Photography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Macro (Barely Spring, Barely Budding Magnolias)

13 April 2015


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

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

2. Budding Magnolia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Budding Magnolia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Budding Magnolia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Budding Magnolia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. I strongly encourage you to click each image to enlarge for better viewing.


The seasonal change moves sunrise by sunset. Spring has an intention to restore the balance in the visual landscape, and the seesaw variations that we are continuously witnessing.

To keep the vigil going as well as limit frustrations, I play voyeur and spy everywhere that I meander. Sensibilities are on alert, and small rewards result. One day is lyrical with sunlight and weather to strip outer layers of coats and sweaters. The next retreats to cold, grey, moody, and windy. Then days seem to be on the side of inevitability—the calendar ticking toward fields of wildflowers and their cunning blooms.

So with each day that passes, I built self-talk, embracing the forecast for days of cooler temps. I pivot and throw myself into cleaning my gardens, caring for spaces that were ravaged by winter’s wrath—debris and all. I think about planting early crops of Spring, and I feel rejuvenation spreading through me. I envision seeds of plenty sprouting fresh life for consumption and viewing.

After a respite I venture on a long walk. I noticed magnolias still had not released their petals, but the tips of their blooms were evident. I decide that they are exactly what I need to demonstrate Spring’s reputation for towering potency.

Each bud is a precursor to a tree’s worth of pinks and whites. That palette will stun onlookers, and keep them steadfast for the short breath of a flower’s life. Still, the magnolia, even in its very short existence, is a near perfect Spring jewel.

In the Lens section are three images plucked from that walk. I converted them to monochrome, just to observe their tiny transformation. I settled with that change, because it suited my obsession with Spring’s edging toward a full-blown explosion.

Nuances of the seasonal shift are apparent, and they teasingly perform with a slow cadence. I salute Mother Nature for her ability to keep us in our place, which is exactly where we belong.

Tip of the Week: Excerpts from the exhibition #MobilePhotoNow, which ended on 22 March 2015, can be seen at the Columbus Museum of Art’s website (click here). It showcased examples of works by today’s mobile photographers. Here is a description from their site:

“Columbus Museum of Art, and the #JJ COMMUNITY, one of the largest photo communities on Instagram, present #MobilePhotoNow the largest mobile photography exhibition ever organized by a museum… (It) highlights the emerging art form of mobile photography, and the power of social media and smart phones as a means of creative expression and connection. The … exhibition co-curated by CMA and #JJ community features more than 320 images from 240 photographers representing nearly 40 different countries.”

MobilePhotoNow Exhibition

MobilePhotoNow Exhibition, Columbus Museum of Art, 2015

For additional information go to The New York Times online to read a (10 February 2015) article called “From Smartphones to Museum Walls, ” which discusses the exhibition. Click here to view.

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

66 Responses to Photography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Macro (Barely Spring, Barely Budding Magnolias)

  1. elisa ruland says:

    I like the first. The pair complement each other, and draw the eye in to the details. Shesh, I hope that made sense!

  2. Maria F. says:

    Sally, I like these high key b&w’s very much!

  3. Madhu says:

    So much detail and texture in these beautiful shots Sally! I like the added depth of the shadow in shot 1.

  4. prior says:

    I also like the 3rd one- I first picked it from the smaller versions – and then after I clicked each larger image I liked that one the most still (reminds me of a feather duster) so nice… 🙂

  5. Budding Magnolias, a beautiful sign of Spring’s many new beginnings, of nicer weather, of colors and new life, of fun times outdoors and many more. Thanks. Have a great weekend and best of blessings to you and your family.

  6. joshi daniel says:

    Beautiful and superb details 🙂

  7. Su Leslie says:

    I like all of these shots Sally; the detail is just beautiful.

  8. Beautiful images, Sally. I feel the promise of magnificent Magnolia blooms in each of your images. If I had to choose only one, I’d go for the second one.

  9. I love Magnolia trees. Great photos of the buds. I really like the first image. Have a wonderful week, Sally! Here’s my contribution:

  10. thirdeyemom says:

    Simply stunning Sally! Spring has finally arrived here too but sadly I’ve been sick in bed the last few days. I look forward to getting better and seeing all the buds soon.

  11. Amy says:

    Love these budding magnolias, Sally! Beautiful details. Here is my entry for this week:

  12. Can’t you just smell the high-pitched scent of magnolia flowers already?

  13. Gallivanta says:

    I can’t separate them. I love them as a series. I can almost feel the softness of them.

  14. Black and white was a perfect choice for these pretty buds, Sally. #1 is my favorite today and I’ll be back soon with my macro for the week. 🙂

  15. I like the simplicity of all three images. Nevertheless my favourite is the first one with the two branches of buds. Makes that little extra balance.

  16. Angeline M says:

    I love them all, but will join the group favoring the first photo. I’m not sure what it is, the composition? But very nice. I will be checking the link to view the photos from the museum, thanks. Have a great spring week.

  17. Hi Sally, what a beautiful post! I love reading your views and reflections, which always lead me to reduce my pace and reflect too. Thanks.
    Today I choose number 1. I like all of them but the composition of the first is more attractive to me.

  18. What beautiful photos. Love the second and third ones the most – so simplistic but also so elegant.

  19. Ulli says:

    my favorit is your first picture, there is more life in, instead of only one bruch …
    sorry, for my bad English, hope you`ll understand me
    all the best for you

  20. Sue says:

    Love those textures! And I’ll go for the composition of the first image…

  21. Steve says:

    Reblogged this on Steve Says… and commented:
    If anyone is looking for a new photography challenge then check this one out! It’s brilliant…

  22. Maria F. says:

    Beautiful, as usual, I was so happy with the iPhone 6 macro mode. I also love plain backgrounds like the ones you used here.

  23. Nato says:

    I love the framing and texture of the first. And of course still love the others as I usually do. Spring is such a wonderful, hopeful time. I so enjoy all the info you bring in your blog posts too. Now, if I can just keep up with reading all that I want too:)
    Here is my entry today as I try to get back on schedule:

  24. In the first photo, I like the way one magnolia rests against the other, like two friends. Nicely captured.

  25. Welcome Spring, ta-la! I like the shape on the page of the first one. You have captured the tender edge of the new season with a delicate voice…
    Happy Monday Challange

  26. I prefer the third one because it is similar to the black and white painting using some technique I don’t know how to call.

  27. LavendarLadi says:

    I like the composition of the first photo. Your choice of monochrome was perfect. The buds silky colour often distracts from these textures. I really enjoy seeing everyone’s different style. Thanks for organizing this challenge.

  28. nalinki says:

    Beautiful pictures, number 1 is my favorite!

  29. Sally, I definitely prefer the first shot this week. The two buds together, yet at angles, both complement and contrast and they both lead out of the photo. I like the fuzziness you caught in all the photos, too. Happy spring week!


  30. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I really like the third image. It looks like an organized mass of electrons. Ω

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