Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Times Square)

17 August 2015


1. Times Square, New York City; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Times Square, New York City; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Times Square, New York City; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Times Square, 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 onto each image to enlarge.


The urban landscape seduces in ways that sometimes can be counterintuitive, equally shocking, delightfully informative, inspirational, openly appealing, and mildly pleasant. As a person dedicated to the complexity, extravagance,  simplicity, and triumphs of Mother Nature, nevertheless I  long to be in the city for its wide range of emotional, intellectual and visual swings. I am driven to immerse myself in those experiences that only an urban environment can provide, including its legacies.

New York is one such paradise that has cradled my affinity for above-ground treasures. I have journeyed there more times than any other urban center on the East Coast, USA. Each time I step onto her streets, chills of enthusiasm chase me. There is so much to do, feel and see: the new, the old, the promised, the impossible, and possible.

Barely any other place is as symbolic of a city’s stream of consciousness than Manhattan’s Times Square. It’s infused with a pulse of what makes it such a mysteriously vibrant experience. Whether I am observing or participating, I am engaged in its layers of thrills. Sometimes those citified moments are laughable, and at others seriously serious. Sometimes the rhythm is melodic, and other times shrill.

NYC is a place of juxtapositions that create opposing forces—all of which make for strongly evocative reactions that stick to one’s inner core. I never leave her borders without some quintessential moment: whether it is visiting a new site (High Line) or rediscovering a bakery and restaurant (Balthazar) or stumbling upon a treed park (City Hall Park) or spying odd street life (everywhere) or managing to walk ten miles as easily as the day slips through my thoughts. I am particularly blessed to live within a two-and-a-half-hour drive of this spectacular arena for playful discovery, lucky me.

In the Lens section are two images of Times Square that were taken on a recent trip in July. We stayed on the 33rd floor of a hotel that was nestled in the palm of the action. In the conversion to black and white many of the bustling distractions become less apparent.

Imagining monochrome allowed me to be attentive and examine the myriad of interactions that still were competing. I also envisioned a series of discrete landscapes that might inspire random thoughts about Mother Nature’s embodiment within the urban environment.

The city becomes a mammoth canvas for creativity. Much of which already is embedded in its daily life.  NYC becomes a black-and-white tribute to photojournalism and photography and social media.

Tip of the Day: The National Geographic Society has contributed to the public’s knowledge about the ills and pleasures of the human condition. It covers adventures knee-deep throughout the world. It covers the rural and urban settings. It covers the wild and the tame of Mother Nature. I am fortunate to live only a two-hour drive to Washington, D.C. where the Society is located. Throughout the year you can attend exhibitions and workshops. While I am awed each month as I turn the pages of its magazine (via snail mail), attendance at one of these presentations is memorable and noteworthy. I realize that many people may not know the Society also sponsors these events outside the nation’s capital. While their photography is highly rated, each event is filled with valuable information that pinpoints the significance of the topic. Most of the programs are held in the United States, but they also are found throughout the world. Click here to view the upcoming calendar. Click here to learn more about the Society. To view the National Geographic’s photography is to open up the possibilities of how we each see the world around us and how our world affects the past and present. It’s a fabulous adventure and gift.

National Geographic Society

National Geographic Society

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 Black-and-White Photography, Mobile Photography, Photography, Street Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Times Square)

  1. Both good but I like the perspective of the second one better. Your scenes of New York are making me homesick 😀

  2. Sally, I like the second one. The word gritty comes to mind. And gangsters, maybe scene of a noir movie. When actually, in color, there is probably a row of cheerful yellow taxis down there, but B&W is the photo technique for mood. Nancy

  3. Klarinet says:

    Nice! I prefer N1 – finger a symbol of yoga.

  4. Love the unusual angle of Times Square! We are used to seeing that classic New Year’s Eve shot or something from street level. These are so vintage-y and fun!

  5. Lovely street scenes. I particularly love the first one. It’s tighter framing makes it different, almost abstract.

  6. pattimoed says:

    Wonderful b & w shots, Sally! I especially like the first one. Intriguing angle, composition, and contrast.

  7. What a treat to see Times Square from this birds-eye point of view, Sally. Black and white suits your images perfectly. 🙂

  8. I love that first image with the hand/fingers.

  9. restlessjo says:

    I looked hopefully at the Geographic events list, Sally. I’d have to toss a coin for Sydney or Seattle and then hope to come into money 🙂 🙂 I can dream…. no. 1 image please. I just like it because it’s bolder.

  10. thirdeyemom says:

    Also I like be the National Geographic Society. I did some blogging awhile back to support NG Kids and got an amazing tour of the building and the office as well. I love all the special exhibits too.

  11. When I was in high school I once attended the New Year’s Eve frenzy in Times Square. I’m glad I did that then but I sure wouldn’t want to do it again now: as I recall, the temperature got down to -2° that night, unusually cold for New York City.

  12. Amy says:

    Incredible images from the 33rd floor.The enlarged version shows even better. Thank you for the link, Sally!

  13. Indira says:

    Hi Sally! I have never seen the New York city so I enjoyed both, especially the second one. Here is my entry-

  14. Maria F. says:

    Nice perspective on both!

  15. I like the first photo better but they are both great. There is something about the B&W that makes it looks timeless. It makes it less loud and busy and the horns don’t seem to be blowing as much…

  16. elisa ruland says:

    I like both of your pictures, Sally, because I love New York – so much excitement packed into such a small area. I’ve always enjoyed city scenes shot from above where all the people and vehicles look like tiny bugs buzzing along, so I think the second shot gets the edge for me!

  17. Great photos, Sally. I’ve never been to New York but I really like the second one best. Love the bird’s eye view! 🙂 Happy Monday!

  18. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Hi Sally,
    I like your first image the most. There is something about the skewed perspective and the layers of geometric forms that appeals to me. I also like the strong contrast and the deep blacks that you used.

    Here is my entry for this week’s challenge:

    • Allan, I appreciate your comment. Have a good week and hope that you are staying cool. Yesterday while talking to my cousin, who lives in the golden city, he said that it’s quite hot. Actually, yesterday San Francisco had the same temps as my East Coast town: 90 degrees.

  19. Angeline M says:

    I really like the second photo with all the action going on down below. Great view. Have a good week.

  20. LavendarLadi says:

    I really like the second photo. It “feels” like the city.

  21. DG MARYOGA says:

    Perfect angles in both,dear Sally!The perspective all the way up in the 1st is really stunning,but the downward perspective in the 2nd one is just dazzling! 🙂 xxx

  22. Love the first one with what appears to be the Scout salute. What a great vantage point for photographing one of the most iconic places on earth!
    I keep seeing National Geographic photo classes listed in SF, maybe I should get off my duff and take one. Thanks for the reminder.

  23. Suzanne says:

    Fascinating images – they are both quite intriguing and depict a world I can only imagine so I can’t pick a favourite.

  24. Nato says:

    I think I am drawn to the first more because of the closeness and vivid sign (of the hand). On the other hand, I do like the view that shows more cars in the second photo. It give more of a perspective. So tough call! I have not been to NY City but you make it sound worth a visit for sure. Here is my post for this week’s challenge: I am trying to get back on track with your challenge. I have missed doing it while I have been busy. Here is to getting settled again!

  25. Sally, you’ll be shocked to know that I have a favorite this week. 🙂 The first one attracts me with the feel of height and I really like the use of B&W with it. Just back from my morning walk, where I thought of you when I spotted, and captured (with the iPhone), some butterflies! Now for some breakfast and on to the rest of my Monday. Have a wonderful week!


    • Janet, it seems that the butterfly population in general is decreasing. So when I see them flitting in my garden or elsewhere, emotions are heightened. Thanks for thinking of me. Enjoy your week. Thanks.

  26. Oh, you’re back. Great! Hope you had a fantastic vacay.

    I like the first photo. The billboard attracted, and held, my attention.

  27. These images are fantastic, Sally. I cannot decide just for one. If you allow me I take both! 🙂
    How lucky you are to live in contact with Mother Nature and to be so close to NY and Washington.
    Have a lovely week.

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