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

06 July 2015

Lens:

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

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

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

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

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

Pens:

This summer will be noted for its abundance–abundance that emanates from the lush plenty in my small corner of the world. We are not the only place to witness this profusion. Mother Nature has given us a spring and summer of riches: rain and rain and more rain. Especially in the last few weeks almost daily there have been sprinkles, showers or storms. They keep on thriving, just as the landscape are filled with hues of greenery and lots and lots of wild flowers, known in the vernacular as weeds. I cannot recall such an onslaught of wild things. But I do not complain, and simply do my best to control the plethora.

After all, weeds galore are not the worse problems this season can bring. Usually we are in the midst of heat, humidity and little rain that takes serious adjustment physically and psychologically. These spikes in temps and lack of rain also has different effects on the landscape.

With a tip of my garden hat, I’ve hardly had to water my gardens. This scenario is foreign and takes a bit of mental strategy. We’re usually fanning ourselves with thoughts, not watching puddles and flooding.

Abundance can be a trade-off. It can produce narratives of prosperity as well as cautionary tales. Since this weather is not the norm, it’s a constant topic of conversation: the pluses and minuses. Then, what’s new? Weather has been a serious subject for years wherever I turn.

Since I rant about climate change and sustainability, my predilections toward nature are evident. While I’m thrilled that our landscape is an explosion of summer’s best efforts, I abhor the drought on the West Coast and in other areas of our planet, the extreme weather that has become the usual.

I am more than grateful for the Pope’s words (“Laudato Si!”): his platform for the most critical issue that faces our world in the present and future is staggering and brings hope. A recent article in The New York Times titled “Pope Francis’ Call to Action Goes Beyond the Environment” (click here to read) outlines his commitment to the health of our planet and its effects upon humanity. As a world leader this encyclical may very well be the major kick in the proverbial rear for action that is needed. His support is an unexpected gift toward winning the brass ring of the greater good and worldwide involvement in solutions to the effects of climate change.

In the Lens section are examples of this summer’s abundance: a staggering multiplicity of black maple seedpods. This tree is gorgeous; it literally cultivates my attention with its purple-black leaves that are sweetly clustered and topped with scores of seedpods. But its symbolism is multi-faceted.

That tree’s wealth of life is what we all want for nature and human nature. We want a world that honors all creatures, we want a world that honors our dignity, we want a world that works on behalf of the whole, we want a world that is conscious of the greater good.

Abundance is a tricky word. It can be a hell raiser or a gentle reminder. It can incite conversations. Or silence discussions. It causes reflection. And pushes boundaries. Mostly, it provides a place for contemplation of its meaning and ramifications.

Tip of the Week: Unquestionably, artists use their work as representation of their political and social philosophy. Chris Jordan is a photographer who left his life as a corporate lawyer and became a photographer to make aesthetically-pleasing art. But that perspective changed. Jordan turned to large-format prints to demonstrate humanity’s affection and obsession with mass consumption. He also includes environmental issues as part of his current oeuvre. He created, for example,  “Roundup” (2015) as a visual symbol to show that “213,000 bees, equal to the number of pounds of toxic chemical pesticides … is applied every twenty minutes to plants and soils around the world. [And] Over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are introduced into the environment in the US each year, and approximately 5.6 billion pounds are used worldwide.” Read more about his work and view his photography here. In 2008 Jordan was an international eco-ambassador for National Geographic Society. I find his art inspirational and purposeful.

Circuit Boards, Chris Jordan, 2014

“Circuit Boards,” Chris Jordan, 2014

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-california-dreamin/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-natural-old-n-new/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-ladybird-ladybird-fly-away-home/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/on-finding-time-to-do-nothing/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/abundant-summer-for-sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge/

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, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Art, Design, Human Nature, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Editing and Processing (Blurred Lines, Part One)

29 June 2015

Lens:

I. Shot in Camera+ without Post Processing

2. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Shot in Hipstamatic

2. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

III. Shot in Camera+ and Post Processed in Mextures

3. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. I suggest that you click on each image to enlarge.

Pens:

The state of photography is a topic that sparks words to fill white pages (digital and print) over and over, turning them into black-and-white oddities and wonders. My fingers touch a few letters on my computer. They reappear in front of my eyes as well as countless (numerous, some or few) others’, which seems an unfathomable concept. But here we are witnesses to images and words being spread in seconds across lands and surfaces that mesmerize even the most knowledgeable.

The photograph is an apt example of the never-ending seduction that a cyber-riddled world inspires. Our immediate and distant universes are infused with narrative through instant visual stories. During past centuries word of mouth and oral history enabled stories to survive and flourish. Now we have the digital seemingly silent yet vocal photograph to measure cultural change and evolution, building a new kind of “architectural” pictorial archive.

Daily I consider how social media pivots each framed history. Lately I’ve been reading numerous articles, especially in Aperture (the printed version) that build dialogues about (what I call) the blurred lines created by this new platform—a platform that gives each of us opportunity, sometimes even a few seconds of fame. Even more extraordinary is a person’s work  can be discovered, and catapulted to new levels of recognition and a more sustained notoriety.

I am amazed that anyone has ever found me on the Internet, yet they have. Through this media I’ve had and continue to have some milestones, which surprise me as they wedge their way into my life. Blurred lines is my phrase for this rant. It seems the appropriate combination for photography’s trajectory and each of our own trajectory on this blogging journey. The ethereal, the mystical, the blurred can describe many parts of the whole of our visual culture.

In the Lens section are my subtle and not-so-subtle examples of this theme. A single spring black-stemmed hydrangea has entered a final stage, dried and still gorgeously delicate with its lace-like bravado. It still has much to offer. When the out-of-focus effect takes over its design and shape, it becomes something else, yet recognizable. Some blurred images are totally anew, they convey a true deviation from reality, which is very much what the Internet and its social media can achieve with one touch of our intention.

Tip of the Week: The blurred photograph can be made with a slow or quick move of  your camera or Smartphone. A fast lens can be enlisted (Smartphones in manual mode) to create the effect. Or there are a number of apps that can turn a focused image into a blurred one. Often the final image can have a softer and more visually interesting effect. The out-of-focus can be in foreground, background or the entire shot. FX Photo Studio has a feature to blur an image. Click here to read about it in iTunes App Store. Bokeh is a technique that originated in Japan, and blurs parts of the photograph intentionally. That out-of-focus gives its recipient a patina that incites close attention or no attention at all. It’s a conundrum of the way that individuals view our visual landscape and the real reality or virtual reality of photography.

Bokeh, Jody Dole, NikonUSA.com

Bokeh, Jody Dole, NikonUSA.com

View other entries into this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/sally-ds-mobile-photograph-challenge-editing-and-processing-with-various-apps/

http://nadinetomlinson.com/2015/06/29/when-design-imitates-life/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/perspective-on-life/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-tucked-in-glass/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-processing-nf-incline-railway/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/for-sally-ds-lens-and-pens-processing-challenge/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/06/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-editing-and-processing/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-post-processing-challenge-panoramas/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/06/30/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-editing-and-processing/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-editing-and-processing/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/on-the-half-gallon-quarter-acre-pavlova-paradise/

https://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-editing-and-processing/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2015/07/05/a-blurred-reality/

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, 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, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (Architecture)

22 June 2015

Lens:

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

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

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

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

3. UD ISE Lab; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. UD ISE Lab; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. I suggest that you click onto each image to enlarge.

Pens:

“Photography is, and has been since its inception, a fabulously broad church. Contemporary practice demonstrates that the medium can be a prompt, a process, a vehicle, a collective pursuit, and not just the physical end product of solitary artists’ endeavors.” ~~ Charlotte Cotton, Aperture, no. 210, Spring 2013

“Contemporary art photographers are opening up new ways of thinking about the medium.” ~~ Charlotte Cotton, Aperture, no. 201, Spring 2013

Photography and its evolution as an art form has never been more spirited. Its evergreen nature is boundless, and in the twenty-first century shored by the digital age.

Human inventiveness is seen with all its colors and ribbons in the field of technology, which seems to incorporate all disciplines in the guise of its products. Photography is one of its progeny that emulates and exudes triumphant experimentation.

Within the Internet’s reach the art of the photograph continues to escalate into unknown territory, unchartered and even unfathomable. While everyone can participate in this coming of age, there is little doubt that we are on the cusp of more change in the arts with its technical revolution and exponential effect upon art history.

Tip of the Week:

Art is meant to illicit doubt, dialogue, emotions, joy, thought and uncertainty; it is meant to provoke in calming and unsettling ways and everything in between those reactions. It is the artist’s responsibility to give us something to consider, to digest, to ponder, to query.

Talia Chetrit (American photographer, 1982) is known for her individual interpretation of classic subjects such as fashion, life and portraiture. One of her latest projects used her work as a thirteen-year old–work that returned to family albums that she created. It gave her the opportunity to see how her work has evolved, and then “reworking” the photographs for her current aesthetics and perspective. She creates images that fictionalize what she sees without manipulating the image itself.

Chetrit is one of the current photographers who is pushing the boundaries of what we see. The goal,” she says, is to be “limited to what’s actually in front of you. But by isolating it and decontextualizing it, you can present something that never existed.” You can view her work here and here. It’s worth your perusal.

"Hand on Body (Mouth)," Talia Chetrit, 2012

“Hand on Body (Mouth),” Talia Chetrit, 2012

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-rainbow/

https://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/smile-for-the-camera/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-reflections-of-art/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/06/22/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-design/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/sally-ds-mobile-challenge-a-friendly-fantail/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/flights-of-fancy-for-sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/simple-pure-and-sweet/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/photography/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/mobile-photography-and-mundane-monday/

https://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice/

https://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-architecture/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/06/24/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-cold-brew-coffee-on-a-hot-summer-day/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/06/24/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-travel/

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, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

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

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (and Simplicity of Design in Technology)

15 June 2015

Lens:

1. Setting Up the Entranceway; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Setting Up the Entranceway; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Setting Up the Entranceway; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Setting Up the Entranceway; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

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

Pens:

Street photography is known for its cheer and moodiness, light and dark moments, high and low-key sensibility, soft and stark angles and lines, big and small personalities, the mundane and ordinary, the new and the seasoned.

The wonder of today’s inventitveness has at its roots in convenience, efficiency and ingenuity. Much of street life also includes the latest of technological wizardry: moving signs, digitally-driven machines, self-managing money dispensers (ATMs). Innovations abound, especially in urban environments.

Technology has so many applications and forms that I had to gaze at its definition for my own curiosity. This description of technology is from Dictionary.com/

1. the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.

2. the application of this knowledge for practical ends.

3. the terminology of an art, science, etc.; technical nomenclature.

4. a scientific or industrial process, invention, method, or the like.

5. the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of their civilization.

As I strolled onto UD campus prior to this month’s alumni weekend, I could easily apply some of those definitions to my observations.

I knew that temporary construction would generate my interest, and pre-construction technology used to erect a mammoth entranceway and towers begged for my attention.

Designs were at the intersection of architecture and art and engineering and science. And it is terribly hard to isolate these influences on technological invention and innovation. Truly, the confluence of these outside forces are present in our daily encounters, even in the simplest of objects.

Our technicolor visual universe is a continual distraction to the point that we miss the aesthetics and spirit of what is before us. Our attention is pulled this way and that. Our attention is scattered and sliced.

Since it often is impossible to reduce the instant stimulation of our visual culture,  I find solace in black-and-white photography. It focuses my inner lens on the immediate surroundings. It gives balance and nuance to what could easily be lost and not found.

In the Lens section are two images that reflect the simple yet eye-catching functional and utilitarian mechanisms created to build temporary structures. The machine that allowed a huge entranceway to grace the “green” was built as a welcome passage for thousands of past students to visit their alma mater for a weekend of campus life and reunions with alumni and faculty.

There I stood mesmerized by the heft of talent of a simple tool’s design- a design to execute a huge job efficiently. Immediately, my mind thought about the everyday object that has been a part of my entire life: the scissor (Funny, how the mind makes connections.). As conveniences keep multiplying with the new new, the scissor can hardly be beat in design and efficiency.

Technology has been a drive throughout the human journey. Its history repeats and repeats itself by mimicking designs and improving upon them. But I’m amused by how inventions play upon each other, and we seem to miss that all the time.

Tip of the Week: Monochrome Photography Awards, which is an International Black & White Photography Contest, is accepting entries until 29 November 2015. Categories are in two sections – Professional and Amateur. The winners of the main categories (it’s a long list) will compete for the titles: Monochrome Photographer of the Year (Professional) and Monochrome Discovery of the Year (Amateur). Click here to visit their website. On the site is another feature of the contest: “The work of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners (together with further entries that the judges feel are worthy of commendation) from both the professional and amateur sections will be published in Monochrome Photography Awards Annual Book. All names of the Honorable Mention winners will be also included in the book.” Please do review the winners from past years. The work is extraordinary.

Monochrome Photographer of the Year 2014, Professional, Neil Craver (USA)

Monochrome Photographer of the Year 2014, Professional, Neil Craver (USA)

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://nadinetomlinson.com/2015/06/15/the-story-of-an-hour/

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-roll-out-the-barrel/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/see-the-small-feel-big/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/light-in-the-garden-for-sally-ds-mobile-photography-blank-and-white-challenge/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-soaring/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-reflections/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-white-around-hastings/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/06/15/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-2/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/06/15/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-2/

https://lrod1726.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/black-and-white/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/on-taking-the-sea-air-and-avoiding-winter-rain/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/mundane-monday-and-mobile-photography/

http://steve-says.net/2015/06/16/bunk-beds-for-cats/

https://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white/

https://juliepowell2014.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/sallyds-bw-phoneography-simplicity/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Architecture, Art, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Human Nature, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Photography, Technology, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (and Creativity)

08 June 2015

Lens:

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

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

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

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

Let me know which version you prefer. Please click onto each image to enlarge.

Pens:

I’ve had a love affair with creativity for most of my adult years. My youth was filled with known and not-so-well-known artists, including my mother who was a recognized abstract expressionist painter in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Years later I realized it was not by happenstance that I did my master’s thesis on creativity.

Over many decades I’ve learned much about my experimentation with various media and the creative process. Mostly, I would pinpoint constancy, passion, patience, persistence, and pursuit of the unknown as critical elements in these lessons. Ideas are just that: notions to tackle. But they must be tried and tried over and over to achieve any level of self-satisfaction. At least that’s true for me.

Photography is certainly an example of lessons learned and lessons sought. Probably passion is the singular quality that can make a difference in one’s pursuit. Devotion and love are elements that push my exploration. They certainly keep me going. But it also takes a regular and vigorous approach to that creative effort. Just as every journey in life includes work, hard work, the act of creativity is rigorous.

This week is an example of that drive to try numerous avenues to create a macro image. I am enamored by the beauty and design of everyday objects. So I took a paperweight and used it as my subject for this week’s challenge.

I kept at it, because it was quite difficult to get the result that finally seemed to be my desired effect: to show a tiny world within the glass paperweight. The designs inside are mostly bubbles and abstract spheres.

When I saw the results of the photo shoots, words like alien, planet, heavenly, and otherworldly criss crossed into my thoughts. I selected an image, because it was the only one that suited my perceptions of those descriptors. The first one was taken in Hipstamatic. The second one was edited in PhotoStudio.

The marvel of macro photography is the surprise universe that emerges. We think that we can see all with our naked eye, but whole new worlds can appear for one’s enjoyment and wonder with a close-up view.

Keep at the creative process and a fount of the hidden becomes a reality. Keep at the creative process and revelations abound.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-dusted-with-spices/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/the-value-of-character/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/stories-old-and-new-told-with-a-mobile-devise/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/06/08/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-2/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-bees/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-vivid-macro/

https://badfish2.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/2-vivid-memories-the-last-gap-t-shirt/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/macro-and-mundane/

https://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-and-creativity/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-raindrop/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/sally-ds-photo-challenge/

https://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-tree-trunk/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/4607/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/06/13/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-in-pink/

Tip of the Week:

In The J. Paul Getty Museum’s online magazine, Iris, you can read about the current exhibition, Light, Paper, Process, that takes the viewer into the past world of analog photography. The work of seven artists shows their unusual methods that result from darkroom techniques, sensitive emulsions, archival negatives, and custom-built cameras. These artists, who are currently using traditional photographic alchemy, are examples of how experimentation can lead to unique images. At the California-based art center’s blog states, “All seven of the artists in the show work with repetition, seeking to uncover how a similar technique or gesture can lead to unexpected results.” The exhibition also pulls works from the Getty’s permanent collection to show unusual photographic techniques used in the twentieth century. This exhibition is instructive and poignant in a world where mobile photography has its own inventiveness within a digital darkroom. And still these twenty-first century artists chose to use the chemical darkroom to push their own creativity. To learn more about the exhibition, click http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/light-paper-process-reinventing-photography. For those who cannot travel; to see the exhibition being held in Los Angeles, California (until 06 September 2015) you can read the online link or purchase the book by the photography curator and head of the Department of Photographs at the Getty, Virginia Herbert.

"Light, Paper, Process," by Virginia Herkert, 2015

“Light, Paper, Process,” by Virginia Herkert, 2015

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

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

01 June 2015

Lens:

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

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

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

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

Let me know which you prefer and why. I encourage you to click onto the image to enlarge.

Pens:

I know that I gush with exuberance with spring’s unfolding, especially magnolias, tulips and the escalating arc of this season’s light. Still, the discovery of my white peonies angling for my attention is easily overwhelming.

While caring for a triangular-shaped garden at the tip of my property, those sensual flower heads were bending from the heft of their multiple petals. Those almost pure white blooms have many components that give them a graceful and strongly provocative presence. Peonies have a profound effect upon me, one that escalates at each stage of its existence.

I snip a few clusters and take them inside to savor their perfume that spreads itself dramatically. As I place them in a tall vase, I feel a wave of emotion. One touch of the petals astounds my sensibilities: their silky surface is seductive and smooth, their cool touch raises the senses, their luxurious “fabric” feels exotic against the skin. Often as I breathe in their aroma, petals brush my cheeks and the sensation is indescribable. Their delicacy competes for my thoughts.

The drama continues. Each flowerhead has petals seemingly stitched in a circular design. A day or two or three after their arrangement, petals begin to fall. I allow them to stay wherever they rest. They land in patterns that entice me to cut more to see the merriment that they will undoubtedly create.

3. White Peony in Vase; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. White Peony in Vase; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

In another area of my gardens a tree peony has luscious pink flowers, but this year it had only one flower. While the white ones were brazen with boughs of plenty, it matters not that the other variety was less generous. That single pink flower has exactly the same effect upon me. That bloom was slipped into a small bowl where its precision was displayed, and its insight bestowed a quiet repose. It’s hard to fathom that such a small flower can be so demure and yet so powerful.

It’s multiple petals gathered together by Mother Nature provide magic in their aesthetic, aroma, luster and textures. They compelled me to write an ode to their unfolding.

Ode to Peony:

Hushing morning’s noisy distractions.                                                                                            My garden’s voice sprouts dainties of exotic clusters that dangle heightened perceptions.

On the north side of the sycamore those plants reveal seasonal gifts.                               Visual acuity pulls inward and outward,

And a peony’s allure romances its luscious character.                                                                    I am ablaze with memories plied by the moment’s impermanence and silent awe.

Tip of the Week: On 19 May online Shutterbug (the digital version of the print magazine) published an article by Joe Farace, which focused on Smart Shooting. Farce discussed his favorite Smartphone cameras and apps. He also talked about mobile photography and its partner, social media. To read it, click here.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://nadinetomlinson.com/2015/06/01/the-lizard-in-jamaican-folklore/

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-desert-sunset/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-travelling-to-allegany/

https://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/macaws-butterflies-at-the-academy-of-sciences-7-photos/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/roses-roses-for-sally-ds-mobile-photo-challengenature/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/glory-of-rain/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-in-northern-california/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/06/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/06/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-natures-life-cycle/

https://juliepowell2014.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/on-the-joys-of-walking-by-water-with-someone-you-love/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/nature-and-mundane/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2015/06/03/playing-with-apps/

https://bulldogtravels.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/enchanted-forest-king-fire/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-white-heron/

https://christinejrandall.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-oak-leaves/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/06/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-and-organic-produce/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Black-and-White Photography, Gardens and Gardening, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (The Architecture of Shadows)

25 May 2015

Lens:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know which you prefer and why. I suggest that you click on each image to enlarge.

Pens:

Spring is fresh, lush, verdant and spritely. It dances through the days with continual change. Of course, some revitalization of the landscape is seemingly overnight; other alterations seem to appear little by little. They bolster each other, and yet are true to themselves.

Mostly, it is the light that mystifies. Spring’s illumination brings such inner and outer cheer where winter grey once cast its spell.

Especially in spring I ponder our northern hemisphere’s sun-centric days where the sunrise is earlier and sunset is later. The arc of the sun’s daily journey varies with the seasons, and that has been more and more evident to me this week.

Its more than the extra light that captures my attention. It’s the angle of the sun’s rays that descend straighter to the earth, providing an intensity that is stronger than winter’s beams (which are more slanted).

Last week those forces of sunlight brought me to a serene grove of trees. I went to the university’s botanical garden, because I knew that the trees were not only massive, but in one instance they were joined together in a grouping of several native varieties. They were elderly architectural giants that would be an ideal location for the blazing afternoon sunlight.

There I gazed upon the sunlight filtering through their greenery, giving limey hues that seduced. The mid-afternoon sun produced a meditative performance. The silence allowed for greater concentration on the transformation moment by moment. As a slight wind scattered the beams on lower extremities of the trees, shadows were harmonious.

The sun seemed to have such strength of will, giving a transparency to the design and shape of the trees and their mature branches that were leafing out. It was like observing a small city of ancient architectural features that was bathed in shadows of the day’s natural elements.

Shadows were so pronounced that they seemed to be a permanent fixture. But just as it seemed that way, they altered their appearance with a gentle gusto.

The jarring and sharp light lasted for hours. It’s intensity was so evident that it seemed to blast everything in its pathway. Still, the effects were so intriguing, adding layers of new patterns and contrast that mystified. Usually I do not want to shoot in such exaggerated conditions, but the shadows were given such focus that I had to record what was before me.

In the Lens section the first image is to show you the entranceway to the grove. The second and third image show the harsh beams, and the way that the light flooded across the trunks of the trees.

The intersection of light and shade produced some memorable designs. The soft wind helped to alter the visual appeal. The day was a perfect combination for a monochromatic shoot to display shadows found in Mother Nature.

My attention needed little coaxing. Contrast and shapes grabbed surfaces and brought me to a point of awe. Even when the light did not flatter, I was still transfixed with its abilities to sway my thoughts.

Tip of the Week:

Click here to view some photographs that will show variations on the theme of shadows. The images are from an article,”25 Shadow Images to Inspire You,” by Darren Rowse and posted on The Digital Photography School website. Regardless of the season where you live, shadows are always lurking, just waiting to be seen and stilled. Happy shooting.

"Chairs," Paris, 1931, André Kertész

“Chairs,” Paris, 1931, André Kertész

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://blogagaini.com/2015/05/25/food/

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-ribbit/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/looking-sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2015/05/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-grand-rapids-architecture/

http://thoughtstalesandwhatnot.com/2015/05/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nightscapes/

https://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/old-cameras-2-photos/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-the-birds-and-the-beach/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/unplugged-in-jamaica-discovering-my-view/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/people-of-carnival-for-sally-ds-mobile-photo-challenge/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/sally-ds-mobile-challenge-clouds-over-hastings/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/05/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/all-the-noise-and-the-hurry-seems-to-help-i-know/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/mundane-monday-and-sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/sally-ds-mobile-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challange-dragon-fruit/

http://nadinetomlinson.com/2015/05/27/we-are-like-stained-glass-windows/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2015/05/28/autumn-shadows-in-bw/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/05/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/05/30/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-street-photography-a-quiet-memorial-day/

http://priorhouse.org/2015/05/28/five-stories-one-post/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Architecture, Art, Black-and-White Photography, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Today Launches a new Title for the Challenge)

18 May 2015

Lens:

Both photographs taken at Yosemite National Park with my iPhone 4s, April 2014.

1. Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally.

1. Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally.

2. Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, April 2014; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, April 2014; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. I suggest that you click on each image to enlarge.

Pens:

Instantly, I recall that moment of true love. It is one of the most emotional experiences from my mental archive where I meander through memories about nature in places wild or tame, private or public. To enter Yosemite National Park is to put one’s mind in total spiritual and visual awareness. My senses were tantalized and thrilled, resulting in tears that surfaced with tender and paramount forces. I felt my kinship to John Muir.

On that April 2014 morning to my right was a sign that announced John Muir’s meeting with President Theodore Roosevelt. It reminded me about Muir’s influence to secure Yosemite as a national treasure. Then as my eyes slowly absorbed the surroundings, I spied the first waterfall (Bridalveil Falls ). It was a true privilege. While the snow was at record lows last year (and 2015 too), I was fortunate to be visiting in spring, when the falls were rushing rather beautifully. My heart was in expansive mode, and then to my left we spied Yosemite Falls.

President Roosevelt and John Muir Meet 1903

President Roosevelt and John Muir Meet in 1903

Without question one can never duplicate that first impression, that moment of heighten sensibilities. My best defense against the loss of that initial reaction is the use of my own inner lens to evoke that push and pull of what nature provides. But I also use photography as a way to record time and place.

My equipment to shore and store visual memories are my iPhone and DSLR Nikon. On that trip I used my iPhone 4s (I now have a 6.) more than I did my traditional camera. I created a personal challenge to predominantly use the phone as my lens, because I wanted to test it against grandiose Northern California vistas.

The iPhone 4s more than passed the challenge. I became even more enamored with its technology—a technology along with other Smartphones and digital devices that has riveted the art world as well as personal lives.

Since the dawn of photography in the nineteenth century, this artistic medium has been continuously redefined by a technological metamorphosis. By that spring holiday in California, I had sponsored a photography challenge for over a year.

When my photography challenge was launched, the title, iPhoneography Monday: The Challenge-Using the iPhone as Your Lens, seemed to fit the cultural horizon. Responses to whirlwind digital mobile inventions have affected all aspects of our daily lives. As innovations continued, my reaction was to change the title two more times (Phoneography Challenge: the Phone as Your Lens  and Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge).

Over the last few months I felt a tug to assess the title for its applicability to today’s evergreen standards. Was the challenge adapting to photographers’ and photography’s movement toward a more universal acceptance of these mobile devices as the norm?

Now the use of Smartphones, iPads and iPods are no longer considered the new new. They are thought of as everyday objects that happen to still our world (among other significant duties). They do not compete with traditional cameras anymore, they are considered a lens of choice by many novice and seasoned photographers.

Over the last few weeks I have enlisted the advice and opinion of the challenge’s participants and readers who visit my blog. After much deliberation and keeping in mind the more persistent advice (make it short), I settled on this title: Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge. I wanted to use the Sally D, because it has history and meaning in my life, and it gives the title a little zippity do dah. I also feel strongly about “photography” being in the title.

The challenge is meant to encourage creativity and experimentation. Over the last two years I have offered it to attract a community of individuals who are interested in the dynamic world of photography. People challenged by the challenge. But it’s also meant to give a platform for us to learn from each other.

Participants have a range of experience and knowledge. I hope that you will celebrate with me this next step forward in the challenge’s evolution. I also want to fete the dynamic ingenuity of human creativity and the future of photography.

The human story is a narrative about change. The challenge is a vehicle to respond to our inner and outer worlds that is powered by what we see and how we interpret what we see in that world where little stays status quo, little remains the same.

Photography gives us a way to record history as it occurs. We are witnesses. We also are creators of a visual archive between the intersection of nature and human nature and the human condition’s responses.

Each of us has a personal vision that we either keep private or release it into the universe for perusal. I’ve let part of mine merrily run through the Internet via my blog, Lens and Pens by Sally. I hope that you’ll join our journey, and the visual universe of those that participate and share the world as they see it.

P.S.: I did not make a badge for the new title. I’m not really sure it’s significance. I suppose that it alerts others on their blogs about the challenge’s existence. But I’m not sure how effective they are. If you’d like to comment about this subject, please free. I welcome all thoughts pro or con. In all honesty I’m leaning toward completely nixing the badge. Thanks.

Tip of the Week:

One of my nightly rituals is to browse Flipboard’s online magazine to view current mobile photographers. Last week I came across an interview (28 April 2015) with Austin Mann who has an artistic philosophy of photography that mirrors my own. Mann is known as one of the top photographers in the “mobile photography revolution.” In the article he discusses the reasons that his Smartphone has become the lens of choice. He says, “As a teacher I’ve always taught students not to focus on their gear. I’ve told them to focus on their vision. To focus on their voice.” He also believes that the “best tool is the tool that doesn’t inhibit your work flow, that doesn’t keep you from doing what you want to do, that allows you to capture what you see… and the tool that does the best for me is the iPhone. It conforms to me versus me conforming to it.” To view his work, click here.

Panorama, Iceland, 2014, Austin Mann

Panorama, Iceland, 2014, Austin Mann

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-trees-fog-and-sun/

http://nadinetomlinson.com/2015/05/18/the-cards-we-are-dealt/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/05/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/05/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-in-childs-play/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/devoid-of-energy/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/sally-ds-mobile-photography-black-and-white/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/mobile-photography-and-mundane-7/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-trondheim-florals-and-the-sea/

https://angleandviews.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/black-and-white-cat/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/05/20/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-succulent/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/moving-on-from-colour-form-and-texture-in-sculpture/

http://thoughtstalesandwhatnot.com/2015/05/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-innocence/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

 

Posted in Art, Black-and-White Photography, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 74 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Macro (and Queen of the Night Tulip)

11 May 2015

Lens:

1. "Queen of the Night Tulip; 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

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

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

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

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

Let me know which you prefer and why. I suggest that you click onto each image to enlarge.

Pens:

Each spring day the sun rises higher in the sky, and spreads more and more glorious light. The ascent of emotions is everywhere to be observed. Moods are being exchanged. Cheeriness, at least on the surface, exudes as “we” spend more and more time celebrating spring’s renewal.

Neighbors, who had been indoors for winter months, suddenly reappear. They are perky and somewhat dazed as sunshine spreads its magic. It was a prolonged cloudy and grey winter, and the power of the sun’s beams cannot be understated.

In my gardens that luminance is bringing rewards. I watch as small green shoots reach skyward. One of my coveted flowers of this season–the Queen of the Night tulip–is as radiant as I’ve ever seen them. The intensity of the deeply dark purple brings an irresistible bounty to my inner world. I am compelled to record their essence–the colors haunt.

When the flowers fade, I want a visual to help me reconstruct that glowing ember of beauty. But it’s not just the first encounter of those seductive hues, I must spend ample effort seeing, really seeing, it’s interior. If pondered with the light shedding its charm inside, the revelation stuns, truly takes my breath and keeps it captive. This tulip has a startling infectious visual appeal. I knew from the moment that I first discovered this variety that it would be a highly-prized seasonal regular.

The microscopic, the tiny, the miniscule, the macro is the view that we cannot see with the naked eye. During most of our lives we are so sure that what we see is the real. Mostly, we see such a small portion of the world in which we inhabit. The enormity what we miss is can be made evident in up-close and personal photographic captures.

In truth things are really never as they appear to be. There are always hidden layers that are impossible to perceive. When that world is magnified, we are introduced to a splendorous universe of the unknown that becomes known.

In the Lens section are examples of the jewel Queen of the Night. This tulip is stunning even in its final stage. These beauties have almost completed their life cycle for this spring. Even as leaves and stems dry to give nourishment for next year’s showing, their effects upon my sensibilities will roam through my thoughts for weeks. And I will allow those memories to linger.

Now some results from the ongoing discussion about the next title change for the challenge: The last few weeks have had our photo community conversing about the next title change. I do believe that the selection  is on the horizon. Here are the choices that I want to toss into the arena one more time. If you are unfamiliar with the reasons for the change, please check with my last few posts about  the evergreen quality of photography and technology’s influence upon it. Mostly, I am grateful to each of you who gave  your advice and opinion on the subject. The choices are listed in no particular order. Please give your vote for one of the four.

1. Sally D’s Mobile Device Photography Challenge: Theme

2. Sally’s Mobile Device Photography Challenge: Theme

3. Sally’s Phone and Mobile Device Photography Challenge: Theme

4. Sally D’s Phone and Mobile Device Photography Challenge: Theme

Tip of the Week:

When your intention is to take a macro, the best advice  is: use a tripod. Smartphones and other digital devices are known to have “camera shake.” To resolve this instability you can steady the device on a surface, lean your arm and hand and body against a tree or wall, or physically brace yourself in any way that’s available. Certainly, a tripod is the best solution. Tripods can be a small portable one that is made for a Smartphone. Or you can use the tripod made for your DSLR or SLR cameras. All you need is an attachment for the device that allows you to mount it to the tripod. Even a selfie stick can add stabilization. The idea is to keep the device as movement-free as possible. Since the last time I mentioned this subject, consumer choices have multiplied. A mount and a small tripod are an inexpensive investment. The equipment available keeps increasing to give Smartphones and other mobile devices better technology for your photography tool kit.

Smartphone Mount; Google Images

Smartphone Mount; Google Images

Small Tripod; Google Images

Small Tripod; Google Images

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/phoneography-and-the-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-pollen/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/05/11/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-16/

https://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macroflower/

https://toweararainbow.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/non-slr-challenge-fresh-fruit/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-aloe-vera-flower/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/phoneography-challenge-painted-macros/

http://streetsofsfphotos.com/2015/05/11/tin-flower/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/phoneography-challenge-macro-in-pink/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-web/

https://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/phoneography-and-the-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2015/05/15/the-micro-and-the-macro/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/exploring-the-colours-of-my-mind/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

 

Posted in Art, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Phoneography and the Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Nature (Old-Fashion White Bleeding Hearts)

04 May 2015

Lens:

1. Old-Fashion White Bleeding Hearts; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Old-Fashion White Bleeding Hearts; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Old-Fashion White Bleeding Hearts; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Old-Fashion White Bleeding Hearts; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

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

Pens:

The old-fashion bleeding heart is a strangely enticing sight. The usual fare for this species is various shades of pink that is named for its heart-shaped blooms. That seeming resemblance is a stretch for me, because I’m much more attracted to the way the flowers hang like charms on a bracelet. Their feathery leaves balance out the simple design of each bloom. I see the whole rather than the sum of its parts. Certainly, a macro view defines the heart.

While I do have the pink variety, it is the old-fashion white ones that conjure springtime in  a completely different way. White flowers are magnets for my spirit, and I cannot even explain that reaction. Their leaves, which resemble parsley, are dark enough to push the white to appear even whiter. As the wind blows, each flower rocks in the air and beckons explorers and onlookers, one of which is hummingbirds that arrived last week.

Apparently, the Royal Horticultural Society named this variety (Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’) one of the top two hundred plants of the last two hundred years. It’s obvious that the shape of the flowers brings this spring shade lover much attention.

In the Lens section are portraits that I took last week. I use a low-key approach to allow the plant’s small flower heads to take center stage. The lighting is the path to success of this technique. It must be placed exactly where the emphasis is envisioned. The drama produced is palpable and triumphant.

More about the proposed new title for this challenge: During the last few weeks posts I tossed ideas to you about a title change. Responses have been supportive. As I wade through the pros and cons, your advice and suggestions have been beneficial and given more to consider.  Some of you went completely beyond the proverbial box and that is inspiring.

The reason for this change is the evergreen quality of photography, especially in the twenty-first century cultural environment of technological innovation. The “new” with its sophistication of inventions creates multiple levels of tools. These additions to our toolkit make available digital devices that are not traditional cameras, which is the basis for the challenge.

Only devices that are not considered cameras are to be used. A Smartphone is first a cellphone. An iPad is foremost a tablet. An iPod is primarily a music and entertainment center. But each has a camera as a feature. Each are capable of very respectable images. Each becomes its own digital darkroom.

The challenge’s title needs to be specific, but clarity in word choice is my goal, which makes it a true CHALLENGE in itself. Here is my latest conundrum. First, the title that got the most votes is:

1. Photography Challenge, Using Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Camera.

Allan (OhmSweetHome) and Angeline (Angelina M) proposed that I add my name to the title. Something I had not considered. I would like your response to the following, and hope that we can put to rest this subject for the present. Allan suggested using my first name, and Angeline strongly suggested that I use my first and last. If the response is positive to these ideas, then I also (possibly) could remove the “using” (example: 2. Sally Donatello’s Photography Challenge, Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Camera”).

3. Sally’s Photography Challenge, Using Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Camera

4. Sally Donatello’s Photography Challenge, Using Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Camera

Please give me your opinion about the four choices.

Coincidentally, yesterday’s The New York Times Magazine section had a marvelous cartoon/illustration, “The Amazing New Thing,” by Tom Gauld, which was found in the issue’s “Sunday Funny” page. (Click here to view it.) It hits exactly the right chord for my own philosophy about continual infiltration of the “new” in our lives. It’s also relevant for the title change of this challenge as well as the current forces upon photography. We may have the new, but will we have it tomorrow. And do we need it? The challenge is meant to be just an exercise in our photographic journey. The devices are simple a tool for our own creativity and experimentation. Photography is photography.

Tip of the Week:

My last three posts have shown high-key photographs, which eliminate background and details to focus on the subject that is surrounded by white space. It uses bright lighting to lure the viewer. As you would surmise, low-key photography is the opposite. It reduces the light, giving the subject a black background that makes an almost über-dramatic scene. Both techniques have their advantages. Low key is used, especially, for portraiture, but can make any subject pronounced and even profound. Low key is more dramatic in its visual impact, but it can be cunning in subtle ways too. Each has an ability to catch our attention and hold it tightly.

JosephKelly Photography.com

JosephKelly Photography.com

Here are two tutorials that give advice about low-key techniques. Most can be adapted to our digital devices, because now many have manual capabilities. Regardless, the ideas are easily extracted to use. Click here and here. Happy shooting.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-reflections-on-water/

http://nadinetomlinson.com/2015/05/04/what-flowers-teach-us-to-do-daily/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/nature-spring-phoneography-and-the-non-slr-digital-devices-photography-challenge/

http://thoughtstalesandwhatnot.com/2015/05/04/phoneography-challenge-sunrise-at-kiltepan/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/05/04/phoneography-and-the-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/phoneography-nature-challenge-sun-and-wren/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/phoneography-challenge-nature-in-the-midwest/

https://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/buddha-nature/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/phoneography-challenge-nature-7/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/05/05/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-15/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/phoneography-challenge-natures-bearded-dragon/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/phoneography-nature-2/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/finding-strength/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/the-sun-is-falling-down/

http://soparislux.com/2015/05/06/phoneography-and-the-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-nature/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/05/05/iphoneography-tuesday-natures-cycle-in-the-tulip-fields/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/a-second-spring/

https://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-nature-11/

https://toweararainbow.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/from-over-the-balcony/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 66 Comments