Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenge’s Choice (The Architecture of Nature-A Rarity where Sunset Coincides with Strawberry Moon)

27 June 2016


I. Taken in Camera+ and Edited in Hipstamatic

2. Cloudscapes at Sunset, Reservoir Hipstamatic; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved.

1. Cloudscapes at Sunset (8:24 p.m.), Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Taken in Camera+ and Edited in Snapseed

1. Cloudscapes at Sunset, Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Cloudscapes at Sunset (8:44 p.m.), Reservoir; 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.


Cloudscapes were complicit. Hues danced in cooperation. Droves of people congregated. My grandson and I spent the first hour entertained by the sunset—a sunset that would be (at its finale) simultaneous with a strawberry moon. This solstice moon last occurred in 1967 (known as the “summer of love”), and fulfilled its destiny by appearing close to the horizon. It cannot be missed with its cloak of pinkish reds or reddish pinks or orangey pinks. The next showing will be 2062. Hum, glad that I saw this one.

The sky was saturated with cloud formations that stunned. They seem to be celebrating this occasion. Our town’s reservoir is an optimum setting for sunrises and sunsets, and on this particular evening the sky performed with a staggering kaleidoscopic palette.

This curious event peaked our photographic penchant. The confluence of events allowed us to hold onto each moment with quiet admiration. Waiting and watching, being mindful to everything and everyone surrounding us, especially the sky from East to West and West to East. The myriad of cloudscapes kept altering, and the soft and then vibrant colors were on their own kind of adventures.

Color memory is ambiguous, unreliable about the original encounter. An epiphanous moment will shine in the memory’s recall, but details are often illusive. Pick a hue for an occasion, and try to replicate it without a sample. The results are usually laughable.

When I try to remember the feeling that wells during a particular sunset, I am relieved that I can return to my photographs. Even so I find that nothing can replace a face-to-face experience with Mother Nature. No matter how much effort I mobilize to envision the combination of colors with their subtleties and strengths, it never matches the encounter. I believe that is exactly the way it ought to be.

In the Lens section are two images from this year’s summer solstice. Image one was taken twenty minutes before the second one. The combinations of hues reminded me of a Pantone chart that has each color systematically presented in a range of choices. The spectrum of cloud formations enchanted and spun my thoughts. Still it was a quietude of the best sort where nature’s creativity inspired and tranquilized.

As we marveled at the sunset, we walked to view the Eastern sky and their before us was the strawberry moon with a haze of orange-red clouds, encircled by a ring of strawberry red. It was cause for momentary celebration.

The architecture of Mother Nature is constantly changing and reaffirming, altering and redefining. But its ability to engage is always certain. To be sure the solstice sunset and strawberry moon could be witnessed through a panoramic swath of nature’s ability to stun our senses and spark our awe.

****Oh, you were wondering where is my photograph of the moon. The Smartphone is notorious for its inability to capture low-light images. The strawberry moon appeared to us at 8:55 p.m., and continued until it was hiding behind clouds and trees. Here is my best capture, which was done with my DSLR Nikon.

Strawberry Moon at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Strawberry Moon at the Reservoir; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

Tip of the Week: While reading one of my nighttime lullabies on Flipboard, an article suggested the app, Slow Shutter. Since its long exposures make it a bonus for low light, I must try it for night shots. Maybe if I had it on the evening of the summer solstice, I would have been able to get better results on my iPhone capturing the strawberry moon. Here is the link in the iTunes App Store. It’s $1.99, and can be used on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Slow Shutter Cam

Slow Shutter Cam


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.

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26 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenge’s Choice (The Architecture of Nature-A Rarity where Sunset Coincides with Strawberry Moon)

  1. Tina Schell says:

    Interestingly, I commented just the opposite about low light smartphone this week Sally! I prefer your 2 nd shot which looks a bit more natural to me.

    • Tina, lovely to hear from you. Typically, Smartphones are known for being less than capable of low light images. Your photograph of the market certainly captured the ambiance of the scene and with clarity. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Along with my recent trip to Chicago, your mention of the summer of love brings back memories of that summer 49 years ago when I drove through the parts of the upper Midwest at around the time that “Light My Fire” was a big hit and Detroit really did burn. By coincidence, last night I watched the movie version of “Hair” and found it oh so dated.

    On a different matter, both of your sunset images are appealing.

    • Steve, it’s nice to walk down memory lane. While your reaction to the film “Hair” doesn’t surprise (how I recall their dress and, yes, hair), I recall all the music with great fondness.

  3. I like both of these Sally-the colors in each really illustrate the day-the bright and bountiful light in the morning and the lovely, muted warmth as the evening makes its way in-beautifully done both!

  4. Su Leslie says:

    Both beautiful shots; I won’t choose a favourite, but will instead savour them both for a little longer.

  5. pattimoed says:

    I wish I had know about the strawberry moon on the solstice! Gorgeous shots. The pinks and purples of the second shot are my favorites. Thanks for the info on the app too! Have a great week, Sally.

  6. I’m back home once more (for a few days), so I can finally see your entries for this week. While they’re both beautiful, I like the colors and curves of the second.


    • Janet, enjoy your time at home and on your new destination.

      • Thanks, Sally. Headed for France on Friday. 🙂 Should be fun and relaxing. I supposed I’ll take a few photos, too!

      • Fabulous–what area? My favorite part is Southern France. Bon voyage.

      • I’ll be in the eastern part, closer to Germany and Switzerland, the Franche-Comté. Closest “big” town is Lure, so if you look that up, you’ll see where it is. Lots of forest and hills/mountains. My s-i-l used to live in Provence and that was great, but this area is gorgeous and much more relaxed (also cooler and more rainy.)

      • While staying with relatives in Western Germany, I went on a pilgrimage of sorts a decade ago. Ventured to Uhrwiller (where a great, great grandfather was born, then Germany, now Alsace region), Nancy, and Strasbourg. Nancy is a terrific city for Art Nouveau. Have a memorable trip.

  7. Angeline M says:

    I love that first photo the best because of your incorporation of the water; that really seemed to be the icing on the cake for me. Lovely work in both.

  8. Wonderful as always!

  9. Both are beautiful – showcasing the different shades of the sunset. And your strawberry moon is fantastic.

  10. Amy says:

    Both are beautiful, Sally! Here is my entry for this week. 🙂

  11. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Your first photo is a beauty.

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