Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Black and White (and Neon Lights)

15 December 2014

Lens:

1. Neon Lights, UD Campus; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Neon Lights, UD Campus; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Neon Lights, UD Campus; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Neon Lights, UD Campus; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. Click on an image to enlarge.

Pens:

Black-and-white photography is a time-honored visual art form. It’s humble beginnings are well documented and its history recorded. Along with art critics (amateur and professional), there are many ways to learn about this medium. In our global mobile society we can spend an inordinate amount of our days and nights searching for examples of the best, of the traditional, of the modern, of the innovative, of the abstract, of the real, of the surreal.

Recently, I was contemplating entering the Monochrome Awards (due date yesterday; click here). In my procrastination I realized how helpful it is to peruse these kinds of sites to view the winners: the photographs that catch and hold a judge’s eye.

One of the early photo contests was sponsored by the Eastman Kodak Company. The company promoted the picture-perfect snapshot. As host to camera clubs, contests, and salons, they encouraged the public and their employees to take a “Kodak moment.”

The company’s first national photo contest was held in 1929. Since it was the start of the Great Depression, Kodak created a marketing campaign that sought to encourage sales of cameras and film to amateurs. The contest had a grand prize worth $2,500.The first-place winner from the company’s first-ever photo contest was L.L. Martin and his work titled “Toddler.”

Toddler, L.L. Martin, Kodak's First Photo Contest, 1929

Toddler, L.L. Martin, Kodak’s First Photo Contest, 1929

These early black-and-white photographs take us back to the ambience and lifestyle of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, and long before color photography became affordable and the rage. But those Kodak moments also inspire us to search each image for its universal meaning.

Those annual photo contests became platforms that inspired photographic moments, and the two words that became a familiar everyday phrase. They also encouraged scores of people to purchase, for example, a Brownie camera and take that first shot.

For additional information read The New York Times’ online column, Lens, where you can view the article, “An Amateur Snapshot of Kodak’s Early Days.” Click here to see more prize-winning photographs.

Tip of the Week: This weekly tip is the first in a series about women who are known or not-so-well-known as master photographers. Tina Modotti’s (1896-1942, Italian-born, immigrated to United States as a child) strengths were her ability to weave a powerful narrative into every frame. Regardless of her subject (e.g., interior and exterior architecture, flowers, Mexican leftist revolution, street photography, and the Mexican people) her monochromatic images give the viewer much to contemplate. She produced most of her artwork between 1923-1932. Then political activism became her life’s work, replacing photography. Read a full biography at The Library of Congress’ website (click here) and a website devoted to her life and work(click here.)

Modotti’s fame is relatively new, only over the last twenty-five years. Her photographic oeuvre usually was in the shadows of her mentor, American photographer Edward Weston. In the 1990s a substantial collection of her prints were discovered in Oregon, which provided the opportunity for art historians and critics to reassess her body of work. Then Modotti’s renown was secured.

Woman with Flag, Mexico, 1928, Tina Modotti

Woman with Flag, Mexico, 1928, Tina Modotti

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2014/12/15/abstract-black-and-white/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/phoneography-challengeblack-and-white-christmas-angel/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/phoneography-black-and-white-challenge-with-wings/

http://motherwifestudentworker.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/school/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/christmas-lights-by-phone/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-black-roses/

http://truthtonic.net/2014/12/15/black-and-white-monday/

http://steve-says.net/2014/12/16/sir-walter-the-wheel/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white-2/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2014/12/16/waiting-for-the-trammelbourne/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/12/15/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-white-post-alley/

https://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-3/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2014/12/16/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

https://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-black-and-white-5/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog.

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

 

Posted in Art, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Macro (Weathered Wall)

08 December 2014

Lens:

1. Weathered Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Weathered Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Weathered Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Weathered Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

 

3. Weathered Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Weathered Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. Click onto each photograph to enlarge.

Pens:

While many, many states suffer from drought and low water tables, in the Mid Atlantic we’re watching puddles float across lawns, mushrooms appearing in pine needles, leaves decaying faster, chilling temps, and the grey, grey of sunless rainy days.

During mid-week on a cloudy and dark morning I decided to walk to the end of a curved road that nestles a church and its cemetery. When I arrived, the mood of the day forced me to notice the weathered wall that meandered on all sides of the graveyard.

From afar the wall serves its purpose as a deterrent to trespassers. But as you near its once white-washed surface, its character is revealed. I became completely engaged with decay and crumbling surfaces. Each step around the border of the cemetery had me notice yet another abstract coloration. I imagined Tom Sawyer coming to the rescue to fill the cracks, scrub the mold, scrape the peeling paint, and generally labor over each stage of the wall’s deterioration.

Weathered Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/ Lens and Pens by Sally

Weathered Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/ Lens and Pens by Sally

I was struck by every discovery on the aging surfaces. Muted colors were strongly provocative. Holes carved from fallen stone and lines of decay added a punch that otherwise would be “just” a sign of keep out.

Nature provided the brushstrokes that changed the colors from cement greys and whites to blacks, greens, oranges, and browns. Pale to sharper hues, the length of the wall was continuously lined with variations on these themes.

This discovery was uplifting. Nature had transformed this plain wall into a series of non-representational visions and clever displays of decomposition. With our sunless days I felt rays of light being cast from nature’s paintings.

In the Lens section are the images that show the magic of the wall’s lure. I was attracted to nature’s hand: her ability to alter the expected into the unexpected. The results are a limitless series of macro images–images that continue to change designs as the weather moves across and into the surface of the wall.

Tip of the Week: Brazilian photographer Eleonora Di Primo records nature without details. She provides the simplest of interpretations. Di Primo’s macro photography brings the viewer into the world of the unseen. Her work can be viewed here. Hope that you enjoy it.

Star, Eleonora Di Primo

Star, Eleonora Di Primo

Other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro-2/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/dolls-house-1/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/little-wonders-at-our-feet/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/phoneography-mushrooms-pop-up-for-macro-challenge/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/phoneography-challengemacro-of-gone-but-not-forgotten-flowers/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/phoneography-challenge-macro-3/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-challenge-hydrangeacape-gooseberry/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/12/08/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro-summer-hydrangeas/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/a-little-bit-of-festive-sparkle/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro-2/

https://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-macro-8/

https://angleandviews.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/alea-iacta-est/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-5/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog.

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Abstract, Art, Design, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Macro Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Nature (Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens)

01 December 2014

Lens:

1. Reflections, Chrysanthemum Festival,, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Reflections, Chrysanthemum Festival,, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Reflections, Chrysanthemum Festival, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Reflections, Chrysanthemum Festival, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Chrysanthemum, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Single/Semi-Double Chrysanthemum, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. White Chrysanthemum Display,  Chrysanthemum Festival, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. White Chrysanthemum Display, Chrysanthemum Festival, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Double Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Double Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. Click on each image to enlarge.

Pens:

Last week was the finale of the annual Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens. As many of you know, it is one of the premier horticultural centers in the United States, and I am blessed to have it within an hour’s drive to the north. Without a doubt this year’s autumnal celebration of the chrysanthemum exceeded previous exhibitions.

The staff at the gardens labored over a year creating, cultivating and training these gems of nature. Chrysanthemums have never been a flower that I covet. A small perennial variety has been a mainstay in my gardens, but that’s the extent of it. They’ve never truly wooed me. But I’ve been converted.

The strength of this year’s imaginative displays was its emphasis on training single stems to perform magical feats of artistry. Pockets of variously decorated containers rivaled any other floral celebration of this strangely fascinating flower.

The entire Conservatory was transformed with mums of single, semi-double and double blooms. Trained single-stemmed clusters in tiers or a ten-foot tall chandelier filled to capacity, or a 1,000-bloom arrangement (the largest outside of Asia) stunned with simplicity. While that might seem the wrong descriptor, the mums were trained to give the viewer variations on the theme that did not overwhelm. Even in the huge displays each flower could fulfill its duty.

Truly, each exhibit honored their exquisite and traditional characteristics. And most of the exhibits were single flowers that gave the attention needed to savor their qualities.

While the outdoors was being readied for the Gardens’ Christmas seasonal decorations of greens and lights, this indoor floral festival built dreams of possibilities for amateur and professional gardeners. While you cannot train a “normal” mum to do these feats of fancy, you can order special varieties and learn techniques to propagate and train them.

The Conservatory was lined in various variety of mums. All were attention-seeking containers with the large (almost) contradictory minimalist-seeming arrangements that captured most of my time. The entire space held 16,000 chrysanthemums, and it seemed far less. Most of the spatial planes were covered in yellows and whites, but the displays made it ever so easy to appreciate each variation’s colors.

It was a master plan that worked very well indeed. Sometime horticultural celebrations are so overstuffed with plants that you become visually saturated. This exhibition was just the right balance.

The festival honors the founder Pierre S. du Pont, who planted the Conservatory with mums in 1921. To be sure du Pont would have been pleased with this year’s presentations of Asia’s imperial flower that struts its Japanese influence. If you missed it, do try to attend next year.

In the Lens section are five images from the day’s adventure–an adventure whose day was so cold, it made the indoor experience a double joy. As I gazed at arrangements and plantings, one of the signs reminded that the chrysanthemum’s family tree dates back 3,500 years. To stand in their grace was to honor their interconnection between nature and human nature. The festival fulfilled its mission.

Of the day’s discoveries my favorite chrysanthemum can be seen in photograph 3#, the single, semi-double flower. The original was a soft yellow. But I knew from my initial impression that I wanted to record in monochrome its efforts to conceal (which is typical for this variety) itself. Of the many, many blooms that I spied this particular one had a special presence. It was trying so hard to keep some of its life hidden, and yet also to divulge some of its outward sparkle. I fell in love. It seemed to mirror the human condition, which was appropriate in a festival that brought together imaginative and skillful gardeners with the quiet eloquence of the chrysanthemum.

Tip of the Week: During seasonal changes I am reminded of swings in the weather. Not just the shift in temps, but those wild elements that accompany summer, fall, winter, and spring. Last week we had a fierce wind storm, which came with ice and rain. As I was searching for a photographer to introduce, I thought that I’d peruse the Internet for an artist who sought those outrageous elements. Nature photographer Bruce Omori is the owner of Extreme Exposures Fine Art Gallery in Hilo, Hawaii. His photograph “Volcanic Vortices”received the top prize in the 2013 Windland Smith Rice International Award. His work was selected from almost 20,000 submissions from photographers in 46 countries.

Bruce Omori, Volcanic Vortices

Bruce Omori, Volcanic Vortices

Omori describes how he captured the vortices: “On an early morning shoot at the Waikupanaha ocean entry, lava from the Kilauea volcano poured into the sea. This created a huge escape of steam, and as it rose, multiple vortices began spinning off of the huge plume.  A vortex or two is a pretty rare sight—but when one after another kept forming, my fumbling with the lenses turned into a panicked rush to switch my telephoto to wide-angle lens to capture this awesome scene of seven vortices in a row.”

His work honors the violent and yet magnificent splendor of Mother Nature. To view more of his photographs click here and enjoy the results of his photographic adventures.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-nature-sunset-in-costa-rica/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/see-the-beauty/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/the-power-and-glory-of-nature/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/pomegranate-breakfast/

http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/phoneography-nature-frosty-morning/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2014/12/01/phoneography-and-non-slr-photo-challenge-nature/

https://angleandviews.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/a-winter-outlook/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/phoneography-saturated-and-focus-in-the-garden-the-rain-has-come/

http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-nature-3/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-device-challenge-nature/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2014/12/02/the-fernery/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/12/01/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-nature-fall-in-my-backyard/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-nature-2/

http://truthtonic.net/2014/12/02/nature-monday/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-nature/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/phoneography-challengenature-swings/

https://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-nature-8/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/how-many-kinds-of-sweet-flowers-grow/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog.

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Art, Black-and-White Photography, Gardens and Gardening, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 91 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (Editing and Processing a Portrait of the Bridge at the Creek)

24 November 2014

Lens:

I. Original

1. Bridge over the Creek;  Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Bridge over the Creek; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Editing and Processing with Romantic

1a.  Bridge over the Creek; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1a. Bridge over the Creek; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2b. Bridge over the Creek; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1b. Bridge over the Creek; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2c. Bridge over the Creek; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1c. Bridge over the Creek; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

“Ode to Nature”

Floating…                                                                                                                                                A sense of weightlessness,                                                                                                             Being nowhere and everywhere.

Moral danger                                                                                                                                       Or flight of the fancier…                                                                                                                 Open the eye upward and below light’s allegiance.

Pull the air through the day’s reflection,                                                                                                           And bathe upon the surface endlessly.                                                                                       Then grab the layers of soft motion.

Take tiny steps over and over and over,                                                                                             Until discovery becomes the kiss of reality.

The privilege of Mother Nature’s graceful presence,                                                                                   Overarching with gifts that never cease.                                                                                        Hail to my muse.

This week’s challenge involves editing and processing, which can be joyful and frustrating. Usually, the clear choice is not to reduce the integrity of the original. But our current app-ladened world provides a chemical-free darkroom on my iPhone 6. I can take magical  trips in the comfort of a cozy chair, and reinvent an image. I can experiment and notice possibilities that either fortify reality or challenge it.

The original photograph in the Lens section was taken in radiant light that swept across the creek–the creek that is a constant part of my daily walks. The bridge seemed a foil for the swath of reflections as were glorious trees that hover over the water.

I used the app Romantic to play with the original and give it slightly different touches. Each one alters the photograph with a softer patina. While I return often to my original shot, I find the Romantic app worthy of experimentation.

Tip of the Week:

Nature photographer Kent Shiraishi lives in Biei, Hokkaido, Japan. His work is an ethereal adventure that glides over my sensibilities. He says,

Kent Shiraishi, Photographer

Kent Shiraishi, Photographer

“I’m a Hokkaido’s Samurai Photographer. I would like to make “Hokkaido” into a more famous tourist resort in the world.” His work is a strong statement about his photographic aesthetics and the world that he inhabits. His depictions of nature are executed with deep compassion and tribute, and most often with stark, simple and triumphant compositions. Click here and here to see his work.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-penguins/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/great-views-fill-my-soul/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/outside-the-window/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/giraffe-in-the-city/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/phoneography-its-all-about-texture-today/

https://angleandviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/sunrise-above-the-clouds/

http://austindetails.me/2014/11/24/use-imagination/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/phoneography-challengeediting-at-the-koi-pond/ -to-see/

http://truthtonic.net/2014/11/24/filtered-monday/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/phoneography-challenge-challengers-choice-art-deco-memories/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/11/24/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-portraiture-ryan-in-the-hoh-rainforest/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-gooseberry/

http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/phoneography-challenger-choice-macro-marshmallow/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-4/

https://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-processing-and-editing/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2014/11/26/portraits-of-dolls/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/product-placement-portrait-with-chocolate-milk/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog.

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

 

Posted in Architecture, Art, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Poetry, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Black and White (Town and Gown)

17 November 2014

Lens:

I. Town

1. Baby Watch on Early Morning Walk; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Baby Watch on Early Morning Walk; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Gown

2. Sycamore, UD Campus; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved:/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Sycamore, UD Campus; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved:/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. I suggest that you click on each image to view in a larger size.

Pens:

Town and Gown is the usual in my small city where it’s hard to tell where the intersection marks the divide between student life at the university, street life and residential areas. In truth it’s a total immersion. Issues pervade the history of these factions, but we mostly exist in a “live-let-live” philosophy. Recently, there was a long battle to keep a power plant from invading our community. With persistence the environment and sustainability won; we will not have toxic chemicals sweeping through our air waves 24/7.

The relief is mammoth. The exhale was heard up and down city streets and the campus.

Each and every day I criss cross paths with faculty, staff, students, and residents. It’s impossible to navigate without these encounters–encounters that are verbal or silent.

The lifestyle suits my personal philosophy. I can be lost and found in this friendly and quiet community. Cultural events abound. And as a retiree of the university, I am fortunate to have many lifelong benefits. But it’s the exhilaration of the mix that brings a shoring to my days.

For as long as memories hold me tight, I have been an observer. So it was not unusual to find me this week meandering up and down our Main Street, and then taking a casual turn onto campus, where trees are strutting their limbs as foliage sheds.

Regardless of the number of times I pass a particular spot a myriad of elements alter my experience. Today was an example. One of my favorite trees that towers near the Department of Art was awash in morning light.

In the Lens section are two images from this blissful stroll. The autumn sun was spectacular, but so was street life. Each is a part of the interconnection between Town and Gown. There is no way to separate the two. Most of the time the blend is quite remarkably satisfying.

The first image is that combination: a mother and her two children walking down Main Street, mother with baby in arms and second child by her left side. The other individual is assuredly a student taking a break. What drew me to this image is the way the baby and the owner are watching the dog. It was a moment to record. The second image is the sycamore tree that was lit with such grace by the radiant light that it voiced a loud come and take me–come and take me in monochrome.

Street life is an important pulse within our town and gown. And it is always salt-and-peppered with a scene that encourages me to observe and savor the usual or unusual moment.

Tip of the Week:

LensCulture Visual Storytelling Awards

For those of us who are visually-oriented the site LensCulture is packed with sweet treats–treats that provoke digging deeper into it offerings. From their Website is a description of their mission: “For almost 10 years, LensCulture has become one of the most authoritative resources for contemporary photography. We have been committed to discovering and promoting the best of the global photography community. We look for exciting work from every continent, and from diverse points of view: documentary, fine art, nature, photojournalism, activism, street photography, sports, fashion, poetic, personal, abstract and human. LensCulture International Exposure Awards, now in their fifth year, are granted yearly to discover, reward, and promote talented, new, emerging and established photographers and multimedia creators from around the world.” I encourage you to explore its varied categories of photography. I just spent some time on their section called “Urban & Street Photography.” It’s an apt resource for current trends in photography. To view the site, click here; it’s visual storytelling at its most appealing.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/phoneography-and-non-slr-photo-challenge-black-and-white-along-the-wabash-trace/

http://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/hot-tea-for-a-cold-day/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/sidewalk-musicians/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/a-fresh-market/

http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white-2/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/phoneography-black-and-white-food-for-thought/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/phoneography-challengeblack-and-white-and-chocolate/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/phoneography-challenge-sharing-secrets/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2014/11/17/black-and-white/

http://janetsunderland.com/2014/11/17/snow-birds/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white-2/

http://truthtonic.net/2014/11/17/iphoneography-monday/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/11/17/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white-heritage-park/

http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/phoneography-challenge-black-white-snow/

http://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/phoneography-photo-challenge-black-and-white-town-and-gown/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/body-subject-body-object-pictures-from-an-exhibition-3/

http://austindetails.me/2014/11/18/all-generations/

http://sciencealcove.com/2014/11/windmill-architecture/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-black-and-white-4/

Note:

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Art, Black-and-White Photography, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Street Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Macro (Native Milkweed)

10 November 2014

Lens:

2. Native Milkweed Seedpods, Seeds and Silky Threads; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Native Milkweed Seedpods and Silky Threads; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Native Milkweed Seedpods, Seeds and Silky Threads; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Native Milkweed Seedpods, Seeds and Silky Threads; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

Macro photography is naturally arduous at best. And it becomes an even greater task with a Smartphone. Frequently, it can take more than one photo shoot to retrieve a few images that pass my scrutiny for a decent shot to exhibit on my blog.

On the occasion of a macro shoot, I am reminded that close-up photography lends itself to a number of specific tips. In the past I’ve mentioned the importance of ignoring the zoom feature, and moving as near to your subject without the image becoming out of focus. Another major consideration is lighting, especially natural light. The least obvious one to mention is knowing your subject.

Macro photography reveals hidden details; often it renders the usual extraordinary. Mostly, the photograph is a response to the relationship between subject and the photographer’s interpretation of it. The final image should demonstrate that combination.

Today is another macro challenge, and I struggled to get images that satisfy. Photography can never be coerced. It takes an enormous amount of patience and perseverance. To translate nature (or any subject) into a frozen frame is a constant source of hard work. Still I return to the same thought: I must stay on task, calm my spirit, focus and refocus.

Macro photography requires latitude and precision. Unless one aims for a more nuanced image–a little blur, a little clarity, a little detail, a little surprise, the photo shoot needs a steady hand or tripod. What is selected often is a tiny fragment of the subject.

This past week I remained restless. My goal was to present the milkweed (Asclepias spp) pod, its seeds and silky threads in a new way. Fortunately, my garden was salt-and-peppered with the remains of the summer crop. Seeds are flying in strong autumn winds, searching for a winter resting place.

Eventually, I hoped to rescue my dream, and unfold images through a silent tribute to the monarch butterfly: the renewal of the milkweed plant via seeds and their airborne dispersal is a remarkable story of hope and survival. Milkweed is a critical and essential element that sustains the monarch’s life cycle.

The monarch’s narrative of depleting populations has been prevalent in our country. The response has been to create a number of organizations to alert the public. Monarch Joint Venture is one such organization. Their mission is: “Recognizing that North American monarch (Danaus plexippus) conservation is a responsibility of Mexico, Canada and the United States, as identified in the North American Monarch Conservation Plan, this Joint Venture will work throughout the U.S. to conserve and protect monarch populations and their migratory phenomena by implementing science-based habitat conservation and restoration measures in collaboration with multiple stakeholders. This goal will be achieved through a combination of habitat conservation, enhancement and restoration, education, and research and monitoring.” Read about them here.

I urge you to plant native annual and perennial milkweed. In my small center of the universe, I saw two monarchs this past summer. It breaks my heart, and I am encouraged by others who sighted many. I’m happy to do my part.

In the Lens section are two images that show the milkweed’s end-of-the-season unusual attributes. They are presented to honor this plant’s role in the life cycle of one of nature’s most fascinating creatures.

Tip of the Week:

Recently, I discovered the macro feature on Camera+. I’m becoming more and more familiar with this app’s offerings. Its stabilization feature and macro mode encourage me to use it.

I must dig deeply inside each app to discover its sweet spots. When I find one that works, I tend to use it more and more. When I learn another aspect of an app’s features, I find myself deferring to it on each photo shoot.

You can read more about Camera+ at the App Store. It’s 99 cents and worth the investment. It’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Click here to read about it.

From the App Store about Camera+:                                                                                               “The Clarity filter is iPhone photography’s secret                                                                     sauce—it adds pro-camera crispness to almost any                                                                 shot.”

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/phoneography-and-non-slr-photo-challenge-macro-imagination/

http://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/opening-your-eyes-to-tiny-wonders/

http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/phoneography-and-non-slr-photo-challenge-macro/

http://angleandviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/closeup/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/phoneography-challengemacro-photo-micro-visitor/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/phoneography-challenge-macro-finishing-my-quilt/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/lace/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/11/10/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro-canna-leaves/

http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/phoneography-challenge-macro-sleeping-cone-flower/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro/

http://slamonthebreakspullover.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/weekly-photo-challenge-single-leaf/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/focusing-on-the-intricacies-of-art/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/11/12/lingering-rose/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-macro-7/

Note:

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Art, Art and Creativity, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 84 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Photo Challenge: Nature (and More Afternoon Refractions)

03 November 2014

Lens:

1. Afternoon Reflections, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Afternoon Refraction, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Afternoon Reflections, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Afternoon Refraction, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Afternoon Reflections, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Afternoon Refraction, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Afternoon Reflections, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Afternoon Refraction, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Afternoon Reflections, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Afternoon Refraction, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

Fascinated, entranced, beguiled—that’s my reaction to the daily sighting of wispy refractions upon an interior wall. The flickering shapes of light appear, and act as an afternoon anchor.

It’s a sensation on multiple levels. Its quiet metamorphosis builds its effects minute by minute. I glance away and return not knowing what will transpire: what will be its next contours, lines, shadings. Its lure is boundless and ephemeral.

At first I surmise that the light has moved from outside through the window, and then through a clear stain-glass panel. But that’s not correct. The light has simply moved through the window and onto the wall–same place each day, repeatedly morphing into abstractions.

Waves of light seem to slow and quicken, quicken and slow. Timing is characterized by the wavelengths’ behavior and play. Patterns jump and become passive, but not for long.

The refraction’s appearance was a surprise, and I attribute it to the lowering of the sun’s angle in autumn. This visual gift has given me ample reason to sit and ponder this daily performance. Mother Nature’s light shows are especially mesmerizing and seductive.

While my free daily entertainment continues, I am compelled to watch refracted light move through other sources. Limitless experiments can be made. Shine a flashlight through a pile of marbles to achieve color refractions. Fill a glass bottle with liquid and  prepare for a different reaction.

As each medium is altered, the speed of the light is changed. Wonderfully, the only equipment is your Smartphone or camera, one form of light, an object for the light to penetrate, and a surface to view.

Each simmering refraction is like a chameleon that rearranges to suit its outside and inside influences. I’m caught in the unpredictability. Each day it refreshes, and offers a whimsical and thought-provoking luster to the afternoon. I hope that it stays a long time.

The photographs in the Lens section show the pace of the refraction’s images. One-by-one the appearance gave its blessing to new design elements. No magic, just Mother Nature’s brush strokes that create their own reality.

Tip of the Week: I’d like to introduce you to Rob Turney, who is an Australian visual artist and photographer. While photography is his medium, light, refraction and long exposure are his tools. He practices light painting techniques that result in non-representational photographs. He says, “I have a passion for contemporary art and am inspired by the beauty of light in all its various forms. Light is not something that can be physically held, but can only be experienced visually. Much of my work highlights this abstract nature of light, which can only be experienced through our own visual interaction and interpretations.” His photographs inspire as well as show light’s transitory nature. View his work at Rob Turney Visuals: click here.

Refractograph, Rob Turney, Australian photographer

Refractograph, Rob Turney, Australian photographer

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://priorhouse.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/burger-bach-and-a-walk/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature-hanging-in-there/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/a-pink-rose/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/10794/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/spirals-in-nature-3-photos/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/phoneography-challengenature-at-the-end-of-day/

http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/travel-theme-autumn-phoneography-nature/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/11/03/sunshine-fall/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/phoneography-natures-beauty/

http://angleandviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/natures-color-palette/

http://austindetails.me/2014/11/03/iphone-photos-burst-mode/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/phoneography-and-non-slr-photo-challenge-nature-lysoen/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/11/03/iphoneography-monday-11-3-14/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-nature-7/

http://sciencealcove.com/2014/11/832/

Note:

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Abstract, Art, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (Abstraction in Nature)

27 October 2014

Lens:

1. Afternoon Shadow on Wall;Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Afternoon Reflection on Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Afternoon Shadow on Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Afternoon Reflection on Wall; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Textured Bark; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Textured Bark; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Textured Bark;  Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Textured Bark; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

Magical, mystical and mysterious are a few descriptors that explain my passion for Mother Nature. I’ve often wondered why earlier philosophers and big thinkers separated human nature from the natural world. In truth the human animal is part of the greater universe; we are nature.

Still, I find myself using the duo; I suppose it gives clarity and reason to unclear subjects. Even in the twenty-first century science wrestles with how the brain REALLY works, and we have unresolved questions that linger and continue about Mother Nature.

Nature has always amused and bemused humans. The intricacies of her omnipresence and power remain some of my most comforting thoughts.

That humans mimic nature regularly is no surprise. To stroll through a forest or gaze upon morning dew or watch northwesterly winds change mood is to feel part of nature’s brilliance. She shores my days and provides enormous hope.

But I do not need to travel to an exotic paradise or mountainous terrain to find natural designs and visual appeal. While there is vast variety in nature’s progeny, her eloquent abstractions often astound and cultivate my attention.

The other day my grandson and I were on a photo shoot at the UD Botanical Gardens. We often venture there. But I’ve never noticed the contrast and tonal qualities of one of the trees near the entrance. How many times have I passed it? Maybe it was the sun’s glorious beams moving through that spot, because the scene echoed black and white, black and white.

In the Lens section are two examples of natural abstractions. The first two photographs are variations on a single reflection that cast itself on a wall. The afternoon sun was at its peak in the sky, and for what seemed like hours that irregular-shaped reflection (the size of two fists on top of each other) spread joy inside. The third and fourth photographs show a small section of that tree from the Botanical Gardens with its textural bark and shades of black to silver.

In each case the first is the original. The second is a play on their designs.

The non-representational toy with our sensibilities and give rise to individual interpretation. Its prevalence in Mother Nature shows her imaginative and whimsical hand, which is constantly available for our visual contemplation.

Tip of the Week: Fabian Oefner is a Swiss photographer with a mission. Oefner combines his passion for art and science to create abstractions that mesmerize. He honors nature through his experiments with ferrofluid (liquid iron) that he injects onto a magnetic field. Or he develops various projects that involve a marriage of nature and his skills and talents. The result captivates and stuns. View his Website here to watch his short video and his fabulous imagination at work. He also collaborates with corporations to produce advertisements and videos. The photograph below is an example of his work. The tiny thumbnail designs are a result of his use of black ferrofluid. Read more about it here.

Millefiori, Fabian Oefner, 2012

Millefiori, Fabian Oefner, 2012

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-french-donkeys/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/phoneography-the-mysterious-web-of-life/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/seafood/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/halloween-lions-3-photos/

http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/phoneography-challengers-choice-nature/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/phoneography-challengethe-art-of-a-sculpture/

http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice/

http://pawcificpurrsea.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=1174/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/phoneography-challenge-hastings-at-dusk/

http://angleandviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/nostalgic-look-down/

http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/phoneography-travel/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/10/27/iphoneography-monday-10-27-14/

http://austindetails.me/2014/10/28/texas-panoramas/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-abstraction/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-3/

http://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/a-navy-pier-sunset-a-must-see/

Note:

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Abstract, Art, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Black and White (Architecture)

20 October 2014

Lens:

I. Some of my Last Photographs Taken with my iPhone 4s

1. Solitary Tree, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Solitary Tree, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. The Path to Somewhere, Meadow, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. The Path to Somewhere, Meadow, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Taken with my iPhone 6

3. UD Physical Therapy Building; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. UD Physical Therapy Building; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. UD Physical Therapy Building; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. UD Physical Therapy Building; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

I’ve written several times about my philosophy of architecture: its prevalence in the world of nature and human nature. My visual field is stolen by its elements, which fill my day-by-night attention at every turn. This post honors the convergence of our lives with the visual rhythms of architecture.

These features are so apparent, yet are usually unnoticed as we stroll or ramble or trot through our journeys. It’s usually innovative solo structures that force us to focus on the robust and unusual.

Line, shape, color, texture, and unity are overarching architectural themes. Each provides variations on aesthetics, contrast, pattern, proportion, scale, symmetry, tension, and visual effects. These are pervasive and all-encompassing, both in nature and human nature.

In the Lens section are my tribute to this very humanistic and naturally-occurring aspect of life. On a small level my new iPhone 6 is a perfect example of architectural innovation.  We continue to construct, invent and reinvent features as functional and visual components that stun our sensibilities. We savor and crave the new, but the normal and usual are just as complex and influential, at least for me.

The first two images were taken at Longwood Gardens. As I meandered through their end-of-the-season meadow, the wing spread and girth of the stately tree reminded me of some post-modernist buildings. The second photograph shows a path that is an entranceway to a wooded area with various shaped trees, producing thought of a small community of quiet souls.

The last two photographs were taken this week with my new iPhone 6. I went to see the University of Delaware’s nationally-reknown Physical Therapy Center, which is a visual architectural feast. While the Center is long-standing, this building is relatively new. These images were taken on the second floor, where I found a panoramic view and an expansive glassed wall. It’s a photographer’s heaven on earth, because the entire faculty is lined entirely in massive panels of windows. The light is spectacular.

While some people might say that I stretch the notion of architecture, it’s easy for me to see and surmise that nature influences human-made classically simple, traditional or more audacious contemporary designs. Those relationships gives me comfort. Those relationships sway my heartstrings and my own vision of reality.

Tip of the Week: Since my post honors architecture, I wanted to tell you about a nature photographer whose passion is shown in his latest book. Ingo Arndt’s Animal Architecture (2014) displays various aspects of Mother Nature, and focuses on their “wild” architectural features. The Guardian has a short article, “The World’s Best Animal Architecture—in Pictures” (22 April 2014), which shows images from the book. Click here to learn more about his work. Here is another book by Arndt:

"Nomads of the Wind, " Ingo Arndt (2009)

“Nomads of the Wind, ” Ingo Arndt (2009)

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/rails-and-light-black-white-iphoneography-challenge/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-french-chic/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/the-art-of-eclair-bandersnatch/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/from-the-3rd-floor/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/phoneography-challengefountain-in-black-and-white/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-2/

http://austindetails.me/2014/10/20/black-and-white-in-color/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/phoneography-black-and-white-challenge-saves-the-day/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-2/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2014/10/20/black-and-white-architecture/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/10/20/iphoneography-monday-10-20-14/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2014/10/21/mother-nature-as-an-architect/

http://19planets.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/cat-silence-002-october-2014-haiga-for-phoneography-monday-black-and-white/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/playing-with-the-in-between-bits/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-balck-and-white-3/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/10/23/mono-pastel-abstract-flowers/

http://sciencealcove.com/2014/10/dog-sledding-black-white/

http://angleandviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/black-and-white-cat-flashes/

Note:

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Architecture, Art, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Human Nature, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Nature, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Macro (Dried Native Hibiscus Petals)

13 October 2014

Lens:

1. Dried Native Hibiscus Petals; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Dried Native Hibiscus Petal; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Dried Native Hibiscus Petals; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Dried Native Hibiscus Petals; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Dried Native Hibiscus Petals; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Dried Native Hibiscus Petals; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Dried Native Hibiscus Petals; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Dried Native Hibiscus Petal; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens: The tail end of August is the time that native hibiscus bloom and quickly begin to wane. They are ethereal and transparent in the sun, and their short existence makes it imperative to catch them as soon as they open. Their large petals act as a tunnel for hummingbirds and other insects; they simultaneously lure nature and human nature.

 

Native Hibiscus; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Native Hibiscus; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

One of my small passions is gathering and preserving specific flowers. Some passions are on a continuum: scaled with affection and devotion as well as time sensitive in their execution.

As I spied on each hibiscus flowerhead, I began to surmise how they might appear dried.  For decades I’ve admired this floral native, and watched as each blossom disappears in a day’s showing. But I’ve never brought them inside with the sole purpose of air drying them.

As each flower closed, I allowed them to linger as others unfolded and displayed their delicate bold colors and wispy shapes. Then each fell onto the garden floor, where I gathered and placed them gently on a sturdy thick sheet of paper. Then set them on a shelf.

As the petals slowly dehydrated, their original color of orangey red began a glacial change toward deep richly-shaded pinky purple. Suddenly I noticed that they appeared almost black. I was in love.

But something unexpected occurred. The usual five-petal flower, which has huge petals, became close-knit, so close that they clung to each other and became one. They curled and intertwined and reminded me of a swirl. They shrunk to 4″ long x 1″ wide, and continued to spark my attention.

While many flowers are attractive in their spent state, not all keep their eloquence and grace. The hibiscus does, especially under LED lights, which allows color and details to emerge.

In the Lens section are four of my photographs that depict a few of the half-dozen dried hibiscus. Because it is macro week, it took successive photo shoots to accomplish something close to my goal.

The petals were now wrapped around each other, so it made it hard to see the layers of this new twisted form. I decided to slowly peel away a petal. What transpired was an ability to show a small section or a few petals at once.

As light broke through the paper-thin surface, I observed extraordinary designs that are unseen by the human eye. A rich panorama of veins and hues came into view. Lines and shapes intersected and became an abstract canvas. A few of them mimicked the landscape and mountainous forms.

Their once trumpet shape was now tubular, which only added another level of charm, and has me thinking about how much I already miss their presence. As a luscious example of Mother Nature, these beauties benefit from light filtering through their tissue-like petals.

Macro week coerced me to experiment. The result allowed me to feast on the visual abundance provided by the native hibiscus. Instead of composting these flower heads, I was able to enjoy another phase of their existence. My reward is boundless.

Tip of the Week: This week I’d like to introduce you to biker 11, who focuses much of his photographic portfolio on nature’s insects. In the following quote he describes what draws him to a part of nature that is barely seen by our naked eye:

“It’s another world, which can be seen under our feet. We can discover a world of small monsters. Each fly, bee and spider is a perfect predator or a warring victim in this empire. It`s always a big surprise for me to find out how many species, forms and colors exist in this kingdom. I see the things around me a bit differently after each visit in this micro-world…It is best to go out in the early morning around 5 – 5,30 hrs. It must be coolish ( 6-10 C) and dewy. Insects will rise at dawn, with a bit of luck. You need to like and be kind to insects, because I take pictures only with live insects. The most important aspect of macro is light. The secret to good macro is cardinal light. DOF (depth of focus) is very small in macro and so you need to arrange 2 or more pictures to get a good looking shot.” Click here to see his work.

Bee, Biker 11

Bee, Biker 11

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro-raindrops-in-the-french-forest/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/the-duck/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/phoneography-challenge-macro-2/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/phoneography-close-up-of-a-turkey-feathery-fan-dance/

http://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/the-orange-daisy-and-green-fly-macro-challenge/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/phoneography-challenge-macro-at-the-table/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/10/13/iphoneography-monday-10-13-14/

http://japankharma.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/photo-challenge-macro-phoneography-and-non-slr/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro-hot-chocolate/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro-kitty-paws/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-macro-6/

http://deeclarknz.com/2014/10/16/phoneography-challenge-macro-learning-what-my-iphone-can-do/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/seeing-whats-right-in-front-of-me-literally/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/10/18/dreamy-roses/

Note:

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Posted in Abstract, Art, Design, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 64 Comments