Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Photomontage)

19 June 2017


1. Sundew Photomontage, Longwood Gardens; 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

1. Sundew Photomontage, Longwood Gardens; 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Sundew Photmontage, Longwood Gardens; 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

2. Sundew Photomontage, Longwood Gardens; 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

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


Some view the world through a black-and-white lens, as though the small crevices of life do not exist. The complexities of the human condition beg for deeper thought than surface analysis. They ask us to delve and retrieve our innermost forces–forces that give greater meaning to everyday experience. Simplicity does exist, but it also coexists with weightier moments that enter our treasure trove of memories.

The focus on black and white has a mighty longevity of duality of reality vs. imagination. Its best legacy is its use in photography where elements often are fully actualized, layer upon layer in a new version of the subject, visually re-imagined.

In the Lens section are two images that have been converted to monochrome. Last week I posted the original photomontage, and these images are based on it. What the two images show are the power of a shift in perspective or position. With just a small movement within the moisture on the window, the result is a lift in mood.

This change is transferable to our reaction to the outside world. Pierce our day with a bit of sunlight and life can be better. Hang a dark cloud and the day becomes heavy and laden.

Each image exemplifies the gray areas of art and life. The blown-out sundew flowers giving their quiet and yet loud sides, bursting with hopeful light.

Tip of the Week:

From The New York Times the article, “Edith Shiffert, a Poet Inspired by Nature and Her Life in Japan, Dies at 101” (by Margalit Fox and published 11 June 2017): “Edith Shiffert, an American poet whose work was profoundly influenced by the half-century she spent in Japan, died on March 1 (2017) in Kyoto, where she had long made her home…In “The Summer Tree,” the first four stanzas Shiffert uses half- and whole rhymes in alternation. Also rhymed lines shift from one stanza to the next, which gives a sense of rippling movement and leaves tossed by the wind:

“The Summer Tree” (1968)

Since winter ended for this tree, new leaves
filled all the branches, grew, could not restrain
themselves from coming. They will wilt and drop,
be nothing, but for summer they show green.

Light shines all around them. They do not
feel its warmth or shape. They wear the glow
belonging to the season while they grow.
They wear the light, and that is what they are.

The rustle and the texture of the leaves,
the way they look, their smell and taste, do not
concern them on their stems and twigs. Each moves
as air moves, and when winter comes it falls.

Grow is not a word to lightly say.
The tree is there. It uses what it is.
Underground the roots expand. In air
branches rise and spread. The tree is there.”

As a poet and translator (of Japanese) Ms. Shiffert had two-dozen volumes of poetry published. Her poems were known to be direct, short, and simple. For over fifty years she lived in Japan and was influenced by the art of haiku. See an article in the “Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry” (Spring 2009, Vol.7, no. 1). Her poems are a sample of the natural world’s ability to inspire human creativity.

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

Note: 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 or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

How 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 – 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, Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (Photomontage)

  1. Nidhi says:

    Great work!!

  2. Beautiful poem and your images are wonderful in monochrome!

  3. Your pictures remind me of good old photographic negatives.

  4. These images do indeed show what a slight changes of perspective does do what is captured. The difference is subtle, but for me it makes the second photo much stronger. I like the stronger clarity of the flowers in the foreground and the more subtle background with less pronounced structures.

  5. Angeline M says:

    I do believe I like the first photo better because of a bit more definition/darkness to the leaves. It is so very painterly as well. Beautiful work. I love the poem; it so speaks to letting things be what they are…ourselves included.

  6. I must say, I believe I prefer the first photo. It just seems a bit more layered/textured to me. Have a great week! 🙂

  7. Su Leslie says:

    Both lovely images Sally. If my arm were to be twisted I’d have a slight preference for the softer effect of the first, but can’t imagine arm-twisting to be in your normal repertoire of responses. Thank you too for the introduction to Edith Shiffert. I had never heard of her, but love the poem and will go looking for more.

  8. Sally, I’m back to “I like them both.” Clearly vacation hasn’t made me more decisive. 🙂 I also enjoyed the poem. I’ll have to look for her work. Thanks for the introduction.


  9. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I like the shift in the POV that is in the second photo, Sally. It allows a bit more layering and transparency of the leaves in the flowers.

  10. Tiny says:

    Lovely, both lens and pens! I like the first image just a tad more…more contrasted and ‘sleeker’ edges.

  11. Amy says:

    Photomontage, a lift in mood, indeed!

  12. Lignum Draco says:

    Lovely works, Sally. Thanks for the introduction to Edith Schiffert. I hadn’t heard of her before.

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