iPhoneography Challenge: Black and White

20 May 2013


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

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

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

2. Ceiling Lights, 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.

It’s black-and-white Monday, and a way to turn my universe into a grayscale wonder. Monochrome gives the visual a patina and tilt that focuses as much on design elements as it does on contrast, shadows and tone. It’s deeper effects play with our perceptions of reality.

Black-and-white images manipulate time. They spark our linear and non-linear notion of the here and now, or past and future, or each.

Time is a fixture that travels and toys with us, affecting nearly everything we contemplate and do. Just when we think that we might understand it, we are tossed into a quandary about what it is. Its silent or loud tick tocking wavers between black-and-white and  something that we cannot grasp.

Albert Einstein, who created the general and special theory of relativity, changed our perception about time. His view of its rhythm as relative to the universe’s physical space opened minds to new vistas. It’s easy to stretch his discoveries into the realm of human emotion, which is steeped in time’s hands.

Albert Einstein (1915), Google Images

Albert Einstein (1915), Google Images

Here are quotes by Einstein that move through spatial science and the alchemy of the heart.

“Relativity teaches us the connection between the different descriptions of one and the same reality.”

“Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.”

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.”

I know that when I push the shutter to record an image, I am in the realm of science. But that’s relative, because I also am in the arena of creativity and perception.

In the Lens section are two images that weave together time and the monochrome. The first is a sunset, which is one of the regulators of daylight. The second is a cluster of artificial lights, which radiate during nighttime.

Time is the construct of human genius. It slips and slides as though it needs control. It jumps, hovers, delays, and mostly, is mysterious. As an abstract and concrete concept, we hold onto it or let go of its importance.

As each day closes and another opens, time works its magic and then evaporates. It forces me to wrestle with it. It also forces me to see its constancy that gives our lives the grey that is (to me) obvious in the black-and-white.

Tip of the Week: If you are searching for an app that shouts monochrome, click here. Marty Yawnick, who writes for the online iPhoneography magazine Life in LOFI, reviewed the app Vint B & W MII. There are many, many apps available that render an image in black and white. It’s good to get advice from those dedicated to iPhoneography, but it takes experience to find the one that fits into our personal tool box.

Here are other 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).

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

59 Responses to iPhoneography Challenge: Black and White

  1. Colleen B. Johns says:

    This entry was posted in ART A – Z , iPHONEOGRAPHY , iPHONEOGRAPHY MONDAY and tagged black and white , cartoon , cat , Digital Photography , iphone 5 , iPhone Challenge , iPhoneography Challenge , iPhoneography Monday , photography , post a week 2013 , postaday , Using the iPhone as Your Lens by ideflex . Bookmark the permalink .

  2. The ceiling lights are just wonderful! Would make a great wall piece!

  3. Pingback: Black and White and Shadows and Light | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

  4. I was in elementary school at the time, but i still remember the large headline on the front page of the local newspaper the day after Einstein died.

    • Einstein has been my hero for eons. For me he is the quintessential example of digging deep inside and becoming your personal best. While he was perfectly imperfect, his accomplishments are evergreen.

  5. Stunning B & W effects of the Mill and the ceiling lights. It created a mysterious, irresistible effect.

  6. Charming Lisbon quick afternoon shot! http://wp.me/p3galV-Ny

  7. Both images are so striking-but I must admit I am drawn to the second one because of the strong design and composition. Thank you too for the info on Vint B/W-am going to check that out!

  8. such amazing pics. If u have time check ma blog on http://www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

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  12. Memory Catcher says:

    They are both great images. The first provides a sense of privacy, alone-time, or peace because it’s a silhouette. The 2nd portrays life, excitement, socializing…… Today my preference is the 2nd! Great captures! Sally

  13. Interesting choices this week Sally. I like the fact that your light source is natural in the first one and man made in the second.

  14. ideflex says:

    Thanks for the link to the app! Something a little different this week – please have a look at

  15. Pingback: iPhoneography Monday: Black and White | Across the Bored

  16. veraersilia says:

    These two images share nothing so one cannot be picked against the other. They convey two different worldviews. Perhaps two facets of your mind. Very interesting and beautiful both.

  17. Ancientfoods says:

    My favorite is the second photo. Interesting perspective.

  18. Pingback: IphoneOgraphy Challenge: B+W | simplylifestuff

  19. iceman75 says:

    Too sharpe for the first one. I prefer the second.

  20. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I am a sucker for silhouettes, but I really like the geometrical composition of the second photo. Nice job!

    Here is a link to my entry for this week: http://wp.me/p24idL-1to

  21. Angeline M says:

    I love these black and white challenges. I really like your second photo which speaks more black and white to me versus silhouette in the first one…is it all one and the same 🙂
    Here is my entry for today, thanks for providing a springboard. http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/iphoneography-challenge-black-and-white/

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  26. Love the second one…you would never know this is just ceiling lights.

  27. Tina Schell says:

    Good post Sally, lots of interesting info and I love that first shot – the graphics are terrific.

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