Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Macro (and Peonies)

09 June 2014

Lens:

I. The Peony Blossom

1. White Peony, iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

1. White Peony, iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

2.  White Peony, iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

2. White Peony, iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

3.  White Peony, iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

3. White Peony, iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

4. Peony,  iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

4. Peony, iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

II. The Peony Bud

5.  White Peony Bud, iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

5. White Peony Bud, iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

6. White Peony Bud, , iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

6. White Peony Bud, , iPhone 4s, June 2014; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2014

Please let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

Today I will publish two posts; that’s an unusual feat for me. First, this post is my usual Monday fare: my entry in the photo challenge with a marvelous community of participants. The second post will  be in response to an invitation to join a Virtual Blog Tour. I hope that you will enjoy both efforts, especially because I have invited two other bloggers to join the tour on Monday, 16 June.

By a measure of aesthetics the visual appeal of a peony (Paeonia) is at the apex of my affection for  Spring’s jewels. By a measure of beauty this native perennial stands above many, but also alongside others that are equal to the task.

More than any other of this season’s progeny the peony has elements that are hard to match. I am hooked on its fragile yet stately appearance, continuum of delicate and deeply saturated colors, feathery petals, bold gestures, heavy boughs, and elongated foliage.

Once I meticulously cut a cluster, I am entranced with the flower’s design. Layer upon layer of serrated-edged and some smooth-edged petals join together to stun those who notice. Each petal is like a dance of seduction; each petal has a silky surface that begs to be touched and inspected.

While they are magical as cut flowers and performers in the garden, their other life is easily noticed. As they begin their decline, several petals drop with a methodical and often whimsical slow action, then more and more follow. The result is a gracious time-lapse performance of loveliness: piles of luscious petals.

Since macro photography presents an image that often surprises, the peony became my subject for the challenge. This floral model was not just a theme to shoot, but my obsession to deliver some of its unique characteristics. Mostly, the macro is an opportunity to show the flower as an (almost) abstraction.

Usually macro photography shows a subject in a frozen moment that defies what the naked eye can see. It seemingly enlarges (but really is a 1:1 ratio), and often distorts our notion of what we see. Since the background is often out of focus, I wanted to zoom into the peony’s best vantage points–not an easy task with a Smartphone (even an  iPhone).

Because I did several photo shoots, you’ll notice that the lighting varies in each photograph–artificial, natural, inside, outside. Also the final blossom (photograph #4) was processed with PhotoStudio, which gave the flowerhead a softly-hued dimension.

Tip of the Day: During this week’s photo shoots (three separate sessions) I tried to come close to the results that I sought, yet frustration mounted. Then I realized that I needed an accessory: the tripod. One of the major issues with a Smartphone is trying to reduce its shake and movement. Even as I steadied or leaned the cellphone, my images were not focused enough. Prior to a Northern California trip two years ago my grandchildren urged me to purchase the iPhone as another tool in my photographic kit. With my new iPhone 4s in hand I consulted the manager of my local camera store. My concern was buying a tripod for it. At that time there were some choices, but none seemed to be adequate to do the job. After he grabbed a few catalogues, I ordered a rather cleverly designed one. It served me well on the trip, but I have not used it much. This week I grabbed it, and it helped me produce a better image. Today there are many more choices on the market. I do suggest that you buy a tripod; it will make a difference in macro shots and other photographic opportunities.

 

View other entries for today’s macro challenge:

http://pictograf.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-2/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-spring-in-the-park/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/mobile/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/phoneopgraphy-brakedown-of-a-brown-sunrise/

http://uniquesochic.com/2014/06/09/peach-florals-iphoneography-challenge/

http://decocraftsdigicrafts.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/phoneography-macro/

http://steve-says.net/2014/06/09/if-i-had-a-hammer-well-i-really-probably-shouldnt/

http://wisnuwidiarta.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-foodography-my-lunch-box/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/phoneography-challenge-macro-cab/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/06/09/hanging-out-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/06/09/iphoneography-monday-6-9-14/

http://19planets.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/turmeric-babble-007-june-2014-haiga-and-haibun-for-phoneography-monday-macro/

http://blogagaini.com/2014/06/10/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-macro-2/

http://foundroundandabout.com/2014/06/12/chrome-and-flowers-in-macro/

http://ayorkshirelassinireland.com/2014/06/13/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-macro-2/

http://neomanu.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-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 Photo Challenge, please contact me.

Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo 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).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week

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

69 Responses to Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Macro (and Peonies)

  1. niki says:

    I absolutely love peonies! The second image would be my favorite 🙂

  2. Number 2 sings with light !

  3. Su Leslie says:

    Black and white! I can’t normally make such a decisive choice, but that shot has so much emotion.

  4. Tina Schell says:

    Well done Sally – I agree, with macro shots the tripod can be a lifesaver! Love the shot from the back of the flower – peonies are among my favorite flowers.

  5. Dawn says:

    The B/W treatment lends that fine art air to the image’s details… and the #6 looks like something from a botanical sketch book. You captured the peony star quality so well.

  6. These are absolutely lovely Sally. Peonies are not native here so it is so rare to see them.

  7. Gallivanta says:

    I love number 2. It is the essence of the peony to me.

  8. maryslow says:

    One of my favorite flowers. Beautiful.

  9. Amy says:

    Great capture of peonies, Sally! Good to know using tripod for iphone 🙂

  10. Morgan says:

    Stunningly beautiful 😉

  11. Ajaytao2010 says:

    Beautiful picture dear Sally excellent

  12. elisa ruland says:

    Peonies make my heart soar, perhaps because they bloom for such a brief time. They are, bar none, my favorite flower so I could not possibly pick a favorite. Every shot is lovely!

  13. Wonderful shots of one of my very favorite flowers, Sally. Usually one of your photos jumps out as my favorite but today I truly love them all. If pressed I think I would choose #3 for the clarity and simplicity but they are all beautiful in their own way.

  14. I love peonies and I’d say the first two are my favorite captures! Good job! 🙂

  15. Angeline M says:

    All so beautiful; peonies are such beauties…and perfect for macro. The tripod is something I may have to look in to.
    http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/phoneography-challenge-macro-cab/

  16. A friend have been bugging me to get a tripod for my phone, too. Saves taking selfies when I want a group picture with me in it. Good reminder, thanks.
    Your photo remind me of a painting challenge of painting an all white picture. The peonies show just how many shades of white there are.
    I could just dive into 2 I like the depth and the way it fills the page.
    Happy Monday,
    Carol

    • Carol, I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Yes, I’m always reminded of the vast hues of a single color when I’m in the garden. Of course, the reflection of light has so much to do with what we see. Thanks so much.

  17. Awesome photos. 😀

  18. Sweet as a Picture says:

    Lovely, lovely, lovely all! I love the way the light plays on the flowers. I like the underside photos, too. Something we usually don’t pay attention to. 🙂

  19. Love photos #2 and #3 simply for the drama of the flower-peonies were a great choice-so much to work with here.

  20. Lovely shots Sally, I like the second one best, both for its lovely ivory colour and also its petals look like silk! Heres my entry this week. http://wp.me/p3p9c0-2hC

  21. No. 2 is my favorite– it looks like a lacy wedding dress or cake. Beautiful!

  22. I like the first two because I love the lighting in each and the feminine look of the petals. The tripod sounds like something I’ll look into as I’ve had the same problem before with movement.

    janet

    • Janet, there are so many varieties of tripods. I’d be sure that it was a sturdy one and not too heavy. Mine is a combination of mechanisms (before they became more popular and different choices appeared in the marketplace). It works great, but it is heavy. Let me know what you get. Thanks so much.

  23. pattimoed says:

    Lovely peony shots! I just got a Gorillapod, which is supposed to be a good tripod for a Smartphone. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  24. pattisj says:

    Tough choice! I like the warmth of the second shot, but there’s something about the purity of the whiteness in the first that I like, too. Thanks for the info on a tripod for a smart phone–something I’d never even thought about.

  25. Lovely Sally. I have to say the last image is my favorite. I think because you don’t normally see the back side of a flower and I love the vines on the leafs and how you can see a bit of the flower.

  26. One, two and three! One and two compliment each other, as mentioned above! I especially like the black and white. Great shots! 🙂

  27. ~meredith says:

    Hi Sally,

    Peonies… ah! I love the first two photos– together, they look like a girl’s dilemma of whether to choose ivory or white crinolines…. richly gathered, and mindfully pressed and starched. I’m amazed by the quality shots one can take with phone cameras.

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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s