4 May 2020 | Apple iPhone 11 Pro | iPhone 11 Pro back camera 6mm f/2

52 Week Smartphone Challenge: Week 19: Ageing

Amy Moranto dropped me a comment on one of my post that reminded me that I needed to post a photo for week 19 of the 52 Week Smartphone Challenge. The pandemic situation has made it challenging for me to capture unique images from what would have been a diversity of weekly living. No photos of extended family around the dining table, or friends enjoying a pint at the local pub, or of interesting people on the train commute or walking around the financial district in New York City. I am limited to the inside of my home, the empty streets of nearby Hopewell Borough and Princeton, and the nearby woodlands.

But it wouldn’t be a challenge if it were easy and I am fortunate to have Amy Moranto and raconteur theonlydeadheadinthehameau join me. This week Amy submits the faded blooms of her neighbour’s fragrant wisteria while theonlydeadheadinthehameau submits that poppies are like life itself, “they come, they age, and then they go”.

My photographic foraging took me into downtown Princeton and to the Princeton University campus where I captured this weeks submission for the challenge. I had clear skies that day and the bright late morning light created strong contrasts on the sides of East Pyne Hall. I worked my way around the building photographing the archways, doors, and windows.

An example of Princeton’s Gothic Revival architecture, Pyne Library, was built 153 years ago in 1867 by architect William Appleton Potter. The structure made up the University Library until Firestone Library was built in 1948. Pyne Library then housed various administrative offices until 1965, when it was renamed East Pyne Hall and was renovated to accommodate offices and classrooms. East Pyne houses many liberals arts department offices and classrooms for students engaged in studies of classics, comparative literature and languages.

I chose this image because I think it has most of the elements for which East Pyne Hall is known. I love the look of the faded brownstone exterior which looks weathered and aged and includes some architectural details but it was the contrast of the brownstone with the green of the climbing vine that pulled me in. There is an excellent article about Beatrix Jones Farrand and her work with landscaping the Princeton University campus that I think Amy would enjoy reading. I think the vine is Japanese climbing hydrangea but I’ve never seen it flower.

A Japanese climbing hydrangea, a creeping vine with its own tendrils that adhere to the walls, at Foulke Hall. These plants were trained to grow up the walls in the mid- to late-1920s when Beatrix Farrand was landscaping that part of campus with her head gardener, James Clark. When the vines became very heavy, probably in the 1950s and ’60s, they were espaliered to the wall with wire and steel screw eyes, which can still be seen on many of the dormitory walls.

The image was captured in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom on my iPhone 11 Pro and edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic on my iMac. I used the Mullin Film Colour Clean as my base, layering Grain 400, Real, Subtle Warm and Raw Standard presets from Kevin Mullins’ Black and White Film Lightroom Presets.


  1. I wandered off and read that Princeton article before coming back to like this post. I like the thought that Beatrix gave attention to what would be blooming specifically in the Spring and Fall at times when students would be there. I like that idea of knowing your audience.
    Your photo works really nicely for this week.
    Cheers, Amy

What do you want to say about this post?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.