Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Black and White (Town and Gown)

17 November 2014


I. Town

1. Baby Watch on Early Morning Walk; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Baby Watch on Early Morning Walk; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Gown

2. Sycamore, UD Campus; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved:/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Sycamore, UD Campus; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved:/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. I suggest that you click on each image to view in a larger size.


Town and Gown is the usual in my small city where it’s hard to tell where the intersection marks the divide between student life at the university, street life and residential areas. In truth it’s a total immersion. Issues pervade the history of these factions, but we mostly exist in a “live-let-live” philosophy. Recently, there was a long battle to keep a power plant from invading our community. With persistence the environment and sustainability won; we will not have toxic chemicals sweeping through our air waves 24/7.

The relief is mammoth. The exhale was heard up and down city streets and the campus.

Each and every day I criss cross paths with faculty, staff, students, and residents. It’s impossible to navigate without these encounters–encounters that are verbal or silent.

The lifestyle suits my personal philosophy. I can be lost and found in this friendly and quiet community. Cultural events abound. And as a retiree of the university, I am fortunate to have many lifelong benefits. But it’s the exhilaration of the mix that brings a shoring to my days.

For as long as memories hold me tight, I have been an observer. So it was not unusual to find me this week meandering up and down our Main Street, and then taking a casual turn onto campus, where trees are strutting their limbs as foliage sheds.

Regardless of the number of times I pass a particular spot a myriad of elements alter my experience. Today was an example. One of my favorite trees that towers near the Department of Art was awash in morning light.

In the Lens section are two images from this blissful stroll. The autumn sun was spectacular, but so was street life. Each is a part of the interconnection between Town and Gown. There is no way to separate the two. Most of the time the blend is quite remarkably satisfying.

The first image is that combination: a mother and her two children walking down Main Street, mother with baby in arms and second child by her left side. The other individual is assuredly a student taking a break. What drew me to this image is the way the baby and the owner are watching the dog. It was a moment to record. The second image is the sycamore tree that was lit with such grace by the radiant light that it voiced a loud come and take me–come and take me in monochrome.

Street life is an important pulse within our town and gown. And it is always salt-and-peppered with a scene that encourages me to observe and savor the usual or unusual moment.

Tip of the Week:

LensCulture Visual Storytelling Awards

For those of us who are visually-oriented the site LensCulture is packed with sweet treats–treats that provoke digging deeper into it offerings. From their Website is a description of their mission: “For almost 10 years, LensCulture has become one of the most authoritative resources for contemporary photography. We have been committed to discovering and promoting the best of the global photography community. We look for exciting work from every continent, and from diverse points of view: documentary, fine art, nature, photojournalism, activism, street photography, sports, fashion, poetic, personal, abstract and human. LensCulture International Exposure Awards, now in their fifth year, are granted yearly to discover, reward, and promote talented, new, emerging and established photographers and multimedia creators from around the world.” I encourage you to explore its varied categories of photography. I just spent some time on their section called “Urban & Street Photography.” It’s an apt resource for current trends in photography. To view the site, click here; it’s visual storytelling at its most appealing.

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 Black-and-White Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Street Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Black and White (Town and Gown)

  1. Madhu says:

    Great captures Sally. It should come as no surprise that I love the first a wee bit more 🙂

  2. You’re good at finding photo sites to publicize; LensCulture was a new one for me.

    As for sycamores, I never seem to tire of photographing them. Fortunately they spring up easily along and even in the creeks that flow through my hilly part of Austin. Last week, over a hundred miles from home, I found a sapling with some leaves that had turned the brightest yellow I’ve ever seen on a sycamore: happiness.

  3. Maria F. says:

    Very good street scene and Sycamore, my favourite tree.

  4. Both of them are great images. But I think Town is my favourite. The graphics might be stronger in Gown, but it’s the story between the baby and the dog that makes the former the more interesting picture.

  5. ~meredith says:

    The dynamite looks like a convertible parade in b&w… it’s very fun!

  6. Having mulled this over some more, I’m contributing my chronic concern, “How to Make the Call: Color, or Black and White?” Which I just seem destined to mull over, each time I visit your black and white work. Thanks for the inspiration, Sally.

  7. Your black and white is always a reminder to me of how strong that choice makes an image. It seems to just cleanse and clarify it. Pondering this as I prepare a post on same . . .

  8. Su Leslie says:

    These photos are great as always Sally, but I do so love the first. I think b&w photography and people are a perfect combination. Here’s my contribution – still in “sculpture exhibition mode” 🙂

  9. Sweet as a Picture says:

    Love both photos. First one, especially, makes me smile. 🙂

  10. Amy says:

    I like both, they are so different! Can you believe I’m still waiting for my iPhone 6+ …

    • Amy, yes, I can. I cannot wait until you get it. I opted for the 6, because I thought the size of the 6+ would be too large for me. You’ll get the greater stabilization feature. See you soon. Thanks so much.

  11. LavendarLadi says:

    While I like the moment captured in ‘baby watch’ I’m drawn to the textures of the tree. I always look forward to seeing your photos! I love your perspectives.

  12. “I can be lost and found in this friendly community” – I like those words and have myself felt the same on occasions Here is my contribution for this week

  13. What a fun moment captured in your shot, Sally. I grew up in a University town and spent years on campus visiting my Dad while he taught and then finally as a student. Your description of the live-let-live philosophy between town and gown is strong there as well. 🙂

  14. I had to duck out for a few weeks to completely make over my blog and make it all about photo blogging. I’m looking forward to jumping back and participating!

    I really like the baby watch photo best because of the clear and uncluttered feel of the picture and it is a picture that lets you imagine what the story behind the scene is.

  15. D.H. Rotmil says:

    Love both – but the sycamore tree really grabbed me. It almost looks like it has snow on it – which conjured these lovely memories of snow on trees. (I live in LA now…no snow.) Yet, when you really look at it- the tree – with its black dots of imagery seems to create another illusion of delicate lace. Lovely.

  16. That tree is amazing. But I’m also drawn to the first photo. The attraction of the child to the dog is so natural.

  17. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I like both of your photos this week. The Street capture is fun and the tree is impressive in size an POV. Here is my entry for the week:

  18. I grew up in a refinery town so congrats for keeping the chemical plant out, I know the smell for sure!
    The sidewalk photo is looks like an early French photo. A silent moment captured!
    Aw those trees that are “ready for their close up Mr Di Mill” are irrisitable you did it proud!
    Happy Monday
    (PS) I always have to run off to writing group on Monday’s so I’ often late to comment.

  19. cindy knoke says:

    love the vintage feel! ❤

  20. I love that tree Sally, I can see a face in it! 🙂

  21. I just love the sycamore tree. 😀

  22. Angeline M says:

    I love the first photo; the little story there is great. The tree is wonderful the way the sun is casting light and shadow. It sounds like a great community you live in, especially if you all worked together to keep the power plant out! And a million thanks for the link to LensCulture (link didn’t work, by the way, I just googled it and found it there); there is a wealth of information to peruse there. Have a great week!

  23. I like the gown because of the shadows, I like the town because of the baby looking at the dog. I can’t decide between. Here is my entry

  24. So beautiful pictures!! I love them!


  25. nalinki says:

    I like both of them, this time I can’t decide 🙂

  26. “Baby Watch” definitely–what a wonderful slice of life you caught-I love how the everyday can become a moment then a memory with the camera-and the b/w is perfect for this shot-

  27. Good morning, Sally. I’m thawing out, as I’m just back from my morning walk. At 10 degrees but feels like -2, it was a bit brisk, but a beautiful day. We’re supposed to get high winds around noon, so I thought it best to be out now!!

    I first thought the tree was covered with snow and I love the impression of winter that the light gives. It’s so luminous. I also like the intentness of the baby while the mother walks on, focused on something else.

    Have a marvelous Monday and a week filled with photos. Your town sounds lovely.


  28. Nato says:

    I am partial to the tree picture. I love the way the light hits it and the angles that draw your eye up. (I am also addicted to photographing trees, leaves and roots, so I may be biased.)

  29. Sandi says:

    The tree is beautiful and intriguing, but “baby watch” gets my vote.

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