Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (with Architecture and the Freedom Tower)

21 December 2015


Freedom Tower, Lower Manhattan; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Freedom Tower, Lower Manhattan; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know what you think about this black-and-white image of the iconic Freedom Tower found in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Click on image to enlarge.

****Please go back to the Homepage to make a comment. I’ve noticed that if you comment on the enlarged image, it does not appear on the Homepage. Thanks.****


One of the main features of an extraordinary public building is the inevitable symbolism that it amasses. Without question New York City’s Freedom Tower instantly became a place for people to collect dreams of present and future. Its giant structure is a tour de force of design in the age of spectacular architectural feats. It has taken its coveted spot and rightfully.

As I travel through the city’s above-ground spaces, I noticed its visible from many, many vantage points. That tower stands with such dignity that it is hard not to be pleased at pervasive sightings.

This stellar example of human creativity and historic significance keeps watch over the Hudson River and so much more, welcoming everyone to Lower Manhattan and cooing from its public space far and wide. Its attraction is multi-faceted and no matter how many times that I view it, I surrender to its magnificence.

It’s important to see it at all times of day and night. Each tick of the clock brings new ways to appreciate its design and even graphic quality. It’s more than a quintessential skyscraper; it is an edifice to the city that represents the melting pot that is America.

As we meandered to Battery Park with the tower on our left, it provides an introduction to the advocacy by residents, city officials and volunteers to create green public spaces. The tower is witness to the way urbanism and nature can coexist.

In the Lens section is one of my favorite captures of this masterful structure. There was no doubt in my mind that the image had to be converted to black and white. In the conversion I inverted the negative and positive to fully emphasize angles, lines, shadows, shapes, and tones.

Happy winter holidays and thank you for your visit. Dream big for the New Year, wishes really can become reality. See you next week for the last challenge of the year.

Tip of the Week:

Recently, I discovered the work of Joel Tjintjelaar, who lives in the Netherlands and is a fine art photographer, specializing in black-and-white architecture. His aesthetic and creativity clearly are evident in his attention to composition and design of his subjects. Here are some quotes to explain aspects of his artistic vision.

“The human eyes see depth and volumes in a far more advanced way than any camera could. My artistic mind adds to my personal interpretation of a scene. The result is something I can only create in post-production.”

“The light in my architectural photographs is rendered in a specific way, muted or enhanced, for a dramatic effect to emphasize its importance, to enhance lines and patterns, to decrease or increase volumes, spaces and contrasts.”

“The ultimate goal is to reveal the essence, the soul of the architectural structure, by leaving out anything that doesn’t add to this essence.”

“The further the artist moves away from reality, the more unique the result is, the more it represents his personal vision and the closer we get to experience the essence of that artist.”

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar

Click here to read an interview with Tjintjelaar, and see additional examples of his work.

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, Design, Mobile Photography, Photography, Street Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (with Architecture and the Freedom Tower)

  1. There used to be a spot on Hempstead Turnpike in West Hempstead, Long Island, 20 miles out from the World Trade Center, from which I could see the tops of the Twin Towers. I imagine the top of the Freedom Tower is now visible there.

  2. That is quite a building, Sally. It looks as if it is reaching up to heaven! Architecture always seems more striking and clean in black and white. I have not heard of the freedom tower on New York but my son is there atm, so perhaps he can see it in person. I will have to be content with your striking portrait of the building. Enjoy the festive season and best wishes for the New Year.

  3. DG MARYOGA says:

    Imposing architectural image with perfect contrast on blacks and whites, perfect angle and upward perspective. I think, I can see Joel Tjintjelaar’s last but three tip efficiently applied.

  4. thirdeyemom says:

    This is a stunning photo Sally of such a magnificent emotionally powerful building. Beautiful. Happy Holidays!

  5. I love the rich tones and the perspective. Great shot Sally.

  6. Nato says:

    Gorgeous building and photo. One day, I will have to go see it in person. I will have to add Tjintjelaar to my list of things to check out now too.

  7. restlessjo says:

    I love it too, Sally! Something about it reminds me of a lino cut (or do I mean lino print?) It looks like it’s been picked out with a fine tool. Once I’ve wished you a wonderful festive season I shall go and check out that website. It looks like really interesting work. Thanks for your company, Sally, and my very best wishes for 2016. 🙂

  8. Such a stunning image – love it.

  9. What a stunning photo! We were in NYC about 2 weeks ago right where you took this picture. But mine pale in comparison. It’s a moving place — the museum is outstanding, if you get a chance to go. Best wishes for a very merry holiday season!

  10. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I just finished reading your link to Joel Tjintjelaar’s interview and I found him to be fascinating. Thanks for introducing us to him. He raises the bar of B&W Architectural photography to a new height.

  11. Powerful image. Love the inversion aspect. Even though it is Massive architecture, you somehow capture the Human Nature of the skyline. Perhaps it’s the curving lamp post against the angular building.
    So many words. What I mean to say is Merry Solstice and Christmas! I hope you have a very Happy Holliday.

    • Carol, happy holiday to you and now we can start to see more daylight, which makes me ecstatic. Build many memories through the holiday. Thanks so much for your thoughtful responses to my images and words. Happy, happy, happy…

  12. Everything you did emphasized the lines, angles, and shapes, Sally. The feeling of reaching to the sky is also a metaphor for the city rebuilding and what that specific building means. Well done.


  13. Meredith says:

    Good read and gorgeous pictures, Sally. I love your techniques for the photos–they express the ideas you wrote in your article. Really enjoyed reading about your perspective on the Freedom Tower. Meredith

  14. Maria F. says:

    I just love these. They are so simplified and solid I feel as if I could grab them by hand. Happy Holidays to you too!

  15. I love your photo Sally. It looks like a painting. The contrast is amazing.
    Thanks for sharing the work of Tijntjelaar. Fascinating.
    Happy Holidays!

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