Phoneography Challenge, Your Phone as Your Lens: Macro (and Check New Themes Added to the Schedule)

10 February 2014

Lens:

1. Bluejay Feather, iPhone 4s, February 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

1. Bluejay Feather, iPhone 4s, February 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

2. Bluejay Feathers, iPhone 4s, February 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

2. Bluejay Feathers, iPhone 4s, February 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

3. Bluejay Feather, iPhone 4s, February 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

3. Bluejay Feather, iPhone 4s, February 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

4. Bluejay Feathers, iPhone 4s, February 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

4. Bluejay Feathers, iPhone 4s, February 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

We stroll day by day in a world of imperfection—a world where what we see is not always what is there. Macrophotography boosts that awareness. It’s a strong hand that allows us to be privy to the land of known and unknown. It forces us to uncover nuances, and missed opportunities that would elude.

There are many features that draw me to the small. Each is a mystery that unfolds with grace, surprise, wonder and even tenderness. There is a moment when something is revealed and unveiled that truly stuns. The simple act of moving closer to the center or edges or a small sliver can unearth a spectacle or wisp. The silence of the unnoticed suddenly becomes loud.

It’s as though we are reinventing the understanding of the subject. The macro then presents a chance to encourage broader interpretation and new visions.

The disconnect between what the eye sees and the mind’s interpretation can: disappoint, inspire, surpass, calm, excite, or…Possibilities abound.

In the beginning we only have our individual voice. Photographers use their images to vocalize the way they view their immediate environment. Macro is a source of pure joy and pushes patience as well as observation.

Some focus on insects. Or passionately photograph flowers. Or patiently find water elements. For me objects are enchanting, because the closer I move into them the more they are rearranged into something mysteriously different. I find great pleasure in these discoveries.

In macro the ratio of the image to the real is often 1:1, which means it’s a life-size rendition. But in macrophotography you can easily loose context, and the subject can become an abstraction that is unrecognizable and still enticing.

In the Lens section are stills of two bluejay feathers that I found under my bird feeders–scattered and identifiable. I brought them inside, where they rested for two weeks.

We’ve had more than our share of grey, overcast days, and I wanted to use natural light. On Saturday the sun appeared briefly, I grabbed my iPhone.

Images one and two are true macros. Image three and four are meant to show more life-size views. These feathers are perfect examples of nature’s unparalleled beauty and persistence. The monochrome also forces me to appreciate them on a different level.

Historically, plumage has been used as clothing, decoration and objects of favor. They seem to have endless appeal and usage. Their role in the lives of my avian friends draws me to examine, and explore closely their secrets.

Here are a few results from questions that I posed during last week’s anniversary post for the challenge, which you can read or re-read here. I was overwhelmed with the response, and the suggestions truly are welcome. I’m still pondering them. Here are ones that seem to rise to the top of the list, and those that immediately will be implemented.  

First, my sincere thanks to everyone who visited the post, and special gratitude goes to those who made comments and suggestions. Next week I plan to give a more comprehensive summary of the questions that were posed.

This week is devoted to three changes, which alters the Challenger’s Choice. We’ll start this month with these additions.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel). (Animals and Objects are new themes.) 

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week (31 March 2014 will be the first challenge for this new theme).

I hope that everyone is pleased with these slight shifts in the challenge. Personally, I find it a burst of new energy to add a few new themes.

As the second year of the challenge proceeds, I continue to encourage you to make suggestions. Mostly, thanks for your visit (whether a participate or reader), and stay tuned for photographs that have been frozen in time by our Smartphones or non-traditional cameras (more on that next week).

Tip of the Week: Here is a quick tip that will benefit you as you explore the world of macrophotography. Be ultra aware of light flow as you take your subject with your device. Turn off your flash to minimize shadows: determine if that allows for a better image. Try to use natural light, which is my favorite setting.

View Other Entries for This Week’s Challenge Here:

http://pictograf.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/iphoneography-macro/

http://weliveinaflat.com/blog/whoever-thought-that-blue-filters-could-work/

http://burgerbird.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/phonography-using-your-lens-as-macro/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/the-shells-and-the-sea/

http://streetsofsfphotos.com/2014/02/10/daisy/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/phoneography-challenge-macro-desert-color/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/phoneography-capturing-the-rain/

http://steve-says.net/2014/02/10/keep-your-chin-up/comment-page-1/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/iphoneography-challenge-macro-2/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/phoneography-challenge-macro-in-the-kitchen/

http://denasgoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/phoneography-challenge-macro-monday/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/02/10/through-cookies-eyes-phoneography-challenge/

http://fontsandfrosting.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/phoneography-challenge-macro2/

http://lauraemerges.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/ball/

http://firebonnet.com/2014/02/10/phonegraphy-challenge-macro-it-bugs-me/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/02/10/iphoneography-monday-2-10-14/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/phoneography-challenge-macro-3/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/phoneography-challenge-your-phone-as-your-lens-macro/

http://amarnaik.com/2014/02/11/phoneography-challenge-your-phone-as-your-lens-macro/

http://leahjwordtrips.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/a-macro-view/

http://19planets.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/brief-notes-003-february-2014-haigahaibun-phoneography-macro-challenge-a-review-of-my-haiga-book-this-is-not-that-they-are-just-connected-nahaiwrimo-haiku-days-5-through-9/

http://livingwithmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/phoneography-challenge-macro-2/

http://uniquesochic.com/2014/02/11/dreamy-flowers-iphoneography-photo-challenge/

http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/phoneography-challenge-your-phone-as-your-lens-macro-and-check-new-themes-added-to-the-schedule/

http://wisnuwidiarta.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/phoneography-challenge-macro/

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 Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel). (Animals and Objects are themes.)

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week (31 March 2014 will be the first challenge for this new theme).

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This entry was posted in Abstraction, Black-and-White Photography, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Phoneography Challenge, Your Phone as Your Lens: Macro (and Check New Themes Added to the Schedule)

  1. Gallivanta says:

    The first two photos are fantastic. It’s amazing to see a bird feather in such detail. Feathers are even more beautiful than I ever imagined.

  2. I welcome your call to photographers to become macrobats.

    Your first picture is so abstract and geometric I’d take it to be a close look at a piece of fabric or some other manufactured item.

    • Steve, that’s a close up of a bluejay feather. It takes a lot of patience and many shots to get it, and often the results surprise. macro’s charm unfolds as we become privy to what the eye cannot see. Thanks.

  3. Madhu says:

    Would never have guessed one & two were feathers!!! A phenomenal series Sally.

  4. marialla says:

    How I like your black and whites!! Thank you!

  5. Hi Sally, I would like to check with you for this challenge, would photos processed with mobile apps but not taken with a mobile device qualify? No worries if you prefer the photos be taken with a mobile device, I’m just planning next week’s post and thought to ask. Do let me know, thanks!

  6. You are really able to create something magical with this close-ups. Particularly the two first images are amazing, rich and full of details.

  7. Indira says:

    Hi Sally, I was very doubtful about macro but you explained it so clearly , it helped a lot. Still I would like your suggestions and comment on my post whether it is okay or not.

  8. So magical when you look at familiar things in an expanded way! Incredible natural design.

  9. Amanda Lakey says:

    Hi Sally, I love your macro feathers, when you consider its a phone the clarity is extraordinary! Congratulations on the changes you’ve introduced, I’m especially loving the 5th week idea. That’s just so me! 😀

  10. thirdeyemom says:

    Oh I like your addition to the challenge as I LOVE LOVE apps! I have so much fun playing around with them my favorite being Snapseed. May have to join in on this one! 🙂

  11. Amazing all! But the top one with its strong verticality and abstract feeling keeps drawing me back-I am continually amazed at the macro capabilities of the iPhone–wonderful work Sally!

  12. I love that you use as much natural light as possible and not the flash.

  13. Indira says:

    Hi Sally, you gave a very fine touch to feathers. So clearly defined photographs.

  14. Stunning details. The Macro image of the feathers, remarkable. Looked like a leather print of an expensive bag. Beautiful! Have a great week.

  15. I love the new themes as well! Looking forward…

  16. Amazing the detail it picks up. A feather looks nothing like it, in macro. Excellent photo and tip.

  17. Amar Naik says:

    Beautiful. The macro of the feathers look nice. I would also like to see how color version of this will look. The B & W click of feather makes it look hard.

  18. I like 3 & 4. They are just amazing! The contrast and composition are excellent!

  19. These are amazing! I never would have guessed feathers! I could see it in the second one after I knew. I definitely have to try some different things with my iPhone because I never would have thought you could photo something that close! 🙂

  20. Amy says:

    Hi Sally, I like the new weekly themes! Thank you so much for your effort!

  21. Lovely macro choices Sally. My initial impression was that the first two photos were textiles, great job capturing so much detail in each image!

  22. "Occam Blade" says:

    Nicely done indeed! The power of your B&W brought to my mind the series on peppers by what’s-his-name….one of the Westons….Edward I believe…

  23. I like #4 the best… but not because I don’t like the others. I like it because it has the most tonal range of the bunch and looks more organic. Good challenge.

  24. FireBonnet says:

    I am really impressed that you were able to get such a close macro with the iPhone. When I get that close mine blurs and I can’t get it focused. Mine is a 4. That’s why I was going to get lenses but may be getting a 5 soon so may just wait. Of the true macros I am drawn to the second one. The diagonal thrust makes it more dynamic, and the contrast between the light and dark is really awesome in black and white.

  25. Angeline M says:

    The macro challenge makes me work, and is my most difficult photography to work on. Thanks for providing this challenge to make me practice. Your first two photos are so linear and abstract, definitely hard to say what they are until you reveal that; I’m still not at that level; I have to be honest and say I like the last photo best for its simple beauty, and because I have yet to fully understand macro.

  26. Steve says:

    I love macro week. Your pictures are brilliant.

  27. denasgoodlife says:

    These are all great Sally, but I am drawn to the detail in the second photo. I would not have guessed either one or two were a bluejay feather. I love macro because it gives perspective to the things we see and take for granted everyday. Have a great week!

  28. When I took a quick look first thing the morning I thought the first two were corduroy! I’m impressed how you were able to keep the lines in the first so straight. I was just about to ask why didn’t use color but I see they were grey.
    Made me think and then want to touch 🙂

  29. I love the feathers. 😀

  30. The macros of the feathers are just amazing Sally!

  31. Sally,
    I like the second photo a lot. It looks like a close-up of fabric, perhaps a seam in the arm of a jacket.
    The biggest challenge that I have with macro photography is getting enough light on the subject for the angle that I am shooting. Often times my subject is in the shadow of my iPhone. It just occurred to me that using a white phone would bounce some light back onto the subject. I will try using an index card on my black phone for that purpose and see how it works.

    • That’s why I mentioned in the Tip of the Week to be careful and turn off the flash. It is problematic. Nice idea to try the white card as a reflector. I think that it takes great patience, and trying various angles. Thanks so much.

  32. It’s hard to decide but my eye keeps going back to the first image. I really like the abstract quality of it.

  33. It’s interesting how the macro view makes the feather feel harder, despite the general idea of features as soft, fluffy things 🙂 Week 4 and week 5 sounds a little similar to what we’re trying to do with Snappy H’appy, except that ours occurs on a weekly basis. Will await for further details 🙂 Oh and thank you for adding animals and objects 🙂

    • I cannot wait to see Donna on the Phoneography Challenge. Yes, that’s an interesting observation. Feathers are seemingly delicate, yet they do have such resilience and strength. Nature planned is well. Thanks.

  34. elisaruland says:

    Sally, I was intrigue by the first photograph, and almost amazed to find it was the feather from a blue jay. Would love to see it in color. Happy Monday, more snow on the way for the south!

    • Elisa, we had an inch and a half last night. It’s been so grey that my dark chocolate stash in depleting quickly. Oh, everyone I know feels chilled. Interesting that the feathers that fell were grey and white. They did not show the blues. Maybe they’re “under” feathers. See you soon. Many thanks.

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