I used a large softbox to light the model and canvas. The softbox was positioned to the model's right, thereby allowing for the shadow on her left. I shot approximately fifty images. Quite a few involved the model experimenting with facial expressions and hand gestures. Here's two takes that were my runner-ups for this week.

             The final image was edited in Lightroom to decrease saturation, adjust clarity and grain, with some tweaks to the RGB curve and color tones. The full bodied colored shot was my first take! The bluish-black image was my second to last take.

Special thanks to my amazing sister for induling me (as always). 

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks photo challenge photo project photography photojournalism https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/2/52frames-make-a-statement Sun, 22 Feb 2015 17:30:00 GMT
52 Frames: Rule of Odds https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/2/52frames-rule-of-odds            Week 7: Rule of Odds

           Caption: Which would you choose?

Seven: Rule of OddsSeven: Rule of Odds

            The rule of odds states that images are more visually appealing when there is an odd number of subjects. Studies have shown that people are actually more at ease and comfort when viewing imagery with an odd number of subjects, rather than in pairs or even numbers. Odd right? Ah well...  I tried photographing three apples and three necklaces. In the end, I went with the necklaces.

             The set up for this week's photo was relatively easy. I hung the pendant necklaces from push pins against a wall. The perfectionist in me ensured that they were arranged in descending order. I took quite a few shots from different angles. At this point, I unsure as to which photo I'd be using for my submission. I edited a few images to add a vintage feel to it. Then I played around with colors and hues to get just the perfect color scheme. It's the funniest thing when taking a photo becomes less stressful than editing the image to achieve the look you had in mind. Here's a collage of the two color schemes I was torn between. Eventually, I chose the bluer-tint.

Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/5
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks cat colors editing necklace photo challenge photo project photography vintage https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/2/52frames-rule-of-odds Sun, 15 Feb 2015 17:30:00 GMT
52 Frames: Love https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/2/52frames-love           Week 6: Love

          Extra Credit: Famous Love Story

            "There may be something there that wasn't there before. "

Six: LoveSix: Love

            Valentine's Day is upon us! Of course the founders of 52 Frames went with Love for this week's theme.  I can't stress just how many fellow framers were unexcited or slightly at odds with this theme. It's probably because Love is a tricky subject to do without getting too corny with ideas. Earlier this week, I set out to recreate a portrait of Shahrukh & Kajol from Kabh Kushi Kabhie Gham. The shoot was over in minutes because we were both at risk for hypothermia. Here are two takes from what I got.

           The images are ok. But it's quite evident that we're super cold and the photo doesn't showcase "love" the way I had hoped. I scrapped the idea entirely and researched for something new. I stumbled across this ridiculously cute shot of a couple showcasing love a la Disney style! The photo was simple, but it was brilliant! Since the extra credit was "famous love story," I figured why not kill two birds with one stone and try to recreate something similar? I knew instantly that my story was going to inspired by Beauty and the Beast. I came across the original production sketch for Beast and printed it out. I retraced the sketch with a darker pencil to add a bit more darkness to the outlines. To imitate Belle, I wore a simple white knit sweater and a blue romper, with a floral scarf semi-braided into my hair. We set the camera on a tripod, put it on remote timer and got to shooting. We took 143 images! Only two were akin to what I was looking for. I edited both images and consulted my boyfriend on which image he preferred. He loved the above image, and so did I!

            Not entirely sure if we captured the "love" element adequately, but at least I'm satisfied with my final submission! In retrospect, I should've enlarged the sketch on a bigger paper or cardboard. Ah well... next time!

Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/4.5
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 33 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Disney Love beauty and the beast colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/2/52frames-love Sun, 08 Feb 2015 17:08:36 GMT
52 Frames: Greetings from https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/2/52frames-greetings-from             Week 5: Greetings from 

            Caption: Greetings from a sunkissed Lady Liberty

Five: Greetings fromFive: Greetings from

          This shot was taken from the Brooklyn Bridge during sunset earlier this week. The scenery was so beautiful, very little editing was needed. I merely added a bit of clarity to sharpen the outlines of the Statue of Liberty, and tweaked the vibrance to make the blues, oranges and yellows pop.

          This was actually unplanned and an entirely lucky shot! I just happened to be walking over the bridge during sunset. I was hoping to catch a skyline shot of downtown Manhattan from Brooklyn. I took about 50 shots, but was dissatisfied with the results. I also figured that skyline shots of Manhattan was a bit too obvious for the theme. So, I began walking the Brooklyn bridge hoping to get a workable shot of pedestrians and the bridge. I took a few, and then the sun began to set. The entire landscape was washed in beautiful hues of yellows, oranges, reds, purples and blues. It was absolutely stunning. I immediately knew, my shot would include the sunset. It wasn't until after I got home that I decided on the above image as my selection for this week's theme. Here are some other images of angles and colors I captured.

Manhattan Bridge, NYCManhattan Bridge, NYC

Lady LibertyLady Liberty

          My sister took an amazing panorama of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges just before our walk over the bridge. Funny enough, the Brooklyn bridge was covered by clouds and the Manhattan bridge is entirely lit up by the sun. We themed this shot, "Fire and Ice."

Brooklyn + Manhattan BridgesBrooklyn + Manhattan Bridges

          The extra credit challenge this week was to take an shot using a 16 mm lens or less. I do not have such a wide angle lens. My telephoto ranges from 18 mm to 135 mm. The photo I chose for submission was taken with the telephoto lens zoomed in at 135 mm. The larger landscape shot of Lady Liberty was taken at 53 mm. It was simply not possible to have a shot taken at 18 or 16 mm from where I was standing. My subject (the Statue of Liberty) was simply too distant from the bridge.

Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/250
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 135 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks New York colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography statue of liberty https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/2/52frames-greetings-from Sun, 01 Feb 2015 17:30:00 GMT
52 Frames: Complementary Colors https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/52frames-complementary-colors            Week 4: Complementary Colors

           Extra Credit: Fashion

             "Do what you believe in, and watch yourself blossom."

Four: Complementary ColorsFour: Complementary Colors

           Believe it or not, this was an exceptionally difficult theme. At the beginning of the week, I was bursting with ideas for fashion related photos. By Wednesday, I was utterly confused on what to do after reviewing the complementary color chart. My closet is pretty black and white, and I had limited time to sort through clothes that would adequately represent the theme if I wanted to partake in the extra credit challenge. Luckily, I had a mint green dress lying around and some roses from my birthday earlier this week. Thankfully, green and red are complementary colors :). NY had snow in the wee hours of Saturday morning. I capitalized on this by using my backyard as my backdrop. I shot for about 15 minutes because it was simply too cold out to shoot any longer. I got 78 takes, only 5 were usable. 

            I edited the images with Wuthering Heights in mind (that might explain the gothist look). Funny enough, the final edit reminds me of the deer/moose/stag from Hannibal. I submitted the above image as my pick for this week's theme because I was unhappy with the other takes. There were just too many flaws. For instance, the flowers weren't in focus, my right arm was peeking out of my side in a weird way or the pose was just too awkward. Here's a sample of my rejects.

           Not sure if my submission is colorful enough for complementary colors, but I wanted my shot to minimal and soft. What are your thoughts?

Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/2.5
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/52frames-complementary-colors Sun, 25 Jan 2015 17:30:00 GMT
52 Frames: Lines https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/52frameslines            Week 3: Lines

           Extra Credit: Leading lines

Three: LinesThree: Lines

           This was an absolute last minute photo. I took part in the extra credit challenge by photographing leading lines. Leading lines refers to a composition technique where the viewer's eyes are attracted or led to to lines that lead directly to the subject in the image. In this shot, the large walkway tapers at the end. Your eyes should have followed the tapering walkway when you first laid eyes on this image. If they didn't, then I didn't do that good of job :(
           This image was edited in Lightroom to add a bit of vibrance to an otherwise dull looking photo. Here's a before and after for comparison. 
 
Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/2.2
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/52frameslines Sun, 18 Jan 2015 14:56:33 GMT
52 Frames: Silhouette https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/52frames-silhouette           Week 2: Silhouette

            “Only a friend or a giraffe would stick his neck out for you. But only a giraffe would eat all the leaves off your tree so he could peek in your second story bedroom window.” 

Two: SilhouetteTwo: Silhouette

              I hope this photo brought you some much needed warmth amidst this winter blizzard. Funny enough, the above image was not my initial concept. I came across quite a romantic silhouette that I tried to recreate with cardboard cutouts, but it didn't quite work out the way I wanted it. Thereafter, I tried shooting a velociraptor, artificial stems,a jewelry organizer and my cats. I wasn't pleased with any of the outcomes. Here's a composite of my attempts.

            The set up for the ones against the white backdrop was fairly simply. I hung a plain white backdrop against a bookshelf and aimed a spotlight at the white space. Then I placed a table a foot away from the backdrop and positioned my subjects in front of the brightest part of where the spotlight shone. I aimed at the center of my subjects while shooting. The images were edited to further darken the blacks to give the silhouette a more defined outline. The same setup was used for the giraffe shot. I added a bit of warmth and tweaked the yellow and orange hues in post processing to add the sunset or island-like look to the final edit. The setup for the couple against the colored lights was slightly different. I hung black backdrop and randomly attached the colored lights with safety pins. Afterwards, I placed my cutouts on black table a foot and a half in front of the lights and shot with a 2.0 aperture to enhance the bokeh effect. Though I really liked the silhouette couple, I was not pleased with the fuzzy edges of the cutout. I tried my best to refine the edges with an X-acto knife and scissors, but the cutout was too tiny and fragile to handle further adjustments. 

           This was my second attempt at silhouette since joining 52 Frames. My first attempt can be found here

           Super excited for the album this week. Be sure to check the weekly submission on the group's Facebook page

Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/2.2
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/52frames-silhouette Sun, 11 Jan 2015 17:30:00 GMT
Learning to shoot with a 50mm lens https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/learningtoshootwitha50mmlens              Last summer, I finally invested in a prime lens. I bought the Canon 50mm 1.4. Upon receipt, I compared it to the 50 mm 1.8 and the difference was immediately apparent. The 1.4 was more sturdy and compact than the 1.8. The bokeh/blurry effect between the 1.8 and 1.4 was very impressive. I don't know why I ever bothered with the 1.8. In retrospect, the 1.8 is an inexpensive alternative to the 1.4. However, if I were faced with the choice between 1.8 and 1.4 knowing what I know now, I'd definitely add a few more bucks and get the 1.4

             There was quite a learning curb that accompanied the 50mm. My primary lens has always been the 18-135mm zoom lens. So shooting was relatively easy with the zoom option and automatic aperture adjustment. However, the 50mm is a fixed lens and you must walk towards or away from your subject while shooting. Additionally, if you're shooting in manual, you'll soon find that a fixed aperture doesn't work for every shot. You must adjust the aperture as you shoot depending on the subject, the amount of light you want to be in the frame and so forth. A quick reminder, at 1.4, the lens eye is opened to its fullest and the most light is let in. At higher apertures, the lens eye becomes smaller and less light is allowed. So you must compensate for the loss of light via ISO or f/stop adjustments. 

             Ever since I added the 50mm 1.4 to my camera bag, it has become my "go to" lens for portraits. Here's some of my favorite portraits I've taken over the last six months. Of course some tweaks were made to enhance some colors and spot heal, but most of what you see is directly from manipulating various camera settings to get the most out of the 50mm and the 1.4 aperture.

          I'm still learning the parameters of this lens and how to work it best. Here's a great blog post on the importance of manipulating aperture to achieve better results with the 50mm. 

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 50 mm lens aperture colors editing photography portraits prime lens https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/learningtoshootwitha50mmlens Sat, 10 Jan 2015 23:20:46 GMT
52 Frames: Self portrait https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/52framesselfportrait            Week One: Self Portrait

             "Loving oneself isn't hard, when you understand who and what 'yourself' is. It has nothing to do with the shape of your face, the size of your eyes, the length of your hair or the quality of your clothes. It's so beyond all of those things and it's what gives life to everything about you. Your own self is such a treasure."

One: Self PortraitOne: Self Portrait

        As always, the theme this week was Self Portrait. I procrastinated until the very end to take my photo (as evidenced by my smudged eyeliner that I noticed during post processing). I tried to do a cheerier and more Gaia-like photo this time around. I knew I wanted to have flowers in my portrait. So I made a floral crown of pine leaves, little pink and yellow roses with a few other random plant things stuffed in between. Believe it or not, it took me three hours to make that headpiece! 

       For my setup, I hung my favorite black backdrop against a bookshelf and positioned my camera on tripod approximately four feet in front of where I'd be sitting. Thereafter, I quickly did my makeup, fixed my fair, threw on a knit sweater and affixed my crown. I sat a foot away from the back drop and began shooting. After 137 takes, I figured I'd review what I had. I narrowed my options to 5 shots and began editing. 

       I added a bit of clarity around my eyes for an extra pop and tweaked the RGB curve for a more matte-look. A few more tweaks were made in the red, orange and yellow tones so that the image would not appear overly saturated in the matte color tone.

       I'm not entirely happy with the final edit, but I had to submit before the deadline (otherwise, the Clicktator would kill me). I'm super excited to see all the selfies this week, especially since we have so many new members! Be sure to check out the 52 Frames facebook page!

Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/60
     ISO speed: 800
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks 52frames colors flowers girl photo challenge photo project photography vscofilm https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/52framesselfportrait Sun, 04 Jan 2015 17:30:00 GMT
Week 52+: Framer's Choice https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/week52framerschoice          Theme: Framer's Choice

        "Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance."

           The above shot was taken at the top of Blue Mountain in Peekskill, New York. It was somewhat of a dreary afternoon, so I edited the image to further enhance the mood. I played around with the purples, pink and teal undertones. Here's the SOOC and the final edit for comparison.

Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 18 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2015/1/week52framerschoice Sun, 04 Jan 2015 04:51:59 GMT
Week 52+: Stairs https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/12/week52stairs           Theme: Stairs

         "There's no elevator to success. You must climb the stairway of knowledge."

Week 52+: StairsWeek 52+: Stairs           I was truly at a lost for photo this week. I didn't have the time to shoot anything amazing and I was on the verge of not submitting to 52 Frames this week. I eventually caved to a bit of peer pressure and fear of the Clicktator's wrath. I built my own stairs using a collection of Shakespeare plays and got to shooting. I'm not entirely pleased with the final result, but consistency is the key to improving one's skills, right? Here is another take that was heavily edited for a more polished look.

Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks books colors editing photo challenge photo project photography stairs https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/12/week52stairs Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:10:00 GMT
Week 52+: Contrast https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/12/week52contrast         Theme: Contrast.

        This week was a bit difficult. Ironic, right? First, I tried my utmost to capture something different. Second, I tried even harder to resist turning my photo in B & W (as it was the most obvious). Clearly, I failed both my goals:( Nevertheless, the image below was probably the best from what I had to choose from. The concept was simple. A dried rose, a wooden backdrop to rest the rose on and black cloth for the background. I turned off all the lights and focused a single continuous light on the rose from above. I pointed my flash towards the ceiling and got to shooting. After a 20 takes, I had the below image. 

          The shot was edited in LR to strip away all colors. I also played around with the RGB curve for maximum contrast. I also tweaked the black and shadow sliders until I got just the right amount of grey to black hues. Here's a before and after of the above image (with a preview of some of the LR tweaks).

          Funny enough, the rose was not my first attempt for this theme. Initially, I opted to capture several contrasting colors in it's simplest form. I aligned some pencils and took a few shots. The photo was nice, but it was just "okay." It did not have that "wow" factor I was looking for. Here's one of the captures post-processing.

          As mentioned before, the biggest struggle was choosing the right photo for submission to 52 Frames. Here are some of the other rose options I shot.

Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/2.6
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks 52frames colors contrast editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/12/week52contrast Sun, 14 Dec 2014 17:15:00 GMT
Week 52+: Red https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/12/week52red        

        Theme: Red   

        Until Wednesday, I was unsure of what to shoot this week. However, I had two last resort options. Option A, arrange several shades of red lipstick in a circle and take a shot from above, or Option B, have Nala wear a red dress. 

        I finally decided to contact a few models and see who'd be available for a last minute shoot Friday evening. Luckily, an amazing model from LA responded and we discussed the details of the shoot at midnight on Thursday. We met at the Brooklyn Bridge just as the sun was setting and got to shooting. Unfortunately, it started to rain and we had to cut short our shoot and seek an alternative location to continue since I wasn't quite sure I had gotten my shot.

       We trekked to Grand Central Station and capitalized on the lights from various booths throughout the Winter Marketplace in the South Concourse. About 20 takes later, I had my shot!

       This image was edited in LR to decrease the yellow hues from the lighting, and desaturate the overall image. Thereafter, I increased the clarity around her face, neck and shoulders. I then manipulated the RGB curve to give it a matte look and resaturated the headwrap and necklace.

      I found just the right quote to accompany my submission to 52 Frames, "Bright reds - scarlet, pillar-box red, crimson or cherry - are very cheerful and youthful. There is certainly a red for everyone." Here are some other shots from this session. 

 
Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/2.0
     Exposure time: 1/60
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 50 mm

Special thank you the amazing Joselyne Green for being my muse.   

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Red brooklyn bridge colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/12/week52red Mon, 08 Dec 2014 03:17:20 GMT
Week 52+: Looks like this https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/12/week52lookslikethis        The theme this week was "Looks like this." Quite open ended indeed! I took a quick stroll through Bryant Park in search of a couple sipping on coffee. I wanted to convey first date sentiments. As it turned out, I had absolutely no luck locating a couple. I took random shots of people shopping and the little boutiques in the Winter Village at Bryant Park. Luckily, I came across a lady sipping coffee while overlooking the village. I took five shots of her and hoped for that I had my shot for this week's. 
 
        I loaded the images as soon as I got home and studied the frame extensively. I wasn't sure if I wanted to use it, and if I did, then what would be my "looks like this" caption. Late Saturday night, I finally decided to revisit this photo. I figured I'd caption it with something relating to a date or love, and edit it in soft tones to add a bit a romantic feel. After four hours of back and forth color tweaks in Lightroom, this was what I settled on.
        The caption read, "Life is always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act. That moment sometimes looks like this. Should she approach him or should she wait for him to come to her?"
 
        Here's a before and after comparison of the SOOC and final edit, with a screen shot of some of my tweaks in LR.
        I should also add that I scored in the top three photos for this week's challenge (quite unexpected). 
 
Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/1.6
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Bryant Park Winter Village colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/12/week52lookslikethis Mon, 01 Dec 2014 18:03:44 GMT
Week 52+: Portrait https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/11/week52portrait      

      The theme this week is "Portrait."

      Finally convinced the boyfriend to be my muse for a submission! We shot this last night with minimal setup. We draped a blackdrop across a bookshelf and placed a chair infront of it for him to sit. We used one umbrella light and reflector for lighting. The light was pointed towards the right side of his face, while the reflector was directly below his waistline. Within the first 50 frames, we had our shot. 

       This frame was then edited in Lightroom to add a bit more depth to the overall image. I added some clarity and exposure around the eyes and blurred some parts of the hair. Thereafter, I softened the areas around the cheek and jawline. I desaturated the yellow tones, and played around the red and blue curves to get a softer color tone for his skin. Finally, I enhanced the blacks and slightly shifted the RGB curve to make the blacks less contrasty. 

       I chose this shot over the others because there was something very endearing about it. The focus is just perfect on the eyes. The frame itself suggests that he is in deep thought or contemplative. As always, I browsed a few portrait quotes and came across this,

"I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days that I am away from you." 

It seemed to be the most fitting for this photo, since whenever we're apart, this is precisely how I'd imagine him.

        Here's a before and after comparison of  the original and edited frames.

Here are some takes with the kitties! These were edited to be more film-like.

 
Photo Specs:
     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing fifty two frames outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/11/week52portrait Sun, 23 Nov 2014 07:39:58 GMT
Week 52+: Famous Quote https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/11/week52famousquote Theme: Famous Quote

Quote: "Put on some red lipstick and live a little."

        This was a last minute shoot at midnight. Draped my black backdrop over a bookshelf and used one spotlight as my set up. Thereafter, my muse and I tried several different poses fearing red lipstick. After reviewing over 100 takes, we decided that the above shot best suited the quote "Put on some red lipstick and live a little."

Photo Specs:

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/11/week52famousquote Sun, 23 Nov 2014 00:13:53 GMT
Week 52+: Trees https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/11/week52trees “Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”

         The theme this week is "Trees." This shot was taken at Blue Mountain Reservation. I edited it in Lightroom to desaturate the colors and add clarity to the center of the image. I also added tilt shift and played around the RGB curve to vary the colors of the leaves. Here's a composite of the editing stages. The image to the left is straight from the camera, the center image is after desaturation and tilt shift added, the image to the right is final edit where clarity was enhanced and changes made to the RGB curve.

         Below are some options I considered but ultimately decided against. 

NYPL PatioNYPL Patio

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 18 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks blue mountain colors outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/11/week52trees Sun, 09 Nov 2014 20:49:20 GMT
52 Frames Photo Walk: Bethesda Terrace https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/11/52frames-photo-walk-bethesda-terrace          Two weekends ago, some NY members of Fifty-two Frames got together for a photowalk around Bethesda Terrace in Central Park. We all met approximately 2 pm, and shot until 6:30 pm. By the end of the walk, we all had an average of 500 photos each! It was a wonderful walk. There was so much to capture! Engagements, weddings, performances, tour groups, etc. We interacted with so many folks (of course we asked to take their photos) and we became friends with a traveling photography group from East West Photography.  We also met a very talented opera singer and her 'rockstar in the making' son. We were limited to 10 photos per person for the album, so you can imagine just how difficult it was choosing! Here are my 10 photo submissions. 

        Other photos can be viewed here.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/11/52frames-photo-walk-bethesda-terrace Sat, 08 Nov 2014 22:21:47 GMT
Week 52+: Scary https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/11/week52scary            You guessed it! The theme this week is "Scary."

          Was at a complete lost for ideas until this mask saved the day (literally). I wanted to do something with blood and gore, but I simply didn't have the time for it. On Friday night, I still had no photo and was pretty sure that I wasn't going to submit this week. I went to my cousin for Halloween, and behold ... Jigsaw was probably the scariest thing I saw! The next morning, I had someone wear the mask for a few seconds against a window to capture as much light as I could. I then edited the image to darken the blacks and add a bit of detailing to the outlines of the mask. 

          Not entirely happy with my submission, but it was pretty last minute and I almost didn't submit! I'm sure the Fifty-two Frames founder will be happy that I didn't call it quits this week :) 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/60
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 5 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/11/week52scary Sun, 02 Nov 2014 19:30:36 GMT
Week 52+: Windows & Door https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/10/week52windows-door          The theme this week was "Window or Doors." I researched a few brownstones in Manhattan and came across this lovely brownstone in St. Mark's Place. A friend and I trekked to the Village after work in search of said brownstone. We stumbled upon this beautiful piece of architecture between First and Second Avenue on St. Mark's Place.

         Unfortunately, I only had my 50mm lens with me. To get this shot, I stood in the middle of the street and waited until there were no pedestrians. If only I had my zoom lens, I could've captured more of the intricate carvings at the top of the doorway :( The shot was edited in LR4 to add a bit of saturation and exposure. Thereafter, I played around with the tone curve to make the greens and orange more vibrant.

Special thank you to Roslyn for accompanying me on this brownstone hunt!

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/180
     ISO speed: 800
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks brownstone colors editing manhattan, mark's outdoor photo challenge photo project photography place" s st https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/10/week52windows-door Tue, 28 Oct 2014 18:23:13 GMT
Week 52+: Landscape https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/10/week52landscape Theme: Landscape

      This week's photo was shot at Bear Mountain in upstate New York. It's a panorama captured with the Nexus 4. I really wanted to use an image taken with my T2i, but most of the images were overexposed or just white-washed because I didn't have a polarizer on hand (it arrived post shoot). I tried to salvage this shot by editing it in Lightroom to add some saturation and clarity to the overall image. I'm not too happy with the final result, but it's better than skipping a week of this year long challenge. 

       Here are some of the shots taken with the T2i.

Bear MountainBear Mountain

      Not sure if I made the right choice for the submission, but the mountain shot showcases the theme best, no?

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks bear mountain colors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/10/week52landscape Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:33:08 GMT
Week 52+: Macro https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/10/week52macro            You guessed it! This week's theme is "Macro."

We all have forests on our minds. Forests unexplored, unending. Each one of us gets lost in the forest, every night, alone.”      
  
         Shot this in my backyard yesterday with a Canon Ef-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens. It's a close-up of a wild stalk that's been growing in one of my plant pots over the summer. Didn't realize how beautiful and delicate this little weed was until I loaded the photo on to my computer. The image was quickly edited in Lightroom to add a bit more flare. I tweaked the RGB curves and played around with a few other sliders until I achieved the above color scheme. Here's a screenshot of the before and after (with a few of the manipulations from LR).
       The SOOC shot was just too green! I toned down the greens and played around with orange and red hues to compliment the desaturated green. Thereafter, I sharpened the tips of the blossoms to add a bit more depth to the overall image. The final result is soft and endearing, don't ya think? I must admit, it was a bit difficult to choose a submission for this week. I chose a macro of the stalk because it reminded me of a forest canopy (hence the quote). These were my other two contenders.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/200
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 60 mm

 

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/10/week52macro Sun, 12 Oct 2014 04:43:35 GMT
Week 52+: Pairs https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/10/week52pairs          Theme this week: "Pairs."

"Twins have a special bond. They feel safer with each other than with their peers."

        I opted to photograph a pair of twins for my submission to Fifty-two Frames. I shot fraternal twin girls in a moment of sisterly bonding. It's probably one of my best candid moment capture ever? There's a unique intimacy between these two as one is braiding the other's hair, while the second one plays with a pair of stuffed giraffes. That, coupled with their dresses and hair accessories adds a wonderful tenderness to the overall image, don't you think? The original image was a bit too colorful for my liking, so I changed it to black and white. I furthered edited the image in Lightroom by playing around with contrast and clarity. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/1.8
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/10/week52pairs Mon, 06 Oct 2014 17:38:34 GMT
Week 52+: From Where I Stand https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/9/week52fromwhereistand         The theme this week is "From where I stand." Instead of having a shot with the camera looking downwards, I opted for a different view of where I stood. A friend and I met after work and indulged in one of NYC's most beloved touristy things to do: view from Manhattan from Top of the Rock. We got there round 7 pm and the sunset had already disappeared. We enjoyed amazing views from the 67th, 69th and 70th floors of Rockefeller Center. This shot was taken from the 70th floor where the view is unobstructed by protective glass. To get the ultimate view of the landscape before me, I stood on a ledge about four feet off the 70th floor. I got a bit more of the buildings near Rockefeller, as well as a wider view of East and West Sides of midtown. The most recognizable spaces below are the Empire State Building, One World Trade (in the far back), and Times Square (the most lit area under the building with the H & M sign).

        For someone who's afraid of heights, I didn't feel an inkling of fear or anxiety even when I was on the floor without the protective glass. I'd highly recommend Top of the Rock for anyone who loves landscapes or NYC. It's a lovely view of the city and you can practically stay up there for as long as you want (up until closing time of course:)). This shot was minimally edited in LR for added saturation to further darken the black areas to give the overall image an extra pop for contrast. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 6400
     Focal length: 18 mm
 
Special thank you to my amazing friend, Roslyn, for taking this adventure with me (we're both afraid of heights). 
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks NYC Rockefeller Center Top of the Rock colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/9/week52fromwhereistand Sun, 28 Sep 2014 18:17:51 GMT
Week 52+: Collaboration https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/9/week52collaboration           The theme this week is "Collaboration." Indeed, it was a bit more open-ended than the other themes, but this was meant to have us team up with another person or persons to create our image. That meant someone could simply help with holding a reflector, all the way to having someone else edit your photo! I collaborated twice this week for the same image. The first collaboration occurred when I reached out to a yogi (and dancer) I came across on Instagram. We got together and shot quite a few awesome images on a somewhat chilly afternoon in Bryant Park. My second collaboration involved a fellow photographer friend of mine and his expertise in Photoshop. I asked him to remove some unwanted subjects from the image I was considering to submit to Fifty-two Frames. A few hours later, he sent me the image, I quickly edited it in Lightroom for added colors and clarity, and I had my photo!

        This was a quite a fun shoot. We spent about 30 to 45 minutes shooting. As my yogi flexed into various poses, our audience multiplied. It was a bit odd to have such spectatorship in the heart of NYC, but I guess seeing a yogi in action is quite a sight. Nevertheless, my yogi was not unnerved and she rallied on like a champ. 

        Here's part two of my collaboration. This is the original image and the image after my friend removed the three distracting subjects from the frame.           My friend also color graded the shot, but I thought it was a bit too greenish for my tastes (apparently, I'm not as nature-loving as I thought). Here's a comparison of his color grade and my final submission

         What's your preference? The greener tint or the mix of colors?

         Here are some other takes from this session.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm 
 
Special thank yous to:
Pei-Rong Wu (the amazing yogi)
Ian Sama (founder of Idee Photography)
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Bryant Park Outdoors colors editing photo challenge photo project photography yoga yogi https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/9/week52collaboration Sun, 21 Sep 2014 16:29:24 GMT
Week 52+: Framed https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/9/week52framed "I have lived in a flurry of images, but I will go out in a freeze frame."

        Yes, the theme this week was "Framed." I tried really hard to stay away from taking a photo of someone holding a frame...but hey, this image best reflected the theme:) I tried several concepts over the course of the week. I struggled with choosing a photo to submit to Fifty-two Frames until I finally consulted two colleagues of mine. Surprisingly, we all agreed that the shot with the black frame was the best bet. 

        I drew the black outlines of dots and curves with an eye-liner, filled in her brows and added a bit of contour to the model's face. Thereafter, I had her wear a braided headband and I stuck four pairs of earrings (yes earrings) into the sides of the headband. We shot against a purple sari background with her holding the black frame at different angles. During editing, I cropped the image, darkened the purple background and blurred the areas around her face. Here's a the original and processed versions.

        I also shot with two other muses who got a bit funky with eye makeup.The girls were absolutely stunning! Samantha is an actress (currently featured in the Fantasticks) and Yvonne is a Swiss writer who was vacationing in NY over the summer. I collaborated with an amazing MUA and we tried framing the models' eyes to make them pop. We shot a bit late in the afternoon, so the sunlight was not great... and I relied on my external flash to fill in the light. Here are some of the shots we took.

       Great captures, however... in retrospect, my idea of framing the eyes with makeup just didn't work as well as I thought it would :(

       What do you think?

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm      

 

Special thank yous to:

Models: Samantha, Yvonne & Devita

MUA: Fatima Torres

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/9/week52framed Sun, 14 Sep 2014 16:30:00 GMT
Week 52+: Love https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/9/week52love She lay in the grass, reading his letter with utmost joy in her heart.
 
"Sometimes, in my heart a feeling emerges
That it's like you have been created just for me.
Before, you dwelled among the stars somewhere
And now, you have been called down to the earth just for me...
 
Sometimes, in my heart a feeling emerges
That this body, these eyes, are mine to treasure
As if the shade beneath these tresses is meant for me
And these lips and these arms are mine to treasure."
 

        The theme this week is "Love." Right off the bat, I knew I wasn't going to shoot the overly obvious (couples, families, etc). All week, I searched and searched for inspiration. Finally, I decided to play around with the idea of a girl reading a love letter. I shot two interpretations of my love letter concept: joyful and sad. Ultimately, I decided to submit the joyful version as my Fifty-two Frames pick because I didn't want to add too much gloom to the theme.   

       This shot was edited in Lightroom mainly for color purposes. I toned down the greens and added some contrast around her chest area. Thereafter, I added some warmth to the image by playing around with red, orange and yellow hues. Finally, I sharpened her lashes, brow and upper chest area and de-sharpened the green area around her body to add more focus on her upper body. Here's a before and after comparison of the original shot and the processed version. The change is minimal, but it makes such a difference!

        The second shoot was the sad interpretation of the love theme. The girl got letter from her boyfriend that simply read, “I love you forever. I am sorry I cannot love you now.” She knew it was the end of their relationship and was utterly heartbroken that she ripped the letter apart as she began to weep. The torn letter symbolizes her broken heart. Do you see it? This set up involved a black backdrop, a crumpled white sheet, three soft lights and a change of hair, make-up and wardrobe. Again, this was minimally edited in Lightroom for color and clarity purposes.

Which interpretation do you prefer?

Special thank you to the lovely Zaira for being such a sport throughout this six hour shoot.

And a big thank you to Mariela for hairstyling and my sister for being the stand-in MUA for both shoots. 

Additional photos can be seen here.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/4000
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm

Poem taken from: Kabhi Kabhi Mera Dil Mein (by Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh).

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing fun times love photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/9/week52love Sun, 07 Sep 2014 16:30:25 GMT
Week 52+: Ginger https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/week52ginger         Fifty-two Frames threw everyone in quite a fix with The Ginger Project for this week's theme. Natural Gingers (or redheads) are approximately only 1% of the world's population. Even though hair dyes can readily transform anyone into a ginger, it was still challenging to find redheaded subjects for this project.

        Luckily, I found an amazing model/actress who volunteered for a quick shoot last Thursday in Bryant Park. We discussed wardrobe, hair,make-up and props two days before, and got almost 300 shots by the time we finished with the shoot.

        It was quite the challenge picking a photo for submission as there were quite a few to choose from. Ultimately, I opted for the one that seemed the most editorial. The overall frame reminds me of a still from a Covergirl commercial, don't you think?

      Her complexion works great against her beautiful auburn (yes, auburn!) hair and the minimal make-up commands attention her eyes and facial expression. I don't remember what I asked her to think about or do before this shot, but she did an amazing job in giving me a vast variety of poses and expressions to work with.

      This take was edited in Lightroom to add warmth, a bit of saturation and sharpening. I toned down the exposure around her chest to recapture the details of the lace on her dress that were lost in the initial take. Thereafter, I played around with the RGB curves to get a warm, but minimal hues for the overall coloring of the image. Finally, I sharpened the areas around her eyes and lips, while de-sharpening the areas around her cheeks and forehead. 

       

Here's a before and after comparison of the initial image and the processed version. 

           Oh, and guess what? I got the cover photo! A pleasant surprise as always :)

           Special thank you to Stephanie Rupe for being my beautiful muse. Have a look at her page. Stay tuned for additional photos from this wonderful shoot!

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing fifty two frames photo challenge photo project photography the ginger project https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/week52ginger Sun, 31 Aug 2014 22:26:28 GMT
Week 52+: Silhouette https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/week52silhouette           "Silhouette" is the theme this week, and boy was this tricky!

           Didn't get around to shooting until last evening (midnight to be precise). I quickly set up a white backdrop, got out my LED continuous light and began shooting. The initial photos were ill lit with hardly any defined lines. It was only then I realized that I had my sister holding the LED light in the wrong direction. She was holding the light facing her, rather than bouncing it off the white backdrop. (Yes, a big folly! But hey, I was immensely sick!). I had her hold the light facing the white backdrop and we had some amazing results. We tried quite a few things: her with a hair piece, a hat, some flowers, and the cats.

           I analyzed the photos as they were being loaded on to my computer. I couldn't decided on a photo last night because I was so sick. I went to bed and got up this morning to re-examine the images. I narrowed it down to three options and sought some second opinions. Most agreed that the image with the hat was probably my best bet. 

        I'd actually have to agree as there is a particular endearing feel to this image that the others didn't seem to have. Furthermore, I absolutely love the crisp outlines of her face compared the rest of the image. The minimal lighting on her shirt also seems to add a bit more depth to the overall photo. I guess that makes this more of a "partial silhouette" than a true silhouette then?         

           Sometime during the shoot, my sister and I exchanged places. She became the photographer and I was her subject. Here's one of her shots with my new Canon EF 50mm 1.4 lens :)

         It's a beautiful image, I just wish my facial features were more defined.... should have turned ever so slightly to the left :(

         As always, special thank yous to my sister for putting up with me at midnight and running the risk of being around my contagious self. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/1.4
     Exposure time: 1/150
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 60 mm

       

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing fifty two frames fun photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/week52silhouette Sun, 24 Aug 2014 15:02:40 GMT
A Colorful Spring https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/acolorfulspring         This past Spring, I collaborated with four models, a Make-up Artist and a second photographer for a series shoot. We shot all day long on a Saturday in Central Park. It was quite the challenge to find shooting locations devoid of people or filled with adequate sunlight. We alternated shooting with different models before getting everyone for group shots. Here's are some of my takes :) All frames were edited to add subtle vintage hues.

MUA: Jonelle Heywood

Models: Dimos, Purple, Lilth & Sage

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) Spring colors editing muses outdoors photo project photography series work https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/acolorfulspring Sun, 17 Aug 2014 21:17:18 GMT
Week 52+: Ice https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/week52ice        Forget the ice cream, it's all about the toppings! You guess it! The theme this week is "Ice."

         Tried a few macro shots of an ice block. I wasn't satisfied with the final results, so I opted for macro shots of ice cream. I scooped several spoonfuls of chunky Oreo ice cream into a glass, sprinkled a few color toppings and added a peppermint candy cane. Took about twenty shots and quickly edited in Lightroom for added saturation and sharpness. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/60
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/week52ice Sun, 17 Aug 2014 19:57:30 GMT
Week 52+: Quiet https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/week52quiet         "The world is quiet here."

         The theme this week is "quiet." Since Tuesday, I've been contemplating doing shots of meditation for this week's theme. Yesterday, my sister and I took advantage of the wonderful sunset in our backyard. We got the yoga mat out and began shooting several meditation poses. Fifty takes later, I was not entirely satisfied with what was on my camera screen. After brainstorming a few ideas, we decided to add the cats in the mix. We moved the yoga mat to a get a different background and began shooting with one cat at a time. Fifteen minutes or so later, we had the above shot. 

         During post-processing, I furthered blurred the background to add more focus to the subjects in the image. Thereafter, I added some warmth and played around with the HSL levels in Lightroom. Here's a before and after of the image as it was during my Lightroom manipulation. The initial image was just too green for my tastes, I tried to keep the image with a hint of sunset, without adding too much yellow or orange.

           Funny this, this wasn't the image I wanted to submit to Fifty-two Frames. During post-processing, I was quite intrigued with four images. The final decision came down to the above photo and a meditation shot. Here's what my first choice was.

QuietQuiet         I just couldn't decide between the two. Eventually, I asked for second opinions. The vote was unanimous for the first photo. At this point, I'd have to agree, since the first photo seems to exuberate a type of tranquility, calmness and intimacy that the second one doesn't. Even though the second one seems to fit more with the theme, the first image is more personal. What do you think? Here are some other shots I had a difficult time with during my elimination process.

Kitty loveKitty love

       Special thank you to my sister for enduring the relentless mosquitoes throughout this shoot. Look closely, you can seen one of those suckers feasting on her leg in the upper right image.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/1.8
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/week52quiet Sun, 10 Aug 2014 16:51:55 GMT
Week 52+: App Effects https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/week52appeffects          This week's theme is "app effects." Could you have guessed the theme without the title giving it away? If so, then I guess you have a keen eye for spotting Instagram-like features :)

         Until Wednesday,  I had no idea of what to do for this week's theme. Then it dawned on me, why not take a sari to the beach? I asked my sister to be my muse and we got to shooting. Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of wind... so we had to improvise. We tried several poses both in and out of the water. Then a big wave cut short our shoot because the sari became completely drenched in sand. Here's one of the shots that was taken right before that dreadful wave.

        I had asked my sister to take three steps towards the water, and as she was walking, I took this shot. During processing, I added some warmth to give it the yellow-red effect. Thereafter, I slightly blurred the edges of the shot to add more focus on the subject. Finally, I played around with the RGB color curve until I got the final hues that you see in the image above. I don't think I could replicate the overall coloring I got, since I just shifted the curves until I got something most pleasing to my eye. Guess I need to work on honing in my Lightroom skills. 

        Here's a preview of the various editing stages this photo underwent. The upper left is the original shot, the upper right has added warmth and structuring, the lower right was where I began playing around with the RGB curve and the lower right is the final version. 

        Additional shots of the shoot can be found here.

       Special thank you to my sister for enduring a gigantic wave and a sari full of sand :)

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/640
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 62 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks app effects beach colors editing fifty two frames instragram outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/8/week52appeffects Sun, 03 Aug 2014 16:05:10 GMT
Negative Space Photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/7/negativespace       Promised to post more photos of my experiment with negative space photography. Here are some of my favorite shots :)

More photos can be found here.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors fifty two frames negative space photography photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/7/negativespace Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:43:49 GMT
Week 52+: Negative Space https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/7/week52negativespace        Missed last week because I felt my photo was simply too uninspiring to post. I know it shouldn't be an excuse, but quality over consistency has always been my motto regarding photography :) (The founder of Fifty-two Frames definitely disagrees).

      The theme this week is "Negative Space." I had a faint clue what the theme was, so I did a lot of research. I was instantly overwhelmed with the vast selection of photos I encountered during my search. Indeed, the shots seem quite easy to do, but the actual execution is quite difficult when one considers lighting, choosing an eye-catching subject, color hues and so forth. Eventually, i resorted to Googling single subject and orchid photos. I tried replicating an orchid photo of my own, but it didn't work as well as I wanted it to.

      Then it dawned on me to do something very simple. I stuck some flowers I'd been drying for the past six months in a glass filled with rice (to firmly hold it in place) and began experimenting. Initially, I shot the flowers against a purple wall. I wasn't quite pleased with the overall dull look of the wall, so I ironed and strung a black scarf to serve as my backdrop (note to self: whenever in doubt, use black backdrops). I started shooting again, and alternated between yellow and red roses for some variety. I used a Macro lens and an external flash throughout this shoot. This was my twentieth shot.

        I chose to use this shot after consulting with my sister for a second opinion, and because we both felt that there was a depth to this shot that the others didn't seem to capture. During processing & editing, I cropped the image to create more negative space on the left side of the image. Thereafter, I "vintaged" the shot by toning down the hues, playing around with the saturation and increasing the overall structure of the roses. Finally, I added some warmth to further colorized the delicate curves of the dried petals. Here's a before and after comparison of the shot.

       Since I took quite a few shots in this theme, I'll post a separate blog with a few more images to showcase the varying results I had. This has been probably one of the simplest and most surprisingly satisfying shoots I've done in a long time. Can't wait to see what the other Framers have submitted. You can view their work here.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/200
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 60 mm
 
P.S. I won the cover photo!
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors dead flowers editing fifty-two frames negative space photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/7/week52negativespace Sun, 27 Jul 2014 15:54:39 GMT
Week 52+: Woman https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/7/week52woman        This week's theme is "Woman." And boy was this a tough one!

       Initially, I was bursting with so many ideas. By Wednesday, I was at a lost for ideas because I couldn't locate the props I needed for one of my ideas. Worse yet, I had no models to work with. Eventually, I enlisted the help of my girlfriends via FB. A charming soul was generous enough to volunteer on short notice. We sorted the details and set out to shoot after 6 pm on Thursday. We arrived at Pomander Walk on the Upper West Side, only to find out that we couldn't shoot there without special permission from the Superintendent. 

       Determined to have our shoot, we set out to Central Park West. We quickly scouted around for a tree that was still being lit by sunlight as it was well after 7 pm. We found our tree and began shooting, but then the sun began playing tricks on us. Every thirty seconds or so, the sun would disappear behind a building. As a result, we had to move with the sun to a different tree. After thirty five shots, I had my photo without even knowing it!

       Afterwards, she quickly draped on a sari and we continued shooting. It was only until after I loaded the photos onto my computer that I realized I was totally in love with the above image. The initial photo was quite colorful. However, I chose to make it a bit "earthy" to enhance the "goddess like" feel that this shot seemed to emulate. I toned down the brightness, meddled with the saturation and added some warmth to the overall image. I also "focused" the photo by adding a vignette and slightly readjusted the brightness around the model's upper body. Indeed, this has been more edited by my standards, but I really wanted to convey a goddess like feel with this image. Here's a before and after comparison for perspective. What are your thoughts?

        Altogether, this was a pretty fun experience. Even though I've know the model for quite some time, we finally met in person:) She was an absolute pleasure to work with (considering how ad hoc this was). Here's a few more shots from our session. 

PashminaPashmina

       Additional photos can be found here.

       Makeup was provided by KisstomakeUp. This amazing artist is also located on FB

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/4.5
     Exposure time: 1/200
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 33 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing fifty two frames photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/7/week52woman Sun, 13 Jul 2014 17:20:05 GMT
Week 52+: Wet https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/7/week52wet        My apologies for not posting last week. I made a quick trip to South America and simply did not have the time for photos :(

       "Wet" is the theme for this week. Kinda fitting, considering the extreme rainstorms and heat wave we've had over this past week. I struggled all week thinking of what to do for this week's theme. Eventually, I settled on photographing little water droplets on an apple.

        The shot was taken at noon, but I darkened the image to add a bit more mystery to the water droplets. They each have a different shape, size and peculiarity in the way they are positioned on the apple. The color contrast also suggests that this was taken closer to the evening or during the rainstorm than at noon. I'm not sure what it is, but I always find that my eyes are attracted to darker images :)

       The shot was taken with a macro lens to add more volume to the water droplets and textures of the apple. The image was edited in Google+ Editor and Lightroom for color and lighting. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/1000
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/7/week52wet Sun, 06 Jul 2014 15:48:21 GMT
Week 52+: 5 PM https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/6/week525pm         "5 PM" was the theme for this week and boy was this tricky theme! At the first, the theme seemed easy enough. But with a busy week of running around, I was stuck with only one day to take my photo (and still didn't make the 5 PM time frame). 

         My best friend is visiting New York, so naturally I asked her to volunteer as my muse for this week. After some quick shopping at the mall and grabbing a bite to eat, we headed to the Yonkers' Waterfront. It was a bit after 5 PM and the sunlight was pretty harsh. We strolled south along the boardwalk towards the George Washington Bridge. We got to the end, and started clicking away. We got the shot around 5:30 pm. 

         To get the shot, I had to do at least 20 test shots to get the proper lighting. The sunlight was simply too powerful. I used an external flash to even-out the lighting. In post processing, I edited the photo to mimic a post card. I figured, since she's playing a tourist on a vacation... she should have a memorable scenic view (with herself in it). I added warmth and a bit of color to give the overall image more depth. I particularly like the subtle graininess in the photo, for reasons I can't put into words at the moment. 

         As I was shooting, I thought of this wonderful quote by Gustave Flaubert, “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” Seems fitting :) Here's a before and after comparison of the shot.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/4
     Exposure time: 1/1000
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 29 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Yonkers colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography sunlight waterfront https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/6/week525pm Sun, 22 Jun 2014 15:46:14 GMT
Week 52+: Painting https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/6/week52painting         Sighs... was this a hard theme, or what? The theme this week was "Painting." After trying several concepts, I once again confirmed that I have minimal artsy skills. Not entirely satisfied with my submission, but it's the closest I got to my concept.

       I researched 'paint photography' for inspiration. I came across this amazing photo and thought it'd be cool to replicate. I convinced my sister to add some paint to her skin and then we got to work. The first round of painting had to be redone as the color strokes were a bit too broad. Eventually, we used a tiny make-up brush to get the final strokes of color you see in the image. We got to shooting quickly after because the paint was beginning to dry and stiffen. We tried several head poses and wound up with 50 shots. I analyzed the collection and decided to use the below pose because it seemed the most appealing. My sister disagreed. We compromised by having me submit the shot below and sending three images of her liking for her personal use. 

        To give the image an extra "painting" like fee, I edited it with Google+ Editor. I used the Retrolux function and then played around with vintage tones and structure to give it that extra pop. Here's a before and after comparison of the shot.

Special thanks to my sister for being the canvas:) 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/6/week52painting Sun, 15 Jun 2014 17:39:17 GMT
Week 52+: Pain https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/6/week52pain       The theme for this week's photo is "Pain." I tried to make light of a serious theme by doing something funny. I researched a few ideas and decided on capturing a shot of an egg who's about to take a bath in steaming hot water. 

The egg is pretty scared of taking steaming hot baths (obviously). I thought I'd do  a comedic spin on the theme as I didn't want to divulge into the world of human emotions. There was a very interesting abstract photo I came across. However, I needed false eyelashes and some white make-up to replicate it. Maybe I'll save it for another theme? 

        My sister brought the egg to life by drawing the face. We boiled some hot water and got to photoclicking. Within 10 shots, I had my photo. The image was then edited to add some contrast. Maybe it's not entirely true the theme, but hey... the theme is always open to interpretation :) 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 1600
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Fifty-two Frames colors editing funny photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/6/week52pain Sun, 08 Jun 2014 18:07:34 GMT
Photo Walk: Brooklyn Bridge & Park https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/6/photowalkbrooklynbridgepark        Two weeks ago, the NYC members of Fifty-two Frames got together for a photo walk across the Brooklyn Bridge unto the Brooklyn Park. It was probably one of the hottest days of Spring, but we had a great turn-out of over twenty participants! We started the walk a bit after 4 pm. Some Framers left before sunset, while others stayed well after sunset (probably until 9 pm). Here are few snap shots from the walk. The first five are my submissions to the album that was posted to Fifty-two Frames' Facebook page.

And here's one that was taken by the lovely Pam Botway of your's truly as I was taking a shot of her:)

Additional photos can be seen here.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography photowalk https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/6/photowalkbrooklynbridgepark Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:05:39 GMT
Week 52+: Joy https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/6/week52joy          Could you have guessed this week's theme before you saw the heading? If you did, then I guess I did my job :) The theme this week was "Joy." I had no idea what to do until last night, and of course... I took my photo only ninety minutes ago! (I seriously must put an end to this last minute shenanigan). I had my sister replicate some finger people drawings we came across online and we headed into the backyard to shoot. After trying two concepts, here's what we decided to submit.

While we were shooting, I accidentally smeared Ms. Right's left eye as I was positioning my sister's fingers. Hence, I quickly decided that her story would be something along the lines of tears of joy.  So... the story is, these three friends are out for the day and here are their reactions:

      Mr. Left: "Guys, this is beautiful and all, but I think I'm melting."

      Mr. Middle: "This wind is simply amazing!"

      Ms. Right: "This is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen!" 

      This was shot with an EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. The photo was quickly edited to add some saturation and contrast. It's not as sharp as I wanted it to be, but it still works I think? Our first shot was pretty fun too, but we thought it suggested "love" more than "joy." Here's what it looked like:

       The theme for next week is pain. No idea what to do for that, but suggestions are welcome:)

       Special thanks to my sister for her artistic drawings!

       Stay tuned for a blog of photos from the NYC group of Fifty-two Frames across the Brooklyn Bridge!

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/6/week52joy Sun, 01 Jun 2014 16:44:49 GMT
Week 52+: Books https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/5/week52books        Another theme, another week of challenges. The theme for this week is "Books." Naturally, tons of ideas come to mind. Books and coffee, books and companion animals, reading in the park, reading with a flashlight, etc. I wanted to do a few takes with my cats, but ultimately decided against it because I know (1) they wouldn't be cooperative and (2) I've used them way too often for my submissions. So, I decided to shoot books in a bookstore. I researched a few concepts and got two models to volunteer as my muses. On the rainiest day of the week, we trekked to Strand Bookstore in lower Manhattan. When we got there, I asked one of the managers what were their restrictions on photography in the bookstore. He said that it was fine as long as we didn't get any customers or employees in our shots. Thereafter, we moved to the second floor and began testing the flash before we got to the actual shoot. Not more than two takes in, an employee tells us we cannot shoot unless we have a special permit. I quickly related my conversation with the manager from the first floor regarding photographing in the store. However, the employee said that manager was wrong and we couldn't shoot. So we left and went over to Barnes and Noble a few blocks away.... and behold.... the same thing happens! As we were moving between the floors to leave the building, we came across a ladder and decided to sneak a few shots before we left. After three takes, this is what we got.

       Since I wasn't sure if I got my shot, I contemplated going to the library at my alma mater, or trekking to Grand Central. Since we had just been ousted from two bookstores, I didn't want to risk being told we couldn't photograph at my college's library or that my two models needed a special permit to be in the library since they didn't go there. So, we trekked to Grand Central and took a couple of shots in their bookstore on the main Concourse. 

      We took a couple of fun shots and then my battery died :( Apparently, this was not my day to shoot! I did not walk with my camera bag because I shot with the models directly after work and just couldn't handle the weight of my bag with all my backup batteries, etc. 

       I was really determined to get a few more shots, so I resorted to taking photos with my phone. Not an ideal, but a necessity at that point. I had the female model change into a maxi dress, and then we got to shooting in the dining Concourse. We took 10 shots. 

       After I got home, I immediately uploaded both sets of photos unto my computer and immediately began to evaluate the images. I was certain that I was not going to use the phone photos for my submission. It was just not up to par. The choice came down to two shots, both involving that ladder we shot with at B & N.  Even after days studying both photos, I was unsure which to submit. So I sought the opinion of someone else. Within 5 seconds of explaining the difference between the photos, he chose the B & W. He said that there was something that was simply more interesting in the B & W take than the other option. I couldn't agree more.

       For reference, I've included the "other option" and one of the shots that was taken with my phone. 

Which appeals to you more?

Special Thank yous to the two models who volunteered with less than 24 hours notice:) 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 1600
     Focal length: 41 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks bookstore colors editing models photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/5/week52books Sun, 25 May 2014 17:00:46 GMT
Week 52+: Forced Perspective https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/5/week52forcedperspective        The theme for this week's photo is "Forced Perspective." Interestingly enough, it was both a fun and difficult experience to shoot this concept. Naturally, I did some research for inspiration. There was a quite a few great ideas. However, I wanted to retry the 'girl with the floral skirt' concept again. 

       Earlier this week, I bought a rose, a pink fuzzy flower and a stock of lilies. I asked my sister to volunteer as the subject and I strung colored lights against a black backdrop. I really wanted to shoot outdoors, but didn't get the chance with the all the rain we've been having. Because we shot in the evening, the lighting was difficult to master. Eventually I turned up my flash and found myself crouching in the weirdest of positions to get the flower at the right angle. Here's what I got after 100+ photos. 

       It's not exactly what I had pictured in mind, but it's pretty close. I wanted the subject to be a bit more focused and the flower to be more like a skirt. But it was so difficult! The slightest twitch had the lens struggling to focus because there was so much going on in the background with the lights. Ah well, here's some other takes with the rose and the pink fuzzy flower. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 1400
     Focal length: 44 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks bokeh colors editing flower fun photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/5/week52forcedperspective Sun, 18 May 2014 20:12:02 GMT
Week 52+: Morning https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/5/week52morning        Yes, I substituted last week's post with a photo-blog featuring some of the photos I did for a Sweet 16 a few weeks back. However, I'm back and the theme this week was "Morning." I must admit, this one was a bit difficult. Indeed, when one thinks of the morning breakfast, baths, getting dressed, jogging and so forth comes to mind. However, I didn't want to do something that involved our daily routines. Suffice it to say, I was at a total lost until I opened the doors to my backyard yesterday morning. I was absolutely taken aback at how pretty it was! I guess the soil was in dire need of some heavy rainfall:) 

       Of course I immediately got my camera and began clicking away! All the dandelions, mini sunflowers and purple weeds were beautifully lit by perfect sunlight and the entire sight was simply breathtaking. Some editing was required  to tone down the exposure and just a tad bit of structuring to add depth to the overall image. No colors were added... these pretties were in full bloom! Unfortunately, we had a mini rainstorm a few hours after I took this photo. Almost all the little cloudy stems on the dandelions have been washed away and the mini sunflowers have disappeared :( Maybe they'll show up again in a few days? After all, "It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning."

       Oh, I almost forgot to add that I took a few photos of the kitties (of course I did!). Here's the two munchkins being all curious in the outdoors. These were a bit more edited to add somewhat of a 'vintage' effect.

NalaNala

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/1.8
     Exposure time: 1/1600
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Spring colors editing flowers outdoors photo challenge photo project photography sunshine https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/5/week52morning Sun, 11 May 2014 16:03:55 GMT
Week 52+: Focus https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/4/ppweekfocus         "Focus" was the theme for this week's photo. Initially, I had planned a macro shot of Cherry Blossoms from Sakura Matsuri this past weekend. However, I didn't attend the event until Sunday. Hence, I resorted to shooting decaying leaves for my submission to Fifty-Two Frames

        I figured that since we have had such a long stretch of cold temperatures, I'd pay homage to the effects it has had on nature. That is, even though it's the end of April, some trees seem as though they've been trapped in the last few weeks of Autumn. The photo is quite simple, just a crisp leaf lying on top of an abundance of new Spring grass. Suffice it to say, this was not the original color scheme of the shot. The sunlight was pretty harsh when I took this image. Thus, quite some editing was required. First, I decreased the brightness and played around with the contrast in Lightroom. Thereafter, I edited the image further in Google+ Editor by adding the HDR effect and then increasing the structure and sharpness of the overall photo. Finally, I increased the saturation and added warmness to the final frame. I find myself particularly drawn to the slight twists and turns of the outer most leaf. There's something very beautiful about it, no?

        Since I'm posting this after my submission date to Fifty-Two Frames, I thought I'd include an example of the image I had in mind while brainstorming this week's theme. This capture was taken at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Cherry BlossomsCherry Blossoms

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/250
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks cherry blossom colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography sakura matsuri https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/4/ppweekfocus Tue, 29 Apr 2014 04:05:46 GMT
Week 52+: Abstract https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/4/week52abstract        Week 53 I guess?:) The theme this week is "Abstract." Quite an open-ended theme, don't ya think? My photo is a macro shot of grass stalks that has been edited to add more color and structure to the subject of the frame.

         I had quite a busy week. Needless to stay, this was not my first shot. Initially, I wanted to use a photo I had taken of granite from the MOMA earlier this week. However, I was not pleased after editing the image to add light and contrast. I tried a second shot of African art from the museum, but thought it would conflict with the theme since the particular piece I was using was symbolic of Nairobi culture. Thereafter, I hardly had time to do research for something completely out of the box as I had two photoshoots scheduled for Saturday. Thus, I opted for scouting around my backyard for inspiration. I found these stalks that were particularly eye-catching. The RAW image was not perfect, so I did some editing via Lightroom to enhance the overall frame. Here's a before and after comparison. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/250
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Spring colors editing outdoors photo challenge photo project photography sunlight https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/4/week52abstract Tue, 22 Apr 2014 01:39:31 GMT
Photo Project: Week 52 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/4/ppweek52         Week 52! Finally!!! Nevertheless, I'll continue to upload photos every week for the remainder of the year. So stay tuned :)

        The theme this week is "Furniture." I have to admit, this was a tough one. I mean really... how does one make furniture look interesting? After much thought, I decided to return to my childhood for this one. Before I give it away, can you guess what type of furniture is featured in the shot?

        It's Barbie furniture! If you got it right, then I guessed you had one those "Barbie picnics" back in the day.:) Funny enough, my sister didn't have any Barbie furniture at home (though she has tons of Barbie and clothes). Hence, I went shopping for a Barbie set. The cashier must have probably thought that I was still playing with these things or just buying it as a gift for a toddler. Little did she know I was actually buying this for a photoshoot. 

        I took quite a few photos with the set. The above image was actually one of the last shots I made after running out of ideas of how to position the pieces. Initially, I had the table laid out for an afternoon date. Then I added Barbie to the mix. Then I removed Barbie and the utensils, extended the table edges and then flipped the chairs. I was hoping that the pieces would be believable as patio furniture. However, the lengths of the grass blades give away the proportions of the furniture pieces. Here's a look at the original image and the various edits I did before I got to the final result.

       And here's the other set-ups I tried, but eventually decided against for being my final photo.

 

 

 

 

 

Which of the photos sparks your interest?

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/250
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Spring colors editing furniture outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/4/ppweek52 Sun, 13 Apr 2014 15:00:00 GMT
Photo Project: Week 51 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/4/ppweek51        Almost there! Week 51, and the theme is "Body Parts." For this week, I knew I wasn't comfortable with shooting human body parts. Thus, I opted for taking photos of the cats. After all, they are the perfect models :) 

      This was a pretty simple shot to do. I just waited for my cat to be focused on something in the house. Then, without making too much noise, I inched closer towards him and took a couple of shots from the right side of his face. I quickly scanned my takes to see which one I wanted to work with. I was pretty drawn to this take because there seems to be something extra special in his eyes. I also love the close-up of the fur that covers his snout. It reminds me of waves within the sand on the beach or in a desert. Thereafter, I edited the photo in Lightroom to add a bit more saturation and some contrast.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 800
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks cat colors editing eyes feline photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/4/ppweek51 Sun, 06 Apr 2014 18:57:18 GMT
Photo Project: Week 50 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/3/ppweek50       Week 50 and the theme is "Inanimate." Since this week's theme was almost synonymous with "still life photography," I decided to do some research to determine the difference between the two genres. After reading a few blogs, I realized that there wasn't much difference between the two, and that it was mostly subject to interpretation. Thus, I decided to keep my concept as simple as possible.

        Even though the capture seems fairly simple, it was a bit tricky to do. Initially, the intertwining forks were further apart. However, when I attempted to balance the egg on the forks, the space between the tips had to be adjusted to accommodate the width of the egg's bottom. Thereafter, I had to slightly shift the egg around until I got it to balance since the yolk inside was moving way too much. After a few seconds, the yolk settled and the egg balanced. 

        Next came trying to figure out the settings for taking the shot as the sunlight was from a window located behind the egg. After a few snaps, the front of the egg was a bit too dark. Eventually, I whipped out my flash, aimed it up at the ceiling and turned it down to -1.5. After a few shots and some minor adjustments to ISO and f/stop, I got a capture I could work with. Then, I quickly edited the image to add a bit more pop, color and structure. The end result is the above image. Here's the original shot and some different edits to the same shot for comparison.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5
     Exposure time: 1/60
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 55 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/3/ppweek50 Sun, 30 Mar 2014 17:15:11 GMT
Photo Project: Week 49 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/3/ppweek49          Almost there! Week 49, and the theme is "Balance." I interpreted to as a balance in nature. Hence, my theme is "Spring: Nature's balance." It's been somewhat of a long winter, but there's always that burst of sunlight in mid-March that represents the beautiful array of seasons that lie ahead for the remainder of the year. The Spring Solstice was just three days ago, and what beautiful sunshine NY experienced! With such warm temperatures, little seedlings couldn't help but drink up some of that vitamin D! And it's the sight of those tiny specks of greens in our backyards and sidewalk cracks that have seen smiles return to our faces because we know that a lovely Spring is about to take full bloom... and that my friends, is Mother Nature's way of balance. I couldn't put it better than Mr. Joseph Krutch who observed that, "The famous balance of nature is the most extraordinary of all cybernetic systems. Left to itself, it is always self-regulated."

         The overall edited shot is a bit dark, but this was deliberate. Since Spring has just begun, I wanted my shot to strike a balance between the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Hence, the vibrant greens are contrasted against the dark and coarse earth that has been barely lit by sunlight. Below is a composition of my editing process. Image #1 is the RAW file. The original shot was lacking in tone and vibrance. Thus, I ran it through Lightroom where I played around with the Tone Curve and temperature. The end result can be seen from Image #2. Thereafter, I edited the image further via Google+ Editor. I amped the vibrance, increased the structure and darkened the image a bit along the soil area. The final result is Image #3, which is also my submission to Fifty-two Frames.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/60
     ISO speed: 800
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Spring colors editing nature outdoors photo challenge photo project photography seasons https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/3/ppweek49 Sun, 23 Mar 2014 15:43:45 GMT
Photo Project: Week 48 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/3/ppweek48        There's always a place you can call "Home." You guessed it, the theme for this week was "home." It was difficult to conceptualize an idea that wouldn't be too obvious for this theme. For example, just cooked food on a table, a family in the midst of playing a board game, a cozy living room, and so forth. I even thought of incorporating my cats against a wall plaque that read, "Cats are like potato chips, you can't just have one." However, since I need both cats to essentially "pose," I knew that idea was essentially a no go. 

       I looked around the house to see what I could take a photo home to symbolize the theme. I took a few shots of some books on my bookshelf, and even some just washed coffee cups. After uploading them to my computer, I knew that I had not gotten "that shot." Thereafter, I watered my plants and it dawned on me. I had the perfect collection of items to showcase the theme by interpreting it to be, "there's always a place you can call home." That is, this little fellow was wondering around a patch of land when he stumbled upon these great big leaves and singing birds. He smiled and thought to himself, "this is a great place to call home."

      There was no set-up for this actually. Turns out that this little man ornament was in the midst of four plant pots on table that was against a window in the living room. Moreover, the sunlight was just right when I snapped this shot. Hence, very little was done post-processing. I merely cropped the photo to focus on the central figure and played around with the Tone Curve in Lightroom. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5
     Exposure time: 1/40
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 53 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/3/ppweek48 Sun, 16 Mar 2014 18:00:00 GMT
Photo Project: Week 47 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/3/ppweek47          Week 47 and the theme's "Hidden Object." Can you guess what my hidden object was?

          Snails! Did you guess right? I was at such a lost for this theme... I had so many ideas, but dismissed all on the premise that it was either too easy or that someone else would've done a similar concept. For example, there were quite a few photos of pets and individuals hidden between a group of teddies. Eventually, I found myself taking shots of my sister's aquarium one hour before the photo was due. Very little editing was done, since the aquarium was well lit and the colors were so vibrant in themselves. I intentionally shot the frame in such a way that snails would be out of focus so as to make it non-obvious. Not sure if this done was done effectively since a colleague of mine was able to guess my object at first glance. Ah well, there you have it...

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 800
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/3/ppweek47 Mon, 10 Mar 2014 06:30:00 GMT
Photo Project: Week 46 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/3/ppweek46         Super late post this week. So late, didn't make it to Fifty-two Frames. Ah well, I still posted my photo to their admin page for comments/criticisms. The theme for this week was "On Your Plate." Since I couldn't think of anything beyond putting food on a plate, I decided to try a number of different foods. My first try involved pancakes and fruit. though the photo was quite okay, I didn't like it enough for it to be my final photo. Thereafter, I tried cupcakes. I shot the cupcakes with a macro lens, thereby enhancing all the lush yumminess of the frosting and nuts :) Considering that it's Ash Wednesday this week, I figured I'd use the cupcake photo as my submission to symbolize the beginning of Lenten season. That is, the season where one sacrifices something that's dear to them in order to test their strength of having made such a sacrifice for a period of forty days. Not sure what I'll be giving up this year, but I figure "sweets" could be a serious contender. Well enough chit-chat, here's the cupcake photo... followed by the pancake & fruits shot. Which you do prefer?

Week 46: On Your PlateWeek 46: On Your Plate

Healthy YumsHealthy Yums

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/180
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/3/ppweek46 Sun, 02 Mar 2014 23:18:11 GMT
The Enchanted Series: Part Trois https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/2/theenchantedseriesparttrois Well, I've finally gotten around to the last of the Enchanted Series. This set was edited to be a bit more vintage. Suffice it to say, this set speaks for itself... hence, no accompanying quotes :)

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) Minnesota colors editing enchanted series love outdoors photo project photography women https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/2/theenchantedseriesparttrois Fri, 28 Feb 2014 18:17:23 GMT
Photo Project: Week 45 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/2/ppweek45          Week 45 and the theme is "Motion." Since my photo is fairly "still," my caption is "Motionless." After an entire of week of parsing through ideas, I had zero takes. I informed my colleagues at Fifty-two Frames that I wouldn't be posting because I was out of ideas and buried under papers, only to have them guilt-trip me into scrambling a quick shot to submit. Initially, I wanted to do some takes with the cats jumping in mid-air. However, I would've had to rearrange the furniture to cushion their fall. Eventually, I settled on getting a shot of coffee creamer as it swirled around before I drank it all:) Up until earlier this week, I had survived for one week without coffee. Why you ask? Well, I didn't have any creamer silly! Don't even begin to ask how rough of a week it is :(

      The photo is fairly simply. Right after the barrister was finished with his creative "artwork," I took a few shots of the swirling design. Thereafter, I drank it all! Lol. For editing, I just played around with contrast and saturation to add some texture to the creamer amidst the coffee. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 800
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing fiftytwo frames photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/2/ppweek45 Sun, 23 Feb 2014 14:16:33 GMT
Photo Project: Week 44 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/2/ppweek44         Week 44 and the theme's "Reflecting." 

        For this week, I did some added research to try something that didn't involve me going outside since it NY had so many snow days. Additionally, I didn't want to do a water reflection because I figured it'd be the most obvious concept to execute. Eventually, I stumbled across a very simple idea that involved a mirror and puzzle pieces. Indeed, the photo is quite simple but I thought it worked well for the theme and even as a post Valentine's photo :) 

          Since I didn't wish to write on the back of actual puzzle pieces, I printed and cut my own pieces. I tried to do it as neatly as possible, but as you can see... there's a few imperfections. Thereafter, I wrote "me + you" unto the pieces and positioned a mirror to reflect "me" so that it would appear as "we" via the reflection. As from the original photo, only "me" and "we" were supposed to have been reflected. However, I thought reflect the "you" as well, since I was drawn to how bizarre it looked in the mirror.

         Well there you have it. Hope this was different from the what you'd usually see for a "reflecting" theme. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 100 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/2/ppweek44 Sun, 16 Feb 2014 20:28:19 GMT
My First Family Portraits https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/2/firstfamilyportraits          "Family is not an important thing. It's everything." -- Michael J. Fox

          A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting my very first family portraits. It was a wonderful three hours of fun and adventure. I asked the mom for permission to publish some of the takes on my blog. She was a sweetheart that she said, "sure, use whatever you want." Here's a few of the takes...

And here's how we got the baby to stay still for photos after an hour of shooting...

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) baby colors family family portrait parents photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/2/firstfamilyportraits Sun, 09 Feb 2014 20:11:20 GMT
Photo Project: Week 43 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/2/ppweek43           My apologies for not posting last week. I was unwell and unable to conduct a photoshoot.

        Week 43 and the theme is "Almost 5 senses." As usual, the theme was compliments of Fifty-two Frames and up for interpretation. Hence, I figured I'd rename my submission to "Almost 5 senses," since I didn't capture all the senses. 

          Initially, I thought of doing one sense. However, I quickly dispensed with the idea as I didn't find it challenging. Thereafter, I did some research on how to capture all five senses in one take. With the exception of a few morphed images, I stumbled upon a collage that served as my inspiration. Since I didn't want to stitch multiple images together to showcase all five senses, I settled for capturing as many as I could. And so I wound up with an image that captured: sight, smell & touch. It's arguable whether the visible parts of my lips are suggestive of taste. 

        The initial shot was a larger image, but I cropped it to focus on half of my face. Thereafter, I ran the image through Lightroom to sharpen the area around my eye. Finally, I edited the image via Google+ Editor to darken the blacks. I then texturized, saturated and added "warmth" to the overall image. I saved the image at different stages of editing as I didn't quite know which one would be my final submission. Eventually I decided on the one with the sort of "dramatic" look because it stood out more than the others.

      Here are the photos in different stages of editing for comparison. The image to the left is the RAW image, the center shot is the image after the first round of editing, and the image on the right is the final result.

      Well there you have it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on which of the photos appeals to you most...

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/60
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/2/ppweek43 Sun, 09 Feb 2014 19:21:40 GMT
Photo Project: Week 42 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/ppweek42          Week 42! Just ten more weeks before I finally complete this 52 week challenge! Jeez, and it took almost 1 and 1/2 years? Definitely need to improve on my commitments :) This week's theme involved creating an image that mimicked a postcard or "greetings from." I tried my very best to be innovative with this challenge. I thought long hard about what I wanted my "postcard" to look like and eventually decided on constructing something from the romantic era. Luckily, New York was graced with snowfall earlier in the week... and this created a perfect backdrop for what I had in mind.

        The image below features two roses and a quote from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. If you've read the novel, you'd remember that this is just one of the many famous lines uttered by Catherine Earnshaw as she ponders on her relationship with Heathcliff, "her soul." Wuthering Heights is Catherine's house that is hidden within the English countryside. Indeed, the house is surrounded by a harsh landscape. However, when it snowed... the Heights was a spectacular gem hidden by great trees. Since I didn't have any rugged backgrounds to showcase the quote and roses, I figured I'd lay it on the snow to suggest that it was somewhat of a long lost letter from Catherine to Heathcliff that was left behind by accident. What do you think? Romantic enough?

       The set up was fairly simple. I used two roses and some extra foliage for the romantic touch. I printed the quote in stylized handwriting and then positioned the two together to make them seem as though they had fallen and then snowed upon. Since the snow was melting against the sunlight, I cut a piece of cardboard to the length of the paper and slid it underneath so that the "letter" would not be overcome by moisture where the words would eventually bleed into the other. 

        I should add that it was quite freezing out. So the mere set up left my fingers numb. Then there was the issue of waiting for sunlight to re-appear from behind the clouds. And of course there was wind that kept blowing the edges of the paper. Here's a record of my struggle. 

         I also did an additional take with a different quote and edited the image in much darker tones. Personally, I think this image does a better job of embodying the type of dark, almost goth love that Bronte was writing of.

        However, I think it was a bit too much to submit for a postcard theme. After all, postcards are supposed to be warm and happy right? I hope my postcard warmed you up for Valentine's Day :) 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/500
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 87 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing emily bronte greetings from heathcliff photo challenge photo project photography postcard valentine's day wuthering heights https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/ppweek42 Sun, 26 Jan 2014 06:06:30 GMT
Fun in a Winter Wonderland https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/winterwonderland        For those of you who know me, you'd know that Winter is one of my favorite seasons. Since New York was blanketed in snow earlier this week, I figured... why not bear the cold for a few winter wonderland shots? After forty-five minutes outside and almost frost-bite like fingers, here's a few shots I quickly edited via Lightroom. Special thank yous to my sister for withstanding the cold :) 

And here's a candid snap of yours truly. Credit: Savika Balram

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) childhood colors editing fun times outdoors photo challenge photography winter https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/winterwonderland Thu, 23 Jan 2014 23:25:29 GMT
Photo Project: Week 41 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/ppweek41        Week 41 and the theme's Black & White! I'm a big fan of B & W images, even though I have very few on my site. There's a feeling of "eternity" in monochrome photos that color simply never seems to capture. Or is that just me?

          For this week's theme, I figured it'd be quite easy to take random photos and simply click a button to transform them into black and white and call it a day. Hence, I tried to go beyond that. I did some research earlier this week on B&W photography and stumbled across some amazing images. As always, I wanted to keep my concept simple but memorable. So I thought... why not write something on hands to substitute for speech? Thereafter, it was a struggle to pick a quote/phrase that was inspiring and powerful at the same time. Eventually, I settled on the phrase "You are beautiful no matter what they say." If it doesn't jog your memory, it's from "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera. 

         I had my sister volunteer her hands for the shoot. I sketched the phrase with black eyeliner and then redid the sketch with a black Sharpie. I had my sister sit infront of a black backdrop with a light focused directly unto her palms. Using an external flash aimed at the ceiling, I began my shoot. Within 20 frames, I had my photo! Of course I did a few more takes, but after processing I decided to use one of the earlier takes. 

        Well there you have it. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts ...

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/1.8
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/ppweek41 Sun, 19 Jan 2014 05:39:21 GMT
Photo Project: Week 40 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/ppweek40           I had the pleasure of shooting portraits for a family and an absolutely adorable toddler this week. And what'd you know? The shoot fell perfectly in line with the theme for this week's photo: In the beginning

       Since the theme was up to interpretation, I figured I'd probably have to explain my concept. Basically, my shot is meant to capture those moments "in the beginning" of a child's life that will forever be etched into our memory. That special moment that's been forever immortalized and continues to warm our hearts every time we look back at such photos. Hence, I decided to add an "aged" look to the overall image... just like a printed image would probably look a decade or so from now.

       Not much else to say, except that this shoot was an absolute fun experience. Special thank yous to the parents for their permission to use this great shot of their daughter for my Fifty-frames submission and weekly blog:) 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/1.8
     Exposure time: 1/125
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks baby colors editing photo challenge photo project photography portrait toddler vintage https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/ppweek40 Sun, 12 Jan 2014 17:00:00 GMT
Photo Project: Week 39 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/ppweek39          Happy 2014! Hope you had a wonderful time ringing in the new year :) Fifty-two Frames began the year with self portraits. Naturally, I was dreading this because self portraits are one of the hardest things to do in the photography world. Why you may ask? Well, it's where the photographer becomes the subject of the photo. Hence, you need to figure out your focus points since you are not behind the camera to determine such. Then you need to vary your facial expressions to create several looks to choose for editing when you're done. During all this, you've probably gotten frustrated with yourself because the photos do not mimic anything you imagined. I should know... I had one look in the mirror, but a completely different look on a camera! After 100 takes experimenting between three different concepts, I got about 20 frames I was pleased with. After editing half of that, I decided to use the least lit image because it caught my attention in an unexplainable way.

          There's something about black on black photos that intrigue me. I wanted my self portrait to exude "reflections" without me having to say it. That said, I thought I'd share one of my favorite poems that seems quite fitting with the above image. 

“All these things have you said of beauty.
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.
People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and your are the mirror.”
~~Kahlil Gibran
 
 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/4.5
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 33 mm
 
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks black and white colors editing photo challenge photo project photography self portrait https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/ppweek39 Mon, 06 Jan 2014 10:08:00 GMT
Photo Project: Week 38 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/ppweek38           End of the year and Week 52 for most who started this project. Yet, I'm still on Week 38. The theme for this week's photo was "Themeless" and anonymous because colleagues and fans were supposed to guess who submitted each photo. Hence, I could not publish my blog/photo until the big reveal was over. Here's my submission to Fifty-two Frames.

         Interestingly enough, two friends and my sister were able to guess my photo. Did you guess right from the other selections?

         Well there you have it. I hope 2013 was a great year, but 2014 proves to be even better. Remember to write more memorable stories in your new 365 days of 2014! Cheers ^_^

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/320
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 135 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2014/1/ppweek38 Thu, 02 Jan 2014 00:31:57 GMT
Photo Project: Week 37 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/12/ppweek37        Week 37 and what a fun theme it was! The theme from Fifty-two frames was "Out of Focus." One of the admins suggested "bokeh" effects. I've always wanted to try bokeh, but never got around to it. So I decided to do bokeh as my take on the "out of focus" theme. I did some research to discern how to do different patterns for bokeh as I didn't want the regular circles to serve as my background. After experimenting with several shapes, I decided to use the shot that featured floating bunnies from a jar. 

        The lit shapes were actually supposed to be those of a cat. However, the cut-out was not as accurate as it needed to be. Hence the bunny-like shapes in the photo. Maybe I'd need to have the cat laser-cut in order for the shape to be perfect? Here's the shape of the cat that I tried to recreate via bokeh. First I cut a piece of black construction paper the size of the lens. Then, I simply traced the cat silhouette unto the paper. Thereafter, I used an xacto knife to cut the traced figure out of the paper. 

    Then, I removed the traced pieces, and placed the paper unto the camera lens. To create the effect, I hung a string of lights against a black backdrop. For a point of focus, I placed a mason jar a few feet infront of the backdrop with the lights. Finally, I focused the lens on the mason jar. The backlight automatically morphed into the silhouette I cut from the construction paper. I created several designs, but only a few worked to my liking. Maybe I need to improve on my cutting skills :) Here's a few more photos I took over the course of the night. 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/1.8
     Exposure time: 1/30
     ISO speed: 3200
     Focal length: 50 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks bokeh colors editing fun lighting photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/12/ppweek37 Sun, 22 Dec 2013 05:01:22 GMT
Photo Project: Week 36 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/12/ppweek36        Week 36 and it's quite obvious what this week's theme is: Shadows! Guess what? My photo made it as the top photo for the Shadow theme on Fifty-two Frames! So without further adieu, here's the lucky photo.

      At the beginning of this week, I wasn't sure what my photo would be. I did take a few shots outside in the snow, but wasn't quite satisfied with the results. Eventually, I resorted to doing some research for added inspiration. I saw quite a few ideas I wanted to recreate, but ultimately decided on doing something simple. I saw this lovely photo of shadows created from a pencil holder. Hence, I got my pencil holder and tried to imitate what I saw. However, even with four candles, the shadows were very dull. Thus, I experimented with different light sources ranging from an external flash, a flashlight and a cell phone camera flashlight. I had my sister hold her phone directly above the pencil holder while I took shots from different angles. Here's a sample of what the initial photos were like. 

            I was impressed by the first set of takes, however I felt as though the shadows were not as defined as they could be. Thereafter, we tried experimenting with different objects and got this.                  

          Again, the image was good. But it wasn't quite what I had in mind for a shadow theme. So we tried again with the pencil holder and the cell phone light. It wasn't until after my sister got tired and simply rested her phone horizontally across the pencil holder top that we got the shot I selected for this week's submission to Fifty two Frames. Even in RAW, I knew it would be a front-runner for the photo of the week from Fifty-two Frames. And what do you know? It was! I guess it was the dimensions of the photo that made it exceptional? The movement of the cloth below the pencil enabled the shadows to look almost textured into the fabric. Don't ya think?

          Well there you have it. I can't wait to hear your comments/critique. Oh my... can you believe we're just two weeks away from a New Year? And I'm only at Week 36! Ah well.... more time to think of a new theme for next year I guess :) 

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 3200
     Focal length: 135 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing inspiration photo challenge photo project photography shadows theme https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/12/ppweek36 Mon, 16 Dec 2013 04:58:19 GMT
The Enchanted Series: Part Deux https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/12/enchantedseries2          It's been longer than I anticipated, but here's Part two of the Enchanted Series. I promise to have the entire series finished before the year's out. Enjoy, and as always... I welcome all your comments and critiques :)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

   "Our imagination just needs space. It's all it needs, that moment where you just sort of stare into the distance where your brain gets to sort of somehow rise up."

   "I want to lead the Victorian life, surrounded by exquisite clutter."

  "A warm smile is the universal language of kindness."

    "There's something really appealing about the simplicity of black-and-white images."

  "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."

   "Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher."

  "Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky."

    "The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."

    "I sincerely feel that beauty largely comes from within."

   "I love anything really feminine. I love any sort of girly detail - anything with a bow or a heart on it, I'm immediately in love with."

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) colors editing enchanted series feminine outdoors photo challenge photo project photography poetic series sunsets https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/12/enchantedseries2 Wed, 11 Dec 2013 04:57:53 GMT
Photo Project: Week 35 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/12/ppweek35        It's almost the end of the year and I'm only at Week 35! Ah well, at least I haven't given up on this project, right? The theme for this week was "Abstract." Pretty open-ended as one can imagine. I wasn't quite sure what to do as I didn't want to pass off just any photo as worthy of being labeled "abstract." Thus, I tried to think of a story to go along with what I had in mind for this week's feature. Looking at the shot below, can you guess what the story is?

           Any guesses? Look carefully, the textured warm-colored fleshy things are mushrooms and the background is a tree trunk. I came across this lovely piece of nature while I strolling along the forest in search of rocks for my sister's science project. After getting low like a Hobbit to take a few shots of the tree trunk, I thought, "this reminds me of when Bilbo ran off screaming that he was off to an adventure!" Hence, trying not to give away too much when I submitted my photo for inclusion to Fifty-two Frames, I labeled this as, "Will you come explore with me?

           This shot was cropped to draw more attention to the mushrooms, and then edited to add some warm tones to the overall image. Lately, I've been drawn more to earthly tones. Apparently, my new attraction has been noticed by a few colleagues. I realize this is a special type of photo-editing, and that not many artists/photo-lovers are particularly fond of this type processing. But I'm curious... what are your thoughts?

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 135 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing forest outdoors photo challenge photo project photography tones warm https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/12/ppweek35 Mon, 09 Dec 2013 21:52:28 GMT
Photo Project: Week 34 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/12/ppweek34         My apologies for the late post, but it's been hectic over the holiday season. The theme for this week was "Shot from Below." All week I pondered on ideas of what to shoot, and even tried five different concepts. However, in the end... I had to settle for taking a photo of my companion animal. 

          Surprisingly, to get this shot was quite challenging. Anyone who has pets (especially cats) knows that it's exceptionally difficult to get their creatures  to stay still, muchless look directly into a camera. I did several takes with my other cat, Nala. However, I didn't capture a single shot where she was looking into the camera. Thereafter, I tried with Chester. I placed him unto a bookshelf, then I stooped below and tried to get his attention to look down at me. Of course this didn't work! Eventually, I asked my sister to get his attention with a flashlight/laser towards my direction. A few shots later, I got the about image. 

         The photo has been slightly edited to mellow out the sharpness and structure of the shot. I added a vintage layer to the frame via Google+ PhotoEditor. It's not as convincing as a "Shot from Below" as I'd hoped, but I think it works. What are your thoughts?

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5.6
     Exposure time: 1/100
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 79 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/12/ppweek34 Wed, 04 Dec 2013 17:57:25 GMT
Photo Project: Week 33 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/ppweek33          Week 33 and the theme is "Shot from Above." 

        This week's photo was shot by my sister during a hiking trip upstate. I decided to use a photo of hers and edit it to my liking because I simply couldn't fathom ideas to mimic the theme. Moreover, since she was at the top of a mountain overlooking a river and bridge, there's no arguing that it wasn't shot from above. :) Sorta looks like a miniature of bridge and a river, doesn't it?

         Unfortunately, the shot was taken with an Ipod Touch, so I don't have the specifics of the image to share. However, I should add that I edited the photo in Google+ to add extra textures and structures to the overall look of the image. For example, the bridge is extra crisp, while the vegetation on the mountain is overly saturated. Then I played around with colors for the remainder of the forest on the lower portion of the photo to contrast that of the orange leaves on the mountain. Finally, I darkened the image to create some grain-like texture in the water to highlight the reflection of the clouds above. Again, this edit is very different from what I usually indulge. However, I see this as an ode to Autumn. Thus, I was very liberal with the saturation and contrast of the photo. 

        What are your thoughts?

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks autumn bridge colors editing mountain outdoors photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/ppweek33 Sun, 24 Nov 2013 07:24:14 GMT
The Enchanted Series: Part Un https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/enchantedseries1         This past Spring, I did a few shoots with some absolutely amazing models. After months of sorting through hundreds of images, editing more than 200+ images, and a final sifting of select pieces... I finally have a collection for release in parts. I decided to split the entire collection into Four parts so as to avoid a lengthy blog post as I have a few quotes to accompany the images. Without further adieu, I present Part I of the long awaited Enchanted Series:)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

   "I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun." 

   "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." 

   "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one."

   "A girl should be two things: who and what she wants." 

   "Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world." 

     "I knew, in the silence that followed, that anything could happen here. It might be too late: again, I might have missed my chance. But I would at least know I tried, that I took my heart and extended my hand, whatever the outcome."

  "The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides."

    "The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years."

   "Don't wish me happiness - I don't expect to be happy it's gotten beyond that, somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor - I will need them all."

    "I am a woman above everything else."

   "I've dreamt so long, I cannot dream anymore. Let's run away... I'll take you there..."

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 2013 beautiful collection colors dreams editing enchanted eyes photography series spring women https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/enchantedseries1 Sat, 23 Nov 2013 10:26:18 GMT
Photo Project: Week 32 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/ppweek32         My apologies for the late post, but this week was a bit crazy. 

        The theme for this week's photo is "The Enchanted Forest." Since I was not satisfied with the results for my Fifty-two Frames submission for the "One light source" theme, I figured I'd post something of my own. After some consideration, I decided to feature a shot I'd taken last Sunday (hey, it still counts as last week... right?:))

        I thought this photo worked well for an Enchanted Forest theme, especially since I have an upcoming collection of photos I've put together entitled, "The Enchanted Series." Hence, this photo works as the perfect preview. 

          The photo may seem a bit dark, but it's done on purpose to add some depth and draw focus to the lush array of pink leaves lining the bottom of the trees. I guess you can call this a "pink lining" since it's pretty difficult to find silver-like leaves in a forest. 

           As you can imagine, this photo has been highly edited. I first lowered the brightness and sharpened the details of the photo in Lightroom. Thereafter, I passed it through Google+ Editor to adjust the contrast, saturation and focus. After tinkering with several detail settings, I finally wound up with the above result. Here's what the shot looked originally and after being edited in Lightroom.

         Indeed, the general layout and feel of the photo is different from my usual style. However, since I've been working to put together a series/collection, I decided to try something new. As I near the end of piecing together the collection, I'm trying to keep my editing to a minimum since I'm still not too fond of overly edited/processed photos.

         Well there you have it. Hope you liked this week's feature. Stay tuned for my Enchanted Series Collection :)

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5
     Exposure time: 1/80
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 47 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Enchanted Forest Series autumn colors editing fall photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/ppweek32 Tue, 19 Nov 2013 01:00:02 GMT
Photo Project: Week 31 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/ppweek31            Week 31, and the theme for this week was Fashion.

           All week I've been toying with the idea of doing a shoot showcasing jewelry. My primary inspiration being this wonderful blog that I came across earlier this week. Initially, I wanted to trek out into the forest to hang some necklaces on tree branches against the sunset. However, since I didn't have the opportunity to drive up north I had to improvise. Thus, I took some shots of a few necklaces that hung from tree branches stuck in a vase. However, the final results were not exactly what I had in mind. That is, I wanted my photo to be subtle and not overly suggestive of fashion. After all, fashion is not limited to clothing and shoes, right?

          Eventually, I asked my sister to volunteer as a hair model so I could take some photos featuring these cute little butterfly hair clips I had forgotten I had since the mid 90s. After some takes and very minimal editing, here's what we came up with.

         I realize that this frame seems overly saturated, but I think it adds some special aura to the image... especially since the theme is fashion and this happens to be Fall (hint hint: pumpkin hues). The funny this is, the saturation stems from some regular camera tricks/tips... not PhotoShop. To create these hues, I had a regular photo light facing away from my sister. Then I angled my flash directly towards the ceiling since it's orange/yellow. After a few twists and turns to capture the right shade of Autumn-like hues, I got the above background colors. 

         Since I'm publishing this before my fellow Fifty-two Framers, I'm anxious to see what the others in the group have to showcase :)

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/5
     Exposure time: 1/40
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 57 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing fashion jewelry model photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/ppweek31 Sun, 10 Nov 2013 04:55:14 GMT
Shubh Diwali! https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/diwali2013           What's with all the colors and lights you ask? It's DIWALI

          Diwali, or Deepavali as some call it, is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. During this time, clay lamps, candles and lanterns are lit inside and outside of the home to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness on one of the darkest nights of the year. Diwali is as important to Hindus as Christmas/Easter is to Christians. 

         Diwali is celebrated in October or November of each year and is meant to mark the last harvest of the year before winter. Many seek the divine blessing of Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, as they believe that she wanders the Earth looking for homes where she will be welcomed. Thus, people leave their doors and windows open as they light the way to their homes via glittering clay lamps, festive fireworks, strings of electric lights, bonfires, etc. 

        Over the years, Diwali has become a festival that is enjoyed by many regardless of faith

       There are several stories that are also celebrated during Diwali. For instance, in Northern India, Diwali marks King Rama's return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps. In Southern Indian, the festival is celebrated as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. In Western India, the day symbolizes the day that Lord Vishnu sent the demon King Bali back to the nether world. 

       The common theme of all these wonderful tales remain the same, that is - good triumphs over evil. 

         For this year's Diwali festival, I did a small rangoli of Ganesh. My sister and bf also chipped in and did rangolis of their own. We lit a few candles around the house and spent the evening ravishing all the delicious goodies that accompanies the celebrations of Diwali.

         From our family to yours, Shubh Diwali. We wish you a prosperous life filled with all the blessings life has to offer :) 

           Here's to hoping for a wonderful Diwali next year!

Some info re: Diwali origin stories taken from Nat Geo.

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 2013 India celebration colors decorations diwali faith festival hinduism lights of photography rangoli https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/diwali2013 Tue, 05 Nov 2013 01:47:31 GMT
Photo Project: Week 30 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/ppweek30           It's Week 30, and for this week... I got a bit artsy :)

         The theme for this week from 52 Frames was "Sky." However, since I figured I didn't just want to take photos of clouds and the sky, I'd try to do something different. I played around with several different interpretations of "sky" and ultimately decided to do something with a sky-blue theme. I had some blue paint powder laying around the house, along with some construction paper. Then I browsed a few blue paint art concepts on the web and came across this lovely tree that looked like something from a children's book. Since I'm not the artistic one in the family, I asked my sister to volunteer in sketching the outlines of the tree. Before I knew it, she had already sprinkled the blue powdered paint to imitate the leaves! I was quite impressed with our end product (even though it's quite different from our inspiration). Thus, my theme for this week is "A Sky Blue Winter's Night."

        Not much else to say, except that to add some more texture and life to the photo... I quickly ran it through Lightroom to increase the saturation and contrast. A big merci beaucoup to my wonderful sister for chipping in :) <3.

Here's another edit of the same image.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/180
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors editing photo challenge photo project photography https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/11/ppweek30 Mon, 04 Nov 2013 03:59:28 GMT
Photo Project: Week 29 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/10/pprweek29         Week 29! I actually got an early start to this one. For this week's photo, the Fifty-two Frames theme was "A Famous Quote." The idea behind the theme was to not make the quote overly obvious, but rather... for the audience to guess where the quote is from. That said, I have to admit that my quote is kinda obvious... or is it? Can you guess where it's from? 

         I decided against just photographing the quote within the book because I had a previous post that was similar to that concept, and because I wanted to give more life to the photo. So I thought of printing the letters and mixing them among confetti or playing around with Scrabble letters in some forest like background. Obviously I went with the later.:) 

         I tried taking the still both outdoors and indoors. Due to diminishing sunlight and the cold weather, my outdoor shots were kinda meh. So I reconstructed the set-up indoors by spreading plant soil on a piece of cardboard, interlacing some vines from an ivy and then placing the letters in between the vines. After a few shots, I decided to sprinkle some dirt on the letters because they looked way too clean and out of place. I think the messy Scrabble pieces sorta makes the quote look like it was left on purpose for someone to find along a stroll in the woods? What do you think?

         Oh yeah... have you figured out where the quote is from? Lol.

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 400
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks colors conceptual editing famous fifty frames photo challenge photo project photography quote two https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/10/pprweek29 Sat, 26 Oct 2013 14:00:00 GMT
Shooting in Natural Light https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/10/shootingnaturalight          A while ago I asked my cousin to volunteer as a model/muse for some photos. After some time, we got together in Central Park and took some quite photos against the diminishing sunlight because we started the shoot too late. This was practically my fault, since I discovered I hadn't packed the batteries for my camera until I got to the city. Yeah, I know! Thereafter, I hopped on the train towards a nearby photography store and bought a spare battery for the shoot (since my cousin was all dressed up and ready to go, and wasting her time wasn't an option). 

       Luckily, I had a reflecting umbrella with me, which I utilized to shed some light on my subject as the actual sunlight was a bit too dim for my liking. We shot about 50+ photos. After some sorting, and agreeing on the ones we liked.... here's what we decided to publish.  

          As you have noticed, there's some variations in the color scheme and lighting of each photo. This is wholly due to angles from which I shot from, the amount of light I reflected onto the subject via the umbrella, and the amount of sunlight that we were able to salvage. As you know, I'm not big on PhotoShop, so I didn't bother to correct any imperfections within the photo. Besides, my muse has a pretty lovely face... so no work was needed! I've always wanted to do a "natural light" photoshoot, and finally got around to it. I'm quite pleased.... maybe next time I'll be able to play around with more lighting variations. 

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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) Central NYC Park colors light model muse natural photography reflecting https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/10/shootingnaturalight Thu, 24 Oct 2013 06:11:07 GMT
Photo Project: Week 28 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/10/pprweek28          It's almost the end of the year, and I'm on at Week 28! Seems as though much more photos are going to spill over into 2014 than I anticipated. However, given how crazy this year was with my finishing law school, taking the bar exam and moving half-way across the U.S, 28 weeks of photography is quite an accomplishment, right? 

         For this week's photo, I wanted to showcase something that I've personally experience within the last week. Hence, the theme for this week is "Equanimity." I chose this particular theme because ever since July, I've been in so much self doubt that I hardly seemed to find any sort of tranquility since taking the bar exam. Sad right? It's amazing what one exam can do to a person's psyche! Nevertheless, I thought capturing a moment of my mental calm and composure would be a great fit for an unusual theme such as this. That is, unless I took a photo of one of my cats sleeping of course. Lol. 

        I traveled up north to a reservation on Friday as I wanted an Autumn-like feel for my background. After scouting around for a fallen tree branch, I got dressed into this lovely white maxi dress. I added a black corset for some contrast and then open my little Geisha parasol. Thereafter, I began the shoot...

        After I got home, I loaded the photos and immediately began deleting all the ones I didn't like. Eventually, I chose this to be the center piece for this week's blog.

        This photo is highly edited as the original was a bit over exposed. When I did manage to offset the exposure, I had to compensate for color, contrast and sharpness. Thereafter, I ran the shot through Lightroom for a bit more processing with saturation. Finally, I processed it through Google+ Editor to add a somewhat "retro" feel almost.

       Here's a snapshot of the varying stages of the editing process.

        This was probably one of the only photos I spent more than 4 hours trying to figure out a color scheme and how to offset the exposure without making the overall shot too dark. I should add that it was also extremely difficult to shoot since the sunlight was in and out of the forest like every 10 seconds. So settings that worked for the 1st second definitely didn't work by the 5th second. Sighs***

       Nevertheless, I do love the overall product. However, I still think a few tweaks could be made here and there... but my brain is all out of ideas!

       Oh, and I didn't upload a themed photo for Fifty-two Frames since the submission wasn't working. Hence, I figured I'd do my own theme for my blog this week :)

       Hope you liked! Comments & Criticisms are most welcome!

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/3.5
     Exposure time: 1/160
     ISO speed: 100
     Focal length: 18 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks autumn city colors editing evanescence new photo challenge photo project photography reservation york https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/10/pprweek28 Sun, 20 Oct 2013 14:10:00 GMT
Photo Project: Week 27 https://www.msvitriphotos.com/blog/2013/10/ppweek27         This week had to be improvised as I didn't get the photo I had in mind. The theme was "Landscapes." Since I didn't get to do a traditional take on landscapes, I decided to create my own :) Hence, the theme for this week is "Mark your Spot."

       Thus, I printed a map of lower Manhattan and stuck a few thumb tacks onto several places to highlight a few of my favorite spots in the city. I tried to mix and match the colors along the subway lines to add some extra coloring contrast. After a few takes from different angles, I decided on the shot below...

       I did some processing in Lightroom to add more color and diminish the exposure so that the photo wouldn't be overly dull as the map I printed was very washed out. Unfortunately, I didn't finish this week's photo in time for it to be included in Fifty two frames. However, here are some of the photos from the group this week.

      Next week's theme is Cityscape. Not sure what I plan on doing yet... hopefully it won't be last minute!

Photo Specs: 

     F-stop: f/2.8
     Exposure time: 1/320
     ISO speed: 200
     Focal length: 60 mm
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msvitriphotos@gmail.com (Ms.Vitri Photos) 52 weeks Cityscape Landscape Lightroom Manhattan colors edi