Showing posts with label photographer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photographer. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's a Giveaway!

Last week I hit two big social media milestones - more than 1000 followers on Facebook and more than 2000 followers on Twitter.  I'm so grateful to everyone who I connect with via social media so as a BIG thank you I'm offering a reader/follower the chance to win a free 8x12 open edition print of your choice from my Etsy shop!

There are a few ways to win:

1.  Visit my Etsy shop and  leave a comment on this post to let me know which print you'd choose
2.  Tweet the giveaway @ciaochessa with a link back to this post
3.  Share the giveaway on Facebook

Be sure to let me know you've shared it in a separate comment below!

The giveaway is open to people in the U.S.A. and I'll choose a winner next week!

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ciao, Chessa! on Etsy

Did you know that some of my photos are available as prints on Etsy?  There's a lot on there that I haven't shared here and I recently updated my shop just in time for summer.  Looking for a fun print to brighten up your walls?  Come by for a visit...

Ciao, Chessa! on Etsy

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Looking at lines

A few weeks ago we were out in the country and I was out shooting for myself for fun.  For the first time in a while I took a minute to stare out at the ocean to watch the natural lines of the water and the and way it flowed in and out of the shore.  I'm always so rushed and rarely have time to just sit there and take it all in.  I used to go to the beach to think and enjoy the quiet and being there this time I realized how much I miss those moments.  Back in the city that week I was in a rush to get somewhere when I stopped at a corner and looked up.  The lines of these buildings downtown made me think of the organic, fluid curves of the ocean.  I thought about how lucky I was that in less than 48 hours I had the chance to witness two such beautiful and opposing elements - one obviously natural and the other man made - and how they formed part of my world.  I'm into taking the time to recognize that lately and having that awareness has made me much happier.  You should try it.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

New York Life

 I'm really ready for winter to be over.  I'd just like a day where I don't fear frostbite or pneumonia if I somehow forget my gloves or my hat.  Yet for all my complaining New York can be beautiful in the winter.  On this particular afternoon it was raining and I asked my friend to hold my umbrella as we waited to cross Park Avenue in midtown.  I was already wet and then for good measure a cab splashed a lovely, filthy puddle all over me.  I kept shooting unfazed and not at all surprised at my luck while my friend, not a New Yorker, laughed at me. That's the thing about New York, you're having a great afternoon and then it rains and you're annoyed, and then you see something beautiful and you're inspired and happy again, and then you get wet and you're annoyed again, and then you move on to the next thing.  I guess that pretty much sums up life too, no?

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The 9/11 Memorial

I live very close to the new World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial.  I pass by it pretty much every single day yet I've never gone to the site itself because I just wasn't strong enough to go in there, open wounds, and experience the feeling and energy of the place.  Last week I decided that it was time to see it with my own eyes.  I think the Memorial looks extraordinary and I felt proud to see the development and how much has been done there.  The waterfalls and the names and the reflection were extremely overwhelming.  I didn't stay long but after I left I started to imagine a day when I'd be able to take my kids there to see it and maybe play in the park and some day, when they're old enough, to tell them their dad's story of what he experienced that morning, what we both dealt with in the days, weeks and months that followed, and about my dear friend

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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

3 easy tips for shooting architecture

This was taken on 23rd Street where Broadway and Fifth Avenue intersect.  I chose to shoot at the widest angle possible on my zoom lens because I wanted to capture the different buildings on just one corner.  Thr appearance of an old water tower (one of my favorite aspects of this city's skyline) juxtaposed with the Flatiron Building, a residential building, two ultra-modern new construction towers and the Met Life Building is SO New York.

Whenever I'm asked about my favorite subject to photograph I always say people.  Whether it's a portrait of my kiddo or a portrait of someone on the street, capturing a person and their personality and emotion is what I love best.  Still, photographing architecture, and beautiful places and scenes is a close second because I love that you can take a permanent object, like a building or a bridge or any other structure, and make it look different based on your perspective, the light or even the weather.  So here are a few tips for taking cool photos of architecture with some examples of a few favorite photos from my hometown.  As you can tell I love to shoot buildings in black and white but post-processing is obviously a personal choice.  For me it always depends on the image subject, the lines, light, etc.

1.   Composition and Perspective

Approach your photograph with an open mind.  Think about what you'd like in the background or the foreground of your shot.  Taking photos of a building as part of a skyline with people walking around and many other buildings in the background is very different than taking pictures of a bridge where there is open space and sky.  Who says you can't approach these two very different subjects in the same way?  Take photos from straight on, above or below and compose your shot not just horizontally but vertically, as well.  You can also check out these tips for composition.

I loved the way the trees in Madison Square Park framed the famous Flatiron Building.  It was a new perspective and cool composition that likely wouldn't work in the spring or summer when the trees are green and full.

2.  Zoom in

Your first instinct might be to shoot with the widest angle you have to capture the entire building or scene. I would say that after you get those shots, zoom in with your lens (or step closer to your subject if you're shooting with a prime lens) and concentrate on the details of a place.  Architecture is art to be admired and studied and you can really appreciate it not only when you step back but when you look closely and watch the lines, curves and other details.

When I photograph a bridge I always try to follow the lines.  The Brooklyn Bridge is a wonder to see.

3.  Think about the light

As a photographer you should always be thinking about the light.  Shooting architecture is no exception.  If you're out taking pictures when the sun is too high in the sky it could cast undesirable shadows on your subject.  A building is obviously not like a person that you can direct or that you hope will move.  You have to take what you can get and my favorite time to take pictures (in general) is either early in the morning or of course, in the late afternoon/early evening during the "magic hour."
There are so many buildings and it is just so crowded downtown in the financial district that you really have to get lucky with the light.  Most streets are dark and shadowy but every once in a while there is a break between old architecture (in the foreground) and new (in the background) and because the height of the older buildings, some magic light streams in and creates the most interesting patterns.

These are just some very simple, straightforward tips but if you'd like to see more, here's a really great in-depth tutorial from an architecture photographer.

Do you have any of your own tips?  Let us know in the comments!

This tiny street is right off of Broadway near Wall Street.  There's hardly any light on it but I like the way the little bit of natural light is reflected off the windows from the sky.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Travel outside my door

When I'm feeling like I'm stuck in a bit of rut creatively I always go back to photos of past travels.  I love visiting new places and after photography, travel is one of my biggest passions and indulgences.  The feeling I get when I walk around a new city - that feeling of promise, adventure and embracing the unknown - is inspiring and exciting.  While I love living in New York I think that sometimes I take it for granted and forget that if ever I need to feel that rush of visiting a new place I just have to walk out the door and pick a random subway stop.  It's hard to look at your hometown with fresh eyes but studying the details of what's happening all around is something that you can do anywhere regardless of whether it's a familiar place or not.  There's always something happening in New York City and there's always a cool way of looking at it even if it seems like just another day.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Continuing with the fundamentals of photography today we're going to talk about Composition.

Composition can really make or break a photograph and I tend to keep these general "rules" and ideas in the back of my mind whenever I'm setting up a shot. 

1.  The "rule of thirds"

Imagine there is a grid that splits the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically and place your subject on either the lines themselves or the point where they intersect.

The theory behind the rule of thirds is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines your photo becomes more balanced and helps a viewer of the image interact with it more naturally.  Apparently "studies have shown that when viewing images that people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot." (see DPS)

If you need some extra help composing your shot, most DSLRs have the option to place a grid over your LCD screen as well as when you look through your viewfinder.  

2.  Follow the lines

Your eyes will naturally follow lines created in any scene.  By thinking about where your eye is drawn and capturing those lines, whether they are set up vertically, horizontally or otherwise, you can help draw attention and pull the viewer into your photo.

3.  Find a fresh perspective

Before taking a picture take the time to think about where you will shoot it from. Your viewpoint has a huge impact on the composition of your photo, and it can greatly affect the message that the shot conveys.  Shoot from above, shoot from down low.  The important thing is to try different set ups to help your photos look and feel fresh.

4.  Fill the frame

I love to fill the entire frame of a photograph.  By removing a traditional background you can create really great depth in your image and make your subject really stand out.

 Do you have any helpful tips?  I'd love to hear.  And please share links to your photos too!

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