iPhoneography Challenge: Portraits of Nature for Earth Day

22 April 2013


1. White Clay Creek, iPhone 4s, April 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

1. White Clay Creek, iPhone 4s, April 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

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

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

3. Clouds and Sun, iPhone 4s, March 2013;   iPhone 4s, April 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

3. Clouds and Sun, iPhone 4s, April 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

4. Sunset, iPhone 4s, April 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

4. Sunset, iPhone 4s, April 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

5. Weeping Willow, iPhone 4s, April 2013;© Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

5. Weeping Willow, iPhone 4s, April 2013;© Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

Let me know which is your favorite and why.


Gracie (http://graciebinoya.com), Polly (http://watchingthephotoreels.com) and I began an iPhoneography Monday Challenge in February. If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details. This week’s theme is challenger’s choice, which gives me an opportunity to express my humble admiration and devotion to nature.

For me Mother Nature is the quintessential master of the universe–words that I repeatedly use. Earth Day celebrates her abundance, beauty, bounty, fragility, integrity, and wisdom.

Originally, April 22 was daylong  and honored the health and sustainability of our home planet. Now celebrations can be a week or longer. In my opinion each sunrise should be designated Earth Day. There is oh so much to be done. Too much awareness is never enough.

Earth Day, which began in 1970, has survived a litany of ups and downs, triumphs and sorrows that deeply affect the planet we inhabit. Its legacy is teaching us that we must each do our part.

Accumulative effort is the path to take, so “we” can forge a collective consciousness about the need to rescue our planet. Forty-three years later and where are we?

Commonplace in daily life is conversation that touches on conservation, preservation, sustainability, climate change, environmentalism, greening, recycling, reuse, reduction, global initiatives, and similar topics. Regardless of the venue, the planet’s well-being slides into discussions.

Concerns mount. Air quality. Food quality. Water quality. Melting icebergs. Habitat loss. Chemical infiltration and run-off. Decline of bee colonies and other species. Food supplies dwindling. Toxic waste. Changing weather patterns. Residual effects of human intervention continues.

I read about the odds, and try to focus on broad and wide hope. My thoughts praise such a day as today–one that will educate, re-educate and inspire advocacy. As important, I wish for each of us to take part in this drama. Each of us can become aware of a role that we can play as a change agent–a change agent is born when one sapling is planted.

On this anniversary of Earth Day I have a few suggestions. Join your local horticultural or nature center. Support a national organization that has clout. Use natives plants in your garden. Feed the birds. Reduce lawn areas. Grow vegetables. Turn the water off as you brush your teeth. Reduce waste. Put your computer on low-power mode. Buy locally grown food. These are not new, just that we can all add a few more to our own list of actions.

I think about my individual ability to contribute. How does one person act in a way that positively affects the whole? It’s a legitimate concern. I must believe that any action or change in lifestyle is somehow going to equate a plus where a minus existed, even if it is seemingly miniscule.

I have been a member of the World Wildlife Fund forever. I trust them. I know their work is valuable and worthy. I know that they make progress in their advocacy on behalf of the Earth’s wild creatures and places. One of their mottoes (“Change the Way You Think–About Everything”) has power to empower. Their Website inspires: “The Impact of Our Daily Choices May Be Greater Than We Realize: The seemingly isolated actions we take every day—from our choice of morning beverage to our choice of business practices—leave an imprint on some of the world’s most valuable and threatened places.” Please click here to learn more about this organization that works tirelessly on behalf of all of us.

World Wildlife Fund

                                                              WWf, Google Images

Earth Day is one of the most generous of ideas. Even in its glory and widespread celebratory events and programs, “we” behave as though we have ample time to  intercede and rectify the environmental changes that are occurring.

From Earth Day’s Webpage: “Climate change can seem like a remote problem for our leaders, but the fact is that it’s already impacting real people, animals, and beloved places. These Faces of Climate Change are multiplying every day. Fortunately, other Faces of Climate Change are multiplying too: those stepping up to do something about it. Help us personalize the massive challenge climate change presents by taking a photo and telling your story. How has climate change impacted you? What are you doing to be part of the solution?”

I encourage you to delve into the layers of WWF’s Webpage. Click here.

For those of you who want tips about going green or greener, visit Howdini, which provides videos on various topics. Click here.

Green Movement, Google Images

Green Movement, Google Images

I feel a sense of urgency and yet I try to live in the moment, which means that I work every day at being conscious of my lifestyle and its effects on the Earth and others. My quiet advocacy, which includes volunteer efforts, is easier, because gardening season has begun. This morning I’m planting more greens, and watching the arugula and peas reach for the sunlight.

Mostly, I’m determined to be vigilant about my own imprint. Happy Earth Day.

Tip of the Week: It seems appropriate to select an iPhoneographer who has an affinity for nature. Gianluca Ricoveri, who is a photographer from Tuscany, has become known for his lyrical and sumptuous landscapes that are taken with his iPhone. He is an artist who uses his background as a painter to create images of Central Italy. Read more about him here.

Gianluca Ricoveri

Gianluca Ricoveri, Google Images

Please see these entries:













Note: As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. The following is a reminder of the weekly schedule and themes for upcoming challenges. 

1st Monday: Nature

2nd Monday: Macro

3rd Monday: Black-and-White

4th and 5th Mondays: Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

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60 Responses to iPhoneography Challenge: Portraits of Nature for Earth Day

  1. Pingback: iPhoneography Challenge: Architecture | Pilot Fish

  2. jalal michael sabbagh.http://gravatar.com/jmsabbagh86@gmail.com says:

    Excellent post, every one can do his part to help. Best regards. jalal

  3. Pingback: IphoneOgraphy Challenge: Nature | simplylifestuff

  4. Fossillady says:

    Yes, we all need to do our part to help Mother Earth, thank you for all the suggestions you provided. There are so many ways we can help and so no more excuses! Thanks for sharing Sally, Your WP friend, Kathi aka fossillady

  5. That is a beautiful series of images that truly inspires us to take care and appreciate nature more everyday. Thanks.

  6. That first White Clay Creek picture is AMAZING! How on earth did you get that feathery effect? The more you look at it, the more you can see the subtle colours, too. It reminds me a little bit of Puddle by MC Escher: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Escher_Puddle.jpg – but your picture is much better! All the best 🙂

    • I’m humbled and do appreciate your comment. I used PhotoStudio. Usually, I do minimal amounts of editing, and am finding that my iPhone with its range of apps is new territory. The result are experiments, which keep pushing me to do others. Hope that helps.

  7. Wow, the first photo is a work of art…what did you do in terms of processing if you don’t mind me asking. Did you use an app….which one? Very cool photos all round

    • Welcome, I am a minimalist when it comes to editing. The iPhone has an extraordinary range of apps, and I have been experimenting. I used PhotoStudio, and it gave the effect that I wanted. If you try a few apps. you’ll find the ones that are best suited to your style. During the iPhoneography Challenge I will give a Tip of the Week, which will always be some aspect of mobile photography. If you get Flipboard, you get graze through other photographers’ work, and they often put the app used. Hoped that helps. Thanks so much.

  8. Gallivanta says:

    Stunning photos, all of them, and a text that reminds me to be more mindful of our precious earth each and every day. I could make a start by endeavouring to go to bed earlier! Turn out those lights and turn off my computer.

  9. That first image is breathtaking-I keep going back to look at it-all of your images are beautiful reminders as to why nature’s resources need protecting.

  10. Pingback: iPhoneography Monday: Earth Day | Northwest Frame of Mind

  11. scillagrace says:

    That first shot is seriously COOOL!

  12. Pingback: IphoneOgraphy Challenge: Earth Day | simplylifestuff

  13. Pingback: iPhonography Monday: Portraits of Nature for Earth Day | A year in the Life

  14. Pingback: iPhoneography Monday: Challenger’s Choice | Across the Bored

  15. marialla says:


  16. Pingback: iPhoneography Challenge: Portraits of Nature for Earth Day | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

  17. No 2 is so dynamic it has to be my favourite.

  18. Allan G. Smorra says:
  19. I definitely vote for the first picture! It captures ones attention!! Beautiful composition and light, not to mention the sensitivity of the photographer! I’ll be posting on my blog some of my favorite sky themes – I love the cloud formations and lightings! Happy Earth Day to you too! Here’s my link: http://wp.me/p3galV-Ag

  20. Ryan Hermann says:

    Great work with the iPhone! I have been doing a lot with mine lately and have been really enjoying it! Would be honored if you check out some of my stuff. ryanhermann.com. Thanks for posting!

  21. The first two are my favorites but I really like all of them. 🙂 We are starting vegetable seeds today in celebration of Earth Day, thanks for the great post!

  22. Gracie says:

    Happy Earth Day, Sally! I too am doing my humble part. I think every little thing counts.

  23. Pingback: iPhoneography Monday: Challenger’s Choice | Frames & Focus

  24. Pingback: iPhoneography Challenge: Portraits of Nature for Earth Day | AngelineM's Blog

  25. Marianne Green says:

    The first photo is unique- it captures the vibrant, wiry life that underpins nature.

  26. Happy Earth Day and Iphonography Monday to you!!! My kids had to wear blue or green to school today and are learning all about the earth today (whatever that means). Earth day needs to be every day like you said!! Too much to shove into one day. The first photo is absolutely amazing! I love the lines of the trees and branches. Almost looks as if they are bending, but not breaking. Great post! Have a fabulous Earth Day!!

  27. The first photo is my favorite…it is so different…what a great app this is. I am jealous…I can’t participate in your iphone contest…this girl hasn’t bought one yet.☺

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