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

16 January 2017

Lens:

Take in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed, FX Photo Studio and Pixlr

Afternoon Light and Leaf Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Afternoon Light and Leaf Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Click on image to enlarge. Let me know what you think about this photomontage. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

Ode to Wintry Mix

I.

Magic, I wish. Miracle, I wish. Modesty, I wish.

Magic clouds dissolve and illuminate, illuminate each of us for our selfhood.

No identity questioned. No criticism for words that soothe, and yet are not yours to speak.

II.

Miracle blazed a path to the planet’s core. Salve exudes.

III.

Modesty rises to swing through hearts and calm those that are misunderstood. Calm stares that are miscalculated.

IV.

And magic appears with confidence and illusion. ~~ Sally W. Donatello, 2017

Tip of the Week:

In The New York Time’s section “Lens” James Estrin introduces the reader to photographer Josh Haner’s work. “Photographing Climate Change Refugees, by Drone and Foot” ( 28 December 2016) encapsulates Haner’s dedication to tell the story that few notice: as climate change has redefined the weather, it has also reimagined the land that we inhabit, leaving growing numbers of refugees. The article explains, “Josh Haner has photographed eight stories across five countries this year about the effects of climate change, often employing drones to get unique vantage points. Mr. Haner is a staff photographer and a senior editor for photo technology at The New York Times. He talked with James Estrin about finding new ways to visualize climate change.” Read the full article here. I found Haner’s images informative, persuasive and provocative.

"Living in China's Expanding Deserts," photo by Josh Haner/New York Times

“Living in China’s Expanding Deserts,” photo by Josh Haner/New York Times

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-reflections/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2017/01/16/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/sally-ds-smart-device-challenge-nature-of-winter-trees/

https://christinejrandall.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/a-bw-bee-for-sally-ds-mobile-challenge/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/mobile-photo-challenge-black-and-white-and-more/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/portrait/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2017/01/20/time-for-a-drink/

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 would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

Posted in Black-and-White Photography, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (Lives of a Flower)

09 January 2017

Lens:

Edited in Snapseed and Pixlr

Dried Zinnia Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Dried Zinnia Photomontage; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Click on image to enlarge. Let me know what you think about this photomontage. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

As I dry and observe the metamorphosis of a plucked flower, another connection to nature is placed in my treasure trove. Each memory solidifies how essential this partnership is to my psyche.

In my kitchen there are shelves that serve multiply purposes. One area is to dry buds, flowers and leaves that enchant me, grab my attention in their final stages in my gardens, or spied on excursions.

Each provides a story about the life cycle and the visual appeal of the step-by-step transformation from bud to dried stage and beyond. I am entranced and entertained. This journey to finale of these natural wonders, never cease to amaze.

In the Lens section is such a jewel, plucked at autumn’s mid-point. It rested with much ado about my constant gaze. As it reinvented itself, its appearance became another form of beauty and comfort to me.

This one flowerhead became diminutive, barely there. Still, its portrait screams its transformation. As I contemplated the layering of the flower with other images, I decided to use it as a play on double exposure. It became a record of its marching orders by doubling its presence, yet fading into the past.

Tip of the Week: Hudson Valley Seed Library is a nod to the environment, gardeners and nature enthusiasts. Its online presence is a gift to those of us who plant heirloom and open-pollinated garden seeds. While I await its spring catalog, I peruse their site.

From their website: “Many of these seeds they produce on their own small farm; the rest they source from other local farmers, farmers in other regions, and from trustworthy wholesale seed houses that are not owned by or affiliated with multi-national biotech companies. They have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, and they adhere to Vandana Shiva’s Declaration of Seed Freedom. As of May 2013, they are both a Certified Organic farm and a Certified Organic Handler (both by NOFA-NY LLC).” You also can visit this website.

From an interview by Nasimeh Babrayni (20 December 2014): What inspired Hudson Valley Seed Library (HVSL)? Ken Greene, who is one of the owners of HVSL, responds,  “I had become a seed saver in my own garden after learning about some of the global seed issues including loss of genetic diversity and consolidation of seed resources by the biotech industry. I wanted to make a small difference by taking responsibility for our local seeds and making sure they were preserved and protected. But that didn’t feel like I was doing enough, I wanted to find a way to share the seeds, and seed saving skills, with more people in my community. The more hands and gardens the seeds pass through, the more alive and protected they are for the future. I began to see seeds as having much in common with books–especially books in a library.”

I started using their seeds last year, and will again for the upcoming planting seasons. I also am interested in the seed exchange program, which is an opportunity to participate in their mission. Even if you are not a gardener, I hope that you enjoy this company’s role in sustainability, and what others are doing to preserve nature’s gifts for the present and future generations.

Hudson Valley Seed Library

Hudson Valley Seed Library

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-drop/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/mobile-photo-challenge-macro-and-more/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/sally-ds-smart-device-macro-photography-winter-iris/

https://helenchen.ws/2017/01/09/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-lavender/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/the-post-christmas-back-to-basics-diet/

https://netdancer.com/2017/01/09/tis-the-season-for-snowflakes/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/bubbles-of-character/

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 would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Digital Art, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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

02 January 2017

Lens:

1. Autumn Leaves Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Autumn Leaves Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Autumn Leaves Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Autumn Leaves Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Pens:

Greetings to you and 2017… in my personal world that inhabits the USA we embrace hope that the New Year will be built on memories that serve the health and well-being of each individual and the planet, even as the signs point otherwise. And as always I turn to Mother Nature to shore my spirit.

Year after year autumn leaves create their legacy. Since trees play a crucial role in the health of our planet, their leaves are far more than a boost of color and design in the landscape. Each leaf serves a purpose for the leaf of its Mother tree and the air that we breathe.

The history of my property’s bounty is layered in foliage, gathered, composed and spread during spring and autumn’s fanciful appearance. This ritual is a part of the care and maintenance of my wildlife habitats.

An aspect of autumn’s allure is the drifting of leaves and their symbolism of birth, life, death and birth again. In late summer when the first leaves descend I am a sleuth scouring every nook and pathway for the lofty and unusual to dry, and then savor its continual contribution. This seasonal gift of golden nourishment brings new life to the soil and therefore to my plantings.

The forest floor is an apt example of this phenomenon: how the earth gives and takes, and then turns these feats into treats for the planet’s well being. When I take my daily walk through and by the woods, I become privy to the wild year-round metamorphosis.

But now the winter paints the landscape. Colors alter, naked trees abound, the forest floor becomes softer with leafy coverage, the earth is solid downward at least two inches, and sunlight spreads from a lower vantage point skyward. This season’s dormancy never entirely signals diminished aesthetics, just new ones to admire and appreciate.

Each season provides its own sweet songs of visual language—visual language that dons a different patina and asks us to notice, notice, notice. In winter with leafless trees sounds become exaggerated, shadows become more prevalent, hiding places for all creatures most be changed and re-arranged.

As early wintry days play with our senses, we begin our own version of hibernation. We work to employ its quiet magic. Then the radiance of spring, summer and autumn appears. Longer days of light bring exuberance in so many forms—forms that shower hearts and souls with a world that offers splendor in the midst of unknown reality.

I wish you a memorable year ahead, one with your dreams fulfilled, or at least they are on the path to being realized. I thank you for being part of my world; you have brought moments of pure joy, and I thank you for your readership. Truly, it is a pleasure to be part of your universe.

Tip of the Week:

I’ve been intrigued by the influence of Pantone colors from my first sighting, discovering it through publications of printed materials to advertise and market educational programs. That was many, many, many moons ago.

Here is a description of the company’s history from its website (pantone.com): “The Pantone Color Matching System is largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another. Pantone, as it is today, was founded in 1962, when the company—at the time a small business which manufactured colour cards for cosmetics companies—was bought by Lawrence Herbert, who had been an employee since 1956. He immediately changed its direction, developing the first colour matching system in 1963.”

Pantone’s Color of the Year is described as:  “A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.”

The New Year introduces the company’s color for 2017: Greenery. It’s selection represents: ” A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings. Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate. Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally… A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.”

I’m thrilled that this perky hue is to be in the forefront this year. It will be a reminder of Mother nature and our spinning planet. It also will be a blatant and subliminal reminder of our duty to care, honor and help sustain our precious Earth.

"Greenery,” Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017

“Greenery,” Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-shall-we-gather-at-the-river/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/mobile-photo-challenge-nature-and-more-2/

https://priorhouse.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/mobile-photo-challenge-nature/

https://netdancer.com/2017/01/02/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-ocean

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/a-bright-start-2017-sally-ds-nature-photo-challenge

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/sunday-trees-3/

https://helpalongthepath.com/2017/01/02/consistency/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2017/01/03

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/new-year-better-you/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/weathered-but-not-broken/

https://artalsolife.com/2017/01/04/vision-problems/

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 would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

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

12 December 2016

Lens:

Gerber Daisy Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved.jpg

Gerber Daisy Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Click on image to enlarge. Let me know what you think about this photomontage.

Pens:

*********** The next mobile photography challenge will pay tribute to the New Year on Monday, 02 January. I will begin my cyber holiday at the end of this week, and wish you two weeks of calm and tranquility and lots of festive cheer. ****************************

This week I decided to take a quiet pause, to suspend disbelief and fog, to focus on a space that will bring me deep felt hope and optimism. How that translates is yet to be defined.

I believe that I will be on this spiritual pilgrimage of my own invention for much more than the week, probably indefinitely. The flower photomontage in the Lens section is part of this journey, which  includes reflection and forward thinking. The image salutes a world that seems precarious, an image that speaks to possibilities and transformation in its layers and shades of unknowns.

Throughout the winter holidays: Let’s fine comfort and pleasure in the company of family and friends; Let merrymaking fill our thoughts; Let our emotions bubble with elation; Let distractions fade and appreciation persist.

I will see you for the next challenge on 02 January, when we can usher in the New Year, putting this very difficult 2016 to rest and in the past.

We can turn toward a lightness of being, a renewal of confidence in the future. My best to you and yours, Sally

***** “Sometimes a deep question is better than a straight answer.” ~~ The filmmaker Werner Herzog

Tip of the Week:

“The Radical Eye” is an acclaimed modernist photography exhibition from the Sir Elton John Collection. Sir John owns almost 8,000 images that date from the early twentieth century. The show, which is a glimpse into the artistic value of his collection, consists of seventy artists and one-hundred-and-fifty rare vintage prints. The exhibition is available at the Tate Modern in London until 07 May 2017. For further information go to the Tate’s website (here and here)

Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs Collection at UK’s National Portrait Gallery, said Mr. John was “very uncompromising in his collecting, and always sought out those examples that thrill when you see them. It’s incredible not just that he has a print of such and such,” he added, “but he has the print.”

For those of you that live in the UK or will be traveling to London, I urge you to take the opportunity to see this highly-praised exhibition.

"Underwater Swimmer, a portrait of Kersetz's brother," 1917

“Underwater Swimmer, a portrait of Kertesz’s brother,” 1917****

****SIR ELTON JOHN PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTION/ESTATE OF ANDRE KÉRTÉSZ/HIGHER PICTURES

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-the-art-of-seeing/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/sally-ds-macro-challenge-its-a-tree-dahlia/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/mobile-photo-challenge-macro-and-mm-3/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-rose/

https://artalsolife.com/2016/12/15/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/putting-down-the-camera/

https://priorhouse.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/sally-ds-mobile-phone-photos-b-w/

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 would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Digital Art, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (Leaves and Reflections Photomontage)

05 December 2016

Lens:

1. Autumnal Leaves and Reflection Photomonatge; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Autumnal Leaves and Reflections Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Autumnal Leaves and Reflection Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Autumnal Leaves and Reflections Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

There is a point within the later days of this season when the landscape is saturated with autumnal presence, and the promise of warmer days are stilled for months. The shorter days affect moods, and usher into our lives a rearrangement of outdoor activities. Oh, only a few weeks before the days begin their ascent toward spring.

The land is no longer alive with hues that perk our visual universe. We must be satisfied with more monochromatic tones. Scenes of plenty are quiet, and it’s time to concentrate and focus on an inner culture of hibernation and transition.

Today, as in the last few, is encumbered by winds and grey skies. But sway in the treetops take my thoughts away from the chill, and push my sights to the last of the acorns and leaves bouncing and drifting downward. The winds are fierce and strip the trees almost bare of foliage.

On the ground and coating my gardens leaves continue their various stages of coloration, and relinquish their original duty for a new one. For a while I will be spreading these golden treasures and placing them into compose bins. I secure certain ones for drying and to watch their transformation from one kind of captivating beauty to another.

It helps to divert the mind from winter’s forecast and center on autumn’s gifts. It helps to divert my mind and center on nature as sanctuary no matter the season, no matter her apparent visual expressions and underlining stories. She is omniscience.

Tip of the Week:

“I am interested primarily in what Emerson called the integrity of natural objects. Natural places too have their integrity. They express wholeness and individuality, and it is this sense of place that is the foundation of my work.” –Philip Hyde

Along with Ansel Adams photographer Philip Hyde (1921-2006) had a strong influence on the environmental movement in the United States. From the Sierra Club’s website and description of its history, here is Hyde’s contribution: “He first photographed for the Sierra Club in 1950 as official photographer on the summer Sierra Club High Trip with David Brower. Many people refer to Philip Hyde as the underappreciated master landscape photographer of the 20th century. His photographs participated in more environmental campaigns than those of any other photographer. At the birth of the modern environmental movement, he was one of the primary illustrators of the groundbreaking Sierra Club Exhibit Format Series. He dedicated his life to defending western American wilderness, working with the Wilderness Society, National Audubon, and others. His color photographs changed landscape photography as they helped to establish color photography as a fine art…. Hyde dedicated his life to the portrayal and protection of wilderness chiefly through photography.”

Hyde’s photograph, “Cathedral In The Desert, Glen Canyon, Utah, 1964” was cited by American Photo Magazine as one of the top one hundred photographs of the twentieth century. To read more about him and see his work, click here.

"Mountains and Deserts: A Portfolio of Twelve Lithographic Prints," 1973, by Philip Hyde

“Mountains and Deserts: A Portfolio of Twelve Lithographic Prints,” 1973, by Philip Hyde

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-early-morning/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-falling-leaves-at-sunrise/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/12/05/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/back-lit-trees-sally-ds-nature-challenge/

https://rfljenksy.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/smiles/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/natural-light/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/mobile-photo-challenge-nature/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-false-olive/

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 would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (Still Life of Nature)

28 November 2016

Lens:

I. Taken in Camera+ and edited in Hipstamatic, Stackables and Pixlr

1. Autumnal Scenario Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Autumnal Scenario Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken in Camera+ and edited in Hipstamatic and Stackables

2. Autumnal Scenario; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Autumnal Scenario; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

Years of palpable uncertainty are in my country’s future. Everyone needs an instant escape mechanism to shelter their souls from the day-to-day news—news that carries an unsettling forecast of what is yet to be. What to do? Lately I’ve longed to believe that I had awoken to a parallel universe, and all I had to do was wait until sleep came again and I arose in my real world. Alas, to no avail. Then I began to invent a monumental science fiction scenario that in few ways was healing. Meta-narratives continued to enter my mind’s neediness.

Last week on a crisp morning I set out on my daily walk in blustery weather that mimicked my mood. Suddenly, I spied flattering clouds swiftly crossing the skyline, giving me a dose of supreme contentment for a nanosecond. That illusion of a sweet state of mind was followed by an autumnal scene that was simple in its storytelling. Still, my thoughts were diverted by the natural wonders before me.

Nature is my sanctuary. She is the repository of the world’s ambition, even in the path of human intervention.

In nature I loose time, the sense of boundaries release themselves. I no longer care about time, its dimensions and meaning. It’s the equivalent of flow in photography or any creative endeavor or activity where the mind becomes one with the doing. Some inner force becomes in charge, and I am tranquil.

I am relieved of the ticking. Time is relinquished, it’s on its own as it should be.

Tip of the Week:  Daisy Gilardini is an accomplished wildlife photographer who is widely known and respected for her work documenting nature in extreme environments. She is especially captivated by the polar bear. From her website:

” Many times I tried to understand this irresistible attraction to the Polar Regions, which I would define almost as an addiction or obsession. These extreme adventures transport me out of my ordinary worldliness leading me in a voyage of self-discovery….If human kind wants to survive and evolve with our planet we have to act responsibly, by acknowledging with humility that Nature is not depended by us but we are dependent by Nature….While science provides the data necessary to explain issues and suggest solutions, photography symbolizes these issues. Science is the brain, while photography is the heart and we need to reach people’s heart and emotions in order to move them to action, for Nature and for us.”

The results of Gilardini’s environmental expeditions can be seen in her books such as Bear Tales and Polar Wonders.

"Hitching a Ride," Wapusk National park, Canada, 2016, by Daisy Gilardini

“Hitching a Ride,” Wapusk National Park, Canada, 2016, by Daisy Gilardini

View other entries for this week’s challenge :

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-all-ears/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/west-facing-photomontage-for-sally-ds-mobile-photo-challenge/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-the-tea-house-goddess/

https://netdancer.com/2016/11/28/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-landscape/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/chihulys-basket-series/

https://traveller2006.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice/

https://artalsolife.com/2016/11/30/the-fernery-2/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-nature-of-flowers/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/13601/

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 would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (and Washington Square Park Photomontage)

21 November 2016

Lens:

Taken in Camera+ and edited in Hipstamatic and Pixlr

Reflections Where There are None; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Reflections Where There are None; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

To escape the pre-election uncertainty, two weeks ago I went northward to visit my grandson in the city that melts, pumps and secures our hearts: New York. It’s THE urban center that has cradled most human experiences and always, always has a way to dazzle.

As a young child my frequent trips by airplane were made to spend a few days with relatives. Today I-95 carries me there in the time that it takes to read half a book or have a lengthy conversation or …

Because of my state of mind, Washington Square Park would be a priority on my last day. This greenspace is a mainstay and respite for residents and the curious. This prized landmark conjures and represents democracy and freedom, culture and diversity, dissent and voice, and historic and historical events.

From the park’s vantage point I surveyed that day’s unfolding, and gazed in comfort upon the Freedom Tower, which boldly stands in distant Lower Manhattan. Since its completion I noticed that this symbol of democracy seems to be visible wherever I wander in New York’s cityscape. Its stellar design and significance magically gives hope.

For a little longer I sat and observed: a deflating balloon sculpture resting against the arch and probably from a previous day’s festivities; the Second Amendment chalked on the path near the fountain; a father playing soccer with his son in the empty fountain; youngsters reading and sunning on the grassy area; dogs strolling with their caretakers. Essentially, people being people.

The day was bright as though good news was to follow. There in that moment and in other places people were feeling that good, mostly optimistic. Only a few days later, that changed.

In the Lens section is the image that stole my attention at Washington Square. The sunlight casting its rays onto the building, which houses bathrooms. Its design and features were emboldened by the light. The strong morning glow gave its angles and lines emphasis to capture my gaze.

On the other side of the park the archway that leads into Washington Square had its own illumination from the morning light. Its guardian came out of the shadow of the arch to salute the symbolism of America’s beginning. George Washington himself was listening and watching; his statute standing high above to inspire all that pass by him and notice.

That arch was built 1889 to commemorate the centennial of Washington’s inauguration. It has seen many cultural and political celebrations and events. Prior to the election Madonna surprised New Yorkers with an impromptu performance to encourage people to vote.

Later in the morning clouds surfaced with a chill in the air. Already the universe and I had an escalating emotions. And so my photomontage has a soft layer of clouds and other shadows that shows Americans’ moodiness and feelings of uncertainty on that day, the days that  followed, now, and those yet to come.

Hope stills looms somewhere in human history’s lessons, and I very much want to latch onto its dimensions.

Tip of the Week:

When I first held my iPhone 4s, I had no inkling that it would within six months become my camera of choice. No offense to my fabulous Nikon DSLR; you will always be part of my photographic tool kit. It’s just that my infatuation with its technology’s abilities grew with it and my current iPhone 6. I always loved that 4s, that is, until it began to self-destruct. Today the 6 is just as much a part of me, an extension of my inner lens.

When I explored the possibilities with that first iPhone, I succumbed (almost instantaneously) to its magical charms. In the honeymoon stage I spent much of my time using the native camera and relying on my instincts. Months later I discovered a few apps that incorporated features of value to photo shoots and others that I could use as part of my digital darkroom–a darkroom that over the last few years makes experimentation a daily occurrence.

One of the earlier apps on my iPhone 4s allowed immediate conversion of the image to black and white. I was smittened. But after a year or so I realized that was not a benefit. I kept stumbling upon articles that reminded me that a color image produces details that are needed to translate accurately an image to black and white. Much is lost if the shot is immediately created in monochrome. I tossed the app, and began to shoot in Camera+. Then conversion to black and white was and is to this day done in another app, usually I’ll use Snapseed. So my suggestion is to use your native camera or other camera app to shoot in technicolor. Then conversion will be oh so much better and more accurate.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-fountain/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/mobile-photography-challeng-bw-space-needle/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/black-and-white-lilacs/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-hawaiian-flower/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2016/11/22/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-green-point/

https://traveller2006.wordpress.com/2016/11/22/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-3/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-bw/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/glory-of-the-moment/

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 would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Architecture, Black-and-White Photography, Digital Art, Human Nature, Mobile Photography, Photomontage, Street Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments