Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (Autumn’s Seeds of Plenty)

05 October 2015



1. Dried Red Zinnia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Dried Red Zinnia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Dried Red Zinnia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Dried Red Zinnia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Dried Red Zinnia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Dried Red Zinnia; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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


Autumn becomes a time of hoarding—a time when foods and seeds are stored by animals and humans. Those storekeepers of life are remarkable examples of the beginning of this season—a season that brings enormous change on the visual horizon.

While autumn can bring bursts of technicolor, it can also be moody and somber. The landscape eventually becomes empty of hues that we’ve enjoyed for months. Flowers are either gone or spent. Those remaining can seem ordinary in their subdued colors, but close examination reveals their extraordinary appeal.

Inside each of summer’s flower heads are seeds of plenty. For years I dry many varieties of flowers and vegetables to store their precious seeds. Sometimes I think that it seems a reverent act on my part, methodically gathering and methodically preserving.

I collect; store; sow, and cultivate. This process allows me to continue from year to year the seeds from the present for next year’s production. It has a ring of calm and tranquility to it. A sort of meditative and spiritual awakening can follow. Truly, each season is timepiece for my memories.

In the Lens section is one such prize: two different red zinnias that are clearly spent and readying to unveil their seeds for my pleasure. The whimsy of design inspired me to play with its visual luster.

Image one shows a zinnia with a red petal still displaying its color. Image two is another zinnia that has been converted to black and white. Image three is the result of my playful time with image two and FX Photo Studio, where I inverted the black-and-white tones.

Autumn is a season of vast mysteries and secrets. Most become apparent each day as the landscape alters with life being seen through different sets of lenses. Everything seems converted and inverted: length of days and nights, weather, colors, clothes, food, rituals, everyday patterns…

Still, photogenic scenes are never absent. They persist and persist and persist. Autumn has its share of drama with its own definition of abundance that draws us to stop and stare.

Seeds of plenty can be defined in many ways, and autumnal variety has much to discover and savor, including elements that converge around me and offer the longer view of the four seasons.

Tip of the Week: The inversion of the tones in the third image of the Lens section is the first time that I used this technique. When a photograph in color is inverted, colors have the effect of a negative. Hues are given their opposite or complementary color. The light parts are given a brighter cast and the darker areas are seen as lighter. What would happen in black and white? That was my challenge. In creating the negative effect, it gave it a semi-high key patina, which intrigued. I was able to do the inversion in FX Photo Studio, which is an app that sometimes suits my sensibilities. You can get it in the iTunes store for $1.99. Click here. Below is an example of an inversion of a color photograph.

The Barn Negative Inverted Effect by Rose Santuci-Sofranko

The Barn Negative Inverted Effect by Rose Santuci-Sofranko

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, 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 Black-and-White Photography, Gardens and Gardening, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (Autumn’s Seeds of Plenty)

  1. Oh man! Iam in love with your blog ❤

  2. Happy Weekend, Sally! Hope that it has been a good one for you.

    The last photo is my favourite. I love how the light flares around the flower. Awesomeness!

  3. Maria F. says:

    Funny how I also posted about Zinnias. I like the three of them; they are just unique in their own way.

  4. restlessjo says:

    All so different, Sally! Instinct tells me the coloured one but as a photo I prefer the more visible details in the second. Here we go with another week- hope it’s a good one for you. 🙂

  5. Now I have a wonderful mental image of you gathering and saving seeds, Sally. 🙂 Each photo is lovely and I’m inspired to spend more time exploring Photo FX and the color inversion selection. I hope you’ve had a fantastic weekend. 🙂

  6. Love the colour one, but the second is my favourite.

  7. Su Leslie says:

    These are lovely shots. The second is probably my favourite for its simplicity. Saving seeds to cultivate a future crop is such a natural activity and one that becomes more and more vital as heritage plant species disappear. Your autumn gathering is not only a personal act of renewal, but one that helps sustain our wider ecosystems.

  8. Good morning, Sally. They are all beautiful but I prefer the last one. I like what you did using this technique and the final result is stunning.
    About the pens…it is always very interesting to read your thoughts. Each time you write, I learn more about Nature; I even started paying much more attention to every single detail that before I had taken for granted. Thanks.

  9. I like the colour and texture of the first but of course I do like them all!

  10. I like the way the series works together moving from color to negative. If I would choose one to hang on my wall it would be the middle one, I love the single dried petal floating out like a wing.
    Happy Challenge a day late.

  11. Gallivanta says:

    I am admiring your dedication to seed saving. 🙂

  12. Definitely the first photo is my choice. I love the use of black and white, but for this subject my choice is definitely the inclusion of color.

  13. Indira says:

    All are beautiful but I liked the first one more as red Zinnia has a nice texture in colored one.

  14. Angeline M says:

    I really do love the first one, followed closely by the last photo. I’m so glad I pulled it up on my PC, as the screen on my phone did not do it justice (that’s not a good thing to say on a mobile photography challenge, is it?). The color on the first one is so delicate, and the light/shadow mix on the last one is fantastic. I purchased FX Photo Studio and can’t wait to try that out. Have a good week, Sally.

  15. I really like the first one but I also like the inverted one! Good job! 🙂

  16. pattimoed says:

    Lovely autumn shots. The inversion technique is intriguing. I will try it!

  17. Amy says:

    I like the colors and texture of the first one too. Beautiful close up shot, Sally! 🙂

  18. Nato says:

    I really like the framing and lighting of the second, the one in black and white. It seems dramatic and crisp. The storing and hoarding of autumn is so true. It seems since it has started to get cold, I have started to sleep and eat more! I am also stocking up on supplies and making sure everything is in order in my new house: flashlights or lanterns in different rooms – just in case; cupboards stocked with some easy, quick canned or boxed foods and starting a fire pit outside. You would think I was prepping for an Ohio winter like when I was a child. Funny thing is, I live in Georgia now. It may get cold, but there is very rarely snow and ice where I live, lol. Habits I guess.

  19. Those of us who worked with film photography got quite used to seeing negative images, and I remember sometimes preferring the negative version of an image to the positive one.

    In addition, I used to work extensively with black and white infrared; the black skies and frosty foliage it produced gave almost the effect of a negative, but shadows were still dark. You may recall this infrared image from a few years ago:

  20. Sally, while I love the details highlighted by your use of B&W, I have to go with the color as well. The color is just wonderful and adds to the photo as a whole.

    Have a photo-filled week,


  21. LavendarLadi says:

    This week one clearly jumped out at me. I like the first one. The colours added to the details, to it’s texture. Happy Photo Challenge.

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