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

25 July 2016

Lens:

Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr

Forest Primeval Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Forest Primeval Photomontage; 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:

A human trait that keeps us re-imagining and re-inventing ourselves is reflected in self-expression and self- exploration. We search and find, find and search for those bits and pieces of our life’s journey that not only spark our creativity, but also keep us afloat with what we can be and do individually. This short diatribe re-introduces my latest quest to push my own level of possibilities.

Photomontage has taken over my thoughts. It has opened my path to see beyond what I usually see. I began this adventure about a week and a half ago, and have immersed myself in its various dimensions. To still a moment in time and space is to memorialize the visualization and its layers of meaning. A photograph can be seen for the obvious, or you can dip into its components.

In a photomontage those components multiply and are made of either desperate or inextricably linked images. In my brief jump into this genre (that is, through the digital darkroom), I have blended two images and as many as five. For me it’s not about the number of images, but the re-interpretation of the original. Sometimes my intention is blown away. While at others the completed image fulfills my intent. And sometimes the result moves vastly past my thoughts. One of the most compelling parts of this creative process is the unknowing.

What will transpire in the re-imaging of that framed moment? How do I know when to curtail the process, doing just enough to produce an image that actually is more powerful or intriguing than the original? Why even make a photomontage? My responses to these queries are being examined as I experiment.

What I can say is that it is a completely energizing experience. It’s as though my inner lens is mining for the visual story that builds the elements of the past into the present. It’s remarkably intriguing.

Photomontage is a continual aesthetic and method class: construction and re-construction and construction anew. The final image is a still (life) image made by the  re-interpretation.

This direction places me on a new trajectory. It lifts me into the world of my inner seeing, building layers within and outside of my visual universe. Regardless, my photographic eye continues to define and refine. As part of this evergreen process, a composite photograph is created using intertwined stories—stories that mirror life’s journey.

In the Lens section is an image that reflects nature as the past and present. The composite image was created with four photographs: each portrays nature. The final photomontage is the forest primeval: a reflection of nature and human nature’s tinkering. The original image is part of the entrance to a path that moves along a creek. The area is maintained by the city, and the foreground of my composition is a mowed area, showing human nature’s hand in the natural world.

“We” think that there is a separation between nature and human nature, but humans always have been entwined with Mother Nature. In those seamless times we have a forest primeval. In those seamless times we measure and value all living things as one.

Tip of the Week:

Gary Winogrand (1928-1984) was an American photographer who recorded everyday urban street life from the 1950s through the early 1980s. He also is an icon in the history of documentary photography. During his life he had champions of his images, but his early death occurred before his work was fully appreciated. Read more about Winogrand and view his work here. The following are a few of his quotes that make me think deeper about the photographic moment. Whether you agree with Winogrand or not, each quote does evoke a response.

“There is no special way a photograph should look.”

“You have a lifetime to learn technique. But I can teach you what is more important than technique, how to see; learn that and all you have to do afterwards is press the shutter.”

“Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.”

“The photograph should be more interesting or more beautiful than what was photographed.”

"John F.Kennedy, Democratic National Convention, Los-Angeles," 1960, Gary Winogrand

“John F.Kennedy, Democratic National Convention, Los-Angeles,” 1960, Gary Winogrand

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-still-life/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/07/25/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/challenges-choice-pop-sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/10646/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/smart-device-photos-from-mexico/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-alone-on-the-road/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/turning-the-lights-on-for-matariki/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/

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, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Experiment with Photomontage)

18 July 2016

Lens:

Both photographs were taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr.

1. Hydrangea with Beam of Light; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

2. Hydrangea with Beam of Light; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

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

Pens:

Lately, I’ve had the urge to delve into photomontage, which I enjoyed during the analog days. Whether incorporating two photographs or more, the results (surprisingly) can be rewarding to the image maker and viewer.

My first experience was overlaying one image onto another and creating an intriguing otherworldly scene. The second experiment had five images and became a story of deep personal meaning. A feature of this method is a built-in continuum of possibilities that are difficult to realize with one image. Still, one does not want to make the final photograph too complex.

Questions arise. Will the viewer be able to discern the layers of introspection? Or even see the palette of time included? Why create multiple images that drift across the small frame? Does the final image become more aesthetically pleasing than the originals? Why not make a diptych or triptych? Do this technique make a better image? Does it matter?

I believe a worthy photograph must evoke (on some level) an emotional response: curiosity, joy, sadness, surprise, or…The history of the final image may be illusive, the image itself may be illusive, but the photograph must have an appeal in whatever visual arena it inhabits.

The photomontage acts almost as though it is a visual short story where the narrative skips back and forth across the frame. That energy and movement appeals to my aesthetic, which usually pushes the “simpler-is-better” philosophy.

In the Lens section are two images that are the result of my initial experimentation with this technique. The discovery of the app Pixlr boosted my enthusiasm, and a quick tutorial on YouTube gave me the confidence to dive into its features. Over the last few days I have created photomontages that consist of two to five photographs. Each surprisingly appealing, at least to me.

Photographs in the Lens section are made from two images that were taken months apart, and have no relationship to each other. But now they are inextricably bound together, creating a third narrative. It’s quite intriguing.

A few of the others were made with the sole purpose of combining photographs that had a relationship by subject or theme. The blend of several images build another story that now serves as a gateway for reinterpretation.

These experiments sent me back in time to my basement that served as my first darkroom. That space spirited miracles in small doses. To bring an image alive in the dark is beyond description. In that space time seemed to halt as I discovered a world of black and white–a world that is simulated (not replicated) in today’s digital darkroom.

Still, as an image maker I feel immense joy as I build a photomontage and reach the apex of my intentions or step into serendipity. This experimental phase tests my perceptions and understanding of how I see the world and record it. The experience gives me pause to consider the direction of my photography.

The creative process is a limitless exercise in self-expression, self-directedness, and aesthetics. It has no bounds, only possibilities to re-imagine, re-invent, re-create my individual way of seeing the journey called life.

Tip of the Week: The master photographer Robert Frank (b. 1924) is immortalized in a recently-released video called “Don’t Blink–Robert Frank” (runs an hour and 22 minutes). I’ve written about Frank’s contribution to the oeuvre of photographic history, and this post re-emphasizes how important his body of work continues to be. Frank has influenced and inspired scores of artists and non-artists. Now in his 90s he especially is known for his ground-breaking documentation of Americans–people who can be described as everyday folk. That was the 1950s, and the result was The Americans (1958). This book changed the trajectory of modern photography. That work continues and became his signature. He also developed a keen sense of the landscape that he first discovered driving across the United States, and visiting small and larger towns to record the nuances of American life that are found in The Americans. Later in his career he became know for his avant-garde films. To read a review about the video, click here. The film was released in theaters on 13 July 2016.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-casting-a-long-shadow/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-b-w-bells/

https://inthezone2001.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/details-summer216-a-to-z-letters-i-j-k/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/smart-device-black-and-white-challenge-summer-grasses/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-white-impressions/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-on-the-road/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-sand-dunes/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/mobile-photography-bnw-and-iphone-fun-facts/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/days-of-daisy/

https://christinejrandall.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/bw-rural-living-scenery/

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, 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, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (with Gerber Daisy)

11 July 2016

Lens:

I. Taken in Camera+

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

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

II. Taken in Camera+ and Edited in Polamatic

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

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

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

Pens:

Ode to the Unseen:

I.

Courting adventure.                                                                                                                         Courting endurance.                                                                                                                    Conspiring as though easily fulfilled.

Craving narratives that reveal the everyday through                                                                          Wings and wishes colliding,                                                                                                                 Surrendering in plain sight.

Bearing witness to a fashionable facade.                                                                                       And offering sacrifice and deception.

Then discovering Mother Nature’s beckoning.                                                                                 Imprinting floating teardrops, amplified and rendered with floral patterns                                of transcendence.

Unveiling hidden talents of a singular daisy,                                                                          nature fulfilling the heart’s crisis.                                                                                                 Easing a gentle march toward the known.

II.

Droplets slide over cantilevered petals.                                                                                      Slightly bold, yet deliberately demur.

Glancing into lives,                                                                                                                    Aesthetics reign, complex and simple.

Lines converge,                                                                                                                           Visualizing moods that shed pretense.

Irony of illusion and reality blend and intertwine,                                                                         A singular daisy with architectural overtones.

Designing small memories,                                                                                                             Light revises sensibilities, instigating voyeurism.

From absurdity to the daylight and nightlight,                                                                            Clarity’s luxurious eloquence dwells in truth.

Tip of the Week: This week I want to introduce you to a TED Talk. In November 2010 British architect Michael Pawlyn’s spoke about “Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture.” His talk focused on how nature’s intricate designs are models for architectural environments. In 2007 he established a firm that specializes in biomimicry, which turns to nature to solve human problems.

From the TED website here is a description: “How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. At TEDSalon in London, Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.” Pawlyn explains science in a way that pulls us into nature’s teeny tiny world of structures and explains how ideas from biology can be used to create sustainable designs. One example is the model of a termite mound that was used to build the Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe. This project by Mike Pearce made comfortable living conditions in a tropical environment without air conditioning. To see the entire video (runs 13;46), click here.

"Using Nature's Genius in Architecture;" TED Talks, 2010

“Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture;” TED Talks, 2010

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-butterfly-on-lavender/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-where-the-bees-go/

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/sally-ds-mobile-photography-macro-art/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/macro-challenge-sunflowers/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/07/13/on-little-changes-and-the-slow-grasp-of-icy-fingers/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/macro/

https://christinejrandall.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/macro-barbed-wire-snags/

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, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Architecture, Art, Design, Inspiration, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Poetry, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (and my Obsession with Geraniums)

04 July 2016

Lens:

1. Geranium Florets, Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Geranium Florets, Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Geranium Florets; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Geranium Florets; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

I admit my obsession with geraniums and their sumptuous florets. From afar the flower head appears as one large come-and-see-me blossom. But a close-up view reveals a cluster of florets that defy the initial gaze.

Each time one of my geraniums blooms, I am nonplussed by its singular charm–charm that is alarmingly seductive. And each time one of my geraniums blooms, I react as if it is my first sighting. That’s the magic of these annuals, a magic that continues in my eyes to reinvent itself.

As humans we cannot always explain our reaction, our unconditional devotion, our abiding focus, our unique predilections, our stubborn amplitude, our keen observations. Sometimes there is a person, a work of art, a slice of nature, a sentence in a story, a sudden realization, a perfect or imperfect moment that urges us to act–all in the service of our individual journey with its lessons and tribulations.

Why that object, why that scene, why that slice of the mundane? Why freeze frame that moment? And because it incites my inner lens does not assure that anyone else sees my images as a variant of my perceptions.

Yes, I admit my intense foothold in philosophy and even psychology, but I accept these parameters of my behavior and personality. It explains much of my steadfast directive as an introvert, which also acts as a force to understand the world through visual interpretation.

My belaboring the wondrous single floret with its back-up chorus has me in silent investigation of its unique character. For explainable and unexplainable reasons its oneness in a sea of other geraniums florets (scattered worldwide and not at all interested in each other) has me gobsmacked. I surrendered to its beckoning.

Still, my internal drive to appreciate these tiny beings is not that strange. Nature has always played with my attention, and I inevitably succumb with ease. And during a discovery my conscious state is overtaken by senses and sensibilities. I am helpless to do anything but graze upon the moment and the aftermath.

In the Lens section is the sighting of the florets that donned a geranium from 2015 gardening season, and blossomed in my kitchen last week. Its presence seemed to scold the budding geraniums in their sight that were sunning in the outside garden. It was a clever point in this year’s flowering season. I was enchanted.

The two images are only slightly different, but enough that I felt each has its merits. The floret in the foreground has a playfulness and a lightness of being that I could not resist. It seemed to want to float across time and space with assurance and whimsy, catching the light and my attention.

Tip of the Week:

When I am composing a post for a challenge, I continually check the internet to verify facts or search for answers to questions to use in the body of my “Pens” section. Or to include in the Tip of the Week. One of the ways that I can assist myself is searching a few apps that respond to queries about nature, specifically plant and tree identification. Here are two that you might investigate:

  1. Leafsnap

Price: Free

From their website: “A joint project by Columbia University, University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institution is helping people identify plants with a photo. Leafsnap uses facial recognition software for trees–all you need is a leaf and a white background and this application should be able to help you. The app currently covers trees of the Northeast and Washington, DC.”

2. TreeBook

Price: Free

From their website: TreeBook has 100 of the most common trees in North America as a helpful resource guide.”

Even if you are not in North America, you can search for your region of the world, and find similar apps. They are enormously helpful as sources to take on nature walks and to identify leaves, plants and trees. Hope that you find them useful, or discover your own to have ready for your next outing.

Leafsnap.com

Leafsnap.com

Other entries into this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-daisy-daisy/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/happy-fourth-and-mobile-photo-challenge-nature/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/07/04/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/sally-ds-mobile-device-nature-photography-challenge/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-sunrises-in-the-hawkes-bay/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature

https://nowathome.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-hidden-treasure/

https://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-6/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/returned-to-nature/

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, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Art, Design, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenge’s Choice (The Architecture of Nature-A Rarity where Sunset Coincides with Strawberry Moon)

27 June 2016

Lens:

I. Taken in Camera+ and Edited in Hipstamatic

2. Cloudscapes at Sunset, Reservoir Hipstamatic; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved.

1. Cloudscapes at Sunset (8:24 p.m.), Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken in Camera+ and Edited in Snapseed

1. Cloudscapes at Sunset, Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Cloudscapes at Sunset (8:44 p.m.), Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

Cloudscapes were complicit. Hues danced in cooperation. Droves of people congregated. My grandson and I spent the first hour entertained by the sunset—a sunset that would be (at its finale) simultaneous with a strawberry moon. This solstice moon last occurred in 1967 (known as the “summer of love”), and fulfilled its destiny by appearing close to the horizon. It cannot be missed with its cloak of pinkish reds or reddish pinks or orangey pinks. The next showing will be 2062. Hum, glad that I saw this one.

The sky was saturated with cloud formations that stunned. They seem to be celebrating this occasion. Our town’s reservoir is an optimum setting for sunrises and sunsets, and on this particular evening the sky performed with a staggering kaleidoscopic palette.

This curious event peaked our photographic penchant. The confluence of events allowed us to hold onto each moment with quiet admiration. Waiting and watching, being mindful to everything and everyone surrounding us, especially the sky from East to West and West to East. The myriad of cloudscapes kept altering, and the soft and then vibrant colors were on their own kind of adventures.

Color memory is ambiguous, unreliable about the original encounter. An epiphanous moment will shine in the memory’s recall, but details are often illusive. Pick a hue for an occasion, and try to replicate it without a sample. The results are usually laughable.

When I try to remember the feeling that wells during a particular sunset, I am relieved that I can return to my photographs. Even so I find that nothing can replace a face-to-face experience with Mother Nature. No matter how much effort I mobilize to envision the combination of colors with their subtleties and strengths, it never matches the encounter. I believe that is exactly the way it ought to be.

In the Lens section are two images from this year’s summer solstice. Image one was taken twenty minutes before the second one. The combinations of hues reminded me of a Pantone chart that has each color systematically presented in a range of choices. The spectrum of cloud formations enchanted and spun my thoughts. Still it was a quietude of the best sort where nature’s creativity inspired and tranquilized.

As we marveled at the sunset, we walked to view the Eastern sky and their before us was the strawberry moon with a haze of orange-red clouds, encircled by a ring of strawberry red. It was cause for momentary celebration.

The architecture of Mother Nature is constantly changing and reaffirming, altering and redefining. But its ability to engage is always certain. To be sure the solstice sunset and strawberry moon could be witnessed through a panoramic swath of nature’s ability to stun our senses and spark our awe.

****Oh, you were wondering where is my photograph of the moon. The Smartphone is notorious for its inability to capture low-light images. The strawberry moon appeared to us at 8:55 p.m., and continued until it was hiding behind clouds and trees. Here is my best capture, which was done with my DSLR Nikon.

Strawberry Moon at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Strawberry Moon at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-finally-that-frog/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/in-n-out-burger/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/06/27/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/smart-device-photography-of-art-and-architecture/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-on-the-street-at-sundown/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-hastings-by-night/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/death-over-a-drink/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-slightly-abstracted-architecture/

Tip of the Week: While reading one of my nighttime lullabies on Flipboard, an article suggested the app, Slow Shutter. Since its long exposures make it a bonus for low light, I must try it for night shots. Maybe if I had it on the evening of the summer solstice, I would have been able to get better results on my iPhone capturing the strawberry moon. Here is the link in the iTunes App Store. It’s $1.99, and can be used on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Slow Shutter Cam

Slow Shutter Cam

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, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Architecture, Art, Design, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Street Art, Art for the Masses)

20 June 2016

Lens:

1. Mural by Girl Mobb, Mission District, San Francisco, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Mural by Girl Mobb, Mission District, San Francisco, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Mural, Richmond, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Mural, Richmond, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

Art helps us view our life’s journey through the mirror of time; it acts as a reflection of the past, present and the unknown. Humans have always had a relationship with creativity. And the creative process is a profound link to the development of civilizations.

Urban art can be discovered in the most familiar and unfamiliar places. It is embedded in the popular culture, arising after art slid from museum walls and moved to the floor–inside and out. Then image makers found space on the outer walls of buildings, where blank canvases beckoned.

After visual art moved to the streets, the public’s response wavered, but today it continues to be a viable expressive platform. Still as the street art movement grows, it can be staggered by gentrification.

As city life blends the cultural, social and political, street art heals and provokes, revitalizes and soothes, connects and disconnects. Its additional dimension is a source of kinetic energy and vitality, and also a source of query about the place of visual art in everyday life.

Art collects time and distributes it. Each genre takes responsibility to add to the canon. Photography has documented city life since the nineteenth century, which makes the street photographer complicit (in a positive way) in the history of the urban landscape. Pedestrian life (events, the hustle and bustle of the sidewalks, performances…) offers a vast array of experiences and a rich bounty of treasures to discover and observe.

Graffiti and murals are the most prevalent forms of street art; each can be long-lasting or ephemeral or permanent. Their presence tells tales of the image maker’s view of society on a stage that brings art to the masses. They inspire and stir the viewer. Some artworks are front and center, while others play hide and seek.

Urban art’s popularity wavers. But as a genre in today’s contemporary art, it continues to be an agent of change for the artist and viewer. Each work either creates its own culture, or comments on it.

San Francisco is a prime cityscape for the artist who seeks outdoor canvases. Walls of alleyways and buildings are targets for street artists, and the muralists of this city are renowned for their skills and talents.

One of the difficulties and pleasures of studying murals in narrow area of alleyways is that their larger-than-life work is larger-than-life. It can be hard to sustain a perspective. BUT you do get to see the work up close, to see the personal vision of the individuals who create a visual dialogue with passengers and pedestrians.

In the Lens section are two examples of street murals. The first was found on my meanderings in the Mission District. In this section of San Francisco there are a few streets with alleyways that are noted for these giant cultural artifacts. The second image was seen driving through the Richmond area.

Street art provides a public forum for the examined and unexamined. The variety of subjects surprise, and that’s the joy and wonder of these artworks. This urban experience is a street event not to be missed.

Tip of the Week: There are several cities known for their street art. Examples include: New York City (United States), San Francisco (United States), Berlin (Germany), London (United Kingdom), Mexico City (Mexico), and Bristol (United Kingdom). One way to visit this genre is through books and film. When I discovered Cheryl Dunn’s documentary, “Everybody Street (2013),” on Netflix,  I wanted to share it with you. Director Dunn introduces the audience to 13 street photographers from New York City. The film runs an hour and 25 minutes. It records imagery of noted photographers such as Joel Meyerowitz, Mary Ellen Mark, Bruce Davidson, and Jamel Shabazz. It’s worth the perusal.

"Everybody Street," (2013) by Cheryl Dunn

“Everybody Street,” (2013) by Cheryl Dunn

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-windy-city-monochrome

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challengeblack-and-white-moon-solstice/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-white-abstract-still-life/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/community-art-documented-with-smart-phone/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/06/21/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/mobile-photo-challenge-bnw-and-flower-of-the-day/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/the-point-of-string/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/finding-the-glory-of-ordinary/

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, 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, Mobile Photography, Photography, Popular Culture, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

Sally Ds Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (and the Unnoticed)

13 June 2016

Lens:

I. Taken in Camera+

1. Spring Poppy; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Spring Oriental Red-Orange Poppy; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken in Camera+ and Edited in Snapped

2. Raindrops on Spring Poppy; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Raindrops on Spring Oriental Red-Orange Poppy; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

The unnoticed pervades our days. It’s human nature to breeze across time with the familiar as comfort and mediator. The usual helps us navigate the more testy moments.

Still, I am one of those who courts change. Maybe that’s why I enjoy spying on the what is hidden from plain view. We must train our inner cadence to slow and take notice: to stop and see the parts that create the whole.

A field of wildflowers is a glorious sighting, but move into each individual bloom and another world emerges. And so it was with a patch of Oriental red-orange poppies that easily could be appreciated at a casual glance or two. But stepping directly into their universe changes everything.

In the Lens section is precisely that experience. As I was ambling through my daily walk a few weeks ago, there appeared a spray of showy poppies–poppies being a symbol of springtime, at least for many. The small group was sunning and being brazen as the afternoon light gave them the glow they sought. But it was the bold center of one poppy that kept me starring. It was almost frilly and ready to go dancing. Two days later the rain had ceased, and the light was low, and yet that same grouping was effervescent. I was captivated by the design of the droplets and their ability to redefine the beauty of this seasonal floral wonder.

The passing of two days and the changing available light made a significant difference in the hue of these spring beauties. As I pushed myself closer and closer to create a macro image, the lines of the petals became even more lively, and emphasized the shape and eloquence of these jewels of spring.

While the poppies are a flower that woos, they still have characteristics that require an effort to see unnoticed elements. That center is more than a black sphere, it challenges us to look more intently, even as it lures insects and other small creatures to its performance. Their petals are sweetly delicate, but not as evident from a distance; they need an up-close and personal investigation to see paper-like fragility and an almost transparent vibrancy with the direct light.

So while we think that we are “seeing,” it takes much more effort than a casual gaze to view what’s really there. The unnoticed can bring clever intensity to a subject, a reality that is often an unseen reality.

Tip of the Week: As we journey through our daily lives, we are bombarded with the natural world that has much more to offer than our visual acumen can produce. Our naked eye lacks the precision that the macro lens can offer, even lacks the precision that the native camera’s lens can manage. Since macro is a way to examine those unnoticed aspects of every day, I wanted to introduce Abdul Mutuma, who is a photographer from Nairobi. Mutuma uses his talents to show those usual and unusual creatures that we see from a distance. His images are surprising, given that he has made his own close-up lens. You can view (click here) his work on 500px.** He says that he shoots only with a “mobile device and his DIY lens.”

** from their website: “500px is a photo community and marketplace for discovering, sharing, buying, and selling inspiring photography powered by creative people around the world…[and] is committed to building a safe, inclusive, and helpful community for everyone to share their love for photography.”

"Hanging On, Leaf Cutter Bee," by Abdul Mutuma, Photo 195204357-500px

“Hanging On, Leaf Cutter Bee,” by Abdul Mutuma, Photo 195204357-500px

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-this-one-will-make-you-cry/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-in-red/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/expressive-nature-for-sally-ds-macro-photo-challenge/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/sally-ds-mobile-photography-hot-house-macros/

https://artifactsandfictions.com/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-2/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/macro-with-a-lizard/

https://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-4/

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, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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

Posted in Art, Gardens and Gardening, Human Nature, Inspiration, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (in Northern California)

06 June 2016

Lens:

1. Convergence of China Beach, San Francisco Bay and Presidio, San Francisco, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Convergence of China Beach, San Francisco Bay and Presidio, San Francisco, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

 

2. Glen Park Bart Station, Glen Park California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Glen Park Bart Station, Glen Park California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

Nature has many guises: Butterflies winging, petals unfolding, seeds floating, birds migrating, sunsets dazzling, fog wandering, snakes sunning, ants scurrying, haze darting, peonies perfuming, frogs jumping, trees swaying… Discoveries are infinite.

And the place that represents a centerfold for my passion about Mother Nature’s abundance is Northern California. It was home before I knew it was home. Some places simply embrace one’s inner soul, punching and soothing with a spiritual cadence that is evergreen.

To be completely honest my first experience with a natural wonder that struck me with such intense spirituality was the Southwest; its brand of nature forcing me to my knees with tears that shed with a roar of awe. I will never ever forget my first visit to Southern Utah and eventually Zion National Park; they were the apex of that first encounter.

During that trip I was transported to Southern California, and years later lived there for a “mini-sabbatical.” Then we were catapulted back to the East Coast, which had always been the place designated home. But nowhere else had or has secured my heart as Northern California.

During my visit in April my heart was quickened by the small and larger wonders of this West Coast haven, where I feted the wonders of San Francisco and its environs. In the Lens section are two examples of how nature can be experienced there. The weather was pristine with gorgeous cloudscapes and many hues of blues across the skylines.

The first image shows the convergence of nature’s forces intersecting with human nature’s creative hand. The view at China Beach easily stills time. In front of me was the San Francisco Bay rolling with the sun’s approval. The Golden Gate Bridge was being spied upon by an orange seafaring vehicle (barge of sorts), and as it moved under the bridge it mimicked that famous orange that lights up the spectacularly famous Art Deco landmark. To the right is the Presidio, which is a park, former military base, and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. That trio was alarmingly captivating, a confluence of inspiration.

Behind me was the expanse of the Pacific Ocean that had just ushered into the bay that orange barge. The ocean being the guardian of San Francisco’s jewels, and the entire scene being gently stored for my retrieval.

On another occasion as I made my way to my family’s home from the BART station, the second image easily caught my attention. A multitude of pigeons were threading themselves in and out of the shadows of the late afternoon light, coercing me to imagine the scene in black and white.

During my visit Mother Nature provided a myriad of experiences for me to savor. Those memories sealed my passion for one of nature’s prized possessions–Northern California and its proximity to an array of national wonders as well as smaller everyday gems that stagger the senses and prod the mind’s best work.

Tip of the Week:

“Nature, Williams contends, isn’t exclusively hallowed ground, nor is it merely a backdrop to act in front of. Instead, nature is something to interact with. Nature is a battleground where we grapple bare-fisted with what exactly living on this planet means.” From “The Review of Terry Tempest Williams’ The Hour of Land,” by Gretchen Lida (23 May 2016)

Terry Tempest Williams is an activist and a nature writer. Her environmental classic Refuge and memoir When Women Were Birds, are highly praised. This year is the one hundredth anniversary of the national parks, and Tempest has written a stellar tribute to these natural treasures. In The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks (2016) she combines natural history, social criticism and memoir to show how the wild shores and sustains the spirit and soul. I hope that you get a chance to read this important book that gives a platform to the national parks, which is one of the keys to land preservation and open space for human and non-humans. To read Lida’s review, click here.

The Hour of Land (2016) by Terry Tempest Williams

The Hour of Land (2016) by Terry Tempest Williams

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-carpeted/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-2/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-natures-clouds/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-down-by-the-creek/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/saturday-night-sunday-morning/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/droplets-of-rain/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/sally-ds-smart-device-photo-nature-challenge/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Black-and-White Photography, Human Nature, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Traveling and Travels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Editing and Processing (Art and Nature)

30 May 2016

Lens:

I. Taken in Camera+ and Edited in Snapseed

1. UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley , California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley , California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken with Native Camera and Edited in Snapseed

2. Mt. Tamalpais, Mount Tamalpais State Park, Mill Valley, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Mt. Tamalpais, Mount Tamalpais State Park, Mill Valley, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

I.

Walking the trail of human emotions, red flowing through my veins, washed across the walls.

Red meadows flushed with enthusiasm, created for glory, inspiring the explorer of the mind.

More than happenstance brought me to that space–that space that asks devious questions.

Red meadow of human endeavors, play with time, play with my heart. That red sparking memories of living breathing pulsing streams of gazes.

Cleverly hidden, waiting, waiting for recognition, waiting for an emblem to be illuminated onto the walls’ reddish memory.

II.

In the heart of Marin County’s Mill Valley the trail carried us up to the peak through meadows of wildflower and ever-present terrain, rocks, calm overachieving landscapes, vistas beyond one’s imagination. The sun was a guide to spaces that plucked our thoughts, and asked us to absorb the splendrous majesty.

Sometimes we lingered to share our profound awe and wonder. Scenery articulated spring’s profusion: countless wild flowers, some familiar. In the distance the golden city bathed in afternoon fog. The San Francisco Bay’s colors were vibrant greens and blues that converged with the Pacific Ocean. The vista was so massive and voluminous that it’s hard to fathom how I felt before that moment.

This sacred place, this legacy for all who wander here, has been traversed and explored, explored and traversed. After we climbed over 2,000 feet rewards were expansive. I began to fantasize about those who lived in and around this area throughout the ages; those who experienced this bliss (human and non-human). Footsteps walking the same path, ambling through the same wild. Those memories of so many spin through the air, landing upon my thoughts.

Nature is the quintessential master of the universe. And, at that very moment, that very spot in the wave of the Mother Nature’s progeny, there is no doubt, only confirmation.

Suddenly, my friends and I sit on rock-like chairs, and we become masters of the moment’s gifts. We slow our thoughts, we slow our voices. Just being.

Art and nature. It seems so obvious that one of Mother Nature’s talents is as an artist’s artist. And on Mt. Tam I know there is no human who can match her. But then it’s not a competition.

At this very spot it also is obvious that art and nature are a continuous duo. The human animal could not ask for a greater influence than the vistas at Mt.Tam. To witness her beauty and the environs is to be provoked into an emotional response, which in turn can be fused into one’s creativity, however that manifests itself.

Tip of the Week:

I have selected quotes that stir thoughts about the relationship between art and nature:

Art takes nature as its model. ~~ Aristotle

Art will never be able to exist without nature. ~~ Pierre Bonnard

Art does not imitate nature, but it founds itself on the study of nature – takes from nature the selections which best accord with its own intention, and then bestows on them that which nature does not possess, viz. the mind and the soul of man.  ~~ Edward G. Buller-Lytton

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. ~~ Rachel Carson

I have not tried to reproduce nature: I have represented it. ~~ Paul Cezanne

What is one to think of those fools who tell one that the artist is always subordinate to nature? Art is a harmony parallel with nature. ~~ Paul Cezanne

A poet ought not to pick nature’s pocket. Let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing. ~~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~~ Albert Einstein

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-editing-fun-with-ipad/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-my-mexican-rooster/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/editing-the-muse-sally-ds-5th-monday-challenge/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/sally-ds-mobile-photography-a-golden-sunrise/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/manipulating-memory-x3/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/love-it-or-leave-it/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Human Nature, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Poetry, Traveling and Travels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments

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

23 May 2016

Lens:

I. Taken in Camera+ and edited in iColorama

Serpentine, Dogpatch, San Francisco; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Serpentine, Dogpatch, San Francisco; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken in Camera+ and edited in iColorama

2. Serpentine, Dogpatch, San Francisco; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Serpentine, Dogpatch, San Francisco; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

On my maternal side there are thick and thin threads of artistic talent and creative expression in the visual and literary arts–both professional and self-made. Those undeniable tendencies have been emboldened and filtered through my life along a myriad of paths. One of those is realized in travel adventures where I emphatically seek venues that feature art in public and non-public places as well as artists in their studios.

My recent trip to San Francisco is a prime example of this influence. Intentions are to be fulfilled, not to be simple imagined. During these adventures I sought to see and meditate upon an ambitious amount of arts-related experiences. That can include design, media, and images in various forms (culinary arts is an example).

This trip was bountiful and gave me much to absorb, digest and ponder. But also to dream about experimentation being realized. Regardless of the art form the “seeing” provides a myriad of ideas that can spark illumination: inspiration to be sure.

I was able to venture to places that were either envisioned or planned or serendipitous, including the: de Young (museum), Legion of Honor (museum), Minnesota Street Project, Museum Craft Design, murals of the Mission District, a Diego Rivera mural, and much much more. Street art is plentiful and is its own category to notice.

Still, art can be found anywhere. During my lunch in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco, the restaurant where I dined for my midday meal had artists’ work on display. But what caught my eye was a still life to the left of where I sat. Its eloquent arrangement was too alluring to ignore. Its vintage quality was re-enforced by the factory-like interiors.

Creativity and its results is a vital human ritual that enriches my world and offers countless soulful adventures and treasures. To contemplate and muse about humanity’s ability to be an image-maker is a deeply philosophical conundrum.

Why are some people inherently artistic, while others stumble upon it? Or gradually drift into its possibilities. Or fixate upon the creative process to the exclusion of everything else. Or…

My mother, for example, knew as a child that she wanted to be an artist; she had a passionate inner cry to explore her creative self. Still there’s always a time in the human condition to discover our artistic side, better at some point than never to attempt this mode of life-affirming self-expression, life-affirming enrichment and life-affirming nourishment.

Tip of the Day:

“Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.” Edward Weston

“I see no reason for recording the obvious.” – Edward Weston

“…so-called ‘composition’ becomes a personal thing, to be developed along with technique, as a personal way of seeing.” Edward Weston

Edward Weston (1886-1958) was a master of twentieth-century photography. He is most known for his interpretation of the American West, nudes, sand dunes, and abstraction of the everyday. But I am especially enamored by his still-life studies. In 1936 he became the first photographer to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, which gave him the opportunity to expand his experimental work. Along with luminaries such as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham and Sonya Noskowiak, he created the Group f/64. Truly, Weston’s subject was life itself–its nuances and wonders. To view an article about Weston that was  published 18 August 2010, click here. It’s part of Sean O’Hagan’s “on photography” column in The Guardian. Also to read his bio and view more of his work, click here. Below see a singular cabbage leaf as captured by Weston in 1931, proving that the staging of the everyday can be a sensational still life of sweeping eloquence and style.

Cabbage-Leaf, 1931, Edward Weston

Cabbage-Leaf, 1931, Edward Weston

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-challengers-choice-ride-on/

https://ohmsweetohm.me/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/smart-phone-photography-challenge-watching-the-watchers/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-on-the-street-in-san-miguel-de-allende/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/sally-ds-mobile-photography-playing-around-with-repix/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/mobile-photo-challenge-and-flower-of-the-day/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/maybe-this-good-things-gonna-happen-today/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/habits-vs-addictions/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Design, Human Nature, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Photography, Traveling and Travels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments