Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Macro (and the Gerber Daisy)

13 January 2014


1. Gerber Daisy, iPhone 4s, January 2014;© Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

1. Gerber Daisy, iPhone 4s, January 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

2. Gerber Daisy, iPhone 4s, January 2014;© Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

2. Gerber Daisy, iPhone 4s, January 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

3. Drying Gerber Daisy, iPhone 4s, January 2014;© Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

3. Drying Gerber Daisy, iPhone 4s, January 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

Let me know which you prefer and why.


Remember the tradition: “he loves me, he loves me not” said aloud or silently as a petal is plucked. Well, Gerber daisy is a perfect candidate for that ritual (albeit lots of slim petals) where the act is supposed to predict deep affection. I can easily see someone scattering discarded parts of the Gerber to reach the desired outcome.

Over the winter holidays I searched through the refrigerator of my favorite florist for flowers to remind me of spring and summer blooms. When I spied a bucket of luscious pink Gerber daisies, it was an easy choice.

These beauties can be bold and boisterous in deep reds, sunlit yellows and orangey oranges, which can be flamboyantly eye-catching. But I am drawn to the softer pinks and subtle whites, because seen against their dark centers, their flowerheads become soulfully-stunning.

This multi-petaled ornamental (Gerbera jamesonii, discovered in South Africa in 1844) hails from the aster and sunflower family. They’re symbolic of friendship, innocence and purity. They dare you to be sad around them.

Gerber Daisy Bouquet, Google Images

Gerber Daisy Bouquet, Google Images

Since I live in planting zone 7, I grow them as a summer annual; they make a great partner to geraniums and zinnias. I was pleased to learn that they’re the fifth most celebrated flower (along with carnation, chrysanthemum, rose, and tulip). While they are gorgeous to behold, they are also long blooming and make any floral arrangement sumptuous.

After a few weeks of filling my kitchen with cheer, I noticed their slow demise and decided to keep them as they entered their “spent” phase.

As they dried in vases, I was thoroughly entranced as they clung to the edges of the glass. Little by little that evolved into fainter beauties, but beauties nevertheless.

In the Lens section are three examples. The first two are earlier versions. The last shows one that began to turn yellow. Their appeal continued even in the final stages of their existence.

I found great comfort in their willingness to perk my attention for days and days. As each flower lost its original luster, my love of drying nature’s beauties (what most will toss) was reenforced.

Even as flowers become less than they were, they emerge with a re-definition in  coloration and form. This reminds me that the life cycle may take from us, but it also gives back. It returns the notion that nature offer new vistas that we might not imagine or perceive. Our vigilance (seeing the small, even macro, picture of life) is required to appreciate her wisdom.

Tip of the Week: During the gray of winter it’s soul-pumping to view Nikon’s Small World. As their Website explains: “Small World is regarded as the leading forum for showcasing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope. The Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in microscopy and photography. The video competition, entitled Small World In Motion encompasses any movie or digital time-lapse photography taken through the microscope.” The images are breathtaking and ultra-inspirational. They show the wonders of microscopic photography and its ability to connect us with nature’s majesty. Click here to view Nikon’s Small World; it’s definitely worth it.

Thomas Balla, Honorable Mention, 2013 Photomicrography Competition, Crystal Formaiton of Sulfosalicylic-Acid, Nikon Small World

Thomas Balla, Colorado, USA, Honorable Mention, 2013 Photomicrography Competition, Crystal Formation of Sulfosalicylic-Acid, Nikon Small World

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

Below is 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 Gardens and Gardening, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Macro (and the Gerber Daisy)

  1. Vibrant, beautiful, so alive!

  2. HansHB says:

    This is a great post, splendid work!

  3. Godfried says:

    I love the third one because I think that have the original colours and details.

  4. Of these three I like the third one best, I like the added warmth on the flower that is obviously fading.

  5. These are all beautiful, but the first one is the one I will keep in my mind today. 🙂

  6. Awesome pictures. My favourite this time is the first one – there is something about the composition and the colours.

  7. ideflex says:

    These are all gorgeous – hard to pick a favourite from the 3; love gerberas!

  8. wildsherkin says:

    They are all gorgeous but I particularly like the second one. I think it’s because this faded beauty still has a hint of the life and vibrancy it once had!

  9. Su Leslie says:

    Great photos; I particularly like the middle one – nice balance of colours seem to emphasise texture really well. I had fun with this one:

  10. I like them all but my favourite would certainly be the first one. I think this is because of the washed out colour. I don’t know why but it reminds me of my wedding which obviously gives me happy memories. I must have had washed out coloured flowers.

  11. cindy knoke says:

    Beautiful! I have liked this 3 times and each time the like has been erased! Happening a lot!!!

  12. UreshaM says:

    The Gerber Daisy is my favourite flower, second best are tulips 🙂 The first image is the one I like the most. Since the flower is wilting and no longer the fresh beauty it once was, I like the aged treatment that you applied.

  13. thirdeyemom says:

    These are stunning! I loved flowers especially in the winter. I never even thought about drying them, but this gives me a great idea. I prefer number two as I like the colors and the perspective.

  14. Sweet as a Picture says:

    What a beautiful photo capture. I love each photo!

  15. Amar Naik says:

    Second one is my favorite. It can be framed as a nice card cover. Thanks for introducing to Nikon’s Small World. Going to take a shot at it.

  16. Gallivanta says:

    How beautiful they are! Perhaps not dying but transforming…..

  17. aloha LensAndPensBySally – i like the 2nd photo because it has a slightly stronger color (which in this case i prefer) over the 1st photo, and it includes the base of the vase. i like that because it has a depth but it also stops the eye from continuing on right off the image.

    i too appreciate the beauty that flora goes through at all stages. an image i like to explore every so often are those of dried leis. wow. different colors and textures yet still harmonious and stunning. fun. aloha.

  18. says:

    I love the third as always to me color wins and the editing adds interest !

  19. vera ersilia says:

    No.3 is my preferred photo. Because I like color. I also like dead and dried flowers that others would throw away. Their transformation is fascinating, but we must be able to see it, It is all in the mental perspective…

  20. Hopeje says:

    I prefer the 2nd one

  21. I like all three this week for different reasons. I love the frame you used in the first one. It echoes the vintage look of the fading flower. The second is striking because of the angle, and the vase and light making a triangle. The third has such great texture and color and the square format really works with it. The vase looks like it is ice! Really great subject and shots. And I would have been one of those girls that made sure the daisy answered the way I wanted it to, and with all those petals on a Gerber it would have been pretty easy to manipulate! 😉

  22. Luanne says:

    Sally, I am inspired by you showing me how to see the beauty in a fading flower. Thank you for that! I really like all of them, for different reasons, but my laptop also doesn’t allow the full photo–width yes, not height :(.

  23. I love the evolution of a daisy going on here. You read my mind for this macro post. I am working on an evolution of my orchid. Just different time zone.

  24. dsaquarelles says:

    I like the third for the colors which are vibrant.

  25. Beautiful images Sally. I don’t have a favorite this week, instead I find I like each one equally as a representation of the stages of its life cycle.

  26. M. R. says:

    I like the first one – the muted colours, I think. Wish I had a phone that could take photos like yours.

  27. Just beautiful. I love them all. 😀

  28. I like the symmetrical quality of the first one, but the second one has a very appealing colour to it which the first one doesn’t have. All in all, however, I will go with the third one, given that in that one the character and mood of the flower is best portrayed.

  29. Sally, those have such a beautiful, retro feel to them! Lovely, lovely!


  30. The third one, I like to see the result of your experiment. 😛 I also like the deeper colour in the third.

  31. Angeline M says:

    I love the last one, Sally. The loss of saturated color of the leaves, but the still bright pink of the center is wonderful; it also seems more “relaxed”, and I like that. Definitely how I think of me as I get older 🙂

  32. RobynG says:

    Great composition Sally and lovely images…all three!

  33. I really like them all Sally, but if I had to pick I think it would be the last one with the square crop.

  34. I agree-of the three, the first one is the one I keep going back to–the muted colors and the “imperfectness” has made for a truly lovely photograph.

  35. Trifocal says:

    I like the colours in the third one too, so go for that. Noticed also that the shape and relative position of the petals changes very little between the three pictures. Interestingly unlike what happens with (most?) leaves as they dry; I wonder why they differ?

    • Here’s me theory: When I realized that they were lessening in their vibrance, I stopped filling the vases with water. Little-by-little they began to cling to the edges of the vase, which are as wide as the flowerheads. The glass gave them support, which helped to eke their shape. Thanks so much.

  36. Amy says:

    You put your favorite flowers in the refrigerator! I guess the flower last longer.
    I like the third one. I bring my entry to you later to day.

  37. elisaruland says:

    Ha, I haven’t thought about that flower petal tradition in a long time Sally, and you’re right the Gerber daisy does offer many options for the lovelorn. I like the third shot’s richness of color and texture, but they’re all pretty. Thanks for the Nikon Small World tip…I could use a little inspiration about now!

  38. scillagrace says:

    The last one’s my favorite…bright color pops for me.

  39. The first one speaks more of fine art to me…but the cool tones seem to give it an edge.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s