27 October 2014
Let me know which you prefer and why.
Magical, mystical and mysterious are a few descriptors that explain my passion for Mother Nature. I’ve often wondered why earlier philosophers and big thinkers separated human nature from the natural world. In truth the human animal is part of the greater universe; we are nature.
Still, I find myself using the duo; I suppose it gives clarity and reason to unclear subjects. Even in the twenty-first century science wrestles with how the brain REALLY works, and we have unresolved questions that linger and continue about Mother Nature.
Nature has always amused and bemused humans. The intricacies of her omnipresence and power remain some of my most comforting thoughts.
That humans mimic nature regularly is no surprise. To stroll through a forest or gaze upon morning dew or watch northwesterly winds change mood is to feel part of nature’s brilliance. She shores my days and provides enormous hope.
But I do not need to travel to an exotic paradise or mountainous terrain to find natural designs and visual appeal. While there is vast variety in nature’s progeny, her eloquent abstractions often astound and cultivate my attention.
The other day my grandson and I were on a photo shoot at the UD Botanical Gardens. We often venture there. But I’ve never noticed the contrast and tonal qualities of one of the trees near the entrance. How many times have I passed it? Maybe it was the sun’s glorious beams moving through that spot, because the scene echoed black and white, black and white.
In the Lens section are two examples of natural abstractions. The first two photographs are variations on a single reflection that cast itself on a wall. The afternoon sun was at its peak in the sky, and for what seemed like hours that irregular-shaped reflection (the size of two fists on top of each other) spread joy inside. The third and fourth photographs show a small section of that tree from the Botanical Gardens with its textural bark and shades of black to silver.
In each case the first is the original. The second is a play on their designs.
The non-representational toy with our sensibilities and give rise to individual interpretation. Its prevalence in Mother Nature shows her imaginative and whimsical hand, which is constantly available for our visual contemplation.
Tip of the Week: Fabian Oefner is a Swiss photographer with a mission. Oefner combines his passion for art and science to create abstractions that mesmerize. He honors nature through his experiments with ferrofluid (liquid iron) that he injects onto a magnetic field. Or he develops various projects that involve a marriage of nature and his skills and talents. The result captivates and stuns. View his Website here to watch his short video and his fabulous imagination at work. He also collaborates with corporations to produce advertisements and videos. The photograph below is an example of his work. The tiny thumbnail designs are a result of his use of black ferrofluid. Read more about it here.
View other entries for this week’s challenge:
If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.
Sally, in updating my site yesterday, I finally managed to upload the icon for the phoneography challenge. When we post a photo, do we send the link to you? Or will you see it in the feed? What works best for you? Thanks. J.
Wonderful–yes, it’s best to send me a link to your post. I’m delighted about your participation.
Thanks so much.
We are nature indeed!! Beautiful post and I love the imaginative processing!!
Lovely to hear from you. Thanks so much.
Brilliant set Sally. I love the effect you have achieved in 4.
Madhu, lovely to hear from you. Thanks so much.
As you know, I too am a nature-lover who enjoys abstractions. Given my choice I’d go with number 4, but they are all lovely.
Tina, lovely to hear from you. Thanks so much.
They are all stunning. If I had to pick I would go with 2.
The composition and visual balance is strongest. I like how it filled up the picture plain but not overwhelming it. It reminds me something out of a sci-fy film.
They are all great.
Thanks for your comment and visit.
In terms of etymology, nature means ‘that which has been born’ (compare the closely related words natal, innate and nativity), so in that light, human beings would be included.
Steve, I can always count on you for a etymological approach. I’m grateful for your comment.
I’m attracted to the textured bark, the interweaving lines and the unusual shapes which hold familiar yet unfamiliar images in my mind. There is a mystery in the air.
Yes, thanks so much.
These are fascinating!
The textured bark photos are the ones that capture my imagination the most this week.
Lovely to hear from you. Thanks so much.
Love the second shots. Has the feeling of plant life of some sort.
Malc, lovely to hear from you. You’ve been busy at the allotment with lots of guests. See you soon. Thanks.
I love the originals best, Sally. Each has its own unique draw. Here is my contribution this week:
Linda, I appreciate your comment. Thanks.
Travel theme for this week on my blog. I think the textured bark is so interesting. All those details one can almost feel. I am here: http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-challengers-choice-travel/
Amanda, thanks. I appreciate your comment.
I’m really enjoying your first photo, Sally. Viewing an image of pure light is a treat today. 🙂
Lisa, I agree. Thanks.
Hi Sally! I loved textured bark, both pics. Beautiful. My entry- http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-challengers-choice/
Indira, thanks so much.
Sometimes I have trouble with abstraction. That conflict is represented in the fact that I cannot choose between your marvelous images. All are equally lovely with their flared edges and indistinct light. The color work you’ve shared by Fabian Oefner is inspiring with its vivid color, but your black and white images speak more of mood and tone. Thanks for causing me to think this through.
Jann, I’m touched by your comment. Thanks.
That first image looks like an x-ray. I love the textured bark, 😀
Raewyn, it was striking in the sunlight. Thanks so much.
The effect of the 2nd of the last 2 is quite a change and is my favourite…how did you do that? Here’s my mushroom.. http://wp.me/a4NSKp-iW .could have played with it all day,..lol.
I used Glaze to post-process it. Thanks.
Happy Monday, Sally. Always look forward to Monday mornings to meet up with you and all the participants in your challenges. I love your last photo best; it looks like filigreed wood. Beautiful!
I’ve taken a walk inside for today’s entry http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/phoneography-challengethe-art-of-a-sculpture/
Angeline, I’m pleased to have you part of the photo community. Loved your entry. Thanks so much.
I liked the wall reflections the most – and this was so well said Sally – “But I do not need to travel to an exotic paradise or mountainous terrain to find natural designs and visual appeal..”
so true and thanks for the reminder. 🙂
My pleasure–see you soon. Thanks so much.
The reflection on wall is a great capture, Sally! I’ll have my entry ready, try to do one post a day. 🙂
Amy, will await your choice for today’s challenge. Thanks so much.
I like the first textured bark. It gives me lots of “scope for the imagination”. I see something different every time I look at it.
Not sure if my pingback is working. Here’s what I posted http://patchworkponderings.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/phoneography-challengers-choice-nature/
That tree is intriguing. Thanks so much.
Very surreal and sparkle the imagination.
Maria, lovely to hear from you. Thanks so much.
Mother nature is also my guide and teacher. Beautiful words, amazing images. The textured bark, of course, is my choice. The hand reaches out!
I collect images of bark that look like something else.
Happy Monday Challenge.
Carol, I’m humbled. Thanks so much.
Very cool. I love the last textured bark image. It makes me want to reach out and touch it.
Edith, isn’t it marvelous when you discover some slice of life that has been unnoticed until suddenly it appears before you. Thanks so much.
Top o’ the mornin’ to you, Sally. Just back from my walk and getting ready to have some breakfast but I wanted to enjoy whatever you had to share this week. I love the first bark photo. There’s so much to see and enjoy there. I appreciate the link-up as I actually slept in a bit, then rushed off to the park. Can’t miss my time outdoors!
Have a wonderful week filled with lots of great photos. And thanks for sharing that amazing link.
My pleasure–will be venturing out later for my daily outing. Gorgeous weather here on the East Coast. See you soon. Thanks.
In the photos…my mind went to seeing a hand. Love abstract.
Laurie, I agree. Abstractions allows for individual interpretations, which is exactly the way it should be. See you soon. Thanks.
Love the abstracted versions. I could go either way, but right now I’m into exploring and pushing the limits. Great exercise!
I’m touched. I appreciate your comment. See you soon. Thanks so much.
Good morning, Sally! The last 2 shots are my favorites. The images are intriguing. They invite the viewer to interpret the textures and forms.
Patti, that’s lovely. Thanks so much.