Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Editing and Processing (Blurred Lines, Part One)

29 June 2015


I. Shot in Camera+ without Post Processing

2. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

II. Shot in Hipstamatic

2. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

III. Shot in Camera+ and Post Processed in Mextures

3. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Black-Stemmed Hydrangea; 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.


The state of photography is a topic that sparks words to fill white pages (digital and print) over and over, turning them into black-and-white oddities and wonders. My fingers touch a few letters on my computer. They reappear in front of my eyes as well as countless (numerous, some or few) others’, which seems an unfathomable concept. But here we are witnesses to images and words being spread in seconds across lands and surfaces that mesmerize even the most knowledgeable.

The photograph is an apt example of the never-ending seduction that a cyber-riddled world inspires. Our immediate and distant universes are infused with narrative through instant visual stories. During past centuries word of mouth and oral history enabled stories to survive and flourish. Now we have the digital seemingly silent yet vocal photograph to measure cultural change and evolution, building a new kind of “architectural” pictorial archive.

Daily I consider how social media pivots each framed history. Lately I’ve been reading numerous articles, especially in Aperture (the printed version) that build dialogues about (what I call) the blurred lines created by this new platform—a platform that gives each of us opportunity, sometimes even a few seconds of fame. Even more extraordinary is a person’s work  can be discovered, and catapulted to new levels of recognition and a more sustained notoriety.

I am amazed that anyone has ever found me on the Internet, yet they have. Through this media I’ve had and continue to have some milestones, which surprise me as they wedge their way into my life. Blurred lines is my phrase for this rant. It seems the appropriate combination for photography’s trajectory and each of our own trajectory on this blogging journey. The ethereal, the mystical, the blurred can describe many parts of the whole of our visual culture.

In the Lens section are my subtle and not-so-subtle examples of this theme. A single spring black-stemmed hydrangea has entered a final stage, dried and still gorgeously delicate with its lace-like bravado. It still has much to offer. When the out-of-focus effect takes over its design and shape, it becomes something else, yet recognizable. Some blurred images are totally anew, they convey a true deviation from reality, which is very much what the Internet and its social media can achieve with one touch of our intention.

Tip of the Week: The blurred photograph can be made with a slow or quick move of  your camera or Smartphone. A fast lens can be enlisted (Smartphones in manual mode) to create the effect. Or there are a number of apps that can turn a focused image into a blurred one. Often the final image can have a softer and more visually interesting effect. The out-of-focus can be in foreground, background or the entire shot. FX Photo Studio has a feature to blur an image. Click here to read about it in iTunes App Store. Bokeh is a technique that originated in Japan, and blurs parts of the photograph intentionally. That out-of-focus gives its recipient a patina that incites close attention or no attention at all. It’s a conundrum of the way that individuals view our visual landscape and the real reality or virtual reality of photography.

Bokeh, Jody Dole,

Bokeh, Jody Dole,

View other entries into this week’s challenge:

Note:  As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Human Nature, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Editing and Processing (Blurred Lines, Part One)

  1. Love the texture and arrangement of the petals and the vintage color…brings back nostalgic memories.

  2. restlessjo says:

    I guess I’m going to have to come out of my cave and try Hipstamatic, Sally 🙂

  3. Suzanne says:

    Hi Sally, here’s a very late entry into your challenge for this week –

  4. Beautiful choices here Sally and I like how each image brings to light new details through editing. Hipstamatic is one of my favorite apps to use and your image #2 is a lovely example of why. 🙂 Have a Happy 4th of July weekend!

  5. Gallivanta says:

    My favourite is the first photo because of the colour nuances, and the textures of the petals.

  6. RMW says:

    I’ll take number three…. it has a ghostly, other worldly look to it.

  7. Love the hipstamatic photo, Sally. There’s something soft yet strong about it (if that makes any sense)! 🙂 Here is my contribution:

  8. pattimoed says:

    Hi Sally. I love the b/w image. It has a wonderful “old-fashioned” feel and the blur makes the viewer take a closer look. Thanks as always for you great tips!

  9. Tiny says:

    My favorite is the Hipstamatic shot. Love the muted colors. I just got it and have yet to play with it 🙂

  10. Suzanne says:

    I like the muted colours in your second photo Sally. I haven’t been doing your challenges so much because of software problems loading mobile phone photos onto my new computer. I do enjoy reading your thoughts on photography though.

  11. All three are beautiful images, but I think my favourite would be the hipstamatic shot. I like it’s simplicity and clean composition.

  12. Madhu says:

    They are all three beautiful examples of the capabilities of an Iphone and its apps. But today, I like your pens section – the beautifully articulated rant – best of all Sally! 🙂

  13. Su Leslie says:

    Although I like all three shots Sally; I’m going to agree with others here that the Hipstamatic shot has something very special. Partly I just like the composition, but I think Tish is right; it has a hand-painted quality that I like too.

  14. I really love the Hipstamatic shot. It seems to be more nostalgic in some way. Very nice work Sally.

  15. Lovely post Sally- I like the hispamatic one for the more vintage look!

  16. I like the 2nd one, The colors are more vibrant and the angle the flower and stem has a good feel to it.

  17. Maria F. says:

    I like all these floral studies, and the Hipstamatic works very well. We have Hydrangeas here but they’re not drought resistant, so they’re found more in the mountains.

  18. Amy says:

    I like the hipstamatic, like the colors and shape of the flower, very pretty!
    Here is mine: Thank you, Sally!

  19. LaVagabonde says:

    I prefer the second one in Hipstamatic. Since the flower is dried, there’s an vintage quality about the shot and the Hipstamatic enhances this.

  20. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I like your Hipstamatic image the most this week. The colors of the Hydrangias work well with the black stems.
    Here is my entry:

  21. Charmed by the shape of the stem and flower on all of them. The first one has extra charm with the way the flower is crowded and bent, as well as the shadow. All comes together for a whole story.
    Happy Challenge Monday

  22. I like the contrast between the first and last photos. The last photo is softer and more ethereal.

    Thanks for the tips!

  23. Angeline M says:

    I am so taken with all of them, Sally. I love using Camera+ (though my entry today is with the native camera). I have not been able to figure out Hipstamatic and probably need to find a YouTube tutorial or something, because I like what I’ve seen from that app’s images.
    What would we do without the Internet to pursue our love of photography?

    • Indeed…I suggest that you simply experiment with the lenses and films. I’ve bought a few (there are those that come with it) and just continue to play. I know that you use the “shake” one, but I’ve never tried that one. Hope that you will try it. Thanks so much.

  24. I’m back to liking them all this week, Sally. Maybe being California is the reason. 🙂 My biggest problem with editing is that it’s so easy to get involved and spend much too much time doing it! Have a wonderful Monday.


  25. LavendarLadi says:

    I like the photo processed with Mextures. It seems like a memory. Making you remember what it looked like before. Happy Photo Challenge. I’m off to play with one of my photos.

  26. Tish Farrell says:

    I like the hipstamatic, Sally. It gives the image the look of a hand painted botanical print. It’s also a bit mysterious somehow. Very interesting. 🙂

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