Visual Reflections: Nature Photography as Palette in an Age of Uncertainty – No. 3 (Reflections)

17 July 2017


Taken in Camera+ and Polamatic. Edited in Snapseed and Pixlr.

Reflections Photomontage; 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Reflections Photomontage; 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.


The germination of an idea is an expression of life itself. The dazzle of the mind’s work astounds. Human nature continues to discover its own potential.

The birth of a bud and its subsequent flowering is an act of nature’s brilliance. One has to pause and ponder the multitudes of genius and innovation in a single blossom or leaf: one phase of the intricate and complicated life cycle.

That pause never realizes the miracle of the science, the evolution of life and our existence. To arise each day is to embrace the miracle, whether conscious or not.

And so that bud of an idea wields such power that its inspiration should become inherently contagious. It reflects back and forth and opens insights into the human condition.

Nature’s reflections often are front and center, yet they can easily go unnoticed, even that splendorous floret. They breeze through our conscious unconsciously.

Nature provides this entertainment and to miss its performance can mask some of the most intriguing of natural wonders. Since photomontage re-imagines, reflections are apt as a subject, casting their sweeping interpretations that can mimic reality or entirely skirt it.

You can spy a reflection in a dewdrop, in a puddle or on any surface that can reflect light—flat or curved or folded or encapsulated. This mirroring effect can be gentle or strong reminders of the unnoticed. Usually we are on the watch for a river, lake, creek or pool of water to make this element apparent. But an unexpected sighting surprises and catches our gaze to amuse and bemuse.

Reflections taunt our mind’s idea of reality: colors can change, subjects can distort, meaning can be altered. They fascinate and play with our emotions and senses. They seem to record the past in the present. Or is it the present in the present? They tease our sense of what we know or think we know.

While on a walk this past week, I stopped at my usual checkpoint: a sliver of the White Clay Creek that runs through my neighborhood and is part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. This daily encounter teaches me about observation and perseverance and the evergreen nature of nature. The still of the creek’s voice maybe be silent, nonetheless it reverberates through me each sighting. While I am on a bridge and could feel tall, I feel the small of humanity and the mastery of Mother Nature. That never varies.

Suddenly as I gaze down at the creek, concentric circles rippled outward from a fish that sprints upward. That effect was exactly the idea of the mind’s work with its multiple meanings and multiple reactions. The confluence of nature’s ripple effect exemplifies the human condition that has the same effect upon the universe.

Note: As summer lives up to its humid and hot days in my area of the world, I like recommending the most delicious of books about gardening and nature. An Island Garden (1894) by Celia Theater with Pictures and Illuminations by Chide Hassam is a classic. Mine is in a slip case and when I remove it, the gold embossed cover has an Art Nouveau aesthetic. But it’s the charm of the text and drawings that secure its permanence as a must-read for lovers of nature. Click here for a treat: a free download. Hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. It’s enlightening and insightful.

This entry was posted in Black-and-White Photography, Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Visual Reflections: Nature Photography as Palette in an Age of Uncertainty – No. 3 (Reflections)

  1. I love the image Sally and thanks for that link – I have an island garden!

  2. Tina Schell says:

    Agree with several others Sally – big is beautiful!

  3. restlessjo says:

    My first impression was of fabric, Sally, so it was interesting to see it in close up. Thanks for the book link. 🙂

  4. A gorgeous composite photo. So many layers, literally and figuratively.

  5. Lignum Draco says:

    Lovely artwork. It took a while to process the layers that form it. And then to see the words almost hidden in it. You should have this screen printed onto fabric. To make a pillowslip, for example.

  6. WOW. Once I clicked on the photo and saw it BIG, it really came to life. Well done, Sally. 🙂

  7. pattimoed says:

    Thank you so much for the book/download! What gorgeous illustrations. I will enjoy this. And thanks too for your inspiration–visual and in prose. Lovely, intriguing interplay of shadows and designs. The layering is beautiful.

  8. I like this montage, Sally. Love the layering. At first glance it almost reminded me of some of the old-time wallpaper patterns. (I know, my mind works in mysterious ways!) What a beautiful book that is and I only looked at the online. I saved the site for later perusing. Have a wonderful week!

  9. smilecalm says:

    well composited 🙂

  10. I love the layers created by the reflection in this photo, Sally.

  11. Su Leslie says:

    A beautiful image Sally; one which rewards careful and joyous viewing.

  12. Cristina says:

    Beautiful and interesting as always Sally 🙂

  13. Amy says:

    Beautifully processed, Sally. Thank you so much for the link of the book! 🙂

  14. I really like the montage, Sally, and the book sound fascinating. I took a photo walk in the park today, with both iPhone and Nikon, and got some good shots. I’m still working my way through my trip to France, though. 🙂 It was so relaxing to just walk, observe, and take photos.


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