Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (The Architecture of Shadows)

25 May 2015


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

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

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

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

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

3. Bartram Oak; Copyright © 2015 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 enlarge.


Spring is fresh, lush, verdant and spritely. It dances through the days with continual change. Of course, some revitalization of the landscape is seemingly overnight; other alterations seem to appear little by little. They bolster each other, and yet are true to themselves.

Mostly, it is the light that mystifies. Spring’s illumination brings such inner and outer cheer where winter grey once cast its spell.

Especially in spring I ponder our northern hemisphere’s sun-centric days where the sunrise is earlier and sunset is later. The arc of the sun’s daily journey varies with the seasons, and that has been more and more evident to me this week.

Its more than the extra light that captures my attention. It’s the angle of the sun’s rays that descend straighter to the earth, providing an intensity that is stronger than winter’s beams (which are more slanted).

Last week those forces of sunlight brought me to a serene grove of trees. I went to the university’s botanical garden, because I knew that the trees were not only massive, but in one instance they were joined together in a grouping of several native varieties. They were elderly architectural giants that would be an ideal location for the blazing afternoon sunlight.

There I gazed upon the sunlight filtering through their greenery, giving limey hues that seduced. The mid-afternoon sun produced a meditative performance. The silence allowed for greater concentration on the transformation moment by moment. As a slight wind scattered the beams on lower extremities of the trees, shadows were harmonious.

The sun seemed to have such strength of will, giving a transparency to the design and shape of the trees and their mature branches that were leafing out. It was like observing a small city of ancient architectural features that was bathed in shadows of the day’s natural elements.

Shadows were so pronounced that they seemed to be a permanent fixture. But just as it seemed that way, they altered their appearance with a gentle gusto.

The jarring and sharp light lasted for hours. It’s intensity was so evident that it seemed to blast everything in its pathway. Still, the effects were so intriguing, adding layers of new patterns and contrast that mystified. Usually I do not want to shoot in such exaggerated conditions, but the shadows were given such focus that I had to record what was before me.

In the Lens section the first image is to show you the entranceway to the grove. The second and third image show the harsh beams, and the way that the light flooded across the trunks of the trees.

The intersection of light and shade produced some memorable designs. The soft wind helped to alter the visual appeal. The day was a perfect combination for a monochromatic shoot to display shadows found in Mother Nature.

My attention needed little coaxing. Contrast and shapes grabbed surfaces and brought me to a point of awe. Even when the light did not flatter, I was still transfixed with its abilities to sway my thoughts.

Tip of the Week:

Click here to view some photographs that will show variations on the theme of shadows. The images are from an article,”25 Shadow Images to Inspire You,” by Darren Rowse and posted on The Digital Photography School website. Regardless of the season where you live, shadows are always lurking, just waiting to be seen and stilled. Happy shooting.

"Chairs," Paris, 1931, André Kertész

“Chairs,” Paris, 1931, André Kertész

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

48 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (The Architecture of Shadows)

  1. cindy knoke says:

    I am horrible at these choices. I like them all!

  2. restlessjo says:

    Shadows are so often interesting, Sally. No. 2 is unusual but I find the shot a little harsh. For that reason I’d probably go with 3. (I think 🙂 )

  3. I always enjoy your shadow photos Sally, you truly have an eye for light. #2 is my favorite this week but the variety you’ve shared with the combination of images is wonderful.

  4. Madhu says:

    Beautiful play of light and shadow in all of these Sally. Especially love the patterns in no.2.

  5. Gallivanta says:

    Shadow play is always fascinating to watch. The University Gardens must be beautiful.

  6. Suzanne says:

    I like the drama of the second shot. Here’s my contribution to the challenge –
    Your name change works for me. 🙂

  7. That’s a nice shadow collection you linked to.

  8. You’ve taken architecture to a whole new level. Really out-of-the-box thinking. And no wonder. Nature is the original design.

    My favourites are the first two, and I love the distinction of light and shadow in the second one.

  9. Maria F. says:

    I love shadows and I know you’re an expert on them, these shadows from trees are fascinating!

  10. I love the two bottom best and in all a lovely post on changing light and shadow and that meditative feeling! Perfectly described in the images!

  11. I just love the shadows in the second and third images

  12. Love all three images but I think I enjoy the shadow play in the second one best. And I really enjoyed your commentary. Shadows can definitely be fascinating! Have a wonderful week! 🙂

  13. Amy says:

    Thank you for showing us the lighting effects, Sally. This is something I need to learn about.
    Here is my entry:

  14. Su Leslie says:

    These are beautiful images Sally. I won’t try to choose a favourite; I’m moved by all of them, and by the way you write about light and seasonal change. Here’s my contribution to the theme:

  15. Hello Sally, hope all is well as you celebrate your holiday.
    Today I won’t make a choice as they all are excellent and have different and enticing qualities.
    I enjoyed your narrative. Your words about nature are always beautiful and awe inspiring. Thanks.
    Have a good week.

  16. I love the patterns and textures of 2 and 3 but I am drawn to walk into #1. So if I were to pick one to live with it would be 1. The feathery transparency of the leaves add one more plus for # 1.

  17. Jane Lurie says:

    Love the shadow play that you’ve captured, Sally.

  18. Nato says:

    Sally, I like the first shot the most. I think I am drawn to the entrance of it, like it is pulling me into an unknown world. I can see how the shadows would be so inspiring to see: powerful and magical. 🙂
    Here is my attempt for today’s challenge:

  19. Angeline M says:

    I love that first photo, Sally, with the shadows on the tree trunk and the tree foliage above; there is something so beautiful about shadows like this. I can certainly understand your feelings as you walked amongst the sun and shadows after the winter you had.
    I spent yesterday on the beach, true Northern California style, wrapped up in sweaters and a coat; the fog was plentiful…and chilly.

  20. milai says:

    All 3 photos are beautiful, but I find #2 most striking. And your wordings are just as poignant. Thanks for sharing!

  21. pattimoed says:

    Hi Sally! Happy Memorial Day. I love your reference photos on shadows and your shots, especially the middle one. The shadows on the ground are intriguing. Enjoy the holiday!–Patti

  22. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Hi, Sally. I like your first image. The shade and shadow of the foreground trees is an inviting portal to the sun-drenched field beyond. Ω

  23. LavendarLadi says:

    I enjoyed the second photo the most. For me it provided the most ‘scope for my imagination.’

  24. Love the images Sally, and your words make blend perfectly!

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