Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (A Single Geranium Leaf as Nature’s Gift)

11 January 2016


I. Photographed on Day One

1. Dried Geranium Leaf; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Dried Geranium Leaf; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Photographed a Week Later Accompanied by a Small Fragment of its Former Self

2. Underside of a Dried Geranium Leaf; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Underside of a Dried Geranium Leaf; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know which you prefer and why. Click unto the image to enlarge. If you decide to comment, please return to this page.


Out of clutter, find simplicity.

From discord, find harmony.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

~~ Einstein

In my mind’s search for an image to display macro characteristics, I gazed upon a recent discovery in potted geraniums from last season: a tiny leaf (measuring one and a quarter-inch long) that had moved toward its final phases. As I often do, I carefully brought its body inside to observe its transformation.

Days escaped from its shape and it became the most captivating architectural form: a curled womb-like cocoon that showed autumnal colors, delicate and lightly textured. I could not decide which view–front side or underneath–drew me closer and closer, because each had its eye-catching qualities.

Irresistible effects are seen as a leaf looses its original shape. Its final resting is pronounced with a new eloquence and sophistication. This altered configuration easily garnered my appreciation and attention. It also is a signpost of nature’s nourishment for renewal: a single leaf that decomposes and returns nutrients to the earth as well as forecasts rejuvenation of Mother Nature’s offerings.

Those aspects of nature are the tip of various elements that pull me into her magic. The symbiosis between the waving of Mother Nature’s wand and the mimicking of human nature’s hand enters my thoughts. We work to emulate her gifts. We work to understand our integration into her presence–a presence that encircles most of our lives.

Frequently, my respect for nature’s abundant majesty finds me nonplussed at the smallest and grandest examples of her glory (and all that’s runs across the continuum of its omnipresence). Sometimes the simplest and tiniest can bring the most startling of pleasures. The one geranium leaf is such a profound reward; the geranium leaf is such a sweet notification of all that is possible and true.

Tip of the Week:

As I was creating the above short essay, I decided to show an example of how nature influences our creativity. Austrian architect Nikolay Hristov Ivanov finds nature the quintessential role model. His work can be characterized as sustainable contemporary designs. For example, he uses the complex structure of a leaf as the spark to make a Phyllon LED lamp. His computer-simulated creations use natural patterns to create micro climates. They are breathtakingly intriguing and inventive. Click here to read more about this sample of his work.

Phyllon Lamp, 2012, by Nikolay Hristov Ivanov

Phyllon Lamp, 2012, by Nikolay Hristov Ivanov

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

51 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (A Single Geranium Leaf as Nature’s Gift)

  1. badfish says:

    I think I like the second one best…the color is nicer, and the broken piece adds a touch of interest.

  2. The top one absolutely stunned my eyes and I smiled. Life in a sculptor’s hand.

  3. Each has its own beauty but I prefer the colors and softness of the first one. Been missing your challenges and I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. For the first time in 30 years I’m experiencing cold weather with snow to come soon enough. sigh…. Yep, it’s not my thing! Already pining for spring! 😀

    • Linda, indeed, I’m a warm weather kind woman too. We are in the midst of full-fledged winter, and I’m counting for Spring to appear early. Hope that you are settling into your new home and adventure. Thanks.

  4. Tina Schell says:

    I prefer the second altho I also liked the first Sally. Definitely a creative spark!

  5. prior2001 says:

    Hi S – I actually think the second one looks like it would have been day 1 – the color and it just felt fresher – hm – and that is the one I liked more. but the coolest part was that they were small leaves and look so clear – and enjoyed hearing about geraniums and oh wait – the quote is outstanding too – so thanks for that today – have a good one!
    Out of clutter, find simplicity.

    From discord, find harmony.

    In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

    ~~ Einstein

  6. Maria F. says:

    Great images in simplicity and light.

  7. RMW says:

    I like the second one… it makes me think of a mother and child portrait… I agree about the simple, tiny things… they can be as amazing and breathtaking as the grand vistas.

  8. smilecalm says:

    wonderfully put together
    as wonderfully
    it falls apart 🙂

  9. I’m wondering if Einstein really said or wrote the three things attributed to him. I did some searching and found those statements on plenty of websites, but never with a specific source like a book, article, or speech. In my experience, when something is repeated that way without a specific source, the quotation has almost always proved to be false. In this case, the closest I’ve been able to come to tracking down the triple quotation is at

    where The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs cites a 1979 Newsweek article by John Archibald Wheeler in which someone seems to be summarizing principles that can be abstracted from Einstein’s work.

  10. restlessjo says:

    I’m superficial! I like the brighter colours of the second, Sally 🙂 The warmer tones cheer me.

  11. I like both a lot-but the second with its color and texture, definitely kept my eye traveling about-as much as I enjoy nature’s gifts when they are alive and vibrant, as they heads to the end, there is always something to look at, take pleasure in and contemplate-Beautiful and thoughtful post-

  12. Nicely done Sally. I like the 2nd image best. The lighting and the details just pop.

  13. Virginia Duran says:

    First one, more contrast 🙂

  14. Madhu says:

    I like the stark, sculptural look of the first strangely! Both stunning shots Sally.

  15. Indira says:

    How come it looks more colorful after one week? Both look good , both have different texture though second one is more colorful.

  16. I like the second one best, Sally. That tiny secondary leaf is the perfect place for your eyes to go after checking out the big leaf. Well done.

  17. I find the details on dying leaves fascinating – I have hundreds of them. Anyway I love the warm colours of the second image.

  18. Helen C says:

    Sally, I like the first one better. The contrast between the two colors and the percentage of each color in the photo work well for me. I saw it from my reader (only the first photo showed up in my reader) and was attracted by it right away.
    Have a wonderful 2016!

  19. A teacher in a drawing class laid out pieces of fruit and began drawing them over many weeks as they dried up, Your images today make me think of that project. I like the second one with the satellite orbiting the mother leaf.

  20. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I like your first photo of the leaf. The colors suggest a fine leather purse—or perhaps a delicious bit of baked goods. Your essay is also most informative. I like that light, a lot, and think that the idea is genius.

  21. Janet says:

    Reblogged this on Janet’s thread and commented:
    Thinking of my book on crochet techniques – hyperbolic?

  22. pattimoed says:

    Hi Sally. Your photos make me realize how much I’ve missed by not looking closely at the fallen leaves from plants. The colors and shapes of both the images are wonderfully rich and intricate. I can’t decide between the two! Have a wonderful week. Stay warm during this Artic blast!

    • Patti, yes, winter has taken over my psyche. I thrive in temps that are tasty warm. Leaves are one of the most fascinating parts of seasonal shifts. I truly miss them this time of year, and still they linger here and there on the ground and even on some trees. Of course, we still have the non-deciduous plants and trees to watch. But it is the magic of the autumnal leaves that astound. Put on those layers and at least enjoy the sunshine. Thanks so much.

  23. Good morning, Sally. It’s beautifully sunny but frigid here this morning, but your challenge always brightens and warms my day. I can actually make a decision this week, believe it or not! I love the color and warmth of the second photo and the piece of the leaf adds dimension to the photo.

    Many happy photography returns for the week!


    • Janet, yes, it’s definitely turned into the depth of winter here too. At least the sun has made an appearance after days of grey. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Bundle up for your walks. Thanks so much.

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