Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Monochrome Series I: Still Life in Stone)

21 September 2015


1. Monochrome Series: Still Life in Stone; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Monochrome Series: Still Life in Stone; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Monochrome Series: Still Life in Stone; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Monochrome Series: Still Life in Stone; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

3. Monochrome Series: Still Life in Stone; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

3. Monochrome Series: Still Life in Stone; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know which you prefer and why. Click each image to enlarge.


I am on a mission to create a series of monochromatic images that focus on the simplicity and meditative qualities of stones. Historically, these products of nature are seen as builders of the soul, builders of gardens, builders of fences and walls. Their multiple uses have encouraged great inventions, including Zen tea gardens..

In the Lens section are three of my first tributes to some of Mother Nature’s building blocks. Monochromatic Series I: Stone are samples from my gardens. For decades every space that I have created and cultivated has had the element of stone as an integral part of its aesthetic and function. Their presence is all-inclusive, so much so that they have become my own signature. I place them in ways that combine instinct with blatant planning.

“Autumn’s Ode to Stone”

Time marks each contour and performance.

Their architecture defies reason, forcing appreciation and interpretation.

Whimsical blueprints and physical science collide, adjusting composition of understanding.


Nature’s monuments still the light,

Patterns appear, lazy and strong,


Adrift in secret and witnesses to all.

Shapes prevail as keynotes.


Lines appear, forcing age, weathering spirits.

Sometimes reviving the glow of calm or rage.


Earth speaks through their voices.

Formations soothe or provoke,

Quietly shouting truth and lies, challenging those that cross their paths.


Nature’s stonework is not prideful.

But alert with primordial integrity.

They divulge meaning/ objectivity/ power/ humble presence/perseverance.


Angles, forms, shapes give credence to


And steadfast patterns emerge and recede.


Pause, admire, stare, observe,

Be alert to the dream. Be alert…


Speaking volumes through visual encounter,

Not letting go, proceeding as an element of

hope’s endurance.  ~~ Sally W. Donatello

Tip of the Week: Japanese gardens are the quintessential meditative spaces, combining human nature and Mother Nature. Click here to read the online article, “28 Japanese Garden Design Ideas to Style up Your Backyard,” The simple act of viewing these gardens can inspire a spiritual retreat or a plan to make one for yourself. I create small sculptures with stone. Each isolated work offers a chance for silent observation and peaceful emotional and visual rewards. Be inspired by their quiet presence and physical beauty.

Connect to the Natural World Website

Connect to the Natural World Website

View other entries for the 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, Panorama, 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 Abstraction, Black-and-White Photography, Design, Gardens and Gardening, Human Nature, Mobile Photography, Photography, Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Monochrome Series I: Still Life in Stone)

  1. Stones are a favorite of mine also, Sally and we even brought a large granite boulder with us when we moved from our first home to where we are now. I couldn’t leave it behind… Each image has a something special to share here but my favorite composition is the third. Beautiful post.

  2. Tina Schell says:

    The first stone struck me as very zen-like Sally, so I must say it’s the one I prefer. Lovely poem to accompany your shots.

  3. Tiny says:

    The “Autumn’s Ode to Stone” is very beautiful. Truly enjoyed it and your images of stones.

  4. Maria F. says:

    Very nice, leaning towards abstraction and/or surrealism

  5. The entries for your challenge were fascinating, thanks for including the links.

  6. Su Leslie says:

    These are lovely shots Sally. You have captured the qualities of calm and tranquility so well. I particularly like the first shot. I found myself quite mesmerized; taking in the detail and the contrast of light and dark.

  7. I love #3 best, the texture and tone and depth! Great work!

  8. pattimoed says:

    Your shots really highlight the simple beauty and texture of stones. Lovely. I also like the shapes you’ve chosen. Very intriguing. The first image caught my eye. I thought it was a gourd!

  9. Gallivanta says:

    The stones in the first photo look so alive that when I glanced at the photo (without context) I thought pumpkins!

  10. badfish says:

    I love your concept of “lens” and then “pens.” Not sure I mentioned that before. I like the third one best, the composition somehow appeals to me more than the others. But all are cool. YAY for B & W!

  11. Suzanne says:

    These are very effective. I particularly like the tight crop on the last one – it creates an aura of mystery.

  12. Angeline M says:

    I too love the third photo. The repeating wonderful shapes are captivating to my eyes. The texture also is lovely. Your poem is a wonderful tribute to the beauty of stones.

  13. Nato says:

    I prefer the third as well. Stone has always been intriguing to me so I can relate to your piece. And I am considering ideas for my new yard. Therefore, I will definitely be checking out your garden idea link! Thank you.

  14. RMW says:

    I like the sepia tones in two and three but can’t decide which of the two I like better.

  15. DG MARYOGA says:

    I paused, admired, stared, observed, I tried to get under the surface and the shape of each stone in case it helps me decide which one I like more and why. The third one looks like a Henry Moore stone sculpture. I’m reading and re-reading “Autumn’s Ode to Stone”, feel entranced dear Sally 🙂

  16. I’ll take a big ‘hopes embrace” Stone poetry in photography.
    Each image is a haiku. #1 is the most peaceful.
    Happy Fall

  17. Love the serene feeling from the third picture. And I love your poem, Sally! Have a wonderful week! 🙂

  18. I also prefer the third, Sally. I like the hint of the sculpture, the shadow; just everything about it. Enjoyed your poem as well. May you have a calm and fruitful week.


  19. Allan G. Smorra says:

    The repetitive patterns in the last photo really speak to me. I also like the off-white tone of the image. Ω

  20. Amy says:

    I like the third one, especially the texture and the shape of the stones. I appreciate the concept of Japanese garden. 🙂 I should have one for you tomorrow. 🙂

  21. I can’t choose just one. 🙂 The first and last ones are my favourites. They truly have a Zen-like quality about them. Lovely poem, Sally.

    Oh, and I always love to see photos of stones balanced on each other.

  22. I prefer the third photo as it shows a pattern emerging in the circular shapes of the stones.

  23. I have always loved those Japanese rock gardens. And I see their peace and tranquility transcended into these images. Their simplicity and easy forms makes them into small jewels. My favourite is the second one.

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