Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Black and White (Totem at the Smithsonian)

Hello Phonegraphy Challengers.  This is my better-late-than-never entry to this week’s black and white photo challenge by Sally at Lens at Pens.  This sculpture caught my eye when I was visiting the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. this fall.  I like the detail of the wooden sculpture and the motion blur of the person in the background.  Because the totem was displayed in a glass case, I had to do a bit of clean up in Photoshop to eliminate some of the shadows and reflections.

African Totem at the Smithsonian.  Shot with a Samsung Galaxy S5.

African Totem at the Smithsonian. Shot with a Samsung Galaxy S5.

OK, challengers.  What do you think?  Does the background detract from the image or add depth to it?   Thanks for your insights.

32 replies »

  1. Interesting question. I am commenting because I went on a journey with your picture. At first, I was drawn to the totem and wanted to see it up close. Then I noticed the movement in the background, drawing my eye there. When I saw the mirrored image, everything shifted into balance. Without the mirror on the far wall, it would be all wrong, but somehow the reflection moves the man’s motion, creating a fluid work of art that is more than just the totem. Maybe it’s the overlaying timelines…Like it!


  2. You did a great job on PS, Patti! The details of the sculpture is incredible. I really think the motion blur of the person in the background made this photo more interesting.


  3. I really like the composition that takes us inside the museum, and we can sense the energy and rhythm that is felt within its walls. The man gives that feeling along with an example of the art. Happy Photo Challenge.


  4. Hi Patti. I’m just an amateur but to me this photo is impeccable. The composition is fabulous and the depth of field made the totem image even more relevant whilst the blurred man behind helps telling the story, i.e. that this was taken at a museum, for example. You nailed.


    • So glad to hear that, Lucile! I just changed themes and you’re the first person to comment on it! I was hoping that it worked. I’m a bit sad to see my little “pilot fish” disappear from the old theme, but thought it was time to move on!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow. That’s interesting. I found it a great choice. It caters well fir both writing and photography, giving both the right exposure. I’ve been testing many themes as I’m entertains the idea of changing mine as well but haven’t yet found one that I like. I may test yours if you don’t mind.


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