iPhoneography Challenge: Macro

13 May 2013


Part I: Macro Photography

1. Dandelion, iPhone 4s, May 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

1. Dandelion Flower Head, iPhone 4s, May 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Upholstery Nails, iPhone 4s, May 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Upholstery Nails, iPhone 4s, May 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

Part II: Using Camera +

3. Safety Pins. iPhone 4s, May 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

3. Safety Pins. iPhone 4s, May 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

Let me know which you prefer and why.


Gracie (http://graciebinoya.com), Polly (http://watchingthephotoreels.com) and I began this iPhoneography Monday Challenge in February. If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details.

As I compose this post, I am thinking about a short, simple, and mostly, poetic sentence that I wish I had written: “I want to be a word” from Anna Moschovakis’s “Untitled” (Click here for the full text). The poem is worth more than a glance or two.

In 2011 I read those six words that: stopped my breath, soaked my heart, pumped adrenalin through mind, and forced a long pause to salute their brilliance.

Most days I want to be freedom or creativity or soulful or peaceful. Or a word conjuring ambling or rushing or slowing through time.

Right now I want to be macro, which is fitting for the iPhoneography Challenge. Why, you might ask?

Over the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with my iPhone to achieve better close-up photographs–photographs that unveil the unseen front and center. And not just revealed, but rendered in a way that changes our perception, our notion of what the images are and can be.

I shoot, shoot, shoot: pull into the image and tighten the framing. I read about others’ experiences, and view scores of photographs.

Inspiration can come from ordinary moments and mundane objects. When the everyday becomes large-scale, it is redefined, reoriented and re-imagined.  Meaning is twisted. The mind is fooled.

Often macro flatters our attention, and makes us notice some essence that eluded our visual capabilities. For me this play with large vs. small will continue as long as I hold a camera.

While I might be “macro” for a part of today or tomorrow, I also will be many, many other words. Words willing to hitchhike onto my day’s journey.

In the Lens section are three images for this challenge. The first is a “spent” dandelion getting ready to cast its seeds. The second is a handful of upholstery nails whose enlargement floated across my lens almost mimicking metal umbrellas. The third shows medium-size safety pins that seem ready to hold together very big objects.

Tip of the Week: A recent conversation with a dear friend spurred me to delve a bit deeper into Camera +. Since I hadn’t found the joy, I decided to give it another chance. During my “macro” journey this week, I read about a few features in Camera + that just might push me to use it more. iPhones have trouble focusing on close-ups. Also using indirect lighting will reduce shadows and avoid overexposure in a macro shot. Camera + has Touch Focus and Touch Exposure. Each boosts the chance for a better close-up image. Add the use of natural light (best to avoid flash in close-ups), and the stabilizer shooting mode (to avoid camera shake) that is also available in Camera + and the image is much clearer. Check out the results in Part II of the Lens section. Right now you can get the app for 99 cents. Click here to go into iTunes and read about it.

Click to view other entries to the challenge:















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).

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

55 Responses to iPhoneography Challenge: Macro

  1. thirdeyemom says:

    I really like the safety pins! I love this challenge and do plan to participate when life slows down a bit. I like how it gets you to really use a unique and creative perspective on not only photography but life! 🙂

  2. The safety pins totally captured my attention..love♥

  3. patriciamoed says:

    Great shots! I especially like the safety pins–their texture in particular.

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  5. marialla says:

    All very interesting but the upholstery nails , in my view, are the most interesting because they look a bit alienish!!! Thank you for the pix!

  6. The first image is fascinating – wonderful photo.

    • Malc, isn’t it great to have Spring’s arrival? We’re just starting to get some warm days. It’s always hard to wait until the last frost days (usually mid-May here) to plant more than cool weather crops. Thanks.

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  8. So alive and vibrant. You captured the beauty around you like no other.

  9. Gracie says:

    Awesome shots, Sally! I really enjoyed the Safety Pins one, I like both the composition and the grain on it. Makes a really good impact.

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  11. Each image is so creative yet simple I love them all! Here is my post for the week: http://nwframeofmind.com/2013/05/13/iphoneography-monday-macro/

  12. Su Leslie says:

    Geat photos as always. I’m smiling at the moment cos I was looking at the upholstery nails without reading the caption, was assuming something organic and thinking ‘wow, what an amazing plant.’ 🙂

  13. veraersilia says:

    I like a lot. I wish there were words that can say it all …

  14. livvy30 says:

    I love the dandelion head! Here’s mine for this week from Ireland! http://ayearinmyshoes.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/iphoneography-monday-macro/

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  17. Jo says:

    I love the safety pins too, I love ordinary subjects taken close up. I have a set of close up filters for my camera winging their way to me as we speak so I am really hoping I can do some close ups soon. Great words as always. 🙂

  18. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Here is my entry for this week: http://wp.me/p24idL-1sQ
    I love the safety pins. The shapes are great and the range of tones from light gray to black is very pleasing.

  19. Angeline M says:

    Happy Monday! I really love the upholstery nails in a great series above. I love that xray kind of look…..tell me how you get that look!!!

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  22. These are wonderful-I love the detail in all of them, but the safety pins are what really had me looking. I love the way in which macro can completely redefine the everyday for us. Thank you for a terrific post.

  23. munchow says:

    Great close-ups, Sally. My favourite is the one with the safety pins. Beautiful composition.

  24. Gallivanta says:

    I love the safety pins. They are such useful, strong objects and your photo really displays their strength and utility, and beauty.

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