Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Editing and Processing (and Winter Still Life)

29 February 2016


1. Winter Still Life in Hipstamatic; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Winter Still Life in Hipstamatic; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Winter Still Life in Hipstamatic; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Winter Still Life in Hipstamatic; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know which you prefer. Click on image to enlarge, which takes you to another page. If you decide to leave a comment, please return to this page.


In linguistics, words can start in one realm of meaning and take a circular pivot, a dive, a generational pull, a halt, or a reuse. A word’s common usage is often placed in history’s archival treasure trove of language’s distant past, and left to the archaic dustbin. Today, it seems that words are being called upon for new uses at a record trot, as culture, politics, science, and technology slip into other arenas.

Architecture is a unseeming example. Its usual meaning conjures the visual landscape–the landscape that is designed, molded and shaped by human ingenuity. Humanmade structures worthy of notoriety or not proliferate our view. It’s difficult to find a stretch of nature that is devoid of the human touch.

My own ideas about architecture are embedded in a continuum that is driven by a capital A and small a. Small “a” architecture, for instance, has become part of the purview of computers. It also can describe the design of a flower. It can delineate the substance of a day’s accomplishments. It can explain the inner spirit, the design of the heart’s desires. It can give an analysis of a person’s path on a life’s journey. It can explain an author’s style of    a story.

Capital “A” Architecture projects an emotional and a physical side, provoking various effects and responses. At the sighting of the Freedom Tower in New York City or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco feelings surface about aesthetics, history, inventiveness, memory, human triumphs, and struggles. And I believe that the architecture of a flower can incite as strong reactions.

In the Lens section is an image taken a few weeks ago, as the first and only major snowstorm (to date) dissipated. Piles of snow were quickly being tested by the power of the sun rays. The light was brilliant and cunning, bringing a delicious patina to the contemporary buildings on the university campus in my small town.

I took the image in Hipstamatic, using two combinations of lens and film. As usual I applied my gentle editing perspectives. The results are vastly different images. The first has the sensibilities of that blissful sunlight bathing entire structures. The second is a wave to the past. It is as if I returned to that sight fifty years from now, and that winter’s still life became a retro link to the past, just like a word from 2016.

Architecture’s meandering to other disciplines and subjects exemplifies the fluidity of language, and how over time we can stretch applicability and meaning. Architecture is a word that suits my own bond and infatuation with words.

Until we notice or use a particular word anew, the possibilities remain hidden or unnoticed by us. When we open ourselves to the ability of each word to express a different voice, our own level of communication becomes a surprising gift of awareness.

Tip of the Week:

At the Tate Modern in London is an exhibition that I dearly want to visit in-person. Alas, I must settle for cyberspace’s platform for the artists’ interpretation of how self-portraits can be viewed as performance art. It’s a seductive and timely show that has much to offer about historic, historical and contemporary photography. “Performing for the Camera” is richly exciting and deserves a huge audience. If you are fortunate to live in London, or plan to visit the city, the exhibition is offered through 12 June 2016.

From the Museum’s website: “With over 50 seminal photographers on display, the exhibition explores the relationship between photography and performance, engaging with serious, provocative and sensational topics, as well as humour, improvisation and irony. It shows how photographs have captured performances by important artists including Yves Klein and Yayoi Kusama, and ground-breaking collaborations between photographers, performers and dancers. It looks at how artists including Francesca Woodman, Erwin Wurm and others have used photography as a stage on which to perform, and how figures from Cindy Sherman and Hannah Wilke to Marcel Duchamp and Samuel Fosso have used photography to explore identity.”

Since I cannot visit the Museum, I enjoyed watching two short videos about the show. Hope that you view both. Click here to read more about the exhibition and view the films.

A quick summary of the videos:

Short One: Curator Simon Baker talks about the relationship between performance and photography through a few works seen in the show. Runs 4:32 minutes.

Short Two: Swedish artist Romain Mader explains the origin of his current work. Mader says, “It’s better to pose myself and be the main character in my work. There is an irony and vulnerability – it is awkward to look at that.” Runs 4:04 minutes.

János Kender Harry Shunk, Yves Klein’s ‘Saut dans le Vide’, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, 1960. J. Paul Getty Trust. All rights reserved.

János Kender Harry Shunk, Yves Klein’s ‘Saut dans le Vide’, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, 1960. J. Paul Getty Trust. All rights reserved.

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, Design, Human Nature, Mobile Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Editing and Processing (and Winter Still Life)

  1. You know, the top color photo is very much an example of “performance in photography” in a way. The colors dance in my eyes. It is spectacular. J

  2. Tina Schell says:

    It seems we are both focused on architecture this week Sally – as you’ll see in my post, I prefer B&W or sepia for architecture as I feel it’s closer to the architect’s original idea, hence my preference for your B&W version.

    • Tina, the ingenuity of humans is reflected in architecture. You and I are drawn to its visual dynamics, and black and white does allow to see more clearly the original intention of the dream. Thanks so much for your comment.

  3. Hi Sally, Stopping by to say that image 1 is more attractive to me this week. I like the warm colours and how they complement the sandy colours of the architecture. The blue sky adds to the eye appeal and contrasts well with the wheat coloured bushes. The second image feels cold dark and deadly serious!

  4. Nato says:

    I really like the colors in the first photo. It’s amazing how the second picture changes the mood of the same scene.

    Interesting how the use of words can change so much too!

  5. restlessjo says:

    Good shares, Sally! I took a quick peek. 🙂 First image please. The colour invites. It has a cartoon quality, to me.

  6. Indira says:

    This time I think both are equally good.

  7. Su Leslie says:

    For me, the first image is bursting with warmth and joy. I love the contrast of snow and sunshine. As others have said, the second edit has a sadness to it. Wonderful study in how much colour affects our perception, Sally. And thank you for the information about “Performaing for the Camera.” I don’t think I’ll get to see it in person either, but will enjoy it vicariously online. Cheers, Su.

    • Su, the short videos are insightful and are worth viewing. I appreciate your response to the photographs. Thanks.

      • Su Leslie says:

        Hi Sally. Thanks again. I’ve watched the videos, and you are right. I particularly loved Simon Baker’s comments about how important it is to think about “where work ends up” — ie the forms of delivery and audience for an image, or series of images. These have been an energising way to start my day.

      • Su, I’m happy that you enjoyed them as much as I did.

  8. Another thing to consider about words is that some of them are confined to certain professions. Take as an example the word seminal, which appears in a quotation in your post. I don’t believe I’ve ever found the word outside the world of criticism of the arts.

  9. Gallivanta says:

    I do prefer the first photo with its hint of warmth. Speaking of words and changes, architecture (concrete) is one factor which will help geologists determine if our time should be changed to the “Anthropocene epoch”

  10. Maria F. says:

    I like both of them for their own specific style. I got the Olloclip case with the lenses. The case is very well made and it engages the lenses seamlessly. It requires practice to do it though. A detail about this case is that the screen protector of the phone can rip. This can be a problem if you use the expensive screen protectors of the Ultra Shield brand. I don’t know if this screen protector will rip or not. I don’t have the problem because I use the cheap screen protectors so I cut out the part where the Olloclip will slide on, and still have most of the phone protected. The cut out part doesn’t scratch at all.

    Hey Sally, you might want to check out this app:
    because it has all the controls a DSLR has, it has even filters. It’s a good deal.

  11. I agree with Allan. I like the warmth and color of the first as well. B&W often brings out details, but in this case, I think the nuances of the different panels, especially in the building on the left, are better served by the color.

    Waiting for spring here, too,


  12. Angeline M says:

    Well, I agree with everyone on the first photo being so warm and inviting. The second photo is so stark by contrast, but that starkness really says a lot about photography to me, and what feelings it can evoke. Really amazing photo for me.

  13. Your first picture really resonated with me. I went back to the pics after reading your thoughts and agree that the second picture has that retro look and feel. But I’m still more drawn to the colors! Have a beautiful week, Sally! 🙂

  14. Suzanne says:

    Your photos are really something – the first one really made me stop and take a second look. Your ideas on architecture really got me thinking – I enjoyed your essay immensely and it became the inspiration for my response.

  15. I agree with you. The colour image is so vibrant and alive – the here and now. The black & white has a lost forgotten feel about it.

  16. Amy says:

    I like the first one, maybe because of the warm color. “It’s difficult to find a stretch of nature that is devoid of the human touch” so true, and well said. Thank you for sharing, Sally! 🙂

  17. Prior-01 says:

    i love how you think (capital a and small a) and sometimes things make me ponder (like this: must settle for cyberspace’s platform for the artists’ interpretation of how self-portraits can be viewed as performance art.)– –

  18. Stunning look at a building and a site I tend to take for granted. Thanks!

  19. It’s really interesting to notice how different the emotional impact is from the two different versions of the same photo. You say it all in pens: The first does indeed blissful bath in sunlight. And the second waves to the past. 🙂

  20. Two different moods, two different stories with the edits. Can’t choose.I do like the depth you got from Hipstamatic that I don’t always see.
    Happy Leap Monday

  21. elisa ruland says:

    I like the warm colors of the first shot, the black and white version emphasizes the sharp lines and contemporary details. Happy belated New Year to you!

  22. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Sally, I can feel the warmth emanating from that first photo. It forms an interesting contrast to the visual effect of the cold snow on the ground.

    Is that the John S/Robusta combo by any chance?

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