WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy (in Art and Nature)

27 December 2013


1. Golden Leaves of Autumn, Nikon DSLR, October 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

1. Golden Leaves of Autumn, Nikon DSLR, October 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Leaves and Street Art, iPhone 4s, October 2013;© Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Leaves and Street Art, iPhone 4s, October 2013;© Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

Let me know which you prefer and why.


Joy is a universal emotion that grabs us, and slips through us gently or powerfully. Joy is not easily won, but is so desirable that we seek it in ordinary and strange places.

While family and friends offer this feeling, we succumb to joyful enthusiasm from other sorts of experiences. Euphoria can come from watching a sunset, ziplining through the redwoods, or lazing on a hammock as the hummingbirds sip nectar from a cardinal flower.

Once Mother Nature took hold of me, she has never let go, never disappointed, and gives unconditionally. I often wonder if my small acts of giving back to her will ever suffice. Of course, not.

In the Lens section are two different (almost contradictory) ways that nature brings joy to my days. The first needs little explanation. Autumn’s golden light cast a golden glow on leaves from an apple tree that have turned a simmering orange.

The second image drew me into its abstraction–rendered by an effortless design to mark the water connection. As I walked passed, the sound of the leaves under foot drew my gaze to the pavement. That single moment brought me to the “street art.” Before me unfurled a still life, innocently and unknowingly. The scene captured my attention and kept it.

In my mind art and nature are naturally linked. They surface in the expected and unexpected. Each are active participants in my everyday life.

As a duo they raise the ordinary to a level of eminence. They expand my vision of what is possible: joy being one of the results.

Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of my blog.

This entry was posted in Abstraction, Design, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Street Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy (in Art and Nature)

  1. niki says:

    I definitely love the first picture …it looks fantastic ! 🙂

  2. Trifocal says:

    I prefer the second one, but very oddly ended up getting into Sherlock Holmes mode as I looked at it.
    It is clearly some kind of outlet, but from what? The blue deposit looks chemical;maybe a washing machine or dishwasher? The deposit is thin but the drainage fitting doesn’t look new, so something that either has only a little chemical in the outflow, or overflows only occasionally?
    The stain stops before reaching the ground, so either the liquid evaporates very quickly (so is hot?) or trickles out very slowly. Or maybe the leaf cover is usually much thicker so protecting the
    bottom of the wall? And why are there apparently two floor levels in the wall? Was the part with the outlet pipe built later, maybe round the pre-existing drainage? If so, why?
    Please feel no obligation whatsoever to provide answers to these completely irrelevant questions 🙂

    • I’m delighted that my photograph inspired such close observation. It’s a hook-up for a hose, which can be used to water nearby gardens. They lift the square lid, and the hose can be mounted inside. I imagine that the deposits are from dripping water. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  3. Marianne Green says:

    I particularly liked “Street Art and Leaves.” I love to happen upon usual and unexpected aesthetic treats.

  4. thirdeyemom says:

    Love this Sally! I agree, like you, nature brings me unending joy. You just need to be observant and take the time to stop and smell the roses. Love both pictures, but especially the second one. Wishing you a happy, joyful new year! 🙂

  5. djmrakiey says:

    Strong colors…. Happy Holidays 🙂

  6. Amanda Lakey says:

    Love the top one Sally, I like the sun kissed leaves 🙂

  7. Gallivanta says:

    The golden autumn leaves are gorgeous and joyous but the street art makes me laugh. I sense joy from the street artist. Both photos are joyful.

  8. When Art and Nature meet, an unforgettable vision explodes with everything amazing such as these images. Thank you for making each season merry and bright.

  9. vastlycurious.com says:

    The tones and rich hues brought me JOY!

  10. 1st one is great, 2nd one is different… I lilke that.. little details in our environment that usually we would just not notice as we pass them by… especially when they are nearer to the ground.

  11. Indira says:

    Loved your interpretation of joy in nature. Brilliant take on the prompt. You inspired me. thanks.

  12. The first one is warm and peaceful. I like the color in the second but it has a completely different feel to me. Enjoy the end of the year, Sally, and I look forward to seeing you next year! 🙂


  13. ~meredith says:

    I think the pictures are really companion pieces, after reading your message. I love the rhythm and warmth of the first picture, and the stark beauty… the splash of turquoise… is stunning. It’s ironic to see leaves at the bottom of a watermark waterfall, they seem to generate the idea of spash… but again, this relates to your discussion… so I think they both rock.
    Best wishes to you in 2014. You really rock this blog.

  14. tms says:

    For me, it is easier to see the first one as an interpretation of the “joy” theme (because I also very much enjoy nature, colours, and light and shadows) – but I think that the second picture is fabulous too: Street art, as you say. Cheers!

  15. So happy to find you well through the busy holidays….of course your work is lovely as ever!

  16. Both are great photos. I believe I personally prefer the first one as the golden sunlight on the fall leaves draws me in and makes me want to be outside enjoying nature!

  17. Luanne says:

    I have no hesitation in saying that the first one immediately appeals to me most. The sunlight and the little shadows on the leaves from other leaves is very beautiful to me. It’s uplifting and makes me feel happy. The other one makes me feel cold and alone.

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