Visual Reflections: Nature Photomontage as Palette in an Age of Uncertainty: No. 6 (Hydrangea)

07 August 2017


Taken in Polamatic and edited in Snapseed, FX PhotoStudio and Pixlr.

Hydrangea Photomontage; 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Hydrangea 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.


Words are the wellspring of inner and outer survival. They bridge our days and nights between the world and ourselves. I’m always intrigued and thrilled to discover a single word that manages to express the depth and breath of a concept that often defies explanation. But that discovery often eludes, and can only be met with enthusiasm when found.

Sometimes a word of staggering significance can bemuse and surprise as it enters my universe. Yesterday was one of those moments that the new filled the synapses with a deep sigh of satisfaction. Anoesis is that space sought as a panacea for stress in the nuances and weight of everyday life. To be completely free of incoming thoughts that either buoy or sink our spirits is to be in lyrical balance. That place, that space is a precious respite for the mind’s best, mixed and sketchy work. It grabs the conscious and lets it free itself of the hard work. It’s close to other such mind’s work of curious mystery, not empty but closed to chatter and turmoil.

During the creative process there are spaces that are called flow, Alpha state, the zone and other such descriptors. Regardless, the act of creativity takes heavy lifting, and the mind knows it. It can seem effortless in the flow state, but in actuality we are busy immersing ourselves on the path to fulfillment. Quite the opposite of anoesis, which is a challenge to achieve.

While I have experienced the sensation of flow in various configurations, the exercise to create a photomontage can gracefully slip me into that arena of quietude as well as emotional and mental tranquility. It’s hard to delineate the precise notion of this state of focus, the confluence of concentration upon a specific act.

In the Lens section is an image that is a tribute to this summer’s overabundance of gorgeous hydrangeas. The landscape is abuzz with their tiny florets that form various size boughs and clusters. They are a prize for anyone’s observations.

In the throes of a few photo shoots, I found a hydrangea covered in soft colors from off-whites to soft pinks to bold purples to vocal blues. The image became a composite from that large plant, and reminds me of the state of simply being to effectively create a worthy image that bursts with enthusiasm.

After completion the image became a symbol of that place of flow: a place that brings experience upon experience into the mix to influence the visible and invisible realms of the ever-ever-evolving universe. The photomontage articulates the sensibilities of the image making as it is being made: a chaos that becomes softly noticeable and real. Then settles into itself, defining its meaning. The placement of image upon image releases a collaboration between what is seen and what it becomes, moving beyond the original to the new.


Recently, the article “Racing to Save the Reef” (by Glenn Kenny, The New York Times,        07 July 2017) introduced the latest documentary by the team that produced “Chasing Ice” (2012). “Chasing Coral” was launched by Netflix in July, and is a powerful contribution to materials that inform about climate change and its ramifications. It specifically focuses on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and how the oceans are being effected by the escalating alteration and volatility of the weather. To read an article about the film and its producers, click here. Here is another review of “Chasing Coral” about nature programming at its finest and most disturbing.

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

36 Responses to Visual Reflections: Nature Photomontage as Palette in an Age of Uncertainty: No. 6 (Hydrangea)

  1. A really delicate montage. And I see you use my favourite apps as well. 🙂 The “Chasing Coral” documentary is a strong advocate for changing something about what we are doing to the climate – rapidly.

  2. smilecalm says:

    seems to come
    to life 🙂

  3. Tina Schell says:

    This one is stunning in the fullscreen version Sally – colors are amazing.

  4. Beautiful picture and your way with words. Great word, anoesis!!!

  5. Maddi's Blog says:

    The photo is so interestingly beautiful as well as the way in which you write. It was so captivating.

  6. thirdeyemom says:

    I love this photo so much Sally as well as your beautiful lyrical verse. You have such a poetic way with words that you sweep me in. Beautiful -an d inspiring as always. I love new word too. I’ve been really working hard at perfecting my mindful meditation each day. I tend to have a very fast thinking over thinking mind. I love the pure bliss I feel of settling in to the moment by using the breath.

  7. Amy says:

    A fine art work. Thank you for sharing, Sally! I agree, we need to start working for the next election now.

  8. pattimoed says:

    I love those moments of “flow” when time disappears and we are totally immersed in the moment. I’ve had that feeling while swimming and writing. It’s heavenly. No doubt heaven is like that! I love the shades of purple in your shot. Gorgeous. And the repetition of shapes and color. It is wonderfully soothing. .Anoesis–indeed! That’s a gift!

  9. restlessjo says:

    It’s unbelievably sad, Sally, that our oceans are in such a plight and that we know it and watch. It makes you feel that we should all get up and do something now. But what?

    • Jo, I continue to sign petitions and make calls. I also am part of a resistance group, which will work for elections on the state level. At least I feel as though I am doing something. My concern for the health of the planet is palpable.

  10. This is so pretty. Love it Sally.

  11. So Beautiful, so captivating 🙂

  12. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Your montage is beautiful this week, Sally. The mixture of colors brightens my day.

  13. DG MARYOGA says:

    Superlative work with very Organic Lines and excellent shading!It’s amazing how you throw the light with care,you re-evaluate nature’s potential and various techniques and blend all of them together.That’s how the soul of the photographer lives within the inner frame of the frame … 🙂
    PS:Interesting parallelism between your thoughts and the word anoesis which is of Greek origin.
    The prefix -a- always stands for not or without & noesis for reasaon or intuitive thinking … Best,

  14. Angeline M says:

    Beautiful montage. The colors are soothing yet exciting. The pale purples and white seem breezy.
    Thanks for the tip on the Netflix documentary.

  15. Lignum Draco says:

    Anoesis sounds like a space I would like to visit. Beautiful artwork, Sally. Yes, the Great Barrier Reef is under stress.

  16. Beautiful! I love purple and green! 🙂

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