Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Macro (What Do a Factory and a Flower Have in Common?)

14 July 2014


Part I-Debris at Abandoned Factory

1. Abandoned Factory, Delaware, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Abandoned Factory, Delaware, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Abandoned Factory, Delaware, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Abandoned Factory, Delaware, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Part Two-Japanese Iris

3. Japanese Iris in Pond, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Japanese Iris in Pond, iPhone 4s; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.


While my grandson and I meandered around the countryside waiting for an apt spot to do a photo shoot, a previously mentioned site suddenly was within a mile’s drive. That sealed our afternoon with cameras in hand and a destination that satiated our quest.

As we stood and scanned the abandoned industrial site, we knew that our time there would be dictated by the chain-link fence that surrounded the acres of factory buildings. We positioned ourselves on the edge of the site where we only had access to what was directly in front of us: about a few hundred yards that bordered the road. No doubt we will return to scout the overgrown property and search for other vantage points.

It’s not worth discussing the history of the well-known company held hostage by progressive decay, because many of the images that I framed are abstractions–close-ups through spaces in the fence. Fortunately, some of the materials and buildings were inches from the wire barriers.

The most intriguing part of the afternoon’s shoot was how the abandoned grounds gave birth to a variety of possibilities. Since this week is macro week, the site proved a place to record features that are seemingly not what they appear to be–at least in my visual universe.

What was before me was fragments of what was: the recognizable rearranged by time’s weathering hand. Materials. which were once made utilitarian, are now dislodged and useless. I was beckoned by numerous subplots.

In the Lens section are two images from that photo shoot. Each shows a small slice of the deconstruction found at the site-a site with its integrity compromised. Slowly human-made materials are being covered by nature; vines and underbrush march forward with a vengeance.

For some deeply-held reasons the state of the factory’s demise reminded of another image that I took last month. The Japanese iris (image #3) that is included in this post is a companion of sorts to the other two photographs.

The Japanese iris is one of a dozen that bloomed in my pond this spring. They grow in a large container that has been there for over a decade. They reside the entire year.

During their blooming stage, I am enthralled with their stunning designs and deep purple hues. That single petal that hangs in its finality reminded me of the cycle of life that occurs in a sundry of disparate entities in nature and human nature.

The similarity between the deserted factory in the final stages of existence and the flower being depleted of its potency are surprisingly similar, yet not. Once each had a vibrancy that sought attention. Then each did their swan song in opposite ways: one rather quickly, the other in glacial pace.

The factory’s materials were plant-based and used to make commercial products, providing generations of jobs and keeping a community economically lively. The Japanese iris’s splendor is so delicate and strong that it defies its short fleeting beauty. The flower’s presence in American gardens provides a tribute to our global economy and the import of other countries’ horticultural products.

In their demise they share the end of an intersection between nature and human nature. They both become memories in the annals of everyday life. But each has brought a more examined (macro) view of what we see, and how we interpret our individual visual landscapes.

Tip of the Week: Recently, I spent some time viewing the works of finalists from Eighth Annual iPhone Photography Awards. This competition has much to offer those who use iPhones or any Smartphone as their lens or anyone interested in photography. I hope that you will peruse their Website, where winners’ works are featured from as far back as 2008. To see this year’s winners, click here. To view previous years’ winners, click here. Julio Lucas from Bradenton, Florida, United States, is the 2014 IPPA Photographer of the Year. Click here to view his Instagram site. While he is the overall winner, there are several categories of awards in this competition.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:


Congratulations to me: It’s my 300th post.  

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, 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.

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54 Responses to Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Macro (What Do a Factory and a Flower Have in Common?)

  1. Always refreshing to see the world through your eyes. Of connecting images with life and the many hope and stories it brings. Thanks.

  2. Your Japanese iris got me to thinking: why is it that someone can be “the apple of my eye”? Wouldn’t “iris of my eye” be better, and a play on words to boot?

  3. What spoke to me on this post was that you took your grandson to scout out photo sites…this will be a great learning experience for him one day. I would of loved to had someone when I was young to be a photo mentor…you go grandma♥

    • Laurie, these excursions always melt my heartstrings. It will be your turn soon (Time has a way of moving faster than we think.) to encourage your grandchildren to frame their world. Thanks so much.

  4. Congratulations with the 300. Quite an accomplishment, but I hope you are up for another 300 and more… The images of this post were hard to choose between. I like them equally much for different reasons. You may have notice before that I have a weak spot for abstract expressions, so my pick this week will maybe have to be the second image.

  5. Ooooo….love the Japanese Iris.

  6. Another week of “Which photo do I like best?” The second one grabs my attention and has a poster quality about it which I like. Don’t ask me to explain exactly what I mean by that, though. I like the variety of shapes and details, brought into prominence by the use of black and white.


  7. maryslow says:

    Congratulation on 300 posts!

  8. aaanchalk says:

    Congrats on 300. Your pictures are lovely.

  9. Amazing!! and what a lovely meander it is!! I have to get me some of these apps!!

  10. What a fun way to spend time with your grandson, Sally! The second factory image is great with Danger on the side but your Iris is my favorite this week. So lovely. 🙂

  11. Sally, I’m offering up post #216 (not 218, I got a bit ahead of myself earlier), inspired by your challenge (and thanks):

    When the iPhone Camera Yields a Surprise (or Two) Inside

  12. I have looked at the IPhone photo winners and keep them in mind as I go out to shoot for inspiration. What I was impressed with was the depth of field, something I want to work on.
    Survivors and relics I would call this week; I love the iris 3 but the shadows of the chain link fence tells an eerie story.
    Thanks for the Challenge

  13. Sally for me for me I love the abstract quality of the Japanese Iris best. Here is my macro entry.

  14. Madhu says:

    For all the abstract beauty in the factory macros, I think I prefer the iris too 🙂 Congratulations on the 300!!

  15. Angeline M says:

    I love the industrial area scenes, especially when I clicked to enlarge the photos; the second one Is my favorite with that Danger lettering on whatever it’s on….but then there’s that Iris, it is so beautiful. I will look through the artist’s photos on the IPPA, I scanned the cover page and looks like it’s for iPhone only, not other phones, a pity.
    Here we go with my lowly Samsung entry for today

  16. Gallivanta says:

    The factory site must be fascinating but I think I would prefer being near your Japanese Iris :). The IPPA photographs are amazing. And congratulations on post 300.

  17. Mary says:

    I am partial to flowers, so I have to say I like that one the best.

  18. Great photos once again, Sally! I love the second one with the dilapidated “Danger” sign in the background. The direction you’re shooting, if anyone was trying to scrounge through there, by the time they got to the sign it’s too late! 🙂 Congratulations on your 300th! Have you ever entered any of your pictures at IPPA?

  19. Congrats on 300! I’m aiming for 1000–gonna be awhile though.

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