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/

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 , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (and Patterns in Architecture)

16 May 2016

Lens:

1. O'Hare Airport, Chicago; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. O’Hare Airport, Chicago, Illinois; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. First Floor, de Young Museum, San Francisco, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello

2. First Floor, de Young Museum, San Francisco, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello

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:

Patterns are just one of the enticements that share a camaraderie between architecture and black-and-white photography. Elements in each collide playfully and seriously. As light bounces and weaves in and out of angles, forms, lines, textures, and tones, it becomes a sorcerer for the architect’s imagination and the photographer’s.

For the architect the site must be studied to determine the presence or absence of the day’s natural light. And then artificial light is added to the mixture. For the photographer the entire universe is a canvas, awaiting interpretation.

For decades my admiration for black-and-white photography has continued to escalate, and that adulation shapes my way of seeing. In my own work light indeed is a sage who clearly nudges my decision to take an image or not. And it is natural light that compels me to discover elements that can be best expressed in monochrome.

To imagine a subject without color is singularly difficult. Of course, some sightings will only work in technicolor. It takes practice, practice, practice to negate the color, and in the mind’s eye replace it with monochromatic shades and tints of black and white.

A sunny well-lit day is not the signifier of strong black-and-white scenes. Nor is a rain-swept vista in grey and whites. Neither may translate with a punch in black and white.

In truth even the image that seems to be “the one” can disappoint. Inevitably, those that in reality are perceived to be great candidates, are not. Some taken for the possibilities that visual appeal exists, might be the ones that are worthy. Instincts prevail, and yet they do not.

Graphic qualities, textures, shadows, negative and positive spaces pique my attention.  Dancing light carving and curving encourages my interest. And architecture is particular suited to these characteristics.

In the Lens section are two images taken on my recent trip to the West Coast. Each has qualities that make me stop, stare and still the moment. One is complex in character; the other simple and straightforward. Each has visual elements, especially patterns, that shore the reason black-and-white photography continues to be my inspiration.

Tip of the Week:

“Hélène Binet has emerged as one of the leading architectural photographers in the world. Every time Hélène Binet takes a photograph, she exposes architecture’s achievements, strength, pathos and fragility.” (Daniel Libeskind, Polish-American architect)

Swiss-French photographer Hélène Binet specializes in architectural photography that finds the unique within the unique. London-based Binet is known for some of the elements that push my creative edge: light, shadow and texture. Her images find those places and spaces that are intimate and tell a narrative about their architectural design and features. To read an article (“Dancing in the Dark: The Architectural Photography of Helene Binet,” 21 May 2013, by Matt McCann) from The New York Times’ column “Lens: Photography, Video and Visual Journalism,” click here. Binet is known to photograph the old and the new, and uses that work to honor two remarkable human inventions: architecture and photography.

The Architecture of Zaha Hadid and captured by Helen Binet, 2009

“The Architecture of Zaha Hadid,” captured by Helene Binet, 2009, courtesy of Gabriele Amman Gallery, Cologne

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-white/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-bubbles/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-still-life-and-clouds/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-native-species/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/mobile-photo-challenge-bw-and-flower-of-the-day/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/home-land-and-sea/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/the-texture-of-life/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Architecture, Art, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Human Nature, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Photography, Traveling and Travels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (and the Wild through a Tiny Lens)

09 May 2016

Lens:

1. Mallow, Malva Sylvestria 'Zebrina, San Francisco; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Mallow, Malva Sylvestria ‘Zebrina, San Francisco; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Calla Lily, San Francisco; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Calla Lily, 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:

As you know, travel can soothe and inspire, teach and motivate, pause and accelerate a life. My recent trip to the West Coast was all of those descriptors and much, much more.

At one point I mused over themes that were bubbling from my travels—travels that revealed San Francisco’s finest qualities through its people and places. But the natural wonders brought (most, not all of) the greatest moments. I’ve been to the golden city and its environs many times, and yet my amazement is always amazed at the offerings in and around this urban center.

One theme that kept haunting me during this journey is how time elongates and sometimes even seems to stop. It’s a phenomenon that leaves me stupefied. One minute seems eons and another has the lightness of a feather. This trip emphasized that time can move with such consideration and elegance, allowing me to inhale its passage and momentum. I felt completely present and watchful, and yet flowing. At times I held back from my friends cadence just to savor what was before me: the fortune of being in a specific place, the satiation of that moment’s gifts, the threads of the experiences with lifelong friends. My spirituality soared, giving me a sanctuary of quietude in that time and space.

Days have passed and this West Coast holiday seems almost dream-like, as though the splendor is floating above me. Still I know it happened; it was real.

Benefits are immeasurable. No need to count the ways. They are within me, percolating as I write.

Mother Nature’s abundance was so staggering that it overwhelmed with her profusion. Credit can be given to the natural history of the area as well as the preservation and conservation of vast swaths of land. Much is as though it was 10,000 years ago at destinations such as Muir Beach Overlook and Mt. Tamalpais. But I also thanked El Nino for the wet (not overly wet) winter.

From one vista to another the wild was dotted with its own verdant palette and multi-faceted hues of wildflowers. These lush and prime habitats are home to coyote brush and other plant species that feed the creatures that make their homes there. I felt a weightless lightness as I gazed upon meadow lands that are almost untouched by human intervention. The mostly untamed landscapes on these protected sites had painterly qualities in pinks to yellows to purples to whites. I recognized some (such as lupines, poppies, Queen Anne’s Lace), and what seemed like an endless variety of those unknown to me. Some wildflowers were so tiny that they appeared the size of a fingernail, even a pinky’s. Some were standing boldly and others bashful, hiding below the grasslands and peeking out occasionally.

Marin County’s coastline filled my thoughts with wanderlust, even as it soothed it. And you can reach those places of natural wonder in relatively short drives over the Golden Gate Bridge or Richmond Bridge or… One goes from land to sea and back again in dramatic scenes that are embedded in the mind forever.

It was difficult to capture the allure and visual appeal of California wildflowers as they were spread up and down the scenery, crossing hills and trails. My photographs do not do justice to what we witnessed.

Sometimes it is enough to be there, sometimes it is enough to be privy to the natural wonder through one’s own inner lens.

In the Lens section is another aspect of the floral beauty of the dense designs of neighborhoods in San Francisco. A culture exists that has respect for nature. That attitude is seen in the care and maintenance of small plots as part of their lifestyle. Some people have window boxes with flowers and herbs (dill, sage, eucalyptus, lavender), others have small front yards with hedges of herbs and raised beds of flowers. Those with backyards have additional room to explore annuals and perennial plantings. It’s apparent that most pay attention to nature’s role in daily life. Everywhere is made more inviting, and the relatively mild temps make it possible.

Since its macro week I have shown one popular flower that was a consistent sighting: the calla lily (second image). The first image was spotted through a fence. The tall plant with tiny flowers was a glorious sample of the emotional effect that one flower can have upon the human psyche. Its small flower head had more than street appeal. It took two days of research to discover its name and family. I was stunned by its relationship to hollyhocks, but then the connection became apparent. That was the first and only time that I saw Mallow Zebrina.

Without question this tiny treasure of Mother Nature left a powerful memory of a morning’s outing. This West Coast journey continued to present such discoveries–discoveries that shored my spirit and solidified my passion for the new along with the old.

Tip of the Week: Robert Clark, who is a photojournalist, has produced a book about the power of plumage titled Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage (2016). Clark’s interest in this subject began with a study of bird fossils in China. The feather is a terrific subject, because it has striking elements and lines. But also the ever-changing light can alter the way a feather’s colors appear, with each and every shot. To read a review by  May-Ying Lam click here for her article, The Hidden Language of Bird Feathers, (Washington Post, 03 March 2016). Below is a small example of Clark’s work. Hope that you can take a few minutes to peruse the Lam’s review as well as admire Clark’s work, which is a perfect duo between macro and nature.

Feathers (2016) by Robert Clark

Feathers (2016) by Robert Clark

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/sally-ds-mobile-photo-challenge-macro-a-loose-screw/

https://wisnuwidiarta.com/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/comfrey-sally-ds-macro-smart-phone-challenge/

https://angelinem.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-callas/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/sally-ds-mobile-photography/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/blooming-out-of-decay/

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, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Traveling and Travels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (a Few Beach Scenes from my Travels)

02 May 2016

Lens:

Ocean Beach; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Stinson Beach; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Stinson Beach, San Francisco, California; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

China Beach; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

China Beach, San Francisco, 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:

Most of my days have found me perched on the East Coast, USA, even though a good slice of my spirit is elsewhere–the West Coast. I have spent considerable time there, even living in Southern California for (what I call) my mini-sabbatical. At various intervals people hear me echo these words: “If we had relocated to Northern California, we’d still be there.” And so my inner compass needs to be renewed with travel to that coastline, which offers a spring-like rejuvenation with an additional incentive of family and friends. And what better time to fulfill my wanderlust for its gifts than in SPRING.

I’ve been in re-entry only a few days. It’s soothed by hours in the garden and long walks in nature. In my absence my little haven has burst forth with gusto: large boughs of wisteria waft melodic perfume that eases into crevices of far away corners, Queen of the Night tulips are in their final phase of performance, hostas are perky and moving upward with grace, native grasses are beginning to show their shoots, columbine is readying its blooms for the arrival of hummingbirds, coneflowers are heading skyward for the goldfinches, most trees have bloomed and are shedding scores of pollen, arugula and dill (that self-seeded from last year) is almost worthy of placing in a salad…Oh, and many, many wild things are beckoning my care and cultivation and even removal.

These visuals distract me, keep me focused, as I diligently work in many spaces on my almost half-acre. Gardening is a lifelong love, and part of my spiritual journey. It provides a sanctuary throughout my adult meanderings.

When you live in the Mid-Atlantic of the East Coast for the majority of your life, you are bred on beaches that are flat from the edge of the dunes to the Atlantic’s calm or fury. My first visit to the West Coast was in my 30s, and it astounded and riveting my sensibilities. Visually, the two coasts are just as far apart in appeal and sometimes appearance as the miles between them. Still, both have much to offer. But every time I move my body and mind to the West Coast’s majestic landscapes and views, I am brought to a very different internal place—a place of such majesty and omnipotence that it staggers me for days and weeks. This love affair has lasted for many, many decades and seem to grow stronger and stronger.

The trajectory of my holiday was cradled and embraced by pristine weather and glorious adventures–adventures that met and exceeded my intentions. Some of those small and larger triumphs were solo or joint efforts. Each brought glorious waves of fulfillment and satiation. It was that kind of trip.

Vistas can define an experience, giving a wealth of spiritual and visual rewards. Often I discover that a single element can give meaning and significance. Such was the moment at Ocean Beach as my eyes moved to the distant fog stretching from boulders to the Pacific Ocean (image 1). That covering of afternoon heavy mist made time hold back its progress. The lyrical definition of the scene held me tight. The beach behind was scattered with stones of various sizes and colors and weathering. Slowly, I hand-selected a few as mementoes–mementoes of the surf’s offerings: grey stones with white striations, reddish stones, and a black one.

Each beach visited had its own character. From dunes and vegetation to boulders and rock formations, the sand and surf’s signature fixated in my memories. The second image was taken on Stinson Beach where that day the Pacific beckoned beach lovers for a sunny excursion. This image symbolizes what life at the seashore gives the human animal: time for play, time for contemplation, time to schmooze, time to appreciate Mother Nature, time to relax, time to just be.

The last image was taken at China Beach where you can marvel at the confluence of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, the San Francisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. It’s also a historic cove where Chinese fishermen used it as a campsite post-Gold Rush. It exemplifies the rich and deeply-felt events that have transpired around Golden Gate Park.

There is a sense of wild that comes with outdoor experiences in the West that are not quite realized in the East. That’s not to say visual epiphanies do not happen on the coastline where I live; of course, they do. But for me the Southwest and West have always sparked a spiritual renewal and experience that has never been matched on the East Coast or other nearby regions.

The West Coast exerts its charm and influence, and I succumb to its grandeur, unique character and splendor. Each pilgrimage builds my inner spirit, and gives me profoundly inspirational memories.

Tip of the Week:

Human animals are very much oriented by their personal philosophy and sensibilities. Most of us combine these traits to maneuver our lives and discover meaning in our everyday journey. My own orientation is driven by visual interpretation of my small universe. This inner force is solidified daily, and doubly emphasized through my love of art and nature. During my recent trip to California, I was privileged to attend the current exhibition of the artist (French, 1867-1947) Pierre Bonnard’s work at the Legion of Honor, which is part of the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, along with the de Young. Bonnard’s art was instrumental in the movement from Impressionism to abstraction. The  exhibition, Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia, which features more than sixty of his works, shows his extraordinary love of nature. In my life and in this blog I have said that to view art is to bring into my life immeasurable and invaluable gems, gifts and treasures. To see through a work of art as other see is a critical and instrumental way to turn one’s world upside down and sideways and even backward and frontward. This exhibition filled me with emotions and heightened sensibilities and insights. His work is a tour de force that continues to affect my own aesthetics and view of the natural world. On the  Legion of Honor’s website, they call Bonnard one of the leading artists in the modernist movement. If you are unfamiliar with his art and life, please view his work here (museum’s website). If you are familiar with him, it will be a treat to revisit his work online. If you are as fortunate as I and can visit the museum, the exhibition is open until 15 May 2016. I encourage you to take the trip.

My sensibilities are manipulated by the way I see the world–my individual lens that steers my days through aesthetics, emotion, passion, perception, visual reaction, and internal appraisal. To see Bonnard’s work up close is to fortify what an in-person experience can provide, giving me pause to interpret my personal journey anew.

"View of Le Cannet," 1927, Pierre Bonnard

“View of Le Cannet,” 1927, Pierre Bonnard

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-in-a-bowl/

https://wisnuwidiarta.com/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-reflections-of-cornwall-park/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/embracing-the-wild-sally-ds-nature-challenge

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/mobile-photo-challenge-nature-and-flower-of-the-day/

https://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-5/

https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-ducks-and-turtles/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/rustling-whistling-leaves-turning-breeze-to-speech/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/the-garden-project/

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, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Traveling and Travels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (A Tree at Sunset)

04 April 2016

Lens:

I. Shot in Hipstamatic; processed in FX PhotoStudio

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

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

2. Shot in Hipstamatic; processed in FX PhotoStudio

2. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

3. Shot in Hipstamatic; processed in FX PhotoStudio

2. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

3. Sunset at the 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:

This post will be my last until Monday, 02 May 2016. In a week I will be traveling to one of my top-tier cities. Although occasionally I will check into cyberspace’s virtual reality, my attention and energy will be focused on a city that decades ago captured and still holds my heart. It’s a haven that is constantly rewarding me with a treasure trove of discoveries and stellar memories. Some metropolitan areas simply have it all, and this one qualifies. It’s a star that continues to shine, and shed light on all it touches.

************************************************************************************

In the Lens section is an image that I took on a recent walk around my town’s reservoir. As the sun began to set, it floated with intention through the leafless tree on a hill above me. That golden hue pushed through the bare branches, and gave this arboreal guardian a patina of luminosity and tranquility. The sunset cleverly lifted the mask of winter’s grey, and replaced it with spring’s radiant luster. Strangely, as I worked with the image, the black-and-white versions rendered it closer to my interpretation of the experience.

The third version seems to portray the layers that are offered by Spring. For me the tree is a metaphor for this season’s metamorphosis: its implications for daily life and its accumulation of the new. Spring is now in its infancy: the rebirth of the landscape is unfolding, there is uncertainty attached to climate change, the airwaves are infiltrated with songbirds, the appearance of groundhogs and other animals delight, migratory birds are heading this way.

But the beauty and mystery of this season is its attitude; fickle is a good descriptor. Friday and yesterday are perfect examples. Friday’s temps soared to summer-like 79, and yesterday the winds were so gusty that the wind chill factor brought the afternoon’s high of 36 to a cold 22.

Mostly, as a longtime gardener, it’s hard to hold back. Planting the vegetable garden becomes a steady thought, yet years of experience keep me in the preparation phase. I know that a frost can be the carrier of gloom for too much enthusiasm to plant early.

When I return from my travels, it will be planting time. I will come home to a revitalized landscape, and will become immersed in the throes of glorious renewal. It will help my   re-entry.

My edits of that metaphorical tree were done with intention to show that even in nature’s strength, its fragility is clear. On the opposite side to where that tree stands (among a short tree line), the outer area of the reservoir is completely dry. Even with our wet winter, the ground needs rain. It’s hard to complain about it, knowing how many places are in desperate need. But it makes one conscious of the world that we inhabit and increasing environmental problems. The out-of-focus image was meant to show this character of Spring, and how it wraps itself around life–all life in expected and unexpected ways.

Today’s theme of nature is appropriate for my send-off into real time and real space. Nature is my muse and even in an urban environment, my goal is to discover pockets of green that lift city dwellers’ spirits as they navigate above-ground archaeology and a bustling metropolitan life.

Until my return in early May, please enjoy every moment of every day. Many thanks for your readership, and happy blogging journey or perusal of the Internet.

Tip of the Week:

I’ll be thousands of miles away from my hometown on Earth Day. So I wanted to take this opportunity to showcase this celebration that has become so much more than an annual festivity. Friday, 22 April will be an opportunity to promote a message of hope through this year’s theme: Trees for the Earth.

Here’s a quote from their website that speaks to their longevity and mission:

“We are now entering the 46th year of a movement that continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion, and motivate people to action. In 1970, the year of our first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channeling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with groundbreaking ideas and by the power of our example…Let’s plant 7.8 billion trees for the Earth.”

Click here for the Earth Day website, and here for their blog. Each gives a wealth of useful information. Each of these sites provides ways to get involved, learn about the work being done, and networks to join.

Let’s make every day Earth Day. Let’s do something every day for the planet and therefore nature and human nature.

Earth Day, 22 April 2016; Earth Day website

Earth Day, 22 April 2016; Earth Day website

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-and-seven-day-nature-challege-deer-me/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-shamrock-bloom/

https://wisnuwidiarta.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-greenery

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-manawatu-landscapes/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/sally-ds-digital-photography-nature-of-spring-flowers/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/on-reflection-road-trips-and-garden-walks/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/04/05/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-3/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/ranchfarm-landscape-and-mobile-photo-challenge-nature/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/the-hope-of-an-ant/

https://christinejrandall.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/sally-ds-mobilephoto-challenge-nature/

https://rfljenksy.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/a-tree-at-sunset/

https://badfish2.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/life-is-abstract/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Black-and-White Photography, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (Almost Night Photography–Sunset)

28 March 2016

Lens:

I. Taken in Camera+ and Post Processed in Polamatic

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

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

Taken in Camera+ and Post Processed in iColorama

2. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Sunset at the 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:

Because spring appeared weeks early, nature is trying to adjust. And human nature is enthusiastic with this unexpected arrival. It’s a moment of effervescence. Maybe Mother Nature heard our cry for renewal and rejuvenation.

Last night one of the early signs of spring appeared with its intriguing ritual: the vocal cadence of a red fox in the depth of nighttime. I know that barking sound is specific to that fox, just like my voice is unique to me. For over ten years my slumber has been disturbed by his vocal presence moving across my property, and it is an EVENT. Well, maybe it’s him or one of his offsprings journeying through my cultivated and wild habitats. This barking, rasping lasts for weeks into the season.

The first year astounded, and subsequently has not diminished my response. That sound, that unequivocal seduction makes me smile. I wonder where his winter hide out is located. There are options: a tiny city park (uncultivated and wild), which is across the street and mirrors my property, can serve as a perfect den for foxes. Not a mile away is the White Clay Creek that is lusciously full of woods, and habitats galore.

During these early lyrics of spring that fox is marking his territory in search of a mate to fulfill his legacy. I considered the past, and realized that last night’s oration was decidedly different. The length of that raspy barking lasted at least 15-20 minutes, compared to maybe 3-5 in previous years. And this fox is so close to me, moving with assurance and determination directly outside my bedroom windows.

Even with the disturbance of my deep sleep, I was amused and elated. Even with the length of those recognizable sounds, my smile pushed itself forward with every vocalization. Dreams returned. In the morning the memory was strongly present, a sort of bubbly feeling that the landscape was about to be a kaleidoscope of invention. Maybe even the teeny tiny imprints of “my” fox’s pups.

I will never see them, because they appear well after sunset. Still, the knowledge of their presence satisfies inwardly.

Spring offers a myriad of opportunities. The change in the sun’s angle brings some splendrous sunsets–sunsets that defy one’s imagination.

My town has a perfect location to watch sunrises and sunsets: a reservoir situated above the panorama of the cityscape where a walking path allows for serene contemplation and quietude. Photographers can be found marching up the hill a half hour or so before sunset to capture a day’s unexpected spectacle, whatever its effects.

In the Lens section is an image that I took this past week as the sun easily entertained all that were present. It is shown in two post-processing apps: Polamatic and iColorama. Each with my gentle editing to give more feeling of the drama realized in real time.

After a profoundly grey winter the sunlight of spring distracts from the world order and disorder. It pushes the heart and mind to be on alert for what is to come. It pushes our soul to re-imagine what can be, because nature’s unfolding is occurring daily in our visual gaze. But also many, many changes are unheard, unnoticed, unseen.

Tip of the Week:

While the arrival of spring-like temps and its legacies is enough to pump our adrenaline, there are many other aspects to this season that remain remote and undetected by human observation. To inspire you further, I recommend to those who are experiencing spring and those who live where other seasons are occurring, to peruse the article from The New York Times, “Recognizing Spring Scientifically,” by Nicholas St. Fleur (Really, that’s his name, and he’s writing about spring flowers peeking outward and upward.) from 25 March 2016. Days ago I knew the theme of my Pens section for this post, this article is an apt addition. It also can give credence to the kinds of visuals and words that provide inspiration for our own images.

The article is organized by various signs of the season such as: The Season’s Bluest Color, The Changing View From Space (If you do nothing else, watch the way the planet turns green in the Northern Hemisphere.), and Playtime for Fox Pups (Yes, coincidentally, the article has a section about the appearance of fox pups.). For the other signs, go to the website, here. Enjoy.

Fox in Spring, Google

Fox in Spring, Google

View other entries to this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-icy-abstract/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/03/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-3/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-bamboo/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/street-photography-for-sally-ds-mobile-monday-challenge/

https://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice-architecture-3/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/choose-a-place/

https://photographyplusblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/autumn-begins/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/last-days-or-new-beginning-an-old-hangar-at-hobsonville-point/

https://christinejrandall.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/sally-ds-mobile-photo-challenge-travel/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, 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, Night Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Early Spring Awakening)

21 March 2016

Lens:

I. Taken in Camera + and Post Processed in Snapseed

1. Magnolia Stellata, Snapseed; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Magnolia Stellata; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken in Camera+ and Post Processed in Polamatic

Magnolia Stellata; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Magnolia Stellata; 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:

Yesterday was the dawn of this year’s spring season, but many of us have been witnesses to the quickening of its presence for weeks. As a capable and competent gardener, I know the signs. I am privy to the slightest of changes.

Winter, my fourth favorite season, was milder than predicted. Still, when spring approached earlier than usual, my energy level soared. My mind began to race and reinvest more time in my gardens. My heart became overwhelmed with new and old possibilities. My thoughts became eased by the blatant and subtle alterations on the horizon. As daylight builds its reach, the day stretches my moods and increases my time communing with nature. Through three of the seasons you’ll find me lavishly immersed in Mother Nature’s missions and themes. Winter brings another dimension to nature’s presence, and my reaction to the escalation of dormancy and hibernation. I garden year round, but minimally in the depths of winter.

Since spring arrived in February with its measures and mysteries, I find myself spending a few hours daily puttering. Gardeners are much more aware than most about the way global warming effects our days and nights. As each green element surfaces, each tree sprouts, each leaf unfurls, hues enter the visual arena and life bursts with such enthusiasm for what can be. But the invasion this year of a new wild thing gives me pause. It seems to be everywhere in my gardens and it’s worrisome. As I do my spring clean-up, I am furiously removing this unwanted invader. It’s part of what we can expect with climate change.

In early April of last year I first noticed a medium-size tree clothed in buds. Within a few days that tree was dressed in the sweetly-petaled, star-like flowers, delicately swaying with the sun’s blessings. Magnolia Stellata is very different from other magnolias that strut larger flowers with wisps of pink running through the petals. Their early blooms and almost pure white petals –up to a dozen on each bloom–make them stand out for all to admire. They offer a light drama as winter recedes. [Click here to view my post from 11 April 2015.]

After decades and decades of gardening last year emphasized how many spring trees produce their flowers prior to leafing out: forsythia, fruit trees, and many others. The sighting of the Magnolia Stellata raises one’s awareness of this phenomenon where flowers are first on the stage and foliage follows. The explanation revolves around the heat needed for these deciduous plants to bloom: both flower and leaf.

Last week that bewitching Magnolia Stellata already was fully dressed in flowers. How had I missed the bud stage? Its delicate star-like flowers were feeling rather smug in that magnetic state of glory.

In the Lens section are two versions of one of those flowers, one of few that had not fully blossomed. Within a few days most of the flowers were spent, and before long the tree will be in full greenery, thanks to an early spring awakening.

Tip of the Week:

I am a fan, I feel lifted and provoked (in a good way) by his art. During and after his life Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) was a controversial and larger-than-life figure. His work gave illumination to the tradition of black-and-white photography. Through his lens each photograph envisioned a sensual world, mirroring his own view of beauty. The character and elements of monochrome, which he used, were made livelier through his interpretation of a subject. His photographs are technically gorgeous.

While he is known for his  portfolio of flowers, he also is well-known for portraiture that did offend some viewers. This past week two exhibitions opened in Los Angeles, California, to honor his legacy. Here is a description of those shows from the J. Paul Getty Museum’s website:

“Robert Mapplethorpe is among the most influential visual artists of the late twentieth century. This major retrospective exhibition reexamines the arc of his photographic work from its humble beginnings in the early 1970s to the culture wars of the 1990s. Featuring portraits, nudes, still lifes, and the controversial X Portfolio, the exhibition explores Mapplethorpe’s studio practice and the creation of his foundation, which has shepherded his legacy into the 21st century. Drawn from the landmark acquisition from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, two complementary presentations, one at the J. Paul Getty Museum and another at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, highlight different aspects of the artist’s complex oeuvre.” Additionally, his work will be seen this year or next in Norway, England, Canada, and Australia. To read more about his life, go to the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Click here.

To appreciate Mapplethorpe as an artist is to understand how the narrative of creativity and image-maker coincide and influence the push and pull of the process and result. He visually produced a world whose boundaries of the frame did not inhibit his artistry or vision. Mapplethorpe’s work initiates discussions and questions about important works of art as they relate to our humanity: what is beauty, what is art, what is aesthetics, what is an artist, how to describe an artwork, is art necessary to the human condition, what is the value of art, how does art influence society, how does society influence art, and many, many more. Mapplethorpe’s photographs are very much relevant in today’s cultural and social environments, and his legacy will continue to make statements that raise issues about the world in which we live.

Patti Smith by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1979; © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Patti Smith by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1979; © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-frost/

https://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-early-spring-in-black-and-white/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/playing-with-trees-for-sally-ds-black-and-white-challenge/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/sally-ds-mobile-photography-hawkes-bay-scenery/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/03/21/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-5/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/so-soft-pussywillows-sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-bw/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-black-and-white-2/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/7-day-nature-photo-day-3-waterfalls-and-mobile-photo-bw/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/wallflowers-and-set-dressing-behind-the-scenes-at-the-wintergarden/

https://photographyplusblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/grieving-brussels/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Art, Black-and-White Photography, Inspiration, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

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

14 March 2016

Lens:

I. Taken in Camera+ and Edited in Snapseed and Polamatic

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

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

II. Taken in Camera+ and Edited in Snapseed

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

2. Geranium Petals; 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:

Regardless of the season geraniums grow through my days. In late Spring I orchestrate their positions in my gardens. It has taken many moons to discover just the right location for their summery and autumnal home.

Over the years it became even more problematic as I navigated new homesteads, where my labors created naturalized spaces and essential habitats for wildlife. My current home is topping sixteen years and it’s definitely a sanctuary. That means my gardens are showing their maturity, and strutting my diligence.

No matter the size of the garden or its location I’ve always found a way to cultivate geraniums, especially placing where the hummingbirds can devour their nectar and the plants can become their best selves. Over the years I’ve tried numerous varieties, and found that I’m drawn to the deep pink through maroon-red ones. The single blooms have risen to the top. The herbal plants are dear with aromatic scents, but I am devoted to the annual traditional variety. All geranium leaves have a unique aroma.They are drought tolerant, which is a bonus with climate change and its uncertainty.

In late autumn as the leaves become a visual kaleidoscope, a few geraniums are brought inside to adorn my kitchen, and play acrobatics with seasonal changes. Then the outside blends inside throughout the winter.

For years my care and maintenance of geraniums has been accompanied by stilling their effervescence and essence: my vision of their signature style. I continue to search for a singular image that exemplifies their worthiness. That mission is a lifelong journey of observation, of silent watching, of appreciation, of noticing, of quietude.

Geraniums are feisty with many, many annuals, biennials and perennials to admire and select. I savor flowerheads that appear to be a single blossom, which up close reveal multiple florets. Some varieties have single tiny flowers (such as the perennial ones in one of my gardens) that are sweetly memorizing in their simplicity.

Throughout the winter each plant will present me with an occasional  bloom. A week ago the buds on one plant felt the sunlight’s energy and warmth, which unveiled their glorious colorful splendor.

My latest attempt to quiet the afternoon light filtering through their delicate petals illustrates what is uniquely the geranium’s inner and outer flare. The framing secures my attention, seconds of discovery. At the time of capture several images seem to cast my intentions, yet they did not. Often I expend great patience and a few days of shooting to get one worthwhile image, which is part of the story of my photographic journey.

This ongoing project is a continual adventure of discovery, discovering the intense beauty of a single geranium, discovering the effect that each photo session bestows upon me. It’s a glorious way to venture through time and space.

Tip of the Week: I’ve often wondered how it would be to devote oneself to  photographing the same place over and over, day after day, month after month, year after year. Many have attempted and completed this challenge, known and unknown artists.  One extraordinary daily project is being achieved by South Korean photographer Ahae. After a five-year documentation (and ongoing) of the world from his home in Seoul, he has amassed over three  million digital images. From a single window in his home he chronicles the seasons with roaming wildlife and untamed horizons. Born Yoo Byung-eun (1941) he became a religious leader, businessman and inventor, and as an artist is known as Ahae. He has shared his work through exhibitions and publications. In France two hundred of his large- and medium format photographs were exhibited (2013) at the Orangerie garden in the Place of Versailles. Read a review of the show at The Economist website (here). His nature photography also has been seen at the Louvre in Paris and Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Ahae has a talent for seeing the unusual in the same scene day after day. Obvious themes include the passage of time and the way the landscape is altered throughout a day. He also has a deeply-felt devotion to the idea of conservation and preservation of the land.

Professor Milan Knížák, former General Director of the National Gallery in Prague, said that “all the photographs of today have some social meanings and they are over sophisticated” and that “to meet [Ahae’s photographs] was like a miracle…so simple, so beautiful and so perfect.” As an artist, Ahae puts great emphasis on honesty and simplicity: characteristics that are sadly disappearing from today’s art world. Photographic works such as Ahae constantly produces are oftentimes dismissed as “ordinary.”

Vinous-throated Parrotbill, 2010 by Ahae

Vinous-throated Parrotbill, 2010 by Ahae

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-carrots/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-week-drops-of-rain/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/flowers-gone-wild-on-spring-break-for-sally-ds-macro-challenge/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/sally-ds-mobile-photography-macro-irises/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro-2//

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/the-instinct-of-love/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Abstraction, Art, Gardens and Gardening, Macro Photography, Nature, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (as Fortune Teller)

07 March 2016

Lens:

1. Chenille-Plant, Acalypha hispida, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Chenille-Plant, Acalypha hispida, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Afternoon Shadows, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Afternoon Shadows, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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

Pens:

The timing of the four seasons is becoming more and more unpredictable. Weather is without question one of the most talked about subjects, a sort of infotainment. This obsession may be a sign of the state of our planet’s health, or the result of its availability at our fingertips, or… Regardless, weather creates news, fills our heads, and plays havoc with our notion of normalcy.

Weather is synonymous with the seasons, yet one day drifts into the next and melts pass the past. It is a steadfast agent of change in our lives. Transformation is another element that filters heat, cold, wind, calm, wet, and dry through our days. Their presence reminds us about fragility and strength. How an arid stretch can devastate, or continual sunlight builds the landscape through nature’s abundance.

In the millennium’s infancy the world faces moderate to severe differences from a decade or decades ago. This relatively new uneasiness conjures anxiety and insecurity.

Everyone, every creature is affected by climate change. A flood of emotions rushes through me as I ponder the impermanence that has replaced what we presumed was permanence. And I know that the human animal is very much a culprit in this story. As Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy and he is us (Book by Walt Kelly).”

A prime example of this tenuous situation is the plight of monarch butterflies. Fortunately, a worldwide campaign has been waged to save this important contributor to the balance of life as we knew it. This scenario is mostly due to depletion of milkweed (monarchs depend upon this plant for survival), uncertain and warming weather patterns (recently, I read in The New York Times that almost 500 million butterflies died in the storms of 2002), illegal logging in Mexico, and use of pesticides. The World Wildlife Fund has announced that recovery is possible, based on this year’s butterflies that have been hibernating in the mountains of Mexico. That’s comforting, but it is not a given that they will rebound.

Yearly, I’ve been increasing the number of milkweed**** plants in my gardens, which is one way that each of us can do our part. The United States is hoping to plant 7.5 million acres to help replace decades of loss.

Gloriously, it’s two weeks until Spring. The crocuses have naturalized weeks early. Daffodils are inching their way toward blossoming. Tulip leaves have pushed through the frozen earth. These are not “normal” occurrences. Those observations and realities are part of the seesaw weather patterns, and continual redefinition of local habitats. Some results are swings in human emotions across one’s inner landscape.

Where I live, the decline in monarchs is evident. Last year I sighted one monarch and the prior year three. These delicately sumptuous creatures are a signpost of the relationship between nature and human nature. More importantly, they are a link to the future of farming and gardening, therefore, to our own sustenance. When I searched my archives of photographs, 2011 is the last year that I found an image of a monarch caterpillar (stage two of its life cycle: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and adult) feasting on milkweed during autumn in my yard.

Monarch; Copyright © 2011 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Monarch Caterpillar; Copyright © 2011 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

In the Lens section are two images taken at the turn of this year. A visit to Longwood Gardens’ conservatory always cheers my spirit and soul, especially in mid-winter. The sun was brilliant for hours, and then hid behind grey skies.

My images reflect changes in the skyscape. They also reflect the uncertainty of climate change and global warming (such as the amount of rain and sun available). Even as nature has become a fortune teller of more than the present, I have confidence that humanity will be the force that advocates for the health of our planet.

**** There are 73 types of native milkweed. I use Asclepias tuberosa spp, which is native to the Mid-Atlantic states and Delaware.

Tip of the Week:

The national parks are a century old this year, and its time to celebrate this centennial (officially August 2016). While I am hopeful that many of you in the United States and across the world know about this grand legacy, the birthday should encourage a greater awareness of land conservation and preservation. Across our expansive land there are 409 parks, which also includes territories such as American Samoa.

From the website: “The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.” Click here to read more.

I have visited over forty parks, and that is a sliver of my country’s magnificent offerings. Yosemite National Park is by far the most captivating and humbling of my experiences. My plans are to raise the number of visits and be awed in the process.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-invasive-beauty/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/03/07/hey-bud/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/give-me-a-break/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-a-fishy-story/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/sally-ds-mobile-photography-photo-challenge-nature-spring-peeking-in/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2016/03/07/contemplation-week-2

https://architar.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/rain-in-march/

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/cees-bw-two-elephants-and-mobile-photography-spring-in-the-air/

https://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-nature-4/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/pay-attention-to-detail-hair-clips-can-kill/

https://photographyplusblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/at-last-rain/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/curling-wisps-of-autumn/

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, Gardens and Gardening, Inspiration, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Editing and Processing (and Winter Still Life)

29 February 2016

Lens:

1. Winter Still Life in Hipstamatic; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Winter Still Life in Hipstamatic; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Winter Still Life in Hipstamatic; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Winter Still Life in Hipstamatic; 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:

In linguistics, words can start in one realm of meaning and take a circular pivot, a dive, a generational pull, a halt, or a reuse. A word’s common usage is often placed in history’s archival treasure trove of language’s distant past, and left to the archaic dustbin. Today, it seems that words are being called upon for new uses at a record trot, as culture, politics, science, and technology slip into other arenas.

Architecture is a unseeming example. Its usual meaning conjures the visual landscape–the landscape that is designed, molded and shaped by human ingenuity. Humanmade structures worthy of notoriety or not proliferate our view. It’s difficult to find a stretch of nature that is devoid of the human touch.

My own ideas about architecture are embedded in a continuum that is driven by a capital A and small a. Small “a” architecture, for instance, has become part of the purview of computers. It also can describe the design of a flower. It can delineate the substance of a day’s accomplishments. It can explain the inner spirit, the design of the heart’s desires. It can give an analysis of a person’s path on a life’s journey. It can explain an author’s style of    a story.

Capital “A” Architecture projects an emotional and a physical side, provoking various effects and responses. At the sighting of the Freedom Tower in New York City or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco feelings surface about aesthetics, history, inventiveness, memory, human triumphs, and struggles. And I believe that the architecture of a flower can incite as strong reactions.

In the Lens section is an image taken a few weeks ago, as the first and only major snowstorm (to date) dissipated. Piles of snow were quickly being tested by the power of the sun rays. The light was brilliant and cunning, bringing a delicious patina to the contemporary buildings on the university campus in my small town.

I took the image in Hipstamatic, using two combinations of lens and film. As usual I applied my gentle editing perspectives. The results are vastly different images. The first has the sensibilities of that blissful sunlight bathing entire structures. The second is a wave to the past. It is as if I returned to that sight fifty years from now, and that winter’s still life became a retro link to the past, just like a word from 2016.

Architecture’s meandering to other disciplines and subjects exemplifies the fluidity of language, and how over time we can stretch applicability and meaning. Architecture is a word that suits my own bond and infatuation with words.

Until we notice or use a particular word anew, the possibilities remain hidden or unnoticed by us. When we open ourselves to the ability of each word to express a different voice, our own level of communication becomes a surprising gift of awareness.

Tip of the Week:

At the Tate Modern in London is an exhibition that I dearly want to visit in-person. Alas, I must settle for cyberspace’s platform for the artists’ interpretation of how self-portraits can be viewed as performance art. It’s a seductive and timely show that has much to offer about historic, historical and contemporary photography. “Performing for the Camera” is richly exciting and deserves a huge audience. If you are fortunate to live in London, or plan to visit the city, the exhibition is offered through 12 June 2016.

From the Museum’s website: “With over 50 seminal photographers on display, the exhibition explores the relationship between photography and performance, engaging with serious, provocative and sensational topics, as well as humour, improvisation and irony. It shows how photographs have captured performances by important artists including Yves Klein and Yayoi Kusama, and ground-breaking collaborations between photographers, performers and dancers. It looks at how artists including Francesca Woodman, Erwin Wurm and others have used photography as a stage on which to perform, and how figures from Cindy Sherman and Hannah Wilke to Marcel Duchamp and Samuel Fosso have used photography to explore identity.”

Since I cannot visit the Museum, I enjoyed watching two short videos about the show. Hope that you view both. Click here to read more about the exhibition and view the films.

A quick summary of the videos:

Short One: Curator Simon Baker talks about the relationship between performance and photography through a few works seen in the show. Runs 4:32 minutes.

Short Two: Swedish artist Romain Mader explains the origin of his current work. Mader says, “It’s better to pose myself and be the main character in my work. There is an irony and vulnerability – it is awkward to look at that.” Runs 4:04 minutes.

János Kender Harry Shunk, Yves Klein’s ‘Saut dans le Vide’, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, 1960. J. Paul Getty Trust. All rights reserved.

János Kender Harry Shunk, Yves Klein’s ‘Saut dans le Vide’, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, 1960. J. Paul Getty Trust. All rights reserved.

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-editing-winter-beauty/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2016/02/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-editing-and-processing-4/

https://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-challengers-choice

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/sally-ds-mobile-editing-challenge-and-poetry-monday/

https://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-editing-fun-2/

https://photographyplusblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/in-a-flash-slowly/

https://christinejrandall.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-sheep/

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/gerbera-noir-or-recasting-cheerful/

https://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-editing-and-processing-still-life/

https://chasinglifeandfindingdreams.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/wonders-of-food/

https://christinejrandall.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/sally-ds-mobile-photography-challenge-cockatoos/

Note:

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

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

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

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

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

Posted in Architecture, Art, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Human Nature, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments