Sally’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Direction of the Light)

19 October 2015


1. Grasses; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Grasses; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Grasses; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Grasses; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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


(Note: I am going on holiday from Wednesday through the weekend. I will have limited access to a computer, but will have some. If you plan to enter this week’s challenge, please do it by early Wednesday morning. While I can use my iPhone to answer comments, that’s the limit of my ability to use WP on my iPhone.)

“Ode to Light:”

Light breaks moods, secludes attention.

Light spreads its charity, falls and rises.


Light carries hearts to impossible heights, bending emotions.

Light finds targets and rejects others.


Light’s fragility provokes borderless dimensions.

Light’s tactical defenses creates poetic trajectories, free to land and free to be set free.


Light glows across distances and its dark side cries in silence.

When it disappears, perception reunites with the unknown. ~~ Sally W. Donatello

In the Lens section are two images. The first is an inverted version of the second (the original). While contemplating the alterations that occurred in the first photograph, I realized: While I used the app FX Photo Studio to invert it to produce a negative, natural light could have accomplished similar or the same effects.

Direction of light is one of the keys to a successful image. My first photograph is seemingly front lit and the second back-lit. These images remind me that on a photo shoot, I am constantly aware of where the light emanates as well as its ability to draw my attention or not.

Each stilled image is dependent upon the presence or absence of light rays to generate its presence or finale. Low key images versus high key images are the extreme. To have a successful photograph is the result of light’s forces and its fickleness.

I admit to my feet of clay: following the light as the day moves through its cadence. You also can find me at many strategic places to watch the sunset.

I’m trying to persuade myself to rise for the sun’s introduction to a day. It’s a tough one: morning is not my best time to linger over the sun’s first sighting, to witness it’s start on its East-West directional.

Tip of the Week:

Recently, I was talking with a friend who has 70,000 photos on his computer, which is a staggering number. This knowledge of his photographic archive forced me to confront my own conundrum about my thousands of photographs–a common problem: how to keep them in a safe place?; How to be assured that they are there for my current use and beyond? I have a love/hate relationship with external drives and have used them in the past. But they are not always reliable. My “security” plan is: 1. Use flash drives regularly to back-up new photographs 2. Use Google drive to save new photographs. After that conversation with my friend, who knows much much more than I do about computer technology, I decided to get an external drive (3.). My point is to encourage you to develop your own system to assure that your photographs or documents or … will be there when you want to access them. By the way, I always print a hard copy (4.) of my blog posts. The stack rests where I can see it. Even if WordPress self-destructs I have a copy of my work on Lens and Pens by Sally. There is much to consider and we need to continue to monitor the safety of the “stuff” on our computers. Let me know what you do to safeguard your work.

View other entries for 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, 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, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Sally’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Direction of the Light)

  1. Leya says:

    I like both – but I think the second one gets my vote. More contrast and “life”. When it comes to back-up…i’m not good at that. I send them to an external drive though. Never print and never any DVD’s. Maybe I’m just too relaxed about that. When I’m gone, nobody will want my pictures anyway.

  2. Love the high-contrast top photo. It makes something that’s merely pretty into something really dramatic & striking. Lovely!

  3. prior2001 says:

    Sally – really enjoyed your words about light and actually. See to read it again. And good idea to safeguard and have backups – last year a Google exec was talking about how some storage options might be accessible as tech changes – and I think they suggested printing hard copies of the stuff you really want to keep – it has led me to print out more pics.
    I have an entry for this week and will try and be back before Wednesday – have a nice night .

  4. I like the effect in the second photo. I know it’s grass, but it reminds me of clustered skyscrapers. Quite architectural.

    Thanks for the file storage tips. I need to develop a system.

  5. lumar1298 says:

    What a difference from one to the other.

  6. I’ve started buying external hard drives in matching pairs, with one used to back up the other. In fact as I’m typing this the second half of my archive from 2014 is getting slowly copied from my computer’s internal hard drive to the second of two external 4 TB drives. Once that’s done, I’ll be able to free up space on the internal hard drive, which would have been in danger of filling up in a couple of months if I hadn’t done something. Fortunately hard drives have gradually kept getting cheaper and more capacious.

    • Oy vey (and you know what I mean), it’s hard work to sort it all. You certainly have a PLAN. My problem with external drives is that they are not 100% reliable. But then I suspect that’s why I use a few methods.

  7. I hope you’re having a wonderful time away, Sally. This week your inverted photo really caught my attention, it’s like thousands of light rays are shooting up to the sky… I love it! My preferred method for backing up photos and files is to use Carbonite cloud storage. We lost every piece of electronic and computer equipment a few years ago after our house was robbed and now I want my backup to be away from the house. I’m careful about what I send to it but now I can access every photo and selected documents on my PC from my phone and iPad as well as restore a new computer to the same condition if another event occurs. It works for us. 🙂

  8. RMW says:

    usually it’s pretty easy to decide which is a better photo but with these two I had a hard time… they are both wonderful. I really like that there are background objects showing through the bamboo which makes them both intriguing in different ways. I can’t choose. And like other people I have back ups of my backups and more backups for my photos…. but I never thought about backing up my blog posts… I’ll have to look into that because if WordPress ever goes down I wouldn’t want to lose all that work… oh my, more things to worry about!

  9. thirdeyemom says:

    Beautiful Sally and so fitting this time of year when the angles of the light change so dramatically. I love the light of fall.

  10. Indira says:

    This time I’m confused. Both have their special effect. Both are lovely.

  11. Tina Schell says:

    Wow sally – you print your blog posts? Amazing! You know WordPress will do a backup of all of your posts for you if you ask them to! And definitely use an external drive, but keep a log of what’s on them or you’ll have a mess finding them later! Excellent illustration of the power of light to change perspectives.

  12. The second photo – the high contrast is eye-catching.

  13. FireBonnet says:

    I am drawn to the second, although when I looked at the first I wasn’t sure it was the reversed image! Your ode to light is rich with images and set my imagination going. Yes, most certainly you need to safeguard your writing along with your images!
    I use a seagate external drive. I am using the iCloud now since I’ve gone back to an iPhone. BUT it is only as good as your wifi connection. It is behind by 3 days uploading what is on my iphone camera. I think it would be an excellent idea to back up my back up as well!

  14. pattimoed says:

    Hi Sally. This is a tough choice. In the end, I think the second image reveals more details and contrast, so that’s my vote. I also am very interested in your storage options. Like you, I struggle with that. I have an external hard drive, but now I must buy another one for all my documents and photos. I can’t be that prolific…really!!

  15. Angeline M says:

    I love them both, Sally, but the second photo is a strong contender for #1; the ability to see the rocks brought this to the forefront for me. Both are wonderful examples of light. Your poem has hit the bull’s eye for me…I’ve been contemplating the wonderful light in our new home and everywhere around me in my early morning walks ( I too never thought I would ever get up to see the sunrise, but now it is an obsession in my new surroundings). Have a good little getaway.

  16. Interesting observation with the appearance of light in the two photos. It does look like one is front lit and the other back lit. As for back-up, yes, it’s so important to get good routines on this. I back-up all my photos on an external harddrive, on DVD’s and on a second harddrive that is place in a different location. You must have a staggering amount of print out of your blog. I simply copy the whole blog onto my harddrive.:-)

  17. Cristina says:

    Hey Sally 🙂 Both are great…but the second one got my attention 🙂

  18. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I like both versions of your photo this week and I really gravitate to the second, original, image. It reminds me of the time I spent in college learning to draw with bars of charcoal. The first exercise we did was to mimic bamboo shoots by dragging the stick down the paper, stopping and reversing direction for a fraction of a stroke, and then continuing on down the page, repeating the motion as many times as possible until it was second-nature. Thanks for the fond memories.

  19. Ironically I was writing you a note about keeping images safe and I lost the note. Yes I too struggle with keeping up with digital images. After an exteranl hard drive failed I have two but now I will add thumb drives and hard copies of my blogs. Some of my poetry only exists on WordPress not good!
    Thank you for the tips.
    I like the first image it speaks to the airiness of bamboo

  20. Amy says:

    The enlarged versions are great, Wow! I did the BnW last week, so I won’t post this week. 🙂

  21. I would to see your images enlarged on the wall in a gallery, that would be stunning.

  22. Sally, this is a tough choice you ask us to make. I enlarged both images and started looking at the first image, making a choice on the spot. That lasted till I went to the second image and simply loved the high contrast, and the details popping up strongly. Both are exquisite and the composition is superior.
    I cannot forget to praise your delightful Ode to Light.

  23. I have to agree that I like both this week as well. I like the first for the light on the plants and the second because I can see the rocks.

    I’m struggling with the same storage issues. I currently (although I’m behind on this) copy everything to discs and have Seagate device attached to my laptop at all times. “The cloud” from Apple has backup but I really don’t know how to access it and find out what’s actually saved there. Google is another choice, but I’m also looking towards an external hard drive. On my laptop, Picasa saves all my photos as well as the files I keep individually. The whole issue of blog posts is something else entirely. With about 1,450 posts, I don’t think I could begin to print them all out and as so many of them now have photos, the cost would be tremendous.

    Have a wonderful holiday.


    • Janet, this issue is multi-dimensional with such various implications. I’ve investigated iCloud too. I feel as though I am wandering in the dark with a pinhole of light appearing. Have a nice week. Thanks.

  24. DG MARYOGA says:

    To praise your “Ode to Light” first or the magical diffusion of it in the first shot?I strongly believe that light is more important than the subject,dear Sally 🙂

  25. tiramit says:

    When I click the enlarge button it’s like entering another world, something like microphotography. Strange and interesting. I like both images

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