project 366 day 75


Keeping the (second) streak alive, so far.

Since my major blunder on February 21st, I have managed to keep a second photo streak alive. Since things are still busy, busy, there has been many a day I've just shot something on the fly and some days when I've hustled to take a photo only to remember that I had already done so earlier in the day.

This photo of the fish bottle was taken on March 3rd. I've been going back to glass a bit, but trying to vary my subject matter. This photo was taken late afternoon in the light coming through my office window. One positive thing about trying to keep this project going on a daily basis is that I have a new appreciation for how much light comes through my home/office windows on a daily basis and how to use that to my advantage. Morning brings great light to the porch and kitchen. Mid and late afternoon more light streams in through my living room and office.

More photos can be found on Facebook (Scrivo Communications) and Twitter (@ScrivoCom). I am still posting to Google+, but not so enamored of it now, so I tend to post less frequently there. More photos can also be found in my 366 Shots Gallery on my photography site - ScrivoPhotography.

project 366 day 55


I lost it between the Zatarain's and the coins.

February 22 was a sad day. I woke up and remembered that I had not taken a picture on the 21st. Streak snapped at 51 photos. On the 20th I took a quick shot of a Zatarain's box, then played around with some Photoshop filters. On the 22nd I dejectedly took a quick shot of some coins.

But I regrouped and am pressing on. Work got increasingly busy in January, not a problem on days when I may have been shooting, but on days when I focused on deadlines for graphic design and writing projects, it became more difficult to remember to take a shot. The majority of my shots have been taken on the fly with my iPhone, but the upside is I have taken a few shots that I love (one of my favorites is the grapefruit taken on Feb. 11th), some that have inspired design and illustration ideas, and others that are making me think of new photo projects. In addition to posting on Facebook (Scrivo Communications) and Twitter (@ScrivoCom), I've began posting to Google+ on a new business page, and less frequently to a gallery on my photography site - ScrivoPhotography.

project 366

Coca Cola Bottle, Project 366

Leap Year: 366 days of photos?

I wanted to pursue a project this year to help keep a camera, of some sort, in my hands more frequently. Since it was leap year, adding day 366 - I thought, why not a photo a day. My plan is to take one photo a day and then post them to Scrivo! Communications Facebook page and @ScrivoCom. Hopefully, I can get a shot each day. I think it doubtful I will post daily though, but who knows?

Blue Vase in sunlight
On my second shot, I decided to make use of the awesome light that comes in through the porch windows in the morning, and used a Coca-Cola glass bottle I had on hand. I really loved working on this shoot first thing in the morning, and I feel inspired to shoot more glass this year. I've already returned to glass, having shot a blue glass vase for 1/4/12. Two other shots this week were of kitchen implements and today's shot, an iPhone shot of some favorite books.

pixie on the shelf

There's an elf on my shelf? He better keep those books in alphabetical order!

Some of my favorite Christmas decorations have been with me since childhood. Leather reindeer, a very worn out Santa Claus container (for secret stashes of candy), and an elf or two. Some favorites have not made it through the years. One unfortunate toy was an inflatable Santa Claus that I often used as a punching bag when I was small. There finally came a Christmas when my father could not patch him up, but he graced our home well into my teens.

This Christmas, I've decided to take some shots of a few of my favorite things. This pixie is one of my favorite decorations / childhood playthings and has been around long before the current "elf on the shelf" craze. He's been on the mantels of cardboard and brick fireplaces, under the tree, in the tree, at the breakfast table, on the desk, and just about everywhere in between. This year, he decided to hang out in front of some Harry Potter books. Hopefully, he will not get into too much mischief there. As far as I know, he has never tattled on me to Santa. He doesn't roll like that. My father, who had a great sense of humor, picked up that wonderfully shiny MJ glove somewhere, and then placed it on Pixie's hand. Stylin! He has not taken the glove off since.

Toys and decorations that have a history bring back wonderful memories. Just seeing this Pixie's smile reminds me of how exciting the Christmas season can be, and how extraordinarily happy a child's heart can be over the simplest of things. Must be a little of that Pixie dust and that old Christmas magic.


File compression can lead to depressing results.

One of the biggest problems I run into is dealing with misunderstandings about file types and their appropriate uses on the web and in print. We have become so used to "getting stuff from the web" that people tend to think they can save any jpg, png, or gif graphic they have found on the web to their hard drive and use it for print or other media. You can't do that and expect to have a good looking print job. Why? One of the biggest reasons is file compression.

Files for web are, generally speaking, highly compressed. Files are compressed because some can be quite large, and large files require more disk storage and download more slowly. Files for web have been compressed for optimal screen viewing - to display clearly, but to take up as little storage space as possible and to download quickly. They are compressed for screen viewing - 72 dpi (dots per inch). Printed material often requires about 300 dpi - or more! That can add up to a lot of detail lost in your photo or logo.

To then take that photo and increase it to the size needed for a brochure or newsletter, you are asking the computer to fill in bits of information that it does not have. The result - a very pixelated view.

One of the biggest tip-offs that you may have a problem getting a jpg printed is the size of the file. Smaller size files like 20kb - 100kb are not going to be able to be scaled up with good results. Those are going to be more suitable for web. If you have a file of about 300kb, that could be workable for a small printed photo. Larger files of 1MB or more will yield better results for printing. Smaller files will yield better results at smaller print sizes. I like to think of file size/photo size as someone once described the art of selling and setting prices for products - "It is easier to cometh down than to goeth up."

Whenever you look to complete a finished product - website, social media sites, printed brochure, banner, tee-shirt, the best thing to do is consider what quality and size you need for each media. When printing materials, it is also best to know where it will be printed, to find out what the specs are from that printer, and work with the printer to deliver files in the best condition possible to have the best outcome.

Quality in results in quality out.

halloween for hope

The Crow - Halloween Photo

Halloween for Hope - The Ellie Fund.

I had a great time shooting pictures at the Ellie Fund's Halloween for Hope at King's in Dedham. There were some great costumes, free pizza, bowling, games, raffle prizes, prizes for best costume, and a ton of fun! Great group of people providing great services for breast cancer patients and their families! After the gig, I put together a short photo show - check it out.

getting in close


The last month I’ve shot a couple of weddings, and these candid shots are some of my favorites.

My intention in each one was to “get in close” to the subject in order to capture the joy — and sense of humor the couple shared.

bride and groom
bride and groom

chasing the crow

This morning I saw a small bird soaring right behind a large black crow. It seemed like the small bird was chasing the crow who was about five times the size of the small bird.

As I watched them, I thought about art and creativity, and how all the creative things that artists do are sort of like the small bird chasing the crow. You have a goal in mind that you’re in pursuit of, a vision of something greater than yourself, and you’re trying to catch it.

Later, as I tooled along downtown, I heard an old song by Donovan with a line that ran something like this, “First there is the mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.” The song also mentions a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Sixties songs and Donovan’s influences aside, I thought of those words in relationship to the bird and the crow and to the process of art as well. A vision of something larger than yourself. Either a feeling of missing the mountain or scaling it step by step and losing sight of the mountain. And then, there it is back again, and hopefully you’re not still at the foot of it.

While I’ve been busy writing and doing design work, I have also been busy trying to get a new online photo service for my work, go through some of my photos and pop them into my gallery, and this has re-ignited my desire to pursue pinhole photographs again.

In addition to experimenting with color pinhole and using my digital differently to get similar effects, I also worked on scanning some of my original black and white pinholes. Although that presented a few obstacles, I had fun doing it. The pinholes are so different than everything else I have shot, but as Marian Roth, my pinhole teacher, told me: these are a part of who I am too. “You think it’s the camera,” she said, “but it’s not. It’s you.”

Since I’ve been thinking about blogging, and haven’t done so for a month, I thought I’d share a few pinholes today. They are a lot darker than my other photography, and the color ones have presented some pretty eerie effects, but I love them just as much, if not more than getting crystal clear, light- and color-filled shots.

Fountain of Ghosts
The fountain in the yard at Snug Cottage in Provincetown. Taken with what I referred to as my “fish-cam.”

wharf 1
Lancy’s Wharf, Provincetown
Also taken with the “fish-cam.”

The “fish cam” was a can decorated with colorful fish. I used the fish to orient the paper inside either vertically or horizontally. The paper was curved inside which provides the warped look.

wharf 2
Lancy’s Wharf II, Provincetown
Taken with the “eye-cam.”

The “eye cam” was a smaller Body Shop can. I drilled the hole for the pinhole through the eye on the cover of the can. I didn’t shave the hole clean, and this added a little something to the process.

This broken up pier just keeps disintegrating with each passing year. I’ll be sorry to see it go.

shooting into the sun

sun over water

Somehow I missed the whole, "Don't-shoot-into-the-sun" rule.

I also have to admit that as a kid I occasionally challenged the "Don't-look-into-the-sun" rule, even if for a moment. (Sorry, mom.)

Not that I advocate for staring into the sun until you go blind. That would be bad.

This shot was taken in August at sunset. It was an incredibly hot and humid day (the worst, as a matter of fact).

The air along the shore was still very dense and still, even as night approached, which made for an interesting view out to sea. As I stared out over the water into the sun, and felt my eyes go blurry, I saw a boat passing. It appeared to be not much more than a mirage, and I liked the result.

to sleep...

Upon the launch of my 2006 website: feels good to finally
have a web page that I can begin to customize a bit more.


Now, "to sleep, perchance to dream..."

This shot of a rumpled bed is a little more like a nightmare.
Slow shutter speed and no flash give it an eerie quality.

It also didn't hurt that the inn where this shot was taken in August is considered to be haunted.

pinhole photography

provincetown theatre
Unnerved by the aspect of taking a poetry writing course at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, I scrolled down the list of available classes and saw "Pinhole Photography."

Build your own camera, trial and error...there was something appealing about the method. Or you could say I chickened out of taking the poetry class.


Nothing could compare to the feeling of capturing not only an image, but a feeling, on paper. This primitive and natural way of taking photographs helped me to give up control.
light through trees
You never feel fully in control when you are out there allowing the light to do its thing, to find its way through a pinhole into a tin or box to create a picture of the world that is upside down and backwards. The image you see, or contrive to capture, is surpassed by what the light and circumstances reveal.

No control. And yet, you learn to control the things you can and to accept the outcome.

I took this amazing class and thought, I will never write again. I became obsessed with my "cameras" and with the dark room, working until well after midnight and back at it with the sunrise.

Happily, I did take up my pen again and did take a poetry class. But working with pinhole photography helped rekindle my love of photography and to inform my writing in sometimes small, sometimes major ways.

pictured top left: Provincetown Theatre, top right: A Light from Above