Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (and Summer Flowers)

08 August 2016


I. Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed:

1. Hibiscus in Morning Light; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Native Hibiscus in Morning Light; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

II. Each photograph taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed, Polamatic and combined using Pixlr:

2. Still Life with Hibiscus and Hydrangea and Geranium Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Native Hibiscus, Hydrangea and Geranium Photomontage; Copyright © 2016 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Let me know which you prefer. Click on image to enlarge, which takes you to another page. If you decide to leave a comment, please return to this page.


Please allow me to indulge my latest diversion where I am deeply immersed in the exploration of photomontage. This genre of photography builds images that also can be called a photographic montage or composite photograph or photo collage or photo montage or… I seem to navigate toward photomontage; it says how I define my own work.

In the past I thought about photomontage more in terms of double exposure and collage, but historically there are a wide range of possibilities. And in the current digital age there is even a wider array of techniques with editing software. Experimentation is the key as well as discovering the tools that blend with one’s sensibilities.

These multi-layered stories have a long history of capturing the attention of image makers. The artist that is given accolades for first using this photographic technique was the Victorian photographer Oscar Rejlander (1813-1875). He combined images in the analog darkroom, using multiple negatives. In the beginning most results circled around superimposing one photograph on top of the other. Or bits and pieces of an image selectively placed (very much like we cut and paste today). Over centuries innovators have pushed the boundaries, and the work amazes and startles. Mostly, the narratives draw the viewer to delve into an imagery world that is created with photographs taken in real time.

The Dadaists (e.g., John Heartfield, Hannah Hoch, Kurt Schwitters, Beatrice Wood) and Surrealists (e.g., Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Andre Breton) from the twentieth century furnished their own interpretation of composite images. Here are others from the twentieth and twenty-first century who have different styles and vision of joining images to create one anew: Scott Mutter, George Grosz, David Hockney, Jerry Uelsmann, Peter Kennard, Paul Cava, Romare Bearden, Adrian Brannan.

Since I am a semi-purist the enticement for this technique was not clear until I stepped inside its dimensions–dimensions that continue to curl around my spirit, and encourage my own way of joining two or more images. One of the benefits of this technique is how much concentration is needed to create and then meditate on the outcome. Silence is mandatory. Excitement and surprise demanded.

In the Lens section is an example. Since it is macro week, the first image is the close up view of a particularly colorful and elegant native Hibiscus. Last week this base of the hibiscus flower shouted brilliance with a subtle and triumphant touch. Its flare worked well along side of a still life from last month: geranium and hydrangea up cozy and friendly in a mason jar. In combination the image is celebratory jazz: a bouquet of optimism.

Tip of the Week:

Quotes by some of the most noted photomontage photographers:

“I’m a pilgrim on the edge, on the edge of my perception. We are travelers at the edge, we are always at the edge of our perceptions.” ~~ Scott Mutter (American, 1944-2008)

“I go and see anything that’s visually new, any technology that’s about picture-making. The technology won’t make the picture different, but someone using it will. ” ~~ David Hockney (English, b. 1937)

“It’s equally hard and labor intensive to create an image on the computer as it is in a darkroom. Believe me.” Jerry Uelsmann (American, b. 1934)

“I would like to show the world today as an ant sees it and tomorrow as the moon sees it. ~~ Hannah Hoch (German, 1789-1978)

"Cut with the Kitchen Knife Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany, 1919-1920, Hannah Hoch

“Cut with the Kitchen Knife Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany, 1919-1920, Hannah Hoch

View entries for this week’s challenge:


As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

****If you would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming 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, Panorama, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.


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

52 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Macro (and Summer Flowers)

  1. phoartetry says:

    Can’t pick between the two photos. Both are quite lovely, and vibrant in color.

  2. Maria F. says:

    Very nice, those calixes say it all, well made!

  3. Amy says:

    Love the first one, Sally! Both are beautifully and creatively done! Very inspiring.
    Btw, I will be taking a break, will be back in September. Hope to get some nice iPhotos. 🙂

  4. Very late to the party, Sally, but I love both of these. The colors are vivid and gorgeous and both montages work beautifully.


  5. Tina Schell says:

    Love the first version Sally – enjoying your photomontage experiments!

  6. Both lovely but I prefer the first one. The green “tentacles” look like they’re ready to devour the flower.

  7. restlessjo says:

    I love a bit of flamboyance, Sally, but the rich colour of that first is magnificent. Enjoy your week! 🙂

  8. “Silence is mandatory. Excitement and surprise demanded.” A wonderful recipe for experimentation. I was quite drawn to the top image for its rich and vibrant color, the tendrils of green cupping the red. I also found the photomontage full of possibilities in taking in color, shape and light. Such very different blooms but when brought together-magical!

  9. I really like your montages. This week’s photomontage is simply beautiful. I love the feeling of Geraniums flowing freely around the Hibiscus.

  10. thirdeyemom says:

    Amazing Sally! I would love to experiment like this with photography. Truly exceptional! Is it like HDR photography? What is Polamatic and Pixlr? Never heard of these tools. 🙂

    • Nicole, Pixlr and Polamatic are apps that I use on my iPhone and iPad. I use Polamatic two ways: to take photographs and edit. It acts somewhat like the old Polaroid cameras. I use Pixlr to make the photomontages. It’s a terrific tool. I’m humbled by your response. Thanks.

      • thirdeyemom says:

        Wow thanks for letting me know Sally. I still think you should do Instagram. Your photography is so outstanding.

      • Nicole, I’m contemplating it. Please tell me what you think are the advantages, considering it’s more time to invest.

      • thirdeyemom says:

        It is a big time commitment I won’t lie. I spend at least 30 minutes a day on it. But for me I really love it as I am seeing so many incredible photos and it is pushing me to be more daring. But I won’t lie that it is a a lot of work. So maybe you don’t want to do it. I feel as a travel blogger that I have to develop my IG presence. I like it but it is a lot of time.

      • Nicole, thanks, I know that it does give you a different exposure with social media. Still contemplating the possibilities. Thanks again, enjoy the weekend.

  11. love both but the first in it’s intense and graceful simplicity is breathtaking.

  12. Angeline M says:

    I love both photos, but am entranced with the first one. The depth of the crimson, and fading down to the yellow and green, and that leaf/base “holding” the flower just makes this whole photo exquisite. The second photo reminds me of a sky with clouds and flowers bursting through it all in some kind of illusion…lovely as well.

  13. Beautiful as always, Sally, but I think I prefer the simplicity and clarity of the first. But I do like the explosions of color in the second one.

  14. I love your first image. The photo montage just adds another dimension to it.

  15. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Sally, the first photo of the hibiscus brings back memories of my childhood in South Florida—thank you. I, too, am leaning towards photo montage. I am having some difficulties unblocking my writing and last week I got the bright idea that telling a story through layers of photos might help unwind whatever is blocking me. iColorama S appeals to me at this time. What have you been using?

  16. Helen C says:

    Good morning, Sally. I love the first photo more. It’s simple, colorful, bold, beautiful, well composed… I have taken photo from that angle, but not nearly as good. Now I am inspired to give it another try. Thanks.

  17. LavendarLadi says:

    I enjoy the lines in the first photo. And I love the quote by Hannah Hoch !

  18. Nato says:

    The first shot is so dramatic and bold; love it! The second shot is artistically compelling; like a flower wonderland. Very different but yet but wonderful in their own ways!

  19. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    I too favour the first – your angle of capture makes it even more magical. Thank you for all the info you gleaned on photomontage – I like this method of pictures with multiple stories

  20. pattimoed says:

    I especially love that first shot, Sally. It does invite us to explore its depths. Beautifully done.

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