Phoneography Challenge: Nature

01 July 2013 Lens:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens: Gracie (, Polly ( and I began the iPhoneography Monday Challenge in February. Recently, we had a re-launch that made the challenge open to everyone who uses their Smartphones as their lens–exclusively, experimentally, frequently, occasionally, or back-up. Check here for that post. If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details. Please use the current badge until a new one is created, which will be ready sometime this month.  

Lately a sunset–meek or spectacular—has been a rare commodity. We’ve had long and loud thunderstorms that seem to break near sunset. So when the occasional one occurs, I go to my favorite place to ponder and shoot.

This watering has its pluses and minuses. Our state has reached a sizable percentage of our yearly rainfall. That’s seems a blessing. Some crops are flourishing, but others are water-logged. Seedlings have been drowned. Or washed away.

Oh, and then there is the mosquito population that is gorging on this opportunity. But how dare I complain about the rain.

Usually, at this time of year we’re hungering for showers. I find it scary that late spring and early summer 2013 has turned the usual into the over-saturated unusual. As I write this post, the thunder is roaring, and my phone alerts me about flash-flood warnings.

Sunsets are such visual tantalizing treats that I miss them. I miss their spontaneous gifts. I miss the unexpected in the expected.

In the Lens section are four captures from last month. In their infancy the colors were so brilliant as to make it impossible to keep away. Some rays seem to butterfly across the sky with endless orange-pink and orange-red hues.

I’m fortunate to have scouted the perfect vantage point to spy on these natural wonders. Because in nature photography location, location, location can be a critical key to success: with a sunset the wider the expanse and the closer to the horizon, the better. Of course, one of the advantages of a sunset over a sunrise is that it’s light when you position yourself to watch the transformation.

I want to compare twists and turns of sunrises and sunsets. Someday I will kick myself out of bed early enough to find that tender spot where shafts of light slowly beam across the day’s unfolding. But for now every sunset has become precious, and I will honor each chance to observe the magic.

Tip of the Day: Seattle-based mobile photographer Star Rush is co-founder and editor of the online magazine, Lys Foto. Her work is worth the browse. Click here to learn more about her documentary and street photography. Click here to see the magazine, which is published every eight weeks. iPhone and mobile photographers can submit their works  for consideration.

Visit these entries for today’s 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, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Phoneography Challenge: Nature

  1. Amy says:

    I like the third, but the sunrise pics are so beautiful!

  2. marialla says:


  3. I like number 3 best – it has a feeling of movement and a strong diagonal composition.

  4. leilakhalil says:

    Hi Sally! Here is my entry for this week! Love your sunset shots 🙂

  5. karmami says:

    All of these photos are awesome but if I had to pick I would choose the last one ..the black and white shot.. second choice is the first photo …great shots..thank you for sharing

  6. Su Leslie says:

    I love sunsets and these are great photos. Particularly the third one. The shaft of light on a railing really makes is special. Here’s my riff on nature:

  7. munchow says:

    Excellent shots of sunset, Sally. My favourite is the third because it adds some depth, both literally and to the ambiance.

  8. My favorite was #3. I love the way the beam of light emanates from the sun.

  9. Sally, I love photographing sunsets too… great choices today. I think the third is my favorite but the second one is almost tied. 🙂 Thanks for the information about Star Rush, I will take a look.
    My post is here:

  10. That second one reminds me of the sky reflecting some of the fires out west. Great pictures!
    Here’s my entry for today:

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  12. Gracie says:

    These are nice, Sally. Love the colors.

  13. elisaruland says:

    I’m not certain if there’s anything more inspiring than breathtaking sunset, nature at her finest. These are great shots, and I agree, I’m not around to enjoy too many sunrises!

    • Yes, sunsets are, especially in spring and summer, that slice of nature that intrigues each and very time. Hope that I can motivate myself to see a few sunrises this summer. Thanks.

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  15. Angeline M says:

    I always enjoy the tips and intro to other photographers and photography…thanks so much for that. Here is my entry for today

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  17. #3 is my favourite for this week 😀 I’m glad you got a dose of the sunset 🙂

  18. Angeline M says:

    I really like the third photo, the sun’s rays giving a warmth to the guardrail of the road you can just see to the right. All good work of that iPhone, though.

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  20. I have the same problem, getting out of bed for sunrise pics…very very tough. I will settle for sunset. LOL!

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