Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Black and White

16 September 2013

Lens:

I. Bridging Human Nature and Nature

1. Bridging Human Nature and Nature, iPhone 4s, September 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

1. Bridging Human Nature and Nature, iPhone 4s, September 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

II. Almost Symbiotic Relationship Between Nature and Human Nature

2. Almost Symbiosis, iPhone 4s, September 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Almost Symbiosis, iPhone 4s, September 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details. If you have any questions about the Phoneography Challenge, please contact me.

The intersection between human nature and nature is rarely black and white. This relationship mingles footprints (missteps, almosts, progress, and successes) that have been achieved in the course of our story. Every step has had its daring moments where each has held onto the old, and continued to create the new. We are the sum of this partnership.

I am, however, amazed at the lack of commitment that humankind has for its most serious partner in life’s journey. Without Mother Nature we are doomed. On the other hand she can do very well indeed without us.

The contrasts and tones of this relationship are steeped within a continuum from grays to whites, from black-and-white to color. This seesaw symbiosis is a prudent example of interdisciplinary blending.

Humans seek and find answers in nature’s examples. She really does not need us to cast a net of experimentation, and forge a longstanding place in the mysterious and wider universe.

I’ve never really understood why “we” differentiate between Human Nature and Mother Nature. In reality we are one and the same.

We are the range of all that the human brain, eye and mind conjures. We are not monochrome, but fully technicolor and awash in the spectrum of hues and tones.

Still, I often see the world in black and white, because it helps me deconstruct and re-construct what I visualize. I find it a necessary exercise in comprehension: sweeping away what is typical reality and creating a simpler view. It helps to ferret out the importance of a moment, to focus on its story.

In the Lens section are two parts of this conversation: Bridging Human Nature and Nature as well as the Almost Symbiotic Relationship Between Nature and Human Nature. The first was taken at a local park where a trio were strolling on a path above a pond. This delivery of sweet interaction captured my attention. It spoke volumes about the interplay between the silence of nature and us.

The second image was taken on a recent photo shoot in Havre de Grace, Maryland, which is greatly influenced by its location on the Susquehanna River and at the head of the Chesapeake Bay. I captured the confluence of water, Amtrak rails and Kayak launch. Life in this tiny community is very much woven by its setting on the waterways.

There is no avoidance. We are inextricably linked with the genius and mystique of nature. Our dependence and interdependence is an ongoing tale–at least we hope so.

Nature inspires my sense of place, which is why my adult life has been steeped in gardening. I care and toil my almost half-acre of land with august enthusiasm. Hardly a day expires without some outdoor activity that includes walking in nature or tending some small or larger part of my gardens. Oh, and feeding my menagerie of birds.

So even though I live within this multi-dimensional color-coded life, I am forever viewing it with a monochromatic eye. It does not reduce my pleasure, just adds to its abundance.

Tip of the Week: Michael Levin is a noted for his extraordinary black-and-white landscapes; they do not just startle, they force you to stare with awe. As if nature is not gorgeous enough, he adds a whole other view of her with his minimalist approach. His eye is adept at framing the most luscious of scenes, which often shock the senses. While his camera of choice is not a Smartphone, it is worth studying his art, his way of seeing the world. View his work here.

White Gate, Michael Levin, Photographer, Google Images

White Gate, Michael Levin, Photographer, Google Images

View other entries for this challenge:

http://woollymuses.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-football-finals-bw/

http://weliveinaflat.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/church-architecture-photo/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-challenge-web-by-webb-black-and-white-with-haiku/

http://thepalladiantraveler.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-3/

http://melissadjohnston.com/2013/09/16/iphoneography-monday-black-and-white-in-a-fog/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/726/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-monday-black-and-white-9-16-13/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-4/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-black-and-white-images-tell-the-story-of-jacks-tree/

http://icastel.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-monday-alley-riders-black-and-white/

http://ohmsweetohmdotme.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white/

http://watchingthephotoreels.com/2013/09/16/black-and-white-phoneography-challenge-2/

http://amarnaik.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-challenge-the-phone-as-your-lens-black-and-white/

https://motherwifestudentworker.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/rabbit-waiter/

http://pilotfishblog.com/2013/09/17/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-3/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/phoneography-challenge-the-phone-as-your-lens-black-and-white/

http://blogagaini.com/2013/09/18/phoneography-monday-black-and-white/

Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of my blog. Here’s a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Phoneography 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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This entry was posted in Black-and-White Photography, Human Nature, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Black and White

  1. bluebrightly says:

    I love the way the first picture creates a mood.

  2. Amy says:

    Thank you so much for taking time to explain b&w and nature & us. MICHAEL LEVIN Michael photos are stunning!

  3. That top B&W is very nice!

  4. Number 2’s perspective, I think may translate well and look stunning in a big print format perhaps?

  5. munchow says:

    Excellent photos, Sally. I love the contrast both in tones and in content. The first one evokes a lot of childhood longings. I love how the little girl enjoy walking behind the others. Besides I totally agree with you. We are Mother Nature – and Mother Nature is us.

  6. elisaruland says:

    The first photograph tells such a sweet story.

  7. I really like the way black and white can make photos look beautiful. I have one contribution this week: http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/phoneography-challenge-the-phone-as-your-lens-black-and-white/

  8. Gallivanta says:

    I do like the first photo more than the second. It has a mystical quality which I find enchanting. Thanks for the link to Michael Levin. His art is extraordinary.

  9. patriciamoed says:

    I love the reflection in the first image. Beautiful.

  10. The first image most definitely speaks volumes!! It’s magical, yet an ordinary sighting. It’s absolutely stunning! I love this especially in black and white and stripped of color. Great work! 🙂

  11. Love them both but the bridge that connects humans and nature is just an inspiring visual that makes the reader reflect on the relationship of man with his surroundings. Thanks.

  12. Janine says:

    I love the reflections in the lake. It seems poetic somehow, and the black and white really adds to the effect.

  13. thirdeyemom says:

    Lovely post both words and photography. I agree that it is awful the world doesn’t want to do anything about global climate change or ruining our environment. It makes me so angry and sad. Thanks for the great post as always. I’ve been having strange issues with WP lately and haven’t been getting many of the blogs I subscribe to sent via email. No comments either. Strange stuff. I think I’ve missed several of your posts! Sorry about that! 🙂

  14. icastel says:

    Nice shots, both. My pick is the first one. I really like how you captured the reflections and the rich dark tones you used.

    I’ll join your challenge with this post: http://icastel.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-monday-alley-riders-black-and-white/

  15. The diagonal line of the trestle and the ragged edge of the ties really appeals to me this week. Nice photo!

    I got a late start this week, here is my entry: http://wp.me/p24idL-1Gj

  16. Sally I love the children looking almost like architectural elements or grass growing in the first one. I instinctively go to B&W for trees. Here is my offering for this week. http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-black-and-white-images-tell-the-story-of-jacks-tree/

  17. Well said today Sally, I really like your comment about Human Nature and Mother Nature being one in the same. My black and white photos can be found here: http://nwframeofmind.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-monday-black-and-white-9-16-13/

  18. Angeline M says:

    Beautiful post, all the way around!
    I’ve added my photo for the challenge: http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-4/

  19. I like the figures reflected in the water. There is a unity between these two elements.

  20. DCTdesigns says:

    The first one would be my pick. The juxtapositions are strong, Dark/light, seen/reflected. There is a deeper story growing from this one.

  21. I like the first one better. There’s something appealing to me about both the reflections and the girl’s dress, as well as the way she’s turned back to the little boy.

    janet

  22. Sally — Monday already? Nice two photo set on your bridging human and nature. I’ll lean just a tad more towards frame #1. I like the reflections of the three in the water as they make their way by. Here’s my B&W offering: Palladio’s 192-Step Program – http://thepalladiantraveler.com/2013/09/16/phoneography-challenge-black-and-white-3/

  23. Amazing shots. I love the first one. The reflection you captured is amazing.

  24. KOH  says:

    Nice title ~and b&w . love it

  25. “Still, I often see the world in black and white, because it helps me deconstruct and re-construct what I visualize. I find it a necessary exercise in comprehension: sweeping away what is typical reality and creating a simpler view. It helps to ferret out the importance of a moment, to focus on its story.” So true and the post is such a perfect expression of the concept–the images, the story, the words, the reflection upon the nature of human nature and the rest of the natural order. Really great images and reflection. I like both images, but the first really speaks with the bridge aspect–and the mirroring that must take place in order to realize that we’re also, indeed, part of the natural world. Thanks for sharing Michael Levin’s work. Love it!

    I have an entry for this week’s challenge. It’s my first one. I just found out about the weekly challenges. So excited they exist! Thanks for your work in it! http://melissadjohnston.com/2013/09/16/iphoneography-monday-black-and-white-in-a-fog/

  26. I really like the 1st pic with their shadows on the surface of water.

  27. Great analytical title for this beautiful image!

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