Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Architecture as Street Photography

26 August 2013


1. Renovation and Revitalization, Philadelphia, iPhone 4s, August 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

1. Samuel Machinery Company, Philadelphia, iPhone 4s, August 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, iPhone 4s, August 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, iPhone 4s, August 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens: Okay, okay, okay–it’s my third post in a row that features street photography. It’s hard for me to state which is the more compelling component of this genre: the movement or the stationary.

Buses bustling, cars careening, crowds dispersing, bicyclists peddling, pedestrians strolling, diners dining, lights flickering, people watching, others listening, signs staring, windows modeling, vendors vending. This visual landscape is intoxicating.

Along with iconic building and places Philadelphia offers various urban backdrops and elements. My one-day excursion was a feast for savoring.

In the Lens section are two stills from that trip. Each is a slice of architecture that defines inner-city life: a building under renovation and skylighting in 30th Street Station.

"A Grand day Out," by British Street Photographer David Solomons

“A Grand Day Out,” by British Street Photographer David Solomons

For me these images clearly fit into street photography, which also includes architecture. Any city struts its character through the history of its buildings. The old and the new summarize much of the depth and breath of what transpires from dawn to dusk and from past to present.

These images (click here and here for the other posts) tell teeny tiny tales about what is found on the street. This pulse of storytelling has attached itself to my thoughts.

To observe human interaction from the street level is to be a voyeur and spy of sorts. I cannot wait to (unobtrusively) do more.

Tip of the Week: Click here for twenty-one tips from Digital CameraWorld that will help you launch a “street photography” photo shoot. Three well-known photographers give pointers: David Solomons, Matt Stuart, and Nick Turpin.

Here are other entries:

Note: Here’s a reminder of the weekly schedule and themes for upcoming Phoneography Monday 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 Mobile Photography, Photography, Street Photography, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Architecture as Street Photography

  1. No 1 for me – I just love the colours.

  2. Su Leslie says:

    Great photos; really love the first one. Very unexpected colours and quite beautiful. Here’s my take on the theme

  3. I’m drawn to the pastel colors of the first photograph. Are they natural, or did your phone or follow-up software alter them?

    • Steve, as I closed the door of a fabulous gallery and walked toward the corner, the building burst forth with its vibrant colors. That’s exactly its effect–colors that woo. It’s under renovation, and one can only hope that they are true to its design and features.

  4. elisaruland says:

    I wish I had the confidence to pull off street photography…you’re so good at it! Honestly, I like both shots!

  5. patriciamoed says:

    Hi Sally. My vote is for #2 because of the deep light and shadows and the aura of mystery.

  6. I Am Jasmine Kyle says:

    I prefer the second ONLY because I am a contrast FREAK and a sucker for color. The blending of the color is what REALLY catches my eye. Almost like it’s enchanted!

  7. I prefer the first definitely.

  8. Love the play of colors, textures and lights.

  9. Tina Schell says:

    Still drives me crazy that you can get such terrific shots with an iphone!!! Love the first shot especially.

  10. Since we saw the building together, I can say with certainty that you captured its essence! I would love a copy of this photo!

  11. munchow says:

    Again two great images, Sally. I love the way you have processed them. My favourite is the first one, it’s visually more complex which is what I like about it.

  12. I like the first pic, with the windows, and the colours. I have picked abstraction for this week. I have not played around much with my photos, so this is a first attempt.

  13. Gallivanta says:

    I love the light and sky in the 30th Street Station.

  14. Hi Sally, I really like the strong colors and mix of old and new in your first photo today.
    My Monday contribution is here:

  15. I am always fond of color saturation so the first photo has my vote. I happened to get this playful photo yesterday just in time for this Architecture challenge.

  16. cindy knoke says:

    So creative! Kudos~

  17. Sally — I prefer frame 1 over 2 as it has more “street cred,” with its grungy, pastel look. I’ll have to jump into street photography for one of upcoming challenges, but for now here are a few travel shots:

  18. Allan G. Smorra says:


    I like your second photo: I’m a sucker for silhouettes.

    Here is my entry for this week’s challenge:

  19. Angeline M says:

    I cannot choose liking one more than the other. Both photos are great in their own respects. Color and texture in the first, and shadow/light in the second. Great pieces of work!
    I’ve chosen a Still Life for my entry this week. Something I happened upon Friday night

  20. I love looking at buildings and I was drawn to both of these photos-the top for its vibrant color and energy, the second for its more contemplative mood-lovely work Sally!

  21. Compelling images! I do love these stationary ones and my favorite is the second. But, I think my overall favorites are the ones with movement! They make you wonder and the busy people and where they are going. I’m thoroughly enjoying your street photography! Very inspiring! 🙂

  22. Klausbernd says:

    Dear Sally,
    I prefer the first picture because it`s clearer but at the same time has more levels, there is more to see and my eye was more puzzled at the first glance.
    Both picture have the same theme: inside – outside. The first pic does present it with another topic as well: the rotting culture of cities.
    Have a happy week
    Klausbernd 🙂

  23. Sally, I’m drawn to them both in completely different ways. I love the vibrant colors, textures and reflections of the first one, but I also like the mysteriousness and contrasts for the second. Appears to me you’re from Philly. Our younger daughter goes to PAFA. Perhaps, if you’d like, we could meet for coffee/tea sometime when I’m out there.

    heading off to get my post off, then back into the attic for packing…moving day is this Friday

  24. Rather than to intrude and look onto people’s lives, which is perhaps a routine in street photography, I am often looking to “escape” from places that make up the city, e.g. the office… which is why the skylight resonates with me. 🙂

  25. masadiso79 says:

    I prefer photograph nr. 1. It is more my style. Like something I would shoot. The other one is good, too, but I definitely prefer the first one.

  26. Pingback: Phoneography weekly: The temple at night | We Live In A Flat

  27. 30th street station is spectacular!!!! The lightening is the best of situations and you made it beautiful.

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