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/

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 , , , , , , , , | 40 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 , , , , , , , , , | 61 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

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Nature (and the Marin Headlands)

07 July 2014

Lens:

1. Marin Headlands, California; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved:Lens and Pens by Sally

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

2. Tunnel to Bonita Lighthouse, Marin Headlands, California; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/ Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Tunnel to Point Bonita Lighthouse, Marin Headlands, California, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/ Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Bonita Lighthouse, Marin Headlands, California; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/ Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Point Bonita Lighthouse, Marin Headlands, California, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/ Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Crashing Waves, Marin Headlands, California; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/ Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Crashing Waves, Marin Headlands, California, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/ Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens: Mother Nature has been my muse for longer than I have given her deeply-committed thought. As years add to my experiences, a rising level of emotion accompanies never-seen-by-me natural wonders as well as local wildlife. Nature is never taken for granted.

These encounters can be as small as a baby praying mantis or as mammoth as California’s Marin Headlands. Size really doesn’t matter.

A place, which exhibits grandeur, quickly catches people’s attention: Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Mt. Everest, Great Barrier Reef… And so it was that my dear friend and I spent half a day exploring the expansive Marin Headlands at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in Northern California.

As though Mother nature was challenging our commitment, we arrived on a gray, overcast late morning. Surprisingly, the subtle colors seemed bolder than they should have been. The nearly monochrome panorama made the spectacle even more pronounced, demonstrating how visual acuity plays with our mind’s interpretations. Then the sun appeared.

Two years ago I stood at another vantage point on the Headlands to gaze at the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay, which was spectacular. This new location at Point Bonita is broader, wider and more inclusive, because it is situated at the tip of the jutting cliffs. It’s bordered by massive rock formations, large swaths of green space and vistas of the bay. Various views from the Point kept us occupied for hours.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which is the largest U.S. urban park, maintains the Point Bonita Lighthouse. We walked the half-mile trail and through a tunnel to reach the foot bridge that guards the lighthouse. That description may seem strange, but that’s how it felt.

5. Tunnel Leading to the Point Bonita Lighthouse, Marin Headlands, California, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Tunnel Leading to the Point Bonita Lighthouse, Marin Headlands, California, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

This familiar yet unassuming structure has been guiding ships for over 150 years. We were not surprised to share the trail with ample visitors. Even with rolling clouds the scenery was so enthralling that we lingered and lingered. We had been there so long that we neglected our picnic lunch.

Waves performed, pelicans graced the skyline, patterns appeared on rocks, wildflowers glowed in mid light, cliffs stood eloquently, visitors gazed in awe, park rangers answered queries, and winds moved across the surface of the water to force waves into action.

As satiated as I was on the walk back, the next sighting raised my emotional responses enormously. Below in the bay 120 harbor seals were sleeping on sandy banks and sunning on water-drenched rocks, which encouraged my cup to overflow its rim.

6. Cliff Surface, Point Bonita Lighthouse, California, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

6. Cliff Surface, Point Bonita Lighthouse, California, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

From this spot the Golden Gate Bridge was entirely visible. Its signature orange seemed content with the day’s slightly turquoise cast on the bay.

The panorama is so classic that I felt we were posing for a postcard to be sent to family and friends. I could sense the excitement that forced San Francisco’s population to rise from 900 to 20,000 (National Park Service brochure) during the Gold Rush. Most of the 49ers came through the Golden Gate.

When you are devoted to Mother Nature as I am, it’s relatively easy to have your heartstrings pluck melodic music during such excursions. Instantly, I became completely immersed in the visual, the history, the moment, the place. Everywhere the wild seemed to be appreciated.

The day was pure harmony and secured multiple vistas in my treasure trove of memories.  To be sure nature’s natural history continues to write a remarkably stellar story.

Tip of the Week: I’m always on the alert for articles about the environment. On Earth Day (22 April) of this year The New York Times announced the PBS viewing of the documentary, “American Masters: A Fierce Green Fire.” The film covers five topics: conservation, pollution, alternatives, going global, and climate change. It’s based on the 1993 book published by The Times’ environmental reporter Philip Shabecoff. This film covers 50 years of the environmental movement and social justice. Robert Redford and Meryl Streep are included as advocates for the movement. To view a trailer (time-2:30) about the documentary, click here.

“A sweeping history of the environmental movement, ‘A Fierce Green Fire’ is both a cautionary tale and a triumphant one.” –The Washington Post, 2014

From a 2014 review in Publisher’s Weekly: “Shabecoff concludes that an ecologically sound society can also be economically sound.”

View other entries for today’s challenge:

http://talesfromthebackroad.com/phoneography-photo-challenge-nature/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature-a-real-tree-t/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/four/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/phoneography-challenge-the-art-and-zen-of-nature/

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

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/nature-sees/

http://nocrybabies.net/2014/07/07/monday-nature/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/phoneography-a-wild-and-wonderous-garden/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/07/07/bee-on-a-thistle-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/3504/

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

http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/07/08/rose-art/

http://neomanu.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/phoneography-monday-the-sea-urchin/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/when-still-images-dont-quite-paint-the-picture/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-nature-3/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature-and-look-up-look-down-challenge-week-47/

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, Black-and-White Photography, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Nature Photography, Photography, Traveling and Travels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Editing and Processing with Apps (PhotoStudio)

30 June 2014

Lens:

I. Using FX Photo Studio and Glaze

1. Waiting for the R Train to Brooklyn, New York City, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Waiting for the R Train to Brooklyn, New York City, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Waiting for the R Train to Brooklyn, New York City, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Waiting for the R Train to Brooklyn, New York City, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Waiting for the R Train to Brooklyn, New York City, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Waiting for the R Train to Brooklyn, New York City, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Waiting for the R Train to Brooklyn, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Waiting for the R Train to Brooklyn, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Original Image

5. Waiting for the R Train to Brooklyn, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Waiting for the R Train to Brooklyn, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

 

Pens:

On Wednesday I took a day trip to the East Coast city that stirs the hearts and spirits of everyone that visits its eclectic and electric streets: New York. Since I grew up in the Middle Atlantic states, Manhattan was an easy jaunt.

I cannot even begin to guess the number of times that I’ve grazed there. This particular trip had a purpose: to walk the Brooklyn Bridge with my eighty-nine-year-old uncle. There will be more next month about that adventure.

Since this week’s challenge involves post-processing using the sundry of apps that are available, I felt compelled to share one image. It seems appropriate for multiple interpretations.

I adore mass transit: it’s efficiency of travel coupled with fewer cars on the road draw me to it. Please read a recent post where I talk more about this affinity. Click here.

In order to reach our destination in Lower Manhattan, we used two modes of public transportation: light rail and subway. Oh, and our feet did lots of work. Once in the city’s Penn Station we searched for the subway that would help us get closer to the bridge’s entrance.

As we stood waiting for the next R train to arrive, I did what comes natural to me: observe and watch. I’ve even discovered ways to be non-intrusive–ways to become part of the ambience and not impinge on someone’s space.

Suddenly a young woman hurriedly crossed in front of me. With a casual flare she leaned against one of the vertical support beams near the track.

As she stared in anticipation of the train’s arrival, my thoughts leaped to the universality of the moment. My iPhone ready (my DSLR on my back), I knew it was time for quick action.

In the Lens section are five images. The first four are renderings using the apps Glaze (#4) and FX Photo Studio (#1-3). The fifth is the original.

When I knew that I wanted to freeze that moment in time, instincts surfaced but so did very specific reasons for the scene’s enticements. Probably the most influential was the simplicity of the scene: the very nature of her physical confidence. She seemed a woman of bold choices. Mostly, it was the pose of the “wait.”

Since I’m always concerned about the privacy of others, the impetus for many photographs is a person’s anonymity. In this case the young woman stood fairly close with her back to me. That made it easy to take the shot.

Other influences that simultaneously compelled me: angles and lines of the track, the yellow warning, interaction of the colors, and the voyeur’s feet on the right. All-in-all the scene’s composition was packed with fascination and mystery.

I could watch passengers arriving and departing all day. It stirs my sense of wonder, imagining their stories: adventurous or mundane, repetitive or varied, stressed or tranquil.

Tip of the Week: During my decades of darkroom development I rarely did substantial editing. While that credo still applies, I do enjoy playing with the digital darkroom and its continuum of photo apps. While I remain true to the original, I am not hog-tied to it. Hence I do find the “play,” which comes with these chemical-free toys, charged with a new kind of visual language. I seem to stick with a few tried-and-true (i.e., FX Photo Studio and Glaze). But there are others sitting in the queue. I get ideas from Flipboard, which is a free “personalized” online magazine, and my nightly read before the lights are quieted. Flipboard displays images in a special iPhoneography section, and I am enticed to view each day’s gallery. Sometimes I’m intrigued to try this or that. Some disappoint, but it may be my cursory effort. I know that they have more to offer. I simply don’t go deep enough into their layers. Also I’ve noticed that many diehard app devotees use more than one photo app per image. I’ve never plunged into multiple usage. Experimentation is  on my agenda. I do recommend that you try the two that I used for this post. FX Photo Studio is especially versatile with its various choices of styles. If you have an iPhone, you can get them in the iTunes App Store. Here’s the link for the Photo and Video page. Do not be overwhelmed, it shows you the variety and a long list of choices. If you try the two that I recommended, let me know if you like one more than the other or both.

View others from this week’s challenge:

http://pictograf.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-editing-and-processing/

http://irenewaters19.com/2014/06/30/phoneography-challenge-identical/

http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-editing-and-processing-with-apps/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/know-it-all/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-editing-and-processing-with-various-apps-using-themes-from-the-fourth-week-still-life/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/phoneography-challenge-editing-with-apps/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/06/30/iphoneography-monday-6-30-14/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/phoneorgaphy-the-challenging-chalk-art-photography/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/phoneography-challenge-editing-dragon-fruit/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/06/30/bridge-phoneography-and-non-slr-devices-photo-challenge/

http://austindetails.me/2014/06/30/iphoneography-contrast/

http://walktheselftalk.com/2014/07/01/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/to-old-to-be-playing-with-my-food-yeah-right/

http://neomanu.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/phoneography-monday-processing/

http://talesfromthebackroad.com/phoneography-photo-challenge/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-photo-editing/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/weekly-photo-challenge-contrasts-a-frog-bridesmaids-and-a-bride/

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, Human Nature, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Photography, Street Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 78 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Travel to San Francisco

23 June 2014

Lens:

1. Urban Waterfall, San Francisco, California, iPhone 4s, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

2. Mission District, Valencia Street, San Francisco, California, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Mission District, Valencia Street, San Francisco, California, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

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

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

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

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

5. Street Life, San Francisco, California, iPhone 4s, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Street Life, San Francisco, California, iPhone 4s, Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

“As a child, yearning to leave home and go far away, the image in my mind was of flight – my little self hurrying off alone. The word “travel” did not occur to me nor did the word
“transformation,” which was my unspoken but enduring wish. I wanted to find a new self in a distant place, and new things 
to care about. The importance of elsewhere was something I took on faith. Elsewhere was the place I wanted to be”
~ Paul Theroux in “The Tao of Travel”

San Francisco startles one’s reality. It’s an urban center with a stellar reputation, which never ever disappoints. Many of the most sought-to-see cities have such depth to their inner and outer shells that it takes a lifetime to appreciate and experience their offerings.

This golden city pulses with such enthusiasm for its daily residents and visitors that energy whisks through the streets. Its urban culture has saturated the bones of  corners and turns. She seems to play with the life cycle, sharing examples of the depth and breath of humanity’s accomplishments, struggles and triumphs.

When I first walked the streets of San Francisco, I fell crushingly in love. She seeped into my veins and flowed into my heart. As I would later learn, she was already in my DNA.

After my dear uncle died, my mother began to take target practice at the family tree. Question upon question surfaced. I quickly grabbed the opportunity to ease her confusion, and learn more about our genealogy.

I knew a major portion of my maternal family tree was from Southern Germany, but I was unprepared for rich tales about their assimilation that began in the mid-1800s and continued into the twentieth century. While their acculturation is similar to many others’ experiences, during years of research I excavated details that spun complex story lines.

Their contributions to the economic and religious history of Baltimore, Maryland, began during America’s second wave of European immigration  (1820-1880). But they also played a role in the history of the West Coast’s  Gold Rush in California.

One of my great, great uncles was a member of the California Society of Pioneers (one of fifty Baltimoreans). His journey from Germany to the East Coast and two years later to San Francisco is one of courage, fortitude and perseverance.

As a forty-niner he went from mining camp to mining camp trying to economically and emotionally survive. He staked a claim in Columbia (California), became an entrepreneur in several mining camps, and used those experiences in a family clothing business upon his return to our newly-created homestead in Baltimore. As the era of the Gold Rush moved toward a halt, two other ancestors also came to San Francisco to try their luck panning gold throughout Northern California.

Even in the twenty-first century San Francisco is very much a symbol of the New Frontier: new ideas, new opportunities. For me this city is a testament to identity and memory. But it is also a place where the past accompanies the present and creates a new past in the present.

In the 1840s my ancestors became embedded in transnational migration. They left Europe for political, religious and social reasons. Many began the trek in their late teens, with their wanderlust helping to fortify them against the arduous journeys and tasks ahead of them.

While Battery Park in New York City was their entry point, eventually at least three relatives were lured by Gold Rush fever. At separate times each was greeted by the Golden Gate. San Francisco was a promise land that gave them less financially and more in personal metamorphosis.

Every visit to this golden city adds a special luster to my Northern California journals–journals that are colored with patinas of my own travel fever and just might be part of my family’s genealogical character. Or so I believe. Regardless the impetus, travel I must.

Tip of the Day: I enjoy reading about place and time through travel, and turn to some of the most noted authors for their travelogues. Paul Theroux’s publications cover over fifty years of travel writings. In The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road (2011) Theroux created a compendium that combines his own writings with philosophical quotes by other travelers. In The New York Times review (03 June 2011) Henry Shukman wrote: “More or less a commonplace book whose merit lies in its capacity to offer random delight rather than coherent argument, “The Tao of Travel” is as likely to land you with Pico Iyer as Emily Dickinson, Samuel Johnson as Bronislaw Malinowski. There are chapters on exotic meals (seal flipper, bear paw, adolescent human blood), travel ordeals, the English abroad, railways and imaginary travels.” Whether you enjoy travel by foot or any other mode of transportation, it’s worth the read.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://pictograf.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-objects/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-architecture/

http://neomanu.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/phoneography-monday-my-choice-food/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/phoneography-challenge-san-francisco-street-demonstrations/#respond

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/path/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/stairs-3-photos/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/phoneography-black-and-white-animals-and-plants/

http://uniquesochic.com/2014/06/23/jazzy-portrait-painting/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/phoneography-and-sunday-stills-urban-landscape/

http://walktheselftalk.com/2014/06/23/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-objects-2/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/06/23/iphoneography-monday-6-23-14/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/06/23/iridescent-bush-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-travel/

http://19planets.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/selfie-night-014-june-2014-haiga-and-haibun-for-phoneography-monday-portraiture-choice/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-travel-2/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/dreaming-away-the-midwinter-blues/

Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of my blog. Click here and here to view recent posts also about my travels to Northern California.

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