Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Architecture

30 September 2013


1. Reflections, ISE Building, iPhone 4s, September 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

1. Reflections, ISE Building, UD Campus, iPhone 4s, September 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Atrium, ISE Building, iPhone 4s, September 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Atrium, ISE Building, UD Campus, iPhone 4s, September 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

Let me know which is your favorite and why.


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.

It’s autumn and the light is rearranging its magic. I decided to watch its path as it shed its beams inside the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (ISE) Building on UD campus. The use of large swaths of glass allows light to produce attentive-getting reflections. Or fills spaces with radiance.

The sun adds volumes to a building that is infused with stunning architectural features. As a research center this building has the inner workings that faculty, students and visiting scholars need to inspire great work. The physical structure is a bonus lending itself to creativity through minimalism. I am inspired simply walking through the space.

In this structure the confluence of nature and human nature are obvious. The architecture allows the inside to meld with the outside. Nature zooms into classrooms and hallways, atriums and stairwells.

It reminded me that Andy Goldsworthy’s and Frank Lloyd Wright’s work crosses over into each others’ territory. Goldsworthy (British, 1956-    ), who is a land artist, an environmentalist, a photographer and a sculptor, is very much an architectural artist. Wright (American, 1867-1959) was an architect, educator, interior designer and writer, who had a reverence for nature and often worked his designs around the natural landscape.

Outdoor Sculpture, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, by Andy Goldsworthy

Outdoor Sculpture, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, by Andy Goldsworthy

Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, 1935, Frank Lloyd Wright

Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, 1935, by Frank Lloyd Wright

These two mainstays are examples from last century and this one that architecture is a human invention that was inspired by the physical universe. That’s not a new concept, but I like to remind myself that when there is collaboration and sensitivity to each, then the result is powerful.

As important, nature is spared intrusion. Humans are given nourishing and nurturing spaces in which to thrive.

To me Mother Nature is the quintessential architect and artist. She combines each to give us much to mimic, much to interpret. We in turn have been quite successful at seeing through her lens, and responding with our own creativity.

In the Lens section are two images that show how nature flows with gentility through the ISE Building. This interaction brings its architectural features to the forefront, and makes for a more congenial space in which to innovate, learn and work.

Tip of the Week: I believe deeply and strongly that exposure to a range of artists’ work will help me evolve as a photographer. Since I do not limit myself to photography, I try to view other photographers’ works often. Recently, I found architectural photographer Mabry Campbell’s Website and cannot take my eyes off his images, which inspire and motivate me to notice even more closely the magnificence of human ingenuity. View his work here.

Grand Porthole at Triangeln, 2012, by Mabry Campbell

Grand Porthole at Triangeln, 2012, by Mabry Campbell

View other entries for today’s challenge:

Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of my blog. If you want to read more about Andy Goldsworthy, click here to view my post about his work that is site-specific in San Francisco.

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).

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

46 Responses to Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Architecture

  1. KOH  says:

    Wonderful Light and shadow~
    Love it .

  2. And thanks for that introduction to the impressive work of Mabry Campbell, who I see lives in Houston.

  3. Your statement that “architecture is a human invention that was inspired by the physical universe” reminds me that the capitals (uppermost sections) of some types of ancient Egyptian and Greek columns were imitations of forms from nature. For example, the scrolls in an Ionic capital might have been inspired by shells or horns, and the Corinthian capital is decidedly leafy:

    Closer to our era, Art Nouveau drew most of its inspiration from natural forms.

    • Absolutely, Art Nouveau is one one my favorite periods. Visited many European cities with examples, but Nancy, France, which is a favorite, exudes this period. Longing to see Antonia Gaudi’s work in person. Thanks.

  4. cindy knoke says:

    Can’t choose- both fabulous.

  5. both are interesting in the study of light 🙂

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Love the way you describe light and nature interacting with the physical architecture of the building. It is so important to be in buildings that inspire us as we work.

  7. munchow says:

    Fun play with light, shadows, patterns and structures. My favourite would be the one of reflections in the ISE Building. I just love the soft mood it creates and the way you have made an unusual composition. It’s almost as if it holds a bit of an enigma.

  8. Frances D says:

    That was hard: first choice Atrium, second fav: Grand Porthole and third: Outdoor Sculpture. You are just brilliant with that phone.

  9. Amar Naik says:

    Hi Sally,
    happy Monday. my favorite is the atrium. below is my entry for this week.

    thanks for sharing Mabry Campbell’s Website. It is indeed great place to be. my benchmark has increased.

  10. Magnificent structures! Love the Fallingwater. A dream view outside my window. Best wishes to you and your family.

  11. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I love the curves and light in your second photo, Sally. Here is my entry for this week’s challenge:

  12. Can’t choose between the two pictures: both are beautiful in a stark and startling way. I wonder if the students will ever really “see” the building.

  13. What wonderful spaces, I really like your theme of light flowing through man-made structures and the architecture. I chose architecture today as well:

  14. Sally — The link you provided to my post just takes the reader to one of the photos. Could you update the link to this:

  15. rabirius says:

    I especially like the first pictures – the shadows are nearly another picture that fall over the actual objects. Really fantastic.

  16. You found great places to take this pictures. The shadows are amazing, creates interesting lines and spaces.

  17. Steve says:

    I like the first one as it’s all straight lines and uniform.

    Here’s my first entry ever:

  18. Angeline M says:

    I really like the first photo the most, the light and lines and shadows attract me. I absolutely love your words on the building’s minimalism inspiring creativity, I think this is so true in general. Another wonderful post.
    I’ve added my entry:

  19. Lignum Draco says:

    I prefer the first for the strong contrast from alternating pattern of light and shadow.

  20. Sally — Frame #2 gets my vote this week. More of the architectural theme on display, and you were able to hold it together well shooting into the sunlight slightly diffused by the stylish windows above. As promised, he’s my stab at Street Phoneography: Going Postal —

  21. I too believe that it is necessary to expose yourself to all genres of photography to be the best you can be. Lovely work this week.

  22. I like them both but for different reasons. They both have wonderful shadows and shapes but since the shapes are angular in the first and curved in the second, they appeal differently.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s