04 May 2015
Let me know which you prefer and why. Click onto each image to enlarge.
The old-fashion bleeding heart is a strangely enticing sight. The usual fare for this species is various shades of pink that is named for its heart-shaped blooms. That seeming resemblance is a stretch for me, because I’m much more attracted to the way the flowers hang like charms on a bracelet. Their feathery leaves balance out the simple design of each bloom. I see the whole rather than the sum of its parts. Certainly, a macro view defines the heart.
While I do have the pink variety, it is the old-fashion white ones that conjure springtime in a completely different way. White flowers are magnets for my spirit, and I cannot even explain that reaction. Their leaves, which resemble parsley, are dark enough to push the white to appear even whiter. As the wind blows, each flower rocks in the air and beckons explorers and onlookers, one of which is hummingbirds that arrived last week.
Apparently, the Royal Horticultural Society named this variety (Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’) one of the top two hundred plants of the last two hundred years. It’s obvious that the shape of the flowers brings this spring shade lover much attention.
In the Lens section are portraits that I took last week. I use a low-key approach to allow the plant’s small flower heads to take center stage. The lighting is the path to success of this technique. It must be placed exactly where the emphasis is envisioned. The drama produced is palpable and triumphant.
More about the proposed new title for this challenge: During the last few weeks posts I tossed ideas to you about a title change. Responses have been supportive. As I wade through the pros and cons, your advice and suggestions have been beneficial and given more to consider. Some of you went completely beyond the proverbial box and that is inspiring.
The reason for this change is the evergreen quality of photography, especially in the twenty-first century cultural environment of technological innovation. The “new” with its sophistication of inventions creates multiple levels of tools. These additions to our toolkit make available digital devices that are not traditional cameras, which is the basis for the challenge.
Only devices that are not considered cameras are to be used. A Smartphone is first a cellphone. An iPad is foremost a tablet. An iPod is primarily a music and entertainment center. But each has a camera as a feature. Each are capable of very respectable images. Each becomes its own digital darkroom.
The challenge’s title needs to be specific, but clarity in word choice is my goal, which makes it a true CHALLENGE in itself. Here is my latest conundrum. First, the title that got the most votes is:
1. Photography Challenge, Using Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Camera.
Allan (OhmSweetHome) and Angeline (Angelina M) proposed that I add my name to the title. Something I had not considered. I would like your response to the following, and hope that we can put to rest this subject for the present. Allan suggested using my first name, and Angeline strongly suggested that I use my first and last. If the response is positive to these ideas, then I also (possibly) could remove the “using” (example: 2. Sally Donatello’s Photography Challenge, Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Camera”).
3. Sally’s Photography Challenge, Using Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Camera
4. Sally Donatello’s Photography Challenge, Using Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Camera
Please give me your opinion about the four choices.
Coincidentally, yesterday’s The New York Times Magazine section had a marvelous cartoon/illustration, “The Amazing New Thing,” by Tom Gauld, which was found in the issue’s “Sunday Funny” page. (Click here to view it.) It hits exactly the right chord for my own philosophy about continual infiltration of the “new” in our lives. It’s also relevant for the title change of this challenge as well as the current forces upon photography. We may have the new, but will we have it tomorrow. And do we need it? The challenge is meant to be just an exercise in our photographic journey. The devices are simple a tool for our own creativity and experimentation. Photography is photography.
Tip of the Week:
My last three posts have shown high-key photographs, which eliminate background and details to focus on the subject that is surrounded by white space. It uses bright lighting to lure the viewer. As you would surmise, low-key photography is the opposite. It reduces the light, giving the subject a black background that makes an almost über-dramatic scene. Both techniques have their advantages. Low key is used, especially, for portraiture, but can make any subject pronounced and even profound. Low key is more dramatic in its visual impact, but it can be cunning in subtle ways too. Each has an ability to catch our attention and hold it tightly.
Here are two tutorials that give advice about low-key techniques. Most can be adapted to our digital devices, because now many have manual capabilities. Regardless, the ideas are easily extracted to use. Click here and here. Happy shooting.
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.