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/

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 , , , , , , , | 32 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 , , , , , , , , , | 64 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

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (Still Life with American Willow and Eastern Redbud)

27 April 2015

Lens:

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

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

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

2. Eastern Redbud; 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 each image to enlarge.

Pens:

A sunny, brisk spring day led me to the university’s botanical gardens where I was ready to see willow in bloom. Fortunately, I spied the last of the American willow (Salix discolor) buds. These early spring gems are also known as pussy willows–willows whose buds are small furry catkins and become grayish, yellow and not quite flower-like. April is their finale, and I caught the very last branch of these showy treasures. In the Lens section is the few buds that were left for my viewing.  Their unusual design seems to be an apt way to draw human nature to them.

As I walked to discover more of the season’s unveiling, the native Eastern redbud stood before me. The second image shows the “The Rising Sun” variety, and it’s easy to see its resemblance to the Pea family. Those miniature flowers are sweet lures in hues and shapes.

I’ve been experimenting with high key photography where the subject is rendered starkly or softly against a white, white backdrop. This effect often renders an ethereal sensibility. This effect also eliminates obvious shadows and emphasizes bright light to boost the appearance of the subject. During the last two weeks I have shown other high key photographs in the Lens section.  You can return to them on my Homepage by scrolling down to 20 April and 13 April.

High key is mostly about light that reduces elements in the background. Natural light is my choice, but indoor studio or inexpensive lighting can be as successful for this technique. And it can be achieved with one or more lights.

"High Key Cheetah" by Michael Schimczik

“High Key Cheetah” by Michael Schimczik

My first image of the willow was taken as the wind became fierce, and made for a blurry image that suited high key. The image of the redbud found the air quiet and the branch undisturbed, giving a clearer showing of these spring flowers.

In each image the high key helps to focus on the subject: those gorgeous jewels of spring that we’ve waited too long to savor. Now those early bloomers have retreated, and the move toward the next round of flowers is upon us: tulips to be sure are starting to show their flower heads. And much much more is yet to reveal itself on the spring landscape.  Then every flower, every cluster of unfurling leaves can have its moments of ephemeral fame.

Tip of the Week:

If you are interested in high key photography, see the following video from YouTube. It provides a brief lesson on “High Key Photography on a Budget.” Click here to view the 5:08-minute video by The Lighting Guy.

The proposed title change and its conversation continues:

As you may have read in last week’s post, the title of this challenge is an evergreen phenomenon. Once again it wants to redefine itself, and I am at its mercy.

My thanks to everyone who made suggestions last week about the next title change. As I read about the current state of photography, many individuals and websites are steering away from the use of iPhoneography and Phoneography. “Mobile” camera devices such as Smartphones, iPads, and iPods have progressed to a tipping point where those monikers are being eliminated. Still, I want this challenge to differentiate itself from others, which is why it has to have a slight twist on the usual photo challenges. I hope that you agree.

Here are other suggestions that I have synthesized from your thoughts. We need to continue the conversation, and I hope that you will give me your opinion about these variations on previous themes. Until the sense of the new title seems consistent with the current philosophy about photography and our photo community tosses in their ideas, this conversation will strive to create a title that reflects today’s philosophy about photography. I believe that the challenge is about: self-expression, self-exploration, connecting with others, and curating a dialogue. My proposed titles are:

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

Photography Challenge, Using Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Lens

Photography Challenge, Using Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Camera 

Click here for the history of the challenge. Let me know what you think, and PLEASE continue to send me your ideas.

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-playing-with-the-abstract/

http://nadinetomlinson.com/2015/04/27/food-phoneography-challenge-jamaican-holiday-ham/

http://thoughtstalesandwhatnot.com/2015/04/27/phoneography-challenge-isla-naburot-as-seen-through-the-lens-of-my-samsung-note-2/

https://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/shhhhhhh/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/04/27/sallys-mobile-device-photography-challenge/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/phoneography-challengers-choice-a-cat-showdown/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/phoneography-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-clouds/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-architecture/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2015/04/28/on-the-great-ocean-road/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/seeking-the-shadow-of-a-dream-grown-vain/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/cees-fun-foto-and-phoneography/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/sweet-threat/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/the-mississippi/

https://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-travel-3/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/04/30/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-14/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2015/04/29/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-architecture-2/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/04/30/iphoneography-thursday-challengers-choice-seattles-underground-streets/

http://blogagaini.com/2015/05/02/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-food/

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, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Black and White (Spring Tree Blossoms)

20 April 2015

Lens:

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

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

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

2. White Star Magnolia Blossom; 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 ephemeral and lyrical nature of spring tree blossoms are treasure troves that foreshadow and tantalize us with soft hues and floral designs. In many cases they appear prior to the leafing of branches.

The burst of spring blossoms fill the entire arboreal body, which catches us suddenly with a daze of splendor. We must fixate on them, because like a shooting star, their life span is short-lived. They are here and gone with urgency for the next stage of the nature’s performance.

The life cycle of a tree mirrors everything around it. This commonality is what makes the bond between nature and human nature easily profound. We are inextricably bound together in the sway of life.

Maybe that’s why spring calls us to its side. We are ready for the next step, the blossoming of the landscape, the rejuvenation of the visual universe, the juxtaposition of the new and old.

Certainly there have been years that steal blossoms’ thunder. A chilling frost dashes through the night, and takes their life and runs with it. Fruit trees are especially vulnerable, and such an incident can reduce production to little or none. But this year the steady climb in temps are working to the advantage of spring and summer crops. Blossoms are nearly done on early bloomers, and a sigh of relief goes charging through me.

The two images in the Lens section are examples of this fragility of spring blossoms. These were ever so delicate. Petals were like little wings that covered flower heads, and quickly became history. They seemed a perfect foil for the uncertainty of this season’s stick-to-it-ness, and moving to the next phase.

The sighting of some blossoms before the appearance of leaves are one of spring’s most precious gifts. We are treated to colors that have been vacant from the landscape. We are given a preview of what is yet to be. We are given hope.

Tip of the Week: Blossoms and spring’s arrival have me contemplating the metamorphosis of this photography challenge, which I started (with two other bloggers, and now am the sole force behind it; see its history here) in 2013. The challenge’s continual reinvention is on my mind, because I continually read about the evolution and transformation of photography: its exponential shifts with technological innovations.

Since photography’s introduction in the nineteenth century technology has fueled its ongoing redefinition. Still the human “touch” is the single most definitive mainstay that  keeps challenging the eye behind the lens.

In recent years Smartphones, iPads, iPods, digital apps, software, and other devices have brought new tools to the photographic toolkit. The surge in snapshots taken by the public is evident on, for example, Instagram. Also more serious photographers are using these devices (and social media) more and more, and using their professional cameras a bit less. This awareness of these changes inspires me to contemplate another name change for the challenge.

Before I discuss that further, let me introduce you to Greg Schmigel who is known for his black-and-white photography. He also is known as one of the first to consistently use his mobile phone as his main lens to take street photography. See more of his work here. I mention him, because he is often called a mobile photographer.

"Us vs. Them," Greg Schmigel

“Us vs. Them,” Greg Schmigel

My real dilemma is that mobile photography has never been the descriptor that I wanted to use in the title of this weekly challenge. In truth whether holding a traditional camera or a twenty-first-century digital device, that equipment is mobile. In my opinion photography is always about the individual’s vision behind the lens, and the tools are secondary to the results.

On the other hand I wanted to have a challenge that focuses on the use of new technology. Still, photography is photography. I keep wrestling with the title for the challenge, because the current one continues to be a bit awkward to me. It was a compromise, because it does focus on new digital devices as the lens (sans traditional SLR technology).

I’m not too fond of Mobile Photography as part of the title, and it’s controversial as to its real meaning and use. Here is a sample of what I have been toying with: Photography Challenge, No Camera Used. I’m not too fond of negatives in titles. But it’s closer to what I’d like to convey and shorter. I want the title to explain that the challenge is about the use of new devices (that is, non-traditional equipment and no traditional cameras) to still the moment.

I value your thoughts about the title and it’s been a year since the last change. Maybe we can put our heads together and devise a more suitable one. Let me know what you think.

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/photography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white-natural-vs-manmade/

http://thoughtstalesandwhatnot.com/2015/04/20/phoneography-challenge-the-angkor-wat-in-black-and-white/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/04/20/black-and-white-2/

https://claresphotospace.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/mannequin-bride/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/04/20/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-13/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/phoneography-black-and-white-challenge-sweeping-landscapes/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/teardrops/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/living-healthy-learning-moderation/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-delicacy/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/phoneography-black-white-flower/

http://steve-says.net/2015/04/20/capturing-the-moment-capturing-the-moment/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-2/

http://artifactsandfictions.com/2015/04/20/momentary-reflections/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-4/

https://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-black-and-white-8/

https://theyyouandme.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/black-and-white-photography-challenge/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/04/23/iphoneography-thursday-black-and-white-tiki-and-happy-birthday-wishes/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Human Nature, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Phoneography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 82 Comments

Photography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Macro (Barely Spring, Barely Budding Magnolias)

13 April 2015

Lens:

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

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

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

2. Budding Magnolia; Copyright © 2015 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

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

Let me know which you prefer and why. I strongly encourage you to click each image to enlarge for better viewing.

Pens:

The seasonal change moves sunrise by sunset. Spring has an intention to restore the balance in the visual landscape, and the seesaw variations that we are continuously witnessing.

To keep the vigil going as well as limit frustrations, I play voyeur and spy everywhere that I meander. Sensibilities are on alert, and small rewards result. One day is lyrical with sunlight and weather to strip outer layers of coats and sweaters. The next retreats to cold, grey, moody, and windy. Then days seem to be on the side of inevitability—the calendar ticking toward fields of wildflowers and their cunning blooms.

So with each day that passes, I built self-talk, embracing the forecast for days of cooler temps. I pivot and throw myself into cleaning my gardens, caring for spaces that were ravaged by winter’s wrath—debris and all. I think about planting early crops of Spring, and I feel rejuvenation spreading through me. I envision seeds of plenty sprouting fresh life for consumption and viewing.

After a respite I venture on a long walk. I noticed magnolias still had not released their petals, but the tips of their blooms were evident. I decide that they are exactly what I need to demonstrate Spring’s reputation for towering potency.

Each bud is a precursor to a tree’s worth of pinks and whites. That palette will stun onlookers, and keep them steadfast for the short breath of a flower’s life. Still, the magnolia, even in its very short existence, is a near perfect Spring jewel.

In the Lens section are three images plucked from that walk. I converted them to monochrome, just to observe their tiny transformation. I settled with that change, because it suited my obsession with Spring’s edging toward a full-blown explosion.

Nuances of the seasonal shift are apparent, and they teasingly perform with a slow cadence. I salute Mother Nature for her ability to keep us in our place, which is exactly where we belong.

Tip of the Week: Excerpts from the exhibition #MobilePhotoNow, which ended on 22 March 2015, can be seen at the Columbus Museum of Art’s website (click here). It showcased examples of works by today’s mobile photographers. Here is a description from their site:

“Columbus Museum of Art, and the #JJ COMMUNITY, one of the largest photo communities on Instagram, present #MobilePhotoNow the largest mobile photography exhibition ever organized by a museum… (It) highlights the emerging art form of mobile photography, and the power of social media and smart phones as a means of creative expression and connection. The … exhibition co-curated by CMA and #JJ community features more than 320 images from 240 photographers representing nearly 40 different countries.”

MobilePhotoNow Exhibition

MobilePhotoNow Exhibition, Columbus Museum of Art, 2015

For additional information go to The New York Times online to read a (10 February 2015) article called “From Smartphones to Museum Walls, ” which discusses the exhibition. Click here to view.

View other entries for this week’s challenge.

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro/

https://angleandviews.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/spring-close-up/

http://nadinetomlinson.com/2015/04/13/macro-phoneography-challenge-raindrops-on-leaves/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/phoneography-challenge-macro-rust/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/phoneography-macro-challenge-the-roses-are-ready-for-their-close-ups/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/tiny-beauty/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/perspective-can-make-all-the-difference/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/phoneopgraphy-challenge-macro/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/phoneography-challenge-macro-in-the-kitchen-2/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/04/13/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-12/

http://thoughtstalesandwhatnot.com/2015/04/14/phoneography-challenge-i-choose-to-bloom/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/phoneography-macro-and-cees-bw-close-up/

https://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/photography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-macro/

https://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-macro-11/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/04/16/iphoneography-challenge-macro-spring-trillium/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/summer-no-more/

https://rfljenksy.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/spring-flowers-rainbows-clouds-mud-hikes-people-picnics/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

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

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

06 April 2015

Lens:

1. Pansy; 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

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

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

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

3. Pansy; 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:

Spring 2015 is a constant tease. She keeps tossing small gestures that are all too alluring. Winter seems to have faded and this slow dance into one of nature’s most exhilarating seasons makes each sign a step toward its reality.

But I’m exercising caution, but not too too much. Days seem to vacillate between the tail of winter and the nose of spring.

I bought tiny pots of pansies, whose edges are slightly scalloped, whose configuration sways in today’s high winds. These floral dainties are an early signal of the season ahead. They are an adaptable species, and I’m trying to mimic this quality.

Everyone is longing for warm weather and sunny days, and I believe this sidetrackes our attention. In this state of emotional distraction we just might miss small interactions: Those slight moderations gliding toward us.

In actuality there were years that brought the heat of summer before spring even had a chance to please us. So I’m settling into the soft glacial steps of this year’s change over.

Those small pots of pansies are precisely what I need. Each bloom is gently enticing with its reddish-purple to pink to deeply pink variations. While they love cool weather, once I plant them, they’ll keep producing through much of the summer. Soon I’ll buy more and these dainties will give much more than their exuberant disposition and visual appeal.

As they grow, I’ll use the petals as an edible ingredient in my daily salads. Their relatives, which will be appearing later, the viola and violet also are perfect additions to seasonal greens.

These gems are one of numerous beginnings of Mother Nature’s rejuvenation and revitalization of the landscape. And I’m ready to participate as a gardener and a voyeur.

Tip of the Week: A few months ago I subscribed to the iPhone Photography School’s e-mail tips, which are created by iPhoneographer Emil Pakarklis. They come weekly and give short and to the point suggestions about iPhoneography. Mostly, the tips are applicable to anyone using a Smartphone as their lens, or photography in general. Check the Website (here) of the school, which offers tutorials, interviews, contests, and news & updates. You can scroll down the Homepage and on the right side, you can sign up for the e-mail tips. Here is an example of a tip (click here) that was posted by Kristen Radden who shared ten iPhone photography habits that always keep her challenged to shoot more: ideas that may be new to you or reminders.

View other entries about this week’s challenge:

http://steve-says.net/2015/04/06/the-loch-the-castle-the-monster/

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/phoneography-challenge-nature-yellow/

http://nadinetomlinson.com/2015/04/06/nature-phoneography-challenge-clouds/

https://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/striped-green-tree-pretty-please/

http://blogagaini.com/2015/04/06/phoneography-nature/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/phoneography-challenge-the-nature-of-spring/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2015/04/06/violet-carpet-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/phoneography-challenge-nature-6/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/04/06/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-11/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/phoneography-challenge-the-nature-of-the-earth/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/phoneography-challenge-nature-peek-of-spring/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/phoneography-nature/

http://thoughtstalesandwhatnot.com/2015/04/07/phoneography-challenge-reflection-on-still-waters/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/the-deep-blue/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/on-cultural-imagery-and-scary-dreams/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/little-things-hurt-or-make-all-the-difference/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-pansies/

http://austindetails.me/2015/04/08/like-about-photography/

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, Design, Human Nature, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 79 Comments

Phoneography: Editing and Processing (Morning Golden Hour)

30 March 2015

Lens:

I. Converted to Black and White in Snapseed:

1. Early Morning Light at the Creek; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Early Morning Light at the Creek; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Post Processed in Mextures:

2. Early Morning Light at the Creek; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Early Morning Light at the Creek; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

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

Pens: This week I’ve taken a leisurely approach to arise each morning. The time between my mind being fully awake and day dreaming ebbed and flowed until I stepped onto the carpet floor.

Yesterday as I amassed thoughts to guide me through the day, I was stirred by a reach for my iPhone to check the weather. The pulsing of its electronics made me contemplate it as a living breathing entity. That was scary and an illusionary truth.

It seems the world is at my disposal the minute I awake. The iPhone is like an encyclopedic force that talks about all subjects and tries to fulfill all needs.

Obviously, it lacks what human require most. You know those intangibles that shore our soul and spirits: like my morning stroll as the sun rose through the creek.

Our lives include digital maneuvering that must be countered by the slow ascent into our own minds. That place can never be supplanted by the stuff of cyberspace and its naughty lure.

I stood by the creek bank and was covered in subtle rays of the dawn’s light. The view was seductive and tranquil. The combination of slowly entering the day and slowly appreciating the gift by Mother Nature made for a cup runneth over from head to toe and toe to head. I was fully awake, yet fully drifting into a meditative state.

The hour of golden light appears twice every day–somewhere and everywhere in our vast universe. Since it needs sunlight to be visible, the sunrise and sunset ease into it or reduce it. The time after sunrise and just prior to sunset are the magical moments of  splendid radiance. It’s a parcel of visual glitter that becomes a palette of low softer (though it can be very bright) light to freeze-frame in place. And it’s an apt time to hunt for landscapes.

In the Lens section are two images from the morning’s meanderings. Since it’s editing and processing week, I converted one of the dawn’s early light to monochrome and the second view to layers of fluid liquid-like colors.

Each reminded me of the morning’s acknowledgement about my interdependence upon nature and human nature and technology. It’s the good, the strange and the transformative.

Tip of the Week: When I discover a person who has found their life’s passion, I am drawn to learn more and more about their motivations. While reading about our national park system, the work of Mary Hunter Austin (1868-1934) was brought to my attention. It made my day. Now I’m awaiting the singular publication by snail mail that made her a well-known figure. Her recognition for The Land of Little Rain (1903 and reissued 1997) is a gem in the environmental world. Austin studied the California desert and dedicated herself so deeply into its language that it seems part of her ancestral lineage. She focused on the land “between the high Sierras south from Yosemite—east and south over a very great assemblage of broken ranges beyond Death Valley, and on illimitably into the Mojave Desert.” Her advocacy was directed at issues about the preservation of natural resources, especially water and national parklands. She even collaborated on projects with the master photographer Ansel Adams. Her contribution to the early environmental movement will be in my mailbox on Monday. Think of me curled up with a cup of tea and paging through her most coveted writings.

The Land of Little Rain by Mary  Hunter Austin (1903)

The Land of Little Rain by Mary Hunter Austin (1903)

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-editing-abstract-in-the-kitchen/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/phoneography-challenge-editing-and-processsing-slinky/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/phoneography-challenge-editing-and-processing-at-the-car-wash/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/free-your-mind/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/phoneography-a-garden-walk-in-the-noon-day-sun/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/phoneography-challenge-a-rainy-morning/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/03/30/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-10/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/phoneography-challenge-editing-and-processing/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/phonegraphy-nature/

http://tishfarrell.com/2015/03/31/bridge-what-bridge-only-the-worlds-first-cast-iron-one/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/replicating-memories-or-editing-the-image-to-the-mind/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/04/01/phoneography-editing-and-processing/

https://debooworks.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/rainy/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/phoneography-challenge-editing-and-processing-water-lily/

http://blogagaini.com/2015/04/03/phoneography-editing-and-processing/

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, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 68 Comments

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

23 March 2015

Lens:

I. Original

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

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

II. Post Processed in Mextures

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

2. Barn Door; 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:

Truly, any subject can be recreated as an abstraction. Take a discrete part of the whole, and a non-representational force emerges. Compose a sliver of this or that, and the image becomes something unlike the original.

What occurs is a calculated or random redefinition of the known into an unknown rendition. That slice of the whole defies the first encounter. In  architecture it crops the subject into patterns of surfaces that are usually seen as alcoves, ceilings, doors, hallways, stairways, tiling, windows, exterior views, or… Areas unnoticed by the casual eye.

So why create an image that is unrecognizable? Out of context? Maybe it’s to seize intrigue and mystery that shows a new way of seeing the old. Maybe it shows a more interesting portion. Maybe it says so much more than the intact object. Maybe it’s a challenge to view a human innovation with fresh perspective.

Just maybe the new visual language is more enticing, more complex or more simple than the original. Or it does not have to be. It just may be a fleeting scenario that pleases the eye as a frozen moment of insight.

Maybe the reason is irrelevant. Maybe the final image is all that matters. Maybe it does matter. Maybe the impetus counts. In truth it’s all in the eye of the beholders.

In the Lens section are two parts: An original abstract image of a section of a barn door (which I discovered during a walk in a local preserve), and the same image post-processed.

My choice to select that portion of the barn door was intentional. That section reminded me of Abstract Expressionist paintings, art that swept through America in the 1950s-60s, and has never really completely dissipated.

The exposed wood, peeling paint and rusty areas played with color, form, line, space, and visual language in similar ways that those artists did and today’s artists continue to do. They also add an emotional response that very much inhabits what I see: an impulsive response to the visual universe.

Tip of the Week: For those of you who live in the southern California, there is an exhibition in Santa Monica called “Kaleidoscope: abstraction in architecture” that runs from now until 16 May, 2015. It is being held at the Christopher Grimes Gallery, and includes five of the artists that the gallery represents. The artists use various media, including photography, to interpret architectural features through abstraction. From the gallery’s website:

“Today, abstraction as an artistic strategy has reinvented itself for the 21st century, and the fragmentation of form is a common denominator within the majority of the works featured in this exhibition.”

The artists come from the United States, Brazil, Portugal, and Chile. Click here to view more about the show.

"Pine-Tree Window,” 2012 photograph by Veronika Kellndorfer

“Pine-Tree Window,” 2012 photograph by Veronika Kellndorfer

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-color/

http://nadinetomlinson.com/2015/03/23/my-photography-adventure-writing-with-light/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/finding-a-canyon-realizing-my-strength/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/phoneography-challenge-fire-truck/

https://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/in-the-window-2-photos/

https://toweararainbow.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/temporary-architecture/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2015/03/23/pinecone/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/phoneography-three-view-monday/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/phoneography-challenge-trompe-loeil-california-style/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/03/23/street-photography-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/03/23/challengers-choice-abstract-architecture/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/phoneography-challenge-all-creatures-great-and-small/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2015/03/23/iphoneography-monday-3-23-15-travel-underground-in-seattle/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/phoneography-challenge-challengers-choice-abstraction-poinciana/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/on-the-collision-of-theweek-curated-and-the-entirely-accidental/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Abstract, Architecture, Art, Design, Inspiration, iPhoneography, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments