Posts Tagged ‘Phoneography Challenge’

“Nothing is black and white.” Often that’s the case. Other times, things or choices are black and white, or should be. We see very little in the world in literal black and white, so when we see photos that way, it forces us to look at the details, the patterns, the shapes, the elemental thing, with no distraction of color.  Perhaps that’s something we should do more often in life: get rid of the distractions and trappings, attempt to see people and situations for what they really are.

On a lighter note, I offer two contrasting black and white photos for your perusal.  One is from nature, the other manmade. Each has its own beauty, its own place in the world, its own use.  Hopefully we can see those around us in this sort of black and white, to their advantage and to ours



Calling all photographers who take photos with non-traditional cameras, such as phones or tablets!  Sally, at Lens and Pens by Sally, hosts a weekly challenge with rotating themes which go live on Monday.  You’ll meet some amazing photographers as well as excellent writers, share your photos, learn, and just have lots of fun.  The theme for the second Monday of the month is “Macro“, one of my favorites.

I’m happy to be back walking in the park, at least on those mornings I don’t have to leave for work early.  This morning was, as you can tell, we,t and I made the mistake of going off the path that, while not paved, is firm and beaten down.  Instead, I choose the grass path, but as the grass was short, I thought I would be fine.  In less than 25 yards, my shoes and socks were soaked, but I was so taken with being outside and with the bits of green that were showing that I didn’t mind.  I did, however, take my wet, muddy shoes off before and bag them in a plastic grocery bag before getting into my rather clean van.



by A.A. Milne

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
“Winter is dead.” 

Although I love much about winter, I, with A.A. Milne and his daffodil, hope that winter is, for this year, dead.  There are signs of spring life, a few more each day: the daffodils barely contained in their wrappers, the green grass poking through the brown, the tender green buds on long, arching branches.  Last weekend in Philadelphia, although we experienced some temperatures that were purely winter, I caught sight of these beautiful yellows, calling to me, “Spring is coming, Don’t despair.”  So I offer them to you with those same words, “Don’t despair.  Spring is on its way.”  (For those of you in the opposite hemisphere, feel free to come back in six months to re-read this post.)  🙂


Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.
~ Pablo Picasso

The Phoneography Challenge, offered every Monday morning, is open to anyone taking photos with a non-traditional camera.  On the first Monday of the month, the theme is “Nature.”  We’d love to have you join us.  See the other themes, links to other entries, and read Sally’s wonderful blog at Lens and Pens by Sally.

While waiting for my husband in the theater lobby recently, I snapped a few shots of the carpeting, ginned this one up with a bit of editing, and offer it for Challenger’s Choice.  Quite simply, I love the colors and the shapes and I hope you do, too.

Have a week filled with photos and, hopefully, good weather.


I hope you didn’t expect from my title to see a shot of a nudist airport. 🙂  The “au natural” refers to an unedited (except for copyright) photo shot at the Phoenix airport while waiting for our Southwest flight back to the land of winter.  Even while tired and still sick, I was captivated by the shapes, shadows, and reflections in a black and white segment of a world that normally appears in color and had to grab the shot while I could.

“I suppose there has been nothing like the airports since the age of the stage-stops – nothing quite as lonely, as sombre-silent. The red-brick depots were built right into the towns they marked – people didn’t get off at those isolated stations unless they lived there. But airports lead you way back in history like oases, like the stops on the great trade routes. The sight of air travellers strolling in ones and twos into midnight airports will draw a small crowd any night up or two. The young people look at the planes, the older ones look at the passengers with a watchful incredulity.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald


“It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression “as pretty as an airport”. Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk (…) and the architects have on the whole tried to reflect this in their designs.
They have sought to highlight the tiredness and crossness motif with brutal shapes and nerve jangling colours, to make effortless the business of separating the traveller from his or her luggage or loved ones, to confuse the traveller with arrows that appear to point at the windows, distant tie racks, or the current position of the Ursa Minor in the night sky, and wherever possible to expose the plumbing on the grounds that it is functional, and conceal the location of the departure gates, presumably on the grounds that they are not”.”
~Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

And your feelings about airports and flying?

This good-looking guy was waiting more or less patiently for his owner to come out of the sandwich shop.  When she did, he quickly attained a vertical position, almost snatching the sandwich from her.  I thought he was perfect for the theme of “Challenger’s Choice”, which includes “Animals” as one possibility.


Sometimes ordinary things look extraordinary when photographed and, in this case, rendered in black and white.  The shapes of the curled cucumber skin take on an entirely different look as does the grain of the cutting board.  One of the joys of phone photography is having the camera always nearby and ready for a photo, although the skins, unlike some things found in a kitchen, aren’t going anywhere or morphing into something else as I try to capture them.

The Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge is open to anyone who takes photos with a non-traditional camera.  The themes repeat and go live every Monday.  Feel free to join us by clicking on the highlighted link (highlighted after Sally puts up her post, so check back if it’s not highlighted yet) or click on the link simply to enjoy more photos be talented photographers.


For this week’s theme, “Macro“, I spent some time scrolling through older shots before chosing this one. Perhaps last week’s frigid temperatures, which kept me from my morning walks in the park, brought out a latent longing for spring, even though I enjoy winter.   I used the Lomo-ish and Vignette effects for editing.


For the last Phoneography Challenge of 2014, we’re playing with editing.  Since I’m running out of space on my blog, I’m going to use medium-sized photos. If you click on a photo, you can see it in a larger size.  Hope you enjoy the results of the editing.

I’ll be driving from Philadelphia to Akron, Ohio today and then back to Naperville on Tuesday, so forgive my tardiness in replying to comments and visiting other posts.  I’ll get there eventually.  🙂

Original (slightly cropped):


Neon with vignette:


Neon with a lighter vignette, drop shadow, and a bit of shadow:




Just for fun, heat map added to Holga-ish:


Which strikes your fancy?  Next week, we’ll be entering 2015.  I hope it’s a wonderful year for you, filled with lots of photo opportunities.

December has five Mondays this year, which means five themes for the Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge. On the fourth Monday, Sally lets us run wild (more or less) with the Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel). This week, I’m choosing street photography and sharing some photos I took earlier this month while roaming the streets of Philadelphia with our younger daughter.

Don’t forget that next week will be the editing challenge. You don’t want to miss that! In the meantime, have a merry Christmas to all who celebrate Christmas and happy holidays to everyone else.