Visual Reflections: Nature Photography as Palette in an Age of Uncertainty – No. 4 (Dahlia Photomontage)

24 July 2017


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

Dahlia Photomontage, Longwood Gardens; 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.


Note: Dahlia Photomontage taken  in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed, iColorama, Pixlr and Stackables.

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Henry David Thoreau

As a naturalist, philosopher and writer Henry David Thoreau is legendary. This month scores of devotees celebrated his 200-year-old birthday on 12 July in Concord, the place of his birth. His legacy remains at Walden Pond, and many of us including environmentalists and conservationists continue his work of education and preservation. His influence shaped America’s national parks program and other protective measures of America’s natural wonders.

But also I am enamored by his dedication to the human condition, and the combination of his passions has made him one of my heroes. He devoted his life as much to the discovery of our inner wild landscapes as the outer ones.

If I were to divide my fascinations, passions and obsessions into portions, gardening and nature would take a sizable chuck of the space in my thoughts. And they have increased exponentially with the stance of my country’s leaders on everything from the climate pact to land preservation to drilling off the Atlantic Coast to discretion of national parks to reversal of laws protecting waterways, and other endless assaults on the planet.

These actions pump anxiety into my veins. So I’m happy to focus on Thoreau as a stellar advocate for America’s sacred lands and those who inhabit their wildness. The untamed has an essential role in my gardens, and much of my planning and care center around the creation of wildlife habitats and reducing the human imprint.

Here is a famous passage that I hope will bring Thoreau into your daily thoughts and reading life.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

In the Lens section is my ode to Thoreau: a summer dahlia made into a photomontage that exemplifies the layer upon layer of nature’s longevity as well as the treasure trove of Mother Nature’s intensely technicolored jewels.

In honor of Thoreau’s legacy celebrate the wild.



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

30 Responses to Visual Reflections: Nature Photography as Palette in an Age of Uncertainty – No. 4 (Dahlia Photomontage)

  1. thirdeyemom says:

    Magnificent Sally! Thank you for this.

  2. Tina Schell says:

    Sally – both the photo and your commentary are among my favorites of your many post. Beautiful job.

  3. Such a gorgeous photo and a perfect ode to Thoreau.

  4. Wow…love this. Beautifully captured and processed. The colours are amazing.

  5. Beautiful. I’m a fan of macro shots with Dahlias!

  6. Madhu says:

    Love the rich and sensuous colour of the dahlia and your wonderful tribute to Thoreau. Thank you for sharing Sally.

  7. pattimoed says:

    Gorgeous image, Sally! I love the layers of color! I have taken a few walks at Walden Pond and it is a spectacular spot–one of my favorites in that area. It is still a peaceful place, that invites reflection–perfect for Thoreau. Have a great week, despite the political turmoil!

  8. Su Leslie says:

    Your quote from Thoreau sums up beautifully how I am also coming to feel about life. Your image is so vibrant, yet soothing. I feel I could brush the petals with my fingertips and feel nature’s essence.

  9. Thoreau’s “Walden” is still one of the wisest of books and one I treasure in re-reading every year.

  10. Amy says:

    What a stunning photomontage, Sally! A fine art work. 🙂

  11. I like the colors in this montage, Sally. We have some Dahlias like this on our front hillside and they are so lush, as if made of velvet.

  12. Helen C says:

    Beautiful photomontage, Sally. This one really stands out for me. The richness of the color, perfect framing… I love every part of it!
    I need to read more about Thoreau. Thanks for the intro.
    Have a wonderful day.

  13. Lignum Draco says:

    A beautiful photomontage and tribute. Despite the stress of these current times, I hope you find are periods of solace and victory.

  14. A beautiful montage, Sally. I love Dahlias and you’ve done a magnificent job with this one! 🙂

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