Visual Reflections: Nature Photography as Palette in the Age of Uncertainty – No. 8 (Coneflower and Hydrangea Photomontage)

21 August 2017


Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed, Polamatic, Stackables, and Pixlr.

Flower Photomontage; 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Flower 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.


America has become unrecognizable. Breathing and exhaling takes more effort; there’s a constant bombardment of rhetoric that scorches the heart and soul. The spirit feels injured, deflated. How, how could we be led by such a person? How can we endure what he represents?

One way is to allow the light to prevail, be more prevalent. The weightiness can be lifted, temporarily, secluding the dark and revealing beams to shore the inner world. I believe that dark cannot stifle light.

To pledge allegiance is to believe. Today’s belief must be substituted for uncertainty in collaboration with HOPE and persistence to recover the country’s moral center.

In the Lens section is my latest photomontage: a combination of coneflower and hydrangea. The conversion to black and white helps to detail the visual language of photography. It allows the words to bounce from the image and creates meaning that is wrapped in contrast, tone, shape, line, and effect of the monochromatic.

With the variation of these elements come a clearer frame of possibilities for each of us. Hold tight to one’s principles and never let them go.


James Balog is a nature photographer who has spent the last 30 years documenting the interconnection between nature and human nature. His images explore endangered animals, North America’s old-growth forests, and polar ice. From the National Geographic website: “Photographer James Balog, whose Extreme Ice Survey employs time-lapse cameras to document glaciers worldwide, has indisputable and visually stunning proof that ancient glaciers are disappearing at an alarming rate.” His work on this series began in 2007 with the mission to combine art and science to give a voice to the Earth’s ecosystem.

View (19.22 minutes) the TED talk in which he presents his Extreme Ice Project. Balog says, “When I realized that climate change was real, and it was not based on computer models, I decided that one day I would do a project looking at trying to manifest climate change photographically. And that led me to this project. Initially, I was working on a National Geographic assignment — conventional, single frame, still photography. And one crazy day, … I got the idea that I should shoot in time-lapse photography, that I should station a camera or two at a glacier and let it shoot every 15 minutes, or every hour or whatever and watch the progression of the landscape over time.” His project has become critical to study and understand the shift in ice formations, and how those changes will affect the planet. 



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28 Responses to Visual Reflections: Nature Photography as Palette in the Age of Uncertainty – No. 8 (Coneflower and Hydrangea Photomontage)

  1. prior.. says:

    Dark cannot stifle light….
    Well said

  2. Tina Schell says:

    Wonderful post Sally – so many layers to it. Must find time to listen to the Ted talk which looks fascinating. And agree with you on focusing on the light. Your photo illustrates it beautifully.

  3. Amy says:

    Such a beautiful, creative photo artwork.
    This is the most confusion, discouraging… time, and the first year of his term is not over yet.

  4. thirdeyemom says:

    Stunning photo Sally and words as well. This past weekend was my parents 50th wedding anniversary and we and our extended family traveled to Northern Minnesota to hike along the Superior Hiking trail and celebrate together. My uncle who is 70 is a professor at Texas A &M and is a rare liberal. He teaches on a American History with specialty in the 60s-present. He brought me so much hope that this is just an ugly blurb so far and reminded me of what the Iraqi War began. The loss of hundreds of thousands of people, the vacuum of power, the rise of ISIS and terrorism. It will take a lot for DT to Matt GWB. I wasn’t alive yet in the 60s yet we talked about it for hours.
    Families divided and the crazy division of society. It does at times feel worse now but I’m glad I went through history a bit to talk about the past and what
    We’ve overcome.

    • Nicole, that discussion was a poignant history lesson. It’s always tough living through times such as we are experiencing. Hopefully, in the distance it will bring positive change and glorious hope.

  5. Lignum Draco says:

    Beautiful artwork, Sally. The hidden message in the Arts Council resignation letter says it – the first letter of each paragraph spells out RESIST.

  6. dsaquarelles says:

    Many beautiful contrasts!

  7. Nico says:

    Enthralling. And so timely

  8. pattimoed says:

    Beautiful image, Sally. I share your hope and vision.

  9. This is such a rich composite photo. The many layers and the abundance of tones creates a deep expression that at least touches me. As to what is happening in your country, it must be hard, but yes, maybe the solution is to allow light to prevail.

  10. Su Leslie says:

    Lovely image Sally, and I do like Allen’s comment 😃

  11. Angeline M says:

    When I clicked on your image to enlarge it, it was like an explosion of a flower bursting open in beauty. I love this montage full of life.
    And I so agree that we must bring light into this sad world.

  12. Ulli says:

    Thanks, too, for the video about ice …

  13. Ulli says:

    your pic is a wonderfull equivalent to what is in the world now and especially in your homeland – there is a lot of darkness around, but what really is seen and felt is the light!
    Dear Sally, I like this very much! Thanks for it and good wishes for you.

  14. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Nice montage, Sally. It could almost be a closeup of ice crystals.
    We have watched James Balog’s documentary, Chasing Ice, and it sends a powerful message about the environment.
    Have a great week,

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