Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (and White Lily at Longwood Gardens)

08 February 2016

Lens:

I. Taken with Camera+

1. Lilium longiflorum 'White Heaven' Flower, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. White Lily, Lilium longiflorum ‘White Heaven,’ Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken with Camera+ and Snapseed

2. White Lily, Lilium longiflorum 'White Heaven,' Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. White Lily, Lilium longiflorum ‘White Heaven,’ Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know which you prefer. Click on image to enlarge, which takes you to another page. If you decide to leave a comment, please return to this page.

Pens:

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”                                ― The Secret Garden

Ode to White Lily:

Trace the lines of spiritual revelation. Glance silence. Brush sensation. Move inward.

Racing heart, sees brilliance. Determining a forever journey.

Notice. Be attentive. While piercing the actual, plunge into the possible.                              ~~ Sally W. Donatello

In the Lens section are my interpretations of the white lily–a lily often seen at the world-renown Longwood Gardens. Recently, on a blustery and wintry day that kept most people inside, my grandson and I were in our element strolling through the horticultural center’s conservatory.

The staff was busily preparing for the Orchid Extravaganza, which now fills their exhibition spaces. Orchids are seen in every imaginable way, including orbs that hang overhead and court attention. If you are traveling to the area (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, USA), the extravaganza runs until 27 March. Click here for to go the  gardens’ homepage.

I found myself charged with showing the white lily’s audacious interior. The center of its blooms are notoriously simple, and yet eloquently expressive. They are on constant duty to lure small creatures and humans to help spread their self-worth. I’ve posted two versions. The second has less detail and is a bit more abstract, but nevertheless recognizable.

Tip of the Day:

It’s macro week, which asks us to accomplish one of the most challenging feats for a Smartphone. There are so many hints to help accomplish those close-up and details usually not noticed by the naked eye. “We’re” told: not to use the zoom, be aware of lighting, use a tripod, get an add-on lens, and more. I found an article that summarizes suggestions to create an acceptable macro image, but it also has additional information that can be helpful. Jack Hollingworth’s How to Shoot Close-Up and Macro Photography with Your iPhone (2014) is worth the perusal (click here to view it). Hollingsworth’s gives a wealth of ideas to inspire your journey into macro photography. His points can be adapted to any Smartphone. Hope that you visit his site.

Jack Hollingsworth, How to Shoot Close-Up and Nacro Photography with YOur iPhone, 2014

Jack Hollingsworth, “How to Shoot Close-Up and Macro Photography with Your iPhone,” 2014

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-sex

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-embroidery/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challengemacro-pop/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/quince-for-sally-ds-macro-challenge/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2016/02/09/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-alstroemeria/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-soft-snow/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

 

Posted in Abstraction, Art, Inspiration, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (and a Seasonal Legacy)

01 February 2016

Lens:

I. Taken in Hipstamatic and processed in Snapseed:

1. Dried Reddish-Purple Stock; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Dried Purple-Red Stock; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken in Hipstamatic and processed in Snapseed:

2. Dried Reddish-Purple Stock; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Dried Purple-Red Stock; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know which you prefer. Click on image to enlarge, which takes you to another page. If you decide to leave a comment, please return to this page.

Pens:

Autumn’s final appearance is the culmination of its performance as well as the accumulation of spring and summer’s legacies. My gardens are overjoyed with the presence of mostly native plants—plants that convey the courage, mysteries, tenacity, and triumphs of Mother Nature’s progeny in my area of the universe. But I also have some other varieties that are foreign to it. Still, I work to recreate the wild of old in the present.

At the end of autumn I energetically observe flowers in their last hurrah, and leave some for the wildlife to enjoy. Others are brought inside to strut a new kind of eloquence. It’s a ritual that gives me such pleasure. To watch a flower in its best form, and then observe its gradual redefinition, is an even more intriguing path to follow.

Flowers and leaves may seem at their pinnacle in their initial blooming, but they have much to offer throughout their entire seasonal days and nights. Sometimes the last stage of existence becomes a most glorious visual display.

While the burst of coloration and other characteristics are a reason for praise, the lingering “spent” flowers and leaves may be another sort of lasting memory. While goldfinches pluck seeds of coneflowers, other leftover flowerheads are fanciful actors for the winter garden.

Some end of season annuals and perennials become burdened with weathering and fading into the background. Still, I find magic in their presence. And their next life becomes fodder for my compost bin to enrich next year’s crops.

It’s always surprising to watch glacial changes in the flowers brought inside to dry. Weeks of slow dehydration take away some of their charm, but rewards often are curious and even staggeringly unforeseen.

In the Lens section is an example of the results of a specimen of purple-red stock that enjoyed many weeks of sunning this past summer. In their dried state they lost much of their purplish hues, and found new bursts of red that appealed to me.

My thoughts raced to their painterly quality, to that place where the real is given an impressionistic interpretation. But also where the real stays in the past, and is replaced with a new yet discernible reality.

True, I did help Mother Nature with a bit of post processing. Nevertheless, a new appreciation can be given to an annual that now will continue to spread its legacy of delicate beauty and gentle eloquence, at least to me.

Tip of the Week:

My devotion to nature is a daily exercise in its literal and figurative forms. My stroll through printed books and online sources provides a myriad of information and news about the natural wonders of the planet. Last week I learned about Peter Wohlleben, who is a forest ranger in Hümmel, Germany, and now a celebrated writer who brings his enthusiasm about nature to the mainstream. In the article, “German Forest Ranger Finds That Trees Have Social Networks, Too” (29 January 2016 by Sally McGrane, The New York Times, click here to view it), I was intrigued by Wohlleben’s mission is to inform the general public about the mysteries and surprises that accompany life in the forest. His nonfiction approach tells the story of the social life of the trees. A huge success in Germany, his book will be published in English this year. Here is a sample from the article:

“PRESENTING scientific research and his own observations in highly anthropomorphic terms, the matter-of-fact Mr. Wohlleben has delighted readers and talk-show audiences alike with the news — long known to biologists — that trees in the forest are social beings. They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.”

******Just discovered that his book can be pre-ordered ($14.97, what a deal) on Amazon. Click here for the link.

PETER WOHLLEBEN

PETER WOHLLEBEN

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/sallys-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-not-a-leapling/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2016/02/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-natures-triumph-despite-the-odds/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-artistic-poppies/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-the-gifts-of-nature/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/nature-though-a-different-lens-for-sally-ds-monday-challenge/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/nature-confined/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-3/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/mobile-photography-nature-and-mono-madness-curve/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-2/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/weeds-of-life/

https://christinejrandall.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/butterfly-ocybadistes-walkeri-sothis/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Sally’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (Abstraction at Longwood Gardens) (On Another Note, Exasperation Revealed)

25 January 2016

Lens:

Traveler's Tree Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Traveler’s Tree Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Traveler's Tree Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Traveler’s Tree Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know which you prefer. Click on image to enlarge, which takes you to another page. If you decide to leave a comment, please return to this page.

Pens:

The use of the word almost infuriates me, but I’ll settle for exasperation. Truthfully, I revere and savor the human animal’s ability to compose, orchestrate and weave a tapestry of written communication. That fluidity of language is part of my fondness. Words often are resurrected, twisted to become something new, become stars in the culture, live another life as part of the vernacular, and slowly or speedily enter the linguistic arena.

Today’s online world is very much influenced by the stir of language’s invention and re-invention. That word that pierces me as though a razor is moved with tenacity across a surface is curate (curated, curation, curator, curating). It sears my soul.

For many years I was involved in the visual arts as an administrator, artist, collector, curator, editor, educator, gallery director, researcher, student, and writer. For decades I juggled those various roles and continue some today, which makes me a participant and observer in the art of the twentieth and twenty-first century. My time as a curator was a particularly labor intensive and deeply rewarding experience.

So you can imagine my dismay that curator has become so much less than it was. Not only is there a watering of its meaning, but its usage has become overly excessive (almost losing its meaning). Recently, while reading The New York Times, I thought about this irritation and how long the word has been creeping into the popular culture with its new definition.

Nowadays the use of curate can refer to content curation, news aggregation, video curation, curation of social content. The word has reached the status of a cliché or jargon or media speak or even self-proclaimed moniker.

I researched the word’s etymology, and I found some distance. Its history begins in Ancient Rome, where civil servants were called curatores. Its meaning morphed into spiritual guide in the late fourteenth century. Then in the twentieth century a curator became a person who worked in museums to arrange and organize exhibitions. By the first decade of the twenty-first century with the waning of print journalism, the rise of online blogging begins a quick trajectory. Then the phrase “journalist as curator” emerged (first used in 2009 by Jeff Jarvis). From there it was adopted in many fields with the phrase “content curators.” Now it appears regularly. For example, The New York Times uses “curated by” in reference to the content of their online store. REALLY!!!!

(Note: I am a devoted reader of the Times. It has been my newspaper and cultural icon of choice since I was a junior in high school, and that is a VERY long time ago. On only a handful of occasions I have missed a Sunday, but that was only due to travel and locations. Literally, I must page through the Sunday edition. But no longer read the weekly print paper, reading the digital version.)

So curate and its variations has become oversimplified with its excessive appearance across the online landscape. It’s used haphazardly to create a professional ambiance, when mostly it is not there.

During my years as a gallery director, I curated many exhibitions of graduate art students and professionals as well as art faculty. Each exhibition took inordinate hours, days, months and even years to develop, organize and implement. The juxtaposition of the work against the act of curation and the actual exhibit is far more work intensive than is realized by the viewer.

So when I read that this person and that person or this commercial or that blog says: “curated by” or “guest curator,” I am bemused and nonplussed. Maybe I’m overly sensitive, but it has gotten in my crawl, so to speak. I seem to be perfectly fine with other reinvented, reused and newly-coined words. But this one has grabbed me in a way that I must let go. And, of course, there are others.

In the Lens section is an image taken last week at Longwood Gardens, an internationally-recognized horticultural center that I frequent. My grandson accompanied me, and each of us were fascinated by abstractions that seemed to appear.

No curation, no tactical effort, simply we meandered in a place that we have visited together for years. We just flowed with the spaces and enjoyed that we were two of few on a blustery winter’s day. We didn’t care. The conservatory embraced our visit with scores of nature’s abstract and transcendent beauties.

Tip of the Week:

On occasion I enjoy sharing upcoming exhibitions, not only for their content, but because some offer an opportunity to submit photographic works. Since abstraction was my theme for Challenger’s Choice this week, I wanted to introduce you to a juried exhibition whose theme is the abstract photograph. Held at the Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs (NVACC), the center is a nineteen-year-old organization created by Joseph Miller, Dave Carter and Ed Funk. It’s meant to promote communication and cooperation among area camera clubs. Their annual abstract exhibition is in its sixth year. From their website:

“Since May 2011 when the First Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Photography Exhibit was held, this yearly artistic exposition has continued to grow in popularity as well as success, and in the process, has become the premier Spring event in the greater photographic community. The Fifth Annual Exhibit received a total of 469 submissions from 115 photographers representing 10 NVACC clubs and its affiliates, along with additional entries from non-affiliated photographers across the United States. The 2015 Joseph Miller Exhibit once again displayed a dazzling variety of talent, skill, creativity and imagination in photographic artistry, and continues to stand as a testament to an ever-increasing interest in and love of abstract photography due in large part to the efforts of its founder and namesake.”

Deadline for submissions is Friday, 26 February 2016. There is a $25.00 entry fee. Click here to go to their site, and get more information. Exhibition dates are 07 May-30 May, 2016.

Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs

Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-a-woolly-bear/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2016/01/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-black-and-white-amor/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/01/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-4/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/sallys-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-architecture/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/sallys-mobile-photography-challenge-at-the-supermarket/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/smart-phone-photography-monday-challenge-people/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-the-comfort-of-the-creek/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/mobile-photo-and-weekly-photo-challenge-optimistic/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/finding-wonder/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-abstract/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Abstraction, Art, Inspiration, Language, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Popular Culture, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (and Nature)

18 January 2016

Lens:

1. White Clay Creek Panorama; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. White Clay Creek Panorama; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know your response to this panorama of trees. Click on image to enlarge, which takes you to another page. If you decide to leave a comment, please return to this page.

Pens:

Photography, which is one of humanity’s  most ingenious inventions, changed the world of art and reality. Painting, for example, had been a source to record what we experienced, remembered and saw. But that early black-and-white stilled frame set a trajectory that not only changed art history, but virtually every form of human interaction from culture to science.

The evolution of the photographic image has gone through many iterations. Today we are privy to the most extraordinary opportunities to create traditional and non-traditional prints. The digital darkroom is a world of infinite creativity. We can express exactly what we see or our impressions of that visual landscape. While using some similar tools as chemical darkroom processing, image makers can choose to safely play digitally with reality.

In early December as autumnal change in light patterns were more and more evident, I ventured to the White Clay Creek—a preserve of substantial natural wonders that is  protected state land. I wanted to meditate with the season’s profusion of leafless trees and flowing waters. I also intended to practice with the panorama feature of my iPhone.

More than two hours had passed, and my meanderings shifted back and forth in my mind. The glow of the afternoon light was dramatic and almost palpable. It gave me pause to be able to witness such luminance amidst wild yet quietly serene splendor.

In the Lens section is an image that captures a panorama of trees that line the banks of the White Clay Creek in Delaware. This location (just five minutes from my home) is part of an expansive system that is available to me. It sweeps through acres of parkland that is home to a myriad of wildlife. It spans the tri-state area (Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania), and one can walk days and not finish exploring.

My mission was to show the effects that these untamed lands offer. And so, I gave the original image a more ephemeral, and, at the same time, ethereal patina. This  version of what I “saw” exemplifies the tenuous state of Mother Earth. But it also verifies her abundant force and influence, circling my thoughts as I move through each day.

To wander the evergreen tapestry of the wild is to experience a sublime level of understanding about what is available to us. When venturing into nature’s expanse, what unfolds continually humbles me, rewards me, astonishes me.

Tip of the Week:

“The best in nature photography…records both the object and its setting. It arrests, in its normal surroundings, some form of its life, portraying it in a characteristic moment of its existence. Such pictures possess emotional as well as intellectual impact.” Edwin Way Teale, Photographs of American Nature (1972)

One of the twentieth century’s renown literary naturalist was Edwin Way Teale (1899-1980). He wrote seminal books about American nature. Autumn Across America (1956) is one of his four books devoted to the four seasons. He was an award-winning photographer, scientist and writer, receiving the John Burroughs Metal in 1953 and the Pulitzer Prize in 1966. Read more about Teale here.

Naturalist Edwin Way Teale, from archives at the University of Connecticut

Naturalist Edwin Way Teale, from archives at the University of Connecticut

View other entries to this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-whoo-are-you/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/01/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-sidewalk-succulent/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/nearly-black-and-white-for-sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/sallys-mobile-photography-challenge-black-white-shoes/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-n-white-snow-top/

https://seraireland.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challengelife-in-black-and-white/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/mobile-photography-bw-and-wpc-alphabet/

https://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-3/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/simple-joys-simple-steps-to-dreams/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/engineering-humanity-into-nature/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2016/01/24/dusk-3/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, 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, Human Nature, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (A Single Geranium Leaf as Nature’s Gift)

11 January 2016

Lens:

I. Photographed on Day One

1. Dried Geranium Leaf; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Dried Geranium Leaf; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Photographed a Week Later Accompanied by a Small Fragment of its Former Self

2. Underside of a Dried Geranium Leaf; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Underside of a Dried Geranium Leaf; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know which you prefer and why. Click unto the image to enlarge. If you decide to comment, please return to this page.

Pens:

Out of clutter, find simplicity.

From discord, find harmony.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

~~ Einstein

In my mind’s search for an image to display macro characteristics, I gazed upon a recent discovery in potted geraniums from last season: a tiny leaf (measuring one and a quarter-inch long) that had moved toward its final phases. As I often do, I carefully brought its body inside to observe its transformation.

Days escaped from its shape and it became the most captivating architectural form: a curled womb-like cocoon that showed autumnal colors, delicate and lightly textured. I could not decide which view–front side or underneath–drew me closer and closer, because each had its eye-catching qualities.

Irresistible effects are seen as a leaf looses its original shape. Its final resting is pronounced with a new eloquence and sophistication. This altered configuration easily garnered my appreciation and attention. It also is a signpost of nature’s nourishment for renewal: a single leaf that decomposes and returns nutrients to the earth as well as forecasts rejuvenation of Mother Nature’s offerings.

Those aspects of nature are the tip of various elements that pull me into her magic. The symbiosis between the waving of Mother Nature’s wand and the mimicking of human nature’s hand enters my thoughts. We work to emulate her gifts. We work to understand our integration into her presence–a presence that encircles most of our lives.

Frequently, my respect for nature’s abundant majesty finds me nonplussed at the smallest and grandest examples of her glory (and all that’s runs across the continuum of its omnipresence). Sometimes the simplest and tiniest can bring the most startling of pleasures. The one geranium leaf is such a profound reward; the geranium leaf is such a sweet notification of all that is possible and true.

Tip of the Week:

As I was creating the above short essay, I decided to show an example of how nature influences our creativity. Austrian architect Nikolay Hristov Ivanov finds nature the quintessential role model. His work can be characterized as sustainable contemporary designs. For example, he uses the complex structure of a leaf as the spark to make a Phyllon LED lamp. His computer-simulated creations use natural patterns to create micro climates. They are breathtakingly intriguing and inventive. Click here to read more about this sample of his work.

Phyllon Lamp, 2012, by Nikolay Hristov Ivanov

Phyllon Lamp, 2012, by Nikolay Hristov Ivanov

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-almost-spent/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-3/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2016/01/11/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-hippeastrum-macro/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macros-in-oils

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/other-worldly-images-for-sally-ds-macro-photo-challenge/

https://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Art, Black-and-White Photography, Inspiration, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (and People and Places)

04 January 2016

Lens:

  1. Snapseed and Photo Studio
1. Reaching for the New Year; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Reaching for the New Year; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Snapseed and FX Photo Studio

2. Reaching for the New Year; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Reaching for the New Year; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know which you prefer and why. Click onto the photograph to enlarge. If you decide to leave a comment, please return to this page.

Pens:

Inherently, the introduction of a new year boasts many levels of possibilities. Reflection can be found pumping through the veins. At the same time in my part of the world color has receded; grey days seem to have been more than sun-filled.

Dormancy revives itself. Monochromatic vistas are more prevalent. The angle of the sun trickles light in winter’s shadow. The landscape has less uprising, less come and see me. Panoramas need to be re-created within these alterations.

During an early morning walk in a local park last week, there stood a grouping of trees that seemed to be reaching into the New Year with profound presence. They had a dignity that evoked standard bearers of the land and the sky. Immediately, they reminded me of urban skyscrapers that look upward and move through prisms of day and night.

In the Lens section is an image of two of those trees. It has been processed two ways. The original design of the two side-by-side trees evoked a heavenly reach—a reach that has inspiration textured in its façade. The duo uplifted my spirits.

I followed the tree trunks as their length increased.  At the top they easily had views that I wanted. I imagined their enthusiasm was still pulsing. They had me knowing that they are daily witnesses to Mother Nature ‘s sorcery.

Within the time span of the seeing and the interpretation, there was a stillness of thought. These champions of all that surrounds them (people, pond, recreational area, and acres of parkland) provided a sense of coherence. They fit easily into the direction of my photography where I hope to create an ongoing series of images that illustrate the intersection of people, places and nature. That confluence exists and is in constant flux across the land we inhabit.

This first post of the New Year accomplishes this mission. While future posts may not hit the mark, I will try.

As natural and urban skyscrapers witness connections about the world that swirls around them, my steppingstones also are people, places and nature. They are my steppingstones to tell their stories through images and words.

Tip of the Week:

Design and form are very much part of the space where nature meets the human condition and vice versus. I was curious if others used that connection between nature’s skyscrapers and architectural ones. What joy to find the following: “If Our Skyscrapers were Trees and our Cities were Forests.” The OAS1S Project has been developed to: “bring nature into cities in an innovative way and imagines that these woodlands can be built within cities and their surrounding areas.” Raimond de Hullu, who is a Dutch architect, has created a concept that astounds and has elements that are needed to reduce the human footprint. It’s a city woodland. Each home consists of a treehouse-like structure that has modern luxury, energy and water-efficiency, and is surrounded by greenery. To view this innovative concept, click here. I’m hopeful that there will be a prototype some day soon.

OAS1S

OAS1S

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-still-life-with-egg-case/

http://steve-says.net/2016/01/04/mother-nature-can-be-a-two-faced-bitch-sometimes/

http://roamingurbangypsy.com/2016/01/04/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-pakowahi-park

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-winter-street/

http://debs-world.com/2016/01/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-a-baby-blue-tongue/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/wpc-circle/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-and-people-and-places/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/mobile-photography-nature-and-flower-collections/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/raging-waters/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/nature-big-and-small/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2016/01/10/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-invincible-summer/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, 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, Human Nature, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (2015 and Self-Evaluation)

28 December 2015

Lens:

2. Autumn Foliage Sanctuary; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Autumn Foliage Sanctuary; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Whitney Sculpture Rooftop; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Whitney Sculpture Rooftop; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Afternoon Refraction, ; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Afternoon Refraction, ; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Paperweight; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Paperweight; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. "Queen of the Night Tulip; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. “Queen of the Night Tulip; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Pansy; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

6. Pansy; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

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

7. Gerber Daisy; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Budding Magnolia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

8. Budding Magnolia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Freedom Tower, Lower Manhattan; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

9. Freedom Tower, Lower Manhattan; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Nightscape, New York City; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

10. Nightscape, New York City; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which of these photographs (in no particular order) from 2015 is your favorite. Click onto each image to enlarge. If you decide to leave a comment, please do it from the Homepage.

Pens:

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”. – Buddha

There is an overwhelming need to push inward, the tail of 2015 is responsible and standing in repose, knowing farewell is imminent. That presence seats my emotional thoughts. Words avoid my tongue, and stay inward where they jostle for permanence and recognition. They prompt action, encouraging a review of my images from the last year; it’s a worthy journey.

I’m the critic’s critic of my own work; I have a VERY difficult time knowing when to curtail the process. Self-evaluation is serious stuff. I decide to view the entire year’s posts, selecting images that meet my standard. It’s a tough exercise.

Not much seems to be what I thought it was. Still, I choose ten photographs that for various aesthetics and other reasons meet some criteria—criteria that mixes this and that and much intuition. But it’s mostly subjectivity about my own photographs and their storytelling.

The present secludes the past and prepares for the future. Most importantly, the present presides over where I am and need to be. No wonder the images of almost yesteryear need to have another glance, and then rest in the past.

I angle my view of the collection in the Lens section, and see the link between architecture, nature, black-and-white photography, and urban culture. But it’s really about the juxtaposition of nature to human nature. That’s my personal philosophical viewpoint; that’s where I reside, places where I find peace and solace but also provocation.

I am forever moving along a continuum toward discovery where a crossover between the creativity process, reality and vision blur and occur. It’s an ongoing journey and one that I fully embrace. It’s my effort to find my voice and at times infuse that voice.

Photography uses its visual language to appeal to our sense of humanity, place and time. Its aesthetics are crucial, but the story must burst out of the frame and grab the viewer.

Please tell me which of those photographs you enjoy the most. Truly, I learn from your eye and interpretation, and I will continue to do so. I value your opinion.

See you in 2016. See you as hope cascades through my spirit, longing for a better day, every day.

Tip of the Week:

My ongoing love affair with street photography continues to hold its grasp upon me. As I viewed The New York Times’ annual “The Year in Pictures,” it seemed an apt series to share with you. Many of them are taken in the streets around the world, and show why this form of photography is necessary to archive the human condition. This year has been a treasure trove of stories that will not be forgotten and many will straddle 2016 and beyond. Click here to view this year’s most poignant and startling images that show visually the stories of 2015.

"Equal Dignity," The New York Times, 27 June 2015

“Equal Dignity,” The New York Times, 27 June 2015

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-street-art-in-the-subway/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/acorns-of-2015/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-head-in-the-clouds/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-yesterday-is-gone/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-a-recap-of-2015/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/12/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-shades-of-finn

http://roamingurbangypsy.com/2015/12/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choicecan-do-street-art-in-the-subway/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-looking-back-on-the-year 

https://inthezone2001.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/2015inreview/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/my-iphotography-year-in-review/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, 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, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Street Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (with Architecture and the Freedom Tower)

21 December 2015

Lens:

Freedom Tower, Lower Manhattan; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Freedom Tower, Lower Manhattan; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know what you think about this black-and-white image of the iconic Freedom Tower found in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Click on image to enlarge.

****Please go back to the Homepage to make a comment. I’ve noticed that if you comment on the enlarged image, it does not appear on the Homepage. Thanks.****

Pens:

One of the main features of an extraordinary public building is the inevitable symbolism that it amasses. Without question New York City’s Freedom Tower instantly became a place for people to collect dreams of present and future. Its giant structure is a tour de force of design in the age of spectacular architectural feats. It has taken its coveted spot and rightfully.

As I travel through the city’s above-ground spaces, I noticed its visible from many, many vantage points. That tower stands with such dignity that it is hard not to be pleased at pervasive sightings.

This stellar example of human creativity and historic significance keeps watch over the Hudson River and so much more, welcoming everyone to Lower Manhattan and cooing from its public space far and wide. Its attraction is multi-faceted and no matter how many times that I view it, I surrender to its magnificence.

It’s important to see it at all times of day and night. Each tick of the clock brings new ways to appreciate its design and even graphic quality. It’s more than a quintessential skyscraper; it is an edifice to the city that represents the melting pot that is America.

As we meandered to Battery Park with the tower on our left, it provides an introduction to the advocacy by residents, city officials and volunteers to create green public spaces. The tower is witness to the way urbanism and nature can coexist.

In the Lens section is one of my favorite captures of this masterful structure. There was no doubt in my mind that the image had to be converted to black and white. In the conversion I inverted the negative and positive to fully emphasize angles, lines, shadows, shapes, and tones.

Happy winter holidays and thank you for your visit. Dream big for the New Year, wishes really can become reality. See you next week for the last challenge of the year.

Tip of the Week:

Recently, I discovered the work of Joel Tjintjelaar, who lives in the Netherlands and is a fine art photographer, specializing in black-and-white architecture. His aesthetic and creativity clearly are evident in his attention to composition and design of his subjects. Here are some quotes to explain aspects of his artistic vision.

“The human eyes see depth and volumes in a far more advanced way than any camera could. My artistic mind adds to my personal interpretation of a scene. The result is something I can only create in post-production.”

“The light in my architectural photographs is rendered in a specific way, muted or enhanced, for a dramatic effect to emphasize its importance, to enhance lines and patterns, to decrease or increase volumes, spaces and contrasts.”

“The ultimate goal is to reveal the essence, the soul of the architectural structure, by leaving out anything that doesn’t add to this essence.”

“The further the artist moves away from reality, the more unique the result is, the more it represents his personal vision and the closer we get to experience the essence of that artist.”

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar

Click here to read an interview with Tjintjelaar, and see additional examples of his work.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-lights/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/12/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-white/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-from-a-galaxy-far-far-away/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/black-and-white-gifts-of-the-season-for-sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/12/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-4/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-going-abstract/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/step-away-from-the-mayhem-if-only-for-a-while/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Architecture, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Photography, Street Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (and Refractions in the Time of Uncertainty)

14 December 2015

Lens:

I. Post Processed in Snapped and Distressed FX

1. Afternoon Refraction, ; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Afternoon Refraction, ; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Post Processed in Snapseed and FX Photo Studio

2. Afternoon Refraction; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Afternoon Refraction; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

“There’s a quiet assurance that the world is a wonderful place,” he concluded. “I tell people very often, if you look at a tree and you’re not joyous, it’s not the world’s fault. It’s your fault.” Louis Sterner (b. 1922, American photographer)

Even while Mother Nature continues to be the high roller, humans are placing filters over nature’s triumphant presence. And so I must absorb the results of the finale of the climate talks and react slowly, hoping that the quest for the greater good will  be realized.

Various layers of these human-induced filters explain the way we are affecting the planet: building barriers and introducing forces that are detrimental. These veils of the unwanted pollute us emotionally and physically.

In the Lens section are two images that inspired this post. These refractions are part of an ongoing fascination that I have trying to make sense of  the ephemeral vs. the visual effect they produce.

I gaze upon them and second upon second passes, and they become another illusion, elevating a new shape, easing forward and yet moving toward nothingness. As they float across the wall, they remind me that nature becomes a promise—a promise that tomorrow some other miracle of light will perform for me. But that promise will only occur with the sun’s presence. Regardless, the magic is palpable, and keeps pumping me with a reality within the illusion.

We create ideas and language to represent human construct. And still the refraction exists as a symbol of nature’s way with us. While they represent these symbols, refractions remain nature’s reinvention each and every day. The abstraction of a single one acts as a metaphor for human invention that has infiltrated the heart of nature.

When I spy them, their entertainment is only part of their allure. They are prevalent now, because the lower angle of the sun allows them to enter my physical space. Even in their slight resemblance to yesterday’s, they were unique on that day, cunning in their own display.

While they are posted in the order of their appearance, the two images donned my wall within seconds of each other. As I pondered the comparison of these natural wonders to the fractured world of our planet, I began to play with various filters–a representation of the real world within the source of light–a necessary key to our existence–that is on a constant move to be some place.

The final images are playful, images of hope that provoke feelings of floating and lightness. Those sensations are human emotions that can elicit other responses, just as refractions do for me. Still, the images also can be left for the viewer to interpret a completely different variation of the weightiness of being.

In these uncertain times a moment that is stilled by a wonder of nature can give pause for what is most important. But it also focuses attention on the constancy of nature to elevate the moment, and thus my life.

Tip of the Week:

“Still photographs often differ from life more by their silence than by the immobility of their subjects. Landscape pictures tend to converge with life, however, on summer nights, when the sounds outside, after we call in children and close garage doors, are small – the whir of moths, the snap of a stick.”
Robert Adams

Many photographers are particularly attuned to the magic hours of a light-filled day. These golden hours are synchronized by the sunrise and sunset. Recently, I came across a book, Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour (2006), that you might want to read. Based on an exhibition by the same name, Martin Barnes and Kate Best, curators for the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, show the works of eight photographers whose photographs reveal the possibilities about this time that marches toward the inevitable dark of night. Part of the curators’ goal was to emphasize how photography had become more of an art for storytelling than for the archive of the documentary. From the exhibition and book here is an example by Robert Adams (b. 1937, American photographer):

"Summer Night," Robert Adams

“Summer Night,” Longmont, Colorado, ca, 1979, Robert Adams

Click here to read a review from The Guardian about the 2006 exhibition.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/wildflower-surprises/

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-magical-milkweed/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/12/14/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-5/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-frothy-impressions/

https://carolisle.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/getting-close-to-christmas-flowers/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-25-cents-to-a-dollar/

https://blackbodyblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/red-pierrot/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/its-almost-christmas/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/trying-to-focus-my-imagination/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Abstraction, Art, Human Nature, Inspiration, Macro Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (and Human Nature Inextricably Bound in Lower Manhattan)

07 December 2015

Lens:

1. Into the Light;Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Irish Hunger Memorial Project, Brian Tolle, 2002; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Into the Light;Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Irish Hunger Memorial Project, Brian Tolle, 2002; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

“The living world can be seen as a network of interlocking fields of replicator power.” ~~ Richard Dawkins in Unweaving the Rainbow (1998).

My world view has been embedded with a distinct philosophy about how nature and human nature are inextricably linked. I’ve been this way all my adult life: many decades of   sunrises and sunsets.

“We” are possessed by the desire to put them–nature and human nature–in their own category. When, in fact, they are one. But humans are the perpetrators of communication through language: spoken and written forms. My orientation is a visual one, symbolism through images and words, again, sort of one and the same.

In the above quote Dawkins is referring to art and science, which is very much the confluence of photography and nature. It’s a duo that motivates me to see my immediate world and beyond as the juxtaposition of living creatures as a source of inspiration and wonder.

While human ingenuity and innovation have brought us to a miraculous juncture in our history, we certainly are perfectly imperfect on this universal journey. So I want to show this interface between our world that spins around nature and human nature.

In my small corner of the planet I am on the search for images that transpose what we see into a story about this crucial bond–a bond on a delicate precipice. I am not a doomsday kind of person. I have enduring hope that the trajectory of our planet’s ills will be slowed, even reduced considerably. It must be. It has to be.

While we are living in complex times with many uncertainties, the one that we can actually work to improve is environmental consequences–seen and unforeseen–of human’s continuous interplay with nature. Often this interaction is at the detriment to the entire planet.

Okay, so these are ethical, moral, political, and scientific issues that are legacies of the human condition. Can we turn the tides and move toward a healthier Earth? Only involvement and time will tell.

I’m choosing to soothe my soul through my lens and pens. I invite you to join me. Or comment on my journey. I’m not sure where it will lead, but this post is an example of my path forward and melds with some previous ones.

Part of my vision is to take street life and above-ground archaeology and show how nature is very necessary in the urban environment: how pockets of green can help sustain our relationship with this spinning planet that gives us life. And in this effort show progress and hope.

In the Lens section is an example of the interconnection of nature and human nature. New York City has turned itself into a center of green streets, renewal of the land, newly-planted trees, engaging waterfronts, and parks aplenty. The New York Restoration Program is a prime example of the work being done–work that has created among other successes 52 community gardens. By 2014 NYC had developed 109 acres of new parkland.

When I took these images of portions of Brian Tolle’s 2002 “Irish Hunger Memorial Project” in Battery Park, (through a City Parks Conservancy Art Program), I was drawn into its narrative as we walked from the dark into the light–light that showed a vista of people, trees, parkland, and the Hudson River. This scene evoked the way cities can provide public spaces and moments of nature in our consumer-driven and technological society.

This site-specific work of art reminds me of the earthworks of 1960s and 1970s , which were made by such luminaries as Michael Heizer, Walter De Maria and Robert Smithson.  Brian Tolle created the monument (96′ x 170′) to memorialize Ireland’s Great Famine as well as make a statement about today’s world hunger. The text that runs along the walls blends the history of the famine with modern reports on hunger throughout the world. As nature and human nature evolve over time, this work will too. Text will change (notice the layers of water that have added a patina over the letters) and the earth and stone that support the monument will be modified through outside paths of grass.

3. The Wall, Hunger Memorial, 2002; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

3. Irish Memorial Hunger Memorial, Brian Tolle, 2002; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

As I thought more about this artwork and its location by the waterfront in Lower Manhattan, the idea of its significance grew and grew. It is a quintessential example of how adaptation and confluence of ideas, human history and Mother Nature can be part of urban life.

The “living breathing” memorial with its concise yet poignant language and visual interpretation of history transmits an emotional response about the intersection of nature and human nature. On one very small piece of our planet an artist has given us a natural wonder that provokes thought about how today’s human toil from climate change effects Mother earth.

In Manhattan you can find such inspiration in a tiny park or on a main street. The greening of this urban center is impressive. And the other four boroughs are doing their job too.

Humans are still pioneers on this planet, and we must come together for the greater good to sustain our journey. And in the doing–even a small contribution–we begin to  understand how deeply and thoroughly we rely on nature to coexist and exist: how we are inextricably bound.

Tip of the Week:

American photographer Mitch Epstein’s New York Arbor (2013) devotes this volume to the staggering number of trees that line parks and street of the most extraordinary of urban centers. It’s an apt example of the greening of cities and how important this effort is to the health of our entire planet. Epstein gives each tree special attention, never sublimating its beauty and importance to its surroundings. Spectacular trees represent each of the five boroughs. He wrote, “These immigrant trees, along native counterparts, still thrive in New York City. The trees remind me of the human immigrants who continually arrive in New York, who creatively adapt to a brutal yet tolerant city, and rarely abandon their original character.” To read more about this book, click here.

Mitch Epstein's New York Arbor, 2013

Mitch Epstein’s New York Arbor, 2013

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-a-drop-of-color/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/frogs-and-turtles-teach-us-life-and-love/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-message-on-the-beach/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-alien-fungi/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/the-nature-of-light-for-sally-ds-mobile-photo-challenge/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/mobile-photography-and-mono-madness-2-32/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/12/08/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-and-man/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/invading-my-dreams/

Note:

As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, 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, Human Nature, Inspiration, Land Art, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Street Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments