Sally Ds Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (and the Unnoticed)

13 June 2016


I. Taken in Camera+

1. Spring Poppy; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Spring Oriental Red-Orange Poppy; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken in Camera+ and Edited in Snapped

2. Raindrops on Spring Poppy; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Raindrops on Spring Oriental Red-Orange Poppy; 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.


The unnoticed pervades our days. It’s human nature to breeze across time with the familiar as comfort and mediator. The usual helps us navigate the more testy moments.

Still, I am one of those who courts change. Maybe that’s why I enjoy spying on the what is hidden from plain view. We must train our inner cadence to slow and take notice: to stop and see the parts that create the whole.

A field of wildflowers is a glorious sighting, but move into each individual bloom and another world emerges. And so it was with a patch of Oriental red-orange poppies that easily could be appreciated at a casual glance or two. But stepping directly into their universe changes everything.

In the Lens section is precisely that experience. As I was ambling through my daily walk a few weeks ago, there appeared a spray of showy poppies–poppies being a symbol of springtime, at least for many. The small group was sunning and being brazen as the afternoon light gave them the glow they sought. But it was the bold center of one poppy that kept me starring. It was almost frilly and ready to go dancing. Two days later the rain had ceased, and the light was low, and yet that same grouping was effervescent. I was captivated by the design of the droplets and their ability to redefine the beauty of this seasonal floral wonder.

The passing of two days and the changing available light made a significant difference in the hue of these spring beauties. As I pushed myself closer and closer to create a macro image, the lines of the petals became even more lively, and emphasized the shape and eloquence of these jewels of spring.

While the poppies are a flower that woos, they still have characteristics that require an effort to see unnoticed elements. That center is more than a black sphere, it challenges us to look more intently, even as it lures insects and other small creatures to its performance. Their petals are sweetly delicate, but not as evident from a distance; they need an up-close and personal investigation to see paper-like fragility and an almost transparent vibrancy with the direct light.

So while we think that we are “seeing,” it takes much more effort than a casual gaze to view what’s really there. The unnoticed can bring clever intensity to a subject, a reality that is often an unseen reality.

Tip of the Week: As we journey through our daily lives, we are bombarded with the natural world that has much more to offer than our visual acumen can produce. Our naked eye lacks the precision that the macro lens can offer, even lacks the precision that the native camera’s lens can manage. Since macro is a way to examine those unnoticed aspects of every day, I wanted to introduce Abdul Mutuma, who is a photographer from Nairobi. Mutuma uses his talents to show those usual and unusual creatures that we see from a distance. His images are surprising, given that he has made his own close-up lens. You can view (click here) his work on 500px.** He says that he shoots only with a “mobile device and his DIY lens.”

** from their website: “500px is a photo community and marketplace for discovering, sharing, buying, and selling inspiring photography powered by creative people around the world…[and] is committed to building a safe, inclusive, and helpful community for everyone to share their love for photography.”

"Hanging On, Leaf Cutter Bee," by Abdul Mutuma, Photo 195204357-500px

“Hanging On, Leaf Cutter Bee,” by Abdul Mutuma, Photo 195204357-500px

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 would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

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 Gardens and Gardening, Human Nature, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Sally Ds Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (and the Unnoticed)

  1. Lovely and sumptuous is what comes to mind with the first one-there is a richness and and abundance that is suggested with the flower’s color and angle-I love it. I like the second one too for its detail and color-

  2. These images are insanely beautiful!!!

  3. Great work on these beauties, Sally. 🙂

  4. Nato says:

    Ditto on what badfish commented! They both have a different, but equally compelling attraction. So I like them both! And I totally agree, it takes us a moment to stop and really see what is around us. But it is so worth it!

  5. badfish says:

    This is a difficult one to choose because I love the composition and color and…stuff…of the first. But the second has such interesting textures and layers. And…they’re both RED. Am I allowed to love both?

  6. Aquileana says:

    Hi Sally… I love them both… but if I had to choose, I´ll go for Raindrops on Spring Oriental Red-Orange Poppy… thanks for sharing… sending love and best wishes. Aquileana 🍀

  7. Every morning I pass by a patch of red poppies against a cement retaining wall and wish I could stop the car to take a photo. Now I’ll relax and remember yours instead – beautiful shot, Sally. 🙂

  8. They both are so beautiful, Sally. Each has its own uniqueness.

  9. thirdeyemom says:

    Gorgeous Sally! Love the poppies and both are equally gorgeous. I also love the bee photo . Hope you are well and enjoying summer!

  10. restlessjo says:

    Such different images of the same plant, Sally, and both captivating. My personal favourite is the pure flamboyance of colour in the first. Thank God for poppies 🙂

  11. Poppies are my top five flowers of all time.

  12. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Both of these photos are stunning, Sally. The first one really captures my attention with all of its different shades of red and soft textures. I can see it as a large oil painting on a gallery wall.

  13. Suzanne says:

    Hi Sally. I love the drama of the first shot. I haven’t been online much recently due to connection problems but here’s my response to your challenge this week.

    • Suzanne, I’m delighted that you could enter this week. Hope that you can solve your “connection” issues. Is your relatively new location remote? It can be irritating and a blessing all at once to have such problems. But I see cyberspace as a place to meet people such as yourself. Without it we would never have “met.” Thanks for your comment.

  14. Sally, what do you think he means by a “DIY macro lens?”


  15. Love the softness of the first image. The second is also so sharp highlighting the raindrops.

  16. phoartetry says:

    Sally, both photos are equally grand.

  17. Love the shy poppy eye peeking out from under the petals makes me look deeper. Awakens curiosity!

  18. Angeline M says:

    Joining your challenges, for I can’t remember how long now, inspired me to take on macro photos where once I truly didn’t like that aspect of photography. So thank you for opening my eyes to this wonderful arena. I especially love your first photo here; it reminds me of a shy little face peaking out from behind lowered lashes.

  19. pattimoed says:

    That first poppy is stunning! Gorgeous work.

  20. I love the feel of going into the flower in the first shot and the softness of it. The clarity of the drops in the second against the orange petals is also beautiful. I so agree with taking time to look and look closely and how that changes everything.

    Have a wonderful week.


  21. Love both of these photos. Your cropping and/or your eye for an off-center shot inspire me! Beautiful!

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