Posts Tagged ‘Phoneography Challenge’

In France, mushrooms are beloved and eaten with gusto; even, such as in the case of truffles, revered, stolen, lied about and fought over.  You must know which are edible and which are not, but you may always take your finds to a pharmacy, where you will be informed as to which are are edible and which poisonous.  While taking the dogs for walks through the forest, we keep our eyes open for mushrooms but due to the atypical dry weather, all we’ve found are either old a/o dried out, or inedible.  However, they make lovely photo subjects.  Here are a few of today’s finds, unretouched except for framing and copyright.  You may look without fear of poison!

The first Monday theme for the Phoneography Challenge is “Nature.

“The sudden appearance of mushrooms after a summer rain is one of the more impressive spectacles in the plant world.”
~John Tyler Bonner

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For the Challenger’s Choice theme, choices include:  Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel.  This week’s photos are a combination of street photography and travel, the first found in a street in the old part of Beaune, France, a lovely city filled with history.  This baby isn’t nearly as old as most of the buildings, but it’s still a vintage car with attitude.


Or how about this cutie seen on the streets of Nuits St. George?


“Nature” is a particularly appropriate theme at this time of year when life is burgeoning everywhere.  Plants have edged their way out of the formerly frozen ground and are blossoming.  Baby birds and animals are growing rapidly into “teenagers” and all too soon will be adults.

A few blocks from our house is a small lake with a paved path and enough plants and wildlife to give the feeling of being away from the suburbs, despite streets on two sides, houses on one and the back of a grocery store on the other.  The lake is home to a large number of geese whose major contribution often seems to be festooning the path with their droppings.

In spring, the goslings arrive, lending with their cuteness, a momentary charm to birds that can be a bit annoying.  Starting as tiny balls of yellow fluff, they move rapidly into the teenage phase, trailing behind their parents, pecking madly at whatever they find in the grass or floating in a serene flotilla on the lake.  This is the time when the grown geese become protective and aggressive, greeting walkers with the sinuously moving curves of neck, beady eyes and becks darting and emitting hisses.  Although I’ve become adept at hissing back, I keep a wary eye and a good distance from them, which makes taking a photo with a phone difficult.  If you stop, you become the immediate target of the adults.

As I neared a family during this walk, I paused at a non-threatening distance to text a quick message back to one of our daughters, something I rarely bother to do when on a walk.  When I looked up, the goslings were about six feet away from me, parents behind them, and still approaching.  Without moving, I quickly took a number of photos before moving away.  As long as I was still, the adults didn’t perceive me as a threat, but as soon as I moved, they went on high alert.


Perfume, from the Latin per fumum, meaning “through smoke”, has been scenting women (and men) since the days of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.  Used not only to attract and seduce, perfume has also been used for the more prosaic purpose of attempting to mask body odor.

Once perfume was made, it had to be stored.  Here was opportunity for beauty of a visual sort.  Perfume bottles have adorned bedrooms and bathrooms as long as perfume has existed.  Unfortunately, heat, light and oxygen are enemies of scent, so keeping perfume in a gorgeous bottle on your dresser is counterproductive.  My husband bought me Chanel No. 5 for Christmas this year, but its home is in the darkness of my armoire while my beautiful perfume bottles catch the light sans scent.

“Perfume is like cocktails without the hangover, like chocolate without the calories, like an affair without tears, like a vacation from which you never have to come back.”
~Marian Bendeth
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A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting. ”
~Christian Dior
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“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.”
~Coco Chanel
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All photos edited with Picasa 3.
#2-soft focus, museum matte, fill & highlight,
#3-drop shadow

Other choices for this week’s challenge can be found here.

For many years, black-and-white was the only choice for photos.  Then color came onto the scene and many people never looked back.  But black-and-white can make a photo special, leading the viewer to focus on textures and shapes, rather than color.  The term “black-and-white” is somewhat misleading as greys and sometimes even sepia are included.  Ansel Adams is one of the well-known photographers who produced stunning photos using only B&W and now it’s not only possible but easy to convert digital photos from color to B&W through editing.

Sally, our Phoneography hostess, not only has wonderful photos, she has educated, poetic thoughts about photography as well as a weekly photography link.  You can also find the other entries for the week’s challenge on her blog, Lens and Pens by Sally, where this week’s challenge is posted.

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes.
But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls.”

~ Ted Grant


“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
~Ansel Adams


“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
~Dorothea Lange

It’s the second Monday, which means the Phoneography theme is “Macro.”  Although I hate to be predictable, with spring in the air and the joy of being outdoors foremost in my mind, I have to go with a nature theme.  Every day I go outside, I see something new and beautiful, something growing and changing, a good reminder of what my life should be.

I must have flowers, always, and always.
~Claude Monet


The rain to the wind said,
‘You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.
~Robert Frost


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
~Emily Dickinson


And when it rains upon your parade, look up rather than down.  Without the rain, there would be no rainbow
~G. K. Chesterton

And when it rains on your parade,
look up rather than down.Without the rain,there would be no rainbow
~G.K. Chesterton


When you start taking photos, you begin to see things differently, to see potential photos everywhere.  Bring your focus close to you and you’ll find a plethora of beautiful photos waiting to be recorded.  This week’s Phoneography Challenge (or, to give it all its gravitas, the Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge) is “Macro“, just the place for those photos.  I looked in my glass and in my mixing bowl and came up with the following pictures.  Any editing was done on Picasa 3, my newest toy.


I love lemon in my water.


Molasses on sugar

Molasses on sugar..and sugar on molasses


Lemon in my water

Lemon in my water



Another month, another first Monday.  That means the theme of the Phoneography Challenge is .”Nature”  The challenge is open to anyone who takes photos with non-traditional cameras, such as phones or iPads.  If you want to play, click on the highlighted words and join us.  Since many of us are welcoming spring, or at least waiting for it hopefully, this is the perfect time to immortalize nature by taking some photos of its beauty or to share photos of nature’s beauty past.

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(All photo editing was done with Picasa 3.)

To edit or not to edit, that is the question.  And it’s a question that for me, until recently, had only one answer:  No, the photo should be able to stand on its own.

But after participating for a time in Sally’s weekly challenge, I began to change my mind and also to realize that the spectacular photos I saw, the ones I’d love to hang on my wall, were likely edited.  I began to experiment just a bit.  Was a photo of a beautiful place taken in less-than-marvelous light?  I could fix that and convey what it really looked like.  Did someone or something slip into the perfect shot just as I took it.  I could humanely remove them from my finished product.  Did I want to just have fun with a photo and come up with something wild and crazy.  Editing was the way to go.  I began not only to use editing but to enjoy it.

The official challenge this week, the elusive fifth Monday, is “Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.”  And the themes for Week Four are ” Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel). (Animals and Objects are themes.)”  Got all that?  Don’t worry; only the title is long and complicated.

We’re all familiar with using editing to enhance colors, add drama, add a frame and a copyright.  My gallery this week shows how editing literally gave me shots I didn’t know I had, something from nothing.  I took some indoor photos with my iPad, hoping against hope that they would turn out to look like what I saw and wanted to convey.  I ended with a group of photos that looked mostly like this (and some worse):


Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled.  But I kept them for some reason and a month or so ago, I decided to apply Picasa 3 to them and see what happened.  To say I was amazed was an understatement!  By applying a variety of editing tools, I came up with photos I absolutely love.  I didn’t write down what I applied and to find out now, I’d have to reverse-edit, then do it all over again.  So I’m not going to do that.  But I think you’ll agree that the results are a big improvement on the what I thought was in the original!  I apologize for so many photos, but I wanted to give you a good idea of what can be done from virtually nothing by using editing judiciously.








And this is what was actually where I was shooting…


So I say unto you:  Go forth.  Take photos, hopefully good photos.  Then edit and enjoy.  Or not.

The Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge (new title) theme for the fourth Monday of the month is “Challenger’s Choice” (with some parameters.)  This week my choices are a combination of three of the themes:  Travel, Abstract, and Night Photography.  One of them is all three, the others are Travel + Night Photography.  All were taken on the Miami-Chicago leg of our flight back from Costa Rica.

Night photography with an iThing can be difficult, at least for me.  It did get easier once someone showed me that the flash could be turned off, but it can still be a challenge.  So I was particularly happy with how these photos turned out, despite the fact that we were seeing snow again after a week in 90-degree heat.  I don’t usually post so many photos, but I thought the all worked well for the challenge and wanted to share them.

All the photos were edited on Picasa. I neglected to jot down my edits, so I apologize for that.  I hope you enjoy the photos nonetheless.

Back in the cold and snow

Back in the cold and snow

Coast of Lake Michigan with downtown Chicago at the top

Coast of Lake Michigan with downtown Chicago at the top

Chicago at night

Chicago at night

Abstract of Chicago from the sky

Abstract of Chicago from the sky