Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Black and White (Icicle and Reflections)

16 March 2015


1. Icicle on Raspberry Vine; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Icicle on Raspberry Vine; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Icicle on Raspberry Vine; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Icicle on Raspberry Vine; 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.


In seven days at 6:45 p.m. Spring will usher herself onto the stage of the East Coast, USA. Her performance may be snail-like or as quick as a cheetah’s gallop. It matters not to me, because we have passed the onslaught of this winter’s wrath.

That season is done as far as I am concerned. I am now possessed by all thoughts of renewal. Daffodils have pushed upward. Crocuses are naturalizing. Wildflowers are appearing. Signs of Spring are unfurling.

Still I could not help but show the images of the icicle that recently accompanied one of my raspberry vines. We’ve had many days of freezing and thawing, and temps that did not surpass low 20s. Those conditions led to the large icicle that held small bubbles and reflected colors as well as shapes. When I discovered its presence, I was held captive. Truly, it was a sight that was born through this winter’s grasp.

Every season has memories that are locked into place. Up and down the East Coast many storms will be memorable from winter 2015. But I will push those moments aside, and instead remember this tiny gift that trumped those other feats of Mother Nature.

That one icicle seemed to hold the entire season within its boundaries: the ripples of winter’s quiet and rage. Here is the image in color, which has an entirely different effect upon the senses.

3. Icicle on Raspberry Vine; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Icicle on Raspberry Vine; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

The icicle mirrors the metamorphosis of seasonal change. It is here, and then disappears to become something else that will become something else. This winter is fading. Spring’s foreshadowing and next week’s appearance will bring scores of elation from onlookers—elation that will completely change the visual landscape and our emotional well-being.

Tip of the Week: I am an avid reader, and I continue to be enthralled by handheld print materials. A book, a magazine and The New York Times are part of my daily routine. The only print NYT that I peruse is the Sunday edition, but I draw out its sections throughout the week. (I read the other issues online as a salute to the environment.) Often I do not complete the print NYT until the end of the week. It is sandwiched in between books and magazines and online material. Aperture, is one of the magazines that is a visual treasure. This international quarterly journal is visually luscious and savory with a goal to present contemporary photography as art. And it succeeds with gusto. Aperture was founded (among others) by the master photographers Ansel Adams and Minor White. White was its editor from 1952-1976. Yesterday I was grazing the February issue. If you’ve never seen this journal, it’s a must. You certainly do not have to be a photographer to appreciate its content, which includes well-written features and reviews. Click here to see it online. It’s beauty can be fully realized on the Internet. But I cannot help slowly turning the extra-heavy coated sheets that give each image its due. I receive a certain amount of pleasure in the stacks of photography and other magazines that are piled here and there (and not necessarily on shelves). There are a few really stunning photography publications, and Aperture is one of them.

Editorial & Photo Credit: Aperture Magazine's Website.

Editorial & Photo Credit: Aperture Magazine’s Website.

View other entries from 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 Black-and-White Photography, Design, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Black and White (Icicle and Reflections)

  1. yprior1 says:

    well I think you can tell that I am getting caught up on some posts here dear sally! and I promise to be jumping into a challenge sometimes this year! ❤

    anyhow, I loved hearing about your reading – and now I know one of the secrets to your seasoned mind… your daily reads! and for some reason your story reminded me of a friend's parent who inspired me back when i was in 8th grade. For almost the entire year I hung around with this girl and he mom drove us a few places – in this huge van – that was half filled with news papers. I vaguely remember it – but her mom would sit and read and read – while she patiently waited for us. Funny how I did not know it at the time, but she modeled "reading" in such special way – because these older papers were sources of richness to her and it impacted me – the way she valued them was so cool. anyhow, hearing about your gems is also cool – and the magazine sounds nice. I used to get art and photography magazines from the library – the ones they were tossing were fifty cents – and most were maybe a year old (which is not too old for most articles lol) but I would save them for traveling and they are great for plane rides.

    I like the second b & w most….for the clarity – and such great shot of ice! also – it really fits the feel of the cold we had this year on the east coast – well done – enjoyed this post.

  2. I agree with you that nothing beats printed material. Yes, online is more environmental – and in many instances more practical, quicker and easier. But nothing is like reading a good book or today’s newspapers – on paper. As a photo magazine of its very own, Aperture is absolutely a magazine to recommend. It pushes the limits of how photography is seen and is willing to print the most challenging images. The quarterly is indeed very contemporary – and one to read for anyone who wants to develop his or her photographic understanding.

  3. elisa ruland says:

    You have icicles, we have constant rain. Will there ever be a balance? I enjoyed your series, especially the black and whites…until I saw the color version and that did it for me! I’m wondering if our gray days swayed my decision?

  4. Tina Schell says:

    Welcome spring and icicles begone I say!! Your color shot is lovely Sally, it’s my fav of this series. And I agree w you on the NY Times Sunday magazine. Did you know I actually made their “Why We Travel” section with one of my Zion Nat’l Park photos? Quite a treat that was!!

    • Tina, I have convinced myself and others that winter has fled. Each day as the afternoon light builds later and later, I am comforted. Spring is here. I thrilled for you that you were selected for that feature of the SYNT. I’ve contemplated a submission. Maybe now you’ve given me the boost I need. I have at least one shot in mind. We’ll see. Meanwhile I couldn’t be happier for you. Maybe I can search for it. When was it printed? See you soon. Thanks so much.

  5. restlessjo says:

    I had a look at Aperture, Sally, and was intrigued by some of the images in the Sama article. I tend not to buy magazines but I’ll keep a look out for it. I liked the second black and white but then when I saw the colour version, became undecided. Astonishing how differently one can view the same article, seen through a loving eye. 🙂

    • Johanna, even if you can purchase it once in a while, Aperture is worth the perusal. It’s an inspirational publication, and definitely is an international magazine. Hope that you can find it. I’m humbled by your comment. Thanks so much.

  6. I favour the first B&W shot, as I enjoyed seeing more of the vine. The colour is also beautiful. Hope your weather warms up soon, Sally. 🙂

  7. I didn’t have time to tell you earlier in the week but I just love your icicle photos! The color one is my favorite. I love the reflections and bubbles that you were able to capture. Although I’m no longer a fan of winter, I always had fun with the icicles growing up! 🙂

    • Linda, I appreciate your comment. I agree about winter. I thrive in the other seasons, and long for them during winter. But it’s purposeful, and keeps things in balance in my part of the world. See you soon. Thanks.

  8. Gallivanta says:

    This time number 3 is my favourite. The touch of colour seems to go with the change of season.

  9. pattimoed says:

    Hi Sally. I share your hope in spring and renewal. It’s been a very long winter. I think my favorite is #2–because of the focus on the icicle and bubbles of water. And thanks for the tip about Aperture. Great site! –Patti

  10. wisejourney says:

    Always wondrous to behold Sally…

  11. Maria F. says:

    I like all three of them, the color one seems to reveal more realism about the environment.

  12. I love your second photo better, the icicle is more defined and is the focus of the image. We are going into autumn now.

  13. I like the composition in the first!! It has an abstract look too. Had you not said I would have tried to figure it out!! All lovely shots!

  14. basiga says:

    I really like the color shoot.

  15. It’s so nice to hear your spring is on the way, Sally! I think it’s #2 for me this week, I like the additional emphasis on the icicle. I’ll be back soon with my entry. 🙂

  16. Madhu says:

    Amazing that you captured so much detail with your iPhone! I prefer the two with the backgrounds in softer focus. The original.a wee bit better 🙂

  17. cindy knoke says:

    The first is my favorite because you can see the mechanics of the icicle. Like the metamorphosis metaphor~

  18. Dina says:

    I like all of your shots, Sally, but maybe most of all the original B&W.
    Aperture sounds very interesting reading!
    Lots of love, Dina

  19. They are all pretty amazing, but I do appreciate the composition in the first photo the best.

  20. Amy says:

    Amazing! I haven’t tried to capture icicle with iPhone. 🙂 I like both 3 and 4.

  21. Angeline M says:

    Happy Phoneography Monday, Sally. I love your second photo; the close up makes the icicle look fatter and the bubbles within stand out more (that fascinates me!). I’ve discovered Aperture not too long ago, but get it online; I am missing that feel of a hard copy in my hands, though.

  22. Helen C says:

    Good morning, Sally. I like the first one better, because I like the composition better. I, too, like the original photo the most.

  23. Nato says:

    I love the first one a tad more, but still am quite thrilled with the second. I think the first gives me a view of the twisted vines and makes the length of the icicle seem so long and symbolic for the slow, long death of winter clinging on. I truly enjoy your view on the season and input about the Aperture magazine. I will have to check it out indeed. I am so happy to have found your blog and challenge. It is one of my highlights in the week and inspire me 🙂 Now, off to put some words to iPhoneography pictures I edited last night…

  24. Tish Farrell says:

    “one icicle seemed to hold the entire season within its boundaries: the ripples of winter’s quiet and rage” This is such a powerful image, Sally. I like the first photo best. i.e. without the close crop. I also prefer the strong contrasts of B & W to the colour version. Hopefully this icicle is gone or one its way out. Roll on spring. 🙂

  25. suej says:

    I like image 2, Sally, because it has least in the way of distraction, and one focuses on the icicle…. I always enjoy seeing these posts, with your mix of images and prose……

  26. LavendarLadi says:

    The first is my favourite. It’s a great photo!!

  27. Cristina says:

    Hey Sally 🙂 Lovely shots! I like them all…each different and beautiful in its own way. Have a wonderful week 🙂

  28. A cheerful almost-spring good morning to you, Sally. My favorite of the B&W is the second. I like the up-closeness of it. But I prefer the original. I, too, am looking forward with great joy to the official opening of a season made even more beautiful and exciting by the contrast to the long, cold (and also beautiful) winter. We enjoyed some lovely warm weather this weekend and even though tomorrow it will drop into the more normal temperatures, I assure you that the contrast between -35 with wind chill and “only” 45 or 50 is still a joy. 🙂


    • Janet, absolutely–it’s as though Spring hears our plea. This past week was mellow with temps in the 40s and 50s here too. I am hopeful that winter has receded into our memories, and the sun and green are upon us. Thanks so much.

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