Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Nature (Her Softer Palette)

06 October 2014


I Panorama

1. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. A Sudden Flurry of Soft Pinks

2. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

III. Soft Layers of Sunset’s Hues

3. Sunset on Evening Walk; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Sunset on Evening Walk; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

IV. Using the Romantic App

4. Sunset on Evening Walk; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

V. Using the Romantic App

5. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Sunset at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which is your favorite and why.


At the end of this summer there was a noticeable change in the color palette of sunsets. Lilting and softly-etched hues filled the sky for the briefest of moments. Colors danced and were so powerful in their quiet attitudes that they drew much attention–at least from me.

I felt as though Mother Nature was washing the summer heat with brushstrokes of faded and pale tones. They were nonetheless captivating. As the almost monochromatic tints crossed the horizon, I had to contemplate through my lens the majesty of just witnessing such events.

I wanted to get into a hot air balloon and get much closer to the explosion of soft light. I wanted to nestle in the silence of their drifting palette of gentleness.

My photographs in the Lens section are a tribute to the late summer and early autumn sunsets. I also processed the last two as a photographic ode to the work of David Benjamin Sherry. You can read about him in the Tip of the Week.

Tip of the Week:

“The color acts as a vehicle to (an) emotional response and intensity that is already in the landscape,” he said. “That’s my intention of it, a type of enhanced reality.” ~~Photographer David Benjamin Sherry

The photographer David Benjamin Sherry creates images that transform nature into monochromatic hues. My post is a photographic ode to his palette, which he calls  monocolor. I read about him in the New York Times Magazine (28 September 2014, see his work on the cover, click here) where one could intuit his dedication to nature. The photo illustration on the cover and inside spread exhibit Sherry’s interpretation of landscapes, and his emphasis on the way that light effects colors. While his spectacular images are worthy unto themselves, it is his artistic and personal philosophy that brings additional substance to his creativity. Inspired by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, Sherry’s interests in the environment and its ramifications on the land drive and influence his work. He spends inordinate time in our national parks and the West observing climatic shifts and their effects. The drama and intensity of his palette are evident. My own images are an ode to his environmentalism and his use of art to make a poignant statement about our past and present world.

Landscape, David Benjamin Sherry

“Ultimate Earth,” 2011, David Benjamin Sherry

View other entries for this week’s challenge:


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.

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

96 Responses to Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Nature (Her Softer Palette)

  1. In keeping with your summery theme, I have gone to the ‘beach’ for this week’s challenge. Great posts to show the variety of slants one could use with sunset photography, in addition to the usual yellow glows. And there definitely is an emotional response that differs in each one. Here is my entry:

  2. soft pastels- so soothing!! all beautiful but I think I like the panorama best!!

  3. Lovely images – and I am really drawn to the delicate colours. My favourite this time is no. 4.

  4. Aquileana says:

    Great shots!!!… Thank you very much for sharing and best wishes to you,
    Aquileana 😀

  5. Thanks for another introduction, this time to the work of David Benjamin Sherry. For roughly the first half-century of photography there was no color, and for decades longer no practical and widespread use of color, so it was common for people to hand-color black-and-white photographs, and the colorizations weren’t always true-to-life. It’s interesting that now, when we have previously unimaginable abilities to record accurate color, Sherry has reverted to an older approach.

    I think I once mentioned in a comment here that I remember B-movies from the 1950s that were in sepia and white rather than black and white. I later learned that non-black monochrome films appeared decades earlier. How things cycle around.

  6. Su Leslie says:

    These are lovely Sally. The soft pinks create such a mood of gentleness. Well done. Here is my contribution:

  7. Tina Schell says:

    Very interesting Sally. I prefer the natural shots but always fun to try new things isn’t it?

  8. Madhu says:

    They are all beautiful Sally, as are the accompanying words. My pick is no. 4 for its warmer hue.

  9. prior says:

    my fav is #2 – because of the verticals in the foreground – and also just felt pulled into that one – but all are cool. I enjoyed the soft hue and I am joining in this week too – 🙂

  10. livvy30 says:

    They’re all lovely Sally, but I think I like the 5th one the best for the colours. Here’s mine for this week.

  11. Pingback: Entries in My First Art Show | Slam on the Brakes, Pull Over, Take the Picture

  12. Sally I forgot to pass on this post: I won two ribbons at a local Art show with iPhone Photos.

  13. restlessjo says:

    I’ve visited all your participants before commenting, Sally. It’s interesting to see what they come up with. I don’t often have the time but many of them are awaiting in my Inbox so it’s another way of returning visits. 🙂 I’m totally untechnical and don’t have an iPhone so don’t feel I can take part but I’ve taken a couple of sunrise shots this week. There have been some beauties.
    Sherry’s colours are amazing, aren’t they? I like your first, more natural photo best, but romantic 5 is very appealing too. Thanks for your visits to my place.

  14. dsaquarelles says:

    They are so beautiful! the II for the choice of colors.

  15. Such beautiful images Sally-my favorite is #4-it reminds me of the delicate hues of a watercolor brush with the landscape in silhouette-nature has an amazing and ever changing palette!

  16. Softer palette–lovely. You’ll be the envy of the iphoneography challenge with your new iPhone 6.

  17. I like the first one best, a beautiful wide panarama

  18. I hadn’t thought of sunsets being affected by the change in seasons, and I suppose where I live, it is less so than in colder climates. These photos will have me watching sunset colours more closely. The pretty pastel pinks and purples are positively dreamy! The Sherry quote about the emotional response is so very true. My entry this week:

    • let me know if you notice a variation by season. It’s definitely true here on the East Coast, USA. But, of course, there are many. many variations that affect a sunrise and sunset. See you soon. Thanks.

  19. Gallivanta says:

    Love the gentle hues; especially the way they look with the romantic app.

  20. I love the pink shades. Gorgeous. 😀

  21. Suzanne says:

    I love all of your photos this week but the first one has to be my absolute favourite – I really like the way the dark curved foreground contrasts with the delicate sweep of the sky. The road serves to lead the eye into the photo. The quote is terrific – I’ve copied it into my visual journal for future reference. Here’s a link to my response

  22. Indira says:

    Lovely pics Sally. The first one is very beautiful. Using romantic apps is a treat to the eyes. Here are mine-

  23. basiga says:

    Sally, I love the “Sunset at the Reservoir”. I am carried away into the sunset as I follow the road and melt into the sky.

  24. basiga says:

    I invite you to enjoy the nature in and around my Santa Cruz Mountains cabin.
    Have a grand week!

  25. Amy says:

    These are so beautiful! I like the Romantic apps.

  26. They’re all beautiful, Sally. The panorama is my favorite of this group probably followed by #2 at the reservoir. I see in one of your comments that you’re getting the iPhone6. Did you get the plus? Let me know what you think when you get it. I’ve been thinking of upgrading my 5 when I can because it seems the 6 has quite a few more camera features. Keep us posted! 🙂

  27. I like the second one with the blue green glow! I have seen a number of post of pink clouds this week including my own. Nature certainly is blessing with a softness before the winter And Yea! We are noticing.
    Note on 6pluse I am thinking of giving it up because it is too big to manage so I take fewer pictures. Not Good!

  28. pattimoed says:

    Hi Sally. Although I admire your shots with the Romantic App filter, my favorite is the panorama. I feel like I’m standing right there, gazing at the amazing view. I’m also curious to see your new shots with the iPhone 6….–Patti

  29. elisa ruland says:

    Ahhhhh, thanks for bringing me to that sunset state-of-mind, Sally. Are photographs are all quite beautiful. Love the panorama…and the article.

  30. Sally I adore your first photo, although all are lovely as usual. But there’s something about the blue with the tinge of pink coming through for me. 🙂

  31. My favourite is the panorama shot simply because I like the sense of space it evokes. Malc

  32. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I like your first photo a lot. The clouds in the sky impart movement and add to the sweeping view, accented by touches of color from the setting sun.

    Here is my entry for this week’s challenge:

  33. Beautiful choices, Sally and I like your description of Mother Nature washing away the summer heat. #1 is my favorite today, I’ve been wanting to experiment with the panorama feature and you’ve inspired me to get going. 🙂 I’ll be back later today with my post.

  34. ~meredith says:

    What a great article, Sally. I always enjoy your pictures, but the article is such a bonus. Great post! (applause!) 🙂 Meredith

  35. Luanne says:

    Love the pinks! What is the romantic app?

    • “Romantic” can be found in the iTunes store. It’s a photo app used to process images. It gives the image a slight or intense layer of various filters, which give the final image a softer patina. Thanks.

  36. I like the romantic app one though all are gorgeous. The soft purple gives me a feeling of mystery and longing at once.

  37. Helen C says:

    Good morning, Sally. Wonderful photos! I like the first one the best. I like #5 the next. Then #4. Both #4 and #5 and others are beautiful, but #1 gives me more of those calm and peaceful feelings. I guess, for me, “calm and peaceful” wins every time even though I do love those colorful sunset moments. 😉 Helen

  38. Sally, what lovely photos! I love the panorama and am torn between numbers 2 and 4. Thanks for linking me. I’m in France again for a few weeks and at the time you would have been posting, we were out and about on a marvelous drive. I’m going to link so any readers can find their way here, but you don’t need to link again.


  39. Angeline M says:

    Good Monday morning, Sally. I love your photos, I think the first one best with it’s perspective leading our eye down the road into the sunset. Lovely colors. That romantic app looks like a fun one to play with. I wish that I could get back to an iPhone, but not just yet.
    I’ll make do.

  40. I love the color and serenity of these images. The pano is awesome Sally.

  41. Maria F. says:

    Love the colors and framing. I ordered the iPhone 6 but they left the 8 MP camera and didn’t increase it. Oh well.

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