Phoneography and Non-DSL Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Macro (and Geranium Leaves)

09 March 2015


1. Backlit Geranium Leaves; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Geranium Leaves; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally


2. Backlit Geranium Leaves; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved:Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Geranium Leaves; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved:Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. Click on each image to enlarge.


The setting sun was an inspiration, pushing its way through my kitchen and spreading a brazen spectrum of light over the faces of geraniums. The discovery startled and urged me to take action. I could have simply savored the way the radiance backlit the geraniums, but compulsion set into play. With awe and determination I raised my iPhone to record the scene.

The leaves were not only covered with beams, but also some were edged with that glorious light. Each leaf already had its own personality, but with the sun’s assistance: hues softened or popped, shadows became evident, colors exaggerated themselves, details were more apparent, and shapes strutted. Tiny hairs were easily identified on  stems.

Immediately after the shoot, this poem floated through my synapses:

My Ode to Afternoon Light:

Translucent waves,                                                                                                               Alternative perceptions.

Color, details, reverberations.                                                                                                 Scattered and landing.

Subtleties obeying, sprinkling respect.                                                                          Borrowing hope far from the distance.

Encountering dreams.                                                                                                                       As lines converge with absurdity.

And life is edged in light’s desires.

Tip of the Week:

It’s macro week. I thought that I’d list some areas that I heed in the process of planning and executing a macro shot.

*Focusing on the parts that make the whole.

*Using a tripod or coerce a VERY steady hand. Or lean iPhone onto or against a surface.

*Paying attention to the light, experimenting from all sides. Most important, at first sighting raise lens of choice and take shots, because often in seconds the scene that attracted you is history. In essence act immediately. Or savor the moment and just enjoy.

*Finding the sweet spot where I’m close enough, but not too close to the subject.

View other entries for this week’s challenge:


As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog.

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 Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Phoneography and Non-DSL Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Macro (and Geranium Leaves)

  1. elisa ruland says:

    I like the first for the play of the shadows, and I liked the poem, especially the last line, “And life is edged in light’s desires.”

  2. The second photo grabbed my attention, because of the leaf’s colour and its prominent veins.

    I’m an aspiring photographer. Whenever I have the chance, I’d love to give the photo challenge a shot, although my only tool is a very humble, outdated point-and-shoot. Thanks for the tips.

    • Nadine, would be delighted to have you join the fun. If you look on my Homepage and click on the header about the Phoneography Challenge, you’ll read that part of the challenge is to use a Non-SLR device. Thats means Smartphone, iPad, iPod, scanner or any lens-driven equipment that is not a Single Lens Reflex (like the traditional film cameras, digital single lens reflect cameras, including point and shoots.) If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. Thanks for your comment and visit.

  3. joshi daniel says:

    Loved that light used 🙂

  4. My favorite is the first one this week, Sally and I really admire your talent for overwintering geraniums. I’ve only tried once and ended up with a leggy mess, yours look lovely. 🙂

  5. kirsten says:

    I really like the color in the second photo. Beautiful photo and poem 🙂

  6. I do love the second one best. They are superb shots but I like the single tone which draws the eye to the detail of the leaf!

  7. Amy says:

    I love these two images, Sally, Sally! Beautiful lighting and colors. I need to get on macro shots. 🙂

  8. restlessjo says:

    That ‘sweet spot’ can be quite hard to find, Sally. I read somewhere 6 inches away but I’ve not always found this to work. Your first shot delights my eyes. Hope you’re having a good week. 🙂

  9. yprior1 says:

    IU also like the second one the most – the lighting/detail – but I also feel a sense of confidence or pride when I see that – not sure why – but that was the first thing I felt. like standing tall.

    Also – thanks for the tips – I am bookmarking this – but my fav right now is the “In essence act immediately.”

  10. Tina Schell says:

    For just the reasons you stated Sally, I love the second. The lighting and detail are great.

  11. thirdeyemom says:

    Beautiful Sally! Just last week it was below ten degrees and today it was 62. Crazy.

  12. pattimoed says:

    Hi Sally. My favorite is the reddish geranium leaf. I love the color and the back lighting, creating a halo around the edge of the leaf and stem. Lovely! How wonderful too that you were inspired to write a poem. I especially like the line: “And life is edged in light’s desires.” –Patti

  13. I like the second image where you have got in closer and emphasised the colour and texture.

    • Malc, the weather is warmer here after a bitter cold and wet winter. I cannot wait for the ground to dry out and begin to garden. Spring is officially here in less than two weeks. See you soon. Thanks.

  14. I love the detail in the second image.

  15. Of these two I choose the first one for it’s more composite character with more depth and more tones of colours.

  16. basiga says:

    I love how you captured the hair particles with the sunlight.

    Ranunculus macro for my entry this week.

  17. You have the most unique perspectives! Love where and how you point your camera!

  18. Angeline M says:

    I love that second photo the best. The fan shape of the leaf and the veins are lovely, and those bristly little hairs on the stem. The color is lovely, too. I know I need to be looking into a tripod also, my hand is just not steady unless I’m leaning my arm on a wall or tree.
    I’ve chosen an entry in the flower category also for this week.

  19. Maria F. says:

    I love both of them! What a coincidence that I mentioned my Geranium plant to Roslyn (from the blog: One Good Life in L.A.), and that I recently bought one for the first time. I love the shape of their leaves precisely, and you captured that.

  20. Love both of these, Sally–The first for its shadows and the second for its color and lighting. Have a wonderful week! 🙂

  21. Great lesson on Macro Photography. I like the second image maybe just the color. Both are wonderfully done. I usually don’t send along my post but not sure your pingback went through.

  22. Both are great, but my favourite has to be the details in the second one. The poem is good too.

  23. Beautiful Sally, the first one especially is very interesting with it’s contrast. I love your Ode which is magical! 🙂

  24. I love second for direction of light!

  25. Good day, Sally.
    Very beautiful shots and your poem is the icing on the cake. Impressed.
    My choice is number two. The composition, details and warm color, got me.
    Thanks much for the tips. It is indeed difficult (for me) to shoot macro with a steady hand while using the iPhone. I hope the photos I made for this week may be a bit sharper because I placed the phone onto a surface.
    Thanks, Sally.

  26. LavendarLadi says:

    I enjoy the light and shadow of the first photo.

  27. Dina says:

    Lovely images as well as the poem, Sally. I prefer the second image! 🙂

  28. Helen C says:

    Sally, I like the first one because the color and the lines.

  29. suej says:

    I like the second image best, with it’s warm colour and textural details…..

  30. Hi again Sally: I like your poem, and I also like the second photo – what a striking earthy shade of colour. I think it is excellent the way the light hits the edge of the leaf, and appears to edge it with silver. You also pick up the minute hairs on the stems. Well done.
    So here I am:

  31. Sally, this week I’m not in the least conflicted: I like the first one for the beautiful light and shadows you captured. I also enjoyed your poem and tips. I really need to get a tripod, as there are photos I can’t quite get because my hand isn’t steady enough for the very close macros.

    Enjoy those spring temperatures! I can’t wait until the trails are dry and I can be on them again!


    • Janet, yes, our ground is completely saturated, and I cannot wait to get back to the parkland and our preserved areas. Meanwhile let’s enjoy that the sun and increasing temps–at least here on the East Coast. Do get a tripod it certainly can make a difference. Thanks so much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your 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 )

Connecting to %s