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

15 September 2014

Lens:

Three versions of “Morning Light,” Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, August 2014

1. Original in Hipstamatic

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

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

2. Hipstamatic and PhotoStudio #1

2. Morning Light, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Morning Light, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Hipstamatic and PhotoStudio #2

3. Morning Light, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Morning Light, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

Black-and-white photography has an uncanny power to recreate reality. While a fully technicolor image may seem the better choice to most, for me monochrome strips away distractions, focuses on details and improves my own ability to “see.”

While strolling through the newly-created meadow at Longwood Gardens, I was led to a bridge that sandwiched me between a wooded haven. The morning golden hour was spritely accentuating the foliage on the trees. I stopped, stared and panned through each side.

While the soft greens of the trees and sparkling light were striking in color, the conversion to monochrome gave me so much more to contemplate. Contrasts and tones, light and shadows exaggerated what could be lost by a scene that provided a different kind of attention to elements.

The light pushed reflections, forcing the conscious to recognize what could easily have been missed. When you stroll through such diverse natural settings that are cultivated and maintained by human hand and nature, it’s hard to absorb the immensity of beauty and grandeur. Some of it being so tiny that its kept hidden from voyeurs. Other visual aspects overwhelm the senses.

And so whatever and whenever I can appreciate those kinds of moments, I feel a calm and quiet that nourishes. Stilling a certain slice of nature and later revisiting that frozen scene can bring back initial responses. It also can act as an instigator to see the same composition with greater examination.

In the Lens section are examples of my interpretation  of the original taken in Hipstamatic, and then I  processed two in PhotoStudio. Each app made certain parts of the whole more or less prevalent. Other parts allowed details to fade into obscurity. The process became a dance of the visual.

I like to play with images that are more white than black or black than white. To frame negative and positive spaces can create an energetic push-and-pull within the  monochromatic results–results that can give a new spin on the character of the subject.

That reversal of our visual field (changing the black tones to white or the white ones to black) redefines patterns and shadows, and provides a chance to view in a circular fashion rather than linear. These experiments only lead to another and another, forcing the synapses to flourish in an invented world that is really real.

Tip of the Week: Clearly, one of the best sites to peruse photography and the work of world-recognized photographers’ work is the National Geographic website. It is stacked with so many layers that one could drift there for years. Their staff of photographers produce some of the most magnificent depictions of nature and human nature. Click here to view some of their “Photo of the Day” section that is devoted to Black and White. Whether taken with a Smartphone or DSLR or SLR, these images inspire.

“Cricket Game, Bangladesh” (2013)  by Mohammad Rakibul Hasan

“Cricket Game, Bangladesh” (2013)
by Mohammad Rakibul Hasan

View other entries for today’s challenge: Black and White

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-white-60s-salon-wall/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2014/09/15/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/phoneography-challenge-bw/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/enough-light/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/phoneography-black-and-white-challenge-wind-surfer/

http://steve-says.net/2014/09/15/lets-face-it/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-ferns/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2014/09/16/the-aura-of-objects/

http://pawcificpurrsea.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/let-sleeping-dogs-lie/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/playing-with-line-and-shadow/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/patchwork-anatomy-bw-and-color/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-coleus/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/09/15/iphoneography-monday-9-15-14/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-balck-and-white-2/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2014/09/17/sallys-black-and-white-challenge-2/

http://rfljenksy.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/just-a-bike-a-sunset-and-a-few-other-random-shots/

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, Gardens and Gardening, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Macro (A Single Oak Leaf)

08 September 2014

Lens:

1. Fallen Oak Leaf, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Fallen Oak Leaf, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Fallen Oak Leaf, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Fallen Oak Leaf, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Fallen Oak Leaf, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Fallen Oak Leaf, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

In the pre-autumn days I become a collector, ever vigilant for one of the symbols of the upcoming season: fallen single or multiples of leaves. In my world each leaf represents the life cycle as well as the essence of our individual journeys. They never cease to intrigue me.

Autumn is without reservation a memorable place on my mental calendar of time and place. It would be a struggle to live where this transformation does not exist.

As summer wanes, the landscape gives hints of the days ahead. Spent flowers are going to seed, providing needed food for wildlife. Birds seem especially ravenous. Migration is nearing. Leaves become signposts for these changes. So I am on my most observant behavior.

It’s not planned; it’s instinctual. I become a more diligent voyeur of nature’s dance. Leaves entrance my visual field, transfixing my attention during daily walks.

Even though they cascade in silence, I behold their presence as newly fallen or aged. Sometimes they have not transformed and simple separate from their host, taking weeks for alterations to be noticed. Mostly, small to monumental changes become the usual.

Over the last few weeks the landscape has begun this transition; the performance has started. Already dogwoods are multi-colored. Oaks have started to tint. Leaves are sprinkled here and there.

I’m discovering small gems to dry and savor. Each one easily becomes its own personality with unique qualities.

Some plants and trees hold these small wonders longer than others, keeping them is dependent upon temps, the ticking of days and variations in climate. Macro is a way to spy on their designs–designs and patterns that are hidden from our naked eyes.

These delicate yet critically-important slices of nature are apt examples that show Mother Nature does not waste anything. Unlike human littering and loitering upon the planet, nature recycles.

Eventually everything becomes something else: the new, expected and unexpected appear and reappear and reappear again. Life continues.

Tip of the Week: This week I’d like to introduce you to another nature macro photographer: Canadian Damien Clarke. He says, “I want to connect people to the small world that is all around us and remind them of the smaller beauty that is so often missed. I try to bring happiness, awe or quiet contemplation into people’s lives.” His work moves across the genre of nature photography that includes animals, abstractions, flowers, and insects. Clarke is equally concerned about color, form, depth perception, and light. You can view his work on a few websites. Here are two: click and click. His photographs capture the miniature essence of each subject, which is achieved with sharp clarity and attention to composition. Hope that you enjoy his online collections.

Cold Morning Daisy, Flower Collection, Damon Clarke

Cold Morning Daisy, Flower Collection, Damon Clarke

Lichen Untitled, Forest Collection, Damon Clarke

Lichen Untitled, Forest Collection, Damon Clarke

View other entries for this week’s challenge: Macro

http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2014/09/08/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro-wild-things-in-the-woods/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/phoneography-close-up-of-elderly-leaves/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/itsy-bitsy-spider/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/phoneography-challenge-macro-amarylls/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/phoneography-challenge-macro/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/phoneography-challenge-a-macro-piece-of-the-pine/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/09/08/iphoneography-monday-9-8-14/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/looking-for-a-needle/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-macro-5/

http://vastlycurious.com/2014/09/10/phoneography-the-forrest/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/charlie-up-close-and-personal/

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, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Nature (and the Leaf)

01 September 2014

Lens:

1. Leaf, Oakleaf Hydrangea, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Leaf, Oakleaf Hydrangea, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Leaf, Oakleaf Hydrangea, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Leaf, Oakleaf Hydrangea, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

“Ode to the Autumn Leaf”

Prelude to epiphany of time and place.                                                                                   Tossed, scattered, cheered, and fallen,                                                                                                                                 Rising to grace.                                                                                                                                 Then nourishing spring’s renewal.

In the Lens section are two photographs that I took a few weeks ago. Each leaf hugged tightly onto branches of a native oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). Regardless of the season these plants have features that keep my attention: I want to see their metamorphosis.

Their intense green shades encouraged me to examine the spectrum of plants set in rows that lined a stone wall. But I could not stop myself; I converted the photographs to black and white. (The second is taken with Hipstamatic, one of my favorite apps).

Subsequently, leaves have begun their merry pre-autumn dance: descending, pirouetting and posturing for the next phase. Slowly, over the next few months they will be coaxed to change colors. That drama moves from subtle or profound, depending on many variables.

It’s an autumn ritual that I gather their fallen bodies, and place them on my gardens as winter blankets. Or add them to my compost bins. They become golden coins that bring wealth to the earth. I also discover ones that force me to photograph their unique qualities.

My “Ode to the Autumn Leaf”” salutes the bounty that comes from each leaf whose remains enrich the soil. Each leaf has its distinct character; each leaf plays a major role in the life cycle that gives the root system competition for #1 performer of its duties.

Designs are smooth, jagged, scalloped, prickly, silky, serrated, pointed, round, angular, and endlessly fascinating. Patterns vary, colors vary, sizes vary, shapes vary.

In their early stages they are cunningly shy. As they mature, they boldly exude flare and grace. We owe them too much, because their part in nature is supremely critical to photosynthesis. Thus life on earth depends on them.

When forests are leveled or land cemented, habitats and landscapes for tree plantings are diminished. It’s not complicated. We must stop the decimation. We must honor Mother Nature’s progeny.

My conversions about leaves always come full circle to climate and environmental changes. If you are as serious as I am about these pressing topics, consider attending the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in New York City (23 September 2014 at U.N. Headquarters). Or go to the People’s Climate March in Manhattan on Sunday, 21 September.

These events are part of Climate Week in New York City, and as expressed on the United Nations’ website: “UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society…to galvanize and catalyze climate action. He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015. Climate Summit 2014 provides a unique opportunity for leaders to champion an ambitious vision, anchored in action that will enable a meaningful global agreement in 2015.” My fingers and toes are crossed.

Meanwhile, take a stroll through a local park, your backyard, your neighborhood, or a botanical garden to see the gradual change in the landscape. It’s that time of year where the outdoor visual field overflows with color variations that are above and on the ground.

During every season leaves provide multiple transformations. In springtime they fill the landscape with hues of greens, reds, and yellows. In summertime their abundance gives depth to the landscape as well as habitats and shade for animals, birds, gardens, and insects. In autumn they sweep across the horizon with a color range from bronze to crimson to purple to brown. In winter they give new life to the forest floor. Those are a few of their legacies, which help to provide rhythms of the seasons and sustain life as we know it.

Leaves may be taken for granted, but without them our existence would be impossible.  They are quiet heroines of our planet’s health. But I am also a staunch devotee, because they are endlessly leavening and fascinating in their individualism, which lures me to capture them through my lens.

Tip of the Week:

Over the last few decades I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time during morning and evening hours seeking natural light, and those subjects that warrant early and late sunrays. The swing from morning light to late afternoon light are the golden hours. The rising sun and other conditions bring a cool vibe that glows with a bluish tint. The setting sun and other conditions provide a warm light that tends to be more pink, orange, red or violet. Each are times to find those seasonal leaves that suit your aesthetics. Here are some suggestions about shooting them: Use the best available natural light; find light that is not too intense and hard (avoid mid-day photo shoots); focus on an area of the leaf and get close up for details; use the light to compliment and respect the leaf; take images at any stage of a leaf’s development; try to show designs, patterns and shapes in a new way. If you are determined to capture a leaf and the weather is too windy, bring specimens indoor. Then tape (at top of stem) it onto a window that has considerable natural light; steady your Smartphone or use a tripod. Light that filters through the leaf will exhibit its qualities. Of course, there are always light tables. Let me know if these hints help.

View other entries for this week’s challenge–Nature:

http://debooworks.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/rainy/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature-sunflower/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2014/09/01/phoneography-challenge-nature-4/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/phoneography-challengenature-as-you-see-it/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/supporting-nature/

http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/phoneography-nature-lookout-at-rock-point/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-nature-5/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/sand-sea-and-the-clouds/

http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-nature-2/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/09/01/iphoneography-monday-9-1-14/

http://austindetails.me/2014/09/02/so-many-photo-apps/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2014/09/03/trees-in-the-mist/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/nature-signs-of-spring/

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, Design, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Street Photography (San Francisco’s Street Life)

25 August 2014

Lens:

1. San Francisco, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. San Francisco, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. San Francisco, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. San Francisco, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. San Francisco, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. San Francisco, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Pens:

” Somehow the most compelling street photography remains the kind that allows us to imagine ourselves wandering into the frame.” –Wall Street Journal

Clearly Street Photography has multiple elements that continually keep my cup running over its edges. Characteristically, it moves from quiet to loud, from drama to melancholy, from exuberance to serenity, from known to unknown, from lost to found, from high to low, from narrow to wide, from monochrome to technicolor…The juxtaposition of humans to their street life is endlessly fascinating in its camaraderie and cruelty. Mostly, I relish the role of voyeur: the non-intrusive observer.

San Francisco has an Old-World sensibility mixed with contemporary vibes. The light exaggerates and insinuates itself through the spaces here and there and everywhere.

That energy lends itself to black-and-white photographs. Accents of contrast and tones of various shades are prevalent; they cavalcade around corners, crawl up buildings and pass through couples as they stroll. That California sunlight is spectacular and sheds itself rarely. Well, there is that famously-seductive fog, but it was nowhere to be seen on this visit.

In the Lens section are three images that depict a slice of San Francisco street life, and the city’s willingness to bring the new to its pedestrian pathways. Pause on Market Street brings a whole new edge to portions of this golden city that always, always entertains in unusual and known ways.

Market Street travels to Castro, near the waterfront. But this part of Market is a thoroughfare directly in the city’s heart. Pause is a different kind of public art project; it’s sponsors hope these spaces will be “catalysts for exploration, innovation and play.” As part of the Living Innovation Zone Program (LIZ) partners are the city and county as well as community-wide companies and organizations that built “a visible layer” within this these public spaces.

Pause has a musical bench (photograph #1) that is activated by people’s hand-holding. It also has a charging station that is powered by a foot pedal. Artistically-conceived benches are interspersed. Eventually, there will be ten zones whose installations will be fully-imagined by architects such as the ones used for this project, which was designed by Gehl Architects.

I was easily lured into the large sculptural objects that were bathed in sunbeams. It was a dazzling discovery.

While my credo for street photography avoids images that can identify strangers. The first capture seemed to blend with my philosophy, because I was not invading anyone’s private space. These individuals were conducting an interview in the midst of downtown foot traffic. Their anonymity was not even possible.

Although I continued to shoot in the shadows of their day’s work, the three images are representative of what the space intended: public use of public art. It is a grand experiment, which is working as a site-specific installation. Bravo, San Francisco–you’ve won my soul and spirit over and over and over again.

Tip of the Week:

For those of you that subscribe to my philosophy of street photography, the work of Bruno Quinquet, who says: “I never show recognizable faces,” is an apt discovery. His Salaryman is a reflection on the problem of candid street photography and portrait rights,” and worth your perusal. Read more about his project, and view some of his images here and here. I know that you’ll be happy you did.

Salaryman by Bruno Quinquet

“Salaryman” by Bruno Quinquet

View other entries for this week’s Challenger’s Choice:

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-moon-over-the-big-horns/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/house-lamps-4-photos/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-street-shots/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/the-wall-flowers/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/phoneography-geometric-shapes-near-the-fault-zone/

http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/phoneography-challenge-animals/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/phoneography-challenge-goodbye-to-picket-fences/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/08/25/iphoneography-monday-8-25-14/

http://austindetails.me/2014/08/25/mexican-martini/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-animals/

http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/night-photography/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/08/26/street-art/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-2/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2014/08/28/foggy-morning-in-melbourne/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-street-photography-challengers-choice/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/fractured-time-fractured-images/

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, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Photography, Street Photography, Traveling and Travels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

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

18 August 2014

Lens:

1. Hallway and Reflections, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Hallway and Reflections, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Hallway and Reflections, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Hallway and Reflections, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Hallway and Reflections, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Hallway and Reflections, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Staircase and Reflections, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Staircase and Reflections, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

Notes on Monochromatic Phrases

Part I:

Words scrape the surface.                                                                                                               Or excavate tunnels under my breath.

Single lines connect, curve and spread themselves thin.                                                    Angles push light on crystalline-covered planes,                                                                  Illusions prevail with dancing circles and simmering silver rays.

Contrasting tones mingle.                                                                                                      Questions rise higher than linger.

Answers move across shadows and disappear or settle with a vengeance.                       Their stories float over the passage of place,                                                                                And what is seen is a descendant from what was.

Part Two:

The silence of sight,                                                                                                                    Carries substance and weight,                                                                                            Fragments seize our perceptions,                                                                                              Drizzle contrasts and tones with meaningful reflections.

Blacks, whites, grays, silvers,                                                                                                          The achromatic transforms.                                                                                                    Shadows angle into view,                                                                                                                Showing values of light and dark.

A hueless prism disperses tension,                                                                                        Creating drama and respect.

Conflict encourages confluence, contradiction, purity.                                                           Reflections cast beams of infinity’s hopes,                                                                                And emit monochromatic phrases.

I wrote “Notes on Monochromatic Phrases” as an ode to this week’s Black-and-White Photo Challenge. Hope that you enjoyed my poem.

Tip of the Week: I just discovered the Monochrome Awards (click here), an International Black and White Photography website. Winners of the main categories compete for Monochrome Photographer of the Year (Professional) and Monochrome Discovery of the Year (Amateur). Categories for Professional are: Abstract, Advertising, Architecture, Fashion, Fine Art, Landscapes, Nude, People, Photojournalism, Photomanipulation, Portrait, and Wildlife. Categories for Amateur are the same. Join their mailing list or enter the contest. Or simple view the marvelous works. Here is he work of one of the judges: Ted Preuss. Viewing the judges’ work is worth the visit to the site.

"Surrender," Ted Preuss, B & W Photographer

“Surrender,” Ted Preuss, B & W Photographer

View other entries for this week’s challenge: Black and White

http://debooworks.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/cease-fire/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-plants/

http://pictograf.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-3/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/phoneography-challenge-in-black-and-white-riding-a-wild-horse/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/street-lamp/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/the-bridal-art/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2014/08/18/sallys-black-and-white-challenge-345/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-white-building-in-andaluz/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/phoneography-black-and-white-views-of-point-rayes/

http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/phoneography-black-and-white/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-2/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/08/18/iphoneography-monday-8-18-14/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/08/18/mary-janes-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

http://19planets.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/hidden-moments-006-august-2014-haiga-and-haibun-for-phoneography-monday-black-and-white/

http://debooworks.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/twins/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-black-and-white-3/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/steel-grease-the-new-project-in-our-garage/

http://pawcificpurrsea.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white-architecture-and-reflections/

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, Architecture, Art and Creativity, Black-and-White Photography, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Photography, Poetry, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Macro (Hibiscus and Sunflower)

11 August 2014

Lens:

I. Native Hibiscus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II. Native Sunflower

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

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

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

Mid-summer is high season for the showy yet gentle appearance of hibiscus. I revel in their mesmerizing beauty.

They have a delicate balance, and their charm captivates my gaze. Every flower is so sweetly stunning that I become awash in emotion.

These natives of the mallow family hijack descriptors that are synonymous with eloquence: dramatic, breathtaking, impressive, melodramatic, striking, theatrical, appealing, and expressive. Their flare for simplicity is evident in a design that reminds me of the Japanese culture with its attention to a  quiet and uncomplicated style.

Hibiscus reigns for its constancy that honors no frills, no toe-tapping performance that lasts for days. Although each flowerhead is short-lived, their effect is so strong that it matters not.

Petals are ultra thin, easily allowing the light to filter through them. They resemble tissue paper’s silky soft exterior, and etched with elongated lines from edge to edge. I’m in love.

Summer also brings sunflowers, which seem to be universally loved and planted. Swaths are found all over the world. It’s not only their bold beauty, but they provide food for animals, birds and human consumption. Oh, and they even have industrial applications.

A native of North America this annual was instantly popular, and introduced to the rest of the globe by early explorers and travelers. Today all sorts of varieties are available–colors and sizes. But I enjoy the charm of the common sunflower; it has a delicacy in its heft. And I adore that it woos bees and other insects, proving it’s an important pollinator.

In the Lens section are two examples of native hibiscus and one of the common native sunflower. Summer provides these floral triumphs, and I cannot keep from being an admirer.

Tip of the Week: Miki Asai is a Japanese artist who specializes in macro photography. Her work will astound you. It’s not just her technical skills, but the outrageous creativity that she uses to reveal the unseen world around us. Click here to view her outstanding interpretation of the miniature universe that surrounds us.

“Through a macro lens, I am trying to show the beautiful world of the small.” When asked by 500px about her advice to those newly interested in macro photography, she said: “I learned that when it comes to living things – if you want to achieve the shot that’s in your head – patience is really the only way.” — Miki Asai

Miki Asai, Japanese Photographer, Flower in Water Droplets

Miki Asai, Japanese Photographer, Flower in Water Droplets

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/flowers-in-the-night/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-on-a-french-log/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/pink/

http://pictograf.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-3/

http://19planets.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/summer-hurricanes-002-august-2014-haiga-and-haibun-for-phoneography-monday-macro/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/playing-in-the-art-box/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/phoneography-time-of-ripening-for-sunflowers-and-moon/

http://firebonnet.com/2014/08/11/phoneography-a-lens-for-my-iphone-awesome-macros/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/bookmark-the-permalink-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-4/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/08/11/beads-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/08/13/rubellite/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-macro-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, Art and Creativity, Design, Gardens and Gardening, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 70 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Nature (and the Light of a Sunrise)

04 August 2014

Lens:

1. Sunrise at Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Sunrise at Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Sunrise at Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Sunrise at Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Wildflowers at Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Wildflowers at Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Wildflowers at Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Morning Light at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Reflections at Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved:Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Reflections at Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved:Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

I am constantly searching for the best vantage point to capture the day’s first light. When the display begins before 6:30 a.m., my mind must be prodded really hard to acquiesce. On the day of this photo shoot the sunrise was scheduled for 5:56 a.m. But I succumbed.

I awoke determined. My mission was cast. I must find a new setting for this photogenic event. Previous destinations have not had those sweeping panoramas. Nor did they have the depth and breath of the landscape that must be presence to try and do it justice.

I’ve been seeking the perfect spot for a very long time, but it has alluded me. Still, it was not just that daily event that encourages and energizes me. Equally, it is my ongoing fascination with natural light.

And so it was that I stepped from my car, and climbed the gradual incline to my small town’s reservoir. As I reached the midway point, the sun began its ascent from dark clouds to bright formations. As the sun’s rays broke into melody, I knew that I finally had found the apt place with enough of an open vista to view as many dawns as I can muster the fortitude to witness.

As I watched the moment-by-moment alterations of this first light, I knew that my discovery was acknowledged and confirmed. Each abatement or acceleration enticed and promoted my emotions.

I continued on my walk, heading toward the top of the hill where the trail circles the reservoir. The path was salt and peppered with bikers and some serious joggers, none of whom changed my affection for this adventure.

The reservoir has become a wildlife habitat. Years ago when it was built, they came: animals, birds, insects, flowers, trees, grasses, and so much more found a new residence. And my town received an ongoing water source (emergency supply only) plus a quiet retreat for biking and pedestrian traffic.

In the Lens section are the result of this excursion. I’ve posted a variety from the photo shoot, because the morning gave such brilliant and then subtle light that it was worth every bit of energy needed to get there.

Temporarily, my search for a glowing sunrise was realized. In reality that journey will never be complete, because I’m on a constant pilgrimage to seek the poetry of natural light.

No matter how many times a sunrise or sunset performs before me, I feel in the midst of another epiphany. These glorious beginnings or endings of a day are the usual for Mother Nature, but they confound me.

Tip of the Week: On the iPhone Photography School website I found a video (10:04 minutes) that shows  iPhoneographer Emil Pakarklis editing a sunset photograph using Snapseed. Although he does more editing on his image than I ever do on any of mine, it’s worth the time to watch what he does. Click here to view it. Click here to see on the same Website “30 Amazing iPhone Photos that Show Stunning Sky.”

View other entries for this week’s challenge: Nature

http://pictograf.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature-2/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature-lavender-dreams/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/phoneography-nature-challenge-turkey-talk/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/into-a-garden/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/08/04/iphoneography-monday-8-4-14/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/phoneography-challenge-nature-on-the-backroads/

http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature-2/

http://bambangpriantono.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-naturealam-without-sunrisetanpa-matahari-terbit/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/phoneography-and-other-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/08/05/extreme-sunflower/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/on-nature-when-its-cold-wet-and-utterly-beautiful/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-nature-4/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/08/04/rooster-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

http://austindetails.me/2014/08/06/sunset-party/

http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/forest-mysteries/

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 and Creativity, Black-and-White Photography, Human Nature, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 70 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Abstraction (and Nature)

28 July 2014

Lens:

I. Monochrome

1. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

 

4. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Color

5. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

6. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

6. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

7. Bark of a Sycamore Tree; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

The sycamore is more than a native tree that comforts, shades and helps sustain life beneath it. It has bold statements to voice about beauty, strength and vulnerability. Its overarching magnetism is found in its attention-catching hardiness in the face of its exfoliation. Without hesitation the thin outer layer of bark sheds in dramatic subtlety and even outbursts.

Strangely, there is little scientific consensus as to why that peeling occurs. Possibly the process protects these long-living trees from disease. Or the older bark sheds to give rise to a newer outer skin. Or it’s a genetic advantage. Or…

Each summer and autumn my mammoth sycamore scatters mottled strips. Shapes are endlessly unique. It’s not the variety or constancy of this ritual that attracts me. It’s the light and dark of varied-colored surfaces that seem to catch me by surprise.

It’s as though flashes of colors aka Jackson Pollack style fall into bushes and spread on the ground where it stands. Throughout the year the tree’s greyish outer layer gains new character with a palette that keeps redefining itself.

This deciduous hardwood has perseverance and tenacity. As it keeps up appearances, it also defies the notion of nature’s usual fare.

Ode to the Sycamore:                                                                                                                    Pieces of my heart nestle with the soft wind.                                                                          Verve breaks through the maze,                                                                                              Creating a vision to study.                                                                                                     Candor appears on edges of light and dark,                                                                              Then rises to challenge daybreak’s interpretation.                                                           Subtlety witnesses the quiet and boisterous drama,                                                           which corrals tears with steamy dreams.                                                                            Silhouettes are deceptive,                                                                                                       Hiding and then revealing the real and true.                                                                                And Mother Nature blends veracity with tensile strength to give mysterious performances.

Tip of the Week: Recently, I visited my alma mater’s library, which is not more than a mile and a half from my sanctuary. I was on a personal mission to acquire a copy of Robert Frank’s The Americans. There are some visual stories that must be revisited. His book is one. Issued in 1958, it was an event that gradually altered the public’s view about photography. In its initial publication the reaction was quite harsh. Subsequently, Frank’s work inspired generations of photographers, because he used ordinary people to document the everyday world of the 1950s. Click here and view an article on NPR’s Website called “Americans: The Book That Changed Photography.”

View other entries for this week’s challenge (Challenger’s Choice):

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-french-transport/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/tree-house/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/07/28/cheeky-wooden-elephant/

http://rfljenksy.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/birds-of-a-feather-flock-on-lazimpat/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/100-umbrellas/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2014/07/28/night-flight/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/07/28/iphoneography-monday-7-28-14/

http://nocrybabies.net/2014/07/28/nature-is-not-always-cute/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/phoneography-challenge-silky-fine-lines/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/phoneography-challenge-dragonfly-reverie/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-travel/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-like-water-for-chocolate/

http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/golden-light/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/abstracting-form-from-context-an-exercise-in-small-joys/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-abstraction/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-street-photography/

 

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, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 59 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Black and White (Destination: Brooklyn Bridge)

21 July 2014

Lens:

1. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally

2. Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally

3. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

Bridges have always intrigued me. They demonstrate humanity’s ability to work with (and against) Mother Nature. I cannot overstate my respect for those that design and build these behemoths. To discover them on the horizon is to place human feats of intellectual and physical prowess front and center. Their stamp upon the landscape gives me pause, but seen in an urban setting is simultaneously fitting and strange.

New York City is like American jazz: innovative, original, fluid, historic, unpredictable, discordant, sophisticated, and treasured. This comparison was apparent to me during my recent visit. That trip combined the usual flare with two other jewels: my eighty-nine-year-old uncle, who is a retired professional photographer, and a particular destination. We took car, light rail, and subway to approach our day’s event: to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.

The day-long adventure was almost seamless. Sure a sunnier day would have been appreciated, but even grey cloudscapes seemed to honor us. Mostly, cooler temps made our street travel and crossing the footbridge immeasurable pleasurable.

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of those must-see landmarks for those who are keen on spying major cities from higher and more distant vantage points. At its official opening in 1883 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It’s a marvel of human construction that is steeped in ingenuity, tragedy and wonder. Many lost their lives in the service of bringing the bridge to life.

The just-over-a-mile-long span is an easy jaunt from Manhattan to Brooklyn or vice versus. It’s popularity has never wavered as a commuting fairway by bike, car or foot.

Since I’ve lived most of my life on the East Coast, New York has seen my presence so many times that I am puzzled that the Brooklyn Bridge had escaped my company. But the same fact applied to my uncle. So we vowed to join forces and just do it.

There is a sense of euphoria that washes over me when I traverse such a monumental structure. Waves of emotion hold me tight, and the grandeur of the views move inward  where they rest to return at some later time.

These experiences also have a level of unreality in their reality. To imagine piles of raw materials turning into such beauty and utility is such a huge idea that even after scores of such structures, it still seems impossible.

Over the years I’ve been able to walk covered bridges and many smaller ones that cross  creeks and rivers. But large pedestrian bridges easily rise above those, and are a more visually fulfilling accomplishment.

It’s not just the sweeping vistas and scenery. It’s the process of moving, for example, over the East River as though I am walking on water to the shores of Brooklyn.

As I was suspended over the water, I had the chance to contemplate the space that is apparent between the water, skyline and me in between them. It was splendrously joyful, and I take none of it for granted.

Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn, New York, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn, New York, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

The list of bridges that I have walked may be short, but each left vivid tactile descriptors that remind me of their differences and similarities: Brooklyn Bridge (New York) , Deux-Rives (the Garden of Two Banks that joints Kehl, Germany, and Strasbourg, France), Golden Gate Bridge (California), Pointe Vecchio (Florence, Italy), and Pont des Arts (Paris, France). So many, many more to conquer.

Probably the most memorable of the above was the day that my grandchildren and I walked the Golden Gate Bridge. Their sense of excitement added to my own. The crystalline blue sky, the slight wind and a light crowd gave us permission to simply enjoy the experience. The symbolic orangey color of the beams acted as soldiers that led us back and forth on a shared journey of personal fulfillment. Click here to view my photographs from that crossing.

In the process of one of these adventure, I immerse myself: body, eye, mind, and spirit. After such small triumphs, I wonder: Was I really there? Did I take full advantage of the experience? What would a second walk achieve? Then I usually pivot to thoughts about philosophical remains of the day.

I’m still in total amazement that “we” can produce such architectural beauties. Their longevity is one accomplishment, the utility another. Really, it’s the variation on the theme that astounds.

The Brooklyn Bridge reminds me of a waltz: melodic and sensual. Without a great output of physical endurance it allows you to stroll at your own cadence from one urban center to another. Whether coming or going, each side gives an energetic view of the human capacity to create. The East River moves below, the heavens stand above, and there we are in the middle.

Cables of the Brooklyn Bridge,  New York, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Cables of the Brooklyn Bridge, New York, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Tip of the Week: If you’ve never read The Photographer’s Eye (1966) by John Szarkowski, I strongly suggest that you run to your nearest bookstore, computer or library, and get a copy. It’s content never grows old. Black-and-white images and the author’s text are used to comment and describe the art of photography. Artists are well-known and not-so-well known, and each work gives a powerful visual statement about the possibilities within the frame.

“To quote out of context is the essence of the photographer’s craft…: what shall he include, what shall he respect? The line of decision between in and out is the picture’s edge. While the draughtsman starts with the middle of the sheet, the photographer starts with the frame. The photographer’s edge defines context. It isolates unexpected juxtaposition. By surrounding two facts, it creates a relationship… The photographer edits the meanings and patterns of the world through an imagery frame. This frame is the beginning of his picture’s geometry.” — The Photographer’s Eye (1966) by John Szarkowski

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/rainbow-house-in-bw-color/

http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-2/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/merit/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/phoneography-japanese-tea-garden-tells-a-story-of-harmony-in-black-and-white/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/07/21/workspace-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/07/21/iphoneography-monday-7-21-14/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/07/22/monochrome-summer-florals/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-balck-and-white/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/when-the-weather-offers-just-shades-of-grey/

 http://ohmsweetohm.me/2014/07/24/sallys-black-and-white-challenge/

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 and Creativity, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Photography, Traveling and Travels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Macro (What Do a Factory and a Flower Have in Common?)

14 July 2014

Lens:

Part I-Debris at Abandoned Factory

1. Abandoned Factory, Delaware, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Abandoned Factory, Delaware, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Abandoned Factory, Delaware, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Abandoned Factory, Delaware, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Part Two-Japanese Iris

3. Japanese Iris in Pond, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Japanese Iris in Pond, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

While my grandson and I meandered around the countryside waiting for an apt spot to do a photo shoot, a previously mentioned site suddenly was within a mile’s drive. That sealed our afternoon with cameras in hand and a destination that satiated our quest.

As we stood and scanned the abandoned industrial site, we knew that our time there would be dictated by the chain-link fence that surrounded the acres of factory buildings. We positioned ourselves on the edge of the site where we only had access to what was directly in front of us: about a few hundred yards that bordered the road. No doubt we will return to scout the overgrown property and search for other vantage points.

It’s not worth discussing the history of the well-known company held hostage by progressive decay, because many of the images that I framed are abstractions–close-ups through spaces in the fence. Fortunately, some of the materials and buildings were inches from the wire barriers.

The most intriguing part of the afternoon’s shoot was how the abandoned grounds gave birth to a variety of possibilities. Since this week is macro week, the site proved a place to record features that are seemingly not what they appear to be–at least in my visual universe.

What was before me was fragments of what was: the recognizable rearranged by time’s weathering hand. Materials. which were once made utilitarian, are now dislodged and useless. I was beckoned by numerous subplots.

In the Lens section are two images from that photo shoot. Each shows a small slice of the deconstruction found at the site-a site with its integrity compromised. Slowly human-made materials are being covered by nature; vines and underbrush march forward with a vengeance.

For some deeply-held reasons the state of the factory’s demise reminded of another image that I took last month. The Japanese iris (image #3) that is included in this post is a companion of sorts to the other two photographs.

The Japanese iris is one of a dozen that bloomed in my pond this spring. They grow in a large container that has been there for over a decade. They reside the entire year.

During their blooming stage, I am enthralled with their stunning designs and deep purple hues. That single petal that hangs in its finality reminded me of the cycle of life that occurs in a sundry of disparate entities in nature and human nature.

The similarity between the deserted factory in the final stages of existence and the flower being depleted of its potency are surprisingly similar, yet not. Once each had a vibrancy that sought attention. Then each did their swan song in opposite ways: one rather quickly, the other in glacial pace.

The factory’s materials were plant-based and used to make commercial products, providing generations of jobs and keeping a community economically lively. The Japanese iris’s splendor is so delicate and strong that it defies its short fleeting beauty. The flower’s presence in American gardens provides a tribute to our global economy and the import of other countries’ horticultural products.

In their demise they share the end of an intersection between nature and human nature. They both become memories in the annals of everyday life. But each has brought a more examined (macro) view of what we see, and how we interpret our individual visual landscapes.

Tip of the Week: Recently, I spent some time viewing the works of finalists from Eighth Annual iPhone Photography Awards. This competition has much to offer those who use iPhones or any Smartphone as their lens or anyone interested in photography. I hope that you will peruse their Website, where winners’ works are featured from as far back as 2008. To see this year’s winners, click here. To view previous years’ winners, click here. Julio Lucas from Bradenton, Florida, United States, is the 2014 IPPA Photographer of the Year. Click here to view his Instagram site. While he is the overall winner, there are several categories of awards in this competition.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-unexpected-visitors/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/one-day-ill-fly-away/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/phoneography-up-close-with-a-flamboyant-beauty/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/07/14/hipstamatic-app-review/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/phoneography-macro-challenge-a-sultry-red/

http://steve-says.net/2014/07/14/tell-someone-the-time-not-on-my-watch/

http://austindetails.me/2014/07/14/surprise-inside/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-2/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-3/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/07/14/tertiary-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

http://nocrybabies.net/2014/07/16/macro-monday/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-macro-3/

Note:

Congratulations to me: It’s my 300th post.  

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, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Macro Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments