Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (New York City and the High Line)

03 August 2015


1. View from the High Line; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. View from the High Line, New York City; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. View from the High Line, New York City; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. View from the High Line, New York City; 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.


With exuberance the summertime journey to New York City was etched onto the spaces of my calendar and thoughts. NYC can be ultra hot in mid summer, but my illustrious travel companions (aka family) and I could care less. We were on a few missions, and easily could sway this or that with the heat index.

As good fortune shone upon us, it was in the low 80s every day. It was just another magical aspect of the trip.

Memories are vivid, and will remain crystalline. The journey had its own power that we shared. That power was solidified by each day’s jewel-like experiences. No need to tell details; we have enough to toss into the universe for rays of light to be spread to all.

Nature and human nature are the quintessential duo that confront me daily.  So pre-holiday travel plans notoriously are spiced with some sprinkle of Mother Nature. There must be interspersed that time for quiet and silence to savor her natural gifts, and most especially if the destination is urban.

In metropolitan areas human nature is often the go-between to plant, cultivate and maintain the flourish of variety that is discovered in public and private places. In NYC nothing speaks as loud as Central Park, yet the relatively new High Line has become a coveted place where nature and human nature’s bond is tightly sealed.

Upon arrival we spied the new Whitney Museum of Art, which is a tour de force that exhibits the depth and breath of human creativity. The High Line comes right to this Museum. We will spend another time cruising through its collection. Our goal for the morning was to stroll the 1.45-mile-long elevated and linear park, which was created on an old New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. This gift to Manhattan is thirty feet above street level and gives sensational views of the city’s East Side, which includes views of the Hudson River.

If you frequent my blog, you will know about my devotion to nature. I am very much embedded in a life that includes reverence for the natural world that we inhabit. The High Line gives me hope that residents of such urban areas can immerse themselves in nature.

This crown jewel was developed with much thought, and the project is one that can be emulated for its attention to native plantings, greening practices, and sustainability. From the “Friends of the High Line” website ( you can get a sense of the mission of the gardens: “Self-seeded grass, trees and other plants grew on the out-of-use elevated rail tracks during the 25 years after the trains stopped running. These grasses and trees inspired the planting designer Piet Oudolf to “keep it wild.” Nearly half of the plant species and cultivars planted on the High Line are native to the United States. The High Line’s green roof system is designed to allow the plants to retain as much water as possible. In addition, there is an irrigation system installed with options for both automatic and manual watering.”

We walked the winding and scenic path where bounty bounced into sight. As seductive as the design and planning are, the view is spectacular. It’s location above the city makes for a delicious leisurely romp at sights not usually available to bikers, pedestrians, drivers, and tourists. Mostly, its ambience is just what city dwellers need to top off the expansive offerings of this remarkable urban wonderland. It took mental time to savor what was before us.

Of course, you can find many small parks and treed areas in NYC. City life is meant for exploration on foot. We spent most of the time walking familiar and unfamiliar areas. No matter how many times that I visit this city, I am amazed and dazed by its genuine embrace of its visitors, and the areas of green that pop up here and there.

Serendipitously, there was a sweet article in The New York Times on 22 July. It supports the notion that walking in nature nourishes the human condition; it suggests from recent studies that “a walk in the park may soothe the mind, and in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve mental health… (“How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain,” click here to read entire article:

Quite honestly, I am delighted about the publication of this piece, but it’s certainly not new information. Anecdotally, I can verify that my life has been eased and shored by my love of Mother Nature. And many of my family and friends have incorporated her value into their lives. It’s not a surprise that Emerson and Thoreau are two of my literary and philosophical heroes.

In the Lens section are images from that adventure on the High Line. I was a true fan of the design of the gardens, but also captivated by the juxtaposition of the wild life to the cityscape.

If you are traveling to one of my top-tier city’s of the world, please do take an afternoon or morning at Manhattan’s beautifully orchestrated High Line. It’s an example of how urban life can bring sweeping landscapes into its heart and soul. We left the walk with emotional, physical and visual-filled memories, which speaks volumes to the success of this dynamic endeavor.

Tip of the Day:

Andrew Hector is known as an iPhone photographer who specializes in landscapes. He is drawn to vistas that show reflections and symmetry. The iPhone Photography School released his e-book that focuses on his passion for landscape photography. Hector hopes to express the majesty of the national parks in his work. To learn more about his art and his personal philosophy, click here to read about him.

Andrew Hector

Andrew Hector

View other entries for this week’s challenge:


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

46 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (New York City and the High Line)

  1. Sweet as a Picture says:

    Glad you were able to visit the city. Yay! 🙂

  2. It’s great to see the urban side of your creativity. I like the second one better of the two. With the extra flower in the left corner, the composition feels more balanced than in the first one. I wish you a great weekend, Sally.

  3. I love the second photo, Sally. The angle used makes us have the sensation of being something insignificant in the world, yet still being able to be a spectator. Great capture, as always, Sally.

  4. Glad to hear you had a good time in our state!!! I haven’t gone near Manhattan since it got hot but with the humidity under control this past week, I’m tempted. Great pix & text!

  5. inesephoto says:

    The second one. More detail and well composed.

  6. lumar1298 says:

    Both look interesting with the flowers up front.

  7. Welcome back Sally. I love both your photos and it sounds like you had a very inspiring time.

  8. restlessjo says:

    I prefer the simplicity of the first, Sally 🙂 I have friends who have walked the High Line and it’s just exactly the kind of place I’d beeline for. I love the excitement of cities, but in small doses.

    • Oh, I agree. The urban setting is spectacular for a time. I do feel more grounded in my small East Coast university town where we have a mix of the city and immense open space in the trip-state area. Thanks so much.

  9. Love how you used the elements in your image to construct such an engaging image…The second is my favorite.

  10. RMW says:

    Definitely the second. The first is a little unsettling as I don’t feel grounded. The second gives me a better feel for the context. With both of them I like the idea of shooting through the flowers to add more interest.

  11. thirdeyemom says:

    Sally, I love the High Line! I was there in early Spring and it was amazing but not green yet. Gorgeous photos!

  12. Amy says:

    Welcome back, Sally! Hope you had a wonderful trip. Beautiful photos. Here is my entry:

  13. Maria F. says:

    I have attraction for the 2nd one, must be the lower angle.

  14. Su Leslie says:

    Gorgeous shots. I’m not going to choose a favourite this week. Welcome back; it’s wonderful to read about your travels. Hope to see more in the coming weeks. Cheers, Su.

  15. Lovely photos but I have to go for first one as favourite. The lower viewpoint looking through the tops of the plants makes for a stronger composition and emphasises the link between the plant and the buildings.

  16. Welcome back Sally. And your reentry in the blogosphere is majestic. This post is enticing and made me think how much I missed the depth and beauty of your posts.
    I am glad you had a good time in NY.
    As to the photos, I like both but my preference is for the 2nd one just because the flowers have the same height as the building, as if it works as a reminder of Mother Nature, that she is also big and powerful.
    Thanks for all the very useful information, as always, a delight.

  17. I’d say the first one is my favorite of the two. I certainly agree with you about the impact nature has on us. That High Line in Manhattan sounds lovely!

  18. Angeline M says:

    Welcome back, Sally. What a wonderful reentry with these photos! I love the first one with only one branch of the flowers that seem to just fit perfectly in front of the museum. I’ve read much recently about the High Line, and the museum and would love to be able to see it all in person. I hope you post more photos. And, as always, thanks for the links you provide each week.
    I’ve gone back into my files to post one of my Samsung photos that I’ve never shown; it just felt right for today. Have a good week.

  19. LavendarLadi says:

    While I enjoy both photos, I’m drawn to the first one. I love the ‘single’ pop of yellow.

  20. Good morning, Sally, and welcome home. The High Line looks like a wonderful and soothing edition to NYC and I enjoyed reading about it. I like both your photos very much, but I think I like the first one slightly more for the simplicity of it. Have a wonderful week.


  21. I like the first one for the deeper blue sky. Nice contrast.

  22. Indira says:

    Hi Sally. I liked the second one, good composition.

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