Celebration of Milestones, Awards and You (from the tail of 2013 to the embryo of 2014)

24 January 2014


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

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

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

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

Let me know which photograph you prefer and why.


The year 2014 brings a multitude of possibilities as well as a plethora of gratitude–gratitude for the gems that I’ve received as the photographer and writer for this blog. While I shy away from the relentless need (Oh, who am I fooling; you know that I check them.) to view statistics or hope for other by-products from this journey, the true rewards are from the readers and subscribers. Seriously, your gifts have filled my cup many, many, many, many times.

I suppose that it’s inherent in the human condition to desire a mirror effect where reflections reverberate back to us from this online journey. That is, that the world responds to our ideas and visions.

Little by little connections have been made. Little by little my own response to this experiment has pushed me farther and farther.

Here are a few results that from the tail of 2013 and the embryo that is 2014:

1. Next month will be a year since “Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens” was started.

2. This month my blog has over 1,000 Followers.

3. Recently, I received two more award nominations: Sisterhood of the World Award and the Lighthouse Award. My gratitude is extended to Margaret (please visit her here) for the Sisterhood nomination, and Irene (please visit her here)  for the Lighthouse nomination.

6. My blog has had more than 60,000 mark visitors.

7. This post is #275.

Let me speak to the nominations. When these recognitions occur, my first reaction is to be humbled. Then I am alerted to the reason for this blogging life: to communicate through my photography and writing. The awards are a way an individual tells me that I am reaching into their lives, and leaving an impression. That is huge and inspires me to be better: to create original work that tells something specific about our universe.

It also reminds me that although I have over 1,000 subscribers; each is an individual that I want to touch. Beyond the self-expression my joy comes from the connection, the camaraderie, the support, the network.

It’s really the dialogue with readers that is the essence of this journey. And I am forever grateful for each of you for stopping, and taking a chance to see what I embrace.

The Phoneography Challenge was born as I came to understand that my iPhone 4s is as much a photographic companion and tool as my Nikon DSLR. Both have their assets and liabilities. Both are instruments to explore my own vision, and record the immediate universe. The Phoneography Challenge has brought more joy than I can express. The dialogue with participants continue to expand. Please see my post in early February that will honor these community of Phoneographers.

The Internet allows users to make their imprint and, if they choose, shore their creativity. It provides a path to build knowledge, confidence, self-expression, networks. It is space (full or empty) for quiet or loud participation.

Mainly, it is a place: a meeting place for interaction that sparks ideas and encourages contemplation and even supports action. It is a place where I met you.

Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of my blog.

This entry was posted in Abstraction, Human Nature, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Celebration of Milestones, Awards and You (from the tail of 2013 to the embryo of 2014)

  1. Madhu says:

    Congratulations Sally! Here’s wishing you another fantastic year 🙂

  2. Gloriously breathtaking!

  3. ideflex says:

    Congratulations on a year well-spent and all its lovely rewards!

  4. I also like the first best. Probably because of the colours but it also immediately conjures up a story, a mental image of (for me) some kind of disaster happening. Loved your words. Congratulations, you certainly do touch a lot of people.

  5. Tina Schell says:

    Congratulations on the awards Sally – your iphone challenge has become quite the hit and honestly was a bit ahead of the curve. these days everyone is shooting with iphones! Keep up the great work and here’s to 2014 and all the wonderful surprises it holds!

  6. Sally, congratulations on your milestone and thank you for continuing to host your Monday Phoneography Challenge. I have learned so many wonderful and creative things from your posts and images and I’m really looking forward to what you have in store for us this year. My first impression of the two sunset photos left me really liking the first but now as I type this the light in the second keeps drawing my attention back to view it again. Great choices!

  7. marialla says:


  8. Su Leslie says:

    Congratulations Sally; well deserved awards and I am very pleased to be one of your “followers.” I enjoy the challenges as a chance to explore my own growing interest in photography. To work with the limitations of my phone to produce images I like is really rewarding. I also appreciate your comments – not only on these photos, but on other posts. You have become a treasured member of my blogging whanau.
    PS: I like both shots above, but love the first. I’m a sucker for that gold-y colour pallete.

  9. I like #1. What post processing technique did you use?

    • I used PhotoStudio. While I do play with apps, there are usually only minor alterations. The digital darkroom offers a safe way to redefine an image: certainly, better than my days working with chemical in the darkroom. Thanks so much.

  10. Trifocal says:

    These strike me as ‘catastrophe’ shots. So the choice is between an oncoming tornado or an approaching bushfire. On artistic grounds alone I will go for the first!
    And- thanks again for all your hard work on this blog.

  11. Lignum Draco says:

    Nice introspective/retrospective. Glad to have “met” you.

  12. "Occam Blade" says:

    Very nice….#1…it can play nicely on the third floor at MOMA….it has a depth, texture and ambiance of a 4×5 Polaroid transfer…..

  13. ~meredith says:

    Well… you’re a jewel, Sally! And I love the first picture better than the second, primarily because the second makes me think of Pink Eye. The first picture has extraordinary smokiness. It’s both lovely and somehow reminiscent in tone. Congratulations of your success! Meredith

  14. Yay! I love this reflective post! I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since the Phoneography challenge started! I’m still enjoying that as well. 🙂 and so glad to connect with you and your photographs plus words through this blog! I need to make myself slow down and write more. Always a pleasure reading and viewing your posts! P.S. I like both photographs equally 🙂

  15. iRoswell says:

    I am torn! Pic 1 is beautiful and I love the smokey effect. But pic 2 is more ethereal and alien, two things I am always drawn to!!!

    Soooooo….. I’m going to have to go with pic 2! To me, it appears I’m looking through an alien eye that is opening onto a new landscape.

  16. Congratulations Sally-having discovered your blog has helped me tremendously in the way I view my own iPhoneography pursuits-and here is to a wonderfully creative 2014 for you-
    I love both photographs-there is something primeval to me about both-light-darkness-form-creation-

  17. Congratulations, Sally! I want to let you know that I’m glad you started the Phoneography Challenge (iphoneography when I found you!). Yours was the first I saw and I was encouraged to post some photos. It has been the beginning of a fun hobby! So, I thank you.

    I do like both photos but I believe I prefer the second one where the flames are distinct. Sort of looks like the eye of God is behind looking on. Were these by any chance those recent fires in LA?

    • Linda, it warms my heart that the challenge has been a source of encouragement. The sunsets were taken on the East Coast in Newark, Delaware. Each evening I am astonished at these winter sunsets. Nature is giving us such wondrous treats. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  18. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Congratulations on your milestones over the last year, Sally. I have enjoyed participating in your challenges.

    I really like the first photo—the colors and layers speak to me. The backlit trees on the horizon line of your second photo work well with the black foreground below.

    Have a good weekend,

  19. Amy says:

    Truly a milestone, Sally! Thank you for sharing the beauty of the nature, architecture, places,… through your lens and pens!

  20. gbebensee says:

    Sunset 1 works best for me–outrageously lovely colors and watercolor texture.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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