Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 8)

19 November 2018

Lens:

Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr.

Light Appears; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

The Light Appears; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this image. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

When I ponder the direction and ongoing redefinition of my inner voice, appreciation and dedication is fixated upon the wondrous existence of the tame and wild. To conserve and honor the precious natural world is a longstanding mainstay that navigates my creative efforts.

Still, humans have had a seesaw relationship with nature, and today that continues. That ambivalence and at times assault upon her pushes me to show nature as I observe her.

Mother Nature is my muse, my constant inspiration. Whether a dark cloudy day or a majestic sunburst, hidden and obvious jewels abound. It takes awakening one’s ability to separate the distractions of our visually-rich universe to fully see what is offered before us. But it’s also necessary to understand our interdependence. How nature and human nature are inextricably linked.

It takes concentration and sometime even serendipity to discover what appears with more meaning than something else: to be able to focus and unleash the senses. What draws our attention from one space to another?  And how to salute the exactitude and fragility and strength and wonder and mystery and magic and unquestionable beauty of nature’s progeny?

When I began to combine (through collage and photomontage) images of nature, my own way of seeing the universe expanded, became larger and more aware. To find the right blend is a challenge with experimentation and patience.

The image in the Lens section is an example. While the two images are worthy on their own, as a montage they have new meaning as a dual effort to show nature’s promise. That optimism is seen in the light behind the dark, its emergence grows as hope spreads.

 

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Posted in Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 7)

12 November 2018

Lens:

Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr.

Portraits of Autumnal Zinnias; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Portraits of Autumnal Zinnias; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this collage. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

After I took the images in the Lens section, I realized their parallel to this past week’s election. These portraits of the autumn blooming zinnia has given all of themselves to a season that skipped the zigzag of warm to cool and cool to warm. Instead we’ve had a swing to winter-like weather. Yesterday, high winds brought the temps to low 40s, truly atypical. These last flowers of summer and autumn had to depend on the sun for survival.

The endurance of these tiny zinnias reminded me of many voters: resilient, steadfast and determined. The mission was cast and realized. Democracy prevails with hope for a return to civility and a moral compass.

Today also is brighter for the planet. This past week the court’s voted on the side of the environment (turning down the administration’s push for the Keystone Pipeline), thanks to the huge dedication of environmentalists and advocates. Truly, nature and human nature share a bond of persistence for the greater good.

Vigilance is still needed as is hard work over the next two years. But it is sunnier than it has been in two years.

Note:

The discovery of artist and writer Rupi Kaur’s poetry’s has provided a place of quiet contemplation and pleasure. Her words are deeply emotional and poignant. Here is a sample.

The Sun and Her Flowers  (2017) by Rupi Kaur

“this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom”
––Rupi Kaur

Kaur came into prominence with her first book, Milk and Honey (2014). The Sun and Her Flowers adds to the themes that initially brought her fame: femininity, love, self-loss, healing, and survival.

Posted in Collage, Digital Art, Macro Photography, Mobile Photography, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 6)

05 November 2018

Lens:

Autumn at the Hudson River Park, NY; Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved 2018

Autumn at the Hudson River Park, New York; Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved 2018

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this image. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

In light of tomorrow’s staggeringly critical election in my country, the sunset at New York City’s Hudson River Park brought these thoughts:

Legacy is reflection.                                                                                                                                 What will ours be?

Vote for truth.                                                                                                                                          Vote for mutual respect.                                                                                                                        Vote to elevate the moral compass.                                                                                                    Vote to honor each individual.                                                                                                          Vote.



Posted in Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 5)

29 October 2018

Lens:

Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Stackables.

Crepe Myrtle Clusters of Berries; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Crepe Myrtle Clusters of Berries; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this image. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

The eloquent and photogenic crepe myrtle keeps me attentive, especially in autumn. Its shedding bark and cluster of berries are a visual menu for the senses. Truly, its magnetism pivots with the seasons.

The US election is so near that anxiety levels are escalating to new heights. Every day brings another assault. Every day brings incalculable uneasiness.

Clearly, the image and text in the Lens section speak volumes about my ideology and political philosophy. Little else needs to fill this space.

Save democracy, vote.                                                                                                                          Save the planet, vote.                                                                                                                               Save humanity, vote.                                                                                                                         Save Mother Nature, vote.

Note:

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Voting is the foundation for political action.” Martin Luther King

“Every citizen of this country should be guaranteed that their vote matters, that their vote is counted, and that in the voting booth, their vote has a much weight as that of any CEO, any member of Congress, or any President.” — Barbara Boxer

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” John F. Kennedy.

Posted in Black-and-White Photography, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 4)

Lens:

Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed, Stackables and Pixlr.

Zinnia Bud and Flower Collage; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Zinnia Collage; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this collage. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

I.

Bud and flower converge,                                                                                                          sparing nothing, not invisibility or transparency.                                                                             Or the history that binds each to the other.

Life as art                                                                                                                                               Nature as artist,                                                                                                                             Coexisting as creative partners,

Beams of lightning from the heart,                                                                                                   Flock like blossoms caught by the wind,                                                                                Unleashing the proverbial cup overflowing.                                                                                          As time refreshes our thirst for more.

II.

Blissfully awaiting, Streaks of light beams, Awakening to the stroke of a day’s radiance, Petals proclaiming their prize, A torch lit with patience and promise.

III.

For years I’ve been smitten with buds and the underside of flowers. More often these elements of nature are unseen, being overshadowed by faces of their blossoms. The zinnia in the Lens section is an example, showing a collage of the same zinnia at two different stages of development: the parts usually unnoticed.

This smaller variety of the pink annual was planted late in the summer. Because the landscape continues to be less vibrant as the season changes, this diminutive brought zest to chillier days. I picked the last few this week. The eloquence of the scalloped black edges and its emerald shadings of the bud mesmerized. I was captivated.

Instantly, this discovery reenforced how the hidden are aesthetic treasures to be realized. This small gem reveals what we can so easily miss in our daily lives: the coexistence of bud and flower with their visual appeal as inseparably; their history linked by interdependence. Needing patience to see how they illuminate each others’ presence.

Note:

John Muir (1838-1914) was an icon—an icon who was an early supporter of the national parks system. Muir spent his life exploring the wild, and working to preserve and protect its natural and cultural resources. In 1892 he founded and became the first president of the Sierra Club. Here are a few examples of Muir’s  philosophy:

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

“When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears.”

“The practical importance of the preservation of our forests is augmented by their relations to climate, soil and streams.”

 

Posted in Collage, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 3)

15 October 2018

Lens:

Taken in Camera+. Edited in Snapseed.

Bradford Pear Leaf; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Leaf of Bradford Pear Tree; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Taken in Polamatic. Edited in Snapseed.

Leaf of Bradford Pear Tree; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Leaf of Bradford Pear Tree II; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto each image to enlarge. Let me know which you prefer. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

15 October 2018

Transformation has many faces. None is more obvious and symbolic of  how nature shifts the purpose of a tree’s leaf in autumn. As this season progresses, nature’s palette ranges from quiet presence to megaphonic loud. Each autumn is dependent on the temperatures  and its effects upon the gradual or instantaneous release of chlorophyll. It’s a puzzle as to the visual changes that will leave a season memorable or so so. Discovery is a mainstay during each season, but definitely on high alert in the autumnal months. 

The arch of autumn leaves is a symbol of the season, and easily demonstrated by images in the Lens section. The Bradford tree, a mostly unwelcome citified non-native, has its most appeal as its leaves begin this season’s transformation. Each year discovery after discovery brings a level of awe and wonder. As in the Lens section where the two images were collected within days of each other.

While these plantings are no longer desirable (once they were planted en masse in cities and towns), the mature one in my backyard amazes as the weather cools and a certain mystery appears in one’s visual plane. In truth you must be aware, keeping alert to the unusual in nature.

Even though some of the leaves do not grip one’s attention, there are a percentage that do. As each leaf descends, possibilities abound. I have witnessed few other plants and trees (hydrangeas and maples) whose fallen leaves can so consistently bring such unique results from the loss of chlorophyll. While many are nondescript, each season brings a few outstanding designs—designs that mesmerize and instill instant joy.

There is an innocence to the aged leaf’s ability to keep giving (once fallen, I use them as mulch to winter over on my gardens). They have given their personal best in spring and summer, and now they are gold for composting and protecting plants. Their worth seems to expand with time.

Visual effects can overwhelm, and the cadence of autumn leaves are truly one of nature’s most pleasurable. While for some they may seem small in their gifts, But for me they bring an emotional and spiritual awakening that fills my senses. They are existential symbols of nature’s monumental and relentless magnificence. They match the old saying, “Big things can in small packages,” which is an astute way of saying that a jewel can be teeny or mammoth. Certainly, a leaf offers a glistening reminder that nature provides in vastly different ways from mountain ranges to sunsets to wildflowers peeking from a crack in the sidewalk. 

Note:

“Perhaps the rewards of solving climate change are so compelling, so nurturing and so natural a piece of the human soul that we can’t help but do it.”

The above quote is the final sentence in the article “Stopping Climate Change is Hopeless. Let’s Do it: It begins with how we live our lives every moment of every day” (from the The New York Times Opinion section, published on 06 October 2018). The authors Auden Schendler and Andrew P. Jones make a compelling argument for each of us to serve our communities in an ongoing effort to save the planet and therefore humanity.

Mr. Schendler is a climate activist and businessman, the author of “Getting Green Done.” Mr. Jones creates climate simulations for the nonprofit Climate Interactive, which contributed climate scenarios to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Read the entire article here.

 

 

Posted in Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 2)

08 October 2018

Lens:

Taken in Polamatic. Edited in Snapseed and Pixlr.

Coexistence #2, Crepe Myrtle Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Coexistence #2, Crepe Myrtle (‘Fantasy’) Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this abstraction. Prints are available upon request.

Pens:

Every day reality and variations on its theme can give us pause, concern or deep angst. Often the mind’s eye sees less and sometimes more of what the universe provides. The continuum between illusion, subject and mystery can be become apparent or hide forever.

Abstraction folds and enfolds ideas that seemingly are less defined by the eye. But the mind can interpret and re-interpret an expansive non-representational image. The same elements that we interpret a realistic photograph also are found in abstract photography.

To parallel nature is to see the range of what she offers. The pure image with its layers of 2-D and 3-D recognizable qualities can beguile. And the abstract can equally impress the synapses, allowing them to imagine various scenarios. One sees with new perspective and the mind invents subjects where there are none. The joy is in the discovery, the mind being free to flow itself into unknown territory.

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia fauriei ‘Fantasy) is a stunning tree with bark that sheds in autumn. Those natural shavings curl and fold as they drape and hang onto the tree’s trunk. Their appeal, especially in the full force of the setting sun’s glow, is radiant colors that fill the spectrum from pink, orange, grayish white, and black (shadows). Each adds to the visual dance, which captured my attention one late afternoon last week. It’s an abstract performance that must be appreciated.

The image in the Lens section is my attempt to build a more intense abstraction from the bark’s colors and shapes. Colors deepen and form morphs. While the mind roams, interpretation is limitless. Or one can simple be with the reality, basking in the layers of the tree’s magic.

This photomontage repeats one of my ongoing themes: out of the dark layers of the real comes the light of hope. I wish with all my heart that the powers that are destroying more of our sacred earth could see the reality of their assault. That they would wake up and have an epiphany of what is truly important: the bond and partnership between nature and human nature that urgently must continue.

Note:

“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.”

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), who was a biologist and conservationist, in the 1940s said, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” His views were part of the initial ecological movement. Today scientists use resilience (instead of stability) to define that relationship. Leopold’s philosophy also applies to human communities: their beauty, integrity and resilience. To learn more about Leopold’s philosophy, read his most influential book, A Sand County Almanac (1949) and a sundry of other books about his call for humanity to develop a land ethic. In 1999 For the Health of the Land was published. It released previously unpublished essays and other writings. His work strongly resonates in light of today’s critical concerns about climate change.

 

Posted in Abstraction, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photomontage, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments