Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Double Orchids Revisit)

20 March 2017


Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr

Cymbidium Orchids Photomontage, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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


Technicolor is a physical and psychological phenomenon. To really see requires a Zen-like approach where brain, mind and body synchronize for a true reading of the visual.

To envision color is to see real life as each of us interpret it. To see in monochrome is to strip the coloration into shades and tones that give a more introspective view of the subject or subjects.

While black and white does not necessarily show the skeleton, it does give a sensibility that color cannot (to me) render. Sure color dazzles and triumphs, but black and white can go beyond that surface glitter to reveal the emotional and structural effects in a new way that is not possible in full color.

In the Lens section is another variation on last’s week’s photographic visual puzzle,* Cymbidium Orchids photomontage. The conversion to black and white and a slightly different double exposure resulted (for me) in an impressionistic image–an image that gives individual flowers the appearance of flight.

The photographic visual puzzle* with its monochromatic landscape has a new allure. Each tiny orchid seems disconnected from their botany, and more connected to an illusionary floating kite that carries them above and then beyond sight.

*Photographic Visual Puzzle; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Tip of the Week:

Regardless of the medium I’m a strong proponent and practitioner of viewing others’ artwork, especially a mixture of the old and the new, professional and amateur. It’s an exercise in how the past and present merge into the archives of art history. Lessons can be realized in elements of clarity, insights, inspiration and questioning.

Romare Bearden (1911-1988) was an American modernist who celebrated the black experience in America. While he began as an abstract painter, in 1963 his discovery of collage took him  down a new path, which was influenced by the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement. His photomontages were organized into an exhibition titled “Black-and-White: Photomontage Projections 1964.” Thirty years after their first viewing at the Cordier and Eckstrom Gallery in New York, they were again exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York from January 16  to March 20, 1997. With twenty-four photomontages and four collages the show brought together themes of Bearden’s art that lasted throughout his life: the African-American community and its relationship to art, culture, history, and politics as well as his own life. View more of his collages at the Bearden Foundation website. Click here. Bearden’s signature artwork honors, informs and provokes.

Romare Bearden in Black-and-White, 1964

“Romare Bearden in Black-and-White, 1964”

View other 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, Photomontage, 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 Black-and-White Photography, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photomontage, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Double Orchids Revisit)

  1. thirdeyemom says:

    Lovely Sally! I agree that black and white can offer a depth like no other and an intricate look at a subject. Well done!!!

  2. suezway says:

    This is breathking. I was not aware that a B/W effect can create such a beautiful picture.

  3. I really like this black and white photo. Gives me associations to the structure of DNA. 🙂

  4. Aquileana says:

    The Photomontage in black and white certainly stands out dear Sally! Great “introspective” photomontage 😀 (Quoting you: “To envision color is to see real life as each of us interpret it. To see in monochrome is to strip the coloration into shades and tones that give a more ´introspective´ view of the subject or subjects”)… wishing you a beautiful new season. Love & best wishes ⭐

  5. restlessjo says:

    I enjoy looking at artworks, Sally, even if I do not always fully appreciate them. Thank you for the introduction to Romare’s work. 🙂 Have a great week!

  6. that is just gorgeous Sally!! a ghostly and graceful structure!

  7. Su Leslie says:

    Stunning image Sally. Photography as art once again.

  8. Maria F. says:

    I’ve meant to post about the Cymbidium Orchids. I like both these two shots.

  9. livvy30 says:

    Love it, love it, love it!!!

  10. Amy says:

    I love the editing result, Sally.

  11. Nico Calavita says:

    When I saw it, I stopped breathing.

  12. Angeline M says:

    A lovely winding trail of blooms, some at first glance seeming translucent to me. Truly amazing how black and white gets down to the essential beauty.
    Have a good week, Sally.

  13. Allan G. Smorra says:

    A beautiful edit this week, Sally. I agree with you about how B&W strips a photo down to it’s structural components. Your photomontage reminds me of a building under construction—the steel skeleton of floor after floor rising up and spreading outwards. I really like the way the veins of the leaves are accentuated one-atop-another along the curving branches.

  14. Elisa Ruland says:

    Lovely, Sally. I am an orchid fan and your treatment only enhanced its beauty.

  15. Sally, I happened to see the color version just before viewing this one and was struck yet again by the difference in focus that each has. They’re both beautiful, though, so thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful week.


  16. robert20359 says:

    Wonderful flowers Sally.

  17. Lignum Draco says:

    A beautiful edit, Sally. The B/W treatment reveals the inner beauty and strength of the flowers and composition, removing the emotion that colour produces.

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