iPhoneography Monday Challenge: Black-and-White (and Flipboard)

18 February 2013


1. Reflections through Windows, iPhone 4s, January 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

1. Reflections through Window Panes, iPhone 4s, January 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Ice, iPhone 4s, February 2013;  © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Ice, iPhone 4s, February 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

3. Tropical Plant, Longwood Gardens, iPhone 4s, February 2013;  © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

3. Tropical Palm Tree, Longwood Gardens, iPhone 4s, February 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

Let me know which you prefer and why.


“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” Robert Frank (b. 1924)

During the first week of this month Gracie (http://graciebinoya.com), Polly (http://watchingthephotoreels.com) and I began an iPhoneography Monday Challenge. If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details. This week’s theme is black-and-white photography, giving us a chance to strut our monochromatic images.

I am a true devotee to black-and-white photography. In reality a certain set of conditions need to be present to render these photographs worthy, and give the originals new meaning. Since color photography did not proliferate the mainstream market until the late 1950s and 1960s, the monochrome had a long run as a way to stop time.

Still, for success there has to be contrast through darks and lights. Illuminations–subtle or blatant–become key to a monochrome’s ability to stand the visual test. Dominate parts must stir the mind’s palette so that the sum of the parts clearly differentiate: giving range, shape, substance, texture, and tone to the subject or subjects.

American Landscape photographer Ansel Addams was a master of the black-and-white. His scenes documented the landscape of twentieth-century West, and majestically used  brilliantly monochromatic descriptors. Scale vs. details were made clear by his attention to lighting, depth of field, shadows, and shapes.

"Oak Tree," Ansel Adams (1902-1984), Google Images

“Oak Tree,” Ansel Adams (1902-1984), Google Images

In the Lens section are my entries for this week’s iPhoneography Challenge. Each uses the monochromatic feature slightly differently. The first displays a glass surface that brings layers of contrast and reflection through the white framing of the window’s panes. The second shows the slick surface of the street where the sun cast its rays upon the frozen water with  black mortar as a foil for the ice. The last is the vaulted ceiling at Longwood Gardens where the day’s light bursts through and defines the tropical palm tree.

While early photographers edited their monochromes in the darkroom, we can use our iPhones, computers and tablets to convert color to grayscale. Or use an app that immediately takes the image to black and white. Either method can  produce some memorable images that pierce our reactions in ways that are somewhat opposite to our multi-colored universe.

iPhoneography Tip of the Week: As bedtime nears I have a relatively new ritual–that is, a by-product of my iPhone 4s purchase this past June. My discovery of Flipboard, was a bonus of huge proportions. For those of you who do not know this app, let me explain.

When you learn about its benefits and features, I believe that you will be pumped to get this FREE online social magazine. It’s brilliantly conceived and executed for the iPhone and iPad.

Flipboard, Google Images

Flipboard, Google Images

While Flipboard is a news and tech source, its Fotopedia is where I spend my time. When I open the app, there is always a cover story to read. But I use my thumb to skip right to the iPhoneography and Photos sections.

Then and there I am privy to all the photos uploaded for the day and the last few days. It’s easy to become familiar with contributors. But it’s the quality of their images that keep me returning.

Every image has something to teach me about iPhoneography: what can be as I explore my own creativity with this photographic innovation. For a brief tutorial, click here.

Here is a sample of an iPhoneographers who regularly posts on Flipboard: John Mallon. See more of this mobile artist’s work here. Scroll through his art and be amazed at  variations on the theme: iPhoneography.

John Mallon, iPhoneographer, Fliickr

John Mallon, iPhoneographer, Flickr

Check these other entries in today’s challenge:






Note: As alway I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. Other posts on my blog about black-and-white photography can be viewed here and here.

This entry was posted in Black-and-White Photography, Human Nature, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to iPhoneography Monday Challenge: Black-and-White (and Flipboard)

  1. Pingback: iPhoneography Monday: Black & White | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

  2. Once again the subjects comes alive through your lens. Love then all but the ice was one is an exciting, thrilling piece. Have a great weekend my friend.

  3. marialla says:


  4. Dina ♥ says:

    Lovely images. I prefer the mirrored reflections in the first one.
    Have a great day!

  5. A new follower…enjoying your art!

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Too hard to say which I prefer today. They are all lovely.

  7. Angeline M says:

    It is great that you’ve started the iPhonography challenges. Here is my starter to join in http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/iphonography-monday-black-and-white/

  8. Pingback: iPhonography Monday: Black And White | AngelineM's Blog

  9. Pingback: iPhonography Monday: Black & White | Savvy Design

  10. Beautiful black and white photos! My favorite is the palm tree one because of the way it’s been cropped and framed; looks like design! I’ve actually used flip board on my iPad before but totally forgot about it (cause my kids use my iPad more than me lol). I’m going to have to use it on my iPhone. Inspiration galore! Thank you for sharing and wonderful post 🙂

  11. I love the ice picture as it reminds me of a rough seascape.

  12. Pingback: iPhonography Monday: Black and White « A year in the Life

  13. Gracie says:

    These are awesome, Sally. I really like the forms and patterns on these shots. Very nice!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s